How to Clean a Recliner

More often than not the recliner is among your most favorite spot in the entire house. You spend hours sitting on it, reclining, reading and even dozing off at times. Needless to mention that constant use has its downsides too. Over a point of time, the recliner tends to look old, layers of dirt and grime settle on it and you might, at times, be even tempted to discard your favorite piece of furniture only due to the hassles of washing it properly.

Well, you will be surprised to know that cleaning your recliner regularly can well be a simple approach to keep it shiny even after years. Your next question might be what do you clean it with? Again don’t go for fancy chemicals just because someone suggested. Understand the nature of the upholstery cover on your recliner and then pay close attention to the instructions that are provided. It is best to follow those regularly and you will get the best results. Alternatively you can also use simple home based options that can help you get maximum result with minimum input.

Here is a lowdown on some of the simplest ways to clean your recliner and keep them new and shining.

How to Clean Leather Recliners?

Now this involves a completely different genre of cleaning techniques. There are different kinds of leathers. Some are finished while others are unfinished. Read the directives on your recliner carefully.

  • A damp cloth can be used to clean finished leather upholstery but for the unfinished variety, it is best to use a cotton cloth, and it should be dusted lightly.
  • You need to use the recommended cleaner once every six months for the best results. In case the recliner is used every now and then, it is perhaps best to use it at even shorter intervals.
  • For stains and spills, you could rinse with a small amount of soap water. However this is only for finished leather, for the unfinished ones it is best to seek professional help for any type of stain removal or any stubborn spots. Soap water can be detrimental.

Water Safe Upholstery Recliners

As I had mentioned right at the beginning, it is extremely important to ascertain the material of the recliner upholstery. If it is a fabric, especially the ones that do not get ruined by water, this is what you could do to clean it.

  • You need to vacuum clean the recliner using a soft brush end, or you could use a handheld one instead to remove all the superficial dust and dirt. You could vacuum the recliner as often as you deem the requirement.
  • Now take a bucket full of warm water and add a couple of spoonful of detergent. Ensure that you use a mild variant and the water should be just lukewarm, not very hot either.
  • Take a plain cotton cloth, dip it in this mix and wring it as dry as you possibly can. Now use this moist cloth to remove stain marks or spots. You can also use a soft bristle brush to scrub after this for stubborn stains.
  • Now again rinse the cloth and wipe over the recliner to remove any remaining soap marks.
  • Now you must allow the recliner to dry completely, you can even use light colored towel to absorb maximum possible moisture from the recliner.

Instead of a moist cloth, you also could use baby wipes for removing stains. It gives you pretty much similar results and at the same time, the moisture level is better controlled with a wipe as compared to a piece of cloth. In this case, you would need to depend on an individual’s capacity to wring out the additional moisture from the cloth. Sometimes it might not be effective, and the recliner could take longer than usual time to dry up.

Solvent Safe Upholstery Recliners

There are, however, some recliners that can be cleaned only with a specific solvent, and you need to follow a strict set of rules to get the maximum benefit from the procedure.

  • First and foremost as always vacuum clean the recliner thoroughly. You could use a hand vacuum cleaner or a soft brush end for achieving the best results.
  • Once this surface is absolutely clean, you need to spray the solvent on the recliner upholstery.
  • Ensure that this solvent is sprayed uniformly, and there are no patches of solvent alternating with areas of no solvent at all.
  • Let this solvent sit on the recliner for the pre-decided time that has been recommended by the makers for the best impact.
  • Now scrub the recliner with brush to get rid of any embedded dirt that might have stayed on.
  • Wipe away the excess washing solvent with a damp cloth.
  • Let the recliner dry off completely before using it again. You could use fans in front of the recliner to haste this drying process.

Always remember regular vacuuming will not allow the dust to settle in.


A basic remedy for upholstery that can be only dry cleaned, you can sprinkle some baking soda on the upholstery, especially on spots and stains and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before vacuuming it thoroughly. You can blot any kind of spill with a light colored towel or cloth for the best effect. However to conclude, always remember to first try out a cleaning agent on a hidden area and only if you are satisfied with the results use it on the entire recliner. Otherwise,  it is best to seek professional help.