extra 20% off select Rugs by Nourison*
How to Clean a Fabric Chair

How to Clean a Fabric Chair

While fabric chair upholstery is generally quite durable, natural wear and tear can take a toll. Whether you’re dealing with dust, ground-in crumbs, or red wine stains, messes can affect the color and saturation of your chair’s fabric. With regular cleaning and rapid stain treatment, you can keep your fabric chair looking fresh and new.


Vacuum Using an Upholstery Brush Attachment

About once every week or two, vacuum your fabric chair using an upholstery brush attachment. The bristles help release food and dust from the fabric, so they don’t have a chance to build up or cause discoloration. Then, add a crevice attachment and clean out all the nooks and crannies. Do you have dogs or cats? A lint roller can usually pick up stubborn, stuck-on hair.


Spot Test Cleaning Products on a Hidden Area

Before you test a cleaning agent, take a moment to check your chair’s manual or its tag. Look for the cleaning code, which usually takes the form of a capital letter:


  • ‘W’ means that you need a water-based product such as shampoo or upholstery cleaner.
  • ‘X’ denotes fabric that should only be vacuumed or brushed lightly.
  • ‘S’ indicates the use of a water-free dry-cleaning solvent.
  • ‘W/S’ means that you can use both water-based and solvent products.


Armed with your code, pick up an appropriate cleaner and spot test it on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery. If the product stains the fabric, keep trying until you find a safe option.


Blot Damp Spills With a Paper Towel

Any time you spill something on a fabric chair, avoid the temptation to wait for the next commercial break. Instead, blot it gently with a paper towel to absorb the excess liquid and avoid spreading the stain. Continue until the paper stops picking up moisture. If you can still see discoloration, move to the next step while the fabric is still damp.


Remove Stains with a Vacuum or Steam Heat

When you spot a dried stain on your fabric chair, run a vacuum over the area. The suction removes dried particles and preps the fabric. For damp stains, skip the vacuum. If your chair has a W or W/S cleaning code, try aiming a steamer or a steam iron over the stain to dampen the fabric. Then, apply your tested cleaning product according to the instructions on the package. Scrub the area gently with a cloth, a sponge, or a brush with soft bristles. Pat it with a clean, dry cloth and allow the fabric to dry.

There’s nothing quite like a fabric chair to soften your space and create a comfortable seat. If you’re looking to replace or partner up your fabric chair, check out on guide on How to Choose an Accent Chair.