How to Clean Upholstery to Look Good as New

7th September 2018

How to Clean Upholstery to Look Good as New

Upholstery has been around since the Middle Ages. No, really! However, back then, only the very wealthy would be lucky enough to have padded cushions and four poster bed curtains in their homes. Nowadays, upholstery is everywhere. It's in our bedrooms, our living rooms, our kitchens and in our cars. But no matter how far upholstered furniture has evolved, we still have the age-old issue of cleaning it. So unless you're going to pay someone to do it for you, it's always handy to have a guide that will teach you how to clean upholstery to a high standard. And here it is! We've got some really handy tricks that'll save you a lot of time and have your furniture looking good as new.

Of course, there are many different types of upholstery and many different types of furniture. However, today we're going to cover the basics, focusing on fabric upholstery (as opposed to leather) mainly seen on headboards, sofas and dining chairs or armchairs.

What you'll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Lint roller
  • White vinegar
  • Mild detergent/dish soap
  • Soft, absorbent cloths (a few spare will be handy)
  • A fan (if possible)

The Method

  1. Start by clearing away any mess or items that might be in the way. For example, if you're cleaning your sofa, remove any cushions, throws or... yep, pets (be gentle). We need a completely blank canvas to work with!
  2. Then, use your vacuum to suck up any dust or debris, carefully but firmly. To get the best results from a vacuum cleaner, you should make sure you use one on your upholstery as part of your weekly cleaning routine. A good vacuum will not only remove pet hair, crumbs and dust but will also prevent dirt from building up in the fabric and creating an overall dirty look. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it really can make!
  3. Another great tip is to keep a lint roller nearby. If you're in the living room, keep on in the coffee table drawers or in the side cabinet. In the bedroom, tuck one away in your bedside table. Whenever you spot pet hair or general debris gathering, give it a quick once over.
  4. Now it's time to clean! Mix up a solution using white vinegar, mild detergent and tepid water. We recommend using two cups of water, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and the same amount of detergent. Whisk up the ingredients in a bowl to create a foam.
  5. Next, use the foam and solution to spread over the dirty areas of your sofa. Try not to let one area get too wet but aim for an even covering. Use a soft, clean cloth, dampened slightly with water, to wipe down the fabric. Ensure you use a clean cloth each time you tackle a new area, so you're not just spreading dirt around!
  6. Now, when the soap has been cleaned up, check that there are no water spots or very wet areas. Your upholstery should just be damp.
  7. It's now time to let the fabric dry naturally. If you have access to a fan, point this at the furniture you've been cleaning.

That's all there is - you now know how to clean upholstery in an effective and low-cost manner. For more tips and tricks that will help maintain your furniture, be sure to check out more posts over on our blog.

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