Using a pan lid to clean upholstery? This TikTok hack neutralizes odors and freshens furnishings

A pan lid is the surprising tool you can use to refresh upholstery, and even your carpets

living room with yellow sofas and sliding glass doors
(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

If your upholstery or carpet need a refresh, you might be wondering about the quickest way to get the job done. Whether you want to give your statement couch a refresh or you're battling a stain on carpet or rug, even the best tips for cleaning upholstery can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, one simple piece of cooking equipment can make fabric cleaning easy – and the process is speedy too.

We admit to spotting on TikTok, but having tried it, we have found it works a treat for a quick fabric refresh, though not stain removal. 

And all you need is a saucepan lid, a microfiber cloth, and a spray bottle of upholstery cleaner.

Using a saucepan lid to clean fabric – 3 steps to spotless furnishings

Blue rattan chairs and a green sofa in a living room

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

1. Choose the correct-size lid

Before beginning the cleaning process, Camilla Pelly, the Brand Manager at Purdy & Figg explains that you should find the correct sized saucepan lid. The width depends on how many areas you want to cover.

'It should be small enough that it can be easily gripped whilst cleaning. If you are looking to clean larger areas of fabric (e.g a sofa or carpet), you may want to size up,' she says.  

2. Fold a microfiber cloth around the lid

You will then need to take a damp microfiber cloth [such as this one from Amazon] and ensure it covers the entire lid. You can use multiple cloths if preferred. 'It should mold easily around the shape, but you can also use a hair band to secure it firmly in place,' Camilla says. 

3. Add multi-surface spray and clean in a circular motion 

Once the microfiber cloth is firmly in place, you should apply a few sprays of multi-surface spray directly onto the cloth before beginning the cleaning. Camilla recommends Purdy & Figg's Counter Clean, but you can use any of your favorite sprays.  

'For maximum results, use a circular motion to work the product into the fabric. It will work wonders to freshen up and lift any dirt and help neutralize any odors,' she says. 

If you're looking at how to clean a couch or restore your carpet, it is always best to do a patch test on any precious surfaces first to avoid damaging your surface. 

Camilla also warns against using any harsh chemical cleaners or products that contain bleach as these may damage the fabric for good. Instead, it is better to look for gentle but effective natural products that will clean your fabric quickly. 

'I love this trick for refreshing upholstery, which I have to confess to spotting on TikTok and trying immediately,' adds H&G's Editor in Chief, Lucy Searle. 'It's the perfect hack for giving a living space a refresh before guests arrive.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.