How to Clean Polyester Couch

  • Polyester is one of the easiest fabrics to clean, so all you need is to tackle the cleaning process and do it right. That’s not very challenging, is it?
  • So, how to clean polyester couch? Most stains that you’ll come across on the surface of your polyester couch only require a mild cleanser and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide—both affordable and easily available. 
  • Remember to always remove stains as soon as possible and follow the recommended cleaning code for your specific fabric. Keep reading to discover our smart cleaning hacks!

Is polyester fiber good for couches? 

Polyester is a very durable, stain-resistant man-made fabric whose color lasts long without fading. 

These features make polyester furniture perfect for our households! Polyester upholstery is comfortable and inexpensive.

Polyester fibers are a synthetic polymer, a type of plastic commonly called PET (polyethylene terephthalate), first invented in the mid-1900s. In the seventies, it became known for its top-notch resilience and wrinkle-free characteristics. 

Polyester has improved since then, currently being the preferred performance fabric for high-end and specialty apparel.

As we read on Fsw, polyester has evolved into the most versatile fabric and fiber in the world, serving in the industries such as fashion, design, and interiors. 

That’s not to say you won’t have to clean polyester furniture now and then! It’s not completely immune to food crumbs, grease, stray hairs, urine stains, pet hair, and wear and tear. 

Important: Polyester fabrics tend to hold unpleasant smells better than natural fibers.

Discover a couple of cleaning tips that we share below to handle your polyester sofa impeccably. 

Clean polyester fiber couches

Your first task—and we know it’s easy to say and harder to do—is to maintain cleanliness of our favorite polyester sofa. 

Most polyester couches will thank you for regular cleaning: remove pet hair and greasy stains when they appear on the fabric. 

Polyester fabric is known for being stain-resistant, but some common stains will occasionally show up and there is no way to avoid them 100%.

Why are polyester couches stains-resistant anyway?

It’s because grease stains and normal stains don’t soak into the polyester fabric as they do with cotton. They remain on top, making it easy to remove stains from this synthetic material. 

Polyester and polyester blends are also resistant to discoloration and abrasion. Polyester upholstery is breathable and available in a wide variety of colors to match your home decor beautifully and without fail. 

Regular cleaning polyester fiber couches will—besides keeping your space neat—expand their lifespan. 

The good news is that most polyester couches need a very simple cleaning solution: simply rub them with commercial cleaners available at your local store. 

Tip: Pre-test commercial cleaners on the small, inconspicuous area of your polyester furniture before you apply it to the entire polyester fiber couch.

To maintain the fluffiness of the fabric, rub the couch with a soft-bristled brush after you clean polyester.

Cleaning code

Before you clean your polyester couch, find the furniture care tag.

Your polyester sofa will likely come with a cleaning code underneath it, in the detachable cushions, or in the creased sections of your upholstered furniture. 

These codes guide you through cleaning practices suitable for your fabric. The goal is to clean your sofa well while maintaining the color and avoiding damaging the upholstery. 

  • “W” means you can do water cleaning, i.e., clean your couch with water only, apply a water-based detergent like white vinegar or lemon juice, or use a steam cleaner; If you have kids constantly spilling food or drinks, go for this easy-to-handle fabric type.
  • “S” stands for dry-cleaning or spot-cleaning of stains with a solvent-based cleaner. Use these products only in well-ventilated rooms to avoid toxicity. 

Important: “S” cleaning solution is combustible, so use it far from the open flames area.

  • “X” indicates that you can only clean polyester fiber couches by vacuuming it. No water or solvents! You may also remove stains by light brushing. This label require professional cleaning for heavier stains.
  • “O” means you can clean your fabric with cold water only.
  • “WASH” means your fabric is machine washable with cold water and mild laundry detergent on a delicate setting, then air-dried or tumble-dried on low heat.
  • “W/S” is a rare code combination that stands for versatile fabric suitable to be cleaned with a steam vacuum, water-based, and solvent-based cleaners. 

Clean polyester furniture in steps

Let’s see how to clean polyester couch in steps. 

