How To Clean Upholstery Naturally And A DIY Upholstery Cleaner Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.

DIY How To Clean Upholstery

Learn how to clean upholstery naturally with this DIY upholstery cleaner. The DIY cleaner works great and the ingredients are inexpensive.

How To Clean Upholstery Naturally

Keeping upholstery stain-free is quite a challenge. This easy DIY upholstery cleaner recipe will help keep your upholstered furniture looking its best.

A few years ago we bought new furniture. I loved the light cream color because it was fresh and bright!

Little did I know what three years and two little boys could do. Food stains, drink spills, and some mystery marks left my favorite recliner looking a little rough. So much so that I’ve been covering it with a throw to hide all the marks.

I finally decided that I would do my best to get all those stains out with a little elbow grease and this simple, homemade upholstery cleaner recipe.

Detergent, Vinegar, and Baking Soda … Oh My!

Detergent Alone is Good

To begin, I tried cleaning my upholstery with a solution of water and natural laundry detergent, which definitely helped me get all the dirt out of my chair. I simply placed 2 tablespoons of detergent in 2 cups of warm water and scrubbed my chair down using a microfiber cloth. By the time I was done, my water was brown and my chair was much lighter.

Since it is cooler out, I chose to open my windows and place a fan in front of the chair on high. This helped it dry much faster. As it dried, I noticed some stubborn stains still remained.

Detergent and White Vinegar are Better

To help get rid of these stains, I decided to clean the upholstery again, but this time I added some white vinegar to my cleaning solution. I always find that vinegar works really well on stubborn stains. Check out this natural homemade carpet cleaner and stain remover that also features vinegar!

After mixing up a second solution, I scrubbed down the entire chair again. I did this because my upholstered furniture often will show watermarks when I spot clean, so I didn’t want to risk that. Plus, it never hurts to clean other areas again! I simply scrubbed a little harder where the stains were located.

Detergent, White Vinegar, and Baking Soda are the Best

The upholstery was cleaner once again, but I could still see those stubborn stains looking back at me! So it was time to start scrubbing with something a little more abrasive. I decided to make a paste with baking soda and water, then scrubbed that into the stains.

I then did one more pass of the cleaning liquid to wipe off the paste with my microfiber cloth and let the chair dry fully. Once dry, those stubborn stains are no longer there! My chair was practically new again.

DIY How To Clean Upholstery

DIY Upholstery Cleaner That Works!

5 from 1 vote

Learn how to clean upholstery naturally with this DIY upholstery cleaner. The homemade cleaner works great and the ingredients are natural and inexpensive.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Active Time
15 minutes
Dry Time
4 hours
Total Time
4 hours 20 minutes
1 batch
Estimated Cost




  1. Begin making your DIY upholstery cleaner by combining water, laundry detergent, and vinegar in a large bowl or bucket. Stir gently to combine
  2. Soak a microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution, then wring out some of the liquid.
  3. Clean furniture by rubbing gently in a circular motion, soaking the cloth every so often as needed.  You don’t want to soak your fabric, but you do want to get enough of the solution on the surface to clean.
  4. Allow the furniture to air dry.
  5. Repeat as needed.
  6. For stubborn stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and rub gently over the area. Repeat steps 1-4 to wash off the paste.


My chair’s fabric is 100% polyester, and this method worked well. However, if your upholstered furniture is made of another material or color, I encourage you to test this method out on a small, inconspicuous area before continuing.

By testing a small area, you can check to see how the cleaning liquid works with your particular piece. Material variations and different fabric colors can stain or become discolored with some cleaners. Better safe than sorry!

Made this recipe?

Mention @diynatural or tag it #diynatural!

Now you know how to clean upholstery naturally! Let us know how this recipe works for you.


About Katie Vance

Katie is a wife, mother, aromatherapist, and lover of all things DIY. She offers consultations and gives simple aromatherapy advice at Katie Vance, Aromatherapy Simplified. You can also find Katie on Facebook.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.


  1. Julie says

    I used this on old stains with my ivory microfiber cloth barstools. It took out everything and they look new now. Thank you!

  2. Catelyn King says

    Great cleaning tips!! I recently had the professionals come clean up my house but I’ll have to try these and see if it works! I saw a post about what can accumulate in couches and it spooked me.