Upholstery cleaning

How to Clean Upholstered Fabric Chairs

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. July 21, 2021
How to Clean Upholstered Fabric Chairs

If manners maketh the man, chairs maketh the room. Not only for sitting, the right chair or chairs will help perfectly offset or combine your interior. The opposite is also true. Think of every beautiful room ruined by a soiled or inappropriate couch. For many, the way to resolve this isn't to buy new chairs, but simply to reupholster the ones we have. Whether you have new or recently upholstered fabric chairs, you want to keep them clean. oneHOWTO shows you how to clean upholstered fabric chairs to remove stains and marks. They will also help you to maintain them so they last longer in general.

You may also be interested in: How to Clean an Upholstered Chair at Home
  1. Baking soda
  2. White vinegar
  3. Lemon
  4. Table salt
  5. Dish soap
  6. Talcum powder

Baking soda

Cleaning fabric chairs with baking soda is very easy. It allows you to both perform a general cleaning and to focus on a specific area that is especially dirty (i.e. a stain). You can use it either in its powdered form or dissolved in water.

Solid state bicarbonate is how we normally purchase it, i.e. in powder form. Using baking soda to clean upholstered fabric chairs is best for chairs which require dry cleaning. To do so, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda directly onto the upholstered chair fabric.
  2. Let it act for at least an hour.
  3. Remove with a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner.

To clean tough stains on fabrics that you can wet, you can dissolve baking soda in water. To do this, heat a liter of water and remove it from the heat before it comes to a boil. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and mix in until dissolved. Finally, to clean fabric chairs with dissolved baking soda, follow these steps:

  1. Spread the mixture with the help of a cloth, preferably microfiber. If you prefer, put it in a diffuser bottle and apply directly.
  2. Let the baking soda work for a few minutes.
  3. Remove with a brush and rinse with a damp cloth to avoid traces or marks.

Baking soda isn't only great for fabric covered furniture. You can also use it in the bedroom with our article on how to clean a mattress with baking soda.

White vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent cleaner that can fulfill different functions when it comes to sanitizing your home. It is also valid for cleaning stains on fabric chairs. You just have to dilute a cup of white vinegar in two cups of water and follow these steps:

  1. Apply with a cloth over the entire surface, focusing on the areas where stains are concentrated.
  2. Wait a few minutes to let it work.
  3. Run another cloth dampened with just water to minimize the vinegar smell.
  4. Let it dry in the air, always protecting your chairs from direct sun.

It is important you use white (clear) vinegar. If you use red wine or balsamic vinegar, you may stain the upholstered fabric chairs more. Here we provide more tips with our article on how to wash clothes with vinegar.


This is an especially effective trick if the goal is to clean white chairs which can get dirty more easily. Lemon juice has bleaching properties, which can be very useful when it comes to leaving these chairs spotless.

To clean the white fabric chairs, dilute the juice of 1-2 lemons in 1/2 liter of water. Then use the mixture by following these steps:

  1. Apply the mixture to the fabric with the help of a cloth or a diffuser bottle.
  2. Leave on for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse with water.

Find out other ways you can use this product to maintain your home with this article on how to clean with lemon.

Table salt

If you want to clean stains on fabric chairs that are especially unruly, you can mix the bleaching power of lemon with the absorbent capacity of salt, thus making the stain disappear completely. To do this, mix a few tablespoons of lemon juice with table salt until you get a paste, so that the mixture is not too weak. Then follow the steps below:

  1. Put a small amount directly on the stain.
  2. Wait 10 minutes or so.
  3. Scrub with a brush.
  4. Remove the remains with a damp cloth.
How to Clean Upholstered Fabric Chairs - Table salt

Dish soap

Using dish soap is probably the simplest and most effective remedy to give a general wash to the upholstery of fabric chairs and couches. In addition, it is one of the most advisable tricks to clean black chairs without unwanted discoloration.

To clean fabric chairs with soap, you can use any liquid dish soap (alternatively you may use liquid laundry detergent). Before application, you will need to dilute it in a ratio of 1:1 soap to water.

  1. Pour the soap solution onto a cloth.
  2. Run the cloth over the upholstery several times.
  3. Spread the soap in circles to promote its penetration into the fibers of the fabric.
  4. When the stains disappear, remove the excess soap by rinsing with water.

Talcum powder

Talcum powder can also come in handy for cleaning upholstery on fabric chairs, especially for greasy stains that have just occurred. The absorbent and drying properties of the powder will minimize the effects of the unexpected stain. If a portion of food or a drop of sauce ends up on your chair:

  1. Pour talcum powder over it.
  2. Let it absorb the greasy stain for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the powder with a brush or vacuum cleaner.

Another option for general cleaning is to sprinkle talcum powder all over the upholstery. After a minimum of 10 minutes, remove the residue with the vacuum cleaner. In doing so, you will also take away the dirt accumulated over time, making your fabric chairs stay clean and beautiful for longer.

Now that you know how to clean upholstered fabric chairs, you may be interested in these other upholstery cleaning articles:

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean Upholstered Fabric Chairs, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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How to Clean Upholstered Fabric Chairs