How to Clean Upholstery with Baking Soda

Upholstered furniture adds comfort and elegance to our living spaces. However, over time, it can accumulate dust, stains, and unpleasant odors. Regular maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and hygiene of your upholstery. One effective, eco-friendly, and budget-friendly way to clean your upholstery is by using baking soda.

The Importance of Clean Upholstery

Clean upholstery not only contributes to a visually appealing home but also plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy living environment. The accumulation of dust, allergens, and bacteria on your upholstery can lead to various health issues, including allergies and respiratory problems. Moreover, nobody enjoys sitting on a stained or odorous sofa. Proper upholstery care can make a significant difference in your daily life.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before embarking on the upholstery cleaning journey, ensure you have the necessary supplies at your disposal. In addition to baking soda, you’ll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
  • A soft-bristle brush
  • A soft cloth
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • A small bucket for mixing solutions

Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure you remove any loose cushions or items from your upholstered furniture. This step is crucial as it will make the cleaning process more effective and efficient. You’ll want to access every nook and cranny of your upholstery.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Upholstery with Baking Soda


Begin by using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to eliminate loose dirt and dust. This preliminary step will prevent these particles from spreading further during the cleaning process. Remember to vacuum the crevices and seams of your furniture.

Baking Soda Application

Now, it’s time to bring in the baking soda. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda evenly over the entire surface of your upholstery. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and will help absorb odors, freshen up your furniture, and lift away stains. Don’t be afraid to use a substantial amount of baking soda, especially if your furniture has deep-seated odors.


Gently brush the baking soda into the upholstery using a soft-bristle brush. This step will help distribute the baking soda evenly across the fabric, ensuring that it penetrates deep into the fibers. Make sure to brush gently to avoid damaging the upholstery.

Time to Rest

Allow the baking soda to rest on your upholstery for at least 15 minutes. During this time, the baking soda will work its magic by absorbing odors and moisture. This waiting period is essential for effective cleaning.

Vacuum Again

After the 15-minute wait, use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to vacuum the upholstery once more. This step will remove the baking soda along with the dirt, odors, and moisture it has absorbed. You’ll be amazed at how much fresher and cleaner your furniture looks and smells after this process.

Treating Stains

While the baking soda method is excellent for general cleaning and odor removal, you may encounter specific stains on your upholstery. To address stains:

  1. Create a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water.
  2. Apply the paste to the stained area, making sure to cover the entire stain.
  3. Allow the paste to dry completely.
  4. Once dry, gently brush off the dried paste.
  5. Vacuum the area to ensure all residues are removed.

Deep Cleaning for Tough Stains

For stubborn or deeply embedded stains, a more intensive approach may be needed. You can create a cleaning solution by mixing baking soda with water. Here’s how to tackle tough stains:

  1. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the stained area.
  3. Gently scrub the stain with a soft cloth.
  4. Rinse the area with clean water to remove any remaining baking soda.
  5. Allow the cleaned area to dry thoroughly.

Maintenance Tips

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your upholstery in top shape. Consider the following maintenance tips:

  • Vacuum your upholstery at least once a week to prevent dirt and dust buildup.
  • Rotate your cushions periodically to ensure even wear.
  • Avoid eating and drinking on your upholstered furniture to prevent spills and stains.
  • Keep pets away from your upholstery to minimize the need for frequent cleaning.

Alternative Upholstery Cleaning Solutions

While baking soda is an excellent natural cleaning agent, there are other alternatives you can explore. You can use commercial upholstery cleaning products, which are formulated to address specific issues, such as pet odors or wine stains. Additionally, you can opt for professional upholstery cleaning services for a deep and thorough clean.

Upholstery Cleaning Frequency

The frequency of upholstery cleaning depends on various factors, including how often the furniture is used, the presence of pets or small children, and the type of upholstery fabric. As a general guideline, here’s how often you should clean your upholstery:

  • For high-traffic areas, consider a thorough cleaning every 3-6 months.
  • In less frequently used areas, such as formal living rooms, a cleaning every 6-12 months is typically sufficient.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda

Using baking soda for upholstery cleaning offers several advantages:

  • Eco-friendly: Baking soda is a natural, non-toxic substance that won’t harm the environment.
  • Safe for your family and pets: Baking soda is gentle and safe for use in homes with children and pets.
  • Effective odor elimination: Baking soda is renowned for its ability to neutralize odors, leaving your upholstery smelling fresh.
  • Budget-friendly: Baking soda is an affordable cleaning solution that can save you money compared to commercial products.


How often should I clean my upholstery with baking soda?

The frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as usage and the presence of pets or children. As a rule of thumb, aim for every 3-12 months, depending on the circumstances.

Can I use baking soda on all types of upholstery?

Baking soda is generally safe for most upholstery types, but it’s advisable to check the manufacturer’s care instructions and do a patch test in an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility.

Are there any safety precautions when using baking soda for cleaning?

Ensure the area is well-ventilated when using baking soda, and use it in moderation to avoid excessive residue buildup.

What if baking soda doesn’t remove a tough stain?

For persistent or tough stains, consider professional upholstery cleaning services, as they have specialized tools and solutions to tackle challenging stains.

Can I mix baking soda with other cleaning products?

While baking soda can be combined with water or vinegar for cleaning, avoid mixing it with commercial cleaning products, as this may reduce its effectiveness.

Remember, a little TLC for your upholstery can go a long way in maintaining a clean, inviting, and healthy home. Regular cleaning and the use of baking soda can help you achieve just that. Get started on your upholstery cleaning journey and enjoy the fresh results.


Maintaining clean and fresh upholstery is essential for creating a pleasant living space. Cleaning your upholstery with baking soda is not only an effective and budget-friendly solution but also an eco-friendly one. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can enjoy clean and inviting furniture that enhances the overall ambiance of your home.