How We Keep Our White Sofa Clean (With Pets!)

All the cleaning tools I use including my FAVE spot cleaner
How to keep a white sofa clean with pets. Care instructions for white couch, how to keep white upholstery clean, plus cleaning hacks for fabric and fabric care tips and tricks

With 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 humans, and countless (outdoor) chickens, people think we’re nuts for having a white sofa. And trust me, up until we got it, I would have agreed with them! But now that we’ve lived with a white sofa for over 2 years, I’m happy to report that I have zero regrets. While it doesn’t look totally brand new, it still looks pretty darn good — especially given how much use it gets! So today I’m sharing how we keep a white sofa clean, including alllllll the cleaning tools I use. Let’s get started.

Our sofa has been discontinued, but this one is similar! Also, if you’d like to know the source of anything in this room, here’s a full list.
How to keep a white sofa clean with pets. Care instructions for white couch, how to keep white upholstery clean, plus cleaning hacks for fabric and fabric care tips and tricks

How to Keep A White Sofa Looking (Almost) New, Even With Pets

We are definitely a household that lets our dogs be on the sofa. We’ve never wanted our home to feel too precious or formal. The goal is to make it stylish, but comfortable and cozy. Plus, nothing is better than snuggling with dogs and binge watching a murder documentary, right?? I’ve learned quite a few things about owning a white sofa and keeping it clean over the years, so I’m excited to hear how these tips work out for you!

Performance fabric

I honestly don’t know what our sofa would look like if it wasn’t upholstered in Crypton Fabric. Performance fabrics have come a longgg way and are so beautiful these days — while also being amazingly functional. Some companies use a coating on the fabric, which I don’t like because it can affect the softness. Plus, a coating can get worn away. Instead, I love Crypton because their stain blocking technology is actually in the fabric’s yarn itself. When you’re shopping for a sofa, I recommend looking for options that come with performance materials.

Spot cleaner

I’ve talked about this spot cleaner before, but I literally cannot say enough good stuff about it! It’s truly the best one I’ve ever used. It flat out WORKS. To use it, I use a cloth to clean up anything on the surface of the fabric, then I spray it on. I let it sit and then dab with a clean cloth. Sometimes it takes a couple tries, depending the stain. But be sure to DAB… that’s the key to keeping the weave of your sofa’s fabric instant and looking nice.


I also vacuum our couch out on a regular basis. It has a pull out sofa bed, so crumbs, animal hair, and whatnot get trapped in there. So about once every few months I remove all of the cushions and use a small nozzle attachment on our vacuum to clean all the nooks and crannies. I’ve been using our trusty Dyson for years and it’s never let me down for this and other cleaning projects.

Fluff every few days

In between vacuumings, I fluff all of the cushions regularly. Our sofa’s cushions are foam that is wrapped in feather down, so they can smooshed pretty easily even just from sitting on it once. So every couple of days or so, I take 5 minutes to re-fluff the down and shake out the cushions. That definitely helps to keep the sofa looking fresh and like new!

Wrap the seat cushion with a blanket

In my mind, the part of the sofa that’s most likely to get stained is the seat cushion. Because of that, I typically wrap the cushion in fabric. It could be a throw, a vintage textile, even an old linen flat sheet we don’t use. I think of it as an opportunity to add a bit more interest to our white sofa, while also protecting the upholstery. In the winter, I pile on faux sheepskin to make it extra cozy.

Lint remover tool

Some types of fabric pill with use, which is perfectly normal but still a bummer. I have a tiny, handheld, battery-powered fabric shaver tool that is THE MOST SATISFYING THING EVER. It’s meant for sweaters, but works perfectly well on our sofa. I’ve used it on the cushions, as well as the upholstery on the arms, sides, and back.

I did try briefly to use a larger lint remover tool like this one and was not happy with the results. Instead of gently removing the pills, it pulled fibers from the fabric and basically made it fuzzy. I tested it out in a concealed spot, thankfully! I don’t recommend that type of lint remover tool because it’s was just way too aggressive and hard on our fabric. But it could work well for other applications, especially pet hair on heavier weight fabrics.

How to keep a white sofa clean with pets. Care instructions for white couch, how to keep white upholstery clean, plus cleaning hacks for fabric and fabric care tips and tricks

So what do you think of these tips to help you keep a white sofa clean and like new?? Let me know if you have any additions!

Photography & styling by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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  1. 10.5.22
    Anits said:

    It sounds like your couch is made of very durable fabric. That’s great but what about the doggie odor? To me, having my couch or carpet/rugs reek like a dog would be the one of the worst things about having an indoor dog. We know some very clean people who got a Labrador. It wasn’t Long before their whole house smelled like a dog. Dog owners seem to get used to it but it would not be for me.