A Beginner’s Guide How to Clean a Fabric Ottoman

How to clean a fabric ottoman, first vacuum it thoroughly. Then, use a mild cleaning solution to spot-clean stains.

A fabric ottoman can accumulate dust, dirt, and stains over time. Regular cleaning helps maintain its appearance and prolongs its lifespan. Start by vacuuming the entire surface using an upholstery attachment. This step removes loose dirt and debris. For stains, a mild detergent mixed with water works well.

Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth, avoiding excessive moisture. Always test the cleaning solution on a hidden area first to ensure colorfastness. Allow the ottoman to air dry completely before use. Regular maintenance, including occasional deep cleaning, keeps your fabric ottoman looking fresh and inviting.

Preparation For How to clean a fabric ottoman

Cleaning a fabric ottoman can be a breeze if you follow the right steps. Proper preparation is crucial to ensure you don’t damage the fabric or miss any spots. Let’s dive into the essential steps to prepare for cleaning your fabric ottoman.

Gather Cleaning Supplies

Before starting, gather all the necessary supplies. Having everything ready makes the process smooth and efficient.

Here are the supplies you will need:

  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment – This helps remove dust and debris.
  • Soft-bristled brush – Useful for scrubbing stains gently.
  • Clean cloths – For applying cleaning solutions and blotting.
  • Bowl of warm water – Essential for mixing cleaning solutions.
  • Mild detergent or upholstery cleaner – Ensure it is suitable for fabric.
  • White vinegar – A natural cleaning agent.
  • Baking soda – Helps remove odors and stains.

Here’s a quick reference table for your supplies:

Supplies Purpose
Vacuum cleaner Remove dust and debris
Soft-bristled brush Gently scrub stains
Clean cloths Apply cleaner and blot
Bowl of warm water Mix cleaning solutions
Mild detergent Clean the fabric
White vinegar Natural cleaning agent
Baking soda Remove odors and stains

Having these supplies on hand ensures you are prepared to tackle any dirt or stain on your ottoman.

Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Before applying any cleaning methods, always check the manufacturer’s instructions. These guidelines are specific to the fabric type and can prevent damage. Here’s how to find and understand these instructions:

  1. Locate the care tag – Usually found under the ottoman or cushions.
  2. Read the symbols – Look for symbols indicating cleaning methods (e.g., W for water-based cleaners, S for solvent-based).
  3. Follow specific guidelines – Adhere to any specific instructions given, such as avoiding bleach or certain chemicals.

Here’s a quick guide to common care symbols:

Symbol Meaning
W Water-based cleaner
S Solvent-based cleaner
WS Water or solvent-based cleaner
X Vacuum only


Understanding these symbols and instructions is essential. It helps you avoid damaging the fabric and ensures a thorough, safe cleaning process. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results.

Spot Cleaning

Cleaning a fabric ottoman may seem challenging, but spot cleaning can make it easier. Spot cleaning targets specific stains, ensuring your ottoman looks fresh and clean. Let’s explore how to spot clean your fabric ottoman effectively.

Identify Stains

Before you start, identify the type of stain on your ottoman. Different stains need different treatments.

Check for:

  • Food stains: These can include coffee, juice, or sauce spills.
  • Ink stains: Pen or marker marks on the fabric.
  • Pet stains: Urine, vomit, or muddy paw prints.
  • Grease stains: Butter, oil, or lotion spills.

Once you know the stain type, you can choose the best cleaning method. Make sure to act quickly. Fresh stains are easier to remove. Letting a stain sit can make it harder to clean.

Next, check the fabric type. Some fabrics are delicate and need special care. Look for a cleaning tag on your ottoman.

It might show symbols like:

Symbol Meaning
W Water-based cleaner
S Solvent-based cleaner
WS Water or solvent-based cleaner
X Vacuum only


Knowing the fabric type helps you pick the right cleaner. Test any cleaner on a hidden area first. This ensures it won’t damage the fabric.

Use Appropriate Cleaning Agents

Using the right cleaning agents is crucial. For water-based stains like coffee or juice, mix a solution of:

  1. 1 cup of warm water
  2. 1 teaspoon of dish soap

Dip a clean cloth in the solution. Blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain. For solvent-based stains like ink, use rubbing alcohol or a commercial solvent cleaner.

Follow these steps:

  1. Apply a small amount of solvent to a cloth.
  2. Blot the stain gently.
  3. Repeat until the stain lifts.

For grease stains, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes. This absorbs the grease. Vacuum the powder away. If needed, follow with a water-based cleaner.

Pet stains need special care. Use an enzyme cleaner to break down proteins in the stain. Spray the cleaner on the stain. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Blot with a clean cloth.

Always rinse the cleaned area with a damp cloth to remove any cleaner residue. This prevents dirt from sticking to the cleaner later. Finally, let the area air dry completely.

