The 8 Best Upholstery Cleaners for Furniture and Beyond
We rounded up the best upholstery cleaner products for every upholstered item in your home and even outside of it!
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Couches and other upholstered seating surfaces experience a lot of wear and tear. Unfortunately, unless they’re covered with plastic, there is no way to prevent life (including spills, crumbs, muddy paws, sweaty socks— you get the drift) from happening to them. Fortunately, learning how to clean your couch using the best upholstery cleaner is a game changer.
Similar to cleaning your carpet with a carpet stain remover, upholstery cleaners refresh your sofas, chairs, chaises and any other upholstered furniture pieces in a home by removing stains and odors without the help of a professional and keeping them looking and smelling their very best.
Before buying any of the cleaning products recommended, make sure to read the label on the upholstery for any instructions, says Alicia Sokolowski, a cleaning expert with over 15 years of experience as the president and co-CEO of AspenClean. Also, before using them she suggests testing the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the upholstery first to make sure that it does not damage or discolor the fabric.
“Wait for the area to dry before cleaning the entire piece of furniture,” she explains. This can prevent damaging the upholstery. She also offers a few more pointers. “When cleaning upholstery, it’s important to be gentle and avoid scrubbing too hard, which can damage the fabric or cause pilling,” she says. Also, make sure to let the upholstery dry completely before using the furniture again. “If the fabric remains damp for too long, it can lead to mold or mildew growth.”
We rounded up the best upholstery cleaners for every type of upholstered item in a home and included tips on how to use them.
The best upholstery cleaners
- Best overall: Bissell Little Green Pro
- Best budget: Bissell Little Green
- Best spray: Resolve Upholstery and Multi-Fabric Stain Remover
- Best for cars: Chemical Guys Cleaning Kit
- Best for stains: Bissell Spot and Stain Fabric and Upholstery Cleaner
- Best for pets: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain and Odor Eliminator
- Best for leather: Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
- Best plant-based: Method Stain and Odor Treatment
Best overall upholstery cleaner
Bissell Little Green Pro
The Bissell Little Green Pro is one of the best-selling carpet and upholstery cleaning gadgets on Amazon—and one of the highest rated, with over 6,600 five-star ratings. The brand’s most powerful spot and stain cleaner effectively erases messes on carpet, stairs, upholstery and car interiors so well that even professional house cleaners may consider it as an option. The set comes with a deep stain tool, a tough stain tool and two 8-ounce trial sizes of cleaning formula.
Jen N, a cat owner, had a hard time cleaning up brown hairball stains when she purchased the product. “I can safely say that it has changed my life. It takes only a few minutes to completely remove the stain, and within a couple of hours, the spot is completely dry. I can’t recommend it enough,” she writes. The compact size and weight—just over 13 pounds—make it easy to lug up and down stairs, and it’s incredibly easy to use and operate.
- The affordable gadget erases upholstery stains in minutes
- Small, compact size makes it easy to carry around the house
- 8,400 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- Slightly more expensive than the original Little Green
Best budget upholstery cleaner
Bissell Little Green
The OG cleaning powerhouse from Bissell, the Bissell Little Green, is still a bestseller, and for good reason. It’s a bargain for those on a tight budget, coming in at just over $120. Weighing under 10 pounds (three pounds lighter than the Pro), the portable cleaning machine lifts away messes on carpet, upholstery and car interiors quickly and effectively, according to our Bissell Little Green review.
“I would give it 10 stars if I could,” verified purchaser Mrs. Augie wrote in her review, sharing before-and-after photos of old filthy chairs that were “restored” to “brand new” using the machine, which she claims is “well worth the very reasonable price.” All that’s missing is a new, dependable vacuum cleaner, and spring cleaning will be in full effect.
- Budget-friendly cleaning gadget at just over $120
- Weighs under 10 pounds, so it’s portable
- 58,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- Available on Amazon and Bissell
- Only comes with one 8-ounce sample of cleaning solution
Best spray upholstery cleaner
Resolve Upholstery and Multi-Fabric Stain Remover
If you don’t want to invest in a cleaning machine, the best upholstery cleaner in spray form is the Revolve Upholstery & Multi-Fabric Stain Remover. With over 8,200 5-star ratings from Amazon shoppers, this safely cleans polyester, nylon and cotton upholstery.
“I have been using this particular spray for years to clean up the puke my cats so graciously leave around the house, preferably on my rugs and blankets,” says Shopping Editor Stephanie Hope. “It seriously amazes me how effective this product is at erasing stains completely. It’s one of the best carpet cleaners for pets on the market.”
- Convenient upholstery cleaner spray
- Inexpensive at less than $5
- Hundreds of shoppers maintain it removes tough stains from couches and other upholstered surfaces
- 11,900 Amazon ratings and a 4.5-star average
- Available on Amazon and Walmart
- Not safe on silk, velvet, vinyl or leather fabrics
Best for cars
Chemical Guys Cleaning Kit
Similar to upholstery stains inside of the house, car interiors also fall victim to spills, muddy feet, pet stains and other mishaps. While many of the other best upholstery cleaner products we recommended can also be used to clean car upholstery, this Chemical Guys Cleaning Kit will make your car cleanup a whole lot easier and more efficient. A handheld vacuum cleaner is a useful addition to your car-cleaning arsenal.
The set comes with all the cleaning products and tools needed to clean the car upholstery and carpets with ease, including a special carpet and upholstery shampoo and a drill brush, which is a brush that attaches to your drill making scrubbing out stains a breeze. While it is the top-selling car cleaner, people also use it to clean sofas and other upholstered surfaces in their homes.
