furniture cleaning
How to Clean Furniture Upholstery Like a Pro

How to Clean Furniture Upholstery Like a Pro

January 17, 2024
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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 has put together a guide that’s 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 cleaning tips and hints to make the process as stress-free as possible.

How to Clean Furniture Upholstery
  1. Examine the Tag on Each Furniture Piece: Every piece of upholstery comes with a tag containing a unique cleaning code. In most cases, you'll find it under the pillows. Each letter stands for a different cleaning method. Make sure to follow the cleaning methods carefully to avoid potentially damaging your expensive upholstery.
  2. Vacuum Thoroughly to Remove Dust and Dirt: Start by vacuuming the upholstery to remove dust, pet hair, and other debris. Use the upholstery attachment for your vacuum cleaner for effective cleaning. If the fabric has a nap, such as suede, chenille, or corduroy, make sure to work in the same direction when vacuuming.
  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. Use Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda lightly over the upholstery. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes and then vacuum it up. Baking soda helps to neutralize odors and absorb any lingering smells.
  5. Freshening Spray: Consider using a fabric freshening spray that is safe for upholstery. These sprays can help eliminate odors without leaving a residue.
  6. Air Out: If possible, let the furniture air out by opening windows or placing it in a well-ventilated area. Fresh air can help remove any remaining odors.
  7. Protective Measures: To keep the upholstery fresh in the long term, consider using throw blankets or washable covers on areas that get a lot of use.

How to Remove Stains from Furniture Upholstery

Tackle those pesky stains on your furniture upholstery with these effective removal techniques!

  1. Act Fast: The sooner you address a stain, the easier it will be to remove. Blot the affected area with a clean, absorbent microfiber cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible without spreading the stain.
  2. Identify the Stain Type: Different stains require different cleaning solutions. For water-based stains like coffee or juice, a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap should suffice. To remove stains caused by oil like grease, lotions, or makeup, a solution of dish soap and baking soda or cornstarch can effectively lift the oil.
  3. Test in an Inconspicuous Spot: Before applying any cleaning solution, test it in an inconspicuous area of the upholstery to ensure it doesn't discolor or damage the fabric.
  4. Clean with a Damp Cloth: Dip a clean, microfiber cloth into the cleaning solution and wring it out thoroughly until it's just damp. Blot the stained area with the cloth, working from the outside in to prevent spreading the stain.
  5. Rinse and Repeat: Rinse the cloth with clean water and repeat the blotting process until the stain is lifted.
  6. Dry Thoroughly: Blot the area with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any remaining moisture. Avoid rubbing, as this can cause damage to the upholstered furniture.
Bonus tip: Use baby wipes or special furniture wipes.

Did you know that you can clean upholstered furniture 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.

You Can Clean Upholstery with These DIY Spot Removers

You Can Clean Upholstery with These DIY Spot Removers

Stains on furniture upholstery can be a nuisance, but they don't have to be a permanent fixture. With the right DIY spot removers, you can easily remove any stains and restore your furniture to its former glory.

Water-Based Stains

  • Warm Water and Dish Soap: Mix equal parts warm water and mild dish soap to create a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the stain to absorb excess moisture and set the stain. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then blot with a clean, damp cloth.
  • White Vinegar: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water to create a slightly acidic solution. This can help break down stubborn stains like juice or coffee.

Oil-Based Stains

  • Blotting Paper or Newspaper: Blot the stain with absorbent paper towels or newspaper to absorb excess oil.
  • Baking Soda and Dish Soap: Mix baking soda with a small amount of dish soap to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Cornstarch: Sprinkle cornstarch directly onto the stain and let it sit overnight to absorb oil. Vacuum it up thoroughly in the morning.

Stubborn Stains

  • Pre-Treatment Spray: Use a pre-treatment spray specifically designed for upholstery to break down the stain before attempting to clean it.
  • Professional Stain Removal: If the stain persists, consider seeking professional upholstery cleaning services. They have specialized equipment and expertise to tackle even the most challenging stains.

How to Deep Clean Upholstered Furniture

How to Deep Clean Upholstered Furniture

The process is easier than you may think! Whether you want to clean a shabby couch fabric or just freshen up, we’ve created these deep cleaning steps for the best results.

  1. Steam the Couch: Before diving into the cleaning process, give your couch a refreshing boost with a steam treatment. Use a handheld garment steamer or bursts from your steam iron.
  2. Vacuum the Upholstered Furniture: Just like in the previous sections start by vacuuming the back, arms, skirt, and cushions.
  3. Testing on a Small Spot: To ensure your cleaning efforts don't cause any harm to your couch, always test any cleaning solution or cleaning appliance on an inconspicuous area first.
  4. Apply the cleaning solution: Depending on the type of stain, apply a cleaning agent on the upholstered furniture.
  5. Sanitize the Couch: Once your couch is thoroughly cleaned, dry it, and apply some sanitizing spray to eliminate odors and freshen up.

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 Euro Maids Help

Your furniture is a huge investment and you want to do everything that you can to keep it in top condition. Thankfully, removing stains from the upholstery 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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Declutter Your To-Do List: Refresh Your Couch in Record Time

Don't waste your precious time and energy trying to clean everything yourself. Contact us today and let us take the worry out of cleaning your furniture.

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