Cleaning Household Upholstery Furniture – It Pays to Do it the Right Way!


The smell of new upholstery furniture is an absolute delight! Not to mention the look and feel of it too. It’s soft, comfortable and more importantly, 100% clean! But then the weeks and months roll by and your brand new upholstery now smells dusty, looks dingy and feels dirty. It’s true; upholstery ages quickly if not cleaned or maintained regularly; and when that happens, it makes the whole room look rather drab. No one wants that, so if your upholstery furniture needs cleaning, you’ve come to the right place!

Here’s a step by step guide to clean upholstery furniture the right way and get the cleanest and safest results!

Step 1: Vacuum Upholstery Thoroughly

Dust is the enemy! Unless vacuumed properly, dust gets smeared across your sofa and cushions when cleaning, making a much bigger mess of things. Hence, it’s never a good idea to skip step 1 when cleaning upholstery furniture. Use a soft brush attachment (or a specially made upholstery cleaning attachment) to vacuum the entire couch, removing all surface dirt and dust. Be sure to vacuum between crevices or cracks for any hidden dirt or particles. Here’s a good tip for thoroughly cleaning these hard to reach spots: take an empty toilet roll and attach it to the vacuum nozzle; then flatten the other end of the roll and start vacuuming nooks and crannies!

Step 2: Attack Obvious Stains First

If you find stains or patches of discolouration due to dirt and dust accumulation over time, spot clean these areas first. Much like the process of removing carpet stains, we’ve found vinegar to be quite effective; however, you can also purchase a special upholstery cleaning agent for stain removal. Remember to specify what type of material your upholstery is made of when purchasing a cleaner as certain types of material demand specially made cleaning agents. Also, before you use vinegar or any cleaning product on your upholstery, test it out on an inconspicuous area just to be on the safe side. Allow it dry completely before checking for any damage. Once you’ve got the all-clear signal, begin spot cleaning by pouring the cleaner onto a clean microfibre cloth and rub the stain away as gently as possible.

Step 3: Let the Deep Cleansing Begin!

Again, you can purchase a suitable cleaning product for your upholstery material, or make your own cleaning solution using a mild laundry detergent mixed with warm water. Soak and wring a clean microfibre cloth in this solution and gently wipe the entire surface of the upholstery, allowing some of the soapy solution to penetrate the fabric for a deep cleanse. Be careful not to let too much water soak into the sofa; wring the cloth properly each time you dip it into the solution. You may require more than one microfibre cloth (Alternatively you can rinse the same one under running water and reuse it). It’s important that the cloth is clean at all times as you wipe so that no dirt from the cloth is transferred back onto the upholstery.

Step 4: Drying Your Freshly Cleaned Upholstery

To dry your sofa out, get as much air into the room as you can. Open all the windows in the room, regulate the fan to top speed (push the sofa directly under the fan if it already isn’t) and leave it there until all the dampness has dried up. To speed up the process, you could also use a hairdryer but frankly speaking, air drying upholstery is the best option. You’re your upholstery dries up naturally, it allows the detergent smell to air our and fade just enough so that it isn’t overbearing when you sit down on the couch.

Upholstery Cleaning Codes:

A lot of people that own upholstery furniture do not know of the important upholstery cleaning codes mentioned on the tags of the material; here’s a brief look at each of them to ensure that your upholstery is cleaned appropriately.

W: Use water-based detergent for cleaning.

S: Use water-free product (dry cleaning solvents are suitable).

WS: Either water-based or water-free cleaner can be used.

X: Must be professionally cleaned. Only vacuuming and gentle brushing is advised.

Keeping safety, efficiency, and convenience in mind when cleaning is something that Simply Maid excels at! We want to help make your home a clean and healthy environment through highly informative cleaning tips, guides, and excellent customer service. Also check out our friends over at Duty Cleaners if you are located in Edmonton, Canada!

Karen Saunders


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