Step 1: VacuumThe first step to a thorough upholstery cleaning is getting your hands on a good vacuum and using its attachment to suction out unwanted dirt and debris. Use short, overlapping strokes and make use of the brush on the attachment to loosen up any crumbs that have gotten into the crevices of your upholstery. Also, be sure to clean areas that may not be seen at first glance – lift up the cushions, remove them if you can, and vacuum both front and back. That’s the only way to ensure crumbs, pet hair, and dirt don’t settle into your furnishing and become a permanent fixture!
Step 2: Wipe Down Wooden or Metal AreasTo keep your upholstered furniture in tip-top shape, it’s important to also take care of the areas that don’t have any upholstery on them. Wipe down the feet of your sofa and any other areas that are made of wood or metal with a solution containing warm water and liquid dish soap. Gently work away on the frame of your furniture and be careful not to soak it – you just want to get rid of stains or residue, not scrub away at its finishing.
Step 3: Remove StainsTo remove stains from your couch or chair without compromising the state of the upholstery, you’ll need to look at the fabric care codes to see what’s safe to use on the material:
- WS: This code means your fabric can withstand either water- or solvent-based cleaners.
- W: Material with the care code “W” can be cleaned using water-based cleaners.
- S: Only solvent-based cleaning chemicals should be used on upholstery with this code.
- X: Fabric that falls in this category should only be cleaned with a vacuum, and no water can be used.
- Synthetic upholstery: 1 cup warm water, ½ cup vinegar, and ½ tablespoon liquid dish soap.
- Fabric upholstery: ¾ cup of lukewarm water, ¼ cup vinegar, and one tablespoon dish soap.
- Leather upholstery: ½ cup olive oil and ¼ cup vinegar.