Whether your furniture is 10 days old or 10 years old, you want it looking good as new — or at least as close to new as possible. Aside from never using your furniture, the only way to do this is to clean your upholstery thoroughly, regularly, and when necessary, professionally. Not only will this approach keep your upholstery looking its best, but it will also significantly prolong the life of your couches and chairs.
Thankfully, an upholstery cleaning regimen doesn’t have to rival a 20-step skincare routine. In a few simple steps — three, to be precise — you can enjoy fresh, clean and pristine upholstery year round.
Here’s how to do it.
STEP ONE: The Offense
The first thing you are going to do is protect your upholstery from damage, be it in the form of preventable wear, dirt or stains. To do this, enforce a strict no shoes in the house rule. No one should be lounging on your couch with their feet up if their shoes are on. This handy rule will also protect your carpets and rugs from dirt and germs — and there are a lot of germs on these surfaces. In fact, one square inch of carpet is home to approximately 200,000 bacteria; bacteria like e.coli and salmonella. You bet these bacteria can make their way onto your furniture, so take preventative measures to keep them off.
Next up, you’re going to scotchgard your upholstery. This forms a barrier between dirt and spills and the fibres in furniture, making it easier to clean by stopping stains from really setting in.
Finally, having cleaning supplies on-hand and ready for cleaning, in case a spill should happen. If you have leather furniture, for instance, have leather cleaner and conditioner at home and ready. If you have a synthetic material couch, have a spray bottle mixed with equal parts vinegar and water. In the time it takes to mix up a cleaning concoction — or worse, having to run out to get some — that spill could become a stubborn (or impossible) stain.
STEP TWO: The Defense
Of course, you can’t always stop accidents from happening. When they do, clean immediately. Don’t wait until the playdate or party is over: clean right away. Read up on the best DIY cleaning solution for your upholstery, as well as the best solution for your spill, and know what you should use when disaster strikes.
DIY Cleaning Solutions
When in doubt, know that club soda is usually a safe bet on most upholstery. While it won’t always remove a stain, it will lift a spill before it becomes a stain.
Another safe option for most spills is 2 drops of clear dishwashing soap (not creamy; this leaves residue), and a cup of water. BLOT at the spill or stain until it is lifted. Use a clean, white, lint-free cloth. A coloured cloth may transfer it’s dye, which will only leave you with another project. When the spill has been lifted, rinse the area by blotting again with another clean, white, lint-free cloth that’s been dipped in water.
STEP THREE: Call the Pros
Even if you’re doing your best to keep your upholstery as clean as possible, it’s a good idea to call in the experts at least once a year — twice is your furniture sees a lot of action. Hire a company that has local professionals, like ChemDry Rapid Dry upholstery cleaner, since they are close, but also easily accessible. You can get them in quickly if you need a job done as soon as possible, and avoid having to pay any extra traveling fees.
Another perk of professional service? They can lift super stubborn stains and they know how to deal with aged or delicate fabrics. Sure, hiring a pro may seem like an expense in the short-term, but they can save you serious money in the long-haul. After all, it’s cheaper to have your carpet cleaned regularly once a year than it is to replace dirty, worn furniture every few years.
That’s it! Follow these three simple steps and you’re guaranteed to have cleaner upholstery and a healthier home.