Upholstery Cleaning and Maintenance

Furniture can be an expensive investment. Learn how to properly maintain your upholstered furnishings.

Vacuum Your Furniture
One of the most overlooked maintenance steps for upholstery. You vacuum your floors but how often do you vacuum your upholstery? Dust and dirt settle on the fabric as well as the soils transferred by people from regular use. When the furniture is sat upon, the soil is ground into the material actually wearing the fabric. Make it a point to vacuum your upholstery once a month. You may actually profit from this with all the pocket change you find.

Rotate Your Cushions
You cannot do this with every piece of furniture, but many upholstered pieces have reversible cushions. Distribute the wear evenly over the upholstery by flipping your cushions from time to time. A good time to do this would be when you vacuum them.

Sunlight and Upholstery
Protect your upholstery from direct sunlight. Many dyes used in fabrics are light sensitive, especially reds. Try to keep your furniture from being in direct heavy sunlight. Close blinds or drapes when the room is not in use.

Spot Cleaning Furniture
When spills occur, try to blot up as much of the liquid as possible. If you have a good protectant on the upholstery, the spill may not be able to penetrate the fiber. Some soils can actually be scraped off the surface after they dry with a soft brush. Always take care not to damage the texture of the fabric. If you need to use a spotter, test it first on a hidden area of the fabric. Some fabric will bleed easily and some may leave watermarks so let your test spot dry before you use it anywhere else.

Overall Cleaning
When your upholstery needs a complete cleaning, you need to hire a professional upholstery cleaning company. They will be able to test the material and determine a safe cleaning method. Although some upholstery has zippers, it is not a good idea to remove the fabric from the cushion for cleaning. Many manufacturers use zippers in the construction of furniture. They do this because they can get a tighter fit by using a zipper rather than sewing the piece together. If you unzip and remove the fabric, you may never get the cover back on or it may distort and never look right again.

If your upholstery sees a lot of use, it may be a good idea to have it protected. Protection will help seal the fibers so that it will resist staining. Your upholstery will still get dirty, but generally not as quickly and it will clean up easier in the future.