Upholstery Cleaning 101: The Non-Toxic Way

When I bought a couch a few years ago, I refused the stain guard because I knew that the chemicals involved harmed the ozone layer of the earth, and if they did that, what would they do to me and my family?

But, of course, real life isnít perfect, and our couches get very hard work as a first rate r&r destination for kids, dogs, and watching movies with snacks.

Here are the five techniques I use to keep my couch clean and even remove stains, in a safe, nontoxic way:

1. Whipped Detergent
I like the foamy aspect of this formula so much, it is always my first
choice. The whipped detergent disperses the cleaning agent around so
that no part of the upholstery gets it too thickly. I like to dip a
gentle brush into this formula, scrub the upholstery, and then rinse
using the brush.

Equal amounts of water and liquid detergent (note to never use laundry
detergent)

Mix with a hand mixer until frothy. Scoop the froth onto a sponge, brush, or rag, and scrub into the stains. Rinse.

2. Vacuum and Softly Brush Weekly
As much as I resist this step, it is important to vacuum the cushions
and backs every week. Use a soft brush to remove loose soil.

3. Water Cleaner

Use cool water for nongreasy soil. Note that heat sets most stains, but
that you need warm or hot water for greasy stains. Just use sparingly.

4. Shampoo Cleaner
Mix with water and agitate. Dab onto a sponge or brush, and use on greasy stains.

5. 3 Percent Hydrogen Peroxide

Dab on stain, donít rinse. Repeat until stain is gone. (Spot test.)

By Annie B. Bond

43 comments

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Nunah Mikhail2 years ago

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Mark G.
Mark G.3 years ago

In case anyone else is looking for more upholstery cleaner recipes, tips and tricks: Upholstery Cleaners 101 Cheers!

Emily N.
Emily N.3 years ago

Do you think I can apply the same cleaning techniques to my mesh and upholstered chairs? I just want to make sure my favorite Aeron Chairs are as clean as they can be! I want them to last a lifetime!

Mike O.
Mike O.4 years ago

I am suprised you didn't mention Genesis 950 in this article. It is by far the BEST stain remover and cleaner I have ever used on carpet and furniture. I use it to clean up pet stains and it also removes the odor. In addition, I it has cleaned up A1 Steak Sauce Stains, Paint Stains, Nail Polish, Ink, Tomato Soup, Wine and Blood. It has no chemicals that damage carpet either, and it's non-toxic. Def. the best thing I have ever used and I recommend it to everyone who has ever had a stain to clean. I have also used to completely spot clean a microfiber couch. The slipcovers I actually took off and washed in COLD water in the machine with Genesis 950 and then AIR dried. Couch looked like new.

Mike O.
Mike O.4 years ago

I am suprised you didn't mention Genesis 950 in this article. It is by far the BEST stain remover and cleaner I have ever used on carpet and furniture. I use it to clean up pet stains and it also removes the odor. In addition, I it has cleaned up A1 Steak Sauce Stains, Paint Stains, Nail Polish, Ink, Tomato Soup, Wine and Blood. It has no chemicals that damage carpet either, and it's non-toxic. Def. the best thing I have ever used and I recommend it to everyone who has ever had a stain to clean.

May C.
May C.5 years ago

Does anyone have any idea in cleaning microsuede furniture?