How to Clean a Recliner – Complete Guide

How to Clean a Recliner

recliner chair or sofa is the epitome of comfort and luxury. It is either manual or powered. It has a fully reclining backrest and extendable footrest.

After a long day of work, everyone wants to lay in a cozy reclining chair, watch a movie, or the Yankees play. But a stinky and dirty reclining chair isn’t appealing to anyone.

This is because you left the spills and stains dry and never cleaned them. And now your sofa is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime. The worst part is that you’re scared of cleaning it.

Well, if this is the case then you don’t need to worry just sit back and read this post first. We’ll tell you how to clean a recliner and offer tips on how to do it correctly and effectively.

What Makes a Recliner Dirty

Before you start, it’s important to understand the causes of gunky mess on your recliners. This will help you choose the best-suited method to clean a recliner. Given below are the common causes:

  • Dirt and dust
  • Stains
  • Spills
  • Sweat
  • Animal dander

How to Clean a Recliner Chair by Hand – Easy Tips

a clean recliner

Cleaning recliners is easy and will not take much of your time. There are two kinds of reclining sofas: fabric and leather.

Clean a Fabric Recliner

Fabric is porous in structure and dirt tends to penetrate the recliner. The fabric upholstery needs you to be cautious and actively maintain the sofa. This way your chair will last long.

  • The primary method of cleaning is vacuuming or brushing. For maintenance use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and grime from it. If you don’t have a vacuum, then use a soft-bristled brush to remove all the gunk.

Remember that the fabric recliner is not cheap, you cannot afford to change it over and over again. So, be gentle with the brush, and don’t scrub it hard.

  • The second easy method of removing stains from the upholstered recliners is through water or solvent-based cleaning solutions.

In the unlikely event, you have a stain from a product such as ink, lipstick, oil, or grease, then use warm water and a little mild soap to wet the stain. Foam it and wait for the area to dry. Then simply brush the fabric with a soft-bristled brush.

  • For wine, soda, tea, and milk stains use water and detergent.

Blotting is a great way to absorb the spill gently. Avoid rubbing the surface. Use a dry cloth and wait 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water. Rinse the fabric thoroughly, and then allow it to dry. When the fabric is fully dry, brush it with a soft brush.

Clean a Leather Recliner

Leather furniture is a great investment if taken care of. For leather reclining sofas avoid using a very strong fabric cleaner or an overly harsh cleaner such as lemon juice.

Leather is prone to cracks and scratches. So avoid scrubbing it hard while disinfecting the chair.

  • In case of a spill on a leather recliner, use a blotting piece of cloth to absorb the liquid.
  • Or you can use a neutral pH mild soap or shampoo and distilled water to remove stains or dirt from your chair. Wet the cloth and apply soap foam gently to the leather surface. Finally, clean it with water and let it dry.

It’s better to absorb all the water from the surface before drying the chair. This will ensure that it doesn’t have any marks.

Disinfect Your Upholstered Recliner the Right Way

Upholstered reclining chairs come with instructions for cleaning them the right way. This furniture comes with the following tags underneath the chair or its cushion.

Know how to wash tags and use the right type of cleaner for your sofa.

​W tag on the Recliners

Water-based cleaning is compatible with these types of upholstered or padded recliners. Don’t use other chemicals while disinfecting it.

S tag

Solvent-based cleaners are perfect for these fabric chairs.

​WS tag

This fabric upholstery is the most adaptable. They can be washed with water and solvent-based cleaners.

X tag

It’s preferable to get this upholstered recliner cleaned by a professional. This tag shows that the fabric is sensitive and you should not wash it with any solution.

How to Clean a Recliner Armrest and Footrest

These parts are most likely to get stained due to sweat, food, or urine. Follow these steps to remove dust, grime, and spills from the armrests and footrests.

Step 1: Blotting

Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe it up.

Step 2: Foaming to Clean a Recliner

If the stain has dried, then use a cloth moistened with warm water and soap.

Step 3: Cleaning 

If the fabric is oily, use a cloth moistened with a mixture of equal parts fabric detergent and water.

Step 4: Drying

After cleaning, allow the fabric or leather to dry completely.

How to Clean the Frame of the Recliner

To clean the frame of the recliner, spray a microfibre cloth with cleaner and wipe down the frame. You can also use a soft brush to scrub the frame.

Sometimes you’ll have to remove dust and sticky dirt from the springs, or the mechanism of the recliner. If the frame is not maintained properly it might cause the chair to be stuck in one position.

How to Get Rid of Smell from a Recliner

dry clean a recliner

There are Eco-friendly ways of cleaning a recliner chair of odors. Follow these easy DIY tips to have a fresh-smelling chair in your living room or patio:

  • Don’t try to cover up the chair. Use baking soda and leave it overnight. Baking soda absorbs odors and acts as a deodorizer.
  • If the smell is too strong to bear then use vinegar. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and spray it on your sofa. Vinegar helps to clean most of the bad odors from the furniture.

If you’re not getting perfect results then your last resort is to leave it out in the sunlight for a day. This may be risky, especially for leather upholstery. So, before leaving it in the sun test it out for an hour or so. You can also leave the chair in the open air under shade for a day.

How Often Should You Clean a Recliner

A recliner should be cleaned once every two weeks. But it depends, if you’ve children or pets then chances are that your chair will get dirty more often.

Always be prepared and take immediate action to clean the recliner. Otherwise, the dirt will dry out and will stick to your sofa forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the best way to clean a fabric recliner?

The best way to clean is to spray the recliner with water or solvent-based cleaner.

2. How often should I clean a recliner?

You should clean your recliner once every two weeks.

3. How do I clean a leather recliner?

You can use a soft cloth to wipe down the spills or dirt.

4. What should I avoid when cleaning a recliner?

You should not use harsh chemicals and avoid rubbing when cleaning your recliner. Try blotting the spills first and then wipe them with a damp cloth.

5. How do I get rid of odors in my recliner?

You can use baking soda or vinegar.


In conclusion, to clean a recliner, remove any dirt and dust that has accumulated on the seat, back, and arms of the chair. You should also check the cushions for stains or rips. If you see any, you should replace the cushion.

You can also check the springs and the wood frame for wear. If there are any problems, you should have the recliner professionally cleaned.

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I am Karen writing this story for you. My specialization is in the principles of biomechanics meant to improve the quality of life in humans. I’ve more than 10 years of experience in the field of workplace productivity. My passion for yoga has influenced me to teach everyone how to sit and select the best chairs for work and recreation. I try to add value to help this project grow services day by day.



Joshua is the founder and an ergonomist by profession. With over 10 years of working as a furniture designer and consultant, his depth of knowledge is invaluable for our project. He also manages content editing and product reviews.



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