Best Ways to Clean Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture is commonly overlooked at house cleaning time. It's not that we don't want it to be clean, we're just focused on more obvious household chores like dusting, mopping and cleaning the bathroom.

Whether you recently scored a brand new sectional or want to share the love with an older furniture piece, its care and maintenance should be a priority. A spilled glass of fine red or tiny chocolate fingerprints can ruin fabric if you don’t know how to deal with stains. And don’t forget about your favorite leather club chair—it too needs a little TLC to keep it soft and supple.

Upholstered furniture is a big investment so it’s probably a smart idea to learn how to extends its life keep it looking good with our quick and easy tips.

Vacuuming upholstered furniture is so darned easy, but for some reason it’s something we rarely think about doing. You don’t need to do it every week—once every three months is fine. Use the upholstery tool to loosen and remove dust from the back, arms and seat cushions.

Take off the cushions, vacuum up any loose dirt with the crevice tool. Vacuum the sides and back once in a while to keep the dust and allergens at bay. Vacuuming also works for leather furniture providing your attachment is soft enough to prevent scratches.

Slipcover Maintenance
If you have little ones running around the house, maybe, just maybe you had the forethought to buy a slipcovered sofa. If that’s the case, we congratulate you! Slipcovers are great because stains can be pretreated and the cover tossed directly into the wash.

Wash the cover in cool water using a mild detergent. Partially dry to eliminate wrinkles and put it back on the furniture piece to finish drying—this will prevent the fabric from shrinking.

Spot Cleaning Products
Accidental spills are inevitable. They’re a fact of life. Bearing this in mind, you need to arm yourself with several good spot cleaners to take care of stains as quickly as possible. Given the huge selection of products to choose from, you’ll have to conduct a few experiments to see which ones work the best on your upholstery.

There are all-purpose products and even specialized cleaners that remove specific stains like blood, wine, dirt or grass. Whichever you choose, test the product before use to make sure it won’t bleach or damage your slipcover.

Leather Care
Great care must be taken when cleaning and maintaining leather upholstery. To prevent leather from drying out and protecting it from normal wear, scratches and stains, it’s best to treat it with a combination leather cleaner, conditioner and protector.

You can purchase these products from the manufacturer, leather retailer or professional cleaning company. Before you do anything, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding general and spot cleaning.

Professional Services
If you’re concerned about damaging your upholstered furniture by cleaning it yourself, you may want to invest in a professional service to handle the job. While is the most expensive option, it can extend the life of your upholstery. You can choose between dry and steam cleaning depending on the fabric content and durability.

Dry cleaning is great because it allows you to use your furniture right away with no drying time involved. If you sign a contract, you may even be able to add spot cleaning on demand.

Cleaning Wood or Metal Trim

According to most furniture manufacturers, the best way to care for wood or metal trim on upholstered pieces is to use a clean, lint-free cotton cloth to remove dust and oily fingerprints.

 If your furniture legs and arms have intricate turnings or scrollwork, sweep away dirt with a cosmetic or paint brush. Metal surfaces can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Do not use harsh cleaners—you’ll run the risk of removing protective finishes.

jinkazamah via flickr
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