Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Furniture should be cleaned at least twice a year to maintain a healthy home. Dirt and stains are common in every home, and spills may occur at any time. When cleaning upholstery, it is important to know how to handle different fabrics. There are mainly three types: leather, fabric and synthetic. Most couches have coded tags with instructions for cleaning each.

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What you need to clean upholstery

For cleaning upholstery, cleaners can be used or homemade cleaners. The latter are cheaper than store-bought cleaners. In case you are using homemade cleaning solution, you will need baking soda, water, liquid dish soap and vinegar. Other equipment includes handheld upholstery vacuum, brush, spray bottle, and a handheld garment cleaner.

General cleaning of the upholstery  

  • Always test any cleaner in a hidden area of the fabric first. A handheld garment steamer or steam iron can be used to kill dust mites if needed. In the absence of either, a handheld vacuum can be used.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner, go over the whole couch, taking off any removable cushion fabric as far back as you can reach. Then go along the seams, buttons, and frills if any.

Invest in the Right Fabric Cleaner

Moreover, invest in a fabric cleaner meant specifically for your type of upholstery. This ensures that all the stain and dirt is removed. Avoid fabric softeners and opt for air drying to obtain better results. Use free and clear detergents that contain no dye and scents.

Air the Fibers

Next, to remove smoke and scents from pets, air the fibers out for a few days first. Then, sprinkle some baking soda and let it sit for an hour. Vacuum clean it off totally then use a steam mop to help you lift out the stains. You can repeat this for several rounds for tough smells and stains.

Removing different stains

To begin with, avoid rubbing the stains, more so when the liquid is colored. Instead, use absorbent materials on the surface. Some types of fabrics are too sensitive to be heavily scrubbed. Dust and vacuum furniture often. This prevents dirt from sticking on the surfaces. Also, vacuuming often ensures that the upholstery does not have patches of worn-out fabric.

Dealing with food stains

To deal with food stains effectively, follow these steps:

  • Mix one tablespoon of dish soap or laundry detergent in one cup of cold water.
  • Blot the stain with a cloth soaked in the solution.
  • Soak up excess grease stains by pouring baking soda on the surface.
  • After 20 minutes, wipe off everything and remove any remains using a toothbrush and a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Alternatively, you can use salt instead of baking soda.

If you are dealing with marker stains, use alcohol to remove them. Rub the alcohol and let it set in for about 30 minutes then dab from the edges moving into the middle.

For bloody cases, cold water or ice can be used to get rid of it. Afterward, use ordinary laundry detergent in a washing machine to remove remaining stains.

Removing food crumbs and pet hair

Remove pet hair, grit and food crumbs using tape. This can be done by wrapping the tape around your hand like a glove with the adhesive side out. Gently tap the spot and the above will stick on the tape.


These are just a few of the ways you can keep your upholstery clean for a longer period. Also, the quality of air in your living room area will improve. Your home will be dust and allergen-free. Therefore, you will not have to worry about any upper respiratory diseases in your home.