How Do You Clean Fabric Chairs?

Fabric chairs tend to gather dust, debris and other forms of waste that can make them appear discoloured and worn down over time. Regular vacuuming will help ensure that it remains hygienic and fresh.

Check the care tag to determine whether or not your fabric chair can be cleaned with water only, solvent-only or both. Vacuum using an upholstery brush attachment, paying special attention to crevices.

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Regular vacuuming of fabric chairs is an effective way to keep them clean. A vacuum with appropriate attachments will allow you to reach all areas, including crevices and hard-to-reach spots like between cushions or corners. A brush or upholstery attachment may offer optimal results here, though you could do just as well with just using its head and suction hose alone. Be especially vigilant in cleaning nooks and crannies where dust mites or allergens might gather.

Alternatively, if your chair’s label indicates it can be cleaned with water only, create your own cleaning solution by mixing 1/4 cup of mild dish soap with one cup of warm water in a bowl. Dip a soft clean cloth into this solution and gently dab fabric surfaces until any stains have been eliminated; rinse by blotting with only water-soaked fabric cloths, before patting dry with another cloth dipped into this solution and patting dry your chair when finished.

For stubborn, set-in stains, vinegar may provide the solution. Due to its natural solvent properties, vinegar may help lift and loosen stains on most fabrics while testing is advised first to determine any potential incompatibilities. Simply apply a small amount on a clean cloth, blotting out until stain is gone – vinegar may leave an odor, which should dissipate as soon as the fabric dries completely.

Resolve or Zep are commercial water-based or solvent cleaners available at most grocery stores and big box retailers, and should be followed according to label instructions for best results. Always perform spot tests beforehand in an inconspicuous area so as not to damage fabric chairs.

If your fabric is labeled with either “S” or “W/S,” a steam cleaner can be effective in cleaning it, provided you first vacuum thoroughly. Beware, though; hot steam may set some stains permanently! Alternatively, dry rug or fabric cleaner powder is often available – apply this powder directly onto any stain with a cloth and rub gently into fabric without overscrubbing – no scrub!


Even with regular vacuuming, dirt may still settle onto fabric chairs. For maximum effectiveness in stain removal, try blotting with paper towels as often as possible to soak up as much dirt as possible and increase your chances of eliminating any remaining stains without further embedding them (which would make the task more challenging).

If your upholstered fabric chair’s care label specifies dry-clean only cleaning, have it professionally done. However, if its label indicates water-based cleaner use instead, use one yourself using water. Before beginning cleaning yourself or any fabric-type specific cleaner is appropriate; otherwise test on an inconspicuous area first to be certain.

Vinegar contains natural solvent properties that may help break down and lift tough stains from upholstered fabric chairs. To use it, combine two parts warm water with one part white vinegar in a container and shake until thoroughly mixed. Next, dampen a microfibre cloth with the solution and use it to wipe a desired area on your chair; use blotting technique to absorb as much liquid as possible from fabric before repeating until stain is removed.

For particularly difficult stains, an enzymatic cleaner such as the Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator might also prove helpful. These cleaners contain enzymes which break down and consume any bacteria present within a stain, helping remove pee or vomit stains and odors from fabric chairs. Simply follow the directions on the bottle when treating any stain.

After you have cleaned any dirty spots on your upholstered chair, vacuum it carefully again paying special attention to crevices and under cushions. Next, spray all remaining fabric with your chosen cleaner before wiping it down in grid fashion; being mindful not to oversaturate as this could result in watermarks or shrinkage of fabric.

Once the furniture is dry, reassemble its metal or wooden components before leaving it for further air drying. To speed up this process, a circulating fan may help.


If your chairs are filthy and stained, it’s important to tackle them as quickly as possible. Doing this will prevent the stain from setting in and becoming harder to remove later. Regular cleaning can also reduce the need for deeper cleans; regular vacuuming and steam sanitization of fabric chairs are recommended as preventative measures.

Before cleaning a chair with water, read its care label to make sure that it can be safely washed with it (if its label includes “W” or “WS”). Combine a solution of 1/4 cup dish soap and one cup of warm water into a solution using a damp cloth dipped into this cleaner solution, dabbing at any stains until they’ve gone. Rinse by blotting with clean water then pat drying.

If a stain persists on fabric chairs, consider purchasing commercial upholstery cleaner from home improvement or department stores. Read through its instructions before using to avoid damaging furniture and always follow any precautionary measures recommended on its label.

An attractive and well-kept chair will look and feel wonderful. To prevent your upholstered chairs from looking dirty and stained, keep them free of dust and dirt by regularly vacuuming with the hose attachment followed by wiping down with microfiber cloth. Additionally, if you have pets or children that soil your chairs regularly consider investing in pet stain and odor remover products that come either liquid or spray form; these will often eliminate urine/feces odor from them as well.

If you are uncertain whether your fabric chair can be cleaned using water alone, consulting a professional should be your next step. They can test the fabric to see if it can safely be washed off with water before providing advice on how best to maintain and clean upholstered furniture in general. Investing in quality upholstery cleaner and following its maintenance tips will keep your upholstered pieces looking like new for years!


Although vacuuming will remove much of the loose dirt and debris from fabric chairs, some may still work its way in through cracks and crevices of your chair’s fabric. Therefore, regular dry cleaning with an upholstery attachment vacuum cleaner is key.

Simply dip a cloth or sponge into your cleaning solution, making sure not to oversaturate it, and blot fabric blot spots until all corners of the chair have been addressed. Be mindful not to get water on metal components as this could cause rusting and warping of these components.

Once you’ve finished blotting the chair, use a damp cloth to wring it out and repeat until the chair is completely dry. Although this process may be time consuming, it will ensure your upholstered furniture lasts longer and looks its best! Once they’re dry you can add fabric protector spray for extra stain prevention.

If your fabric upholstered chair has become stained, it is critical that it be addressed immediately. Mild stains can often be treated using white vinegar alone or baking soda paste; but for stubborn or longstanding stains it may require professional upholstery cleaners that are safe for your chair’s fabric – always read and follow any label directions carefully!

One popular brand name of upholstery cleaner is Resolve Multi-Fabric and Upholstery Cleaner from Amazon and Zep Advanced Oxy Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner from Lowes. Before applying the entire solution to a chair, always perform a spot test first – mixing water-based cleaners with fabric-based ones will likely leave behind permanent water spots that won’t come off easily.

As part of keeping fabric chairs looking their best, it is also necessary to regularly vacuum them using an upholstery attachment, in order to avoid dust and dirt settling into their fibers. You should also regularly vacuum crevices of your chairs as well as wiping down cushions or armrests using either a brush or your hands (while wearing rubber gloves). By taking these steps you can keep your upholstered fabric chairs clean and looking their best!