How to Clean Your Upholstry

Upholstered furniture is one of our biggest home investments, oddly many of us do not know how to properly care for it.  What many of us don’t know is that proper care and cleaning can not only prolong the life of our furniture, but it can keep it looking like new as well.  Here are 10 tips to help you care for any upholstered item in your home.

Tip 1: Use protection agents.

Most items you buy will come with this built into the fabric, if your items are older you may want to consider using a do it your spray.  But, you do have to be careful, some of these sprays can have chemicals that will harm your fabric overtime, so only use on older items and use sparsely.  However, the benefits will outweigh the risk here.  These protects are used to help repel water and soil as well help protect against some mildew that may grow in your fabrics.

Tip 2: Turn the cushions.

It seems so simple but turning the cushions will provide even wear on the surface.

Tip 3: Vacuum on a regular basis.

Vacuuming will not only remove dirt, but it will keep it from grounding into the fibers and falling into the foam underneath.

Tip 4: clean the crevasses.

All those little ledges and folds will attract and hold dirt more than any other surface of your furniture.   Along with this dirt is oils and grease, some of these can start to eat away at the stitching, so keeping them clean will keep your seams from becoming weak.

Tip 5: Shampoo the fabric once or twice a year.

By shampooing the fabric you are pulling the dirt out from the fibers and the foam below.  Shampooing will also refresh the colors of the fabrics.  A little note here – make sure your fabric is colorfast, if not shampooing will only pull those colors out and dull the fabric. 

Tip 6: If your upholstery is not colorfast then dry clean it.

Unfortunately some fabric is not colorfast.  It is made this way for many reasons, including cost and keeping the colors from dulling or fading.  If this is the case you will have to dry clean the fabric.  You can buy a do it yourself kit and do it at home, or have a professional come in and clean it for you.  If you don’t know if the fabric is colorfast then dry clean it, better safe than sorry.

Tip 7: Only use a water based product on leather and vinyl.

While products with oil or grease in them may not have as much of an effect of vinyl, it defiantly will on leathers.  Using a water based foam is your best bet and be on the lookout for products containing harsh chemicals. It should be as “eco-friendly” as possible.  It is those products that will cause the least amount of damage to the product.  And while using an oil based product may make the furniture look shiner, softer, etc. it will seep into the upholstery and weaken it.

Tip 8: Clean up spills right away/Spot clean.

The longer you leave them the more likely they are to set and stain the fabric.  Also, they are much easier to clean while the spill is still wet.  Once dried it will require more scrubbing, and it might require harsher chemicals to get the stain out.   Included in this is to spot clean during your weekly cleaning routine.  It may not be a spill, but little spots of dirt and grease always find their way to the fabric.  If you notice it, go ahead and clean it up right away, it will only take a couple of minutes.

Tip 9: Keep it out of sunlight.

Sunlight will cause the fabric to lighten and fade. And more often than not it only hits certain portions of the furniture making it dull in one area while it is still nice and bright in another. Now, we can’t always keep the sunlight off the furniture, but try to place it in the room so that the sun isn’t always hitting it, also try to keep the blind closed during the time of day in which it receives the most sunlight. 

Tip 10: Keep a repair kit handy.

It happens to the best of us.  We move around and here the pop of a seam or accidently drop a knife and cut clean through the fabric.  The longer you wait to repair the fabric the harder it will be.  Take your time when making these repairs as well, you want it to look as good as possible – or like it never even happened.

There you have and with a little bit of care you can keep your furniture looking great for years to come!