How to Care for and Clean Upholstered Furniture

Fabric care and how you clean upholstered furniture is important. It helps keep furniture looking its best. This fabric care guide covers how to look after, protect and clean upholstered furniture. Plus, our 4 steps to maintaining upholstered furniture will help ensure your fabric looks its best all year round.

Some of the below advice may sound a tad pedantic. Yet, keep in mind everyday activities may affect how your furniture ages. As a general rule, when it comes to spills or marks, it is usually helpful to consult with an upholstery dry cleaner if in the slightest doubt.



Remove Dust and Dirt

Dust and dirt causes fabrics to wear and colours to spoil. Help avoid this by carefully brushing upholstery with a soft brush, and vacuuming using the correct upholstery tool in the direction of the pile. Keep in mind that excessive dry cleaning or steam cleaning of upholstery fabrics can result in the fabric fading prematurely.

Maintain Cushions

Keep cushions looking their best by turning and interchanging them regularly, where possible. This helps to distribute the wear. That is to say, feather or fibre cushions should especially be plumped up daily and their positions interchanged to maintain their appearance and to give the fillings a chance to recover.

Care for Foam

At DOMO, our foam structures are made from the highest quality materials. Several different densities of foam may be carefully combined to offer maximum comfort and durability. No specific aftercare is required for foam, however if the foam is accidentally soaked with water, you should allow a relatively long period of time for it to dry out.

Protect High Usage Zones

High use touch-points of your furniture may benefit from the use of arm caps. Therefore, regular cleaning of such areas will also help prolong the useful life of your furniture.




Regular care of your upholstered furniture will remove dust, dirt and freshen the pile. This helps maintain the fabric and extend the life of your furniture piece.

1. Ideally once a week freshen up your item.

2. Remove cushions and pillows and fluff them up.

3. Vacuum all surfaces (including cushion sides) on low suction with the Upholstery Tool.

4. Replace cushions, turning them and interchanging their position.


Direct Sunlight & Heat Exposure

When upholstery is exposed to direct sunlight for long periods it may fade or even rot. Protect your furniture by drawing curtains or blinds. Also, avoid placing your upholstery too close to fires or radiators. Hot beverages and laptops may mark fabric too.

Wear and Tear

There are many causes of wear and soiling. Fabrics are vulnerable to snagging by sharp objects such as buckles, studs on jeans, rings, children’s toys and of course pets, particularly cats. Avoid placing heavy or pointed objects on your upholstery and beware of making contact with vacuum cleaners, floor polishers or similar devices. A key area which suffers wear – on any upholstered furniture – is the top or the front of the arms; consider arm caps or using a throw should you feel it necessary.

Moving Furniture

Consider disassembling your furniture before moving it. Always lift, never drag, furniture along the ground. Ask a friends or a furniture mover to help. This ensures the furniture legs remain secure and prevents scratching of the furniture and your floors.


We love our pets! Although they are best kept off your upholstered furniture. The natural oils and dirt from their fur can cause discolouration, odours and unnecessary wear and tear. Ideally minimise your pet’s contact with your beloved furniture pieces.

Wet Swimming Costumes and Towels

Wet and damp items can harm the pile of your furniture’s fabric leaving a watermark. Dye transfer and bleaching of the fabric may also result. Be cautious of chlorine, salt water, tanning lotion, body lotions and sunscreens.

Transfer of Dyes

Transfer of colours from other textiles and leathers, not unlimited to clothes (particularly denim) can mark your upholstery. Perspiration and certain medications have been known to damage fabric fibres.


Fabrics made with a high luscious pile may pill. Fabric pilling is normal and can be removed with an electric fabric pill remover, available at most department stores.




These cleaning tips will help extend the longevity of your special piece. Whilst the quality of a furniture item tends to reflect the price paid, upholstery fabrics are not immune to wear and tear from everyday activities.

That said, it is difficult to provide precise instructions on how to clean upholstered furniture yourself. This is because different fibres and fabric constructions require various specialist techniques.

In case of soils or spills, particularly serious ones, we recommend you contact a specialist cleaning company immediately. The effectiveness of the specialist cleaning will depend on the degree of soiling. It is therefore advisable to regularly clean and maintain your fabric furniture pieces before dirt and general soiling become too ingrained. A fresh stain tends to be easier to remove than an old one.

Under no circumstances attempt to wash an upholstered furniture item yourself.

Keep in mind, dry cleaning cushions separately may result in a slight mismatch of colour on the furniture. We recommend cleaning the entire piece of furniture to balance the effect.



Many fabrics have specific care instructions, for instance velvet.

Our fabric-specific care guides are coming soon!



Call us if you are not sure how to care for your DOMO furniture item, or for advice on how to clean upholstered furniture. We are here to help. DOMO can point you in the right direction should you need a repair made or provide a recommendation on quality furniture care products.

Contact us here for aftercare advice.