How to Clean Upholstery

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Tips on How to Clean Upholstery

You don’t walk on upholstery with dirty shoes. Grime and dirt from outdoors are not tracked onto upholstered fabrics. Often, people don’t realize how soiled a chair, loveseat, or sofa has become. Dust, oil, dead skin cells, and other contaminants collect on upholstery.
They can be removed only with a thorough professional cleaning. An upholstery cleaning technician utilizes a process that uses less water, and less moisture is left behind. Drying time and the chance of bacteria, mildew, or mold growth are reduced.

Tiny effervescent bubbles burst stains and dirt from upholstery fabrics. They are lifted to the surface and thoroughly extracted. Non-toxic solutions used by professional upholstery cleaners help fabrics stay clean. It is recommended that regular cleaning is done twice each year.

What to Do Between Cleanings

Vacuuming removes dust and dirt that makes furniture even dirtier when wet. Use upholstery attachments to get in the crevices and cracks and thoroughly clean the cushions. Remove all the pet hair that you can. If a vacuum does not do a sufficient job, use a pet hair remover.
No matter how carefully upholstered furniture is taken care of, accidents happen. Spills happen quickly. When they do, quick reaction is essential. The tags on the furniture will tell you what kind of products can be used.

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The letter ‘W’ stands for water-based cleaning products. ‘S’ stands for solvent or water-free products. ‘SW’ or ‘WS’ indicate either dry-cleaning or water-based products can be used. A tag with an ‘X’ means the fabric is challenging even for professionals.
Neither dry-cleaning solvents or water can be used without causing damage. Cleaning this fabric is not a do-it-yourself job. Test products for shrinkage and colorfastness on an inconspicuous area before spot-cleaning upholstery.
When cleaning upholstery, use a washcloth or paper towels to blot wet stains. To avoid spreading a stain, work from the outside in. When food is spilled on upholstery, scoop it up with a spatula, then spot-treat with a suitable stain remover.


Before attempting to clean upholstery on your own, check to see if the furniture is under warranty. You may invalidate a warranty by trying to clean it yourself. Carefully read the warranty. If professional cleaning is a requirement, discuss the warranty with upholstery cleaning professionals before work begins. If there are questions, call the manufacturer.

Many stains require expert attention. Some fabrics do not respond well to typical cleaning methods. Special cleaners are needed to clean some upholstery. Most homeowners do not have access to the cleaners. Unique shapes sometimes call for special tools to reach into the nooks and crannies of the furniture. It is not cost-efficient for homeowners to purchase the devices. Hiring a professional is more efficient.


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