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How to Clean Upholstery: The Complete Guide

Are you in the market for some new upholstered furniture for your home? Not sure which upholstery options would work best for you and your space, or how to clean upholstery so your piece can last as long as possible? We’re here to help!

image - How to Clean Upholstery - The Complete Guide
How to Clean Upholstery – The Complete Guide

In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know about fabric care—including what you’ll need to buy and the steps you’ll need to take to prolong the life of your furniture.

How to Clean Upholstery

Quality furniture can last a long time—if it’s properly cleaned and taken of. Here are the basics of cleaning upholstery you should know.


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Know the Cleaning Code

Before you begin to clean your sofa or upholstered piece, you’ll want to determine what its cleaning code is. Without it, you won’t know how to actually clean the piece, and you may unintentionally damage it further in the process.

There are a few different cleaning codes, and each has a different cleaning guideline associated with it. For example, Code “W” means it’s made from a fabric that can be easily cleaned with a water-based solvent. Code “S”, on the other hand, means it can only be cleaned with a water-free solvent, and Code “WS” means it can be cleaned with either.

Buy the Cleaning Ingredients

In order to properly clean upholstery, you’ll need to buy the proper cleaning materials in advance. You’ll want to buy a vacuum, an upholstery brush. A can of compressed air and some gentle clear dish soap. These things can do wonders at keeping your upholstery in tip-top shape.

Vacuum Your Piece

The first step to cleaning your upholstery is vacuuming it. You’ll want to vacuum from left to right, starting at the top of the piece and moving down toward the bottom. This technique is especially helpful for more tricky materials like velvet, corduroy, and suede.

Be sure to vacuum around the seams and under a cushion, and to use the can of compressed air to blast any dirt from the button nooks and tufting. And if your piece is a delicate one, be sure to use low suction.

Do Spot Removal

The next step is spot removal. Use your spot removal and solvent and gently rub the solution in with a dry cloth. Vacuum it dry and then repeat.

If the stain is removed after two rounds of this process, chances are you may not be able to get it out on your own. In this scenario, you may want to hire a premium carpet cleaning company like Towers Restoration & Cleaning to effectively remove the stain.

Time for Sudsing

If your upholstery has cleaning code “W” or WS, which means water or solvent base, you can move on to the sudsing portion of cleaning.

Pour some dish soap (roughly ½ teaspoon) into a small bucket and mix it with water to create suds. Then dip your upholstery brush into the suds and sweep it across the fabric. Once you’ve done this to the entire piece, wipe it down with a clean cloth and wait for your piece to dry!

Ready to Clean Your Upholstery?

Buying upholstery can be expensive. So why not treat your piece like the investment it is? By knowing how to clean upholstery, you can keep your piece in pristine condition so it can be enjoyed for years to come.

Did you find the content in this article useful? Check out the rest of our website for even more information and insights!


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