If you have upholstered furniture and want to give it a good clean and sanitize, this post is for you. Upholstered furniture can take a beating, it can get smelly, stained, and look worn and used quickly. I’m going to show you how to clean little spills and drips as well as how to give your upholstered furniture a full deep clean and sanitize it as well.

First up, remove and throw pillow cases, blankets and throws and give them a good washing – of course check the tags first to make sure that they are washable. I will generally wash them on cool/warm and let them fluff up a bit in the dryer. The heat from the dryer will kill germs and freshen them up.


ALWAYS check the tag on your throw pillows before washing.
  • If a throw pillow has a cover, remove it and launder the cover separately from the pillow.
  • Even if the pillow insert cannot be laundered, it can be tossed in the dryer on high heat with some clean tennis balls to ‘fluff’ it up. The heat from the dryer will help to remove dust and eliminate some germs and smells.
  • Wash pillow covers inside-out on cold and gentle if needed.
  • Dry pillow cases in the dryer on low or no heat to ensure no shrinking or line dry.
  • Can’t remove the cover? and you cut off the tag? try washing on gentle/cold – chances are it’ll be fine.

While the throw pillows and cushions are washing/drying, look over your furniture for any stains. If you see anything, mix up my Upholstered Fabric Cleaner Recipe. It’s perfect for those little drips, dots and spills.


  • 2 teaspoons Castile soap
  • 1/4 cup warm water

Mix the warm water and soap in a small cup or container. Using a white cotton cloth, dip the cloth in to the mixture and dab those stains. Once the stains are removed, use a clean, dry cloth to absorb any liquid that remains. Add a little water to remove any residual soap. Alternatively, you can also use a cotton swab if the spot is itty bitty.


Need a little extra oomph or have a lingering odor from an accident or illness, I always recommend Biokleen’s Bac-Out. It’s an enzyme-based cleaner with a lime scent that looks to remove the odor rather than just cover it up like most commercial option.


This is a great DIY, perfect for a ‘febreeze’ replacement – mix up the scent to your liking, I like Lemon + Lavender.


If you can remove the cushion covers AND they are washable, you can wash them in the washing machine on gentle and fluff to dry or line dry. I recommend using Clean Mama’s Laundry Super Powder and Oxygen Whitener (it’s color safe!).


Once you have removed the throws and blankets, cushions, and any stains, it’s time to vacuum the furniture.

I like using an upholstery and nozzle attachment for optimal dirt removal.

If your furniture is pilling and could use a good de-fuzzing, now is the time to do that as well. I find that a sweater shaver works amazingly well for removal. Here’s my favorite sweater shaver – I love that it has a handle, making it much easier to use, especially if you’re de-pilling a large piece of furniture.

Finally, the last thing you want to do after deep cleaning your upholstered furniture is to sanitize it. Of course this isn’t necessary but I love having this option for after someone is sick or just to freshen up furniture and kill any lingering germs and get rid of odors. You can see my favorite steam cleaner here – I’ve mentioned it before and while it’s pricey, the various attachments make it worth it for me.

Once you’ve completed some or all of these components of deep cleaning and sanitizing your upholstered furniture, put everything back, fluff up the pillows and enjoy your clean furniture!