Safe DIY Methods to Clean Your Upholstery

Man cleaning upholstery with vacuum cleanerNo one wants to welcome visitors into their home just to invite them to sit on a very dirty couch. That’s why it’s important to keep upholstery clean and presentable. But how can homeowners keep their upholstery spotless and tidy? Here are several tips and methods:

Leather or fabric?

The answer to this question won’t just affect the kind of spot cleaner to use. The method of spot cleaning upholstery will also depend on the kind of material from which it is made. And for fabric, things can get more complicated, as different kinds of fabric may require different types of cleaning agents, as well.

To identify which cleaning agent should be used, locate the furniture’s upholstery tag. It will have some codes on it, such as the following:

n  “W” for a water-based cleaner

n  “S” for dry cleaning solvents or water-free products

n  “WS” can use both

n  “X” for professional cleaning only

Not using an appropriate spot cleaner can also damage upholstery, so make sure to always consult the tag before beginning your spot cleaning efforts.

Suck it all up.

That said, regardless of material, it’s best to start any upholstery cleanup by vacuuming the furniture. This step picks up all loose dust and pet hair. Skipping this step and going straight to applying polish or cleaner can cause the dirt to stick more to the upholstery, instead of removing it. Regularly vacuuming pet hair and dust particulates from your upholstery will help to keep it looking cleaner longer.

A tip: most vacuum cleaners have special attachments for upholstery, so make sure to use that for a better cleaning experience!

No vacuum?

Use a brush or a lint roller to remove dirt instead. This may take more time and is a little less effective at removing all particulate soil.

Stains on the couch?

If the material of your upholstery dictates it may not be harmed by moisture cleaning methods, you may want to begin your spotting efforts with cool water and a mild spotting agent. Pettyjohn's Cleaning & Restoration sells a highly effective yet mild spot cleaner for interim maintenance spotting. Check out our Spot & Spill Removal page for more tips on spot cleaning. Always test an inconspicuous areas before attempting spot cleaning.

Other tools and solutions can be also used to lift spots. A hand-held steam cleaner can help lift stubborn stains from fabric upholstery, using just water. Meanwhile, a whipped detergent solution can be also used to rub off stubborn spots. Just mix a full glass of cool water and 2 drops of dish detergent with a hand mixer. Use a rag to blot in the solution; then rinse it out with water.

If these methods are not enough, then it’s time to call in the experts—Pettyjohn’s of North Carolina. We offer professional upholstery cleaning, servicing Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and The Triangle areas. Once your upholstery is clean, you may consider applying Fiber ProTector for long lasting clean results! For a speedy response, call our 24/7 hotline at 919-289-8424.