Top Cleaning Tips for Upholstery

A clean couch

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Our top cleaning tips blog series feature frequently asked questions we encounter from customers who book our professional home cleaning service in Milwaukee. This week it’s how to clean upholstery furniture. 

Upholstered furniture often has a delicate surface of different fabrics or animal and vegan leather. Because of the wide variety of prints, textures, and aesthetic options, having an upholstery attachment can add character to any living room furniture. You can have a rich-colored leather couch and go for a minimalist, Scandinavian theme, or have a Victorian chair in delicate floral print upholstery and claim cottagecore chic.

The only issue is this: cleaning upholstery can be a bummer if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, in this article, we share expert advice on how to clean upholstered furniture.

How to Clean Upholstery 

Here are some tried-and-tested upholstery cleaning tips for removing dust, dirt, and mild stains. First, check the code specified in the manufacturer’s instructions Do your due diligence and get to know your furniture’s proper care and maintenance needs first. Since 1969 furniture manufacturers have classified products with tags to help, you decide the safest way to clean upholstery. These are usually found underneath the cushions. 

  • Code W – You should only clean the fabric with a water-based cleaning solution. 
  • Code S – Furniture with this code requires a dry cleaning solvent, which needs special handling because it’s flammable and should therefore be done in an open area away from open flames.
  • Code W-S – Upholstery furniture with this code offers flexibility because you use either solvent-based cleaners or a water-based cleaning solution to remove dirt and stains.
  • Code X – This means your furniture requires professional cleaning or vacuuming only. Do not attempt using any cleaning solution or technique because it may lead to further damage, like staining or shrinking.

On the other hand, if you didn’t see a code anywhere, you’ll have to do patch testing in an inconspicuous area to see how the upholstery will react to different cleaners before doing the whole couch. For serious stains, we highly recommend professional cleaning experts specializing in upholstery.  

Vacuuming Your Couch Upholstery 

  • Vacuum at least once a week – Fabric couches are certified magnets for dust, dirt, and grime. Therefore, they require regular cleaning and vacuuming at least weekly or more frequently if you have pets or are prone to allergies.  
  • Invest in top-quality vacuum cleaners – Ideally, it’s best to invest in a handheld vacuum cleaner to clean food crumbs quickly. However, our professional home cleaners recommend a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for deep cleaning and severe suction power. In addition, get a vacuum cleaner with UV light to effectively kill dust mites, viruses, and bacteria.
  • Vacuum every nook and cranny – Take the removable cushions out and vacuum using the brush attachment or a soft-bristled brush, which can effectively remove deep-seated dust and dirt stuck in the crevices. You can also tilt your sofa to vacuum the bottom parts.

Spot Cleaning Upholstery to Remove Stains 

1. Remove excess moisture 

Preventing stains or dealing with them immediately is the best strategy to keep your upholstery pieces looking sleek for a long time. Follow these upholstery cleaning instructions for every kind of stain.

  • Water stains – Blot away water stains and other fresh stains with a microfiber cloth or dry paper towels as soon as possible to get hold of the excess moisture.
  • Solid stains – For solid stains like cheese, use a sharp-edged tool like a bread knife or credit card to lift the dirt off the surface. Be careful not to rub the stains in and get it stuck deeper into the fabric’s fibers. You can also use an old soft-bristled brush to get crumbs out.

2. Prepare your cleaning solution 

Mix ¼ cup dishwashing liquid with a cup of warm water for water-based upholstery cleaning. Blend everything until it’s foamy. It might help to use an electric mixer if you have one.

3. Manually remove the stains

Use a soft sponge to scrub away the stains on the surface gently. Move on to the cleaner sides of the sponge if the stain is transferring, so as not to spread it on the couch. Work in small sections. Put removable cushions in the washer if they are safe for machine wash.

4. Rinse and dry

Rinse by wiping the surface with a clean damp cloth dipped in distilled water or any clean water to blot away the dishwashing liquid. You can also use a spray bottle to spritz water and wet the area. Do it over and over until the surface isn’t soapy anymore. Air dry completely, or use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to suck all the moisture out.

If your couch requires dry cleaning solvent or solvent-based cleaner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label or call in an expert in professional upholstery cleaning.

Home Cleaning Services Near Me

While we do not offer upholstery cleaning as part of our standard residential cleaning services, we are happy to discuss expert cleaning tips in more detail. BetterCleans is a local maid service in Milwaukee with a team of professional house cleaners who are all highly trained, insured, bonded, and background checked. 

Make your life easier! Book our home cleaning services in Milwaukee now!

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