Cleaning the upholstery is not usually high in our priority list when we tidy the house. Typically we do it once or twice a year during the big deep-cleanings. Surprise! It is Autumn, so now is the perfect time to do it. The dull task of scrubbing and washing old stains and removing pet hairs doesn’t sound too appealing. Nevertheless, it must be done. The upholstery is that one thing that seems to get dirty just by sitting around. But there is light at the end of the tunnel you don’t have to waste your weekend cleaning old stains from jelly and gum. We have created a simple 5 step method that will save you time and energy.
Step 1: Know Your Cleaning Instructions
There are different types of upholstery depending on the fabric and each and every one of them has its own washing requirements. Usually, there is a label with cleaning recommendations from the manufacturer. The first thing you need to do is to familiarise yourself with all of the instructions. Somewhere in there is written the cleaning code of your upholstery that indicates what you can and can’t do. Here are the most common cleaning codes and their meaning:
- W – The fabric can be washed with water.
- S – Dry cleaning only, do not attempt to clean it at home.
- S/W – The fabric can be cleaned both with dry-cleaning solvents and with water. The perfect combination.
- X – Non-washable fabric. You can only vacuum, do not use water or other liquids.
Step 2: Cleaning Preparations
When you learn what type of fabric, you are dealing with you can do one of two things. Detach the upholstery from the furniture and send it to the dry cleaners or prepare to clean it yourself. In most cases, you need to do both. The preparation stage is important in order to work fast and efficient in the following three stages. What is there to plan you may ask? Well look at this basic checklist and make sure you have everything in it.
- A pair of rubber gloves;
- Microfibre cloths;
- A bottle of upholstery cleaner (there are many different brands depending on the type of fabric – leather, linen, cotton, etc.);
- Baking soda;
- Dishwashing liquid or liquid soap (choose a non-coloured and non-scented brand);
- A squeegee (you will see, just trust us);
Step 3: Clean Pet Hairs and Pet Scent
Now starts the real cleaning. You need to remove all of the pet hairs and fabrics before vacuuming the upholstery so you won’t clog it with hairs. There are two methods that to be very effective:
- Method 1 – Put on the pair of rubber gloves and dampen your hands with water. Then wipe the upholstery. All of the hairs and fibres will stick to the rubber. Clean the gloves and repeat the wiping until you have cleaned every inch of the fabric.
- Method 2 – Use the squeegee. Wipe the fabric with it, and all the particles will stick to it. In our opinion, this is the fastest of the two methods.
After removing all of the hairs (don’t forget to clean under and between the cushions) you need to remove the pet smell. Pour the baking soda onto the smelly spots and leave it to sit there for twenty minutes. The soda will absorb the smell.
Step 4: Time to Vacuum
After the twenty minutes are off you need to carefully vacuum the upholstery. Use the proper attachment to do this. Usually, your vacuum cleaner comes with a set of three or four attachments. You are searching for the rectangular one with the sticky line on one of its sides. This is the upholstery tool. Clean all of the baking soda and again don’t forget to vacuum even the back of the couch cushions.
Step 5: Time to Clean These Old Stains
Let’s be honest for a moment. Nobody cleans stain immediately. There is always something better to do like going to the beach in Bournemouth or have a garden party. This is the all-time upholstery cleaning mistake that everybody does – letting stains to dry out. The moment the dirt sets into the fabric you will have one hell of a time getting rid of it. There are however some easy to mix DIY cleaning solutions that might help you in combination with the professional cleaners:
- Use a mixture of water, baking soda and liquid soap. Blot the stain and let it sit for a wild. Then clean it with a microfibre cloth.
- Do not use any abrasive cleaners or vinegar on leather furniture. Use only specialised cleaning products.
- Some stains may be removed with nail polish remover or makeup remover. We are looking at you, markers and crayons.
- Always make sure that the cleaner you are using won’t damage the fabric of your upholstery. Try it on a little non-visible spot and carefully read the labels and instructions on the bottle of your cleaners.