How to Clean a Fabric Headboard

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Has your fabric headboard become dirty lately? Then you might be considering giving it a good wash. But, how to do that? Don’t worry! We have summarized the best tips on how to clean a fabric headboard at home that will help you save time.

How to Clean a Fabric Headboard

Beds and furniture have gone through a comprehensive transformation from the classical era to modern-day lives. The design, choice of wood, everything indeed has been changing with the taste of time.

Today, people have a wide variety to choose from. Leather and fabric are the widely used materials to make headboards for beddings.

In this guide, however, we will restrict ourselves to the fabric one. Headboards and their unique design add to the aesthetics of the room. But, with time, this beauty gets monotonous.

How? Dirt, sweat, and other agents like food stains, pets are the prime reasons behind your headboard becoming dirty. 

These stains can sometimes impart a foul odor and can become unbearable. Hence, we have compiled some homemade solutions to clean the fabric of the headboard with a complete analysis below.

 a light colored bed with a beige fabric headboard with a lamp on each side

Method #1


  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup dish soap (3 percent)

Directions: Mix hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in a bottle. Spray the upholstery with a light coat of paint. Allow 2-3 minutes for the upholstery cleaner to rest on the cloth. Gently scrub with a microfiber towel or rag. Wet and gently dab the garment if it seems soapy.

Results as per the users: Too many bubbles! One has to rinse the cloth several times before they could suck the seats dry with my steam cleaner and shop vac. When cleaning is over, the fabric will be clean, but the process will take hours—not recommended to clean larger surfaces.

Why Does This Cleaner May Not Work? 

  1. This cleaner contains an excessive amount of detergent, resulting in a very soapy fabric. Any residue that remains on the cloth might make it feel crunchy and attract dirt. 
  2. Washing the fabric of the headboard with too much water can leave a musty smell and damage the metal zippers on the side. Moreover, the wood component of the headboard can also get damaged if too much water is used.

How Long Should It Take To Clean Your Home?

What is the size of your home in square feet?

What type of flooring do you have?

Method #2


  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup of dish soap

Directions: Spray cleanser onto upholstery until gently soaked with a spray bottle. Allow a few minutes for resting. In a circular motion, lightly scrub with a brush. Using a steam cleaner or a shop vac, wet the area and suck it dry.

Results as per the users: Too much detergent has been used as a result of this experiment. To rinse the fabric, squirt it with water many times before vacuuming it. Finish it with a clean cloth. The cleaning process can be time-consuming and challenging to carry on.

The Following Are Some Reasons Why This Cleaner Isn’t Practical:

  1. This cleaner includes an excessive amount of detergent, resulting in a soapy fabric. Any residue left on the cloth can make it feel crunchy and attract dirt. 
  2. Rinsing upholstery with too much water might leave a musty odor or harm metal zippers, wood furniture components, and other upholstery components.

Method #3


Directions: In a spray bottle, combine all ingredients. Allow the cleaner to sit for 1-2 minutes after spraying the cloth surface with cleaner. Allow the headboard to dry after a vigorous scrubbing with a sponge or clean towel. If necessary, repeat the process.

Results as per the users: The mixture removed ink stains excellently. The treatment, on the other hand, did nothing to clean the fabric as a whole.

Use this cleanser to remove stubborn stains on the spot. (Acetate, triacetate, modacrylic, and acrylic fibers should not be treated with alcohol.)

Why Does (Or Doesn’t) This Cleaner Work? 

  1. Paint, ink, and stubborn stains can all be removed from textiles with alcohol-based cleansers.
  2. Vinegar is a mild acid that breaks down fundamental dirt and, when it dries, the odor goes away. 
  3. Because there are no detergents in the solution to break down dirt and oils, it did not accomplish much to clean the overall cloth.
a person with gloves holding a spray bottle

Method #4


  • 1/2 cup sodium bicarbonate
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • A small amount of water

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients and make a thick paste. Allow setting time for the paste to dry before applying it to the fabric (this should take about half an hour).

Vacuum the fabric clean after the paste is dried. (Alternatively, combine baking soda and cornstarch altogether, sprinkle on, wait an hour, then vacuum clean.)

Results as per the users: The effectiveness of this cleaner in removing fabric stains was astounding! Spots started to appear on the cleaner’s surface. This cleanser is ideal for mild cleaning and fragile upholstery that should not be overly moist.

