How to Clean Upholstered Furniture

When you invest in furniture pieces, it’s not just for a little while – it’s for a lifetime. To keep your furniture looking clean and to extend the life of your fabrics, it’s important to maintain your furniture by vacuuming it regularly and avoiding dirt and grime hazards like eating on your sofa or doing art projects in the living room. However, we know that accidents can happen and that every once in awhile, your furniture is going to need a good scrubbing. To help you accomplish the task, here’s how you can clean your upholstered furniture without renting expensive equipment.

First, remove all of your loose cushions and pillows and start vacuuming with a vacuum brush attachment. This will loosen the dirt and get any sort of crumbs or hair build up out. Be sure to vacuum all sides of the furniture including the back, sides, arms, skirt, and the platform beneath the cushions. Then, move on to the cushions and pillows themselves.

After replacing your cushions, it’s time to mix up your cleaning solution: ¼ cup gentle laundry detergent or liquid dish detergent with 1 cup of warm water. Blend this with an electric mixer and whip it until the suds look like whipped cream (it’ll become drier and form peaks).

Next, test for fading by dipping a cloth into the suds and rubbing a small place on the back of your furniture. Let dry. If fading or discoloration occurs, you have to have the job done professionally. If not, then it’s time to start rubbing suds throughout all of your upholstery. After awhile, dirt will begin to appear in the suds as they work. Use a spatula to scrape suds away and then rinse with a damp cloth. Allow to dry overnight with an electric fan blowing on the furniture.

—Betsy Head


Categories: Furniture Care

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