Vinyl Upholstery Cleaning

What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner
Soft cloth
Mild dish-washing liquid
Protective finish

Regular vinyl upholstery cleaning will prevent problems and keep your upholstery looking great for many years. Vinyl is a popular material for upholstery and it has several attributes that make it used in furniture and vehicles.

Step 1 – Vacuum the Upholstery Once a Week

Regular vacuuming of your vinyl upholstery will keep it free of dirt particles and dust buildup. It will also keep it smelling fresher. Use a soft brush attachment for vacuuming, so that you can avoid damage to the upholstery. The recommended interval between upholstery vacuuming is usually a week for low traffic areas and a couple of days if the furniture is used a lot. Make sure you vacuum thoroughly, going through all the creases and folds where dust buildup tends to stay hidden.

Step 2 – Clean Spills Immediately

To avoid long term damage and staining, one of the most important things is to take care of spilt liquids immediately. Vinyl is largely resistant to moisture and stains, but leaving spilt food items, juice or coffee on the upholstery for a long time may leave long term marks or stains. As soon as a spill happens, use a soft moist cloth to wipe it off. Repeat a couple of times and then use a dry cloth to remove excess moisture. Leaving the upholstery damp will result in a loss of sheen over time and can also lead to cracks on the surface. Mineral spirits can take care of tougher stains that do not come off with dish-washing liquid.

Step 3 – Use Appropriate Cleaners

Avoid using harsh commercial cleaners or abrasive materials on the vinyl. A good cleaning product that is also safe on vinyl is a mix of warm water and mild dish-washing liquid. Mix the two thoroughly till you have enough lather. Apply only the lather on the vinyl upholstery and avoid wetting it with the soap solution.

Step 4 – Deep Clean Occasionally

Deep cleaning vinyl upholstery will keep it in good condition for a longer amount of time. Before cleaning the entire upholstery, clean a small spot in an inconspicuous area such as the back or the underside. Leave the cleaning material on for a few minutes while scrubbing the test spot. Wipe clean and remove all residue. After some time, inspect the test area to ensure that there is no fading, dulling or damage done. If so, you can proceed to clean the upholstery with the cleaner. Clean in small zones, using a soft brush or sponge to apply the cleaner. Use a soft damp cloth to remove the residue left behind. Follow up with a dry cloth to remove all the moisture.

Step 5 – Protect from Fading and Cracking

A special finish that protects vinyl upholstery is a good investment. Such finishes are available in most home improvement stores. Spraying the finish over the upholstery keeps it in good condition and also reduces the incidence of cracking, peeling and fading.