How to Clean Upholstery Easily

a person with gloves cleaning a couch cushion with a vacuum cleaner
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-200
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachments
Clean damp cloth
Commercial cleaner formulated for upholstery
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachments
Clean damp cloth
Commercial cleaner formulated for upholstery

Save money and your furniture by keeping the upholstery clean. Preserving beautiful and odorless upholstery requires some effort but the results are worth it. By combating dust and grime, you can take pride in the look of your upholstery.

Step 1 - Vacuum to Keep Upholstery Clean

Vacuuming is part of routine household cleaning and should include not only carpets and floors but also furniture. Prevent the likelihood of your upholstery becoming smelly, dull and unhygienic by vacuuming it at least once a week. The simple task of vacuuming lifts away dust and dirt on the surface of the upholstery before it settles into the fibers causing odors and an unsightly appearance. Pick up hair, lint and other particles with the vacuum cleaner attachments to reach all the cracks and cervices in the furniture. Regularly vacuum pillows and cushions.

Step 2 - Rotate and Flip Cushions

Slow down the normal aging of your furniture by keeping the upholstery clean and maintaining its shape. Rotating and flipping cushions when vacuuming controls the natural process of sagging and misshapen cushions, and allows furniture to wear evenly.

Step 3 - Keep Upholstery Clean

Occasionally, wipe away dust that gathers in furniture fold and grooves with a slightly damp cloth. This method is especially good for Microfiber upholstery. Stop stains from forming by immediately cleaning up spills. When removing spills, never rub the liquid into the upholstery, instead blot the area. Protecting furniture with covers and throws can prohibit sullying of the upholstery by pets.

Step 4 - Know Type of Upholstery

Choosing the proper cleaning products for upholstery depends on the type of fabric covering your furniture. You should never use a cleaning product on your upholstery without first reading the manufacturer's instructions. There are upholstery industry codes that usually are found on the manufacturer’s information regarding what kind of cleaning solutions are acceptable for use on the furniture fabric. Generally, the codes are the following:

W - "W" means that it’s safe to use water-based cleaning products on the upholstery to clean.

S - "S" stands for solvent-based cleaning solutions for upholstery.

WS - Both a water and solvent-based cleaning product is suitable for upholstery cleaning.

X - Indicates that the upholstery needs dry cleaning by a professional.

Step 5 - Steam Cleaning Upholstery

Steam cleaning is a choice for extremely soiled upholstery, but it’s not recommended for all upholstery fabrics. Certain fabrics like silk can shrink causing costly damage to your furniture.

Step 6 - Products to Keep Upholstery Clean

Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care is a cleaning product that is ideal for washable upholstery. This product penetrates and removes soiled spots on upholstery and eliminates spills and pet stains. BioMystic is an ideal cleaning solution for getting rid of bad smells by breaking down the organic matter that causes the odor. It is also good for removing stains.

Upholstery that is made of polyester, acrylic, nylon, and wool blends needs a cleaning product like K2r which is formulated for fabric that requires dry cleaning. K2r is also safe for washable fabrics. The Woolite Pod is a mini upholstery cleaning system that works on red wine, ink, chocolate, coffee, grease and many other kinds of stains. A squeezable bottle contains a cleaner that is oxygen-activated along with an attached brush, sponge and comb. The brush and sponge facilitates stain removal while the comb stops fibers from matting.