Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your White Sofa White

Goodbye, stains and discoloration.

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West Elm

You may be dreaming of a crisp white sofa, but if concerns about maintenance—and, you know, keeping your white sofa actually white—have you second-guessing, here's what you need to know. From dealing with stubborn stains to having a white sofa and pets (yes, you can have both!) these tips have you covered.

How to Handle Spills and Stains

The most important thing to remember when dealing with stains on your white sofa is the same thing you already know about all stains: the faster you handle it, the better. The longer a stain sits on the material, the harder it's going to be for you to get it out. Hunker suggests two options for removing stains from a white sofa: a water-based cleaning method, and a dry-cleaning solvent method.

For the water-based option, if the stain is wet, blot (don't wipe or scrub!) the stain with paper towels using gentle pressure until the stain stops lifting from the fabric. If it's dry, vacuum the spill. From there, use a dish soap and cool water solution with a clean white cloth to dab the stain until it's no longer visible. Hunker also suggests using bleach for stubborn stains, but be sure to check that any stain removal method you use is appropriate for your sofa's fabric. You can always check with a professional if you're unsure of how to clean a particular material or stain.

Avoiding Discoloration

Regular use, along with light from the sun (if your sofa is near windows) can cause your sofa to become discolored over time, so it's important to regularly rotate cushions. You can also pull down the shades when you're not in the room, if your couch is often in the line of direct sunlight—that will minimize discoloration as well. Fiber Seal also suggests limiting the chemicals you put on your sofa, as they can cause the color to change as well.



Slip Covers 101

Repeat after me: slip covers are your friend. Even if you don't want to have a slipcover on your sofa all the time (you chose the one you bought because you loved the way it looked sans-slip cover, after all), having a slip-cover for your white sofa is still important. Break it out when you're doing anything that might get particularly messy—you know, like your next party, when the potential for red wine spills goes up exponentially. If you really don't want to use a slip cover, consider making your white sofa a no food and drink zone.

Regular Cleaning is Key

The thing about having a white sofa is, you can't skimp on cleanings. For fabric sofas, you should vacuum your couch weekly—and not just the seat, either. Be sure to get the cushions and the frame as you're vacuuming, too. If your sofa is leather, you should be sure to wipe it down (again, frame, cushions, everything!) at least a few times a month. Dirt and dust can build up quickly, and on a white sofa—no matter the material—it'll definitely show. Alongside regular vacuuming and wipe-downs, you should schedule professional deep-cleanings from time to time as well to maintain your couch for even longer.



What About Your Pets?

The major thing to keep in mind when you have pets and you're shopping for a new sofa? The fabric—well, aside from the aforementioned regular cleanings, of course. You want a fabric that's resistant to pet damage and easy to clean, especially if you're going with a white sofa. According to The Spruce, the most pet-friendly fabrics are real and faux leather, microfiber, canvas, denim, and outdoor fabrics which are treated to repel odors and moisture. That stunning linen sofa might be calling your name, but if your pup just loves to hang out with you on the couch, you might want to go with another material.

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