How to Clean Upholstery

Cleaning the upholstery on a couch can be done in a few simple steps without hiring a professional. One of the most used and abused pieces of furniture in your home, that couch deserves to be taken care of and kept clean.

Stains from food and drink, pet hair, and dirt from kid’s feet are just a few solid reasons to clean your couch’s upholstery. Check the manufacturer’s label for proper care and cleaning, and follow the tips and methods below to have the upholstery on your couch looking good again.

Know the Code Before You Clean
Beginning in 1969, furniture manufacturers began adding a tag to help you determine the best and safest way to clean upholstery. Take the time to search for the tag underneath the couch or cushions and follow the cleaning guidelines.

Code W
These fabrics can be cleaned with water-based cleaning solvents.

Code S
Use only a dry cleaning or water-free solvent to remove stains and soils. The use of these chemicals require a well-ventilated room and no open flames like fireplaces or candles.

Code W-S
These upholstery fabrics can be cleaned with either water-based or solvent-based products.

Code X
When you see the “X” avoid any type of cleaning agent. These fabrics should only be cleaned by vacuuming or by a professional. Any type of home cleaning product can cause staining and shrinking.

If you have found a cleaning code tag, you’re one step ahead. If there is no tag, you will need to do some testing in an inconspicuous area to see how the fabric reacts when treated. One tip that will serve you well is to NEVER over-saturate the fabric with moisture. Too much water can cause mold and mildew to grow in the cushions that is nearly impossible to remove.

How Often to Clean a Couch
A deep couch cleaning will require three steps. While you should vacuum your couch weekly, stain removal and general upholstery cleaning should be done quarterly or on an as-needed basis.

What You Need

>> Dishwashing liquid
>> Warm water
>> Dry cleaning solvent
>> Baking soda
>> Vacuum
>> Electric mixer or whisk
>> Sponge or microfiber cloth

How to Remove Stains
Before you can clean the overall upholstery, you should tackle any specific stains.

Blot Moisture and Remove Solid Debris
If stains are liquid and fresh, blot away as much moisture as possible with paper towels. For solids like mayonnaise or sticky cheese, use the edge of a dull knife or the edge of a credit card to lift away as much of the stain as possible. Never rub the area because that only pushes the stain deeper into the fabric fibers. For dried solids, use a soft-bristled brush to loosen the dried matter.

Prepare the Cleaning Solution
If the upholstery can be cleaned with a water-based cleaner, mix one-fourth cup dishwashing liquid and one cup of warm water in a small bowl. Use an electric mixer or a whisk to create some suds.

Rub Stain
Dip a sponge into the suds and rub away the stain. Keep moving to a clean area of the sponge as the stain is transferred.

Rinse and Dry
Finish by dipping the sponge or a microfiber cloth in clear water to blot away any cleaning solution. This “rinse” is very important because any detergent left in the fibers can actually attract more soil. Allow the area to air dry completely away from direct sunlight or heat.

If the upholstery requires a dry cleaning solvent, follow the directions on the product label.

How to Clean Couch Upholstery
If your couch needs an overall cleaning, after vacuuming, you can follow basically the same steps as for stain removal.

Prepare the Cleaning Solution
For general cleaning, mix a less concentrated cleaning solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Mix only one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid per one gallon of warm water.

Wipe the Fabric
Use a sponge or microfiber cloth dipped in the solution and wrung to just damp to wipe down every surface. Work in small sections at a time and avoid getting water on metal components like buttons, snaps, and frame legs. This can cause rust stains that are difficult to remove.

Follow up with a fresh sponge or cloth dipped in plain water. Finish by blotting with dry cloths to absorb moisture. You can use a circulating fan to help speed drying but avoid direct heat like a hair dryer.

Article Source