How to Clean Upholstery

Everyday use can leave your upholstered furniture soiled and gross, and unless you have removable covers that can be washed, you’ll need to find ways to clean the upholstery. Here are some helpful tips for cleaning upholstery.

Before using any carpet/upholstery extraction shampoo on the surface, make sure to remove any dirt or crumbs before applying the cleaner. Any loose dirt will mix with the cleaner, forming a film and making more of a mess for you to deal with.

There are quite a few options that will provide a thorough cleaning of your upholstery without much expense. Before you use any of these cleaning solutions, first try them on a well-hidden area of the furniture to test for color fastness and shrinkage.

Baby wipes  are mild and not too wet, and are great for treating stains or even wiping down an entire piece of furniture.

White vinegar is a non-chemical cleaning method (what doesn’t vinegar clean?) that will remove surface dirt. Simply wet a rag with the vinegar, wringing it out thoroughly to prevent dripping and wipe down the upholstery.

Water and mild dish soap should be mixed in equal amounts and whipped into foam. Just scoop the mixture onto a gentle brush, sponge or rag, scrub the stain and rinse with a clean white cloth. The whipped formula helps to disperse the cleaner so that no part of the upholstery gets too much. Keep in mind that heat will set many stains, so if you are cleaning non-greasy soils make sure you use cool water. For greasy stains, warm or hot water is necessary, but should be used sparingly.

Whatever method you choose, be careful not to over-saturate the upholstery. Too much water/cleaning solution can result in water stains and cause the fabric to shrink.

Once you have finished cleaning, keep pillows and cushions separate for quicker drying. If everything has not thoroughly dried before use, you may be allowing for mildew and you don’t want that.

Spills and stains aside, there is an easy way to keep your upholstered furniture looking great without too much work on your part. Vacuuming your furniture as regularly as possible (once a week is recommended) will remove dust and surface dirt and make more involved cleaning much easier.

By following these simple, affordable steps, you can have your upholstered furniture looking as good as the day you bought it.

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