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Simple Ways to Keep Your Couch Like New (Even with Kids and Pets)

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You want your couch to last forever, right? Or at least until you want to redecorate.

Then you can sell your couch for much more since it will look brand new.

How can this happen, I hear you ask.

Keep it clean. Keep the cushions in good shape. And do any repairs as needed.

The type of couch you have will impact how you clean it. Also, if you use slipcovers, it’s easy to keep your couch looking perfect, and wash the slipcover regularly.

Photo by Joey Banks on Unsplash

Do This Before You Start

Do you still have your warranty or manual for your couch? It will tell you how you can clean the surface.

If you can’t find a manual, look for a tag on your couch that should have a cleaning guide.

  • W means can be cleaned with water (steam cleaning falls under this)
  • S means can be cleaned with a solvent (like dry cleaning)
  • WS means it can be cleaned with either a solvent or water
  • X means it can only be professionally cleaned or vacuumed by you

If there is no code, assume it is an S.

Always test the product in an out of the way spot before you clean the whole couch or clean up the spot.

Know Your Couch

What your couch is made of makes a big difference in how you should clean it.

Real Leather

The leather could be smooth tanned leather, or it could be suede. If it’s suede, you don’t want to use any water. If you do get liquid on the suede, it will cause spots.

There are special suede cleaners you can safely use. And there are special sprays to make the suede water resistant or repellent.

There are also special suede brushes which can be used to help remove anything crusted in. They have stiff metal bristles.

Carefully loosen everything off the suede. Then using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, clean it up.

Tanned leather can probably have water on it. But I wouldn’t let it stand. Leather is porous and it could get absorbed into the filling.

You will want to use a soft cloth to wipe down leather. You can also use the upholstery attachment. Make sure you don’t put one with a beater bar on the couch. It could pull and strain the leather leading to odd shapes or tears.

Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash


Vacuum up all dirt and crumbs. You can use an attachment with a beater bar if you wish.

Get the cracks with the crevice tool.

If there are stains, pre-treat them using a gentle stain remover. Otherwise, you won’t need to do much to keep your sofa clean.

Microfiber is amazingly durable and moderately resistant to stains.

If you do feel like giving it a nice Spring (or Fall) cleaning, you need to use a solvent cleaner otherwise it can leave ring stains.

Follow the directions on the cleaner. Generally you will spray an area, and blot it with a clean cloth.

After it has dried, you can either quickly vacuum the couch or rub it over with a soft brush to fluff up the fiber.


When you vacuum, you can use an attachment with a beater bar on cloth. You will also want to look into the crevice tool to get down into the odd areas.

You can use water to wash your couch. It’s recommended to use distilled water because tap water can have minerals that may leave a stain or a coating that you don’t want.

Use a good cleaning solution, and then wipe it down with a wet cloth.

For the most part, keep stains at bay and give it a deep cleaning once or twice a year.

Photo by Peter Boccia on Unsplash

Easy Ways to Keep Your Couch Like New

Set yourself up reminders in your calendar. Then you can quickly zip through these tasks like a boss.

Rotate the Cushions

Just like you rotate your mattress to keep it fuller longer, you should try to rotate your cushions. So if you always sit on one part of the couch, swap out the cushion with the next section over.

Sometimes you can turn the cushion upside down. That’s another good way to reduce all the stress on one part of one cushion.

Use a Slipcover

If you have kids and pets (and aren’t pets like our kids?), you will want to look into some kind of slipcover.

You can get one that conforms to the size of your couch. Or you can use a nice sheet or blanket that gets tucked in. Wash it regularly.

There is fabric that has rubber embedded in it. You can get some of that and put it under the slipcover to prevent spills from staining. I found some that was very inexpensive at my local JoAnn Craft and Fabric store. (I found it in the nursery fabrics)

Vacuum Regularly

If you can vacuum up crumbs and dirt regularly, they won’t get ground into the fabric. This makes it look cleaner and more like new.