Cleaning Upholstery the Right Way

Sharon Asks:

I watched your video on how to clean carpets. I’m looking for how to clean upholstery (fabric sofa). We just bought a used 2007 Fleetwood Yukon and the sofa is light colored . I tried to clean it with my Bissell carpet cleaner upholstery attachments and Bissell carpet cleaner. I thought I extracted the soap & water but once it dried it looked worse. A brownish hue appeared all over the sofa…YUK! I don’t know if it was the foam padding under the upholstery was aged or stained and it came up to the fabric. Any suggestions? Do you think your WOW product would help? Thx Sharon

Wade Responds:


 Great question!  My answer to are you are doing it wrong? Yes, Sharon you are!  Sorry to be so blunt with you, but I have been RVing with my wife for the past week and have not been able to say, “You’re doing it wrong” one time.  So thank you for helping me get that off my chest!  Now let’s see if I can help you.

Cleaning upholstery can be frustrating.  If you are using an Extractor,  first apply your cleaning solution by hand, either with a spray bottle or a towel in a bucket of solution.  Next, lightly massage the solution on the area you are working. Be careful not to push down on the cushion.  You don’t want to get the cleaner absorbed into the cushion. Finally,  extract using only clean rinse water in the machine. The most important part of this process is to be careful and lift away from the cushions when vacuuming up your cleaning solution or you will pull the dirt out of the cushion into the fabric.  This is hard to do around the tight corners and edging of the cushions.  So those areas should be cleaned by hand. 

To clean by hand, use a towel or sponge soaked in your solution bucket. Using your solution towel  gently massage the area to be cleaned.  Then follow up with a bucket of clean water and a wet towel.  Use the wet towel to rinse and wipe off the dirt and soap on the upholstery, don’t press down on the cushion or you will push up dirt in the padding.  Then just let it dry.  I like to place a fan in the room as air movement will help speed up this process. 

In some cases you may be able to unzip the upholstery and remove it from the cushion. If this is possible, you can then simply place the covers in your washing machine on gentle cold wash,  using regular laundry detergent.  Don’t place in dryer.

Either way WOW is a great cleaner for this job as it is a strong safe cleaner with a slight orange smell and will leave little residue. With a little patience and some trial and error I think you will do great!

Hope this helps, good luck!