Couch Cleaning Questions

Dear Home Ec 101,
I have tile floors and a couch, this sounds normal enough, but the couch slips and slides all over the tile and drives me crazy. How do I stop the couch from sliding?

And the cushions, don’t get me started on the cushions, why won’t they stay on my couch?

While we’re talking about couches, is there a specific way I should be cleaning mine?
Signed,
Slip Slidin’ Away

how to clean a couch

Heather says:

Oh, I feel your pain. In a moment of sheer brilliance -or not- I put felt pads on the feet of our couch. Sure, the couch hasn’t scratched the wood floors, but we play rearrange the living area almost daily. It’s not my favorite game and I only seem to be playing it more often as the kids get bigger and can throw their weight around.

I’ve been looking to replace my own felt pads with something that would hold the couch in place without damaging my floors. Stay! Furniture Grippers look like a strong possibility.

Lifehacker recently shared a great tip to keep couch cushions in place. Try placing a grippy style shelf or drawer liner between the cushion and the fabric that lines the seat of the couch. Trim it to keep it out of site. It’s not a perfect solution, but it should help decrease slippage.

It won’t do anything about removal for a game of Ft. Couch.

If the couch, sofa, loveseat or even chair -you get the drift- is upholstered, it should be vacuumed once a month. If you use the Home Ec 101 Chore Chart, floors are done once a week. I highly suggest rotating which room is used as the starting point. If you’re anything like me, my enthusiasm for a job peters out quickly. If I have time, I give the starting room’s furniture a once over.

Use the upholstery attachment of the vacuum and go over the entire exterior. Remove the cushions and vacuum thoroughly, using the crevice tool to get down into the tight areas. Vacuum the cushions before replacing or they’ll just act as a dirt and hair magnet while on the floor.

Once a year, hire a professional or rent a steam cleaner to thoroughly clean the couch. Do this if and only if it is recommended by the manufacturer. Not all couches, especially some touchy micro-suedes can handle this treatment.

If your couch is finished leather, use the soft bristled brush and crevice tool to vacuum the couch and pay particular attention to the seams. Dirt works its way into these spaces and weakens the threads. A barely damp cloth can be used to wipe away most surface dirt. Condition the couch as directed by the manufacturer, in most cases, this is a once a year or after every thorough cleaning. Just as an FYI, a thorough cleaning is not a wipe down with a slightly damp towel or rag.

If a leather couch is in direct sunlight or next to a heating vent, it may need to be conditioned more often than other leather furniture. Check with your manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure and use only the conditioning products they recommend or risk voiding the warranty against stains.

Naturally, if kids and pets use the furniture, it will have to be cleaned more often. Much more often. How frequently depends on the number and size of the kids and animal(s). Wiping down leather furniture frequently will help prevent the build-up of oils from hair and fur which can damage leather over time. If an upholstered couch gets a lot of use, it may need at the very least a quick hit with the vacuum on a weekly basis.

If you eat sitting on the couch that also increases the frequency of cleaning.

furniture care guide

Click the picture for more tips!

Remember there is a difference between taking care of your investment and becoming a slave to your possessions. Kids and pets are the reason slipcovers exist. If the whole couch thing is becoming too much of a hassle, slipcovers are always an option.

Great question, thanks!

Send your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



3 Comments

  1. Leather Sectional Couches And Accessories | Leather Sectional Couches on October 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    […] Couch Cleaning Questions […]

  2. Joyce on September 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Another way to hold the couch cushions in place is with stick on velcro tape which you can find in most hardware stores

  3. casey on September 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

    A couple years ago I decided to replace my couch. As I was doing this with my own funds (as opposed to the original couch which was a b-day/housewarming present from the 'rents and came it at over $1000) cost was a big factor. I found a light blue microfiber couch at Rooms 2 Go, ON SALE! and bought not only the couch, but also the matching loveseat and recliner. We won't even get into the poor color choice (light blue + messy person who eats in lviing room + 2 dogs = *$^%%), but the big problem came when I discovered the cushions aren't removeable. I do vacumn sportaticlaly (and I think my cleaning lady does when she comes which is twice monthly), but I have a hard time getting into the crevices where the crumbs and dog hair like to hide. Any suggestions for cleaning? Also, how do I know if it's ok to steam-clean? The stanley steemer guys wanted to clean it when they did my rugs a couple months ago, but I couldn't afford it. I don't see any care label on the couch, and of course i don't have any of the paperwork it came with anymore.

Leave a Comment