3 Tips for Cleaning Upholstery

Experts share the secrets to removing a troublesome stain from your upholstered furniture.

  • Natalie Ermann Russell

1. Labels generally bear one of these four markings to help you care for upholstery: "W" means that the fabric can be treated with water-based detergents. "S" indicates that the fabric can be treated only with solvents—meaning it needs to be professionally cleaned. "WS" means it can be treated either way. "X" denotes vacuuming only—no solvents or detergents can be used.

2. Keeping cushions dry is key. Unzip the cover and slide a plastic cutting board between the fabric and the cushion before tackling a stain.

3. Grease stains on leather and vinyl are best cleaned with cornstarch. Sprinkle the cornstarch on the spot, let it sit for 4 hours, then wipe with a clean cloth.