There’s a reason your mom never let you eat on or put your feet on the furniture. Upholstery is like a magnet for dirt, crumbs, stains, and bacteria. All of these things cling to the fabric’s fibers like few other household surfaces, and soon your once comfy couch or chair is too crusty, smelly, or discolored to enjoy.
What Mom may not have told you, however, are the many ways to clean your upholstery. No matter how careful you are, there will always be dust and accidents. You can extend the life and enjoyment of your furniture when you know how to clean your upholstery properly. Follow these tips for upholstery cleaning and always have great-looking furniture.
What is upholstery cleaning?
Upholstery cleaning is what it sounds like–cleaning the upholstery, or fabric, on your furniture. It differs from other household cleaning tasks in that fabric is more delicate and absorbent than other surfaces so it can be damaged more easily by messes and cleaning products alike.
That is why it is so vital that you learn the right upholstery cleaning techniques. Otherwise, you may make your furniture look worse than before you cleaned it!
What is the best way to clean upholstery?
The best way to clean upholstery starts with how often you clean it. To keep your upholstery in good condition and help it last longer, make cleaning upholstered furniture a weekly chore. Otherwise, all the dirt and crumbs your upholstery picks up each day gets ground in and will become harder to clean off later.
To clean upholstery, start by vacuuming it. This is vital because if you get dirt and crumbs wet, they’ll just dissolve and sink deeper into the upholstery fibers where they may never come out.
The easiest way to vacuum your furniture is to use the hose and upholstery attachment. This allows you to vacuum both the cushions and all those nooks and crannies where food, loose change, and the remote love to hide. Vacuum from top to bottom and left to right in short, overlapping strokes for the best effect.
After vacuuming, treat stains. The best way to clean stains is to do so as soon as they happen and pat them with a damp cloth to soak up the spill. However, if you have children or pets, you’re probably familiar with mystery stains that seemingly appear out of nowhere.
If you find a mystery stain, mix about 2 cups of water with a drop of clear dish soap to make a cleaning solution. Test the solution on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it won’t hurt your upholstery.
If it appears fine, blot–don’t scrub–the stain with the corner of a cloth dipped in the solution. Follow by blotting the soap away with a cloth dipped in pure water and pat dry with a towel.
How to remove stubborn stains
Have an especially stubborn or old stain? Try the above method with a little diluted vinegar. If that doesn’t do the trick, invest in a commercial cleaner. For the best results, check the cleaning symbols on the furniture tag.
These will tell you whether to use a water-based detergent (W), water-free solvent (S), either one (WS), or neither (X). If commercial cleaners are not recommended, you’ll have to call the professionals for help.
Some stains won’t come up with either water or chemicals, such as grease stains. For these, you can absorb the oil by sprinkling cornstarch on the spot and letting it sit for 30 minutes. Vacuum the corn starch and check the stain. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Wine stains are many furniture owners’ worst fear, but they don’t necessarily spell the end of your favorite couch. Blot away (remember, don’t rub!) as much excess wine as possible. Dilute the remaining wine with a little club soda and continue blotting. Repeat until gone or no more wine is coming up. If the stain remains, treat it with the clear dish soap solution from above.
How do you deep clean upholstery?
Sometimes the typical home treatments aren’t enough to freshen up your furniture. Body oils, pet stains, cigarette smoke, and bacteria can all make your furniture stink and look dingey over time despite your best efforts. The best way to deep clean your upholstery is to hire the pros once a year.
Most professional upholstery cleaning services use a process called hot water extraction. Their machine injects hot water and cleaning solution into the fibers of your upholstery to dislodge particles hiding there. Then it all gets sucked up with a powerful vacuum. This method is very effective at removing all the gross grime hiding in your furniture without damaging the material.
How much does upholstery cleaning cost?
Upholstery cleaning shouldn’t cost an arm(chair) and a leg, but it will depend on the pieces you’re having cleaned and where you live. The main determining factor is size. Single chairs cost less to have cleaned than a large sofa. Areas with higher costs of living will also have more expensive services.
However, here are some estimated average prices for upholstery cleaning in the US:
-Sectional sofa: $150
Affordable upholstery cleaning
You can get a lot more use out of your furniture when you use proper upholstery cleaning methods. These methods are easy and require very few supplies, so it shouldn’t be difficult to extend the life of your furniture and save yourself the cost of buying new pieces every few years with regular upholstery cleaning.
Even the annual investment of a professional deep clean is worth it when you think about how it will preserve your furniture in the long run.
Looking for a highly-rated upholstery cleaning service you can trust in Takoma Park? Cimara Cleaning Services offers Takoma Park residents superb house cleaning services that are guaranteed to beautify your home.
We provide convenient, quality cleaning for all surfaces of your home, including upholstery cleaning, at affordable rates. Let us spruce up your furniture after you request a free quote today.