The number one method to keep cloth furniture clean is prevention. Avoid having dirty or potentially have leather couches in the family room and the nicer cloth furniture in the living room. That being said here are a few things to do the keep and clean cloth upholstery.
Vacuum regularly using a dusting attachment (the attachment with brushes) this helps loosen dust and dirt making the cleaning and any future spills much easier. Be sure the vacuum under the cushions as well (you will find loose change), but crumbs always work their way under the cushions.
If you have a stain which needs removing use a general purpose spot cleaner and clean by following the package instructions, it is always better to tamp or blot stains, rubbing damages fibres and sets stains. Here is a recipe for a good home made spotter for cloth upholstery.
Mix Â¼ cup of laundry soap with warm water if you use a mixer or a whisk you can mix to a froth and use the foam as your spotter. Apply with a clean cloth or sponge, tamp or blot the stain as the stain breaks down into the foam remove with a kitchen scraper. Rinse by using cool water and blotting with a dry white towel. Always test a small area on and unseen spot on the upholstery first to be sure there are no adverse affects.
If you have a fresh stain always blot with a clean white towel first to absorb as much of the spill before having to put out the cleaning supplies. Often immediate blotting with remove much if not all of the spill.