Keep your upholstery looking good
With children and pets in a home, your sparkling clean sofa or chair can look grubby in minutes. Here's how to keep your upholstered furniture looking fabulous all year round.
Get creative with a vacuum cleaner
- Most vacuums come complete with a variety of attachments that can be used on furniture, as well as floors. Using the fabric brush or angled crevice tool will go a long way towards prolonging the condition of your sofa, suite or upholstered chairs. Get into those areas where dust and dirty bits tend to accumulate.
- Take loose cushions outdoors at least once a month and give them a hand beating. This not only helps to remove any dust on the cushions, but also gives the foam a good airing. When replacing cushions, rotate and flip them as you would a mattress to ensure even wear.
Blot away stains
- Always have a roll of paper towels in the kitchen to blot any spills or stains immediately. By blotting stains you absorb the spill rather than spread into the surrounding fabric - an effect that upholstery cleaning pros call "blossoming". Work from the outside of the spot towards the centre until you have absorbed as much of the stain as you can.
- If further cleaning is required to remove the spill - try natural remedies before resorting to chemical cleaners, and always read any manufacturer's care label if there is one. If there isn't any label, test on a small, inconspicuous piece of fabric - underneath for example - before application. Examine the fabric and cloth for evidence of colour transfer.
Always blot with clean water after cleaning.
- Always use lightly damp cloths and immediately blot away wetness to avoid further spreading of any stain. A too-wet cloth can saturate the fabric and foam beneath the surface and create the perfect haven for mould, mildew and bacteria – all of which are far worse than a surface stain.
- Wash removable covers once a year on a cold wash cycle and hang out to dry in a shady spot on the washing line. You will need to check that covers are washable, which is normally indicated by a label on the inside of the cushion cover. If only one cover is soiled, wash them all at the same time to keep the colour even. Even cold washing will eventually fade the colour.
- Where possible, take the upholstered piece outside when deep cleaning with a machine. Any cleaning machine should offer a fine water spray for wetting, and deep suction for removing water. Wet as little as possible, working in small areas at a time, and immediately such up wetness. Leave outdoors - in a shady area - to dry thoroughly before bringing back indoors.
- Use only professional cleaners when deep cleaning upholstered furniture. Washing powder and commercial kitchen cleaners should never be used on upholstery, as these can permanently damage the fabric.