Best upholstery cleaner: 10 must-have products for thorough furniture cleaning

With the best upholstery cleaner, you can tackle tough stains across fabrics with ease.

Best upholstery cleaner
(Image credit: Future)

Are you on the hunt for the best upholstery cleaner for banishing those stubborn sofa stains? We've got all the top picks to help you keep your fabrics, whether it's your curtains or your favourite rug, looking as spotless as when you first bought them. Having one of these cleaners in your repertoire means you can get more life out of your furnishings, and not have to worry about replacing expensive buys. 

We've put some of the best upholstery cleaners to the test so you don't have to, and compiled this list detailing the standout features of each so that you can easily find your next holy grail product. Ultimately, having one of these cleaners on hand is super handy for those times that a glass of red wine accidentally goes over a white carpet, so you can be prepared in the moment and eradicate the risk of staining. 

We've brought together a number of different cleaners so that you can find exactly what you're looking for. From pre-treatment options to loosen up stains before you go in for the scrub, to more intensive cleaners that tackle the worst of stains, there's sure to be something here to fix your stain in the quickest time possible. Plus, there are also cleaners with brush features and foam cleaners to make the product as versatile as possible, and able to cater to cars and carpets.

Once you've found your favourite pick, consider investing in the best vacuum cleaner to go alongside it – a good clean starts with removing dust, crumbs, and pet hair, of course.

The best upholstery cleaners

Best upholstery cleaner: Astonish Fabric Stain Remover

1. Astonish Fabric Stain Remover

The best upholstery cleaner you can buy

Specifications

Type: Spray
Brush included: No
Size: 750ml

Reasons to buy

+
Works fast
+
No scrubbing required
+
Inexpensive
+
Cruelty free and vegan

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for use on flameproof or waterproof fabrics, velvet, leather or suede

Although initially meant to be used on clothes to remove unwanted stains, this Fabric Stain Remover by Astonish works wonders on upholstery, such as sofas and sofa beds, but is also effective on curtains, carpets and rugs.

How to use
First soak up any moisture from the stain and then spray the product immediately, ensuring you cover the entire stain. Leave for 10 minutes and wipe with a damp cloth or if possible pop in your washing machine – it's as simple as that.

Results
Ideal for those times when you're entertaining and a guest accidentally spills something, this stain remover works super fast. Effective on wine stains, too.

Good to know
This product shouldn't be used on any flammable or washable upholstery including velvet, leather and suede.

Best upholstery cleaner for targeted stains: Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover

(Image credit: Dr Beckmann)

2. Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover

The best upholstery cleaner for targeted stains

Specifications

Type: Scrubber
Brush included?: Yes
Size: 650ml

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with brush
+
Easy to use
+
Works very good on tough stains such as blood, strawberries and dye

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer a spray

The Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover is great at targeting specific areas that need to be cleaned – a patch of carpet, an area of a sofa. It's also ideal for those who have kids or pets and often find themselves cleaning up messes around the house.

How to use
Before using, unscrew the brush head and pierce a small hole in the seal and then screw it back on again. Before applying product on the area that needs cleaning, brush off loose dirt and soak up liquids. Then, hold the bottle so that the brush is touching the stain and lightly squeeze until product comes out. Brush the product into the stain until you see results, and then leave for a few minutes. Remove residue with a damp cloth once done.

Results
This carpet cleaner does a pretty good job at removing almost any stain possible, from red wine spills on the sofa to tea stains on your favourite rug. It can also be used for easy cleaning of car seats.

Good to know
This product should be stored in an upright position to prevent leaking and the cap should be washed after each use.

Best sustainable upholstery cleaner: Astonish Stain Remover Soap

3. Astonish Stain Remover Soap

The best sustainable upholstery cleaner

Specifications

Type: Bar
Brush included: No
Size: 75g

Reasons to buy

+
Doesn't smell too strong
+
Cruelty free and vegan
+
Affordable
+
Can also be used on clothes stains

Reasons to avoid

-
Some people may not want to get their hands dirty
-
Can only be used on fabric

This is the ideal product for those who are trying to cut down their plastic waste since it comes in the form of a bar, and inside a box. It's also cruelty-free and vegan. 

How to use
Wet the stain and rub the soap onto a clean damp sponge or cloth. Use this to dab both sides of the stain and then, depending on the severity of the stain, pat dry with a clean cloth or sponge, or rinse by hand or machine wash according to the label.

Results
The fact it's a bar makes emergency spot removal an easy job, and it can be used on both coloured fabrics and whites. 

Good to know
This product should be used on fabrics only.

