So much of life happens on our living room couch. When I brought my baby home from the hospital, it was the family couch where my daughter held her baby sibling, where my mom first held her new grandchild, and where I spent many, many hours feeding and changing babies (and entertaining toddlers). The couch has been used as a make-believe fort, an integral part of the Floor is Lava, and the primary spot for family movie viewing.
But because so much life happens on the couch—and life is messy—cleaning the couch is essential. We polled our editors for their best, tried-and-tested tips for cleaning their furniture. Here are five editor-approved ways to keep family room couches clean.
So what exactly is performance fabric? According to the furniture experts at Interior Define, performance fabric is stain resistant, easy to clean, and built for heavy traffic. I’m currently couch shopping and only considering performance fabric because I have two kids and a puppy who jumps on the couch when he’s fresh out of a bath or muddy from digging in the backyard. Interior Define offers a ton of performance fabrics, including performance velvet, vintage and plush velvet, crosshatch, textured weave, pebble knit, heavy knit, linen weave, tweed, basket weave, and antimicrobial chenille, so you can find the perfect fit for your style and family.
2. Use an oversized (and waterproof!) throw
Toddlers and pets have some similarities: They love to play and they sure get messy. If you’re hoping to protect your furniture, you can consider draping an oversized blanket over their favorite spots to sit. This particular throw was designed with pets in mind, so it’s waterproof and machine washable. Milk spills or accidents can be cleaned up quickly, and the throw still looks stylish.
3. Try Folex for spot cleaning
Editors at The Everygirl and The Everymom praise Folex for getting everything out, from pet stains to coffee stains—and we’re not alone. With over 58,000 reviews on Amazon (88 percent of them with 4+ star reviews), this is one furniture cleaning product you’ll want to have in your arsenal.
In fact, even a recent chair I purchased for my living room suggested only cleaning with Folex—by name. Of course, as with any cleaner, you’ll always want to test it on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t harm your fabric.
4. Give kids their own special seating
Little ones may love sprawling out on the big couch. And, really, who doesn’t love a good snuggle session for family movie night? But we are the parents, so we can make some rules and accommodations to mitigate the mess risks. Set rules like snacks can only be eaten in the kids’ “special chair” in the living room or forts can only be made using your own play couch cushions. Spill-proof cups and snack containers help too, but accidents still happen. In that case, see the next tip below.
5. Have furniture professionally cleaned annually
This isn’t as pricey as it seems and can make your furniture feel brand new. Ask for recommendations from neighbors or in your local online group and be sure to check the company websites for seasonal deals, coupons, and details. One of our editors gets her furniture cleaned twice a year and has the company saved in her phone for last-minute, on-demand jobs.