Your Guide to Cleaning Different Furniture Types

With so many different surfaces and materials in your home—like marble, wood, leather, velvet, and more—it can be difficult to determine the best way to clean your furniture. From simple steps in your regular cleaning routine to more extensive furniture cleaning solutions, here’s how to clean your furniture so it can last for years to come!

How to Clean Fabric Furniture

Indoor and outdoor furniture can be made from many different types of materials, like microfiber, cotton, wool, polyester, linen, and more. One of the best ways to clean couches, dining chairs, and other upholstered furniture is by vacuuming them weekly. Make sure to check the cleaning codes and manufacturer cleaning recommendations to see if you can use certain cleaning products—and if steam cleaning, dry cleaning, or stain removal solutions are needed for deeper cleans.

How to Clean Leather Furniture

The best practices for cleaning leather furniture can vary due to the wide range of leather types—from authentic full-grain, top-grain, and aniline leather, to more budget-friendly options like faux, nubuck, or suede leather furniture. Before you attempt to clean, it’s crucial to determine which leather type you’re working with and if there are specific manufacturer recommendations to follow to ensure you don’t damage it. In general, cleaning leather furniture involves vacuuming and wiping it down with a microfiber cloth. If you accidentally spill something on your leather couch, gently wipe it up with a cloth—scrubbing can stain, discolor, or crack your leather. Additionally, if your leather type allows, apply a leather conditioner every six months to add hydration, shine, and keep your leather furniture looking brand new.

How to Clean Velvet Furniture

Velvet couches are one of the most popular types of furniture for any home decor style, but precautions are necessary to preserve this delicate material. Use a soft-bristle attachment when vacuuming up crumbs and dirt from velvet couch cushions and pillows. Blot any spills with a dry, absorbent cloth, and avoid scrubbing as this can damage or discolor the velvet. If any small stains remain, spot clean with dish soap and water, or try a lemon juice and baking soda mixture—but always test this out on a hidden area to be safe. Lastly, if unwanted crush marks appear on your velvet sofa, gently undo the creasing with the help of a handheld steam cleaner, as long as the furniture label permits.

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How to Clean Wooden Furniture

If you’re wondering how to clean furniture made of solid wood, veneered wood, or MDF wood, you can easily remove surface dirt, dust, crumbs, or smudges with a damp, lint-free cloth. Wooden furniture is susceptible to discoloration, so it’s best to refrain from using harsh chemical cleaners and instead opt for warm water with a mild soap solution. Also, make sure to dry off the surface in a timely manner as water can leave rings and marks on natural wood. White water stains on wood are easier to remove than dark water stains—an easy DIY solution is to mix white toothpaste and baking soda with water and gently scrub with the wood grain. Those caring for antique wood furniture might consider hiring a professional refinisher or doing a DIY furniture restoration.

How to Clean Painted Furniture

Regularly dusting furniture and wiping it clean with a slightly damp cloth is often all you need to do when cleaning painted furniture like dressers, entryway cabinets, storage cabinets, and more. Don’t forget to wipe up any water spots as these can leave permanent marks if left to soak in. Additionally, if you accidentally knick or scratch the surface paint, consider alternative solutions before repainting your entire piece. Depending on the color of your furniture, you may be able to gently sand the affected area and touch up with a filler paint pen for a quick budget-friendly fix.

How to Clean Glass Furniture

As one of the easiest materials to clean, many indoor and outdoor furniture pieces—like patio tables, coffee tables, and dining room tables—feature glass tabletops. Glass furniture is notorious for collecting smudges and fingerprints, but a simple glass cleaner can be used to clean and leave a streak-free finish. Or opt to make your own eco-friendly glass cleaner at home by mixing three parts white vinegar to one part water with a drop of dish soap. While wiping the glass surface, one of the best cleaning tips to follow is to use a microfiber cloth rather than paper towels—this helps to avoid residue.

How to Clean Metal Furniture

Most metal furniture is made from steel or aluminum, which is commonly used to make cast iron garden benches, indoor-outdoor bar stools, and other pieces of furniture featuring metal legs. While cleaning metal furniture is generally hassle free, there are a few things to keep in mind. To prevent oxidization and rust from appearing on your metal furniture, stay away from harsh chemicals, clean with warm soapy water, and thoroughly dry off the area when you’re done. In addition, while rust is somewhat inevitable with outdoor furniture, a little rust doesn’t mean you need to throw out your outdoor tables and chairs! To deep-clean your metal furniture, simply use a rust cleaner or scrape off rust stains with a wire brush, and spray with a sealant to prevent future rust buildup.

How to Clean Marble Furniture

Marble side tables, coffee tables, and dining tables can make for a stylish and elegant focal point or accent in your home, but it is important to actively maintain the condition of your marble furniture. As a natural stone material, marble is extremely porous and easily stains, so it’s best to avoid spilling coffee, wine, or food—especially on white marble furniture. When accidents happen, quickly grab a soft cloth with warm water and mild dish soap to clean up the mess. Don’t use any household chemical cleaners or acidic cleaners, as this can lead to marble etching. Applying a sealer is also recommended as this adds a protective layer to your marble furniture.

How to Clean Wicker Furniture

Creating the ultimate outdoor living room often involves patio furniture, which is commonly made out of rattan, cane, or fibre rush, and involves a fairly straightforward cleaning regimen. Be sure to regularly remove surface dust and debris from wicker furniture with a damp cloth—but avoid saturation, as this can lead to swelling and warping. For hard-to-reach areas and crevices in the woven material, use a soft-bristle paintbrush or deep-clean using your vacuum on a low setting. Additionally, avoid mold and mildew growth on your outdoor furniture by wiping it down with a solution comprised of vinegar and water.


Need a place to store your wooden furniture, leather couches, and outdoor patio furniture while updating, moving, or decluttering your home? With several storage facilities located throughout the U.S., Extra Space Storage can help. Find self storage near you!


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