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What is the Best Way to Clean Upholstery?

An upholstered footstool.
Using an ice cube to harden gum will make it easier to remove from furniture.
With a little ice and luck, owners of leather chairs can clean off chewing gum.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2014
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As with many projects, the best way to clean upholstery involves some specific steps to ensure the job is done efficiently and thoroughly. Here are some simple guidelines to help you clean upholstery around your home without creating a huge project for yourself.

First, there is a general cleaning method that will help keep your upholstery looking nice, whether it is leather or some sort of fabric. Using the furniture attachment on your vacuum cleaner, remove dust and other surface dirt from the upholstery on a regular basis. This will help make the deeper cleaning procedures much easier, as there will simply be fewer elements that need removing. Use the vacuum on your upholstery at least once a week.

For stains from spills and other sources, the type of upholstery on the piece that you want to clean will often determine the method of cleaning. To clean upholstery that is leather or vinyl, you can often use a spray on agent that is recommended by the manufacturer. Generally, these do not have to dry or wait more than a moment or two before you remove them with a clean cloth. However, when it comes to cleaning fabric upholstery, there is often the need to not only use a recommended product, but also to allow it to set and sink into the weave before you remove the cleaning agent.

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In some cases, the product will need to dry into a powder that you then vacuum from the upholstery. It is always a good idea to try the cleaning agent on an inconspicuous section of the upholstered piece before you begin any in depth cleaning. Make sure the product you select does not remove the color or otherwise damage the weave of the fabric before doing an overall cleaning.

If the problem is more along the lines of a sticky substance on the upholstery, you can always try to freeze the substance and then peel it off. For example, chewing gum on leather upholstery can be a big issue. Take an ice cube and wrap it in a thin piece of material and apply it directly to the chewing gum for a few moments. As the chewing gum hardens all the way through, it will be easier to peel away from the upholstery. You can also often use this same method to clean upholstery fabric as well.

Keep in mind that the sooner a stain or foreign matter is removed from the upholstery, the better your chances of being able to clean upholstery leather and fabric thoroughly. Also, make sure you dry the upholstery thoroughly after you clean upholstery pieces. Even a small amount of residual moisture can lead to mold and mildew, ruining a beautiful piece and making it impossible to every restore the item. When you clean upholstery, always use a recommended product, check it for colorfast performance and always make sure the upholstery is thoroughly dried. In return, your upholstered pieces will look fresh and new for many years.

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anon81539
Post 3

@ #1: Try some Urine B Gone. No other copies, this product only!

anon53573
Post 2

An upholstery cleaning company in Greenwich, Ct. recommends "Bac-out." This is an all natural ezyme cleaner. That will digest both stain and odor. If you happen to live in Fairfield County, Ct. You can have it delivered to your home/office free of charge!

onlyme
Post 1

my sofa is a fabric and about 9 years old. it is in very good condition. i clean it often by vacuuming it and wiping it down with a wash rag and lysol det. one of my sofas has a terrible odor which seems to be getting worse. it is in the back and top part of it. unfortunately my cat did vomit on that location and i immediately cleaned it. but i now suspect that fluid most likely went into the cushion underneath. the fabric is not removable. is there anything i can do about this. i was going to soak it but figured it would most likely cause mold underneath.

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