Sleeper sofa beds come in a variety of materials, and many of these are difficult to clean. Over time, crumbs, spilled fluids, pet hair, dirt, and sweat from your hands and feet build up on your couch and make it look shabby. Professional cleaning services are often not so budget-friendly.
Thankfully, using our sleeper sofas cleaning tips, you can refresh your couch without spending a small fortune. Here are some things you will need:
- Bristle brush
- Vacuum with upholstery brush attachment
- Steam vacuum with stair/upholstery nozzle
- Upholstery detergent for steam vacuum
- Cleaning cloths
- Paper towel
- Upholstery cleaning solvent
- Distilled water, vinegar, oils, soap, baking soda
How To Clean Your Sofa Sleeper Upholstery
Upholstery is part of a sofa bed which is inevitable to become dirty and smelling bad. Before you start to clean a sofa, you need to determine exactly which type of sofa upholstery you have.
Watch over a tag on the sofa bed that can be found attached to the fabric. This simple tag offers you vital information about what you need to clean the material with.
There you will see one of these four letters:
- W = Water-based cleaning only
- S = Solvent-based cleaning only (no water)
- SW = Solvent and water-based cleaning
- X = Vacuum and bristle-brush alone, or use professional cleaning services
Why so many cleaning codes?
That’s because upholstery can be made from a number of different materials, with most common being synthetic fabrics like microfiber, nylon or acrylic. It is highly likely that your upholstery will be made from a combination of all these – or choose the natural path. If you are looking to clean upholstery then you should know that not all synthetic materials clean up the same way. The same is available to other upholstery materials.
There is a huge interest in green sleeper sofas cleaning and we’d like to share a couple of recipes for upholstery maintenance.
Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe #1
You will need:
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon of dish liquid soap
Instructions: mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle to make your solution. Spray the mixture on the upholstery and scrub the area in a circular motion. Repeat the same process until your sofa upholstery is clean. Remove the excess soap from the fabric and use a dry cloth to remove the moisture. Let it dry naturally or use a blow dryer or desk fan.
Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe #2
In order to freshen your sofa sleeper upholstery the natural way, you will need:
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- 5-8 drops of essential oil (lavender, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus or whatever you like)
Instructions: combine baking soda and a few drops of essential oil into the spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water and shake well until all the ingredients are mixed together. Spray the solution on your upholstery to eliminate the odors and freshen up your fabrics. Rinse and dry until you are satisfied with the right smell.
Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe #3
This recipe is best for removing fruit stains from upholstered sleeper sofa beds. Make a solution from:
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol
Instructions: merge these ingredients and blot onto the stain with a new and clean white cloth. Keep blotting until the stain is removed. Once the stain is removed, get plain cold water and new white cloth and sponge the area to remove the cleaning solution. Remove moisture with a blow dryer.
Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe #4 – Dry Cleaning Powder
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Fragrant dried leaves or spices (bay leaves, lavender, cinnamon or cloves)
Instructions: incorporate these ingredients. Place them in a powder container. Spread onto any surface you wish to freshen. Leave in place 30 minutes or more. If the upholstery fabric has a heavy nap, gently brush it into the fabric. In the end, vacuum thoroughly to remove the powder. DO NOT add fragrant oils, which may harm the fabric!
Natural Upholstery Cleaner Recipe #5 – Burn Marks
This is a great method to remove burn marks from upholstery. If the burn is similar to a scuff or scorch mark, you may be able to clean it. This recipe can help to loosen the burnt stain, if not fully remove the stain itself.
- vegetable glycerin
- a clean cloth
Instructions: combine equal amounts of liquid vegetable glycerin and water. Sponge the mixture onto the stain with a cloth. Leave the solution on the stain for a couple of hours. Blot up the mix with a dry cloth, then sponge the area with water to rinse.
How To Clean Your Leather Sleeper Sofa
Leather upholstery is a popular choice when choosing your sofa bed, thus, it also requires more care to keep it looking beautiful and fresh. In this case, there are three main types of care products: leather cleaners, leather conditioners and leather cleaners with conditioner.
