Cleaning your upholstery is not an easy task. It can be downright frustrating and time-consuming to clean the fabric, especially if stains have become embedded in the fibers. Upholstery cleaners exist to help you tackle these issues with ease. But which one should you use? The answer will depend on what type of stain is present, as well as what kind of material your furniture is made from. In this blog post, we will go over how to choose a cleaner based on those two factors, along with some other important considerations that could make or break your cleaning process!
#1: Choose a Cleaner Based on What Type of Stain You Have
There are three types of stains: oils (grease), water-based, and organic stains.
Oils are the most difficult to clean up because they sink into the fabric fibers very quickly, which means that you have a hard time getting them out of your furniture. If you have an oil stain, it may be best to let a professional handle this for you. If you have an artificial fiber couch (like microfiber), an oil-based cleaner should be used instead. These cleaners are typically liquid and will need to be applied directly to the fabric before being laundered off with soap and water.
Water-based stains are the easiest to clean up because they can usually be removed with water or diluted vinegar solutions. They might still require some scrubbing, depending on their severity, though. If your furniture is made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or wool, a water-based cleaner would be the best option. These cleaners can come in either liquid or aerosol form and usually require some scrubbing to remove the stain.
Organic stains are easier than oils but more complex than water-based ones and include things like mold and mildew. Often these will also need professional assistance to remove them properly before your sofa is once again looking fresh. If you have a vinyl couch, an organic-based cleaner should be used. These cleaners come in both liquid and aerosol form and require some elbow grease to get the job done!
Now that we understand what type of material our couch is made out of (the first step in determining which cleaner would work best), as well as the types of stains present, it’s time to pick which one works for us!
#2 Consider The Fabric’s Color And Texture
The color and texture of your upholstery’s fabric can also play a role in determining which type of cleaner should be used on it. If you have a light-colored fabric, you’ll want to avoid using an oil-based cleaner because it could leave a residue and make the fabric look dingy.
If your furniture has a delicate or luxurious texture (like silk), then you’ll also want to use caution when choosing a cleaner. Some harsh chemicals can damage these fabrics, so it’s best to stick with cleaners specifically designed for upholstery.
Now that we know how to choose the right cleaner for our situation let’s look at some of the most popular ones on the market!
Why is it Important to Clean Upholstery the Right Way?
Cleaning upholstery is essential. You can easily ruin your furniture if you don’t use the proper methods and products. If done correctly, cleaning upholstery will extend its life, keep it looking new for more extended periods, and remove stubborn stains that are difficult to remove. The steps below summarize cleaning upholstery in three main categories: pre-treatment solutions, spot removal techniques, and post-treatment care instructions.
Before starting this natural cleaning process, it is essential to test an inconspicuous area for colorfastness. If the fabric is not colorfast, do not continue with these steps and seek professional help. Once you have confirmed that the fabric is colorfast, mix one-part white vinegar with two parts water. Using a spray bottle, apply the mixture to the stained area and sit for five minutes. After five minutes, use a damp sponge to dab the area dry. Rinse with water if necessary and allow it to air-dry overnight before continuing with these steps.
Spot Removal Techniques
Most spots will be removed with this method. However, some stains may need professional help, such as pen and marker stains or oil-based spills like motor oil. If you already know how to remove these types of stains, then use the same method below:
- Place a white towel over the spot and press down for several seconds before repeating on an adjacent area if it transfers.
- Sprinkle cornstarch onto the stain and let sit overnight if possible, if not at least four hours.
Remove excess powder by brushing away from surrounding areas using a soft bristle brush (such as a baby brush).
- Vacuum up any remaining residue after each application until no more comes off when brushed away.
- Apply liquid dish soap directly to the stain and sit for five minutes before blotting with a white towel.
- Rinse with water if necessary and allow it to air-dry overnight before continuing with these steps.
Post Treatment Care Instructions
After cleaning the upholstery, make sure to vacuum all areas around it. This will help remove any of the products used during the cleaning process and dirt and dust that may have built up over time. If you see any new spots appearing after cleaning, treat them immediately using one of the methods above. Finally, keep in mind that some fabrics are more delicate than others so take care when sitting or reclining on them after being cleaned. Please do not place any heavy items on them or sit or recline too roughly.
Best things to Clean Upholstery
There is a lot of debate on the best way to clean upholstery. Some people swear by using only steam, while others use a variety of solutions, including water, vinegar, and baking soda. Remember, always read the instructions carefully and test in an inconspicuous place before starting on your furniture!
The best way to clean upholstery is by using a steam cleaner. However, if you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can use various solutions, including water, vinegar, and baking soda. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your furniture.
If you’re still not sure which method is best for your specific fabric or stain, contact a professional cleaning service who will be able to help! No matter what type of cleaner you use, it’s essential that you always test out in an inconspicuous area first. Hence, if there are any issues with discoloration or damage done to the material, it won’t be noticeable after removal by a professional.
Steps on Cleaning Upholstery
Upholstery fabric can be a challenge to clean if you’re unsure what to do. But by following these simple steps, you can achieve great results without ruining the fibers in the process!
Vacuum the fabric’s surface: One of the first steps to take when it comes to cleaning upholstery is getting rid of surface dirt by vacuuming. This will help eliminate allergens, pollen, and other debris on top of your fabric.
Take off all removable parts: Removable fabrics like pillows should always be taken out before you attempt any cleaning job so they can dry properly while not in use. Any loose buttons or cording should come apart for a thorough clean later on down the road as well!
Create an upholstery cleaner solution: Combine one cup of distilled white vinegar with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle to create an easy DIY upholstery cleaner you can use throughout this process. The acidity in the vinegar will help break down stains and dirt while not leaving behind any harsh residue.
Spray your solution onto the fabric: Working from top to bottom, use a spray bottle full of upholstery cleaner to spritz your entire piece with an even coat of cleaning solution. Work out all air bubbles or creases before moving on! Let sit for five minutes to work its magic and get rid of tough stains without ruining fibers along the way.
Scrub stubborn spots: If you’re dealing with particularly tough areas such as food or drink spills, you may need something more substantial than just water and vinegar alone—use a toothbrush dipped in baking soda paste to scrub away at dried-on pieces until they disappear.
Rinse with clean water: Once you’ve scrubbed away all the stains and dirt that you can, it’s time to rinse off your upholstery! Use a hose or bucket of clean water to drench the fabric and ensure all cleaning solutions are gone. Let dry completely before putting any pieces back together!
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