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Handy Tricks for Cleaning Upholstered Furniture

07Sep 2015

Furniture Cleaning
Upholstery cleaning can seem like a real hassle before you even start. No matter the rules you have for your lounge, the course of normal domestic life won’t take long to cover your furniture in pet prints, dirty finger marks and food stains. If this sounds familiar, and you think your sofa or armchairs are long overdue for a thorough clean, here are a few good pointers to make your upholstery cleaning easier.

Upholstery Cleaning
Regardless of what your furniture is upholstered with, you should always start by removing the cushions and giving the whole thing a once-over with a vacuum. If you have a crevice attachment for your vacuum cleaner, this will come in handy for cleaning the limited gaps underneath the cushions and seams. Next, switch over to a clean upholstery attachment, using it on the surfaces of cushions, arm rests, sides and backs of your furniture. If you have pets that are allowed on the sofa or chairs, a lint roller will be a big help in getting their malted hairs off. If you have a toddler, they might even take this job off your hands, as many of them become full of wonder if you give them anything with a spinny part!

Steam Clean Upholstery
While leather doesn’t need cleaning as much as other materials, dark coverings being great at hiding dirt, you’ll still need to clean your leather furniture at one point or another. Luckily for you, leather is durable and you don’t have to worry about much accidental damage when cleaning it. The most effective method I can offer here is a simple, two-ingredient combination, made from a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of castile soap. All you have to do is combine these two elements in a sealable bottle and mix well. Next, pour a small amount of the solution onto a fresh microfiber cloth, and wipe it across every surface in small sections, then dry it straight away.

Sofa Cleaning
Microfiber itself is becoming more and more popular as an upholstery material, mainly due to its great durability. Despite this, it will still occasionally be blemished by stains and other dirt. It’s probably worth checking if it’s possible to wash the slipcovers of your furniture before you start cleaning the entire thing. For cleaning your microfiber furniture, pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, and get a sponge and cleaning brush, both in white or another light colour. As with the leather, take the job in small, manageable sections, spraying the alcohol and rubbing away any marks with the rough side of the sponge. The arms, sides and back are generally where the most dirt builds up, so go over these areas a couple of times. If you want to be really sure you’ve got it spotless, use a scrubbing brush with the alcohol to give the whole piece a once-over in rapid, circular movements.

Cushions Cleaning
Finally, there’s upholstered fabric. As with microfiber pieces, it may save you a lot of time if you can wash the slipcovers separately, so make sure to check. You’ll need to crack the castile soap out again, this time mixing two teaspoons with a ¼ cup of water. Once this mixture gets to a nice lather, use it to soak a light-coloured cloth (cotton works best) and dab at the prominent stains until they fade. Any fresh cloth can be used to dry up any liquid left after this. If you find that some of the leftover soap is being stubborn, add a little water to lift this out. As with any cleaning job, everyone has different standards, so a cotton swab can be used to tackle the tiniest blemishes.    

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