- Everything you need to clean auto upholstery and carpets
- Cleans other types of upholstery as well, including sofas
- 4,600 Amazon ratings and a 4.4-star average
- Available on Amazon and Chemical Guys
- Some reviewers warn that using the drill brush attachment with a heavy hand can result in damage to the upholstery
Best for stains
Bissell Spot and Stain Fabric and Upholstery Cleaner
If you are spot-treating stains, the best upholstery cleaner is the Bissell Spot and Stain Fabric and Upholstery Cleaner. The compact product comes fully loaded with Bissell’s tried and true stain-removing solution but also includes a brush nozzle to easily scrub out spots and stains. Because it’s so small, keep it in your car’s glove compartment to clean messes on the go or use it to attack smaller stains at home.
“When I want to just spot-clean the couch from our dogs’ dirty paws, this works well. Easy to use and dries nicely,” writes reviewer Audrey P. It may not be large enough to be the best carpet cleaner, but this Bissell tool cleans small stains on carpet fibers with ease.
- With Bissell solution and a brush, it is an effective, portable product for spot cleaning
- 5,600 Amazon ratings and a 4.2-star average
- Available on Amazon and Walmart
- While effective for spot cleaning, you will be better off cleaning larger stains or all-over cleaning with other products
Best for pets
Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain and Odor Eliminator
One of the major drawbacks of being a pet owner is the toll they take on your carpet and upholstery. Urine, fecal stains, vomit, muddy paws and outside “gifts” that some pets bring inside can cause unwanted wreckage on your upholstered surfaces. That’s why this Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator is crucial when it comes to pet stain removers.
To say this miracle product has a cult following is an understatement, as it has amassed over 74,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, making it the most highly-rated product on our list. Formulated with the necessary enzymes to eliminate urine smells and stains, it’s also certified safe to use for all carpets and also safe for kids and pets.
- The best upholstery cleaner for pet owners
- Effectively removes pet stains and odors, ranging from urine and fecal matter to vomit and mud
- 102,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.5-star average
- Available on Amazon, Chewy, Target and Walmart
- Pricey option at almost $20
Best for leather
Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Cleaning leather upholstery requires an entirely different cleaning product than other types of textiles. Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is the best upholstery cleaner for leather surfaces, according to Amazon shoppers. With over 7,600 five-star ratings, this three-in-one product cleans, conditions and protects leather surfaces, ranging from sofas to car interiors.
Verified purchaser Diana Swank calls it a “must-buy” item for leather. “It makes my sofa look like brand new and keeps [it] conditioned,” she writes.
- Keeps leather fresh, supple and soft
- Ideal for cleaning purses, shoes, car interiors and pocketbooks
- 10,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.5-star average
- For use on leather only
Best plant-based upholstery cleaner
Method Stain and Odor Treatment
If using natural cleaning products is important to you, then Method Stain and Odor Treatment is the best upholstery cleaner. Made with plant-based stain and odor lifters, this BPA-, paraben-, sulfates-, phthalates- and silicone-free product attacks stains, spills and odors on sofas, rugs and upholstery without any harsh chemicals.
It works well on several types of upholstery and even clothing. It eliminates all types of odors and various stains, including puppy accidents and muddy paws.
- The best plant-based upholstery cleaner
- Works well on multiple upholstery types and fights various stains
- Not available on Amazon
What to consider when buying the best upholstery cleaner
The main factors to consider when purchasing the best upholstery cleaner are what you are cleaning, the fabric type and the stain type, according to Sokolowski. “Different types of upholstery fabrics require different cleaning methods,” she says. Some fabrics, such as silk or wool, may require professional cleaning. “Before you start cleaning, check the care label on the furniture to determine the appropriate cleaning method.”
Also, the type of stain is always important, as different types of stains require different cleaning methods. “For example, oil-based stains require a different treatment than water-based stains,” she says. “Identify the type of stain and choose a cleaning solution appropriate for that specific stain.”
Types of upholstery cleaner
There are various types of upholstery cleaners, per Sokolowski.
Liquid Cleaner: This is a store-bought liquid or DIY cleaner that you can apply to the upholstery.
Upholstery attachment for the vacuum cleaner: A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment can help to remove dirt, dust and debris from upholstery, like when cleaning a couch, without damaging the fabric, says Sokolowski. “These attachments typically have soft bristles or a brush roll that gently agitates the fabric to remove dirt and debris.”
Steam cleaner: A steam cleaner can be a smart option for deep-cleaning upholstery as it uses high-pressure steam to sanitize and remove dirt from the fabric, Sokolowski says. “Make sure to check the care label on the furniture to ensure that it can withstand high heat and moisture before using a steam cleaner.”
Microfiber cloths: They are useful for cleaning upholstery because they are gentle and effective at removing dirt and debris. “Use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe down the fabric, being careful not to scrub too hard or damage the fabric,” Sokolowski says.
How we found the best upholstery cleaner
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
How often should you clean upholstery?
The frequency of cleaning upholstery depends on the wear and tear it receives, explains Sokolowski. For example, with small children and pets, more frequent cleanings might be necessary.
Are there any types of fabric that shouldn’t be cleaned with an upholstery cleaner?
First and foremost, Sokolowski stresses the importance of reading the label on the upholstery before applying any cleaning product. Some upholstery may require professional cleaning.
Can you use an upholstery cleaner on other surfaces or fabrics?
You may be able to use an upholstery cleaner on other surfaces or fabrics. Again, always make sure to read the instructions on both the item you are cleaning and the product’s label.
Can carpet cleaner be used on upholstery?
While it depends on the exact product, many carpet cleaners may be used on upholstery. In fact, many upholstery cleaners double as carpet cleaners. Again, make sure to read labels before using a carpet cleaner on upholstery to make sure it is safe for the fabric type.
- Alicia Sokolowski, president and co-CEO of AspenClean
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