A yellowing or browning sofa is a common issue that many homeowners face. This discoloration can be caused by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, age, and body oils. The following are some of the most common reasons why a sofa may yellow or brown out, and what can be done to clean it.


Water can cause discoloration on a sofa if it is not properly cleaned up. If water is left to sit on the fabric for too long, it can cause the dyes in the fabric to bleed and lead to yellowing or browning. Additionally, if water is not properly removed, it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause further discoloration.

Cleaning Mishaps

While cleaning is a great way to remove discoloration, it is important to clean a sofa correctly to avoid causing further damage. The use of harsh cleaning chemicals, excessive water, or improper cleaning techniques can all cause discoloration. For example, if you spill something on your couch and try to clean it up with water, you may end up spreading the stain and causing yellowing or browning. To avoid these issues, it is recommended to use a gentle cleaning solution and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If in doubt, it is always best to call a professional to clean your sofa.

Sun Exposure

UV rays from the sun can cause fading and discoloration on a sofa over time. This can lead to yellowing or browning of the fabric, especially on lighter colored sofas. To prevent this, it is recommended to keep your sofa away from direct sunlight, or to use window treatments like curtains or blinds.


As a sofa ages, the fabric can become worn and discolored due to regular use and exposure to light. This is particularly true for sofas made from natural fibers like cotton, linen, or wool. The discoloration may start as a yellowish tint and gradually worsen over time.

Body Oils

The natural oils from our skin and hair can transfer onto a sofa and cause discoloration. This is particularly true for sofas that are frequently used, or for those that are not cleaned regularly. Body oils can cause yellowing or browning on the fabric, especially in high-contact areas like the arms and back of the sofa.


In most cases, yellowing or browning on a sofa can be cleaned. The first step is to identify the cause of the discoloration and to remove any sources of contamination, such as body oils or food spills. Then, a cleaning solution can be applied to the affected area. For light discoloration, a solution of warm water and mild detergent can be used. For more stubborn yellowing or browning, a professional cleaning product may be needed.

In some cases, cleaning may not be possible, and the discoloration may be permanent. If the discoloration is severe, a professional cleaning service may be needed to restore the appearance of your sofa. In such cases, it is recommended to choose a reputable and experienced cleaning company to ensure the best results.

In conclusion, yellowing or browning on a sofa is a common issue that can be caused by sun exposure, age, and body oils. In most cases, cleaning can restore the appearance of your sofa. If the discoloration is severe, it is recommended to seek the help of a professional cleaning service. Keeping your sofa clean and protected from the sun and other sources of discoloration will help to ensure its longevity and preserve its appearance.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop