How To Clean And Sanitize A Used Couch

You’ve discovered the perfect used couch. It’ll look great in your house once you’ve cleaned off dirt and grime that comes from someone else’s house, a thrift store, a delivery truck, and who knows where else.

If you have children or dogs, you know how fast a sofa can go from brand new to looking to be thrown out. Children and pets easily spread germs, crumbs, and stains. Try a natural fabric couch cleaner first if you’re looking for the finest way to clean a couch that your kids use frequently.

Luckily, how to clean a couch is much easier than you think when you have some guidance. So, in our guide, you can learn more about cleaning couches and making them look new again.

By the end, you’ll know all there is about how to clean couches, cushions, and other items of furniture the right way. (Learn How To Clean Couch Fabric)

Guide on how to Disinfect and Deodorize a Couch

How Do You Disinfect and Deodorize a Couch?

Here’s a quick overview of how to clean couch for fabric upholstered couches and leather.

Upholstered Sofas

  1. Using an upholstery brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner and vacuum your sofa.
  2. Remove all dust, hair, and debris from the area, and if possible, remove the cushions and vacuum both sides.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda on the sofa’s upholstery sections, and remove and discard the seat and back cushions.
  4. Baking soda should be sprinkled over the fabric beneath the cushions as well as the cushions themselves.
  5. Apply enough baking soda to the entire sofa to leave a visible residue.
  6. For extreme odors, leave the baking soda on the sofa for at least 15 minutes or overnight.
  7. The baking soda absorbs the smells from the fabric and cushions rather than being masked.
  8. To get rid of the baking soda residue, vacuum the sofa again. Since the baking soda could quickly fill the vacuum canister, use a clean bag or empty it beforehand.

Leather Sofas

  1. With a moist rag, wipe up any spill that could cause an unpleasant odor right away. Dry with a paper wipe.
  2. Take 1 cup warm water and a teaspoon of liquid neutral soap like Castille or, even better, use leather saddle soap).
  3. Mild dish soap and water should be used to wipe the sofa, and make sure to wipe only the smelly area or, if you need to do the entire sofa, wipe a small area at a time and let it air dry thoroughly before moving on.
  4. Wipe away the mild dish soap residue with a rag dampened with clean, warm water.
  5. Wipe dry with a gentle, dry rag as soon as possible.
  6. If the odor persists, use an enzyme leather cleaner and ensure you follow specific directions on the package. Such compounds are sprayed on the leather and left to air dry, where the enzymes break down odor-causing microorganisms.

How Do You Clean An Old Couch?

Here are step-by-step instructions to clean your couch. While cleaning isn’t always easy, it can get easier once you have done it several times. (Learn How To Remove Wax From Couch)

Step-by-step instructions to clean your couch


  • Vacuum
  • Vacuum attachments
  • Bed bug vacuum
  • Dry brush
  • Washing machine
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Bug spray
  • Cleaning spray or wipes


Step 1: Take Couch Outside

  • Cleaning outside is recommended for several reasons.
  • Spacious and well-ventilated
  • Sunlight acts as a bacteria killer
  • You don’t breathe in dust and debris when cleaning
  • It stops mold and pests from entering your home

However, starting outside ensures you don’t have to purge the entire living room once the cleaning process is over.

Step 2: Beat It

Before doing anything else, beat the dust out of the cushions. Because this item has gained a lot of dust over time, it may require some elbow grease to get your couch clean.

Step 3: Bug Spray

It’s highly recommended you go further and treat the used couch with bug spray, especially it’s been neglected for a long time. Your couch could be a breeding ground for bugs and pests, which you can’t see. Let your couch sit outside for a day after spraying before bringing it inside. (Read Neem Oil For Bed Bugs)

Step 4: Remove Cushion Covers

If possible, unzip the cushion covers and put them into the washing machine for thorough cleaning.

Step 5: Vacuum

For best results, vacuum the entire couch with upholstery cleaner machines equipped with the brush attachment. Attempt to pass the vacuum back and forth to ensure that it reaches every area of the couch. Vacuum the cushion from all sides. Repeat several times over the back and arms. (Learn How To Get Bleach Out Of Black Clothes)

Use a bed bug vacuum to thoroughly clean your couch of any bugs or other minute critters. Keep an eye out for any stains on the surface so you can deal with them afterward.