The best natural upholstery cleaner: Cleanly upholstery cleaner

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Cleanly upholstery cleaner

The best natural upholstery cleaner

Specifications

Type: Spray
Brush included: No
Size: 250 ml

Reasons to buy

+
Effective on any type of upholstery
+
No need for extra brushes
+
Cruelty free and natural
+
Smells great

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most cost-effective 

This nicely packaged spray is amazingly effective at both cleaning and deodorising upholstery. It's a tad pricier than some of the other options on our list, but it features natural ingredients,  works very well and smells of lavender and eucalyptus. 

How to use
Simply spray over the area that needs refreshing/cleaning, leave for five minutes, then blot with a cloth or paper towel. 

Results
This is one of the only natural upholstery cleaners we were able to find that did an equally good job of cleaning large surfaces and spot cleaning. 

Good to know
It is small in size and therefore not the most cost-effective, but it does the job well.

Best upholstery cleaner for pet owners: Vanish Pet Expert Carpet Care solution in trigger spray bottle

5. Vanish Pet Expert Carpet Care

The best upholstery cleaner for pet owners

Specifications

Type: Spray
Brush included: No
Size: 500 ml

Reasons to buy

+
 Spray and blot 
+
 Easy to get hold of 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Most effective on new stains 

If you're forever trying to get rid of tough pet stains in your home, then try out Vanish's Pet Expert Carpet Care – for an instant stain solution...

How to use
Just spray and blot. It doesn’t require a cleaning device, or diluting, making it the ideal go-to for those who don’t have the time to mess around with excessive cleaning. 

Results
A great go-to upholstery cleaner that works well on lighter stains to make them disappear fast. 

Good to know
While some embedded stains require a tough cleaner to dissolve them, newer stains, such as a spillage or a pet accident should be easy to remove with this carpet/upholstery spray.

Best upholstery cleaner for your car: ArmorAll Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner aerosol

6. Armor All Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner

The best upholstery cleaner for cars

Specifications

Type: Foam
Brush included: No
Size: 500ml

Reasons to buy

+
Effective at removing ground in dirt and grease 
+
Also use on vinyl, rubber and plastic

Reasons to avoid

-
Not particularly cost effective
-
Strong smell

Whether you’re looking to give your car a spring clean or want to make sure it's in pristine condition to sell, Armor All Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner should help you to bring your car interior back to its former glory. 

How it works
Spray directly on to the stained area and allow it to set in. For those cleaning a carpet or indoor upholstery fabric, rub gently with a damp cloth or sponge. Any other surface, rinse or wipe with a damp cloth. 

Results
From seats, mats and even your steering wheel (as long as it’s not leather), it should remove marks and stains without fading the material.

Good to know
Unfortunately, a little doesn't go a long way with this product, and it has been known to leave a strong smell if you use too much, so be sure to open all your windows while using!

Best upholstery cleaner: Image of Furniture Clinic spray

(Image credit: Furniture Clinic)

7. Furniture Clinic Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner Spray

The best upholstery cleaner for plant-based cleaning

Specifications

Type: Spray
Brush included : No
Size: 500ml

Reasons to buy

+
Environmentally friendly
+
Good for lots of fabrics

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for use on suede

This carpet and upholstery spray from the Furniture Clinic is the ideal way to banish stains without using harsh chemicals or impacting the environment - a win win! We love that this cleaner is all-natural, meaning you can use it on a range of fabric items without spraying anything abrasive into the air. 

How it works 
Simply spray the product onto the affected area and leave it to settle before wiping them away with a cloth. This cleaner claims to be of a professional standard, and can permeate your fabrics for super deep cleaning.

Results 
You can use this cleaner on furniture, car interiors and even clothing and shoes thanks to its nonabrasive properties. 

Good to know 
Those who left a review for this spray said that it could even help to lift older coffee stains, so it's worth putting this product to work wherever you can. 

Best upholstery cleaner: Image of Bissell SpotClean cleaner

(Image credit: Bissell)

8. Bissell SpotClean

The best upholstery cleaner for heavy duty jobs

Specifications

Type: Heated cleaner
Brush included: Yes
Size: 1.1 litre

Reasons to buy

+
Portable carpet cleaner 
+
Effective on a range of surfaces

Reasons to avoid

-
A more expensive investment 

A move away from a typical upholstery cleaner, this innovation from Bissell is your one-stop purchase for all types of stains, and is an investment in keeping your home looking great. It uses hot water to really lift those nasty stains, and comes with two bottles of carpet shampoo. 

How it works
You can pre-treat and spot clean with this cleaner. To use, plug it in, and gently scrub the area using the provided solution, before using the suction tool to bring up the stain. 

Results
You can use this cleaner on furniture, car interiors, caravans and surfaces. It's ideal as an emergency spot cleaner, and impressed reviewers especially love using it on their sofas and carpets.

Good to know
This cleaner can cause serious eye irritation, so make sure to keep it out of reach of any children. 

