My sofa buying tip that went viral on Instagram

A few months ago, I posted a simple sofa buying tip as an Instagram reel. The tip was something I do before I buy any piece of upholstered furniture for my house.

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The reel itself was incredibly basic, and something I slapped up on Instagram, and didn’t expect much from.

At first, nothing much happened, but about a week later I started to notice lots of likes coming to my account. I checked my reels, and saw that my sofa tip post was gaining traction. Within a week it had over 500k views, and eventually got more than 1 million views and 65,000 likes.

People called the tip ‘genius’ and ‘incredible.’ I thought it was just obvious, practical advice, but it’s something I do any time I pick out upholstered furniture.

So what is the tip?

First, I order fabric swatches of all of the different upholsteries I’m interested in. ( In case you didn’t know, almost every major sofa manufacturer will send you fabric swatches for free).whether it’s a performance fabric for a white sofa, or a velvet upholstery for an arm chair. I also get every color I kind of like.

Then, I wipe wipe my dog (a black lab) with every single fabric swatch. Seriously. I do this because, as a pet owner, I know that my dog’s hair gets on pretty much everything, and some fabrics attract dog hair like a magnet, while others don’t. Also, some fabric colors show all the dog hair that’s on them, while again, others don’t.

Here’s the video:

Generally, fabrics with a nubby weave will hold dog hair in the fibers and it’s hard to brush off because it gets stuck in the weave. With smooth fabrics like velvet, or those with a tight weave like cotton canvas, the hair is a lot easier to brush off.

At the same time, woven fabrics that mix a few colors, like a tweed or heathered upholstery tend to hide the hair better than a smooth velvet … so it’s all about finding the happy medium. The fabric that you can clean hair off of easily, but will also hide whatever hair is on the sofa between cleanings. The winner will depend on the color of your pet, and the type of hair your dog (or cat!) has.

Since I also have three children, I test the fabric swatches in other ways, too. After I do the dog test, I usually will spill things on them, like wine or pasta sauce, and see how the stains come out with just blotting them, with water, and with upholstery cleaner.

I was actually little surprised that people don’t do this before buying furniture, because it’s such a big part of how I shop for things. It’s helped me keep two white sofas in our living room fairly stain-free for more than four years, because I knew the fabric was performance and repelled liquids. (To be fair, the sofa did not stand up to my son’s chewed gum falling out of his pocket, which he then laid on for an hour, melting it deep into the depths of the sofa fabric.)

So there you have it! Did you know this tip?