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9 Pro Tips for Effective Upholstery Cleaning

Cleaning upholstery can seem like a hassle. Check out these nine pro tips for effective upholstery cleaning that are sure to lead you in the right direction.
Woman from cleaning service using vacuum

Did you know that based on recent research that it only takes 38 seconds for someone to judge your home? When we say judge, we’re talking about first impressions. This is not just based on the outside, but also on the inside when you have guests over.

With that being said, whether you want to impress a new neighbor, your boss coming over, or anyone else, then one of the best things you can do to help with those first impressions is keeping your upholstery clean!

Which is what we’re here today to talk about.

With that being said, let’s take a look!

1) Read the Upholstery Label

This might seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this step. Every single piece of upholstery in your home should have a label on it that says what it’s made of and how you should go about cleaning it.

For example, some labels will say “dry clean only” or “vacuum regularly.” These are important instructions that you need to follow in order to keep your furniture looking great for years to come. Ignoring the label can lead to irreversible damage being done to your upholstery.

Understanding Your Type of Fabric

You can typically find this label on the bottom of your furniture. Look for a “W” or an “S”. This code is going to tell you whether it’s safe to use a water-based cleaner or not. “W” means that it’s safe while an “S” means you should only use solvent-based cleaners. If you see a “W” then this means vacuum only.

Here is a full list of labels you may find on different types of upholstery:

  • WS: Steam cleaning vacuum and dry cleaning solution or water-based solution
  • S: Dry cleaning product
  • X: Vacuum cleaner or brush, no water
  • W: Steam vacuum and water-based cleanser
  • O: Organic cleaning only, cleaned with a water spray

This is also something that upholstery service maids will also always check. So if the pros are doing you, you should too!

2) Homemade Or DIY Cleaning Products

You’ll be surprised at how many common household items can double as an effective cleaning products! When it comes to upholstery cleaning products, homemade and DIY can be very effective.

For example, mixing rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and a few drops of essential oils can create a powerful cleaning solution that will not only remove stains but also sterilize your furniture. This is a great way to clean if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option.

This is also very nice if you are not keen on spending too much time making your own as it should only take a couple of minutes to make. Plus if you are trying to save money, this is often going to be much cheaper.

3) Hire Upholstery Cleaning Company

There are some cases where it is best to just hire a professional cleaning service. Upholstery cleaning services have the experience and knowledge to clean your furniture without damaging it. They also have access to powerful and effective cleaning equipment that will be great for getting out things such as tough stains, pet urine removal, and much more.

This is often going to be the best option if you have very delicate or custom upholstery. A professional cleaning will also be able to give your furniture a deep clean that will remove all of the dirt, dust, and allergens that have built up over time.

Hiring an upholstery cleaning company is often going to be the most expensive option but it’s also going to be the most effective. Plus, cleaning your carpets and upholstery, or leather furniture is no fun and time-consuming.

Lastly, if you need upholstery repair or furniture repair, it’s a good idea to have a pro take a look rather than DIY.

4) Cleaning Solution for Pet Hair: Squeegee & Water

If you have pets, then you know that their hair can get everywhere! Upholstery is no exception. Pets love to lounge on sofas and chairs and their hair will often end up on the fabric. The good news is that there’s an easy way to remove pet hair from upholstery without damaging the fabric.

All you need is a squeegee and a water bottle with a sprayer attachment. Fill the bottle with water and mist the upholstery. Then, use the squeegee to push the pet hair off of the fabric. The water will help to loosen the hair while the squeegee will remove it. Repeat this process until the pet hair has been removed.

Once you’re done, vacuum up the loose hair and you’re all set! This is a quick and easy way to remove pet hair from upholstery without damaging the fabric. You can use this method for carpet cleaning or car seat cleaning as well!

5) Clean Up Spills Immediately

This tip doesn’t necessarily help you if you already have stains, but for future preventive care for upholstery cleaning, it’s always best to clean up a spill the second it happens. The longer a spill sits, the harder it will be to remove.

So, If a spill occurs on your upholstered furniture, clean it up right away to avoid it from absorbing into the fabric. Use a clean, dry cloth to clean the area of the spill. If the spill is particularly large or tough, you may need to use a mild soap and water solution (as long as your label appropriately allows you to).

Once you’ve cleaned up the spill, be sure to blot the area with a clean, dry cloth to remove any moisture. Allowing the area to air dry is also a good idea.

By cleaning up spills immediately, you can often prevent them from becoming stains in the first place!

6) How to Remove Bad Smells

Upholstery can start to develop bad smells over time. This is often due to spills, pets, smoking, or other things that can cause odors. If your upholstery is starting to smell bad, there are a few things you can do to freshen it up!

One thing you can do is sprinkle baking soda on the affected area. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber and will help to remove bad smells from your upholstery. Let the baking soda sit for 20-30 minutes before vacuuming it up.

Another thing you can do is to spray a mixture of essential oils on the affected area. This will not only help to remove bad smells but it will also leave your upholstery smelling fresh and pleasant!

7) Removing Greasy Stains

Greasy stains are one of the hardest types of stains to remove. But, with a little time and effort, you can get rid of them!

Start by spraying a generous amount of cornstarch the stain. Then allow it to sit for a bit while it absorbs the grease up. After the grease has been absorbed, you can then use a vacuum to suck it up. After that, apply about a little bit of dish soap to the stain and rub it in.

Then, using a clean, dry cloth, blot at the stain until it’s gone. You may need to repeat this process a few times for tough stains. Once the stain is gone, you can then vacuum the area to remove any soap residue.

This process may take some time, but it’s worth it to get rid of those tough, greasy stains!

8) Don’t Scrub, Blot First

When it comes to liquid spills, it’s a good idea to try to not scrub but rather to blot at first. Scrubbing can often cause the spill to spread and can also damage the fabric. So, instead of scrubbing, use a clean, dry cloth to blot at the spill.

This will help to absorb some of the liquid and will also help to prevent the spill from spreading. Once you’ve blotted up as much liquid as you can, you can then start to scrub the area if necessary.

Just remember, when it comes to upholstery cleaning, it’s always best to blot first and scrub second.

9) Fabric Protectors and Fabric Softeners

Whenever using either fabric protectors or fabric softeners, you should be cautious. While these products can help to protect your upholstery and make it softer, they can also cause damage if used incorrectly.

These can also cause adverse effects if used too much. excessive scrubbing will wear and tear on the materials. It can also be irritated for kids or pets who are regularly on the furniture.

Effective Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Upholstery can be a pain to clean, but if you follow these tips you’ll be able to get the job done without any trouble. By cleaning up spills immediately, using baking soda or essential oils, and blotting instead of scrubbing, you’ll be able to remove most stains and smells from your furniture.

With that being said, it’s always a good idea to consider hiring a professional for any upholstery cleaning or upholstery repairs. As they are the pros and will know the best way to handle it!

If you’re in need of upholstery cleaning services in Washington, schedule an appointment with us today!