Step-by-Step Methods on How to Clean a Polyester Couch

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The couch goes through a lot. From drool, spills, pet hair, crumbs, sweat, and other stains. Furthermore, polyester is a good couch for pets and it will need cleaning often. Luckily, the polyester couch is not very hard to clean if you know how to go about it, which you will by the end of this article. You will know how to clean a polyester couch, what items you need, and answer people’s worries when cleaning polyester couches.

Keep in mind that polyester is made of synthetic fabric, and the simpler your methods are, the better. Here is how to clean a polyester couch.

Understanding Couch Tags

Understanding Couch Tags

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You need to check whether your couch has a couch tag that specifies how you need to clean it. These tags contain the upholstery cleaning codes. Here is each upholstery cleaning code you should expect to see on your couch tag;

S- Solvent; Using water on a couch with a tag is a bad idea, and cleaning is restricted to solvents only. Water may leave marks on the couch, damage the fabric, or cause bleeding of the dyes and colors used on the couch. Solvents break down greasy stains, which you can vacuum off the couch.

W-Wet; Water-based cleaning. Distilled or fresh water is ideal for this tag. Do not use hot water if the fabric is made of synthetic fibers. Rather, use cold or warm water. Do not use salty water, as it might ruin the look or fabric on your couch.

WS-Wet and Solvent; You can use either water cleaning solution or the solvent cleaning process depending on the type of stain. If the stain is water-based, you can use water, but if the stain is oily, use the solvent option for cleaning. A couch with a “WS” may require professional upholstery cleaners.

D(Dry-cleaning only); If you see the “D” tag, you should only dry-clean the couch.

X(Vacuuming only); This tag does not allow for any form of cleaning other than vacuuming only.

Items You Will Need to Cleaning Polyester Couch Properly

Please Note: Remember only to buy the items you need for your preferred cleaning method out of the cleaning method options for polyester sofas provided further down.

How to Clean a Polyester Couch

The first step for all these cleaning methods is to look at the cleaning code. If you are unsure what method to use to clean the couch, look for professional cleaning services. Here are some methods you can use to clean the couch.

a) Vacuuming


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The vacuum cleaner is one of the useful upholstery cleaners that you can use often and on other surfaces. Furthermore, you can use the vacuum cleaner on polyester fabrics without worrying about the fabric getting damaged. Use the following steps when using a vacuum cleaner;

Step 1: Sprinkle the couch surface with a deodorizing baking soda.

Sprinkle the couch surface with a deodorizing baking soda.

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Step 2: Let the baking soda sit for at least an hour. Ideally, it should sit overnight to pull all the greasy stains.

Step 3: Remove all cushions and other removable parts to vacuum the crevices alongside the couch’s surface.

 Remove all cushions

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Step 4: Fix the vacuum’s upholstery attachment and proceed with vacuuming.


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Step 5: After vacuuming, use a soft-bristled brush to rub the couch to make it fluffy and soft gently.

b) Spot Cleaning with Vinegar

Spot Cleaning with Vinegar

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If there is a spot with a stain and you do not have to clean the whole couch, vinegar is a great option. Use the following steps to clean the couch. Use the following steps;

Step 1: Make a solution of one part laundry detergent and one part vinegar using a liter of warm water if you use a teaspoon to measure the other ingredients. Remember not to use hot water.

laundry detergent and vinegar

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Step 2: Run test-cleaning on a hidden couch section to see how the couch reacts to the solution.


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Step 3: Pick the spots you want to clean and use soft motions to dab the couch’s surface with the solution.

Step 4: Dip and wring a clean cloth in fresh water, and use it to wipe the solvent cleaner off the surface of the polyester couch.

 wipe the solvent cleaner

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c) Baking Soda Technique

Baking Soda Technique

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Using baking powder is great for spot cleaning but can work on the whole polyester upholstery.

Step 1: Mix a teaspoon of washing-up liquid with white vinegar, baking soda, and about a liter of warm water. The mixture should form a lather.

mix baking soda with vinegar

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Step 2: Apply the mixture on the spots you want to get cleaned and let it sit for at least ten minutes.

