Easy Tips for Upholstery Cleaning

Maintaining your upholstered furniture and cleaning them regularly will not only make them look more attractive but will also prolong its life. Although many think upholstery cleaning is a challenging chore that few can perform …

Upholstery Cleaning

Maintaining your upholstered furniture and cleaning them regularly will not only make them look more attractive but will also prolong its life.

Although many think upholstery cleaning is a challenging chore that few can perform properly, cleaning them does not have to be a hassle.

Follow our simple and straightforward tips to clean furniture effectively and in no time.

How to clean upholstered furniture

Upholstery Cleaning process

The first thing you must do is remove any dirt and debris from the upholstery. The best way to do that is to use a dusting brush to brush off any dust or visible dirt.

If your sofas and couches have loose cushions, remove them and clean them separately.

Once you have finished brushing the sofa, bring out your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the furniture using the brush attachment.

Do not forget to go over both sides of the upholstery.

Use a detergent solution 

You can visit a cleaning supplies shop to purchase a high-quality upholstery cleaning product or make your own by yourself. If you are a fan of the latter, prepare the following solution: mix 2 parts laundry detergent (not containing bleach) with 5 parts warm water in a bucket.

Test the solution on a small hidden spot of the upholstery 

Before you start cleaning, make sure to check if the detergent won’t damage the material by applying it to a small, inconspicuous area. Wipe the spot and let it air dry. If there are no discolourations, then it’s safe to use it on the rest of the fabric.

Clean your furniture with the solution

Apply the cleaning solution using a sponge and rub it into the fabric using light circular motions. Once ready, wipe off any detergent residue. Allow the solution to sit on stains and spills for a few minutes. 

After 5-10 minutes, pay dry and let the upholstery air-dry.

How do you clean stains

If spills occur, it’s best to clean the right away before they start to absorb into the fabric.

To do that, use a clean, dry cloth and gently blot the spill. If you press too hard, you risk pushing the spill into the fabric. An alternative to that is also vacuuming the spill, as it will take up the liquid without rubbing it in.

If you’re dealing with an old stain, it might sound surprising how much simply vacuuming it can help fade it.

However, before tackling the next part, you must always check the cleaning instructions, or else you risk damaging the piece if improperly cleaned.

If water can be used on the piece of furniture, you can always use your iron to help you clean the mess. Just set it on the steam setting, and use it on the stain to loosen it and make it more susceptible to treatment.

If water isn’t an option, use either vodka or vinegar on a dry cloth, and then blot the stain.

Once that part is done, you want to make sure you choose a proper cleaning method, not only to clean the mess but ensure that you do not damage the fabrics.

Try more gentle cleaning approaches first (like dish soap mixed with cool water), and if they don’t work, only then move on to the heavy-duty stuff (just make sure you test it on a discrete part first of the upholstery, so you don’t damage it).

General upholstery maintenance tips

Before you attempt to clean your sofas and settees with any detergent, make sure to check the manufacturer’s label for the appropriate cleaning code:

  • “W” goes for water-based cleaning;
  • “S” means solvent-based cleaning;
  • “SW” stands for solvent or water-based cleaning;
  • “X” indicates that you should dry-clean your upholstery.

After you’ve checked that, you’re ready to begin cleaning.

Vacuum your furniture regularly – to reduce the amount of debris, dirt and heavy soiling, make sure to vacuum your upholstery at least once a week.

Another thing to remember is that you must keep moist to a minimum. Use wet cleaning products sparingly, and always make sure for the treated part to dry completely afterwards.

That’s all because if you use too much, it will soak into the padding and possibly become a breeding ground for bacteria or damage it.

Try to avoid using too many solvent cleaners as they can deteriorate the fabric if left to sit too long without drying.

If ordinary cleaning techniques simply aren’t enough to freshen your upholstery, it’s best to hire a professional. Expert upholstery cleaning services in London use professional equipment and industry-standard detergents that can clean your furniture more effectively than any commercial cleaning product.

How to clean and protect your upholstered furniture if you have pets

Pets shed fur, and they do that everywhere.

Cleaning it up is easy on hardwood floors, but when it comes to furniture, that’s rarely the case.

Your vacuum cleaner may be able to get half of it, as your pet’s hair tends to stick to the upholstery, which makes the task rather difficult.

Yet, there’s a much simpler and more efficient way to remove all that fur–and that is by using a pair of rubber gloves to rake it off the surface.

Rubber is usually sticky and easily creates friction, so if you rake in one direction, you’ll pretty much be able to get all of it in under minutes.

The other major concern when you have pets is how to protect your upholstered furniture.

Usually, about a quarter of the people who buy upholstery report that their pets have damaged it in some kind of way within a year.

Most people would agree that when paws and claws and upholstery are involved, there’s usually some unavoidable wear and tear.

Still, there are steps you can take to protect your belongings from that, as well as ensure the comfort of your furry babies.

Here are some ideas on how to achieve that:

  • Vacuum or sweep weekly if you allow your pets on the furniture;
  • Cover your furniture with a sheet or blanket or a waterproof pet protection cover, and wash weekly;
  • Keep an old rag or towel to wipe your dog’s feet before they’re allowed to come in after a play in the yard;
  • Keep in mind that baking soda can be a really effective odour remover;
  • Provide your pets with their own comfy space instead of allowing them on the furniture;
  • Place a cat scratcher near furniture that is at risk to redirect the scratching and offer praise and a delicious treat any time it uses it;
  • Consider keeping their nails trimmed.

As many upholstered pieces of furniture are virtually the centre of your living room and quite expensive, it always pays off to ensure that your upholstery is as fur-proof and claw-resistant as possible.

Choose the method that works best for you and let your four-legged friend enjoy the comfort of your upholstery without you worrying about them damaging your couch or sofa.


The best way to ensure your upholstery looks fresh and lasts for a long time is to regularly clean it using the right techniques.

So, if you haven’t been cleaning your upholstered furniture in a while, make sure to give them a good deep cleaning first. 

And if you take good and proper care of them afterwards, it’s guaranteed that your belongings will not only look fresh but will also make your home feel more welcoming and comfortable.

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