Keeping Your White Fabric Couch Clean
Your new white fabric couch is a piece of art. But if you're not prepared, you could end up with more cleaning work than you were expecting. With a white couch, the dust, lint, hair, dirt, and build-up will show up more quickly. While it’s true that white fabric is trickier to maintain than dark colours — especially if you have kids or pets — it’s doable with the proper fabric protector, cleaning tools, and knowledge. If you want to keep your white fabric couch looking pristine, follow our tips to ensure the longevity of your furniture investment.
Benefits of Having a White Couch
Not only does a white couch look stunning, but it also keeps you on track with regular cleaning and maintenance. Think of it this way: Just because you can't see the dirt on a dark-coloured couch doesn't mean it isn't there. With a white couch, the dirt and stains show up quickly. This makes it more likely that you’ll want to stay on top of cleaning it.
A white couch is also extremely versatile. You can easily match the white fabric with any decor and style. Add pops of colour with couch pillows, and easily rotate pillows in and out to match the season or to refresh your look. To keep your white couch looking its best, read on for our cleaning and maintenance tips.
Invest in a Washable Slipcover
Slipcovers are an excellent option for keeping your white fabric couch clean. Here at CouchHaus, all of our cushion covers are fully removable on the back and bottom cushions. We also provide the option to have a Velcro Removable Slipcover (at no extra charge), to remove the armrest and upholstery on the frame of the couch.
Note that some slipcovers are machine washable, while others are dry-clean only. With a washable slipcover, you can simply remove and launder it in your washing machine. Dry-clean-only slipcovers require a professional’s touch to prevent damage or discolouration. Dry cleaning also ensures uniform results.
In either case, having a removable, washable slipcover makes it easy to protect your couch from spills, stains, and everyday wear. Be sure to read the care instructions that come with your slipcover, and follow our tips for proper care and cleaning of your couch.
Treat the Fabric With a Stain Guard
If you envision any late-night nachos or pet snuggles on your couch, you’ll definitely want to safeguard your couch first. To protect your fabric couch from stains, treat the fabric with a fabric protector before anyone takes a seat.
Stain guards are available at Amazon, most department stores, and fabric stores. Personally, we recommend Scotchgard. If you don't want to treat your couch yourself, ask a professional furniture cleaner or upholstery cleaner in your area if they can apply the stain guard for you.
If you would like to spot-clean your couch, we love Vectra Green Label Stain Protector. We’ve tested it out, and it stands up to even the toughest stains. Refer to our care guide for additional product recommendations and cleaning tips.
Flip the Cushions Regularly
We recommend you flip and rotate the cushions on your white fabric couch around once a week. This will prevent dust and dirt from building up, which can cause discolouration. Also, flipping them regularly will help prevent them from losing their shape over time.
Versatile and modular, the Comfy Couch makes it easy to reconfigure your furniture. Simply flip and rotate your cushions anytime to protect the fabric and help maintain its shape.
Get Regular Professional Cleanings
Whether you have linen fabric, performance fabric, or any type of custom fabric, you may wish to get your white fabric couch professionally cleaned from time to time. Regular professional cleanings will prevent dirt, dust, and allergens from becoming embedded in the fabric. This can help keep your white fabric couch looking new for years to come.
The frequency of professional cleanings depends on how dirty your couch becomes over time and how much time you spend sitting on it each day. Couches that are used heavily by children or pets should be professionally cleaned more often than those used only occasionally by adults. As a general rule of thumb, aim to get your couch professionally cleaned at least once a year. In between professional cleanings, practice ongoing cleaning and care on your own.
Depill Your Couch
Just like your favourite sweater, your white couch might start to pill over time. Regularly removing these tiny balls of fabric, a process known as depilling, will keep your custom couch’s fabric looking like new. You can get a simple, inexpensive depiller at a craft supply, sewing, or big-box store to tackle this job yourself.
To depill your linen fabric, performance fabric, or other custom fabric, pull the fabric taut. Trim away any loose threads with a pair of scissors. Then, run your depiller over the fabric in light, circular motions. Think of it like shaving around your ankles or chin; a gentle touch ensures no unsightly nicks!
Of course, having a quality performance fabric keeps pilling to a minimum. The gold standard for performance is the Martindale rub-test, which measures fabric durability. Your couch should have a rub-test of 25,000 rubs or more. For reference, CouchHaus sofas are typically Martindale-tested for up to 100,000 rubs — ensuring plenty of pill-free lounging, Netflixing, and napping.
Remove Stains Quickly
If you take just one thing away from this article, let it be this: If a stain occurs, blot, don’t rub. Whereas blotting will lift the stain, rubbing only drives it deeper into the fabric. As far as a stain remover, don't use harsh chemicals on your white fabric couch because they may discolour or damage the fabric.
Here’s how: The moment that drop of red wine or spaghetti sauce drips onto your white couch, grab a clean cloth. Blot away any excess moisture. If necessary, grab an upholstery-safe cleaner and dab it onto the stain. For minor stains, a small dab of mild soap or detergent is often an effective stain remover (especially if you’ve pretreated the fabric with a stain guard).
Finally, use another clean cloth to absorb any remaining moisture from the area. Repeat this process as necessary until you're satisfied that you've removed all of the stain.
Read the Manufacturer Instructions
Ideally, you’ll have already read the cleaning instructions that come with your couch before a stain happens. Familiarize yourself with the industry-standard cleaning codes provided by your couch’s manufacturer. For instance, O means you should spot-clean in cold water with a biodegradable detergent or soap, and air-dry. W means you should spot-clean using distilled water and water-based cleaning agents or foam. By following these codes, you can remove stains and avoid further damage.
With a white couch in particular, avoid using bleach or harsh chemical cleaners to remove stains from the white fabric. If you do, you could end up with discolouration that is even harder to remove.
We recommend you vacuum or lint-roll your couch every two weeks. This will help prevent the buildup of dust and dirt that can cause stains on your white fabric couch.
Get the underside of the cushions, as well as between them, to remove any trapped dirt or pet dander. Your vacuum attachments are your best friends here; use them to get into all the crevices! And remember, your vacuum needs cleaning sometimes, too. Be sure to wipe down and clean the bristles of any attachments to avoid depositing dirt on your white couch.
Practice Regular Maintenance
Stains, dirt, and splotches are the obvious enemies of a white couch. What you don’t see every day are the small specks of dust and dirt that seem to gravitate to white couches like flies on honey. For regular maintenance, follow our tips (taking care to first read the manufacturer cleaning instructions as noted above).
Yes, You Can Have a White Couch
Don't let fear of stains keep you from buying a beautiful white fabric couch. With fabric protector, stain remover, and ongoing maintenance, your white fabric couch can stay looking good as new. Keeping your white couch clean doesn't require enormous effort; with proper care, you can protect your investment.
No matter how careful you are, your white fabric couch will eventually get dirty. Using the tips above will help you keep your couch looking great for many years to come. So, if you’re ready to begin the shopping process, head over to our Build Your Couch page. Whether you’re looking for a two-seater sofa or a six-seater sofa and ottoman, we have everything you need to create the custom sofa that’s perfect for your needs.