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How To Clean White Upholstery

White sofa always feels like the best choice when you look at it as a modern aesthetic to a space, creating an atmosphere of serenity and relaxation. At the same time, it can also feel like the biggest shopping mistake you ever made once it becomes subjected to daily aggressions from skin oils, hair, dust, food crumbs, and spills. 

But you needn’t worry because regardless how impossible it may seem to get rid of the stain disaster, it can easily be gone in a short time. Namely, you can remove dirt and even discoloration with the correct equipment and cleaning tricks. 

Before diving into all the steps, read why it is important to clean your white furniture. Keep reading to find out more about how to clean white upholstery by taking the proper action.

Cleaning White Upholstery: Why It’s Important

If your chairs and sofas are beginning to show signs of wear, you can try repairing them yourself or entrust the job to a professional. 

Keeping your white upholstery fresh and clean is good for hygiene and makes the furniture look maintained and new. Considering how much time you spend on your couch after a hard day at work or on weekends reading your favorite book, you will feel even more at home. 

White furniture, in general, requires more attention than other types of furniture. Below you can read about the benefits of regularly cleaning white upholstery:

  • It removes bacteria, dust mites, mold, and allergens which can lead to illness
  • Improves air quality in the home
  • Maintains the shiny white look
  • Helps to reinforce the fabric fibers of the furniture
  • You are always prepared to host a dinner party for your family or friends

How to Clean White Upholstery: Step-by-Step Instructions

The easiest way to keep dirt away from a white sofa is to steer clear of anything that might damage your upholstery. One option is to consider changing the color or postponing your purchase after your kids are already grown up. However, if you feel you must buy a white sofa, you should consider using a fabric protector on the couch to help it resist stains and grime. 

Let’s see how to clean the white upholstery.

Prevention is Key 

Prevention is better than resolving a problem. Use a fabric protector, or get a couch with stain-resistant fabric. Ensure the cushion covers are detachable and reversible so you may wash, dry clean, or replace them as required. You can always have a backup plan by saving the white upholstery for a less crowded area, far from your dog or kids.

If possible, ensure everyone in the house avoids drinking or eating on or near the white couch. This will minimize any possible traits of crumbs or spillage. Keeping beverages such as coffee, red wine, soda, and fruit juice away from your furniture is crucial. Stains may stand out, especially with dark beverages. 

Recognizing What Type of Cleaner to Use

Before cleaning your white upholstery, the important thing is to check the label attached to the cushion to find out the recommended cleaner. Cleaning codes, also known as acronyms on the furniture tag, usually describe how to clean soiled furniture properly. 

To understand what you’re dealing with, read the instructions and look for either one of these codes:

  • W – Water cleaners
  • S – Solvent-based or waterless cleaner
  • WS – Water or solvent cleaner
  • X – Professional Cleaning Service Required 

Start Your Cleaning Process ASAP

Once the damage is done, clear off any loose dirt and debris using a brush and/or a vacuum cleaner. It’s crucial to move fast when cleaning spills and stains. Stains that remain longer are tougher to remove. Vacuum the item thoroughly with an upholstery attachment. 

Using left-to-right strokes and from the top down are the best ways to remove stains from the couch. When cleaning materials like suede, chenille, or corduroy, work in the same direction. Also, make sure your strokes are gentle and persistent, or you might cause additional harm to your sofa.

A clean, white cloth can help you blot the stain and while removing as much of the spill as possible. If you made a freshly new spill, simply try wiping it with a moist towel. However, consider a more specific cleaning solution for more stubborn stains. 

Adding natural ingredients is one of the most efficient ways to maintain the shiny white look. Whether a leather sofa or a yellowed tricky exposure, choosing products such as white vinegar, baking soda, and/or dish soap for your cleaning solution can ease your cleaning process in no time.

Let the White Upholstery Air Dry Fully

Last but not least is the air drying. This is the most forgotten method of eliminating moisture from furniture fabric after cleaning. It is essential to steer clear of your cleaned furniture or to put it in an area where you won’t touch or get it dirty again. For a piece of furniture to dry thoroughly, this process may take up to 48 hours.

Keeping this in mind for every cleaning procedure will help avoid oversaturating the furniture with water. If you are looking for a way to hasten the drying process, consider opening your windows or using other less natural hacks, such as blowing on wet patches using a hairdryer.

How to Clean White Upholstery That Has Yellowed?

A white sofa is attractive initially, but once your white upholstery starts to yellow, you may feel this purchase was a bad idea. But, you can learn how to clean white upholstery that has yellowed. Even though it seems impossible to fix your problem, it is certainly doable with the right equipment. 

For optimal results, you need to start your cleaning process by vacuuming the entire piece of furniture with an upholstery attachment. Remove any surface debris or dust that is caught in the fabric. Then combine white vinegar or detergent with water for subtle damages and baking soda for more stubborn stains. 

Before applying your mixture with a damp cloth, ensure you don’t oversaturate it because this might lead to more discoloration issues. Once you clean your yellowed areas with gentle scraping, allow enough time for each treated part to dry thoroughly. 

If this still doesn’t help you restore the fresh white color of the upholstery, let Carpet Advisors help you. We have an online directory of the best cleaning experts in your area that customers trust. You choose which one will revive your fabulous white sofa. We only work with expert teams. 

How to Clean White Vinyl Upholstery?

Vinyl upholstery is one of the most specific fabrics, especially when you need to find out how to clean white vinyl upholstery. If you apply the wrong mixture, you might do more harm than good. Hence, it is important to avoid watery products in most cases and alternatively use a soap-free cleanser made exclusively for upholstery fabrics. However, before applying any mixture, always test your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous spot to see if it’s safe. 

Once you vacuum the stained or crumbed areas on your leather furniture, remove any dirt and debris with the cleanser and a soft cloth or brush. After lightly scrubbing, use a damp cloth to remove the cleaner and wipe the area. If any residue remains, use a somewhat harsher cleaning, such as a vinegar-water mixture, or apply baking soda powder.

White Upholstery: It’s Not so Difficult to Clean

This short guide is just one of the many simple ways you can learn how to clean white sofa. From vinyl to yellowed white upholstery, you can try out different yet simple techniques and eliminate dirt and stains in no time. However, remember that different fabrics require diverse cleaning methods if you want to avoid any additional damage.

Taking precautions before applying any cleaner is a must for white upholstery. It’s crucial to act fast when removing spills and stains and preserve the upholstery from further harm. If none of this applies to your situation, consider calling in professional support. 

This way, you can maintain white upholstery looking bright and attractive for years and never worry about possible future disasters.


How can I get my white couch white again?

Use different methods to restore the white look of your furniture. For example, fill a spray bottle with one-quart warm water and detergent and spray it on the surface of your furniture. Then, carefully clean the area until you restore the white color. Use baking soda powder or white vinegar with water for more stubborn stains. Regardless of the cleaner used, ensure you thoroughly dry your furniture before reusing it.

How do you clean a white cloth chair?

Start cleaning by vacuuming the white chair to eliminate any dirt. Then continue to clean spot stains with a mild detergent by applying it with a gentle stroke movement of the cloth. Dip a brush in soapy water or use a sponge to scrub the chair. Use clean water to rinse the chair and get rid of any remaining soap. Ensure it dries properly for about 48 hours.

Can I use white vinegar on upholstery?

Yes, you can. Vinegar is a natural and efficient ingredient for cleaning due to its acidic state. It helps to dissolve the stain easily by breaking down its molecular structure and applies to most types of upholstery.

Grace Fox

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