The Sofa Materials That Are The Easiest To Clean

When choosing a new sofa, its fabric is a primary factor. Sofas see a lot of use; they're a family gathering spot and the best place for a binge-watch. But with high usage comes the added potential for mess, which increases in a home with children or pets. The wrong material will hold onto those messes and turn them into permanent stains. If you're shopping for a new sofa and anticipate stain-worthy activity, you should look for the materials that are the easiest to clean. 

Imagine the types of messes your couch may encounter. Do you often eat or drink while sitting on the couch? Most leather upholstery is stain-resistant and easy to clean. Spills are wiped away, and crumbs are vacuumed or swept up. Fabrics with a tight weave are also more resistant to spill stains because liquid takes longer to absorb. Chenille, on the other hand, is easily soiled and a poor choice for homes with pets. Predicting potential messes will determine the best fabric for your sofa.

These materials are the most mess-repellent

When it comes to the sofa materials that are the least stressful, a quality leather divan takes little effort to maintain. The easiest way to clean one is with water and vinegar, or mild dish soap. Debris is quickly swept away. While leather is durable and long-lasting, however, it's also one of the pricier upholstery materials. Microfiber is a less expensive synthetic option that looks similar to suede or silk. It too is easy to clean with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Add one tablespoon of soap for every cup of water, and use an upholstery brush or rag on any stains.

Textile company Crypton has a line of residential fabrics, used by many furniture manufacturers, that they've designed to be simple to clean. Crypton says most liquid should roll off their fabric, but that spot cleaning is sufficient for light to medium stains. 

Perhaps the easiest couch to clean is the one that has a cover on it. Slipcovers are widely available and come in a plethora of materials, colors, and patterns. Most are machine-washable too. And, in the event of a bad stain, slipcovers are replaceable. 

Avoid these fabrics if you're worried about messes

While there are numerous kinds of upholstery, some of the most beautiful fabrics are prone to stains and damage. Others are simply not fit for a home with pets. Linen, for example, has a classic appearance, but it also easily shows dirt. Liquids sink in and expand into looser weaves as well. Chic and stylish as velvet may be, it's a fur magnet that's quick to stain. A velvet couch in a home with a long-haired or high-shedding pet will require much more maintenance than other couches. 

Cotton will survive most pets, but its super-absorbent fibers may be bested by a toddler with a cup of juice. Silk and the silk-like chemical fiber, acetate, suck up any moisture and stain very quickly. There are ways to clean silk furniture, but any cleaning method that involves liquid runs the risk of further staining the upholstery upon drying. Acetate and silk are impractical if you anticipate messes.