How To Clean Fabric Sofa Without Water: Easy & Effective DIY Guide

How To Clean Fabric Sofa Without Water Easy & Effective DIY Guide

Last Updated on June 18, 2023 by Wahid

Sofas, couches, & chairs made of fabric are extremely comfortable and durable. However, even the best-treated fabrics will need regular cleaning to stay in top shape. You should deep clean your couch at least once or twice a year.

Sometimes, fabric furniture does require a little extra TLC, such as regular vacuuming and treating stains and spills right away. At first glance, fabric sofas appear to be difficult to clean, which is their biggest disadvantage. Wondering how to clean fabric sofa without water? 

Yet, if you can clean fabric sofas naturally at home without using water, it’s not necessary to use any hazardous products. As a matter of fact, various options are also highly efficient at removing bacteria and stains that cannot be removed with water.

Even so, unless you understand the process properly, all its benefits won’t be available to you. Well, this guide will help you with that. Discover below.

Importance Of Keeping Sofa Clean

When your sofa or any furniture is used every day, it is impossible to keep it clean. Among all of them, the sofa will be the dirtiest.

  • The floor is used for walking, spilling things, and keeping dirt & debris at bay. Therefore, the floor is dust- and mopped-everyday.
  • Similarly, people sit on the sofa, eat stuff, and lie on it. Kids & pets do stuff on it, so it’s just as dirty.
  • As a result, it needs to be cleaned every day. In this case, we are just discussing dusting.
  • There are several factors to consider, but they all depend on traffic. However, it does not apply to all cases.
  • Generally, if you have pets or children, they might not be able to use it in the style they would like.
  • Finally, your sofa might be covered. Therefore, the chances of it becoming dirty are significantly lower. Thus, a two-week vacuum will suffice to maintain the sofa set’s hygiene.

Why No Water

Fabric sofas become dull from constant use, however, due to their outer layer. Despite having just vacuumed it, it appears dirty and dark. 

When it comes to fabric sofas, that’s normal. As a result, vacuuming isn’t enough in this kind of situation. 

If we are thinking of cleaning something, water usually comes to mind. In order to clean thoroughly, water is necessary, or something that works in a similar way. 

When we consider ways to clean a fabric sofa without water, we cannot immediately come up with anything.

Various Ways To Cleaning A Fabric Sofa Without Water At Home

There are many guides online about naturally cleaning sofa fabric without using water.

However, most people make it seem as if it’s a long, tedious process. Are you not trusting us? Hopefully, you’ll after reading this article.

Getting Your Sofa Ready For Cleaning :

  • To begin with, it is crucial to understand how to prepare the sofa. In order to properly clean your couch, you must prepare it first, otherwise, the fabric will be damaged.
  • Firstly, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. There should be answers to a lot of your questions right now.
  • There will be different labels on the instructions explaining how to clean the sofa according to the instructions. The labels are confusing, so what do they mean?
  • To begin with, consult the product’s instructions. The fabric of many coaches has been pre-treated in order to prevent stains. The effectiveness of some methods of cleaning can be reduced or even the warranty on a couch may be void.
  • The label of most upholstered sofas includes cleaning instructions. The following are some of the most commonly used cleaning codes. Under the cushions, you will typically find the couch’s label.

Codes For Upholstery Care Tags :

Check the care tag on the upholstery fabric to determine how to clean it. Since 1969, the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has required furniture manufacturers to include a tag that advises owners on safe and effective ways to care for upholstery. 

Look underneath the sofa or cushions for the product tag. If needed, use solvent-based cleaners or water-based cleaners according to the tag’s code.

Code W: Water-based cleaning products can be used to clean the fabric.

Code S: Fabrics should be washed with a water-free solvent or dry cleaned only in order to remove soils and stains.

Code W-S: Both water-based and solvent-based upholstery cleaning products can be used.

Code X: You can only vacuum or hire a professional to clean the fabric. Cleaning products for the home can make fabrics shrink and stain.

O: If you’re cleaning your sofa, you should only apply cold water.