What Makes This Cleanser So Effective? 

  1. Baking soda is a gently abrasive cleaner that breaks down acidic filth and odors. 
  2. Cornstarch absorbs moisture, oil, and odors exceptionally well.

Method #5


  • 1 teaspoon dish soap
  • 16 ounces water
  • 50 percent hydrogen peroxide solution
  • baking soda


  1. In one atomizer, combine dish soap and water.
  2. Combine equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a second container to make a 50 percent solution. 
  3. Apply the mixture of soap and water on the fabric and gently spray hydrogen peroxide with baking soda onto the fabric.
  4. Rub baking soda evenly across the surface using your hand or a towel. Allow for overnight drying—clean using a vacuum.

Results: The cleaner did an excellent job of eliminating stains and brightening the fabric in general. However, it was pretty messy to apply the mix and complicated to vacuum clean the headboard.

Remember, one should not use this cleaning on dark fabrics since it may bleach them. It’d also be tough to get rid of on a wide scale.

Why This Cleanser Worked Well

  1. Dishwashing soap removed the sticky stains quickly. 
  2. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleach substitute that brightens fabrics and removes stubborn stains. 

Method #6


  • Half cup white vinegar
  • Half Tablespoon natural dish soap


  1. Spray cleanser onto upholstery until gently soaked with a spray bottle.
  2. Let the solution sit on the fabric and do its work.
  3. For better results, scrub a soft-bristled brush in a circular motion.
  4. Using a shop vac, wet the area and suck it dry.

Results: This cleaner is similar to cleaner #2. It’s a water-based cleanser that gets the job done and eliminates the problem of too much soap/foam. This is a fantastic upholstery cleaner for everyday use.

What Makes This Cleanser So Effective? 

  1. Water dissolves and breaks apart substances, allowing them to be washed away.
  2. The acidic nature of vinegar breaks down the dirt and cancels out the filthy scum.
  3. Detergent for dishwashing cuts through grease and filth.

Method #7


  • 1 teaspoon dish soap
  • 16 ounces tap water
  • 100 percent hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Baking soda


  1. Fill one spray bottle with dish soap and water and another with hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Spritz fabric lightly with soap water, then evenly spray with hydrogen peroxide and apply baking soda powder onto it.
  3. Make sure the baking soda is evenly spread over the surface.
  4. Use your hand or a towel to do so.
  5. Allow for overnight drying.
  6. Clean the solution using a vacuum.

Results: The fabric was brightened, and stains were removed effectively using this cleaning. However, applying and vacuuming it was pretty messy.

One should not use this cleaning on dark fabrics since it may cause them to bleach excessively. Removing it from huge surfaces would likewise be challenging.

What Makes This Cleanser So Effective? 

  1. Dishwashing detergent effectively cuts through grease and filth. 
  2. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleach substitute that brightens fabrics and removes stains.
  3. Baking soda is a gently abrasive cleaner that breaks down acidic filth and odors.
A white bed headboard with white pillows

Some Cleaning Tips for Cleaning the Fabric Headboard

  1. Go for patch tests before applying any of the solutions directly on the surface. It is because fabrics used in upholstery come in a wide variety of types. Before using the cleaner on the entire surface, it’s a good idea to try it on a tiny, inconspicuous area.
    1. Minimize the amount of cleaning you use. It is simple to add extra cleaning to upholstered surfaces, but it is difficult to remove too much cleaner. Begin with a small amount of solution and gradually increase it.
    2. Keep the rest of the room safe. During this test, the cleaning mix thoroughly cleaned the floor. (To remove excess upholstery cleaner, it was wiped, washed, and rinsed several times.) Cover places you don’t want to clean with a large towel or sheet to make life easy for yourself.


The market of beds and headboards in the United States of America alone was 220.6 billion in 2019. According to another survey, the USA alone dominates the world’s demand for beds and headboards. The increase is so rapid that it is estimated that this slope will increase by 4.5% by the end of 2027.

Keeping the demand of the people in mind, companies are trying to be more inclusive by introducing a new design for the headboards. The needs for certain fabrics are also likely to go up and therefore, leading to more industrial waste in manufacturing these goods.

To minimize this, experts suggest focusing on the 3Rs and sustainability of the fabric by maintaining and cleaning it to serve longer than expected.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.