How to Properly Clean and Refresh Your Stinky Upholstery

Sep 20, 2018
Car Window Maintenance


Welcome to The Power Window Doctors, your trusted source for industry insight and expertise. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the proper methods to effectively clean and refresh your stinky upholstery. Whether it's your cherished sofa, favorite armchair, or elegant dining chairs, our tips and tricks will help you bring a fresh scent back to your furniture.

Understanding the Source of Odors

Before we explore the cleaning process, it's crucial to understand the source of those unpleasant odors emanating from your upholstery. Stains, spills, pet accidents, and everyday use can lead to the buildup of dirt, dust, and bacteria deep within the fabric fibers. These accumulated particles not only cause bad smells but can also impact the overall health of your living space.

Gathering the Right Tools

Successful upholstery cleaning starts with the right tools. Here are some essential items you'll need:

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment
  • Clean, white microfiber cloths
  • Mild detergent or upholstery cleaner
  • Distilled water
  • White vinegar
  • Essential oils or fabric deodorizer (optional)

Steps to Clean and Refresh Upholstery

Step 1: Vacuuming

Begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming your upholstery. Use the upholstery attachment to remove loose dirt, crumbs, and pet hair from the surface. Make sure to reach into crevices, corners, and seams to eliminate any hidden debris. This step serves as a crucial foundation for effective cleaning and odor removal.

Step 2: Spot Cleaning

If you notice any visible stains or spills on your upholstery, it's important to address them before proceeding with a full cleaning. Blot the affected area gently with a clean, white microfiber cloth. Avoid rubbing, as it may spread the stain further. Depending on the type of upholstery fabric, you can use a mild detergent solution or a specialized upholstery cleaner. Always test the cleaning solution on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn't cause any discoloration or damage.

Step 3: Deep Cleaning

After spot cleaning, it's time to tackle the overall deep cleaning process. Dilute a mild detergent or upholstery cleaner in a bucket of distilled water, following the manufacturer's instructions. Dip a soft-bristle brush or a clean white microfiber cloth into the solution, and gently scrub the entire surface of the upholstery. Pay close attention to high-traffic areas, such as armrests and seat cushions.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

To remove any soap residue, rinse the upholstery by wiping it down with a clean cloth dampened in distilled water. This step helps restore the fabric's natural texture and color. After rinsing, use a dry cloth to blot excess moisture. It's crucial not to oversaturate the upholstery, as it may lead to mold or mildew growth. Finally, allow the upholstery to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, avoiding direct sunlight.

Extra Tips for Odor Elimination

To further freshen your upholstery, consider these additional tips:

1. White Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the upholstery and let it air dry. The vinegar helps neutralize unpleasant odors and acts as a natural fabric deodorizer.

2. Essential Oils

If you enjoy pleasant scents, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Shake well and lightly spray the upholstery. Essential oils offer a natural and refreshing fragrance that can help mask any remaining odors.

3. Fabric Deodorizer

If you prefer a ready-made solution, you can purchase fabric deodorizers specifically designed for upholstery. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for optimal results.

Maintaining Fresh Upholstery

Now that you have successfully cleaned and refreshed your stinky upholstery, it's important to implement some preventive measures to maintain its freshness:

  • Vacuum your upholstery regularly to prevent dirt and dust buildup.
  • Place washable covers on your furniture, especially if you have pets or young children.
  • Keep food and drinks away from upholstered surfaces to minimize stains and spills.
  • Avoid smoking indoors, as the smell can penetrate upholstery fabrics.
  • Consider professional upholstery cleaning services for deeper and more thorough maintenance.


Cleaning and refreshing your stinky upholstery is not only essential for a pleasant living environment but also for the longevity of your furniture. By following our detailed guide, you can restore a fresh scent and cleanliness to your upholstery with ease. Remember, prevention is key, so adopt proper maintenance practices to enjoy clean and odor-free upholstery for years to come.