If your sofa or armchair starts looking worn out or grim, or it has unsightly stains the best solution is to clean it, according to the type of the upholstery. Almost all of the fabrics used for making furniture can be cleaned without using professional help if you know how to treat them. This is why you should always check the label of the upholstery before you start cleaning it.

Preparation for Cleaning

As time goes by all furnishings at your home accumulate dust and dirt. This is why a thorough vacuuming of the upholstery should always be the first step in the cleaning process. If you have pets you should remove as much pet hair from the fabric as possible. You can do that using a lint roller, or simply wipe the surface with slightly wet hand.

If there are old stains onto the fabric you should get specialised stain removal product and clean it according to the instructions on the label. If the stain is fresh you should act as soon as possible. Take a clean cloth and blot the area gently to prevent the stain set in deep into the fabric.

How to Treat Different Types of upholstery

Most couches have removable covers, which are machine-washable. Remove the covers, treat any old stains with appropriate stain removal product and turn them inside out. To prevent fabric from colour bleeding or shrinking set the temperature of your washing machine to 40°C. If your upholstery is machine-washable you can use ordinary laundry detergent.

However there are furnishings without removable covers. Here are the most widely used upholstery materials and instructions for their cleaning:

Natural Upholstery Fabrics

There aren’t many upholstery fabrics made of 100 % natural fibres. Wool and cotton are used most often in natural upholstery fabric. Natural upholstery always retains lots of water. This is why wet cleaning isn’t an option. However these fabrics can be steam cleaned. To be sure that you can clean the furniture yourself check the manufacturer’s label. If you are cleaning natural upholstery by yourself be moderate when using water-based detergent to avoid shrinking of the fabric.

Synthetic Upholstery Fabrics

You can easily clean polyethylene, nylon, olefin and polyester by yourself. Prepare mixture of ½ cup of liquid laundry detergent and half gallon of water. Take a clean sponge, soak it into the solution and squeeze until it becomes slightly wet it gently wipe of the surface.

Microfibre Upholstery

Microfibre is probably the best choice for upholstery fabric. It is durable, easy to clean material. A tiny area of this fabric consists of many fibres. This is why the dirt and dust cannot set deep into the fabric. In most cases old stains on this kind of upholstery can be clean using the brush attachment of your vacuum. If you are dealing with stubborn stain check the manufacturer’s instructions in order to choose the best cleaning product.

Blend Upholstery Fabrics

Nowadays most upholstery fabrics are made with combined materials. Most often wool or cotton are mixed with synthetic treads. If you need to clean combined upholstery fabrics the safest option is to hire professional upholstery cleaners to avoid shrinking, colour bleeding and other damage of the fabric. Check our guide on finding the best cleaners online here. When cleaning upholstery by yourself never let water and cleaning products get in touch with furniture’s frame, legs and other metal or wood elements. These parts can change colour, rust and even stain the fabric.