Whether you want to extend the life of a favorite chair or overhaul that old but nice couch you picked up at an estate sale, proper cleaning can eliminate upholstery dirt before it literally becomes part of the furniture.
Here are a few simple tips for cleaning upholstery:
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before you try to remove stains from your furniture. That cleaning product you found online may say it is safe for all fabrics, but your furniture’s manufacturer has the last word on this. If you cannot find the manufacturer’s instructions, there should be a tag on your sofa cushions says whether water-based cleaners or other solvents are safe for use.
Water-based cleaners are almost always safe, but you need a solvent based cleaner to remove most stains. Using steam cleaner can also make cleaning more efficient and successful. Some steam cleaners use microfiber cloths to pick up debris. You’ll want to change these cloths frequently for efficient cleaning. The key to choosing the best natural upholstery cleaner is to understand the cleaning codes that contain W, SW, W, WS and WW and are water cleaning agents that are safe to use.
Spot testing cleaning solutions is crucial. Choose an inconspicuous spot that could be in the underside of the furniture and upholstery to test any cleaning products you intend to use.
If you have pets, urine can be a major issue for the upholstery. Vinegar has been a reliable cleaner for pet urine for generations. Mix water and vinegar and sparingly dab it at the stain. Dampen the spot, then lift the moisture with a dry cloth. Blot gently – do not rub it in! Avoid soaking the material and do not drive the urine into the cushion. Dab the mixture again and dry it until the stain is gone. If you add some hydrogen peroxide, it can help remove odors – but spot test for discoloration.
Bonus tip: If you add a little oil to the water and vinegar mixture, it will create an excellent furniture polish.
You can also use a dish detergent that is not used in laundry. A degreasing detergent can be bad for your car seat, you need special homemade vinegar and alcohol upholstery cleaners that remove ink stains and dissolves bad blotches.
If you do not have access to a steam cleaner, you can simply put your cleaning solution into a spray bottle and grab a few clean microfiber cloths. Microfiber is very absorbent. Use one for scrubbing and dabbing, and a clean dry one for blotting. Repeat the spraying, scrubbing and blotting until all the stains are removed.