Leather cleaners remove stains, dirt, oil and all other residues that destroy leather upholstery. This is what you will want to use first in order to clean your leather sofa. Conditioners have a different role – they moisturize, soften, protect, and keep your leather surfaces good-looking. It is important to use both products to take care of your leather upholstery.
Cleaner and conditioner blends are made to solve both problems at once. As you probably know, there are natural homemade cleaning solutions (lemon juice, vinegar or liquid soap mixtures) to clean your leather sofa, but it can also be a little bit risky, as using the wrong kind of ingredients and proportions can damage your leather upholstery irreversibly.
So, unless you are a sleeper sofas cleaning expert, our advice is to invest a few dollars into a tested and reliable cleaning solution.
Below are some ideas for leather sleeper sofas cleaning:
- Vacuum your leather sofa at least once a month to clean the loose dirt and dust. Use a soft brush attachment to prevent scratches.
- Test your leather cleaner on a small hidden spot to make sure it does not leave marks or damage your upholstery.
- Clean any stains immediately. The leather is a porous material and once a stain is set deeply, it is extremely difficult to remove it.
- Protect your leather upholstery when cleaning other non-leather parts of your sofa.
- If possible, try to keep your leather sofa away from direct sunlight.
- Invariably use leather conditioner after cleaning your furniture, but there is no need to exaggerate. Once or twice a year is enough to keep your sofa bed looking good.
- Do not use alkaline, varnish or ammonia-based cleaners or any other general nonleather upholstery cleaning products. It may damage your upholstery.
- Always read leather sofa cleaning instructions.
How To Clean A Microfiber Sofa Sleeper
Microfiber sofa sleepers are pieces of furniture known to be durable and resistant to stains, repel dirt, and that’s due to its polyester/polyamide blend. Microfiber upholstery is also hypoallergenic which makes it a perfect choice for people who suffer from different types of allergies.
Before using any type of cleaning solution, check the upholstery tag for the cleaning label. Most of these sleeper sofas cleaning products are easy to apply, will not damage or discolor your sleeper and will work great for spot cleaning.
- Prepare all the materials you need: soft-bristled brush, vacuum cleaner, and a cleaning solution based on the upholstery tag (could be a mix of a few drops of soap with cold water, a dry cleaning product, or baking soda and water).
- Vacuum the sofa with the soft brush attachment to remove dust and dirt.
- Scrub with a brush to remove any rubbish stuck to your couch.
- Vacuum the area once more.
- Apply the cleaning solution to the sofa upholstery. Use a clean cloth, dampen sponge or towel to push the cleaner into the stain. Do not saturate the microfiber with whatever cleaning solution you are using. Gently rub the sofa microfiber in a circular motion. Work in sections to keep the sofa bed from absorbing too much water.
- You may proceed to another section of the sofa or apply more cleaner solution if the stains remain.
- Use a blow dryer to dry out the wet spots. Set it to blow the lowest temperature possible.
- You may use a soft brush to restore the original texture as microfiber upholstery stiffen a little after cleaning.
Additional cleaning suggestions:
- Clean up liquid spills immediately – if left long enough, the liquid will soak in.
- Use a dryer or fan for quick drying of any wet spots to avoid the possibility of making watermarks on the upholstery material.
- Vacuum your microfiber sofa at least once a week.
- Never use a high-powered vacuum attachment (power nozzle) as it may wrinkle the fabric.
- Do not use products containing bleach or bleach alternatives on your microfiber sofa.
- Never use nail polish remover, or anything containing acetone.
How To Steam Clean Your Sleeper Sofa Bed
If you have a sofa bed with a tag “W” or “WS”, you’ll be able to use an upholstery steam cleaner. First of all, you need to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the steamer to see whether it’s OK to use it on your sofa upholstery. While “W” and “WS” sofas endure water, they can’t always resist heating.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions provided with the upholstery steamer – it should tell you what settings you’ll need to use. Here are the steps you need to take in order to make your sleeper sofas cleaning more successful:
- Vacuum your sofa before you start to steam clean.
- Pre-treat stains. Pour a cleaner on stains. Depending on the type of cleaner you use, the amount of time to leave on the upholstery will vary, around 3-5 minutes on average. Blot the area with a clean soft cloth, pulling out the stain and drying up the material.
