Do you know the saying that the first scratch on a new car hurts the most? It is the same with furniture. So if you notice a stain on your dream corner or sofa, don’t panic, and you don’t necessarily need to immediately seek help from a professional furniture cleaning company. Most of the dirt and stains can be successfully removed with home-made, effective and fairly simple methods. Thanks to such treatments, your sofas, armchairs or upholstered chairs will regain their beautiful appearance.
The basic thing is to know what upholstery material your furniture is made of. The vast majority of them are made of material fabrics, strong and practical in everyday use. Currently, the most commonly used microfibers of the new generation are not only pleasant in addition, but also easy to clean. More and more manufacturers are also introducing fabrics with a Teflon coating or the so-called cleanaboo, preventing water absorption. Of course, over time, it will be necessary to clean each upholstered piece of furniture, regardless of the type of fabric used. And time is a very important aspect here – you should always remove any stains or dirt as soon as possible.
All fabric furniture should be vacuumed regularly – it is recommended that you vacuum it at least once every few weeks. At the same time, remember to do this in accordance with the manufacturers’ guidelines and not to do it sloppily, removing dust and dirt from hard-to-reach places. If you have pets in your home, you must have a suitable brush, preferably the so-called a hair removal roller. Of course, vacuuming alone is not enough and every now and then you should spend a little more time on maintenance treatments to clean the furniture properly.
It is best to clean the furniture in batches. First, we test the measures we intend to use on invisible or invisible elements. During proper cleaning, we start with the seat, then clean the handrails and the bottom of the furniture, and finally its rear elements. Apply a small amount of preparations to the upholstery so that the cover surface is not wet but wetted. Rub the cleaning agent until the foam or sediment form, which is then removed along with the accumulated dirt. If the water penetrates too deeply, it may cause discoloration, deformation of the structure and even the appearance of mold and fungi. After cleaning the upholstery, it is worth using some means of preserving our efforts. These are, for example, the specifics sprayed with aerosol, creating protective finishes.
How to clean, what will help us and what will harm us? When the fabric is heavily soiled and we did not intervene quickly enough, it is best to try to use the services of a professional person or company. However, if you believe that you can and are able to cope with this challenge, below we will provide advice and tips on how to do it so that you can do it effectively, saving some time and minimizing the risk of worsening the case as a result of inadequate actions. The simplest and often effective method is cleaning with a soft cloth moistened with water. An even better way is to use cleaning agents. Their composition allows you to extend the life of your furniture. However, acting on your own, it may not be enough to get rid of nuisance stains, and additionally, due to inaccurate or improper cleaning, unsightly blemishes, stains and even discoloration may still appear on the furniture. It is also worth remembering that our grandmothers used soda mixed with water and lemon juice to remove dirt from furniture covered with fabrics. To 2 liters of lukewarm water, pour two teaspoons of baking soda and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Soak a cloth with the resulting solution and carefully wipe the material. You can also use potato flour to clean the furniture of single stains – cover the dirt with it, rub it with a brush and wait a dozen or so minutes to half an hour. After this time, remove the flour with a vacuum cleaner. You can also use talcum powder instead of flour.
Cleaning cotton upholstery. The most effective in this case is the use of a specific foam. Be sure to read the product label to use the correct upholstery cleaner. Before starting cleaning, you should first make sure that the fabric of your furniture behaves properly when in contact with such a preparation. To find out, let’s first run a test on a small piece of fabric in an invisible or inconspicuous place. Once again, we remind you to thoroughly vacuum the sofa or couch, then apply the cleaning agent to the entire upholstered surface of the furniture and wait for about an hour. Then, using a white or very light cloth, remove the entire preparation. We continue these activities until the cloth stops getting dirty.
When applying each preparation, pay special attention not to wet the furniture filling, i.e. elements such as foam or sponge. If these elements become accidentally wet, they must be dried immediately with a stream of not too hot air, e.g. with a hair dryer.
Cleaning velvet, corduroy and velor upholstery. In the case of furniture covered with upholstery made of velvet material, always clean the dirty material in the direction of the hair. To clean such upholstery, prepare a solution of 1 liter of water and 2 tablespoons of ammonia. Rub the finished mixture gently into the velvet, then leave it for about 60 minutes (if the stains are persistent, you can leave the solution for a bit longer). Using a soft brush, we need to carefully comb the bristles, and the stuck hair is gently dried with a home hair dryer.
