A Comprehensive Guide: Cleaning Upholstery at Home

Upholstered furniture can add comfort, style, and personality to your home. However, over time, these furnishings can accumulate dust, dirt, and stains that can dull their appearance and reduce their lifespan. Upholstery cleaning Des Moines is important whether on your own or you hire someone to do it for you.  

Regular cleaning is crucial to maintaining the look and integrity of your upholstery. This article provides a detailed guide on how to clean upholstery at home. 

  1. Understand Your Upholstery: Before starting, it’s essential to understand what type of fabric your furniture is upholstered with. Check the tag for cleaning instructions: ‘W’ means you can use water-based cleaning solutions, ‘S’ indicates that a solvent-based cleaner is required, ‘WS’ means either type can be used, and ‘X’ suggests professional cleaning only. 
  2. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies: Depending on the type of fabric, you may need a few different supplies. These can include a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, a soft brush, mild dish soap, warm water, white vinegar, a spray bottle, clean clothes or sponges, and a commercial upholstery cleaner (if applicable). 
  3. Vacuum: Start by vacuuming the upholstery to remove loose dirt, dust, and pet hair. Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to get into crevices and corners. 
  4. Spot Test: Always test your cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous part of the furniture first to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the fabric. 
  5. Cleaning: For fabric with a ‘W’ or ‘WS’ tag, mix a solution of 1/4 cup of mild dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Beat this mixture until it forms a lot of soap suds. Apply the suds to the upholstery using a soft cloth or sponge, lightly scrubbing on any stained areas. 
  6. Rinse and Dry: Remove the soap using a clean, damp cloth. Be careful not to soak the fabric, as excess water can cause mildew. Allow the furniture to air dry. To speed up the process, you can use a fan. 
  7. For ‘S’ or ‘WS’ fabric, use a solvent-based upholstery cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. 
  8. Natural Cleaning: For a natural alternative, you can use a mixture of vinegar and warm water. This is particularly effective for removing light stains and neutralizing odors. Spray the solution on the upholstery, then wipe with a clean cloth. 
  9. Regular Maintenance: Upholstery should be vacuumed weekly to prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the fabric. Promptly attending to spills and stains can also prevent them from setting in and becoming harder to remove. 
  10. Professional Cleaning: Even with regular at-home cleaning, it’s a good idea to have your upholstery professionally cleaned every one to two years. Professional cleaners have specialized equipment and expertise to remove deep-seated dirt and stubborn stains without damaging the fabric. 

Maintaining clean upholstery is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also extends the life of your furniture and promotes a healthier home environment. Remember to understand your upholstery, gather your cleaning supplies, vacuum, spot test, clean, rinse, dry, and repeat these steps regularly. By following this guide, you can keep your upholstery looking its best for years to come.