How To Clean Fabric Sofa With “Baking Soda”

Baking soda is a popular cleaning solution for couches. Even visible stains are removed, so you won’t need to worry about cleaning fabric upholstery stains. Accordingly, the following steps should be followed:

Step 1: Apply Baking Soda Thinly To The Surface

  • Spray the couch with baking soda & spread it thinly. 
  • Be careful not to use too much later on because the task will become more difficult.
  • Don’t forget to cover all fabric with soda; otherwise, you won’t be able to remove all of the stains.

Step 2: Apply A Bristle Brush

  • Then, after you’ve used baking soda to cover the surface, use a bristle brush to remove it. The entire fabric sofa should be scrubbed with it.
  • To make the process easier, use a brush with stiff bristles. Upon scrubbing the whole surface properly, stains will appear to disappear.
  • Using baking soda should not be enough to clean the surface. Instead, wait an hour before removing it.

Step 3: Vacuum It Up

  • Once an hour has passed, you will need to restart your vacuum cleaner. 
  • Baking soda should be completely removed from the sofa surface. 
  • It is possible that residues remain after your initial sweep, so it may be necessary to conduct a second sweep.

How To Clean A Fabric Sofa With “Vinegar”

Vinegar is another popular cleaning agent for couches. However, you can only follow this method if your sofa has “WS” and “W” marks.

Unless you are instructed “X,” you should avoid using liquid solvents on the material because they could damage it. Accordingly, when the sofa’s instructions state WS or W, proceed as follows:

Step 1: Make A Vinegar Solution

  • Mix the vinegar solution in a spray bottle. With this type of bottle, you will be able to spray the solution on the surface more easily. 
  • Leave the bottle half empty while filling the other half with vinegar.
  • The other half should be filled with “olive oil.” Ensure that the vinegar & olive oil are thoroughly mixed before opening.

Step 2: Apply The Solution To The Surface

  • When the vinegar & olive oil mixture has been adequately mixed, spray the mixture directly onto the couch. 
  • Ensure that every angle is covered; otherwise, bacteria and dirt will collect on the surface.
  • Then, move on to the next step below.

Step 3: Use A Brush To Scrub

  • Once the solution has been sprayed, use a stiff-bristled brush to remove it. Rather than choosing something stiff and bristled, consider something medium stiff.
  • Then scrub the entire surface with it. For optimum cleaning results, make sure you clean every part of the couch.
  • Let all of the solutions soak into the sofa. The process should take between 5 to 10 minutes. Once that has been done, move on to the last step.

Step 4: Clean Up The Residue

  • After soaking the sofa in the “vinegar” and “olive oil” solution, you can wipe off any remaining residue.
  • In order to achieve this, you should use a microfiber cloth that is clean. Keep away from anything abrasive on the couch since it might loosen the sofa fiber strands.
  • With a wipe of a clean cloth, the sofa will appear squeaky clean, so it will be free of bacteria & other dirt.

How To Clean A Fabric Sofa With “Steam Cleaner”

Using a steam cleaner is another excellent way of cleaning a sofa. The machines are clean only with heat & water, making them suitable for a variety of fabrics. If you want to make the job easier, use a steam cleaner equipped with upholstery attachments. 

Step 1: Read The Instructions

  • Make sure you follow the guidelines for using the machine and avoid contact with steam to prevent burning yourself. 
  • If you use an applicator, do not lean over it as you apply. 
  • You may be able to work around the couch better if you pull the couch away from the walls.

Step 2: Steam Your Clothes

  • Using a steamer, remove cushions from fabric sofas and steam clean each side individually. After each side has dried, flip them over & sanitize the other side as well. 
  • The dampness will be prevented by this method. Steam should be applied rapidly rather than continuously with the steamer attachment. 
  • However, keeping the couch dry prevents it from becoming soaked.

Step 3: Wash The Frame

  • After that, wipe down the sofa’s frame. Make sure every area is cleaned thoroughly & nothing is overlooked by doing this in small sections. 
  • Before returning the cushions to the couch, let them air dry. 
  • If you want to speed up the process, place a fan nearby.

How To Clean Fabric Sofa With “Alcohol”

The use of alcohol as a cleaning agent is very beneficial. In addition to eliminating bacteria from the surface, it removes dust & debris as well. Most significantly, you will not have to use any water to clean the sofa.

However, just as with the previous process, if the instructions state X, you must not perform these steps. Follow these instructions only if they specify “W” or “WS.” In addition, wear gloves and masks when performing this procedure.

