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How to Clean Upholstery with Baking Soda in [year] – 3 EASY Ways

In this article, we will mainly focus on how to clean upholstery with baking soda.

No matter how careful you are your couch or sofa is bound to get dirty if you do not have slipcovers for protection. Pets, kids, and adults alike contribute to this mess.

The good thing is that you don’t have to buy expensive cleaning products. Baking soda for instance is a cheap and readily available household product you can use.

How to clean upholstery with baking soda?

To clean upholstery with baking soda, all you need to do is sprinkle some of it on the top of your couch or cushion. Spread a thin layer of it all over the area. Wait for it to get absorbed, and then it will absorb all the foul smells and stains. After 20 mins, start vacuuming the upholstery. Ensure that everything is sucked up and dust off any residue.

Why Use Baking Soda for Cleaning?

Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate/ soda bicarbonate) has properties that make it a good choice for cleaning not only upholstery but also other areas at home like bathrooms.

Why use baking soda for cleaning?
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These properties include:

Baking soda is a deodorizer

Baking soda has elements that help to neutralize odors.

Unlike air freshener, baking soda does not mask the bad smell rather it reacts and absorbs it leaving your upholstery smelling fresh.

It is mildly abrasive

Soda bicarbonate is gentle on your upholstery but slightly abrasive so it is able to get deep down in the fabric and get rid of stains and dirt.

It is not harsh on your materials hence it does not discolor or bleach the fabric.

Does not contain hazardous chemicals

It does not contain toxic chemicals that can mess your upholstery or affect your health. It’s actually safe for human consumption since it’s often used in baking as a leaving agent.

Affordable and readily available

It is cheap and readily available compared to other cleaning products.

If you were asked for baking soda right now, you would probably go to your kitchen and grab it.

Thus, it is a great option if you want to keep your upholstery clean and fresh without spending a lot.

See also: Steps on how to wash a Sherpa blanket

Steps on How to Clean Upholstery with Baking Soda

Cleaning upholstery with baking soda is a simple and straightforward process.

You will need the following items;

  • Baking soda
  • Soft brush
  • Cloth (preferably white)
  • Vacuum cleaner
how to clean upholstery with baking soda

For deep cleaning to get rid of stubborn stains, you will need these additional items;

  • Vinegar (White) or lemon juice
  • Liquid detergent
  • Warm water

Step 1: Dust your upholstery

The first step is to get your couch ready for cleaning by dusting and removing all dust and debris on the surface of the upholstery.

You can use a soft-bristled brush or a white cleaning cloth.

Remove the cushions and any other removable parts and make sure they are all dusted.

You can as well use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove crumbs and other loose particles. Starting with a clean couch allows you to easily identify stubborn stains during the actual cleaning.

Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda on the upholstery

Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda all over the couch and leave it for about 20 minutes.

You only need to cover the couch with a thin layer because you will use your vacuum cleaner. Too much baking soda will clog the vacuum and damage it.

As the baking soda gets absorbed into the couch, it will absorb the bad smell and get deep into the stains for easy removal.

So after 20 minutes, start vacuuming your upholstery using a brush attachment. Ensure that everything is sucked up and your sofa does not have white stains of the powder.

Once you are satisfied that the upholstery is as clean with no stains, leave it to air dry before reassembling the cushions and the throws.

However, if you notice stubborn stains that seem deep-rooted into the couch fabric, you will need to deep clean. So, see the next step.

Step 3: Deep clean upholstery with baking soda and vinegar 

One thing you must realize is that, if your couch has stubborn stains or is heavily soiled, baking soda alone will not help to get rid of them.

Yes, the bad smell will be gone and some easy dirt cleaned up, but the deep stains will remain.

Follow these steps to get rid of the stains.

  1. Mix warm water, white vinegar, baking soda, and liquid detergent together in a bowl.
  2. Apply directly on the stains areas on the upholstery
  3. Let it sit for about 20 minutes
  4. Take a clean white clean cloth or one that does not run color and wipe down the sofa. Scrub lightly to get deep into the stains.
  5. Pat down wet areas with a dry towel to soak up any traces of the cleaning solution.
  6. Leave the couch to air dry at least overnight.
how to clean upholstery (couch/sofa) with baking soda and vinegar

See also: How to get of deep stains on microfiber couch

Will Baking Soda Damage or Stain Upholstery?

Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that is very effective on a variety of stains.

It is also safe to use on different materials and surfaces since it does not contain abrasive or toxic chemicals.

However, it is important to take certain precautions when cleaning with baking soda because;

Baking soda might not damage your upholstery but might clog the vacuum cleaner.

If used in excess or when wet, it can cause clogging of the vacuum cleaner. To avoid this, do not apply too much of it on the couch. If you must make a paste to remove stubborn stains, use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or simply a clean cloth.

Baking soda might cause discoloration of certain fabrics.

Although it is not a bleaching agent, soda bicarbonate might cause discoloration.

This is why it is important to first identify the type of fabric on your upholstery and check the manufacturer’s cleaning tag.

Also, you should first do a spot test cleaning on a hidden part of the couch to be sure the cleaning product is safe.

See also: How to reupholster a sofa


We have explained how to clean upholstery with baking soda and how to get rid of stubborn stains using baking soda and vinegar.

The good thing about using baking powder is that it is readily available and you can do your cleaning anytime and within the shortest time possible.

You do not have a reason to have a stained and bad-smelling couch or sofa.

Always check the manufacturers cleaning tag to make sure that your fabric can be cleaned with baking soda. Also, carry out a spot test on a hidden part of the couch to make sure that the baking soda is safe to use.