How to Easily Clean Upholstered Furniture Without a Fancy Machine

Brittany | Simply This
by Brittany | Simply This

Do you ever look at your upholstered furniture and cringe? I’m going to show you an easy but effective way to clean upholstered furniture. You probably already have everything you need to do the job, without expensive machines.

Spring cleaning is here, which to me isn't too much different than regular cleaning. Except now I've got to clean the things I usually neglect somehow like my kid's furniture or anything upholstered for that matter.

Kids tracking in mud

Mud tracked in

It looks like we made mud pie masterpieces on it with all the dirt tracked on this chair! Don't be embarrassed any longer, just do this quick cleanup for clean, fresh upholstered furniture. 

Dawn, vinegar, and a scrubbing brush

Cleaning supplies

The only thing you're going to need is Dawn dish soap, a scrub brush, vinegar, and hot water. All of these items can actually be purchased from the dollar store (excuse me - the $1.25 store).

Making the DIY cleaning solution

Make the cleaning solution 

I just eyeball my cleaning solution. Eyeball measurements should be a formal type of cleaning measurement. I probably realistically add two tablespoons of Dawn and half a cup of white vinegar. You may want to add a higher concentration of Dawn dish soap or white vinegar if you have tougher stains.

Scrubbing the chair in the shower

Use the bathtub

I put the kid's chair in the bathtub for this quick cleanup because I know when using a scrub brush, water and soap tend to splash off and this is going to ensure I don't make a mess while cleaning up a mess. It's also really efficient for being able to access the hot water so as you can see I can easily dip my scrub brush in the cleaning solution and start to saturate the fabric.

Saturating the fabric

Saturate the fabric

Once I’ve saturated the chair’s fabric I can see the marks or stains versus surface dust. The stains are giving me a little trouble coming out so I add additional Dawn dish detergent directly to the scrub brush and start to scrub those stains away.

How to clean upholstered furniture

Works on all types of upholstered furniture 

It is quite satisfying to see how quickly the chair becomes clean and this is so easy. This doesn't just work on kids' furniture, it also works on anything upholstered. Recently I cleaned a couch that was in the garage and had great results.

How to clean upholstery

Clean the rest of the furniture 

Now time to let it go, meaning get the paint right out. I repeated the process on all the areas of the chair. On one arm, there was some acrylic paint soaked and stained in the fabric that I couldn't get off, but overall, the chair looks way better. 

Cleaned upholstered furniture

Let the furniture dry

After I was done scrubbing, I put the chair in front of my sliding glass door to let the sun beat down on it. Since there was vinegar in the solution, the sun should really help to brighten the fabric up. 

Cleaned chair

I was impressed with the finished product, even though the fabric on this chair is pretty thin and cheap. This is a great way to clean upholstered furniture that won’t cost a lot of money. It’s perfect for spot-cleaning small sections of upholstery too.

Let us know in the comments if you tried this cleaning method and how it worked for you!

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2 of 3 comments
  • Pou32837417 Pou32837417 on Nov 15, 2022

    I was expecting to see some rinsing, especially after adding more soap to the brush.

  • Janice M Giaco Janice M Giaco on Nov 20, 2022

    easy for a kiddie chair in the tub but what about a big recliner in the living room that requires 2 football players to move?? Not likely. Oh well, I used dawn and hot water and borax, scrubbed with a brush and wiped up with an absorbent cloth. worked for me....