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How To Bring New Life To Your Old & Tired Sofa

Buying new furniture is expensive and a hassle. It’s far easier to preserve and revive your current furniture instead. Many people rush to dispose of their sofas and upholstery chairs as they falsely believe they are damaged/worn-out beyond repair.

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Truthfully, couches do get dirty pretty quickly. People tend to lie on them barefoot, munching a packet of crisps, while binge-watching their favorite show. All to soon the couch is littered with crumbs and oil, giving the couch a distinctly oily look.


However, rarely, if ever, are sofas too dirty to clean. With a little bit of elbow grease, some spare time, and the right equipment, you can transform your old and worn out sofas and have them looking as good as new. Here are some expert tips & tricks on the best way to clean an old sofa:


  • Prep Your Couch: The first step is always to prepare the couch for a deep clean. This involves vacuuming down the sides for any crumbs and loose dirt. For this step, you can use a stiff brush or a mini-hoover. Also, wipe down the wooden frame with a wipe or damp cloth.
  • Deep Clean: Now’s the time to properly clean your furniture. Which method you use depends on the fabric of your couch. We use steam cleaning, dry cleaning, shampoo cleaning, and deep cleaning methods.
  • Target Stains: Some stains are so deeply embedded in the couch fabric, a regular cleaning method is not sufficient. Instead, you need to target these stains with couch cleaner solutions.
    • The best way to clean a fabric sofa is to use a vinegar based solution. Soak a cloth in the solution and scrub the stain are until all discoloring has been removed. Use a second cloth to apply clean water and remove the soap.
    • For leather upholstery, use an olive oil and vinegar based solution. You can make this yourself or buy a ready-made leather furniture cleaning spray.
    • For synthetic couches, it’s possible to use regular dish soap to spot-target and remove troublesome stains.

A few preventions tips:

Sometimes it’s easier to just keep your furniture clean in the first place. There a few common sense tips that will help you achieve this.


  • Treat stains immediately: Spilled your piping hot coffee on the couch? Don’t let it fester! The longer the stain remains, the more difficult it’ll be to clean. Treat all stains right away with the right solution. Better yet, avoid eating/drinking on the couch altogether. Invest in a coffee table and keep your feet away from the upholstery
  • Avoid sunlight:  Too much heat can affect your sofa’s durability. Position your couch so it’s not receiving direct sunlight all day.
  • Keep the room ventilated: Cooking odors and steam can speed up furniture wear and tear. Keep a window open, especially while cooking.



Sometimes, even your best efforts won’t be good enough. Some couches are so well-worn that a DIY job simply won’t cut it and you need to call in the experts, (it’s still a fraction of the cost of buying a new couch).

At Flat Rate Carpet, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring back old sofas from the dead. Here is a worn-out sofa in New Jersey which we made look as good as new using our tried and trusted methods. This sofa was so tattered and worn that the owner was about to throw it in the dump. Luckily, we persuaded him otherwise and needless to say, he was pleased with the results.

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