You don’t need to let messy spills or tough stains ruin your living room’s vibe. Keep reading to learn some simple things you can do to clean a fabric sofa.

First of all, get to stains as quickly as you can. Just as soon as a stain or spill happens, you should get to cleaning it up right away. If you wait too long prior to treating a stain, even just a few minutes, then you might make the stain set. It’s then going to be harder for you to get out.

Always check the recommendations of the manufacturer. Before you use any cleaning solutions or detergents, you should look over the instructions for care, which the manufacturer typically puts on the sofa’s tags. Failure to use the proper cleaning products might mean permanent damage to your upholstery.

Check out the cleaning codes that apply to your sofa. Do you see and seemingly random letters on the tags of your sofa? They’re actually codes!

If you see one listed as “W”, then that means you should only use water-based cleaners when cleaning the upholstery. Water-based cleaners are the kinds of solutions that have water as their primary component.

If you see “S/W”, that means that it’s okay to use both water-based cleaners and solvents, whereas an “S” is for solvents only. Solvents are kinds of solutions that have cleaning chemicals as primary components.

Get a dry brush so you can remove any loose particles. A stiff brush that has natural bristles is best. Go over your entire sofa so you can loosen stains while bringing dirt and dust to the surface.

The next step is to vacuum. Before you scrub and clean the sofa, you should use your hand-held vacuum to get up crumbs and other various loose particles. This is going to make it much easier to identify the troublesome stains so you can focus on them in the following steps.

Bust out the baking soda. No, you’re not baking anything, but baking soda also works wonders as a cleaning treatment. Sprinkling it all over your whole couch will help loosen stains even more, while also fighting odors. If you have deep-set sodas, you can even make your own homemade baking soda solution by mixing equal parts of water and baking soda together in a bowl. Whether you go dry or wet, let it sit for 20 minutes. Once your baking soda has a chance to absorb the stain fully, then vacuum it up using your brush attachment. Just as with any other kind of cleaning solution, it’s always good to spot treat part of the sofa as a test before doing a full cleaning doing this.

Following that, use your proper cleaning agent for any area that still needs spot cleaning, as per the manufacturer and package directions. Use a soft towel to dry the sofa at the right time, and then let it air-dry overnight before anyone sits on it again.

If you’re not comfortable with a DIY sofa cleaning, or just don’t have time and would like the professionals to do it, there are bound to be some in your area that can work wonders.