Upholstered furniture provides us with comfort and a place to relax; however, they can undergo a lot of wear and tear due to frequent use. Even if you and your family are extra careful, accidents are almost always unavoidable. Regular cleaning is essential, but it is also vital to know what to do when different stains happen. Whether you are tackling a big stain or getting rid of pet hair, these tips and techniques will help ensure that your furniture remains fresh, clean, and inviting for many years to come.
Know your Fabric
Start by identifying the type of fabric used on your furniture before starting the cleaning process. If you are unable to identify the type of fabric, check for any manufacturer’s tags or labels as they will provide you with cleaning instructions and fabric content. Some common fabrics used include cotton, linen, polyester, leather, microfiber, and velvet, each requiring specific cleaning methods.
The first line of defense in keeping upholstered furniture clean is regular maintenance.
- Vacuum Upholstered Furniture Often
Ensure that you vacuum regularly as accumulated dirt can affect both the appearance of your furniture and the quality of the fabric. Use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum or any stiff-bristle brush to clean your furniture’s surface and between the cushions to get rid of any dust, crumbs, and pet hair.
- Prioritize the Positioning of your Upholstered Furniture
Position your furniture away from direct sunlight as prolonged exposure can cause fabric fading, especially for materials such as silk, as it weakens its fibers. Using curtains and blinds can also be another approach to protecting fabrics from constant contact with sunlight.
Follow Fabric Cleaning Codes
The first thing to do after getting a stain on your upholstery is to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and fabric cleaning code.
- Code “W” stands for ‘water-based cleaner’. This does not mean it is machine washable, but you can spot clean your fabric using a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. You can use a brush or attachment on a carpet cleaner to move the solution around but avoid over-wetting the stain or scrubbing. Let the stain remover set-in, as scrubbing could grind the stain further into the fibers or possibly damage the fabric.
- Code “S” means to use a water-free solvent, such as alcohol. Spray it on lightly, then blot with a clean white cloth or sponge. Just ensure you use them in a well-ventilated room and away from open flames.
- Code “W/S” means both dry solvents or water-based cleaners may be used.
- Code “X” are types of fabrics that can only be cleaned by vacuuming or light brushing and cannot come into contact with water or solvent cleaners.
Once you have determined how to clean your fabric, it’s always a good idea to pretest the cleaner on a small, spot on the fabric before going bigger.
If you live in a household where accidents and spills are prone to happen by kids or pets, getting your furniture pretreated with a fabric protector is recommended. This will help repel any stains which can help maximize the life of your furniture. Make sure you know how long the protectant will last to ensure you replace it towards the end of its life to keep your furniture protected.
Getting Rid of Pet Hair
Do you have furry friends that like to join you on a couch for a relaxed evening but tend to leave their fur all over? You can simply remove their hair by putting on a pair of rubber gloves and running them over your furniture, creating static that can pull the hair off and make it easier to vacuum. Other effective tools that are recommended include furniture brushes and hand vacuums designed specifically for pet fur removal.
There are other DIY tips and tricks that can also be explored but with proper care and maintenance, your upholstered furniture will continue to adorn your home with beauty and comfort for years to come. Remember to identify your fabric type and perform regular maintenance to ensure your upholstered furniture remains a cherished part of your home for years in great condition.