May 30, 2019
6 Tips to Make Your Furniture Look Like New Again
Let’s face it, furniture isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive parts of any home, and the pressure to keep it in pristine condition can be exhausting. Thankfully, if your furniture has seen better days, you can deep clean your upholstery to help it look as good as new!
If you’ve cleaned upholstery before, you’ll understand how frustrating the job can be. Not only are you required to select the perfect cleaning tools and supplies, but you must also apply appropriate cleaning methods or risk permanently damaging your furniture.
So, are you wondering how to clean upholstery the right way? Euro Maids guide is designed to help you professionally tackle those tough stains to leave your upholstery looking sparkling clean.
How to Clean Furniture Upholstery
If you’ve never cleaned upholstery before, don’t panic! We’ve outlined a handful of upholstery tips and hints to make the process as stress-free as possible.
1. First, Examine the Tag on Each Furniture Piece
Every piece of upholstery comes with a tag containing a unique cleaning code. You may have to conduct a quick search to find the tag. In most cases, you’ll find it under the pillows. Once you locate the tag, check for the letters W, S, X, or W/S. Each letter stands for a different cleaning method.
- “W” means you can only use water and commercial cleaning solutions;
- “S” means dry cleaning solvents are allowed;
- “W/S” means both “W” and “S” cleaning rules apply;
- “X” stands for vacuuming.
Make sure to follow the cleaning methods carefully to avoid potentially damaging your expensive upholstery.
2. Vacuum Thoroughly to Remove Dust and Dirt
A simple, handheld vacuum cleaner should be sufficient to remove dust and grime from the upholstery. But for the best results, we recommend a high-powered vacuum cleaner. If you can lay your hands on a HEPA vacuum cleaner, that would be brilliant. Use the cleaner to suck out the dust, hair, and dirt that has accumulated on the surfaces and in crevices. If the cushions are removable, take them out and vacuum both sides. For caked-in grime, use brush bristles to loosen the dirt first, then vacuum that spot on the cushion again.
Start by thoroughly vacuuming the upholstery attachment, always starting at the top and working your way down. Use short strokes and move left to right. If the fabric has a nap, such as suede, chenille, or corduroy, make sure to work in the same direction when vacuuming. If needed, you can switch the vacuum attachment to better reach the crevices or furniture seams that have accumulated crumbs. For particularly hard-to-reach areas, you can use a can of compressed air to dislodge the particles and vacuum them.
3. Brush Up the Fabric
Another upholstery trick is to use a dry brush to remove the residue. This is also an easy way to “fluff” the fabric fibers to make your furniture look that much cleaner. Fluffing the fibers of the fabric also makes it easier to reach stains that have had a chance to set in.
4. Run a Spot-check in Case There Are Stains
A spot-check means conducting some quick research to find out the type of stain you’re dealing with and the best combination of tools/solutions and cleaning methods to use for that occasion. Depending on the type of upholstery, you may need to use a dry cleaning solvent, commercial upholstery cleaner, or leather cleaner. Another common option is homemade cleaning solutions. The simplest homemade upholstery cleaning solution is a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.
Once you’ve identified the right cleaning solution and tools, blot test the area. Dip a soft, clean cloth in the identified solution, then run it against the stain. If the upholstery fabric doesn’t lose its color, it’s the right solution.
5. Spot Clean the Stains
Spot cleaning can be an incredibly successful method how to make upholstery cleaner at home. The best time to take action on a stained upholstery spot is when it is still damp. If this is not the case for your stain, you can skip directly to step number three below.
#1: Blot the Stain with a Dry Cloth
Use a dry, clean cloth and gently blot the damp stain. This will pull up as much moisture and liquid as possible to remove it from the material. When you see your cloth becoming damp, switch to either a different cloth or a dry area of the same cloth. Otherwise, you’ll continue to push the dirt and debris into the fabric.
#2: Apply a Damp Cloth to Blot Fresh Water into the Stain
As soon as you’ve extracted the maximum amount of moisture, use a clean, damp cloth with fresh water and blot it into the stain. Use small, gentle circular motions to pull up debris and residue to ensure you don’t spread the stain to a larger surface area.
Bonus tip: Use baby wipes or special furniture wipes
Did you know that you can clean your upholstery with baby wipes as well? Find the gentlest version you can and use it to dab the stain. If you don’t have access to baby wipes, you can also try upholstery wipes. They’re designed to act as an emergency treatment, all you need to do is choose the one for the material of your upholstery and wipe gently.
#3: Use Baking or Club Soda
Baking soda is another way to clean furniture upholstery. Mix water and baking soda in a small bowl to create a paste. Gently use a damp cloth and push it into the stain using a circular motion. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe up any leftover residue.
Club soda is another method of removing upholstery stains. Simply spray the stain with club soda and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Use a clean paper towel to blot it dry.
#4: Finish Up, Then Let the Furniture Dry
6. Deep Clean Your Upholstery
The process is easier than you may think! Follow these deep cleaning steps for the best results.
Cleaning with laundry detergent
Simply mix lukewarm water with a liquid laundry detergent. Liquid detergent is better than powdered detergent in this case as the powder could leave smudges or spots if it doesn’t fully dissolve before using it. Take a clean cloth and gently run it over the upholstery. Make sure you let the upholstery fully dry before using it again.
Cleaning with vinegar
To clean upholstery with vinegar, mix half a cup of warm water with half a cup of white vinegar. Dip your clean microfiber cloth in this solution and gently blot at stains. You can also use a mixture of warm water and liquid dish soap to blot at stains located on the non-fabric portion of the upholstery.
Cleaning in a washing machine
Some upholstery has removable covers that allow you to use a washing machine to clean them. If possible, remove the upholstery and start by vacuuming it. Make sure to read the care instructions to ensure you don’t ruin the upholstery in the wash! Some may be sensitive to temperature changes that could result in shrinkage, making it incredibly difficult to put back onto the furniture. When in doubt, run your upholstery on a delicate, cool cycle.
How to Prevent Your Upholstery from Getting Dirty
Rather than searching for information on how to make upholstery cleaner, you can instead research how to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. In addition to hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service, you can:
- Purchase an air filter for your home to help trap airborne particles that may settle into the fabric on your furniture.
- Make sure you are changing your air filter at least twice per year as it helps to lock in dust, pet hair, dander, dust mites, etc. If you have pets, however, it’s a good idea to change the filter more frequently.
- Get your home’s ducts cleaned professionally every few years or as often as your HVAC company recommends.
- Keep your pets off of your furniture or invest in a cover that will act as a barrier between dander and your furniture.
- Always use exhaust fans in the kitchen to keep food odors and particles from settling into your fabric furniture.
- Clean stains or pet messes as soon as they occur so they cannot settle into the fabric.
- If you need to smoke inside, make sure to purchase an ashtray that helps to capture cigarette smoke rather than it wafting through the air.
Let EuroMaids Help
Your furniture is a huge investment and you want to do everything that you can to keep it in top condition. Thankfully, how to make upholstery cleaner is a completely doable process with the right knowledge and materials. We encourage you to follow the information in this article to tend to your most beloved furniture pieces.
If you’re doubting your cleaning skills, you don’t have the time, or you simply want the best possible outcome, contact Euro Maids for professional house cleaning in Naperville. Our experienced team knows the best ways to clean upholstery and we always offer free estimates!
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