How to Clean an Ottoman

Well, we know that nothing can match that wonderful feeling when you first purchase your brand-new furniture. It is all lovely, fluffy, and sits pristine in your home. 

Even though it might look complicated, it is possible to return to its fresh look. We have researched and tried many methods and cleaning solutions to find the best ways how to clean an ottoman effectively and surprisingly easily. 

How to Clean an Ottoman
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How to Clean an Ottoman

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how well you take care of your ottoman; there will come a day when you will face the harsh reality that it got dirty, the color started to fade, and there are slight stains that make it not look perfect anymore. 

Cleaning slipcovers is simple; you take them out, throw them in the washing machine, and the next thing you know, they look new again, while cleaning the upholstered furniture is truly a challenge since the fabric is fixed. So how do you keep it clean?

Cleaning codes

Before starting the cleaning process, you must know how to approach the cleaning since it depends on the type of upholstery material. 

Certain cleaners can change the fabric’s color or damage the material, which is why each upholstery fabric has a recommended solution for its specialized use. So, check the code on your ottoman to see which is the best cleaning option: 

  • W tag ottoman should be cleaned with a water-based cleaner that’s not too harsh
  • W-S tag ottoman can be cleaned with both water-based and solvent cleaner 
  • S tag ottoman shouldn’t be cleaned with any water-based cleaner
  • X tag ottoman means that you should only vacuum it or brush it and avoid using any liquids.

If your ottoman gets stained, you must first identify the stain to know which solution to use. Generally, almost all stains can be cleaned with a water-based or solvent-based cleaner. If you don’t have one handy, you can use some of these homemade solutions.

Mild soap and lukewarm water 

You can make a simple cleaning mixture by mixing soap and lukewarm water. Take a soft cloth, dab it into the cleaning liquid, and then start bloating on the fabric to help ease the stain. You should avoid rubbing your ottoman aggressively so that you won’t damage the fabric. 

You might need to repeat this step with gentle movements until the stain is gone. Finish the cleaning with a clean cloth dampened only with water to remove the soap. Then, dab the area with a try towel to soak up the excess water. 

White vinegar and baking soda 

Most mild stains can be cleaned by mixing white vinegar, baking soda, and water. This homemade mixture can be appropriate for ottomans with care tag W. 

Mix all these ingredients until you make a paste, then put it directly on the stain. Start gently pressing on the stain until it comes off.; avoid rubbing too harshly. 

Vinegar and rubbing alcohol

You can mix equal parts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol for faux leather ottomans with stains. Dip a soft cloth in the solution, then start carefully bloating on the stain. Repeat this process as many times as it takes until you see the stain is gone. 

Before you start cleaning with this solution, test it on any hidden area of the ottoman to see if it will damage the fabric. 

Fresh lemon juice and water

If you feel the pouf ottoman’s care tag states that it can be cleaned with a dry solvent, you can mix a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water. However, make sure the affected area is completely dry to avoid causing shrinkage or wrinkles. 

Spray this mixture on the stain, then slowly swipe off using a gentle cloth until the dirt is gone. The lemon juice can also deodorant the fabric and help remove the hardcore stain. 

Read more: How to Clean a Cloth Chair

Cleaning an Ottoman sofa with alcohol
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Alcohol or nail polish remover 

If you have ink stains on your ottoman, you can clean it using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover by rubbing it on the problem area. Be especially careful using these products and test them on hidden areas of your ottoman to ensure they won’t change the color of the leather. 

If there is a grease stain, you should never remove it using water; instead, wipe it off with a soft dry cloth. 

Hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach 

For removing stubborn stains of vinyl ottomans, you can use hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach. Using a soft, damp cloth, start gently cleaning the stain until it is gone. Otherwise, you can use the vinegar and baking soda mixture to keep your vinyl pouf pristine. 

Cleaning surface level dirt

Ottomans are mostly prone to collecting surface-level dirt, which can be easily cleaned using a vacuum. 

First, use a horsehair brush to gently scrub the ottoman’s surface area to ensure all the collected dust and hair gets loosened up so it will be easier for you to vacuum it. 

Use the brush attachment on your vacuum, if it has it, or any other attachment appropriate for your ottoman’s type of fabric, and clean the entire piece from top to bottom. For those hard-to-reach areas, use the crevice attachment. 

Removing pet hair

Your furry friends must love cozying up on your ottoman with you, so pet hair usually will be all over it. There are a few simple ways you can remove it.

  • Put some rubber gloves and run with your hands all over the surface of your furniture. The rubber creates static that pulls the hair off the fabric so you can easily vacuum it later. 
  • Mix water and a small amount of softener in a spray bottle. Spray the solution into the fabric and wipe the hair off using a soft cloth. 
  • Use a furniture brush or hand vacuum designer for cleaning pet hair. 

How to Properly Dry Your Ottoman

After you learn how to clean an ottoman, you must know how to properly dry it out so that there will be no change in the look of the fabric. 

Most people make mistakes by using a hairdryer or putting them in direct sunlight to speed up the process. If you use harsh chemicals to clean it, the direct warmth might cause discoloration and make the fabric look worn off and faded. So, in this case, what is the best way to dry your ottoman?

  • Use as many dry towels as possible to soak the leftover water. Leave the ottoman near the fan but not too close to dry overnight. 
  • Leave the ottoman outside in a shady area so the wind and air will naturally dry out the cleaned area. However, you want to ensure that where you put it isn’t dusty, so the wind will make it dirtier than before you cleaned it in the first place.
  • Do nothing at all. Leave it be so it will dry out on its own. You can open the nearby windows in the room to help the airflow and run the ceiling fan on high speed to help it dry faster. 

How to Freshen up Your Ottoman

As time passes, the furniture can start having a more distinctive smell than when you first bought it. If your ottoman smells old and musty, there are a few things you can do to make it smell fresh again. 

  • Leave your ottoman outside on a windy day under sunlight so that it will disinfect and soak up the natural air. 
  • Spray it with a simple mixture of baking soda and water. The baking soda can absorb and neutralize the bad smell
  • Make a mixture of softener detergent and a little bit of baking soda. Spray the mixture all over the ottoman after you leave it outside in natural air. 
  • If nothing of this happens, contact a professional cleansing company, so they will use specific equipment to clean and refresh your ottoman. 

Also read: How to Clean Microfiber Chair


Ottomans are versatile pieces of furniture that have been used for years, and it is a staple in almost every home. Modern ottomans can be used for sitting and storage which is why they can get dirty and stained. 

It doesn’t matter how well you take care of it and how cautious you are; you cannot keep it looking brand new forever. 

Spilled drinks, food, pet urine, accidents happen, and anything can cause a stain on your favorite ottoman and put you into trouble thinking about how you can clean it. When it comes to upholstery furniture, it is known that cleaning can be tricky. 

While most stains you can handle on your own, you might need to call a professional with some other spills. Luckily, we have found mixtures for cleaning, so you don’t have to call an emergency just yet. You can save them all because they will be helpful regarding how to clean an ottoman. 

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