5 Minutes of Sudsing*
Pour about ½ teaspoon clear dish soap in a small bucket; run warm water into the bucket to create lots of suds. Dip a soft upholstery brush in the suds only—do not submerge—and sweep the fabric in small sections, with a light touch (as if you’re frosting a cake). Less is more here; you don’t want to soak the fabric. After you’ve sudsed the entire piece, wipe the fabric with a clean, damp cloth. Let the upholstery dry completely before using the piece again. If you want to wash the other sides of the cushions, do it the next day, when the fabric on the front is fully dry.
* This step is for upholstery with labels containing the code W or WS. (Look for a label beneath a cushion or on the underside of the furniture.) If the label says S, you can vacuum and spot-clean, but skip the sudsing—water is no good on your upholstery. An X means vacuum only; hire a pro for a deeper cleaning.