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How to Clean Upholstery

How to clean upholstery

Cleaning upholstery isn’t always at the top of our priorities when cleaning the home. It can feel like a lot of effort to get your sofas and chairs looking and smelling great.

But it doesn’t have to feel difficult. With these few simple tricks, you can learn how to clean upholstery in no time at all!

Before Cleaning Upholstery

Before you begin to clean upholstery, it’s advised that you check any cleaning labels that are present.


These labels inform you on the most suitable way of cleaning them. If you fail to follow the instructions correctly, you risk damaging your furniture, (it won’t look so great then).


It’s likely that most labels will recommend one the following cleaning methods -


• Clean only with water.
• Dry clean only.
• Clean with either water or solvents. Including steam.
• Clean only with a vacuum - In this instance, your upholstery will require professional cleaning.

How to Clean Upholstery - Clearing and Vacuuming

It’s best to start out by checking you’ve fully removed anything from your sofa/armchairs that will get in your way. Throws, blankets and small cushions can go for now.


Also, check under the seat cushions for any loose debris which may have buried itself away. You’ll be amazed by the things people find tucked away under there. You need to remove small things such as this because you’ll next be using a vacuum cleaner.


Use the vacuum cleaner to suck up any crumbs and dust on and under your seat cushions, as well as the back cushions. Most vacuum cleaners come with a brush attachment. These are great for picking up stubborn crumbs which don’t easily lift. You can also use a thin nozzle attachment to work within the grooves of your furniture.


Once you’re happy that you’ve picked up all the debris, replace your seat and back cushions.

How to Clean Upholstery - Removing Bad Smells

Did you know that baking soda is great for removing smells from your upholstery? Sprinkling it over your soft furnishings can help to make them smell fresh!


Before you go sprinkling baking soda all over your furniture, spot test it on a small less noticeable area of your upholstery. This way you can be sure that it’s suitable for use. Better safe than sorry.


Once you’ve left the test to settle for a while and providing there are no noticeable changes, go ahead and get sprinkling. Try to cover the whole area with a sprinkle of baking soda then leave it to settle for approximately 20 minutes.


Now all you need to do is vacuum up the excess baking soda. Make sure to get as much as you can. You should already notice a difference in the way your furniture smells.


If you want to be more thorough, you can mix the baking soda with a carpet cleaner and apply it to your upholstery. You’ll need a damp cloth to remove it this way. And don’t forget to spot test anything you’re unsure of before using it on the entirety of your upholstery.

Spot Cleaning

You can remove some noticeable marks and stains by spot cleaning upholstery. Bear in mind that not all stains can be easily removed though. If your upholstery is fabric based, try using a mixture of 1-part washing up liquid to 4-parts warm water.


Take a soft brush with bristles and carefully apply the mixture to any stained areas. Rub the area with the brush to lift the stains away.


The mixture will likely have foamed, try not to rub this back into the upholstery as it will be dirty. Instead, use a clean cloth to lift the foam away.


If you’ve got yourself a persistent stain, diluted white vinegar acts as a good stain remover.


Providing all went according to plan, your upholstery should be looking and smelling as good as new!