How do you Clean a Fabric Couch Without Water?

Cleaning fabric furniture can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be! When you’re cleaning a fabric couch, chair, or another piece of furniture, you want to use products specifically for cleaning furniture—otherwise, you risk ruining your couch, chair, or other furniture piece. If you would like some tips on how to clean your fabric couch without water, check out the helpful suggestions below.

Spot-clean with baking soda

Baking soda is indispensable when it comes to cleaning up messes on fabric. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable and safe for all fabrics, so it won’t leave any residue or discoloration behind after you use it. Simply sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth and rub away at your stain, making sure not to scrub too hard so as not to damage your material. (Bonus: This method works really well on wooden furniture!)

Treat stains with vinegar

You may be surprised at how well vinegar works as a fabric couch cleaner. Vinegar’s acidity makes it great for deodorizing and getting rid of odors, too. To test whether your fabric is colorfast with vinegar, dab some on an inconspicuous area after several hours; if there’s no discoloration or fading after that time, go ahead and use vinegar as an all-purpose fabric cleaner. If you have a large stain, pour undiluted white vinegar directly onto it and blot with a cloth until absorbed. After that, mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray onto stain, then blot again until absorbed (this will take longer than when using straight vinegar).

If your fabric has been treated with ScotchgardTM protector or other similar product, check its label before using any type of bleach—bleach can damage these treatments. However, if ScotchgardTM has not been applied to your Fabric Couch Cleaning can still work by mixing 1/4 cup white vinegar into 2 cups warm water in a spray bottle (apply like normal). The good news about stains on fabric couches is that they usually come out fairly easily—especially if they are fresh!


A great way to clean upholstery is with alcohol. Pour some on a cotton ball or spray it on and wipe it off (the alcohol will evaporate quickly, but will leave your couch smelling nice). You can also mix one cup of rubbing alcohol with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake it up and spritz! This method is less effective than using dry cleaning, but because most people don’t have access to dry cleaning services, consider using alcohol instead for everyday spills.

Steam Cleaners

In order to clean your couch quickly and efficiently, it’s important to use a steam cleaner. A high quality steam cleaner will blast away dirt and grime leaving your furniture looking like new. While some steam cleaners allow you to use distilled water, we recommend using plain tap water; it will still give great results, but save you money on cleaning supplies. Using distilled water is fine if that’s what you have on hand, but since most of us don’t buy bottled drinking or cooking-grade H2O, just stick with tap.

Commercial Cleaners

When most people think of fabric couch cleaning, they immediately assume that any kind of stain removal solution is absolutely off limits. A dry-clean only sofa is off limits to virtually every household cleaner under your sink; even if there’s an all-purpose cleanser or some such detergent in your cleaning closet, no home remedy will work well on your fabric sofa. If a commercial fabric cleaner doesn’t work on that stain—and it often won’t—you’re left with two options: professional cleaners and the always popular bleaching (this isn’t recommended unless you really have no other choice). Soap and hot water can get you results as well, but more often than not; it will be left to professionals with specialized tools.


The truth is that if you want to keep your couch looking nice, there are only two options: Use a professional cleaning service or take excellent care of it yourself. The good news is that taking great care of your furniture doesn’t require too much work; you just need a little time and discipline.

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