- Precondition upholstery. Use products like soil emulsifiers that will help loosen of elements that have been ground into the material. Spray it on all the whole upholstery area and let that sit a few minutes. Spray again, but this time try to use an upholstery shampoo. Brush the material all over, making sure you insert the shampoo into the material.
- Pick a steam cleaner. You’ll find a myriad of steam cleaners on the market. The best steam cleaners for our cleaning actions are upholstery steam cleaners, fabric steam cleaners, and handheld steam cleaners.
- Prepare the steam machine. To use a steam cleaner, carefully read usage instructions. Then add water and cleaner to the machine based on the model you have. Set the steam cleaning pressure recommended for your upholstery – in general, this is recommended by your machine’s manufacturer.
- Start the cleaning process. Release the steam and test on a small area of the sofa – wait 10 minutes and inspect the area you cleaned. If you are satisfied with the result, clean the rest of the sofa. Repeat the process until the entire sofa surface is clean. If a stain remains after cleaning, you can go back over it once you have cleaned it once – you don’t have to wait for it to dry.
- Let upholstery dry. The amount of time will vary based on upholstery material and how much humidity you insert into the material. You can speed up the process by using a fan or a blow dryer.
- Vacuum the sofa again After completely drying, vacuum again to remove any dirt left by the steam cleaner.
Steam cleaning may extend the life of your sofa bed by keeping it looking good longer. Steam cleaning uses water to generate steam, so no chemicals are needed. In some cases, steam cleaning can be used with a cleaning solution. This may be an option to consider if you need to remove odors and stains. If anyone in the house suffers from fragrance allergies, using only steam may be the best option.
How To Clean Your Sofa Sleeper Mattress
What you’ll need: baking soda, essential oil, a vacuum cleaner with brush and hose attachments.
- If you have, remove the mattress cover and launder it according to the maker instructions.
- Vacuum the surface of the sofa mattress using the vacuum’s brush attachment.
- Sponge any stains on the mattress gently with a new cloth dipped in cold soapy water (only mild soap and water). Allow the mattress to dry. If you have several nasty stains, consider using a handheld steamer. These appliances allow you to press down on the stain using hot water to remove tricky spots. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the sofa mattress.
- Mix baking soda and 5 to 20 drops of essential oil – lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, or ylang-ylang. In case you don’t know, essential oils are naturally antibacterial. Or, you can use an upholstery shampoo for washable fabrics and a dry-cleaning solvent for nonwashable materials.
- Sprinkle the mix over the bed. Rub the mixture into the mattress, obtaining a deep cleaning. Let the mix work for at least an hour. For best results, leave it there for 24 hours. If you can place the mattress near a window, the sunlight will also add its sanitizing power.
- Vacuuming the mattress a second time, working slowly to ensure all the cleaning mix has been removed.
Innerspring or coil mattresses should be flipped side-to-side and top-to-bottom weekly for the first three months since you bought them, then quarterly after that!
Protect Your Sleeper Sofa Mattress – Covers, Pads and Toppers
As you can see, cleaning a mattress is a difficult task, so we highly recommend to use a washable mattress cover. Nowadays, mattress covers are made from fabric bonded to a waterproof layer that prevents liquids and sweat from touching your mattress.
If you don’t want a mattress cover, we recommend adding a mattress pad that will help absorb moisture. These extra layers of protection will help prevent mites, fleas, and other pests from sharing your bed. That should really help you sleep tight.
Another option is to use a mattress topper, which is an extra layer of cushioning that goes over your sofa mattress before you put your sheets on. Provide additional support and comfort. You can pick from a variety of materials: goose feathers, polyester, cotton, wool, gel – to name only a few.
And if you don’t like the look of your sofa, remember to read How To Style Your Sleeper Sofa Bed Like A Pro.
Last Thoughts – Sleeper Sofas Cleaning
Sofa beds of all kinds are hard to clean, we get it. That’s because you can’t simply throw them the washing machine. Over time, your couch gets a combination of crumbs, stains, pet hair, and dirt on its surfaces. Yes, it’s time that time when you need to learn how to clean it. Our sleeper sofas cleaning tips will be worth it when you end up with a couch that’s as good as new. Good luck with your clean and thanks for reading.