One of the things that we usually forget to clean is the furniture. When we talk about a weekly clean, we often mean the floors, the bathroom and the kitchen but somehow the time is never enough to properly clean the upholstery. And unfortunately, it is the one thing that seems to get dirty from just sitting around. There are always stains, pet hairs and fibres and you always say “Next time I’ll clean it properly.”. Well, the time has come to do so. But don’t worry this doesn’t have to be a half a day scrubbing and washing. Here are 4 simple to follow steps that will make your cleaning duties a lot easier and less time-consuming.
1. Search for Cleaning Instructions
Every type of fabric has different requirements when it comes to cleaning. Some can be only dry cleaned others can be washed in the washing machine. You need to know what the cleaning code means to properly maintain your upholstery. Here are some basic guidelines:
- W – This means that your upholstery can be cleaned with water. So when you spill and make a stain, you can clean it immediately with water and fabric cleaner.
- S – Unfortunately that means that your upholstery must be dry cleaned only. Do not use water, or you may damage the fabric.
- S/W – This sign means that dry cleaning solvents and water can be used. Our advice is to let professionals clean it because even if it can handle a little water you never know.
- X – A very rare sign, put on fabrics that are non-washable and can only be vacuumed.
After you have figured out what type of upholstery you have, you can remove the detachable parts and send it directly to the washing machine or the dry cleaners.
2. Remove Pet Hairs with Rubber Gloves.
It is important to clean your furniture before the next step because the pet hairs and leftover fibre may clog the vacuum. The best and fastest way to clean your upholstery is with rubber gloves. Put them on and start gently wiping the fabric. The hairs will stick to the gloves like a fly to honey. Clean the rubber surface with water and continue until the upholstery is cleaned. If you don’t have gloves, you can use regular tape instead.
After all pet hairs are cleaned from the furniture you can finally use the vacuum cleaner. Usually, it is sold with a couple of different attachments and now is the time to use them. Start by vacuuming the cushions and pillows. Then clean between the space under them and keep in mind that dirt hides in the corners and on the edges. Don’t vacuum at full power, use a setting with medium airflow, you don’t want to damage the upholstery. Here are some guidelines on how properly to use your vacuum attachments:
- Dusting Brush – It is round with long bristles and it is used to clean dust from your shelves, paintings and curtains.
- Extension Wand – You can use it to reach under your furniture and clean the dust bunnies hidden there.
- Crevice Tool – It is long and thin, and perfect for cleaning corners and the tight gaps between different parts of your furniture.
- Upholstery Tool – You can’t miss it, it is wide and has a special fabric on its end designed to catch the dust and small particles stuck to your upholstery.
4. Cleaning old stains
If you are living and working in a big city you most definitely don’t have time to take proper care of your upholstery and this is natural. What would you prefer, stay at home and scrub the sofa or go out and enjoy the London nightlife? Unfortunately, for you, this means a lot of washing and cleaning duties afterwards. In this final step, we would give you a couple of good cleaning solution combinations. Before using any of them, remember to check your cleaning codes.
- water and dishwashing liquid;
- water and baking soda mixed with a 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid:
- water and carpet/upholstery cleaner;
Disclaimer: Avoid using cleaners of all kind that contain ammonia or chlorine. They will burn through the fabric and damage it.