DIY Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe and How To

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Learn how to clean upholstery naturally with this DIY upholstery cleaner. The homemade cleaner works great and the ingredients are natural and inexpensive.

How To Clean Upholstery Naturally

Keeping upholstery stain-free is quite a challenge. This easy DIY upholstery cleaner recipe will help keep your upholstered furniture looking its best.
A few years ago we bought new furniture. I loved the light cream color because it was fresh and bright!
Little did I know what three years and two little boys could do. Food stains, drink spills, and some mystery marks left my favorite recliner a looking a little rough. So much so that I’ve been covering it with a throw to hide all the marks.
I finally decided that I would do my best to get all those stains out with a little elbow grease and this simple, homemade upholstery cleaner recipe.

Detergent, Vinegar, and Baking Soda … Oh My!

Detergent Alone is Good

To begin, I tried cleaning my upholstery with a solution of water and natural laundry detergent, which definitely helped me get all the dirt out of my chair. I simply placed 2 tablespoons detergent in 2 cups of warm water and scrubbed my chair down using a microfiber cloth. By the time I was done, my water was brown and my chair was much lighter.
Since it is cooler out, I opened my windows and placed a fan in front of the chair on high. This helped it dry much faster. As it dried, I noticed some stubborn stains still remained.

Detergent and White Vinegar is Better

To help get rid of these stains, I decided to clean the upholstery again, but this time I added some white vinegar to my cleaning solution. I always find that vinegar works really well on stubborn stains. Check out this natural homemade carpet cleaner and stain remover that also features vinegar!
After mixing up a second solution, I scrubbed down the entire chair again. I did this because my upholstered furniture often will show watermarks when I spot clean, so I didn’t want to risk that. Plus, it never hurts to clean other areas again! I simply scrubbed a little harder where the stains were located.

Detergent, White Vinegar, and Baking Soda is Best

The upholstery was cleaner once again, but I could still see those stubborn stains looking back at me! So it was time to start scrubbing with something a little more abrasive. I decided to make a paste with baking soda and water, then scrubbed that into the stains.
I then did one more pass of the cleaning liquid to wipe off the paste with my microfiber cloth and let the chair dry fully. Once dry, those stubborn stains were gone! My chair was practically new again.

DIY Upholstery Cleaner That Works!

Learn how to clean upholstery naturally with this DIY upholstery cleaner. The homemade cleaner works great and the ingredients are natural and inexpensive.

  • 2 tablespoons free and clear laundry detergent ((I used ECOS))
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda ((if stains are bad, see below))
  • 2 cups warm water
  1. Begin making your DIY upholstery cleaner by combining water, laundry detergent, and vinegar in a large bowl or bucket. Stir gently to combine
  2. Soak a microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution, then wring out some of the liquid.
  3. Clean furniture by rubbing gently in a circular motion, soaking the cloth every so often as needed.  You don’t want to soak your fabric, but you do want to get enough of the solution on the surface to clean.
  4. Allow the furniture to air dry.
  5. Repeat as needed.
  6. For stubborn stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and rub gently over the area. Repeat steps 1-4 to wash off the paste.
My chair’s fabric is 100% polyester, and this method worked well. However, if your upholstered furniture is made of another material or color, I encourage you to test this method out on a small, inconspicuous area before continuing.
By testing a small area, you can check to see how the cleaning liquid works with your particular piece. Material variations and different fabric colors can stain or become discolored with some cleaners. Better safe than sorry!


Now you know how to clean upholstery naturally! Let us know how this recipe works for you.
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DIY Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe and How To was written by Katie Vance.

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