When a person walks into your home, they see how clean it is. They make that decision based on how the floor looks, if the home is dusted and the condition of the furniture in the home.
While keeping the floor clean with a vacuum and dusting areas is simple, the upholstery on your furniture is often tricky.
Deal with Stains
A good place to start is to deal with stains the moment they happen. You don’t want to give them the chance to set at any point and time.
It’s best to begin to dab them up right away. The best way to do this is to blot the stain with a clean cloth. As you blot it, the moisture is absorbed out of the piece of furniture and there is less risk of staining. Never rub the stain as it will cause further damage to occur to the fabric.
If the stain is larger, make sure you work around the edges and then towards the center of the piece. This is the best way to help prevent it from spreading further. You should notice it reducing in size as you do this.
Additional things you can do when dealing with this stain include:
- Scooping large items up with a spoon and removing them from the area. Such as frozen ice cream, or food.
- Use a slightly damp cloth when you can to help cleanse the stain. Just be sure you keep rinsing it out, as this will help to prevent residue from being left behind.
You can find more tips on stains on GoodHousekeeping.com.
Vacuum the Surface
Your vacuum probably has an upholstery attachment to help keep things clean. Each time you vacuum the floor it is a good idea to go over your furniture also.
This prevents pet hair and dander, along with dirt from being ground into the fabric, which causes it to look dingy. This only takes a few extra seconds to do and it will ultimately be worth it in the end.
Deal with Stains with Cleaning Products
Some stains will need a little extra work. This could be a good time to call in the professionals to help, or you can consider getting a steam cleaner, or a steam mop with an upholstery attachment.
Before you start cleaning, make sure that you have the right chemicals for the job. Some cleaners will help to remove wine stains. Others will treat things like coffee or grease stains.
Have a look at this stain removal chart by the American cleaning institute for guidance on how to clean different stains. It is a good idea to try a hidden section of the fabric first, to determine if a cleaning product will do more harm than good on the fabric type.
To take this a step further, you also need to consider the cleaning tag of the item. Not all fabrics can be cleaned with the same things. The tag will typically contain a code on it that helps you to better understand what it offers. The following codes are the most commonly found ones listed on the label of furniture.
- W is the letter code for water. Codes with a W are cleanable with water and steam products. These are the easiest pieces of furniture for you to clean if you choose to go about doing it on your own.
- S is for solvent. These products need to have a water free cleanser used for results. It is a good idea for you to find products that are designed for “dry clean only” if you plan on doing this. Just remember that these chemicals are hazardous if you don’t know what you are doing.
- WS / SW are interchangeable, but mean the same thing. These are items that have the ability to be cleaned with water and solvents. But don’t let them fool you, these fabrics are also often incredibly sensitive with solvents and you need to test them first. As many will discolor or stain with the wrong product.
- X is designed for pieces of furniture that should only be cleaned by professionals. If you see an item with an X, contact the pros right away so the stain is less likely to set.
Buy a Steam Cleaner or Use a Professional?
This decision should mainly be based on how often you need to use the machine. If this is a one time deal it is probably better to use a professional cleaning company.
If this is something that you need to do often, you might want to consider buying. Steam cleaners have developed over the years, and are now quite light and inexpensive.
You can also purchase a steam mop with an upholstery cleaner attachment. To find the best steam mop for you needs, have a look at our Steam Cleaning Hub home page.
What Should I Look for in a Professional?
If you decide to go beyond these tips and hire someone on your own, there are a few simple things to keep in mind. The professional should be:
- Licensed and bonded in your area.
- Have positive reviews about their services.
- Provide you with written quotes for their service.
- Have a cost effective price.
Cleaning the furniture in your home will take some time to accomplish, but it’ll ultimately be worth it.
From professional cleaners to do it yourself products, you can help to restore the furniture in your home with just a few simple steps. When it’s finished, you’ll definitely be amazed by how incredible your home looks.