A Simple Guide to Cleaning Your Upholstered Chairs

You should always do your best to keep your upholstered chairs clean. After all, a lack of cleanliness will make them look bad. Even worse, that can drag down the look of their surroundings as a whole.

On top of this, dirt, dust, and other unwanted substances can speed up upholstery’s rate of deterioration, thus creating the need for either repair or replacement sooner than otherwise necessary. As such, it is clear that it is a good idea to brush on ways to clean upholstered chairs from The Spruce and other sources.

Here are some things to keep in mind on how to clean upholstered chairs:

There Isn’t a Single Kind of Upholstery

For starters, you need to remember there isn’t a single kind of upholstery. As a result, you shouldn’t make any assumptions about what you can and can’t use on an upholstered chair. What is fine for one example might not be fine for another, meaning you might regret it if you rush in without preparation. Fortunately, Bob Vila says an upholstered chair should have a label detailing this information. Sometimes, the label is on the bottom of a cushion. Other times, the label is on the bottom of the upholstered chair itself. Due to this, you might need to do a bit of searching.

In any case, the letters on the label are important. First, “W” means the upholstered chair needs a water-based cleaner, while an “S” means the upholstered chair needs a solvent-based cleaner. “WS” is the best-case scenario because it means the upholstered chair needs either a water-based or a solvent-based cleaner. In contrast, “X” makes for the most complications because it indicates that the upholstered chair needs professional cleaning.

Timeliness Is Critical

Unsurprisingly, timeliness is critical when it comes to cleaning upholstered chairs. As a rule, you should clean a spill as soon as it happens. Be careful about any action that could rub the stain deeper into the upholstery. Instead, if you see any solids, you should start by using either a blunt knife or a plastic card to lift them before getting rid of them. Subsequently, you should use a paper towel to soak up as much of the liquid as possible. Giving the stain time to soak into the upholstery is bad because that means a much more laborious and time-consuming cleaning process in the long run.

Get Into the Habit of Vacuuming Your Upholstered Chairs

Whether you have ever spilled something on your upholstered chairs or not, you should get into the habit of vacuuming them. Simply put, even if you never spill anything on your upholstered chairs, they are still coming into contact with dirt, dust, and other unwanted substances. A bit of vacuuming is just a straightforward way of making sure that these substances don’t get the chance to do any damage to the upholstery.

For that matter, it is also useful for preventing you from rubbing dirt, dust, and other unwanted substances into the upholstery when you want to do a more thorough cleaning. Indeed, you should always start by vacuuming your upholstered chair before you start using a cleaner.

Follow the Instructions

As mentioned earlier, it is normal for upholstered chairs to come with information on how to clean them. Due to this, you should do your best to follow those instructions because the makers of your upholstered chairs should be the ones who know best. You can buy the right cleaners. However, you can also mix a water-based cleaner if you have the right supplies on hand.

For a water-based cleaner, you can combine a quarter cup of dishwashing liquid with one cup of warm water. Then, you use a tool to mix it until it turns sudsy. Once it is ready, use either a sponge for lightly-stained areas or a soft-bristled scrubbing brush for heavily-soiled areas. Dip these tools in the suds rather than the mix before applying them to your upholstery.

Furthermore, you should rinse these tools regularly because you don’t want to smear the unwanted substances you have removed back onto your upholstery. Once you have finished, you should use either a sponge or a towel to blot away any remnants of the cleaner before letting the upholstery dry out in the air. This step is critical because any remaining detergent will have a counter-productive effect by attracting dirt, dust, and other unwanted substances.

As for solvent-based cleaners, you should follow the instructions provided on their packaging. These products can be very strong, so exercise extra caution to ensure the right results. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t clean upholstered chairs bearing an “X” on their labels. The manufacturer put it there for a reason, meaning it is best not to take any pointless risks lest you do damage to your upholstered chairs.

What Are Some Other Suggestions For the Care of Upholstered Chairs?

HGTV and other sources are clear that cleaning is just one of the methods for extending upholstery’s expected lifespan. To name an example, you can use sprays to shield your upholstered chairs from UV and stains, but you need to be careful about applying either too little or too much. Too little means reduced protection. Meanwhile, too much means what is effectively a stain in its own right. Even worse, some people have negative responses when exposed to high concentrations of these substances on furniture.

Similarly, it can be a good idea to cover the arms and the headrests with washable covers. Those parts often come into contact with human hair and skin, which is a huge issue because that contact can transfer oil, skin flakes, and other unwanted substances. For that matter, washable covers can protect from other unwanted substances while being much easier to clean than upholstery.

Ultimately, being proactive can do a great deal to extend the useful lifespan of your upholstered chairs. Clean your upholstered chairs regularly even when nothing happens. However, rush to clean stains if you see a spill. The combination of these two practices should make for good results in the long run.

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