Step 1: Fill A Spray Bottle With Alcohol

  • For this process, we will also use spray bottles. 
  • By spraying the alcohol evenly, you will be able to spread it more evenly. 
  • By doing so, you will prevent the alcohol from absorbing into the fabric too quickly, resulting in fabric damage.

Step 2: Spray Your Hands With Alcohol

  • In place of spraying alcohol straight onto the couch, spray some alcohol onto your hand before spraying it onto the couch. 
  • This step must be carried out while wearing gloves.
  • Then, go to the next step carefully.

Step 3: Scrub The Surface

  • Rub the sofa surface for approximately five minutes using that hand. 
  • The majority of bacteria and germs will be killed by this method. 
  • If any residues are left after rubbing, wipe them immediately with a soft cloth or napkin.

How To Clean Fabric Sofa With “Shampoo”

  • Cleaning a sofa with a vacuum cleaner or professional couch cleaner is the easiest way to do it. Make sure that all loose dirt is removed from the couch by vacuuming thoroughly. 
  • Next, add water & detergent to the cleaner according to the instructions. You should avoid getting your sofa too wet since dampness and mold can develop if it does not dry out quickly. 
  • The cleaner’s suction feature should be used to remove a large amount of water. When you have finished cleaning, don’t forget to wipe away any excess water with old towels. 
  • Prior to replacing the cushions, allow the sofa to air dry. By circulating air more quickly, a fan can facilitate this process.


01. The best way to disinfect a sofa?

You can disinfect a sofa using steam cleaning, but there are alternative methods if you do not have one or would like to hire one. In addition to killing germs, rubbing alcohol also kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi, making it an excellent choice.

  • Rubbing alcohol, 2 cups
  • Water 1 cup

Lightly mist the couch with the mixture above. Avoid getting it too wet. It would be best if you removed the cushions so that you could coat the frame and the cushion sides separately. Allow the couch and cushions to air dry.

02. What Should I Do to Dry the Sofa?

Once you have followed the vinegar & alcohol methods, your couch will have a good percentage of moisture left. You should first use towels to dry the surface. Soak up any excess moisture by pressing them on the surface. 

Alternatively, paper napkins can be used if towels aren’t working. They would be necessary for large quantities. Dry brushing can also be helpful. However, each time you use the brush, give it a gentle stroke. If you are too forceful, the surface may become irreversibly damaged.

03. How to Clean Stubborn Stains from the Sofa?

Generally, baking soda is able to remove stains from surfaces effectively. Nevertheless, sometimes stubborn stains cannot be removed with baking soda alone. If so, you should purchase a spot cleaner for fabrics.

In order to clean the couches with X marks, experts recommend using waterless cleaners. Alternatively, you can use vinegar again for cleaning. Scrub the entire surface gently this time using a good brush. However, avoid applying too much pressure to the surface while cleaning.

04. Water stains on couches: how to remove them?

Unless your couch fabric is water-resistant, you may find water marks on it after a spill occurs. Use a spray bottle filled with 1/3 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of purified water and spray the stain lightly. From the outside, work your way toward the center of the stain. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the area thoroughly to prevent it from getting wet, as well as to remove marks. Dry the area quickly with a hair dryer or fan to prevent new stains from forming.

05. How to get grease stains out of the sofa?

Dish soap is the best method for removing grease stains. This product is designed to quickly and easily eliminate grease stains. Mix 2 cups of water with a teaspoon of detergent then use a sponge or cloth to blot the stain. As an alternative to water-based cleaners, dry cleaning cloths can be used. Furthermore, these clothes can easily remove grease from surfaces.

06. How can I disinfect my couch without washing it?

You should use Lysol Disinfectant Spray to disinfect a couch. Lysol kills almost 99% of viruses, bacteria, and germs. It is also safe to use on most fabrics. As a way to sanitize your couch with it, you will need to thoroughly spray it (be careful not to soak it) and then allow it to dry naturally.

Final Words

It can be quite challenging and tedious to clean a sofa with water. Due to this, most sofas are not suitable for water cleaning. But if you know how to clean fabric sofa without water at home, you won’t need to use water.

I hope I described the waterless techniques adequately above. You just need to follow these steps correctly, and your sofa should be squeaky clean & bacteria-free.