Seven Upholstery Cleaning Tips for Your Home

Seven Upholstery Cleaning Tips for Your Home It’s time to get your upholstered furniture back into shape. You have let its appearance slip and you need to act now before it is too late! Furniture isn’t cheap, particularly good-quality upholstered furniture. Stop pretending your furniture isn’t important; you know as well as everyone else that you’ve been neglecting it for far too long. Act now by putting these upholstery cleaning tips into action!

Keeping upholstered furniture doesn’t have to be hard

If you, like many other people, think maintaining upholstered furniture is too costly or time consuming, you will be surprised to learn that it doesn’t have to be. Your level of cleaning will determine the condition and longevity of your furniture so take control now and save yourself money later!

#1 Spot-clean immediately

It is crucial that if you spill something on your upholstery, you spot-clean the mess immediately. If you think there is no harm in leaving it until later when you aren’t busy, you are dead wrong! A small spill can become deeply soaked into the fabric and cushioning of your chair causing an irreversible stain. So now instead of taking five minutes to quickly treat the spill, you have a stained seat that will cost money to have professionally cleaned, time and money to reupholster, or time and money to completely replace. That five minutes is looking pretty good now, isn’t it? Before you start spot cleaning it is important that you know not to use just any old chemical. As some chemicals react differently with certain fabrics, initially you should only use water and a clean microfibre cloth. For example, harsh chemicals could potentially bleach the fabric, which is why it is advised to avoid them. If water and a cloth doesn’t work, try vodka or white vinegar. These are non-toxic cleaning alternatives that are proven to work. TIP: Use the blotting method because rubbing will only cause the spill to smudge.

#2 Vacuum your lounge

Believe it or not, your vacuum cleaner can be used on surfaces other than your floor, this includes your upholstered lounge chair! Make it a habit that each and every time you vacuum your floor, you give your chairs a once-over. This includes between and under the cushions! (Unless of course your lounge is leather, in which case you should give it a thorough wipe-down instead.) Just like your carpets, if you fail to do this dust builds up and, while you cannot see it, the dirt is abrasive on the fabric. This results in the fibres being damaged over time.

#3 Water

While water should be your first cleaning avenue, it is important that you don’t use too much water. When excessive amounts are used the water saturates the fabric and padding underneath causing water stains in addition to mould and mildew growth. This is not only unattractive; it also poses a health hazard. To remove excess water you should blot dry. Do NOT attempt to use a hair dryer to dry the water as this could set the stain in the upholstery.

#4 Removable cushion covers

Just like your pillow case, fabric cushion covers should be cleaned regularly. This is easy enough when they are removable because most are machine washable but ensure you read the care instructions prior to starting. Remove those cushion covers and give them a quick freshen up!

#5 Spot test

On the odd occasion where you are required to try something stronger than water, vinegar or vodka, you should test the new chemical in a small, inconspicuous spot. This is imperative because should the chemical react adversely, you don’t want damaged fabric in the middle of your furniture where everyone will see. Try a small portion of the corner underneath the lounge instead.

#6 Fabric protection

Regardless of whether your upholstery is fabric or leather, it requires some form of protection. Fabric protection is only needed once every few years depending on how often the furniture is used. It helps to repel spills, which will considerably reduce the risk of permanent stains. Leather, on the other hand, should be cleaned and conditioned every 12 months with a leather treatment to maintain its stain and wear protection.

#7 Routine steam cleans

There are several reasons why your upholstery should be professionally steamed cleaned, at least once every 12 months. These include: Stains: you will not be able to remove all blemishes on your own; some will require the professional expertise of a carpet cleaner. The professionals know how to clean every nook and cranny, which means you can start your regular upkeep from perfect condition once a year. Odours: just like your fridge, your fabric lounge chair absorbs nasty odours from your home. This can vary depending on your lifestyle but smells commonly harboured are a result of sweat, pets and cigarette. You may not notice the smells because you are exposed to them daily but your guests will be less than impressed. Allergies: Even with regular vacuuming, dust mites like to make themselves at home. Unfortunately for you and anyone else who is sensitive to allergens, you will be met with sneezing and possible asthma flare-ups. Tips that will help keep your upholstery cleaner for longer:
  • Do not eat on the lounge. The majority of lounge chair stains are a result of using your sofa as a dining table.
  • If pets must sit on the furniture, consider putting a blanket on the section they are going to use. This will reduce the risk of scratches and tears from paws and claws, and significantly reduce the amount of animal hair that is embedded into the fabric.
Your upholstery is an investment and should be treated as such. Regular maintenance isn’t hard or expensive but the payoff is huge! By putting these upholstery cleaning tips in to action, you will add years to the life of your furniture. If you need further upholstery cleaning tips or want your furniture to look fresh and clean, contact Bennetts Carpet Cleaning today on 1300 661 008!