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How to Clean Different Types of Upholstery

How Dirty Is Your Couch?

This might come as a surprise to you, but your upholstered furniture is filthy. Let’s take a look at the facts:

You spread out and relax on your couch pretty often. You let your guests and friends crash there when they need a place to sleep. You friends spill food and drinks on it when they come over to watch the game. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about that time you were sick and slept there all day. Our furniture does a lot for us and experiences even more. So of course with all the use that your couch encounters you definitely get it deep cleaned routinely, right?

It turns out that for most people that’s just not the case. Only about 40% of Americans admit to having their couch professionally cleaned in the past three years, and of those that haven’t, a whopping 80% said they have never had it done at all. Just imagine if we treated the other areas of our home like this. It’s tough to even imagine.

Most couches are highly absorbent. That means stains, sweat, oils, bacteria, and other gross things are crawling all around you as you’re trying to relax. Pretty gross, right? Well the good news is these things aren’t permanent. Keep reading to find out how to easily restore your furniture.

Dust Mites and Allergens

Dust mikes like to hide in between soft fibers like in your carpet and furniture. If you have ever been on your couch and started to feel itchy for no reason, you might have dust mites. These little guys are one of the biggest contributors to indoor allergy problems. If that sounds like something you would rather not have crawling around in your furniture, it’s probably a good idea to get your soft furnishings thoroughly cleaned.

Mold Spores

Mold is an unfortunate part of life, but even so, it can be found almost anywhere. Mold spores travel throughout the air and attach themselves to furnishing, just waiting for the right conditions to start growing. Over time, you can find that your upholstered furniture is contributing to mold throughout your home if it isn’t cleaned regularly. Don’t wait until it becomes a problem to flush out harmful mold.

Bacteria and Viruses

Even if your couch doesn’t look dirty, it’s most likely covered in dead skin cells, bits of food, and yes, Bacteria and viruses. Just the grease and oil that transfers from your skin to your furniture could be enough for germs to thrive. It’s the perfect environment for these things to grow and spread, and it might be the reason for that cough or cold that you’ve been harboring. Most major manufacturers suggest having furniture cleaned every 1 to 2 years, but you should probably have it done sooner if you have kids or pets in the house. Many deep cleaning techniques will be enough to sanitize your couch and other upholstered furniture.

Cleaning Different Upholstery Surfaces

Upholstery fabrics include a wide range of different fibers. Most of the time, your upholstered furniture will probably be one of cotton, wool, silk, acetate, acrylic, rayon, or polypropylene. Sometimes these fibers are only used by themselves, and other times they are found in blends. If you’re thinking about cleaning your upholstery, you need to first know what it’s made of and how to clean that type of fiber. Otherwise it could be unintentionally damaged. You need to be very careful about how you treat upholstered furniture.

Upholstered furniture gets a lot of work on a daily basis. Think about all the people plopping down, stretching out, or even eating and spilling things on the furniture. Most people want their upholstery looking as good as the day they bought it. No matter what type of fabric you have, stains should be treated immediately. But what about deeper cleaning? Take a look below at the common types of upholstery fabric and the different cleaning techniques used for each.

Upholstery Fabric

You need to determine what type of fabric you are dealing with. Fortunately, the furniture industry has made this pretty easy for you with certain codes that indicate the appropriate cleaning methods for upholstery. If you need to deep clean your upholstery, the worst thing you could do is use improper or incorrect cleaning techniques and accidentally do permanent damage to your furniture. Here are the four furniture codes and how to use them.

S: Use dry cleaner detergents or solvents to clean this type of fabric. Make sure to use sparingly and in a well-ventilated area. This means you should spot clean only. Routine Vacuuming Recommended.

W: This indicates the fabric should be treated with water based products such as shampoos or mild detergents. You need to avoid over-wetting when using these. Routine Vacuuming Recommended.

WS: Clean the fabric with a dry cleaning solvent or water based products. Routine Vacuuming Recommended.

X: Have the fabric professionally cleaned. Only clean yourself by vacuuming. Routine Vacuuming Recommended.