Step 6: Check Cleaning Label

To ensure that you don’t permanently damage a part of the couch’s surface, consult the product’s tag for instructions on cleaning it properly.

  • W: For water-based cleaners
  • W/S: For water-based and solvent-based cleaners
  • S: For only solvent-based cleaners
  • X: No cleaners should be used, only vacuum and brush

Step 7: Sanitize

It’s time to deep clean the couch by spraying and wiping it off, so you and your family can enjoy spending time on it.

Spraying solutions and cleaning wipes are available in a variety of terms. You may take your own upholstery cleaner with common household chemicals, or you could buy one from a reputable retailer.

Step 8: Remove Odors

A smelly couch might be a pain, but it’s easy to fix with a simple kitchen ingredient: baking soda. Spread baking soda powder evenly on the item and vacuum it up after a few hours.

If the odor is still present on the couch, combine vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray it on. Allow it to air dry. (Learn How Do You Clean Gold)

Sanitize A Fabric Couch

Here’s a simple way to use kitchen ingredients to sanitize a fabric couch.

  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Fan


Step 1: Mix a cup of water with a cup of white vinegar
Step 2: Spray all over the couch.
Step 3: Allow the couch to dry.
Step 4: Turn on the fan to a faster drying process faster.

Disinfection techniques for Leather Couch

How To Disinfect Leather Couch

A leather couch appears to be the easiest to clean of all the couch types. Improper disinfection techniques can cause lasting damage to the leather surface.

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Absorbent cloth


Step 1: Create a mixture of vinegar and water.
Step 2: Pour into your bucket.
Step 3: Soak the cloth in your cleaning solution.
Step 4: Squeeze to remove excess water.
Step 5: Wipe the couch carefully until clean

How Do You Clean and Sanitize Couch Cushions?

That’s a smell we’re all too familiar with some thrift store furniture. It has the smell of a flooded basement, cigarette smoke, decaying wood, and muddy shoes. It’s repulsive, yet you want the furnishings more than the smell, so disinfecting and cleaning are required.

You can use this method on any furniture cushions or on the furniture itself to get rid of that long-standing smell and remove stains in the process from your furniture.

This method is quite simple: take regular mold remover and dilute it with a little concentrated all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle to blitz the bacteria.

It won’t be fancy, and there can be more smell than you expected, so make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area. Ensure you wear a mask and gloves as if there are any mold spores. You don’t want to breathe them in or touch them.

Wipe down the piece and repeat as needed. It’s also a good idea to leave the piece outside for 24 hours before taking it inside.

If you are sanitizing and don’t wish to use the two chemicals mixed, you can use a more natural disinfectant and the steps below. The entire process will take no longer than a couple of hours to get rid of smells and sanitize your furniture.


Here are the steps how to sanitize and clean a used couch:

  • Mix water and vinegar.
  • Disinfectant wipes.
  • Wiping down using a natural disinfectant aerosol spray.
  • Use a strong disinfectant for tough stains.
  • Lemon juice and salt (use in a paste if you have furniture rust stains)

Step 1

Use an upholstery attachment, which comes standard with most vacuum cleaners, to vacuum the entire couch. Make sure the back, cushions, arms, sides, and skirt are all included. Remove the cushions from the couch and vacuum the undersides as well as the couch’s seat.

Step 2

Attach your vacuum’s crevice tool. Clean all of the couch’s corners and crevices with the tool.

Step 3

Add the steam cleaning solution and water to your steam cleaner according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can either use a steam cleaner that you have at home or rent one. Renting models is recommended for badly soiled couches because they are more powerful.

Step 4

Use the upholstery attachment on your steam cleaner to clean your couch and the cushions if you can’t wash them in the washing machine.

Please start with the cushions that have been removed; pull the trigger to administer the cleaning solution, then run the upholstery attachment to it to remove the moisture.

Proceed to the rest of the couch after repeating this process on each of the cushions. Work in small parts for the greatest results. As needed, add more cleaning solution and water.

Step 5

Before reassembling your couch, allow sure it’s completely dry.

How To Clean And Sanitize A Used Couch

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