Best upholstery cleaner 2019: 9 buys to make your furniture like new

The best upholstery cleaner can give everything from sofas to armchairs, footstools and fabric headboards a new lease of life. Find the best ones in our handy guide

The best upholstery cleaner: Dr Beckmann carpet cleaner in use on fabric sofa
(Image credit: Dr Beckmann)

On the hunt for the very best upholstery cleaner? If you own upholstered furniture –whether it be a sofa, dining chairs or headboards – it's important to keep on top of cleaning and de-staining them. 

Spillages are inevitable, especially if you have kids and pets running around, and the only way to stop these things (as well as carpets, rugs and curtains) looking grubby, is treating them with the correct upholstery cleaner. 

Here, we list the very best upholstery cleaners at the best prices for you to tackle the job at hand. Find out more about how to clean upholstery in our expert guide.

Once you're done, check out our cleaning sourcebook for the 50 best cleaning product essentials for your home, or see all our cleaning buys, how-tos and hacks to keep your home sparkling on our dedicated hub page.

What is the best upholstery cleaner?

The best upholstery cleaner is the Astonish Fabric Stain Remover – you won't be disappointed. It's ideal for quick fixes and it's super affordable.

Alternatively, if you're looking to completely transform your carpet, opt for the Hoover Platinum Collection Carpet & Upholstery Detergent, it removes tough stains with ease from furniture, but also from carpets and rugs. Read on to find out more about both – and about all our top picks.

THE BEST UPHOLSTERY CLEANERS

Best upholstery cleaner: Astonish Fabric Stain Remover

1. Astonish Fabric Stain Remover

Best upholstery cleaner: for instant stain removal, there's no other product to 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

Best for...
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, 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 and is very easy to use. We've seen it remove red wine from a white carpet without leaving a trace; a cleaning cupboard staple, we think.

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

See more Astonish cleaning products at Amazon

Best upholstery cleaner for the environment: Earth Friendly Products Everyday Lemon Stain and Odour Remover

2. Earth Friendly Products Everyday Lemon Stain and Odour Remover

Best eco upholstery cleaner: for eco-conscious cleaners

Specifications
Type: Spray
Brush included: No
Size: 500ml
Reasons to buy
+Vegan and cruelty free+Smells lovely+Made from renewable plant extracts
Reasons to avoid
-Hard to purchase in-store

Best for...
Finding a good upholstery cleaner that is also kind to the environment can be a tough task, but this Earth Friendly Products Lemon Stain and Odour Remover is cruelty free, vegan and carbon neutral. Made from a natural formula of enzymes and plant ingredients, the product cuts through grease, stains and odours on everything from upholstery fabrics and laundry to bins, fridges and even carpets. 

How to use
The best part? No rinsing is required. Directions of use change depending on what you're trying to clean, but generally, you simply shake the bottle, spray product directly onto the stain and leave for five minutes. If possible, wash the product in the machine to ensure it's properly clean. If it's carpet, wipe clean and if the stain hasn't lifted, leave overnight. For wood floors, wipe clean after use. For bad odours, leave overnight too.

Results
An invaluable product to every eco-conscious home, this is our top pick of the best eco-friendly upholstery cleaner. It also smells pretty amazing.

Good to know
This stain cleaner is not only non-polluting, but also 100 per cent biodegradable!

Find more Earth Friendly products at Amazon

Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover

(Image credit: Dr Beckmann)

3. Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover

Best upholstery cleaner for scrubbing: complete with a brush, this carpet stain remover makes an easy job of tough 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

Best for...
Targeting areas. The Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover is 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, and we're not just talking about ones on carpets. From red wine spills on the sofa to tea stains on your favourite rug, blood stains from a clumsy child and almost literally anything else, while you may have to give the stain a scrub, this cleaner makes life a lot easier when it comes to both revamping furniture and cleaning. We love that it comes with a brush, too. 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.

Find more Dr Beckmann products at Amazon

Best sustainable upholstery cleaner: Astonish Stain Remover Soap

4. Astonish Stain Remover Soap

Best sustainable upholstery cleaner: cutting down your plastic use? This stain remover soap can do the job while saving the environment

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

Best for...
Suitable for use on the majority of fabrics, this Astonish Stain Remover Soap is the ideal product for those who are trying to cut down their plastic waste. It's also cruelty-free and vegan, FYI. 

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. It's easy to use, affordable and good for the environment – what more could you need?

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

Best upholstery cleaner for pet owners: BISSELL Carpet and Upholstery aerosol in bottle with built-in brush cap

5. BISSELL Carpet and Upholstery Aerosol

Best upholstery cleaner for pet owners: an easy to use upholstery cleaner with a built in brush

Specifications
Type: Aerosol
Brush included: Yes
Size: 353 ml
Reasons to buy
+Use on fabrics that require a foam or water-based cleaning agent +All-in-one cleaner and brush+Non-toxic+Dries quickly
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most cost-effective 

Best for...
If you’re willing to sacrifice cost-effectiveness for convenience, then you can’t really go wrong with this Bissell Carpet and Upholstery Aerosol, which is designed for use on fabrics that require a foam or water-based cleaner.

