There have been several instances where bad cleaning has destroyed good furniture. The only alternative is being knowledgeable about what your sofa is all about, the material used, its structure and how you can go about keeping it as clean as possible on a regular basis. Here are a few tips sofa cleaning tips that will help.
Sofas and couches are furniture sets that go through much abuse, wear and tear. Sitting, jumping on them, dumping them with clothes, toys and knick-knacks can make even the best seem weathered and worn out in a short span of time.
Couches come in a variety of materials, fabrics and designs. From cotton and linen upholstery to pure and faux leather, the materials are humongous, vary in maintenance techniques and need special care of their own. Normal household cleaners do not operate on a ‘one size fits all’ concept, where sofas are concerned. Given the number of dry cleaning agents available today. doing a good job is possible, without having professionals do it at an exorbitant cost.
We are aware of the couch material before picking it from the showroom. In the case of second-hand furniture, identifying it might be difficult. In case of doubt, look for the fabric tag on your couch to determine the type of material it is made up of. Branded sofas often have letter codes to indicate how they can be cleaned.
‘W’ indicates cleaning can be done with a water-based agent, ‘S’ indicates dry cleaning, ‘WS’ indicates a water-based cleaner and ‘X’ indicates only vacuum cleaning. ‘O’ indicates organic material, with natural fibres and cleaning, must be done with cold water.
In case such ‘letter’ indications aren’t present, sofas need to be cleaned with discretion. Leather upholstery will be permanently damaged by water and cloth sofas need stronger cleaning agents for stains and marks. Being cautious is the key to cleaning sofas.
Purchase the right cleaner for your couch. Leather cleaners and conditioners, water-based solutions aren’t the same and must be used carefully. Since they are costly, it makes even more sense to select them with care.
Basic Sofa Cleaning Tips
Detergents and cleaning agents are only for deep cleaning. It is important to dislodge any caked dirt, grime and dust first before cleaning with them. Using a basic bristle brush, comb through the couch seating, in the nooks and corners, backrest and armrest. Once removed, it is easier to get to deeper stains cleaned.
Pet hair, food crumbs and thick liquids are surface debris that needs good vacuuming or they interfere with the deep cleaning process. Remove cushions and thoroughly comb out or vacuum the seat. Remove crumbs and dirt from corners, turn the couch over and clean underneath.
Cleaning the sofa or couch doesn’t have to be an annual ritual with the family. Dust and grime from sofas are one of the main reasons for persistent allergies such as rhinitis and bronchitis, especially in small children. Cleaning them frequently keeps these conditions at bay and improves the overall quality of life.
Sofa Upholstery Fabrics and Cleaning Tips
- Leather: Besides giving an elegant and classy look to your interiors, leather is also stain-resistant. Vacuum cleaning once in two days is enough to keep it clean. However, if deep cleaning is needed, dab at the area with a cloth using mild soap and water. Dry the spot immediately with a damp cloth; remember not to wet it too much.
- Cotton: This fabric is the most commonly used for decorative upholstery material. If you are regular in dusting your upholsteries, washing cotton fabrics once in a month will suffice. Wash each fabric separately because cotton tends to bleed colour. Dry the fabric in the shade as direct sunlight may cause fading. If the fabric is fixed, wash it using a water-resistant solvent.
- Velvet: Plush and luxurious, velvet adds a royal touch to your interiors and responds well to light ruffling and brushing. In case of a stain, use some fabric solvent with the cleaning code “S”. Try to cover as much area as possible to avoid a “clean ring”.
- Linen: Cleaning doesn’t change the quality of this fabric even slightly. Hand-wash your linen upholstery and dry them in the shade.
- Suede: They are resistant to stains and spots. Vacuum clean your suede fabrics regularly. For tough stains, sponge the fabric using a mild soap and wipe it with a paper towel.
- Sunbrella Fabric: This is easy to clean and easy to dry as well, so it can be used as interior as well as an exterior upholstery fabric. Wash it, bleach it, and dry it, to take care of the fabric.
Common Stains on Upholsteries
Here are some most possible ways stains can occur, and ways to remove them.
- Milk/coffee/tea: Soak the fabric in cold water. If it’s marked as dry clean only, use a paper towel as a blotter and get the help of your dry cleaner.
- Grease: The sooner you tackle it, the better. Use an appropriate detergent and let it sit for a while. Make sure to use very hot water, so that the detergent starts it’s work immediately and effectively.
- Alcohol/Tomato Puree: Gently blot the fabric using a damp cloth. Soak the cloth in cold water mixed with a mild detergent for half an hour.
- Mud: Let it stand for a while. Mud stains are easy to remove once they dry. Gently scrape off the stain using a soft plastic scraper. You may want to use your kid’s play knife. Apply liquid detergent over the stain and rub the garment gently between your fingers.
- Lipstick: Gently blot the stain using blotting paper. Never try to wipe it as the stain may smudge. Applying household ammonia is the best bet for lipstick stains. Wash as directed using a mild detergent if necessary.
Tips to Remember While Cleaning Upholstery Fabrics
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions while cleaning.
- Tackling stains as early as possible makes cleaning easy.
- Keeping a stain remover stick handy makes your work easier.
- Do not machine dry or iron the fabric till the stain is completely removed.
Caring for your home decoration fabrics is easier said than done. To stay on top of the game, just follow these tips and be careful, lest you accidentally stain something.