Tips for Cleaning Upholstered Furniture
Upholstered furniture is comfortable and looks very attractive, especially when you first purchase and install it in your home. If you keep this furniture clean, you don’t have to worry about germs, stains, patches, and general appearance.
If you don’t clean it regularly, the upholstery will soon become stained and dull, which will compromise the furniture’s appearance. Upholstered pieces can also provide a favorable environment for mold, fungus, bacteria, and even pests, which is why you need to make sure they’re cleaned well regularly.
Unfortunately, cleaning upholstered furniture is easier said than done because these pieces are made from cotton, sponge, and fabric. Dirt and debris can settle into the fabric and cause problems over time. Washing can leave behind traces of moisture and create a favorable environment for mold if you don’t use the right technique. Here are some tips that can help you clean and maintain upholstered furniture well:
1. Preparing for the Cleaning Process
If you’re prepared for the cleaning process, you can get the job done quickly and efficiently. Here’s how you can prepare for the cleaning process:
• Set aside some time – People often underestimate how much time upholstery cleaning can take and attempt to rush through the process. That will only damage the furniture in the long run and you might not clean as efficiently in your haste. Make sure you set aside a few hours during your weekend to get the job done.
• Clear the area – The next step is to clear the area and give yourself some space to work in. Remove items like cushions and covers from the furniture. Move the coffee table away from the couch and make sure there are no breakable items anywhere near the piece of furniture you want to clean.
• Let others know you’re cleaning – Let other people in your home know you’re about the clean the furniture so they stay out of the way. The last thing you want is for a family member to sit on the couch immediately after it’s clean and spill food items on it. You need to let the upholstery dry completely before you attempt to use it again.
2. Understand Upholstery Cleaning Codes
The next step is to collect all the cleaning supplies you might need for the job. Before you purchase the cleaning supplies, look at the cleaning codes mentioned on your furniture. You need to check the tags that are attached to the upholstery before you attempt to start the cleaning process. These tags are:
• DC – Stands for dry clean only
• HW – Wash with hands rather than the machine
• W – Clean with water-based shampoo only
• S – Clean with solvent only
• SW – Clean with solvent and spot clean with water-based shampoo
• X – Don’t clean with water or solvent. Use brush and vacuum only
These are some of the most common codes you’ll find in your upholstery. It’s important that you clean your furniture according to the instructions provided by the code. Especially when it comes to antique furniture cleaning, they need to be dealt with extra care. If you don’t follow the instructions, you might damage the fabric and might be forced to reupholster the furniture piece.
3. Smart Ways to Remove Stains
Stains are immediately visible and can mar the beauty of your furniture. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to stain the furniture, especially if you are in the habit of eating or drinking while sitting on the couch. Before removing the stains, consider the types of stain and upholstery fabric you have. Like removing stains from carpet, some stains may be more stubborn than the others. Certain fibers do not react well to certain cleaners.
Here are some tips to easily remove stains from upholstery fabric:
• You can clean up food and drink spills with a solution of mild dish washing liquid and cold water. Just mix one tablespoon of soap with one cup of water and soak a rag in it. Squeeze out the excess water and dab the stained area until it’s saturated and foams. Wipe the foam away with a paper towel as that will remove all the released food particles.
• Grease stains are also relatively easy to clean. Dust baking soda on the stained area and allow it to sit for a while and soak up the oil. Brush the baking soda away after 20 minutes.
• Wine spills should be treated as quickly as possible because they can stain the upholstery badly. Use a mixture of warm water and dishwashing solution and follow the same process as mentioned in the first point. That should remove the stain immediately. Make sure you remove the excess liquid from the fabric by dabbing the area with a paper towel.
While DIY cleaning is possible, it’s not always the most convenient if you don’t have the right tools. If you’re pressed for time and want a thorough clean, consider upgrading your cleaning tools like vacuum cleaners and steam mops to the latest models. They’ll provide a more efficient cleaning and get the job done in a shorter amount of time. They’ll also make sure the pieces aren’t damaged during the clean-up process. If you’re under a time constraint, consider hiring a cleaner from your local area to have your upholstered furniture professionally cleaned.
Lucy Xu is a content specialist from Oneflare. Oneflare is Australia’s fastest growing online marketplace connecting consumers with experts within the home improvement and services categories.
Categorised in: How To