How To Clean A Fabric Sofa Without Water

A fabric sofa is a beloved piece of furniture that adds warmth and comfort to your living space. Proper sofa cleaning is essential to maintain its elegance and longevity. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a detailed guide on how to clean a fabric sofa without using water. By following these steps, you can ensure that your sofa remains a beautiful centrepiece of your home.

How To Clean A Fabric Sofa Without Water

When and How Often to Clean

  1. Address spills promptly: Accidents happen, so it’s crucial to tackle spills immediately. Blot the spill gently with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  2. Vacuum at least monthly: Regular vacuuming helps remove dust, dirt, and debris from the surface and crevices of your sofa, preventing them from settling in and causing long-term damage.
  3. Deep clean without water twice a year: A more intensive cleaning session without water is necessary to maintain your sofa’s overall cleanliness. This deep cleaning will effectively remove stubborn stains and rejuvenate your fabric.

Understanding the Care Tag

The care tag on your fabric sofa is usually located underneath the cushions. It provides valuable information about how to clean and maintain your sofa. Here’s what the codes mean:

  • W: This code indicates that you can clean the fabric with water-based solutions. It’s safe to use water and mild detergent on these sofas.
  • S: Sofas with an “S” on the care tag should be cleaned with a solvent-based cleaner. Water can damage this type of fabric.
  • W-S: These sofas can be cleaned with either water-based or solvent-based solutions. They offer more flexibility in cleaning methods.
  • X: If you see an “X” on the care tag, it means you should only vacuum and not use any liquid cleaners.

If your sofa lacks a care tag, it’s essential to perform a water and solvent test on an inconspicuous area to determine the fabric’s reaction to these cleaning methods.

Clean A Fabric Sofa Without Water

Gather Equipment and Materials

Before you start the cleaning process, gather the following equipment and materials:


  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment
  • Microfiber cloth or soft-bristle brush
  • Plastic tarp or drop cloth to protect the floor
  • A fan to accelerate drying time


  • Solvent-based upholstery cleaner (choose one suitable for your sofa’s care tag)
  • Baking soda for deodorizing (optional)

Clean A Fabric Sofa Without Water: Step-by-Step Process

  1. Thoroughly vacuum the entire sofa: Start by using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Pay special attention to crevices and seams.
  2. Improve ventilation and eliminate fire hazards when using solvents: Ensure the room is well-ventilated and free from open flames or smoking while using solvent-based cleaners.
  3. Test the solvent on an inconspicuous area first: Before applying the solvent to visible areas, test it on an unseen part of the sofa to make sure it won’t cause discoloration or damage.
  4. Spot clean stains and heavily soiled areas with solvent: Apply the solvent to a clean cloth or sponge, blot the stained area gently, and avoid excessive rubbing. Work from the outside of the stain toward the center to prevent it from spreading.
  5. Use a fan to accelerate drying time: After spot cleaning, use a fan to speed up the drying process. Proper drying is crucial to prevent mildew growth and watermarks.

Tips for Maintaining Code S Upholstery

  • Regular vacuuming helps prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the fabric.
  • Consider using a fabric protector spray to create a barrier against spills and stains.
  • If you have removable armrest covers, consider washing them separately to maintain a clean appearance.
  • If you’re unsure about how to clean your sofa, contact the manufacturer for specific cleaning recommendations.


Properly cleaning your fabric sofa without water is essential to maintain its appearance and longevity. By addressing spills promptly, regular vacuuming, and performing deep cleaning without water, you can keep your sofa looking its best. Always refer to the care tag for guidance and test any cleaning products in inconspicuous areas. With the right approach and care, your fabric sofa will continue to be a comfortable and stylish addition to your home.