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How to Keep the Fabric of a White Couch Clean

Updated on October 30, 2012

If you are anything like me, you do a lot of surface cleaning and not a whole lot of deep cleaning. For most of us, that works most of the time. Every once in a while we'll suddenly realize how much deep cleaning really needs to be done and we'll immerse ourselves in the job (or hire someone else to take care of it for us!) But for the most part, we can get by with just basic cleaning. Unfortunately, that's not the case when you have white fabric furniture or white carpet in your home. White picks up every little bit of dirt and it's going to make your home feel dirty if you don't deal with it on a regular basis.

Here are some tips for cleaning a white couch and keeping it clean so that your home doesn't look sloppy:

  • Know what fabric the couch is made of and look for cleaning tips specific to that fabric. Different fabrics handle different cleaning products differently so it is important to make sure that you are using the products. If you don't, you could cause permanent stains to the couch.
  • Create a set of rules for your home that will limit the amount of dirt that gets on the couch. Examples of such rules include "no eating on the couch", "take your shoes off before sitting on the couch" and "the dog isn't allowed in the room where the couch is". Following these rules will help to keep the couch clean.
  • Set up a regular cleaning schedule to do surface cleaning of the white couch. No matter how many rules you have, the couch is going to get dirty sometimes. You can reduce the problem by doing some basic cleaning on a regular basis (one or two times per week is a good schedule). There are a few ways that you can do surface cleaning. One is to use furniture upholstery cleaner (making sure it is right for the fabric). Another is to draw a bubble bath and then use a soft cloth to gather just the bubbles and use that cloth to clean the couch.
  • Plan for professional cleaning at least once per season. If you're going to have a white couch, you're going to need to accept the fact that it really only gets cleaned right when professional equipment is used to clean it. Hire a professional upholstery cleaner (typically a steam cleaner) to come to your home on a regular schedule every three months in order to do the deep cleaning that is necessary for the couch.

Having a white couch can make your whole house look brighter, bigger and more welcoming. However, it also has the potential to really show off the dirt and grime that gathers in a home. Try to prevent as much dirt as possible from getting on the couch, clean the couch regularly and foot the bill for professional cleaners on a seasonal basis. It's a lot of work but it's better than having to live with a couch that makes your home look dirty!


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  • Easy Fit Inc. profile image

    Easy Fit Inc. 7 years ago from Woodside, NY

    It takes a brave soul to order a white couch. Fortunately slipcovers allow anyone to transform their furniture into white fabric. And the best part about white slipcovers is that they can be removed and cleaned as needed.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 8 years ago from Great Britain

    Great tips for my cream couch . Thank a million

  • Divamommy profile image

    Divamommy 8 years ago from divamomonhubp-20

    I think you have some really good idea's Great Hub. I have had the same problems with the cleaning. you have to be very careful because it will turn yellow. I just bought a new living room set. And gave mine away online. The women that took the set said she was going to dye it. Don't know how it turned out. Maybe that would be an option for someone. They say its cheaper then having it re-upholstered.

  • belief713 profile image

    belief713 9 years ago from NJ

    Funny you mentioned a "no dog allowed" rule because that's exactly where the dirt that's on the couch now came from!

    I have a Kirby vac but I can't figure out how to use the shampoo attachment so that I can shampoo the couch. I also have to check on the material because I'm worried that it may get damaged from the beater bar.

    I hadn't thought of professional cleaning - will look in to those services. I was thinking of getting the couch re-upholstered!

    I always hated those plastics on couches, but now I see where it comes in handy.