Can You Use Carpet Cleaner on a Couch?

carpet cleaner on a couch

Your home has numerous floors, walls, pieces of furniture, and other surfaces that naturally accumulate dirt and dust over time. With so much to worry about, finding a way to keep your home clean is a constant struggle. To make it an easier task, you want to use the best and most versatile cleaning products.

Aside from the debris that falls between cushions, your couch exterior can get dirty in a hurry. If you’ve ever used carpet cleaner, you know how well it can remove grime and restore a surface. You might be wondering, “Can you use carpet cleaner on a couch?”

The short answer is yes, you can use carpet cleaner on a couch. However, there is some important information to know before you start house deep cleaning. We have some tips that can help you protect your couch, prevent damage, and properly clean your couch’s exterior. 

Find the Right Type of Carpet Cleaner

Can you use carpet cleaner on a couch? The answer depends on what material your couch is and what carpet cleaner you use. Using the wrong type of carpet cleaner for your couch can result in significant damage.

First, check the tag on your couch. Couches have cleaning codes that determine the best and safest way to clean them. You should see one of the following codes: W, WS, S, or X. 


W: Use water and water-based cleaners


WS: Use water-based solvents and water-based agents


S: Use a water-free dry solvent


X: Hire a professional instead of cleaning the couch yourself

If you find a carpet cleaner that applies to your couch’s cleaning code, it should be safe to use. However, always spot-test before fully committing to any cleaning solution.

Spot Test

Spot cleaners let you know whether or not your selected carpet cleaner is safe for your couch. To spot test, find a section of the couch that is out of sight, and follow the carpet cleaner’s instructions on that isolated spot. 

If you notice a negative reaction, you’ll have to find a different cleaner. If not, the cleaning solution is suitable for your couch.

Use the Proper Equipment

Another crucial tip is to use the proper equipment and cleaning methods for your couch. You can adapt both upright and portable carpet cleaners to wash a couch, which can prevent damage. 

Most carpet cleaners include brush and hose attachments. If the cleaner you purchase does not, you can find the attachments at low costs.

Steps for Using Carpet Cleaner on a Couch

Now that you have the proper carpet cleaner and equipment, you’re ready to begin cleaning your couch. Follow these steps for safe and thorough results.

Vacuum the Couch

There’s a good chance that food crumbs, dirt, and other debris have accumulated on your couch, especially if you haven’t cleaned it in a while. Carpet cleaner works better when it isn’t struggling through excess debris and can soak directly into the couch. Remove any large waste by hand and vacuum smaller particles to prepare the couch.

Remove Any Stains

While a carpet cleaner can effectively produce a fresher couch, it isn’t necessarily the best option for removing tough stains. If your couch has any stains, you’ll want to remove them before using your carpet cleaner. Baking soda alone or a mixture of baking soda and water typically gets the job done. 

Apply the Carpet Cleaner

Now that you’ve prepared your couch, you can begin using the carpet cleaner. Pour your cleaning solution and warm water into the cleaner’s tank. The carpet cleaner’s instructions should provide the correct measurements for proper dilution.

Next, turn on the cleaner and start pressing the brush into the couch while pulling it towards you. Though pushing the brush may clean the couch, pulling is a more effective method for carpet cleaners. Holding the brush in one spot can oversaturate that couch area, so constantly move the equipment to ensure even cleaning. 

Let the Couch Dry

Once you’ve sufficiently cleaned the couch to your standards, let the couch dry. The drying process usually takes two to four hours, depending on the humidity and temperature inside your residence. 

If you’re in a rush, you can dry the couch faster with a few simple methods. Try using a fan to increase air circulation, letting the couch cushions dry vertically, and rotating the cushions every 30 minutes or so. If possible however, allowing your couch to dry for 6-12 hours is best.

Alternative Couch Cleaning Solutions

If you don’t want to use carpet cleaner on your couch, or if the instructions advise against it, consider steaming. Steam cleaners use heat and steam rather than water and shampoo solutions to remove dirty materials from the couch. By forcing the hot steam to the bottom of your couch fabric, steamers can clean directly at the base. Steam cleaners also don’t use chemicals, so you won’t have to worry about adverse reactions. 

Homeowners often choose steaming due to the shorter cleaning and drying time. Whereas the excess water involved in using a carpet cleaner results in long wait times, steamed couches are typically ready to use after 2-3 hours of drying. If you’re cleaning your couch before hosting an event, the quicker process gives steaming an advantage.

The Final Verdict

So can you use carpet cleaner on the couch? Though the short answer is yes, there are several factors to consider. Check your couch tag to see what type of cleaners are safe, find the appropriate carpet cleaner, utilize the proper equipment and attachments, and closely follow the necessary steps to ensure positive results. 

If you’re still feeling uncertain about the best way to clean your couch, talk to professional residential cleaners. Brilho has safe and effective solutions that will freshen your home and restore its interior appeal. We know the carpet cleaning myths and facts that help produce extraordinarily stunning results.

Call our experts at 416-923-3300 or email [email protected] to learn more about our service and schedule an appointment with us today. We guarantee exceptional results.