Apply the mixture on the spots

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Step 3: Once the spots are dry, wipe off the surface of the couch with a clean cloth to remove stains and any residue.

wipe off the surface

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Step 4: Rub the couch cushions and surface with a soft brush to make it fluffy.

rub the couch with a soft brush

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d) Wet Sponge and Dish Soap

Wet Sponge and Dish Soap

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Step 1: Use a wet sponge to wipe down the couch from top to bottom.

Step 2: Use dish soap to wipe down any spots with stains.

Step 3: Wash any soapy residue with a clean cloth and fresh water to leave a clean surface.

Wash any soapy residue

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e) Steam Cleaning

Steam Cleaning

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Step 1: Vacuum the couch to remove dirt, hair, and crumbs.

Step 2: Pretreat any spots with stains before steaming using dish soap or vinegar.

Pretreat any spots

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Step 3: Using a good steam cleaner, steam-clean the couch by working in patterns to cover the whole couch surface.

steam-clean the couch

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Step 4: Air-dry the couch.

Things to Consider When Cleaning a Polyester Couch

a) Type of Stain

The type of stain you are dealing with mostly determines the cleaning solution you will use. For instance, if you are dealing with an oily spot, you would treat it differently than when dealing with dirt.

The extent of the stain on the couch is worth considering. For instance, if the stain is on the spot, you do not have to clean the whole couch when you can remove the stain.

b) Cleaning Method

Your preferred cleaning method determines the cleaning process and materials you will use. There are different methods for different types of stains which may call for different cleaning approaches.

c) Material

The material you are dealing with directly affects the cleaning method and solutions you buy. In this case, our material is polyester, which is sensitive to too much water. Therefore, you must consider options that do not include completely getting the couch soaked in water.

d) Available Cleaning Product

Many cleaning options allow you to use what you have or can get in the stores. For instance, a stain spot on the couch does not have to wait for a whole cleaning project before you can clean it; you can simply use baking soda or dish soap from your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Clean a Polyester Couch

i) Are polyester couches difficult to clean?

Polyester is mostly stain-resistant, making it easier to clean than other fabrics. However, since polyester is not breathable, it is mostly mixed with other materials when making fabric, and this might reduce its stain resistance.

ii) Can you clean polyester fabric?

Polyester can be washed using either warm or cold water. Since polyester is made of synthetic material, it is not advisable to use high heat when cleaning it.

High heat can damage polyester because it is a synthetic fabric by breaking the fiber on the fabric.

iii) What is the best cleaner for polyester fabric?

Unless the polyester is permanently fixed on the couch, the best option is to wash the polyester in a washing machine with warm water. An all-purpose detergent is good enough for the job. Since polyester is highly susceptible to static electricity, mixing a fabric softener with the cleaning solution will help reduce the electricity charges.

iv) Can you clean a polyester couch with vinegar or baking powder?

If you have seen on the couch manufacturing label that you can use a water-cleaning solution, vinegar is one of your choices. Mixing warm water, vinegar, and laundry detergent, you can make your solution.

Additionally, you can use baking soda and rinse the couch with a damp cloth.

v) How do you soften a polyester couch after cleaning?

After the solvent cleaning solution has dried, you can rub a soft brush on the couch fabric to give it a soft and fluffy texture.

vi) Can you shampoo a polyester couch?

Shampoo can work on polyester to remove stains.

vii) Can I use a steam cleaner on my polyester couch?

Polyester is one of the materials that are safe to clean with a steam cleaner. If the polyester is blended with other materials, avoid steam cleaning it.

vii) How do you clean a polyester couch without water?

Sprinkle dry baking soda over the couch and use a soft brush to work the baking soda into the fabric. Give the baking soda enough time to work its magic, from an hour to up to a whole night.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

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Polyester couches are great couches for living room interior design. However, the couches are better when they are clean. You can clean the couch yourself, or you can get a professional cleaner. Regardless of the method you use, clean polyester furniture is a must-have.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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