Overall Cleaning

Cleaning a fabric ottoman can be easy if you follow the right steps. Keeping it clean helps maintain its beauty and extends its life. The overall cleaning process involves removing dust, stains, and odors. This guide will walk you through the essential steps for cleaning your fabric ottoman, focusing on vacuuming and steam cleaning.


Vacuuming is the first step in cleaning your fabric ottoman. It removes loose dirt and dust that can cause wear and tear. Follow these steps to vacuum your ottoman effectively:

  • Remove cushions and accessories: Take off any removable parts to reach all surfaces.
  • Use a brush attachment: Attach the brush to your vacuum cleaner. It helps lift dirt without damaging the fabric.
  • Vacuum all surfaces: Run the vacuum over the entire ottoman, including crevices and seams.
  • Check for hidden dirt: Look under the ottoman and vacuum the underside if possible.

For a deeper clean, consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. It traps more dust and allergens, making your ottoman cleaner and safer. If you have pets, vacuuming regularly can also reduce pet hair and dander.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is an effective way to remove deep-seated dirt and stains from your fabric ottoman. It uses hot steam to break down grime without harsh chemicals. Here’s how to steam clean your ottoman:

  1. Pre-treat stains: Apply a fabric-safe stain remover to any visible stains. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Fill the steam cleaner: Add water to the steam cleaner’s reservoir. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Test a small area: Steam a hidden section to ensure the fabric doesn’t get damaged.
  4. Steam the entire ottoman: Move the steam cleaner slowly over the surface. Ensure even coverage.
  5. Allow drying time: Let the ottoman dry completely before using it. This prevents mold and mildew.

Steam cleaning not only cleans but also sanitizes the fabric, killing germs and bacteria. It’s an eco-friendly option that keeps your ottoman looking fresh and new.


Cleaning a fabric ottoman can be a simple task, but removing bad odors might be challenging. Deodorizing your ottoman is essential to keep it smelling fresh and welcoming. Whether you prefer natural methods or commercial products, there are several ways to eliminate unpleasant smells from your ottoman.

Natural Deodorizing Methods

Using natural methods to deodorize your fabric ottoman is both eco-friendly and safe. Here are some effective techniques:

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda generously on the ottoman’s surface. Let it sit for several hours or overnight to absorb odors. Vacuum the baking soda thoroughly.
  • White Vinegar: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the ottoman and allow it to air dry. Vinegar neutralizes odors and evaporates, leaving no smell behind.
  • Lemon Juice: Combine lemon juice with water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the ottoman and let it dry naturally. The citrus scent helps to mask unpleasant odors.
  • Essential Oils: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a cup of water. Spray the solution lightly over the ottoman. Essential oils like lavender or tea tree have antimicrobial properties.
Method Ingredients Duration
Baking Soda Baking Soda Several hours or overnight
White Vinegar White Vinegar, Water Until dry
Lemon Juice Lemon Juice, Water Until dry
Essential Oils Essential Oil, Water Until dry

Commercial Deodorizers

If you prefer ready-made solutions, commercial deodorizers offer convenience and effectiveness. Here are some popular options:

  • Fabric Fresheners: Products like Febreze are designed to eliminate odors from fabrics. Simply spray the product evenly on the ottoman and let it dry.
  • Odor Absorbers: Charcoal-based odor absorbers can be placed near the ottoman. These products absorb odors from the surrounding air.
  • Enzyme Cleaners: Enzyme-based cleaners break down organic materials causing odors. Follow the instructions on the label for the best results.
  • Upholstery Cleaners: Some upholstery cleaners have deodorizing properties. Use these cleaners as directed to clean and freshen your ottoman.

Many commercial deodorizers are available in stores and online. Ensure you choose a product that is safe for fabric and non-toxic.

Product Type Usage
Febreze Fabric Freshener Spray and dry
Charcoal Absorbers Odor Absorber Place near ottoman
Enzyme Cleaners Enzyme-based Cleaner Follow label instructions
Upholstery Cleaners Cleaner with Deodorizer Use as directed


Cleaning a fabric ottoman can be a rewarding task. After removing dirt and stains, drying is the next crucial step. Proper drying ensures the fabric stays fresh and mold-free. Let’s explore the best ways to dry your fabric ottoman.

Air Drying

Air drying is a natural and effective way to dry a fabric ottoman. It helps prevent any potential damage that heat can cause. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Place in a well-ventilated area: Choose a spot with good airflow, like near an open window or door.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: Sunlight can fade the fabric color. Keep the ottoman in a shaded area.
  • Rotate the ottoman: Turn the ottoman occasionally to ensure even drying.

Using these steps, you can air dry your ottoman efficiently. It might take longer, but it’s gentle on the fabric. Keep an eye on the ottoman to ensure it dries completely.

Using Fans

Fans can speed up the drying process. They help circulate air around the ottoman. Here’s how to use fans effectively:

  1. Position the fan: Place a fan near the ottoman. Ensure it covers all sides.
  2. Use multiple fans: If possible, use more than one fan for faster drying.
  3. Adjust fan settings: Set the fan to a medium or high speed for optimal airflow.

