Chairs and couches are central elements of any lounge and many spare rooms. A good couch is relaxing and many people spend a lot of their time at home sitting on them.
As a result they are prone to getting dirty and smelly unless properly maintained and this can quickly detract from their visual appeal and comfort. Despite this they are often not high on the priority list when it comes to cleaning.
But as always adding a few quick steps to a cleaning routine and understanding why can really help keep the upholstery as fresh as possible.
- Don’t keep it Loose – Anyone who has owned a couch will have lost change and pens and remotes behind the cushions. A lot of us are fine to leave it like that, what is the harm? The problem is that loose items that are shuffled around as people shift on cushions can actually slowly wear down the fabric or in the case of things like pens can poke holes. It isn’t common, but it is doing minor damage over time so try and clear out as much of that as you can whenever you can.
- Vacuum Away – Vacuuming is one of the more straightforward ways that you can keep your upholstery clean by removing the dust and dirt that settles and is rubbed into the fabric by sitting. Most vacuums will come with a special vacuum head fitting that is much smaller than the normal one that is designed for getting into the cracks of upholstery and helps to improve the suction. That said, it means that compared to regular vacuuming you have to be much more thorough as the actual suction area is drastically reduced. By focusing on straight, steady, and overlapping strokes you can assure you maximise the efficiency and effect of your suction. Be sure to vacuum every area of the couch including taking the cushions off to do underneath them, as any dust left on the seat will potentially trap smells, not just the ones on visible surface.
- Spotting Spots – Spot treatment is a difficult process on upholstery. Due to the varying fabric types and the different treatments there can be a lot of mishaps. A damp sponge [nothing too rough] wet with just water can be a good way to buff away food spills as they happen and generally won’t have too much effect on a fabric. Spray on treatments can be useful for treating stains but really do be careful when you use them and make sure you are clear about what they treat, what fabrics they recommend and making sure the room is well ventilated as some of them can have quite strong smells. Most are designed for casual domestic use so there is not much risk of damage, but it is always best to test a product out on a non-visible spot before trying them on a stain.
- Deep Clean your Troubles Away – Ultimately a dry or steam clean of the upholstery is the best way to assure it is clean and healthy. That is because regular vacuuming alone is not able to agitate free all the dirt and oils trapped in the fabric nor does it treat the bugs that are potentially [likely] growing in the cushions like dust mites. Deep cleaning, however, will address those concerns. Steam cleaning is good because the heat involved helps kill more things and it permeates through the fabric and removes much more than vacuuming. It takes longer to dry and not all fabrics can handle it equally well, but generally it is the superior option. Dry cleaning uses an agitator and chemicals to break down oils and remove much more dirt. It is great for all fabric types and very quick to dry, but not always as effective against bugs. Either process you choose is ultimately good for the upholstery, though, and an important part of getting the longest life out of furniture.
Upholstery cleaning is pretty straightforward but each element of it is important. If this blog does nothing other than prompt you to go and vacuum the cushions it was worthwhile, because every bit of attention a couch receives cleaning wise the better.