Home maintenance chores can be too much after a long day at work. However, maintaining a regular and thorough upholstery cleaning regime provides some major benefits. We spend a lot of time sitting on our sofas, and they’re bound to get dirty or stained. If you have children or pets, the chances of this happening are even bigger. Knowing how to effectively clean your upholstery when an emergency red wine spill happens or simply to get rid of the pet hair is a useful and vital skill to have. The following simple and quick cleaning routine is the experts’ secret to keeping your furniture looking great and lasting longer.
Read the Manufacturer’s Label
The most important thing to do before cleaning upholstered furniture is to read the suggestions for cleaning that the manufacturer has given. Like a clothing item, all upholstery comes with such a label. It’ll give you the piece’s cleaning guidelines, the most important of which are:
- W – okay to clean with water;
- S – don’t use water but a solvent-based cleaner instead;
- WS – okay to use water or solvent-based cleaners;
- X – vacuum only and don’t use water or solvent-based cleaners.
If you see “X” on the cleaning label, it’s better you leave the upholstery cleaning to an expert. Besides that, when you’re familiar with the guidelines and you won’t accidentally ruin your upholstery. Not following them poses the risk of invalidating the furniture’s warranty, which can be a problem if defects appear in the future.
Cleaning Routine for Upholstery
Do this on a weekly or at least monthly basis to keep your upholstered furniture as clean as possible:
- Remove all cushions and pillows.
- Use your vacuum cleaner’s brush to clean all the crevices that hold any dirt and dust. If your furniture doesn’t have removable cushions, use the brush to get to all corners and seams.
- Once you’re finished cleaning the cushions, rotate and replace them. Periodically turning over loose cushions extends your furniture’s lifespan.
- Carefully examine the cushions to check for stains or spots. If you find any, treat them as fast as possible, following the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.
- If you don’t have a commercial cleaning product for upholstered furniture, use a white vinegar and warm water mixture on the spot. Spray a small amount of the solution on the area and clean it with a soft cloth, using circular motions. Use another cloth and clean water to rinse it.
Cleaning Stains of Upholstery
The most effective way to clean a stain on your upholstery furniture is to wipe the spot with the correct cleaning solution depending on its fabric. To be safe, test the products on an inconspicuous area before applying it anywhere else.
Cleaning a Fabric Upholstery
Before you start cleaning, prepare the spot by brushing it with a clean white towel or a stiff brush. This will loosen anything that has dried in it. After that, sprinkle some baking soda and let it sit for around 10-20 minutes. You can leave it on for up to an hour. Vacuum the spot to remove the powder substance.
There’s no need to buy costly pre-made products. You can DIY an effective cleaning solution with ingredients you already have at home. Combine 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and a cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and quickly screw the top as baking soda and white vinegar create a lot of bubbles when mixed. Damp a cloth with the cleaning solution, and gently dab the stain. Wipe the entire couch for a deep clean. Let the fabric dry. While the solution is on, don’t sit or place any objects on it for a few hours, or until it has dried completely.
Cleaning a Microfiber Upholstery
Rubbing alcohol is the best product when cleaning most microfiber upholstery. If there’s an “S” on the cleaning label, rubbing alcohol is safe to use. Working section by section, spray the furniture piece with rubbing alcohol and scrub with a white or light-colored sponge as the colour can transfer onto its surface. The upholstery will dry quickly as alcohol evaporates fast. When it’s dry, use a dry brush to gently scrub the couch in a circular motions to fluff the fabric. If there are remaining water stains, repeat the process using distilled water. Make sure to check the label to see if your furniture allows water and solvent cleaning.
Cleaning a Leather Upholstery
Leather comes in a variety of finishes, so leather upholstery allows for many different cleaning options. When determining which is the best way for you, keep in mind that the method can significantly vary depending on your furniture piece. Protected leather is the most common and simplest to clean.
Start by vacuuming, including the nooks and spots that are more difficult to reach. Wipe the leather with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. DIY a cleaning solution by cominbing equal parts water and white vinegar. Dip the cloth in until it’s damp but not wet and wipe the leather surface, rinsing the cloth regularly. Dry the furniture and clean once again with with a dry, microfiber cloth. To keep the leather feeling soft, use a leather conditioner every 6 to 12 months. If your furniture is made of unprotected leather, consult with the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines or hire a professional upholstery cleaner.
Cleaning Routine for Wood Furniture Parts
The following tips will help you keep the wooden parts of your furniture clean:
- Wipe any dirt and dust from the wood, using a clean cloth.
- Prepare an oil mixture for wood cleaning. You’ll need turpentine and linseed oil. Mix 50 ml of each in a bowl.
- Clean the wooden parts with the oil mixture. Using a cloth, massage the solution into the wood. You can use this detergent to take care of any wooden furniture around the house. This mix is quite effective at cleaning finished wood, increasing its durability and gloss.
- Keep your wooden furniture clean and dust it regularly to prolong its life.
If you have any doubts, don’t take changes by experimenting with cleaning products and detergents. Save yourself the time and trouble and, instead, hire an expert. Professional upholstery cleaners use high-quality products and equipment and they know how to preserve and clean your upholstery effectively.