7 easy tips for cleaning fabric upholstery
All care activities can be divided into two groups:
Preventive care. These are weekly measures that need to be done to preserve the original look of a sofa or chair upholstery. The easiest and most affordable way – dry cleaning with a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush. We recommend wet cleaning once a month – most modern fabrics are moisture resistant and will not damage from it. Clean the surface with a damp sponge (use a cleaning agent if necessary), and then vacuum all the elements.
Wet cleaning is not recommended for mixed fabrics with viscose content. Its fibers eventually lose the ability to recover after drying.
Removal of spots and stains. The result of these actions mostly depends on how soon after the substance reaches the surface, you will begin to remove it. All spots can be divided into three categories: fat, liquid and mixed. Liquid stains can be easily removed with a wet sponge and soapy water. Fat and mixed stains will need the use of special chemical cleaners and stain removers.
- Regardless of the type of fabric, we do not recommend the use of aggressive substances for cleaning. Over the Internet, there is a lot of articles describing the use of alcohols, acids, solvents, gasoline as a cleaning agent for fabric upholsteries. Our practice shows that these fluids are best to be left for other household purposes.
- If a stain appears, wipe it off as soon as possible with dry wipes or any tissue that absorbs the liquid well.
- The area with the stain does not need to be rubbed – so you “push” the stain and dirt even deeper into the fabric.
- Remove the stain with a light circular motion from the edge of stain to the center.
- Do not use several chemicals (even professional) at the same time. Wait until the first one has dried completely and if it did not bring the desired result, start applying the second one. Combination of different compounds may result in a chemical reaction, that can damage the upholstery.
- Woven upholstery should dry naturally after cleaning. Do not use hot air from a hairdryer or put a heater close.
- There are special protective sprays designed to ease the care of upholstery and the process of removing dirt. Fabric treated with such compounds starts to repel dust and moisture. Even so, it will not protect your upholstery from stains left by food and beverages but still can make the cleaning much easier.
Specific characteristics of fabrics
- Velvet. The Velvet Pile is better to be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. To remove stains, you should use water-based cleaning compounds. We do not recommend washing removable covers from velvet – dry cleaning is preferable.
- Chenille. Most stains are easily removed from the chenille upholstery with the usual water-based solutions. Wet cleaning (using a soft brush or just a sponge) is recommended.
- Jacquard. This fabric does not tolerate water, so it is recommended to dry cleaning. If you can not clean the surface without water – make sure that it is not too hot – room temperature will be a good option.
- Microfiber. To maintain a beautiful appearance, weekly cleaning of the pile with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner is required. We recommend periodically treating the fabric with water or a mild soap solution.
How to get rid of the stains from fabric upholstery?
Grease stains. Traces of soiled fingers, greasy food, should be removed from the upholstery in several stages. First, the stain should be sprinkled with adsorbent (salt, starch), which absorbs most of the fat. Further, the stain is washed away with soap and the surface should be left for to air dry. If the fat trail is old, special chemicals will be required for removal, usually sold in the form of a spray or foam.
Gradual accumulation of dirt. Armrests, seats, on which there was a dark, ugly plaque of dust and sebum, can be cleaned in two ways. First – use foamed laundry soap. It is applied to the soiled surface with a sponge or cotton cloth, rubbing it in a circular motion, leave it for 30-40 minutes. After that, the soap is removed with a clean, damp cloth and the treated area should be left for air dry. The second option – using professional cleansers. It is usually offered in the form of foam or spray, which is sprayed onto the contamination, is left for a certain time (prescribed in the instructions), and then removed with a vacuum cleaner.
Spilled drinks. Drink stains, as a rule, are intensely colored. To get rid of them, you will need to prepare a solution of vinegar and water. Fluids are mixed in equal proportions, applied to a clean cotton fabric. The treatment of the stain occurs with the propelling movements, it is impossible to rub them, so as not to increase the area of contamination. After neutralizing the dye, the treated surface must be covered with a dry, light-colored cloth, not used until it is completely dry.
Traces of ink. Such contamination can also be removed in two ways, with the help of a folk remedy or a professional cleaner. The first option involves the use of alcohol, which is not suitable for all surfaces (for example, leather, woven materials of light shades, maintain contact with alcohol, and flock fabrics, which are bright in the color of the upholstery, can deteriorate under its influence). The second option (special tools), is relatively safe, can be selected for any type of upholstery. If you decide to use alcohol, remember, you need to apply it to a cotton pad, blotting it, make sure that the ink is not imprinted on the adjacent areas. After neutralizing the ink, be sure to remove residual alcohol from the surface with a damp cloth.
Some Furniture Retailers offer extended protection plans, which cover accidental stains and damage of the upholstery.
Before “testing” any cleaning compounds on a sofa, do a small test on an “invisible” surface, for example, under a seat.
Some Furniture Retailers (Example:nfoutlet.com) offer Extended Protection Plan, that includes coverage for stains and damage of upholstery.
Check the short video on how to clean your sofa by yourself:
Use this easy tips to maintain your sofas always clean and awesome looking.