First, remove the detachable cushions and vacuum the entire surface and get rid of all the debris and dirt, food crumbs, and pet hair trapped in the couch’s crevices. 

Some pet owners also find a lint roller handy at this stage of cleaning. 


Before vacuuming, apply baking soda in a thin layer for about 20 minutes. It will help to absorb odors by neutralizing the acids that cause unpleasant smells. Lemon juice can also eliminate odor.

Polyester couches should be cleaned only once or twice a year. Yet, it’s good to vacuum them regularly. 

Tip: If you really love your sofa, consider purchasing a lightweight dustbuster which makes it easier to maneuver to reach all the nooks and crannies. An upholstery brush or crevice tool that comes together with such a dustbuster can also appear helpful. 

Use cleaners

Now take a commercial cleaner of your choice that’s suitable to clean a polyester couch (based on the cleaning code tag) and simply clean your gorgeous sofa following the instruction. 

Protect your hands with rubber gloves when using commercial cleaners—some of them may be harsh on the skin.

Important: Polyester rarely requires professional cleaning, so in most cases, you’ll be good with a DIY cleaning! 

Put your product in a spray bottle and sprinkle it on a damp couch surface. 

You can also make an effective cleaner yourself. All you need is one quart of warm water, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and one tablespoon of laundry detergent. Pour your mixture into a spray bottle to get rid of most stains! Baking soda, borax, and hydrogen peroxide will also come in helpful to remove stubborn stains and odor.

Take a clean cloth to rub or blot the cleanser, paying attention mainly to the stains and soiled spots, and rinse it off afterward. Use warm water to remove greasy stains.

Your polyester couch should be slightly damp while cleaning, but avoid leaving excess moisture on its surface. 

Allow the couch to dry completely after cleaning. The drying process is important to prevent the proliferation of mold and mildew. That’s the last thing we want on our couch!

After you clean stains, you can dry the surface of your sofa with a hairdryer to speed up drying if there’s no other way at hand. 

Tip: There are cleaners that give polyester a stiff texture. To avoid it, rub the fabric in a circular motion with soft-bristled brush.

Here are a few categories of stains you can come across on your polyester fiber couches and how to clean them:

  • food stains—mix equal parts of water and white vinegar into a mild liquid detergent. Spray the spot, wait for up to 5 minutes, spray again and blot it.
  • blood stains—dab the spot with a cloth moistened with hydrogen peroxide. Wipe off the spot with a dry cloth. Remember not to use hot water on fresh blood stains. We wrote “How To Get Blood Stains Out Of Sheets” here. 
  • grease stains—apply a thick layer of baking soda. Brush it off gently after one hour. Then, clean the fabric with a mild detergent. You can additionally use borax or hydrogen peroxide to speed the cleaning process up.
  • chewing gum—you can remove it by rubbing it with an ice cube. It will harden it, enabling easy lifting. Read “How To Get Gum Out Of Bed Sheets” on our blog.
  • ink—many people use hairspray to remove it (it’s the alcohol in the spray that actually does the work).
  • pet urine—for the recent stains, apply white vinegar and baking soda and leave it for a while before blotting it out; for older stains, mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and add a few drops of mild cleanser. Spread this mixture on the stain, and apply a thin layer over and over, until the soiled spot is clean. The baking soda will also remove the odor.
  • sweat—gets easily removed with a mixture of water and white vinegar; 

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Frequently Asked Questions

As far as a polyester couch is relatively easy to clean, it isn't a pet-friendly piece of furniture. Woven textures are generally not recommended if you live with pets, as dog and cat claws can damage the weaves. A 100-percent synthetic-fiber upholstery such as polyester, acrylic, or polypropylene (Olefin) will last longer and show fewer signs of wear than natural-fiber fabrics. Consider also leather as it's the most durable upholstery.
Upholstery or furniture made of polyester is suitable for steam cleaning, but you have to follow the cleaning instructions thoroughly. Find out the exact type of fabric you're dealing with, prepare the necessary tools, and choose the correct temperature. Synthetic materials do well with steam cleaning, as opposed to natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, or wool.
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