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How to Clean Performance Fabric Sofa in 5 Steps

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

Performance fabric is a popular material used in furniture for good reason. Not only does it offer comfort and style, but it also boasts durability and resistance to stains and spills.

The Odette Performance Bouclé Sofa and Kit Bouclé Stool. Picture credits: @anythingjamie

However, like any prized possession, your performance fabric sofa requires regular cleaning to maintain its pristine appearance and extend its lifespan.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of effectively cleaning your performance fabric sofa, ensuring it continues to look and feel its best.

5 steps to clean performance fabric sofas

Step 1: Gather your supplies

Before you start cleaning, gather the necessary supplies. Here are some of the things you’ll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery or brush attachment

  • Soft bristle brush

  • White microfibre cloth

  • Mild dish soap

  • Water

  • Small bucket

Step 2: Vacuum thoroughly

Begin by vacuuming the sofa with the upholstery attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Pay extra attention to crevices and seams where dirt can accumulate.

Step 3: Prepare the cleaning solution

The type of cleaning solution you use will be based on your manufacturer’s guidelines - water-based cleaning (W), solvent-based cleaning (S), or both (W/S).

For water-based cleaning (W), mix a small amount of mild dish soap with lukewarm water. For solvent-based cleaning (S), use a specialised upholstery cleaner following the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4: Clean the sofa

Dip a clean white cloth into the cleaning solution and gently blot the stained or soiled areas. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the stain further into the fabric. Work from the outside of the stain towards the center to prevent spreading.

If you’re using a water-based solution, rinse the cloth with clean water and gently blot the cleaned areas to remove soap residue. Pat the area with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture.

Step 5: Dry thoroughly

Allow the sofa to air dry, ensuring proper ventilation in the room. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources as they can damage the fabric. You can also use fans to expedite the drying process if necessary.

Best practices to maintain performance fabric sofa

While performance fabric is low maintenance, it’s still important to note that regular cleaning can significantly prolong its life span and keep it looking pristine. Here are some best practices when it comes to cleaning your performance fabric sofa and furniture:


It’s highly recommended to spot-clean your performance fabric sofa whenever any spills occur. When liquids meet the performance fabric, it tends to bead up on the surface. This gives you some time to quickly blot away the spill before it can be absorbed into the fabric.

As mentioned earlier, avoid rubbing or wiping the stain roughly as this can push the stain deeper into the fibres.

Avoid using harsh chemicals

No matter how stubborn the stain is, don’t use bleach or other harsh chemicals to treat it! Performance fabrics have a protective ‘barrier’ which gives them their enhanced qualities. Using chemicals can damage this layer, weakening the finish of the performance fabric sofa and potentially causing it to lose its main appeal.

Hence, always opt for mild and performance fabric-friendly cleaning solutions.

The Marlow Performance Bouclé Curve Sofa. Picture credits: @ayeciara

Do not apply direct heat to the performance fabric

Performance fabrics are designed to be durable and resistant to various elements, but they can still be sensitive to extreme temperatures. Avoid using hair dryers, irons, or steamers as this can damage the performance fabric.

The Sacha Performance Bouclé Armchair. Picture credits: @brownstoneboys

Additionally, place your performance fabric sofa away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can lead to fading and discolouration. If your sofa is near a window, consider using curtains or blinds to block out excessive sunlight during peak hours.

Remember, while performance fabrics are low maintenance, they still need some TLC! Follow our step-by-step guide and best practices to maintain the beauty of your performance fabric sofa. With proper care, your performance fabric sofa will continue to provide comfort and style for years to come.

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