Using fans can reduce drying time significantly. It’s also a great way to dry the ottoman if you’re in a hurry. Just be sure to check the fabric regularly to avoid over-drying.

Maintenance Tips

A fabric ottoman adds style and comfort to any living space. Keeping it clean ensures its longevity and beauty. Regular maintenance is key to preserving its fresh appearance. Here are some essential maintenance tips to help you keep your fabric ottoman looking its best.

Regular Vacuuming

Regular vacuuming is crucial for maintaining your fabric ottoman. Dust and dirt can settle into the fabric, making it look dull and worn. Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to gently clean the surface.

  • Vacuum weekly to remove dust and debris.
  • Use a soft brush attachment to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Pay attention to seams and crevices, where dirt can accumulate.

For deeper cleaning, consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This can help remove allergens and keep your living space healthier. If your ottoman has removable covers, take them off and vacuum both sides.

Task Frequency
Vacuum surface Weekly
Clean seams and crevices Weekly
Use HEPA filter vacuum Monthly

Avoiding Spills

Spills can be detrimental to fabric ottomans. Acting quickly can prevent stains and damage. Keep a few items handy to tackle spills immediately.

  • Keep clean cloths nearby to blot spills as they happen.
  • Use mild detergent and water for cleaning spots.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric.

For tougher stains, a fabric cleaner can be useful. Always test it on a small, hidden area first. If your ottoman has a care label,

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  1. Blot the spill with a clean cloth.
  2. Mix mild detergent with water.
  3. Apply the solution gently to the spot.
  4. Blot with a dry cloth until the stain lifts.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. Use a protective spray to guard against spills and stains. This can make cleaning easier and keep your ottoman looking new.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a fabric ottoman can feel like a daunting task, but it’s essential for maintaining its appearance and longevity. In this final section, we’ll discuss the joys of having a clean ottoman and the benefits of regular cleaning. With these tips, you’ll keep your fabric ottoman looking fresh and welcoming.

Enjoying A Fresh Ottoman

There’s something special about sitting on a freshly cleaned ottoman. It not only looks appealing but also feels inviting. A clean ottoman can significantly enhance the overall ambiance of your living space. Here are some ways to enjoy a fresh ottoman:

  • Visually Appealing: A clean ottoman can transform the look of your room. It’s free from stains and spots, making your space look tidy and well-kept.
  • Comfort: Sitting or resting your feet on a clean ottoman feels much better. It’s free from dust and allergens, providing a comfortable experience.
  • Extended Lifespan: Regular cleaning prevents wear and tear, extending the life of your ottoman. This means you can enjoy its comfort and style for years to come.

Consider these additional tips to keep your ottoman fresh:

Tip Benefit
Vacuum Regularly Removes dust and dirt
Spot Clean Immediately Prevents stains from setting
Use Fabric Protectors Repels spills and stains

Benefits Of Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your fabric ottoman offers numerous benefits. It’s not just about aesthetics but also about health and longevity. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Healthier Living Environment: Dust and allergens can accumulate on your ottoman. Regular cleaning reduces these, ensuring a healthier space for you and your family.
  2. Preserves Fabric Quality: Cleaning helps maintain the integrity of the fabric. It prevents discoloration and fabric degradation, keeping your ottoman looking new.
  3. Prevents Odors: Over time, fabric can absorb odors from pets, food, and other sources. Regular cleaning keeps your ottoman smelling fresh.

To maximize these benefits, follow these simple steps:

  • Set a Cleaning Schedule: Plan to clean your ottoman at least once a month. This keeps dirt and grime at bay.
  • Use Gentle Cleaners: Harsh chemicals can damage the fabric. Opt for mild, fabric-safe cleaners.
  • Professional Cleaning: Consider professional cleaning services once a year. They can deep clean and maintain the fabric’s quality.

By incorporating these practices, your fabric ottoman will remain a cherished part of your home. It will look great and provide comfort for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Clean A Fabric Ottoman?

Cleaning frequency depends on usage. For heavily used ottomans, clean every three months. For less used ones, twice a year is sufficient.

What Tools Do You Need To Clean A Fabric Ottoman?

You need a vacuum cleaner, mild detergent, a soft cloth, and a soft-bristled brush. Optional: fabric protector spray.

Can You Machine Wash Fabric Ottoman Covers?

Check the care label first. Some covers are machine washable. Use a gentle cycle and air-dry.

How Do You Remove Stains From A Fabric Ottoman?

Blot the stain immediately. Use a mild detergent solution. Gently scrub with a soft cloth. Rinse and air-dry.


Keeping your fabric ottoman clean enhances its beauty and longevity. Regular maintenance makes a significant difference. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results. With these simple steps, your ottoman will stay fresh and inviting. Happy cleaning, and enjoy your pristine furniture!

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