Cleaning Guides

Is It Worth It? Breaking Down the Cost of Professional Sofa Cleaning

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The sofa, the centrepiece of any living room. Whether you’re binge-watching your favourite series, having a cosy chat with friends, or simply lounging with a good book, this is where you do it all. Is it then surprising that sofas quickly become magnets for dust, crumbs, and the occasional spill?

And keeping your sofa clean isn’t just about aesthetics, although, let’s be real, that’s always the first reason. Regular cleaning can help prevent allergens from building up and extend the life of the fabric; however, sofa cleaning costs are not low. In this post, you’ll learn all about the prices, the factors that influence them so you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth investing in professional sofa cleaning.

How much does professional sofa cleaning cost on average?

Take the following sofa cleaning services price list as an example, rather than something written in stone. Different factors influence the costs and you will learn about them in just a bit.

Sofa typeMaterialAverage Cost (UK)
Two-seater sofaFabric£30 – £60
Leather£40 – £70
Three-seater sofaFabric£40 – £70
Leather£50 – £80
L-shaped sectional sofaFabric£60 – £100
Leather£80 – £120
ArmchairFabric£20 – £40
Leather£30 – £50

Every professional company will give you a quote with some or most of the following things and each will have its price leading to the total sum:

  • Number of items;
  • Type of furniture;
  • Fabric material;
  • Chosen cleaning method;
  • Stains and conditions;
  • Additional services.

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The sofa cleaning pricing factors

You are probably asking yourself why professional sofa cleaning costs can vary so much? It’s because of different factors such as…

  • Size and type of sofa – As you might have already guessed, larger sofas generally require more time and resources to clean thoroughly. What you may not know is the type of material – be it leather, fabric, suede, or velvet – influences the cleaning approach and thus costs;
  • Condition and level of staining – If your sofa has pet stains, food spills, or just general wear and tear, cleaning companies might need to use special treatments or spend more time to get it looking good again. This extra effort can bump up the price a bit;
  • Location and accessibility – Where you live matters too. If you live in a hard-to-reach area or your home has tricky stairs or narrow hallways, then this can also add to the cost;
  • Scheduling date – Sometimes, booking a cleaning on a bank holiday can cost a bit more compared to a regular weekday appointment;
  • Application of stain protector –  Scotchgard helps prevent future stains from soaking into the fabric, but if you want it, prepare to pay a little extra;
  • Additional service charges – If you want to add other services like house cleaning, carpet cleaning, or even bed bug treatment when booking your upholstery cleaning, then know that these services will increase the overall cost.
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How do professionals clean a sofa?

It’s not only a question of how do they do it? It’s also what do professionals use to clean sofas? Well, let’s answer both of these questions.

Hot water extraction

Great for natural materials like wool and cotton, synthetic and blended fabrics. However, not recommended for delicate fabrics or those sensitive to water. 

This technique involves using a machine to spray water under pressure into the fibres. That way it loosens the dirt. Afterwards, the technician uses a powerful vacuum. It extracts 95% of the moisture along with the dirt.

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Dry sofa cleaning

This method is gentle and, as the name suggests, there will be no overwetting of sensitive materials. Perfect for delicate fabrics or those that aren’t water-resistant, dry sofa cleaning works like this.

  1. First, the technician inspects the fabric to choose the right cleaning solution;
  2. He pre-treated stains and dirty patches;
  3. He gets out the machine which applies a potent solvent deep into the fabric;
  4. The solvent is allowed to dwell on the fabric so it can dissolve dirt and stains;
  5. The technician carefully extracts the solvent along with the dissolved dirt and stains.
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Dry foam cleaning

This method is perfect for very delicate fabrics that can’t handle any water. It uses a foam cleanser that doesn’t soak deeply into the fabric. This means less moisture exposure and quicker drying. Here’s how it’s done.

  • The technician thoroughly vacuums the sofa. That way he removes surface dirt and debris;
  • A conditioning spray is applied to dissolve any remaining dirt and stains gently;
  • He gently applies a foam with a special machine to avoid saturating the fabric;
  • After a brief period, the foam, now hardened, is vacuumed away. It leaves your furniture dry and ready to use in just an hour.

Leather sofa cleaning

Leather sofas require specifically formulated products which lift dirt and restore the material’s natural lustre. So, here is how a professional would use one such product when he cleans a leather sofa:

  1. He will inspect the leather and test its condition;
  2. Apply foam leather cleaner to gently lift dirt;
  3. Clean with a soft brush and cotton cloth;
  4. Apply a leather rejuvenation product to protect against future stains and keep your leather looking pristine.
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How do I know if my couch can be cleaned?

