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Beginner Guide – How to clean upholstery

You may have wondered about this question if you have not tried cleaning upholstery in your whole life. Maybe you made a mess, and you don’t want anybody else to clean for you but yourself. Perhaps you’ve been given the task by your boss, thinking that you know how to do it but certainly does not. 

The fact is that mess can happen no matter what you do. Whether you own a business yourself, work at a hotel, or just simply in school, you must know how to clean upholstery for future purposes. With this article, we hope you provide you information and be able to learn how to remove even the toughest stains on your upholstery, helping you clean a lot better and faster!

A Quick Reminder: If the furniture you have is of very high value or antique, you should leave it to the professionals so that you won’t damage it much further. You may even look at how they do it so that once you gain more confidence, you can do it by yourself. Make sure you practice caution while doing so.

7 Steps for cleaning upholstery

For those who have no idea what upholstery means, it is simply the material used as covering, padding, and stuffing seating furniture and beddings. The upholstery fabric of your sofa or armchair can be a huge investment, especially in special types of furniture. 

Cleaning a very high-end one can prove to be very difficult. Some of this fabric can be too much even for a pro to clean. So, what should you do?

Step 1 – Check the labels of the upholstery

Always look at your own upholstery’s care label. Doing this will help you determine how the manufacturers of said furniture would want you to clean or wash it. If you’re lucky enough, you may even find that the cushion covers can be removed. If that’s the case, you can wash them in your washing machine. However, when washing linens in the said machine, you should use hot water for those with light colors and cold water for those that are not.

Step 2 – Test the treatment on a small area of the upholstery

The next best thing to do is to spot test the treatment fluid on any discreet place on the piece of your linen or furniture. But just to be safe, don’t use the top portion of the cushion of your gorgeous armchair as the testing ground. 

Step 3 – Prepare all

Now, gather all the cleaning materials you will need and use. It’s preferable to use a vacuum in this process. In case you have is either a wet or dry vacuum, make sure the upholstery brush is clean before using it. After all, you want to effectively remove stains from your furniture. 

Get yourself a clear and gentle liquid dish soap and fill it into a container. Clean the upholstery brush previously mentioned (it could be hand-held), as well as a can of compressed air so that if your stained upholstery contains some kind of buttons or crevices on it, you could also work around it.

Step 4 – Vacuum the upholstery

The next thing you need to do is to vacuum the stained parts on your upholstery before you start blotting. This process will allow you to pick up the small particles around the upholstery. 

Make sure you do not tear or scratch the fabric of the furniture with the tools you use or your fingernails. You must handle the cleaning with utmost care so it wouldn’t be a burden for you afterward. You can also use a small can of compressed air when cleaning, allowing you to clean the toughest and tightest places with dirt on it.

Step 5 – Prepare the liquids

After removing all the loose and tiny debris on your upholstery, use the container previously mentioned with clear dishwashing liquid. Pour a little amount in it with warm water. To determine the amount you need, you might need to use about ½ to 1 teaspoon for a ½ gallon of water.

Step 6 – Damp the upholstery

Apply a small amount of the sudsy water you have just prepared for the upholstery brush you have. Even a small amount of liquid will do. A dripping wet brush is no good, so it’ll be best if you pat the brush using a clean towel for it to become barely damp and ready to go. Using the same brush, lightly blot the stain on your upholstery with a very gentle motion but make sure not to soak the fabric itself.

Step 7 – Let the upholstery dry and repeat

Lastly, let your upholstery dry. You can repeat the whole process for at least one or two more times, whichever you think is more appropriate for your furniture.

In case of sudden staining happened to your upholstery, it would be wise to be prepared and buy cleaning products a bit earlier. This will be very beneficial for you to clean your mess up as soon as it happens, so it won’t stick for a long period. 

The market today is loaded with a variety of choices of different solvents you can choose from. You may also find some microfiber cloths that can effectively blot out the stains on your furniture. They can be very beneficial for you, as you wouldn’t need to use any chemicals or additional solutions anymore.

But just a friendly reminder, you should always wash the microfiber cloth that you use after use in a washing machine. You should only use a detergent while doing so as there is no need for a fabric softener anymore. After this, you can now air dry it or even tumble it on low heat for it to dry effectively.

If you need to remove ink from leather, check the guide where we detail several methods.

Last Updated on March 9, 2023

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