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How to Clean Fabric Chairs

Whether you need to remove stains, clean, or disinfect your fabric chairs, we’ll show you how. 

While comfy, fabric chairs are prone to staining and absorbing bad smells. All fabric chairs will benefit from vacuuming at least a few times per year. But the method for tackling stains depends upon the chair’s material. Here’s how to clean fabric chairs and which stain removers to use.

How to Clean Fabric Chairs

What Type of Stain Remover to Use On Fabric Chairs

Before you start cleaning, locate the care tag on your chair. The tag will have a symbol that indicates what products are safe to use. 

  • W – You can use water-based cleaning solutions.
  • W/S – You can use water-based cleaning solutions or dry cleaning solvents.
  • S – Use dry cleaning solvents only.
  • X – Vacuum only. You can’t treat the stains.

How to Remove Stains from a Fabric Chair

If your fabric chair has a fresh or set-in stain, use these tips to remove it.

Blot Up Fresh Spills

If you’re dealing with fresh spills, grab a few paper towels and start blotting. Soak up as much liquid as possible. Never scrub. Doing so will work the stain into the fabric, making it harder to remove.

Treat the Stain

For microfiber furniture, dampen a white cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot the area until the stain disappears. Don’t use water on a microfiber chair, or it can leave behind a water ring.

For fabric upholstered chairs marked with a “W” or “W/S,” use a mixture of dish soap and water or a commercial upholstery cleaner. 

To clean fabric chairs with dish soap, add ¼ cup of dish soap and one cup of warm water to a bowl and stir. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and dab until the stain is gone. Next, rinse the area by blotting with a rag dipped in water only, and then pat the surface dry.

For a better clean, pick up a commercial cleaner made for upholstery. Some of the best options include:

Use Enzymes for Pet and Organic Stains

If the stain in your fabric chair results from pet urine, feces, or vomit, go straight for an enzymatic cleaner. The enzymes can eat at the bacteria, removing stains and smells. You can also use these products to clean pee out of a fabric chair and upholstery.

Blot the stain, vacuum it, and then apply your cleaner. We recommend Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator – Amazon.

How to Deep Clean a Fabric Chair

If you’re not dealing with prominent staining, here’s the best way to clean a fabric chair.

Step 1: Vacuum the Chair

Vacuum the chair paying special attention to crevices and under cushions. 

Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda Over the Chair

Apply a liberal amount of baking soda to the chair and let it sit for at least two hours, then vacuum. The baking soda will absorb odors and moisture, leaving the chair deodorized.

Step 3: Spot Treat Stains if Needed

If your chair has staining, use an appropriate stain remover. For microfiber upholstery, use rubbing alcohol. Use dish soap and water or a commercial stain treatment product for water-safe furniture.

Step 4: Steam Clean (Optional)

If you have a handheld or upholstery steam cleaner, use it to sanitize your chair. First, check the tag to make sure your chair can handle steam. (Don’t use a steamer on silk or other delicate fabrics.) Then run the steamer over the material on the chair to release wrinkles and kill germs.

If you don’t have a steamer or your fabric is too delicate, don’t worry about it. A good vacuum job with baking soda is enough to remove dirt, oils, and odors.