Containing only 4 natural, non-toxic ingredients, and suitable to be used on various types of upholstery, you’re sure to love this upholstery cleaner DIY. Full instructions are included in the post!
It can be unsettling to learn about the amount of dirt and grime that accumulates on upholstery and fabrics – but think about it.
How much use do your couch or chairs get at home? Probably everyday use, I’d say.
Kids constantly climb on ours with their dirty shoes, and combined with constant use, our upholstery requires regular clean-ups.
This is why I developed my own version of a DIY upholstery cleaner. There are no unnecessary ingredients, just gentle, natural cleaning.
In this post, you’ll find the recipe for my upholstery cleaner DIY, which is safe for most fabrics and does an excellent job at cleaning upholstery.
I’ll also share information on how to use it and some troubleshooting.
This homemade cleaner for upholstery is also environmentally friendly and doesn’t give off toxic fumes, so it’s great to use around children and pets.
DIY upholstery cleaning
There are tons of cleaning products out there that you can buy, so why make your own?
Well, it’s a matter of choice and of being aware of what harmful ingredients can be in certain store-bought cleaners.
You just need to look at labels on bottles, and anything that says ‘Hazardous to pets and wildlife’ or similar is something to avoid at all costs.
Particularly with cleaning upholstery – remember you’re cleaning something you sit on or perhaps even lie on if you’re cleaning your mattress or couch.
So, surely you’d not want to breathe in harmful chemicals? This is why I advocate for natural cleaning products every time.
They’re safer, healthier, and smell nicer too! And they’re just as good (if not better) at removing stubborn grime marks and lifting dirt.
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how to make upholstery cleaner
My homemade upholstery cleaner contains just 4 ingredients, so it’s super easy to make. First, you’ll need a glass spray bottle and a trigger to spritz it onto a microfiber cloth or brush.
I also use a vacuum cleaner when working with upholstery, as you want to remove the dirt and grime, not simply rub it in.
I’ll explain my upholstery cleaning process in detail in the next section, but here is the recipe to start off.
- Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle
- Vacuum upholstery well
- Mist with the spray and let it sit for 5 minutes to loosen up dirt and grime.
- Scrub loose with a brush or microfiber cloth. I use an old kitchen scrub brush.
- Finally, vacuum the upholstery clean to finish.
How to use upholstery cleaner DIY (a handy trick)
The best trick I know of is to wrap a microfiber cloth around a stove pan lid and mist the cleaner onto the cloth – not the upholstery.
Then simply work in a circular motion, rubbing the pan lid and cloth over the upholstery.
This gives a really gentle but even clean without damp spots or adding too much cleaner at any one time.
Also, don’t neglect your vacuum! It’s genuinely needed to clean upholstery – particularly that pre-clean vacuum to remove loose dirt.
If you don’t do a pre-clean vacuum, you risk making your upholstery dirtier, not cleaner (which is not what we want!)
For visible grime, it’s good to use a soft bristle brush to help lift it – then again, grab the vacuum and remove it, after which you can use the DIY upholstery cleaner.
Of course, there will be dirt that requires more soaking, but my preference is always to use as little cleaner as possible on upholstery.
In my opinion, water stain marks are the worst thing, so don’t add too much cleaner at once – and always do a spot test first!
It’s important to understand that this DIY upholstery cleaner is more of a light cleaner. Therefore, it’s not great for stubborn stains which are deeply set into the fabric.
If you’re looking for a natural stain remover recipe, do check out this post.
And for cleaning leather upholstery, I have a separate post here. I would personally avoid using this DIY upholstery cleaner on any type of leather.
For dirt or odors that require more than the typical light clean, try sprinkling a spoonful of baking soda over the upholstery to absorb any odors before cleaning.
As always with any cleaning product on upholstery, test a small hidden area for colorfastness (the side of the back of the couch, for example) where you won’t see it if, for whatever reason, the cleaner takes some color off (which of course, we hope won’t happen – but best be safe!)
I also suggest checking the care tag before cleaning the upholstery. This usually gives good indicators as to whether this type of homemade upholstery cleaner would be suitable.
And be sure to follow my tips before beginning the cleaning of your upholstery. Being prepared is key here – so always do that spot check first and don’t rush the process.
You’ll see how to freshen up upholstery in no time – so long as you follow the instructions!
Why you will love this recipe
The non-toxic ingredients are what makes this recipe so good – knowing you’re using safe cleaning methods in your home is very empowering.
It’s also great for teaching kids about safety when it comes to cleaning.
Their lungs are super precious, and I wouldn’t say I like the idea of them breathing in nasty things, which is why I don’t use toxin-filled products anywhere in my home.
And what about cost savings? Interestingly, some conventional upholstery cleaners can be quite expensive!
But this recipe uses only 4 ingredients which will last multiple uses, meaning you invest upfront, and it’ll last a long time.
It also smells lush, being scented with essential oils, and that lingers for a good time on upholstery!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you did, thank you for reading, and may I suggest one of these next?
- Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle
- Vacuum upholstery
- Mist with the spray and let it sit for 5 minutes to loosen up the dirt and grime.
- Scrub loose with a brush or microfiber cloth. I use an old soft bristle kitchen scrub brush.
- Finally, vacuum the upholstery clean.