Cleaning upholstery like sofas and chairs can be done easily at home if you follow a few simple steps. Fabric like velvet and linen can be safely cleaned with our specialist guide to upholstery cleaning.
Fortunately, cleaning upholstery is not a task that has to be undertaken very often, however, if you have invested in one of Real Homes’ best sofas and want to keep it looking as good as the day you brought it home or you have just inherited some beautiful antique pieces but the upholstery needs a good cleaning, it is useful to know how to go about doing the job properly in order to obtain the best results and always keep your upholstered furniture in tip-top condition.
Whether you are planning to clean a vintage armchair, a couch, an upholstered headboard, or car seats, in this step-by-step guide we cover all the basics of cleaning different types of upholstery quickly and effectively with home-made cleaning materials you may already have on hand at home. All you will need is baking soda, vinegar, and don’t forget the vacuum cleaner to remove every trace of dust before attempting to starting the actual cleaning process.
The rules for cleaning different types of upholstery are mostly the same although the particular procedure will largely depend on the type of fabric you are tackling such as cotton, linen, velvet, leather, etc. Before you start it is always advisable to:
- Check for any manufacturer’s labels that may provide specific care instructions
- Always spot test the cleaner you have chosen to use on an unseen part of each piece of furniture like the back of a chair for example. This will ensure that the type of cleaner you plan to use will not cause any damage to the fabric. This rule particularly pertains to delicate fabrics like silk or velvet. Be sure to follow our instructions carefully but if in doubt, rather call in a professional upholstery cleaner to do the job on your behalf.
Spot clean and treat any stains after thoroughly vacuuming the upholstery to remove all dust and debris. Try the following easy stain removal methods (after checking any care labels) for the specific type of fabric you are cleaning. Always remember to ‘dab’ at the stain and never rub too hard as this can cause the stain to be forced deeper into the fabric and even distort the fabric.
Spot Cleaning Velvet Upholstery
My Carpet Doctor recommends the following for tackling stains on velvet:
You need to remove any residue from the stain by using a teaspoon to scrape any from the surface of the stain the velvet fabric . If the fabric has been treated with a ‘Guard Treatment’ all it will need is a good wipe down after hoovering to remove any dust or particles that may have collected.
Next you can either use a light coloured or white microfibre cloth and remove the stain or clear household soap if you need something a little stronger to tackle the stain. Leave the fabric to dry naturally since applying any form of heat could damage the fabric.
Spot Cleaning Linen Upholstery
Start by using a teaspoon to pull up any residue then use a clean, damp microfibre cloth to gently dab the stain until it starts to lift off. You may need to be a little patient as the dabbing process could take some time depending on the type of stain and how dark and big it is. One thing you must avoid at all costs is to rub too aggressively as this will only cause the stain to become further embedded in the fabric.
For more stubborn stains on linen you may need to use a mild detergent to get the stain out. Again, use a clean cloth and remember to dab at the stain instead of rubbing, until it lifts off.
Using Baking Soda to Spot Clean Upholstery
Our team of cleaners swear by bicarbonate of soda or baking soda to refresh any type of upholstery fabric. It is also a tried and tested way to remove stains from linen fabric.
All you need to do is sprinkle the baking soda onto the stain and leave it for a few minutes. When it has worked its magic just hoover the residue up and the stain will be gone. You may have to repeat the process a couple of times until the stain is completely gone. Leave the fabric to air dry naturally without using any heat as it may harm the fabric.
Using Baby Wipes to Spot Clean Upholstery
Choose the gentlest brand of baby wipes you can find to gently and carefully treat any stains on your upholstery. Baby wipes are great for removing stains like baby vomit, grimy fingerprints, and even sticky food like chocolate.
Using Upholstery Wipes to Spot Clean Upholstery
To always have an upholstery stain treatment on hand, stock up on special upholstery stain treatment wipes. Pick one that will suit the particular upholstery material on your furniture. Once again, wipe gently and avoid any form of rubbing.
Using Rubbing Alcohol to Spot Clean Upholstery
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent stain remover and perfect for removing stains from children’s car seats. Simply apply the rubbing alcohol liberally to the stain with a clean cloth and wipe gently until the stain disappears.
A quick and cool cleaning hack from My Carpet Doctor:
According to a survey conducted by a car leasing company 44% of parents clean their children’s car seats only twice a year. In order to prevent your child’s car seat from becoming a breeding ground for harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses, wipe it off regularly with some hand sanitiser on a clean microfiber cloth. Rub some sanitiser over stained areas and watch the stains disappear while you sanitise the seat as well.
If Spot Cleaning Doesn’t Work
If you have tried our many cleaning hacks to no avail you will have to enlist the help of a professional upholstery cleaning company. My Carpet Doctor have fully trained technicians, using specialist tools and cleaning solutions that will ensure your upholstery is restored to its original state and will stay fresh and clean for longer. Get A Free Cleaning quote by calling our team 07496 674467 or simple fill out our contact form.