Best upholstery cleaner: Image of Mother's upholstery cleaner

(Image credit: Mother's)

9. Mother's Car Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

The best upholstery cleaner for restoring colour and texture

Specifications

Type: Spray
Brush included: No
Size: 710ml

Reasons to buy

+
Can return upholstery to it's original condition
+
Able to use on sheepskin, vinyl and velour

Reasons to avoid

-
No attachments included.

With Mother's Car Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner, you can get your car, and your fabrics within the home back to their original pristine condition, for a bargain price. A cult favourite with reviewers, this cleaner can transform secondhand cars and weathered sofas with just a few sprays. 

How it works
Use this spray generously on the affected areas, and use a brush (not included) to tease the stains out of your chosen fabric.

Results
Those who have used it say this cleaner can get long-wearing stains out in under five minutes, and doesn't alter the colour of your fabrics thanks to it's pH balanced formula.

Good to know
Be sure to use gloves and eye protection when using this cleaner, as it can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. 

Best upholstery cleaner: Image of WineAway upholstery cleaner

(Image credit: Wine Away)

10. Wine Away Stain Remover

Best upholstery cleaner for red wine stains

Specifications

Type: Spray
Brush included : No
Size: 354ml

Reasons to buy

+
Organic red wine remover
+
Perfect to have on hand for emergencies

Reasons to avoid

-
Small bottle

We all know the pain of getting a pesky red wine stain on a light-coloured carpet, but with Wine Away stain remover, you'll have the perfect backup plan to getting rid of the damage as soon as possible.

How it works
Use as a pretreatment before washing fabrics such as sofa covers, or use directly onto a stained rug or carpet and use water and a cloth to tease the stain out. 

Results
Impressed reviewers love this spray for its power in getting rid of the traces of a whole glass of red wine.

Good to know
Some reviewers state that the trick with this product is to apply more than you think you'll need. 

What is the best upholstery cleaner?

The Astonish Fabric Stain Remover (opens in new tab) is our top pick: it's marketed as a stain remover and is great at zapping even bad stains, but it's also a great all-round upholstery refresher, so essentially is a two-in-one product. 

How to buy the best upholstery cleaner

Whether you've just invested in one of the best sofas on the Real Homes team's radar and want to keep it looking pristine, or you've inherited some hand-me-down upholstery in need of some TLC, a good upholstery cleaner will work its way deep into the fabric to give it a complete refresh. 

But, before you buy a product, check that it will suit the material you're cleaning. As when you are using the best carpet cleaning solutions, some materials require specific products. Leather upholstery, for example, can be easily cleaned of discolouration or marks, but you must use a leather cleaner rather than an all-purpose upholstery cleaner to bring it back to its former glory. What else to bear in mind?

Get loose
When shopping for upholstery cleaners, you'll want to find something that is just right for your given problem. If you're looking for something that offers a deep clean, ideal for stains that have really penetrated, a pre-treatment option that can be sprayed on the sofa or rug is your best bet. After helping to disperse and loosen the stain, it can then be wiped away. 

Child's play
Do your little ones often leave trails, staining sofas and carpets on their way? Well, when a crisis strikes, act accordingly. An upholstery cleaner that comes with a scrubber is always a sight for sore eyes when your youngsters have destroyed that newly bought furnishing. Tough stains like fruit juices or mud – and anything else that makes you shudder – are handled without stress.

Car kit
Dealing with backseat mess? Removing marks without ruining the material is always a top priority for us. And for this, a foam choice is the sensical option. Usually, you simply spray onto the affected spot, before lightly sponging once it has set in. Often, this style is great for car mats and the wheel, too. 

Read the care instructions
When you're cleaning upholstery with a commercial cleaner, you’ll need to make sure you read the label (or the paperwork) that came with your furniture so you can ensure that you’re not going to damage the material – some furniture will require a water-based cleaner, while others require water-free products and others may advise against using an upholstery cleaner altogether. Always do a patch test on a hidden part of your furniture first if you are not sure.

Sizes
When looking to buy an upholstery cleaner – in store or online – you can often find bigger bottles at a more cost-effective price. These big bottles can be found at Amazon in particular, making them incredibly accessible for those who prefer not to head to the supermarket shelves, or need an upholstery cleaner pronto! Just be sure to consider where you will store a larger bottle.

Molly is the Ecommerce Writer for RealHomes and spends her time searching the internet for the next best thing for your home. With previous experience within the Home section of TopTenReviews, another Future site, writing about everything from ride-on lawnmowers to robot hoovers, she has knowledge of all of those niche areas of your home and garden that you might need a new purchase for. Shopping and buying content are now her biggest area of focus, with an emphasis on cleaning products and home gym equipment. 



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