Upholstered furniture adds beauty and comfort to any room. After some time and use your upholstered furniture will accumulate dirt and stains and will need to be cleaned so that you can continue to enjoy it.
Upholstery cleaning is no easy task and should be approached with care to make sure that you do not ruin your furniture. If you follow guidelines it is possible to do light cleaning on your upholstered furniture, but for delicate or expensive furniture, or for deep cleaning it is best to get help from a professional upholstery cleaning service.
In this article, we will cover common mistakes of upholstery cleaning and ways that you can avoid them and get the results you are after. The biggest mistakes to avoid in upholstery cleaning are not following instructions, using incorrect products, incorrect techniques and not hiring a professional when you need one.
Not Following Manufacturer’s Instructions
Almost every piece of upholstered furniture will have a tag sewn into a seam that contains the type of material in the upholstery and the instructions for cleaning the material. The furniture may also have come with a small booklet with instructions or maybe there is a manufacturer’s website where you can access the information.
This is a simple but critical step that many people ignore and end up regretting. If you do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, you can easily ruin your furniture and it will void any sort of warranty you may have for it.
The manufacturer put the tag on the furniture because they want you to be able to take care of the product and not make it look terrible, so then their furniture will have a better reputation for lasting longer and they will have more customers. The mistake of not reading the instructions is such an easy one to avoid, but one that so many people make; please just read the instructions.
Using the Wrong Cleaning Product
The wrong cleaning product can leave a stain or can damage the material of the upholstery. Just because a cleaning product is called “upholstery cleaner” does not mean that it will clean your specific material and could make things worse. You can often read on the cleaning product’s label which specific materials it is appropriate for.
When cleaning upholstery, first make sure your cleaning product matches the upholstery, then test it in a small spot that is not so visible. That way if there is a bad reaction, you can stop using the product and it will not be too obvious. Only after your test is successful should you go on to cleaning your entire piece of furniture.
If your upholstery is microfiber, water is not a good cleaner because it can leave marks, instead, you can use isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any stains. Most upholstery can handle a mild detergent made for clothing. Some upholstery is to be cleaned with dry cleaning products only.
Choosing the wrong product for upholstery cleaning is an easy mistake to make, so it is best to do some research before you do any damage.
Bad Cleaning Technique
Upholstery cleaning is not the same as other types of cleaning so the same techniques you use on your clothes or your windows will not work with upholstery. A good tip is to never scrub too hard, it could damage the fibers of the upholstery while also removing what you were trying to clean up. Being gentle is important, using a sort of blotting action, trying to lift up soils without rubbing on the upholstery.
If you are using a vacuum as an upholstery cleaner, make sure that you are using the right vacuum attachment for the work. The wrong attachment could be harsh on the upholstery and wear it down. Your vacuum should have come with instructions and you can read it to see which heads to use for upholstery cleaning.
The vacuum attachment that looks like a smaller version of the vacuum is the go-to attachment for upholstery, as it is a bit gentler and fits into small spaces.
If you can use water to clean your upholstery, you want to be sure not to use too much. A very small amount is sufficient, and using too much could lead to greater damage. Upholstered furniture can not always dry properly, and if there is too much water it can start to grow mold.
Not Hiring a Professional
Many people believe that hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service is not worth the money or effort, but that is a huge mistake! A professional upholstery cleaner has the experience, skills, and tools that make them far superior to any at-home upholstery cleaning you can do yourself. They can do the job more efficiently and with better results than you can.
A professional upholstery cleaning service will leave your furniture looking and smelling like new. Professional upholstery cleaning can add years to the life of your furniture, which can save you money in the long run and eliminate waste that builds up in landfills.
Hiring a professional is not actually as expensive as you might guess, and when you consider all the time you can spend researching cleaning techniques and products, the cost of the products, and the potential harm you can do to your furniture, you will actually be saving money by hiring an upholstery cleaning service.
An upholstery cleaner will have all the equipment to get the best results. A great way to clean most upholstery is to give it an upholstery steam cleaning. You could rent or buy the steam cleaner on your own, but it can be expensive and a professional has training and experience to use the steam cleaner correctly. You could waste a lot of time and money renting and then learning to use the steam cleaner, but hiring a professional will guarantee that you get the best results for a lot less effort.
Now that you know how to avoid the most common mistakes of upholstery cleaning, you are ready to get to work on making your furniture clean and beautiful.
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