8 Tips to care for your sofa at home

After spending hours on Pinterest, browsing online and visiting furniture stores, you’ve finally found the perfect sofa to suit your home. And after spending that much time researching, it makes sense to also dedicate some time to taking care of it. If you clean and care for your sofa, it’ll keep that fresh from the showroom look, and will last longer too. If you have a fabric or a leather sofa, here’s how to give it the care it deserves.  

1) The basics  – general care

No matter how comfy your sofa looks after a hard day’s slog — it’s best not to fall into it with your full weight each time you sit down. Treat it with care and try to avoid sitting on the arms, or let children use it as a trampoline!

Another golden rule is to try to avoid wearing dark-coloured denim. As anyone with leather car seats can testify, the indigo dye can transfer and stain the leather or fabric over time. 

For long-term care, be aware that direct heat and strong direct sunlight will cause fading. To help minimise these effects, we recommend that you keep your sofa at least 50 cm from sources of heat such as radiators and consider voiles or blinds on the windows, or throws on the sofa. Protect your investment!

alexander and james sofa from our dunmow home

Vivienne sofa by Alexander & James. Image Source: our_dunmow_home

2) Close recliners before getting up

Reclining chairs and sofas are vulnerable when they’re open, so remember to close them before you get up, or when they’re not in use. And even if they’ve got the latest games console, kids still love playing with electric recliners! To avoid damage when kids or grandkids are feeling playful, always unplug the recliner when it’s not in use. 

natuzzi blue leather recliner sofa and luxurious rug

Natuzzi Editions - C074 leather sofa with chrome legs

3) Daily care for your sofa

Just like you start the day by making your bed, you should also dress your sofa every day. It only takes a minute to give it a little smooth and plump in the mornings. Smooth out back and seat pads, especially on leather sofas to avoid sagging, and plump up fabric cushions — it’s like anti-ageing for your sofa. This will help them retain their shape, and keep everything looking neat and tidy. Scatter back sofas will of course need more plumping, so if you like to save time with your household chores, a fixed-back sofa may work better for you.


sorrento 3 seater light grey italian leather sofa

Natuzzi – Salerno 3 seater sofa - limited stock offer: €995

5) Monthly care for your sofa

Dirt and debris can lead to wear and tear and colour fading, so you should vacuum your sofa once a month with a brush or upholstery fitting. Vacuum the cushions, back and seat pads, as well as removing them and vacuuming in the cracks and crevices underneath with a nozzle fitting. We’re firm believers in ‘finders keepers’ when it comes to any loose change found down the back of the sofa — a great incentive to get your kids or grandkids to do this monthly chore!

vacuuming a grey fabric sofa

6) Turn & rotate back & seat cushions

If your sofa design allows it, regularly rotate, swap or flip your cushions, backs and seat pads. We’re creatures of habit, so there’s a good chance you sit in the same spot every day! Try to switch it up a bit, to avoid excessive wear and tear in that one spot. This will help the foam and fibre cushions to recover, so your sofa looks better over time, and stays comfortable. 

tan corner saddler chaise sofa in a customers home

This image was taken by Curly Cailin, who purchased the Saddler Sofa by Alexander & James from us

7) How to clean a leather sofa

It might be obvious to advise spillages or stains on a sofa, but it's particularly important if you have an untreated, natural leather which are more sensitive to scratching and staining. If you don't need this extra stress in your life, don't sweat. Consider choosing protected leather sofas which have good resistance to general wear and stains. We have more information on protected leathers below.

If the worst happens, simply absorb any liquid from the surface of the leather with a paper towel, taking care not to rub it in. Then wipe away with a warm damp microfibre cloth and dry immediately with a soft, dry cloth. Don’t soak the leather surface, or use harsh, solvent-based cleaners. Once clean, allow the leather to air-dry naturally, and don’t dry the leather with a hair dryer.

how to clean a fabric sofa with cloth

8) How to clean a fabric sofa

Depending on your sofa design, we recommend steam cleaning or dry cleaning, sticking to manufacturer’s instructions of course. For small spills, resist the urge to rub the stain, as this will only push it further into the fabric and cushion padding, making it harder to remove. Instead, soak up the stain with a dry paper towel as soon as possible, then gently wipe with a damp cloth and warm water. Immediately dry with a soft, dry cloth, and once dry, give it a quick vacuum.

steam cleaning fabric sofa

Image Source: Oh So Spotless

Innovative fabric protection options

Thanks to upholstery technologies such as Aquaclean and protected leather, we have a huge choice of brightly coloured sofas that are much easier to keep clean. Aquaclean is a type of innovative material with stain-protecting technology literally woven into the fabric — so small stains such as wine, coffee, food and even most marker pens aren’t a disaster. 

Protected leather sofas combine the natural qualities and softness with a thin finishing layer that help protect against stains and spills. For more information, or if you'd like to see the swatches available, please visit us in store and speak to any member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.

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