Furniture in general, and couches in particular come in all kinds of shapes and materials. You can find them covered in everything from cotton upholstery to leather. It all depends on how much money you would like (or can) spend on these pieces of furniture. Many of these materials are extremely difficult to clean with some normal household cleaners or cleaning devices.
I had a couch and some carpets to clean. Spring is almost over and it is that time of the year when we all want to bring a little bit of freshness to our household. And I was about to call my favorite cleaning company from London, when I got an idea. Why spending so much money on professional cleaners who often charge fees for couch and other furniture cleaning that may not be suitable for every wallet, when you can do that all by yourself?
You can use dry cleaning solutions and some other cleansers without the help of those professionals.
#1 Read the Label
Before you do anything you need to understand the “labeling”. It is very important to know the type of fabric that is used in the upholstery and what those strange codes mean before you begin cleaning. Those general codes are:
W – You can use water in cleaning;
WS – You can use dry cleaning detergent or some mild detergent and steam vacuum;
X – DO NOT USE WATER! Vacuum cleaning only;
S – Use dry cleaner detergent.
Vacuum Your Upholstered Furniture Often
Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. I can’t emphasize this enough. You need to vacuum clean your upholstered furniture every time you take that vacuum cleaner to vacuum your room. The dirt not only affects the appearance of your furniture, but it can also wear away upholstery fibers and destroy your furniture. You should use a clean, dry upholstery attachment, or any stiff-bristle brush, only to loosen dried dirt and debris in your furniture. You can’t imagine how much dirt can get into your upholstered furniture in only a month.
Avoid using colored towels and sponges, because they can alter the color of your couch.
Deep-Clean and Use Baking Soda
You read this one right. You should use baking soda because it helps release lurking smells and breaks up stains in the fabric. If you think that your sofa really needs a serious “deep-clean” you should make this dry natural carpet cleaner.
Sprinkle the mix around your abode, which will clean and freshen the upholstery (and carpets too).
What you need:
- 2 cups of baking soda
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon Borax (you don’t have to, but can)
- Blender it
- Sprinkle it over the upholstery.
Borax will give this nice home-made cleaner a bit of oomph, however it has nothing to do with its effectiveness.
Baking soda will bring a little bit of freshness, and it will do a lot to break down the dirt buildup.
Bay leaves and cloves smell really good and kill all the bacteria.
*Sprinkle the couch with baking soda and let it stay for 30 minutes. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to thoroughly remove the mixture.
How to Remove Those Tough Stains?
There is another solution you can make if there are some tough stains still present after you clean it with baking soda.
1. Fabric Upholstery
For instance, you should clean fabric upholstery using a mixture of ¾ cup warm water, ¼ cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of dish soap.
2. Synthetic Upholstery
For synthetic upholstery you need a mixture of one cup warm water and ½ cup of vinegar with ½ tablespoon of dish soap.
3. Leather Upholstery
Add ¼ teaspoon of leather cleaner to 1 quart distilled water and mix well to form suds. Wet a cleaning cloth with that solution and wring it out.
Now wipe down the leather couch with that cleaning cloth.
Dip another cleaning cloth into a distilled water (NOT THE ONE WITH THE LEATHER CLEANER) and wipe down the “soapy area”.
Do the same thing with the entire couch (in small sections). Now dry the wet areas with a clean, dry cloth.
You need to protect that same leather after you finish with the entire cleaning process. Place a dime-size dab of leather protector and conditioner on a cleaning cloth and just rub it onto a small section of your couch. Do the same thing for the entire couch.
#3 Go Easy on Your Upholstery
Don’t just scrub even if you are dealing with some tough stains. Scrubbing can grind those stains even further into the fabric, or even damage it. Let the stain remover sink into the fabric and gently blot away. You should use a soft, microfiber cloth for blotting.
If you notice that the fibers get stiff after the cleaning and drying, you should use a soft brush to loosen the material.
#4 Let It Dry Out (Very Important!)
You don’t want to let the moisture to build up. This is why you shouldn’t sit on the sofa while it is still wet. Keep the windows open to help dry out the room and it may take leaving the sofa untouched overnight for it to fully dry.
#5 Pet Hairs
It is best to not let your pets get on your furniture at all. However, that is easier said than done. To remove the hair, just put on a pair of rubber gloves and run them over your furniture. You will be amazed with the results.