Cleaning the velor upholstery should be carried out according to the following schedule: first, clean it as thoroughly as possible with a vacuum cleaner. Then we apply the cleaning agent in a manner consistent with the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. We wait until the applied foam or powder discharge is absorbed – the waiting time depends on how dirty the furniture is. If we only refresh the upholstery, 60-120 minutes (1-2 hours) should be enough, and if we are dealing with more dirt and stains, we will have to wait 180-300 minutes (3-5 hours). To finish, carefully dry the material with a stream of hot air. There is also a “home” way to maintain velor furniture: prepare a delicate mixture of water and ammonia (we advise against overdoing it, as it may cause hardening and sticking of the bristles), then rub the material with a soft brush in the direction of the bristles and then dry it.
When the upholstery of a piece of furniture is made of corduroy, the best solution for such covers is a ready-made preparation in foam or powder (the same as in the case of heavily soiled velvet or velor upholstery) or simply the help of a professional or a company dealing in washing the upholstery – it is obvious however, at an additional cost. So if you insist on cleaning such a sofa or armchairs yourself, we perform the steps discussed in the case of furniture with velor upholstery, remembering to gently dry the furniture.
Leather upholstery – natural and artificial. If it is a relatively new piece of furniture, the leather upholstery should have factory protection. The intensity of use of the furniture determines the time in which such factory-applied impregnation will wipe off. You can then take care of the furniture additionally, impregnating it with appropriate agents, which will allow us to avoid indelible stains and prevent cracking of the leather for longer. The lifetime of upholstery leather directly depends on the conditions inside your home. Particularly high and very low temperatures, dry air (it is worth investing in a humidifier) and direct sunlight on the leather upholstery have a negative impact – so it is worth considering whether the furniture can be placed away from the southern window in the interior. Leather furniture maintenance should be carried out relatively more often than other furniture, preferably three to four times a year. By regularly cultivating these practices, the leather furniture will delight with its appearance for years. When cleaning, use only preparations dedicated to this type of upholstery. Before we start the care, it is necessary to get rid of the fat on it in the form of stains or infiltrates. However, this must not be done with soap or other highly alkaline preparations. For this, you can use a solution of lukewarm water with washing-up liquid or a dilutable skin care preparation. Then we start the main cleaning – using circular movements, we apply a small amount of the specific intended for leather upholstery with a clean cloth. At the end of the cleaning process, wipe the upholstery with a soft towel or other material with a delicate structure.
If you have correctly carried out the process of cleaning dirty and stained upholstery, the effect should be visible at first glance. However, this is not all – it is really worth making more efforts to bring out and emphasize the aesthetic advantages of the furniture. So let’s finally wipe all the elements – those made of wood with a cloth soaked in a product intended for cleaning wooden polish. After applying and rubbing, wait for the moisture to completely evaporate from the surface of the furniture, then gently rub the clean wood with circular movements, e.g. with linseed oil.
Good to remember:
- The furniture must never get wet. The surfaces to be cleaned should only be moistened, not soaked with water.
- We do not use any bleach, stain removers, solvents or alcohol-based agents to clean the furniture, which may cause irreparable damage to the fabric.
- If a stain has formed before your eyes, immediately cover the area with a dry, liquid-absorbing material – preferably paper towels.
- When cleaning upholstered furniture, never use hot water to remove stains – the effect will be the opposite because the high-temperature liquid will fix the stain.
- The most problematic seem to be coverings without patterns, especially those in light colors and shades. Any dirt and even small stains become especially visible on them.
- In addition, we will protect our furniture by using special protective coatings for the time of e.g. feeding a child or playing with domestic animals.
- The stains are particularly difficult to remove. We can try to remove the ones from red wine, juice, coffee or tea with a mild solution of citric acid dissolved in warm water, and if the stain is fresh, it is good to first sprinkle it with salt or baking soda and leave it for a few hours. A common nightmare is the scum left by children who write with a pen – ink stains will help us fight the use of glycerin or water with a small amount of mild soap.