Look at the care label usually found under the cushions. You should see one of the following labels.

  • W Label (Water-based) – Fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, and silk are marked with a “W.” These can usually be spot-cleaned with a mild detergent and water or cleaned with a steam cleaner;
  • S Label (Solvent-based) – Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic carry an “S” label. These should be cleaned with solvent-based cleaners designed for upholstery;
  • WS or SW Label (Both water and solvent) – These fabrics can handle both water-based and solvent-based cleaners. The reason for having both labels (WS and SW) is often due to different industry standards or preferences among manufacturers or retailers. However, it still means the same thing;
  • X Label (Professional cleaning only) – Fabrics labelled with an “X” typically cannot withstand water or solvent-based cleaning methods and should only be cleaned by a professional.
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Can I clean my own sofa?

Or said in a different way, is it worth cleaning a sofa yourself? Many people attempt to clean red wine and other stains at home to save a few pounds, but this often backfires, and the result is something even professionals can’t fix. Let’s look at things in detail:

The DIY cleaning approach

You can use household items like a vacuum cleaner, upholstery shampoo, or steam cleaner if you have one. This approach might help with minor stains and regular maintenance, sure. However, the variety and combination of natural and synthetic fabrics used in today’s upholstery make it challenging to know the right cleaning method. When trying to clean stains at home, you always run the risk of:

  • Not knowing what fabric your upholstery is made of;
  • Using the wrong detergent and cleaning method;
  • Not having the right equipment and tools;
  • Lack of knowledge on how to treat each stain.

All these factors can lead to fabric damage or stains becoming permanent.

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The professional sofa cleaning method

Hiring professionals may seem more expensive upfront, but it’s a safer investment. Technicians have the expertise to identify fabrics and apply the right cleaning methods. You avoid the risk of making stains worse or damaging the upholstery.

  • Professionals know which specific detergents to use and how to apply them;
  • They have the right equipment and tools;
  • They understand how to treat different types of stains effectively.

Booking a professional upholstery cleaning means you don’t have to worry about any of the potential pitfalls.

You still might have some of these questions like:

Can I steam-clean a couch? Steam cleaning can be effective for certain fabrics but risky for delicate materials.

Is it OK to shampoo a couch? Shampooing can work for some fabrics but might damage others, especially if over-wetted.

How to deep clean a couch without a machine? You can use a mixture of mild detergent and water, but it’s crucial to test on a small area first.

How long do sofas take to dry after cleaning?

Drying time for sofas after cleaning can vary quite a bit. If you go with professional steam cleaning, expect your sofa to be dry in about 4 to 6 hours. Sometimes, with really good equipment, it might dry as quickly as 2 to 3 hours. If you’re using a home steam cleaner, it might take longer, anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, because the equipment isn’t as powerful and might leave more water in the fabric.

Dry cleaning methods, which use less water, can have your sofa dry in just 1 to 2 hours. For spot cleaning with minimal water, you’re looking at around 1 to 3 hours.

The type of fabric plays a role too. Synthetic fabrics tend to dry faster than natural ones. Also, the environment matters—high humidity can make drying take longer, while a warm, dry room helps speed it up. Good ventilation is key, so using fans or opening windows can really help.

To speed things up, make sure the room is well-ventilated, maybe use some fans or a dehumidifier, and try not to use the sofa until it’s completely dry to avoid any mould or mildew issues.

How often should you professionally clean your sofa?

In the best-case scenario, you should have your sofa professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. However, the exact frequency can depend on a few factors.

If your sofa is in a high-traffic area or frequently used by children and pets, you might need to clean it more often, perhaps every 6 to 12 months. Sofas in less frequently used areas might only need professional cleaning every 18 to 24 months.

Regular professional cleaning helps remove deep-seated dirt, allergens, and stains that regular vacuuming and spot cleaning might miss. It also helps to preserve the fabric and keep your sofa looking fresh and new.

In between professional cleanings, it’s a good idea to vacuum your sofa regularly, address spills and stains promptly, and follow any care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain its condition.

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  • Professional sofa cleaning helps prevent allergen buildup and extends fabric life;
  • Cleaning costs vary based on sofa size, material, and condition. Fabric sofas are generally cheaper to clean than leather ones;
  • Sofa condition, location, and additional services usually influence the cost of professional cleaning;
  • Professionals use various cleaning methods tailored to different fabric types and not just a one-size-fits-all.
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