Once in awhile, you’ll be free and available to give your upholstery thorough cleaning without needing to hire a professional or use cleaning machines. During such instances, it will be vital you read the ultimate guide on how to clean upholstery without a machine as outlined below. Upholstered chairs and sofas are quite an expensive and homey addition to modern living spaces. These pieces of modern luxury furniture offer relaxing places for all, both during the day and at night. Cleaning upholstered furniture is quite a hassle for many. While hiring professional upholstery cleaning services or vacuuming the upholstery regularly can do the magic, not always will there be an appropriate solution.

couch cleaning tips

Understand Your Upholstery Cleaning Specifications

All upholstered chairs and couches come with a tag describing the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines. The instructions are clearly outlined to enable you to clean unwanted stains and dirt efficiently.

The upholstery with W tag should be cleaned using water, while those with an S-tag are designed to be cleaned using a solvent or dry-cleaning detergent. As for those with a WS tag, they should be cleaned using dry cleaning detergent or steam vacuumed. The one with an X tag can only be steam vacuumed.

Always observe the manufacturer’s instructions to be on the safe side. Doing so ensures you won’t void the warranty or destroy the furniture. Stay tuned to learn the basics of how to clean upholstery without a machine.

DIY Upholstery Cleaning Tips Without a Vacuum Cleaner

The reason you’ve read to this far is that you want to know how to clean your upholstery at home without needing to hire costly cleaning machines or secure the services of a professional cleaner.  We are going to unveil the ultimate guide to cleaning your upholstery without using a vacuum cleaner.

  1. Get a stiff brush or clean piece of cloth. Use it to wipe clean the upholstered sofa, chair, or coach. Doing so will clear off the accumulated dust on the upholstery’s surface.

  2. Sprinkle bicarbonate soda on the top of the upholstered furniture. By so doing, you will efficiently get rid of the stains that aren’t strongly held to the surface of the upholstery. Sadly, it may not remove stinking and extremely soiled stains. The easy way to remove soiled and stinking stains is to create a bicarbonate soda and dry carpet cleaner solution, which you should then sprinkle on the upholstery.

  3. Let the sprinkled bicarbonate soda or solution do its magic for around 20 minutes. During this period, ensure no pets or kids come close to the upholstered furniture. Bicarbonate soda does have some harsh chemical contents that can harm your pets and kids.

  4. Dust off the sofa cleaner after it has done its magic after the 20 minutes. You can use a stiff brush or piece of cloth. Wipe it clean and thoroughly, leaving no cleaner or dirty residues behind.

How To Dry Clean My Upholstery Without Using a Machine

Do you want to dry clean your upholstery but not sure where to start, learn the basics to dry cleaning upholstered furniture? The solvents used in dry cleaning don’t form suds, as it may be the case with shampooing.

Get your sponge and dip it inside the solution. Apply it to your upholstery in globular motions.  Do this for several minutes until every part of the upholstery is applied with the dry solution. Use a clean towel to wipe clean the remaining dirt. 

Some dry solvents can be dangerous, and so, you should open the doors and windows when applying it to avoid exposing yourself to the risk of flames.

Wet Cleaning Using Hand Shampoo

Another effective way on how to clean upholstery without a machine is by use of hand shampoo. For you to achieve optimal cleanliness when using hand shampoo to clean your upholstery, you have to equip yourself with ingredients such as water buckets, white terry cloth towels, hand shampooing, and sponge.

You can quickly source for these cleaning supplies in your nearby home improvement store. Look for a shampoo that is designed specifically for hand-shampooing upholstery without the use of a machine.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to create the perfect shampoo mixture. Use the sponge to stir the mixture and then apply it to your upholstery, starting from the body. Now get the formed suds and apply them on the upholstery fabric in a dedicated rounded motion. After you are done with the application, wipe dry the fabric using the white terry cloth towel. Don’t rub the fabric gently as that can cause damage.

How to Maintain Lasting Upholstery Cleanliness?

Now that you know how to clean upholstery without a machine, it’s also important to know how to keep upholstery clean for long without using any machine. Accidental oil, food, and drink spills do dirty upholstery quicker than expected, forcing you to schedule cleaning time every so often. Here are some tips to help keep your upholstery clean for long.

  • Use a stain guard to treat your upholstery. Scotchgard is a powerful spray that works to protect upholstery fabric from staining.

  • Clean stains instantly. As soon as foods, drinks, and oil spills on your upholstery, get them cleaned at once using a microfiber cloth in a club soda solution.

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the furniture and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. That will help remove those harsh and extreme odours from your upholstery, giving it a fresh smell.


Not always should you use a machine to clean your upholstery, sometimes, you will just want to give your upholstered furniture thorough sofa cleaning without needing to use harsh chemicals and costly machines. 

This article has outlined all you need to know on how to clean upholstery without a machine. Ensure you read and understand the cleaning guidelines on your upholstery if you don’t want to make costly mistakes.

The fact that you are not using a machine during the cleaning exercise means that your cleaning costs will be lower. That’s obvious since you won’t spend on energy bills and you won’t have to invest in those harsh and costly chemicals. Alternatively, you can always contact our Brixton carpet cleaners!