How to use
For the best results, you only need to squirt a little bit on and use the brush to dislodge the dirt before blotting away with a damp cloth – easy peasy if you don’t have the time to extensively clean your furniture. 

Results
Thanks to the fact it's two-in-one, this upholstery cleaner makes an easy job of scrubbing tough stains. It also saves the space for a separate brush in your cleaning cupboard. Due to the fact it's an aerosol and not a spray like other upholstery cleaners, it not only cleans the area but also deodorises to leave it smelling fresh, making it ideal for pet owners.

Good to know
Small in size, it’s not the most cost-effective, but should fare well as an essential go-to in the event of an accident or an inexplicable mark appearing. 

Shop more Bissell products at Amazon

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

6. Vanish Pet Expert Carpet Care

Best upholstery cleaner for pet owners: a convenient foam spray for an instant stain solution

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 

Best for...
If you're forever trying to get rid of tough pet stains in your home, then this Vanish Pet Expert Carpet Care is the best upholstery cleaner for you.

How to use
It’s incredibly easy 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.

Find more upholstery cleaners at Wilkos

Best upholstery cleaner for multi-use: Mothers Carpet and Upholstery cleaner in trigger spray bottle

7. Mothers Car Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Best upholstery cleaner for multi-use: don’t forget about your car's interior – keep that clean, too, with this car cleaner

Specifications
Type: Spray
Brush included: No
Size: 710 ml
Reasons to buy
+ Use on multiple surfaces + Easy to use 
Reasons to avoid
- Not as strong as other cleaners 

Best for...
While marketed as a car cleaner, this Mothers Car Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is actually okay to use on the likes of vinyl, velour, cloth, carpet and even sheepskin, thanks to its pH balanced formula – although make sure you check the label of bottle before use, and use in a hidden area first. 

How to use
Firstly, be sure to vacuum the stained area thoroughly. Liberally spray the cleaner on the stain, leave for a few moments and then scrub the area briskly with a clean sponge or towel. If it has worked, vacuum the area one more time to suck up any debris, and if it hasn't, repeat the process again.

Results
Okay to use in the car and at home, this is a fairly good all-rounder, although not as strong as others, which means tough stains take a few attempts to come out.

Good to know
While it works well on stains, it doesn't quite remove odours from them, so it's best to get some white vinegar spray for that department.

Browse more Mother's cleaning products at Amazon

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

8. Armor All Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner

Best upholstery cleaner for cars: especially formulated for car upholstery, this cleaner is primed for removing dirt and grease

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

Best for...
Whether you’re looking to give your car a spring clean or want to make sure it's in pristine condition to sell, this Armor All Carpet and Seat Foaming Cleaner should help you to bring your car interior back to its former glory. It works on everything from grime left by muddy shoes to grubby hands and leaking shopping bags – it’s no wonder your car's upholstery suffers, right?

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!

Shop more Armor All cleaning products at Amazon

Best upholstery cleaner for carpet steam cleaners: Hoover Platinum Collection detergent in large handled pouring bottle

9. Hoover Platinum Collection Carpet & Upholstery Detergent

Best upholstery cleaner for carpet steam cleaners: make easy work out of tough stains with this hard-core upholstery cleaner

Specifications
Type: Detergent
Brush included: No
Size: 1478 ml
Reasons to buy
+Professional strength +Approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute 
Reasons to avoid
-Too tough for some fabrics-Pricey-Not ideal for quick-clean ups

Best for...
Hoover promises that this Platinum Collection Carpet & Upholstery Detergent, once added to the right carpet cleaning machine, can tackle the likes of grass stains, blood, vomit and the implications of unavoidable accidents from pets and children. Professional strength, it’s a tough one, so you’ll need to make sure that your fabric can handle it before you use it by reading the label and making sure to test in a hidden area first. 

How to use
First of all, you need to vacuum your floor thoroughly. Then, mix up five ounces of detergent to one gallon of hot tap water and add to your machine. You should test it on a patch area before cleaning an entire room, and wait ten minutes before blotting to ensure no colour comes away.

Results
This strong upholstery cleaner makes an easy job of removing the toughest of stains, however it requires more work than our first choice. It does, however, work wonders on pet stains and smells. Hoover, and existing users, certainly make it out to be a worthwhile investment, though, which is why it's our top pick of the very best upholstery cleaner you can buy.

Good to know
Hoover recommend that you use this upholstery detergent alongside its spot cleaner, so it could be a fairly big investment if you haven’t already bought the device. 

Shop more Hoover products at Amazon

How to buy the best upholstery cleaner

Choose the right upholstery cleaner for your upholstery's material
Whether your upholstery is traditional or modern, 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. 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. 

Read the care instructions
Before you use any upholstery 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. 

Application
In our list of the best upholstery cleaners, we’ve provided you with a combination of shampoos, sprays and aerosols so you can choose the best cleaning method for you. Before you buy, make sure you double check the ingredients, and test it out on a hidden part of your furniture first to make sure that there are no adverse effects. 

Store cupboard standby 
When looking for the best upholstery cleaner, Amazon is a good place to start, as you can often get bigger bottles at a more cost-effective price. They’re also incredibly accessible for those who prefer not to head to the supermarket shelves, or need an upholstery cleaner pronto!

More must-have know how: