12 tips for effectively cleaning sofas

Sofas or couches are not just vulnerable to surface dusts, stains and dirt but grime may also become embedded into your couch fibers. Even if you are unable to see dirt, it’s there, so for the sake of hygiene and cleanliness, it’s extremely important to have upholstery cleaned regularly. Here are a few cleaning tips:

  1. Determine the type of sofa fabric

Find the tag that shows what material your sofa cover is made of. This tag should contain instructions for what surface cleaning products you should use. 

  • w” means steam vacuum with water-based detergent

  • WS” means you may use either dry cleaning detergent or a steam-vacuum with water-based detergent.

  • S” means use only dry cleaning detergent

  • O” means material is organic, and therefore should be cleaned using cold water.

  • X” means use professional services for shampooing or vacuum & bristle-brush alone

  1. Remove loose stuff

Grab all the items from your couch and dispose any large trash. Check all the sides of the couch and try to get anything that might get slipped down inside it. If your couch is really dirty, try to cover all the surfaces. Big chunks of debris might damage your vacuum cleaner.

  1. Take off all cushions if possible

Have them vacuumed clean, and if you spot any stain, spot-clean thoroughly with water and mild soap. Do not soak them, though, or they may develop mildew or mold.

  1. Vacuum up large particles

Just before you embark on deep-cleaning, you want to get rid of any surface particle or debris from your sofa surface. Use a hose attachment full size-vacuum cleaner or a dust-buster to clear the couch. With the help of a long, narrow attachment, clean the crevices. This step follows immediately after you remove all the cushions. Concentrate on the narrow spaces. Using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bigger debris as well as wiping the surface using a clean soft cloth ensures that dirt and dust won’t be pressed onto the leather as the cleaning process continues.

In case you spot areas that have dirt caked in or heavy dust, use a brush with stiff bristles to break it up, and then vacuum the released parts. Rub with care not to damage the fabric.

Also vacuum under the couches. You can accomplish this either by using a low-profile vacuum cleaner, one of those pesky little cleaning robots or by using a regular upright and the strength of your arms for lifting the sofa.

  1. Use the upholstery attachment

White sofa harbors fuzz like no other, whereas microfiber sofas appear worn after seven days. By using an upholstery attachment, the specially designed bristles help to carry stubborn particles as well as other sofa fibers. 

  1. Remove lint and fur

Although certain companies manufacture products specifically for households having pets, an average vacuum cleaner may not be able to eliminate pet hair or lint. A lint roller will help you get rid of what your vacuum cleaner cannot. 

  1. Use the correct cleaner 

Buy the right type of cleaner for your sofa, like the upholstery dry cleaning solution, the leather cleaner and conditioner or the water-based upholstery detergent. The best water based cleaning solutions are gentle soap, carpet cleaner, mild dish detergent as well as upholstery shampoo. Some water-free solvents are rubbing alcohol, clear alcohol such as vodka or gin, lighter fluids, oxygenated solutions that do not have bleaches and baby wipes.

fabric care

  1. Wash and polish any wood or metal on the couch

If the base, legs, or armrest of your sofa have any metal or wood on them, carefully wipe them down with water and soap to clean off any grime or dust. In addition, you may use a metal or wood polish so as to enhance the shine of such parts.  

  1. Wipe down any exposed hard surfaces

Majority of couches have exposed wood, and you want to be sure you give them attention as well. Find an appropriate cleaning product for the type of surface you want cleaned. If you can’t find a surface-specific cleaner, an all-purpose cleaner will just be fine. In case the spray zone is broader, you can spray in a paper towel and then rub it over the area to be cleaned. This will keep off unwanted chemicals from getting into the fabric.

  1. Brush the nap at least once a week

Brushing regularly removes dirt and dust, that build up and makes your sofa to appear dull. Use a cloth or suede napping brush, which can be bought at a shoe store that specialized in repair as well as cleaning. Have your suede cleaning clothe in reach. Use it to rub down the sofa every now and then, to keep the nap in good shape. You can do this even while watching TV. You may i.e. use a terry cloth towel. Brushing and rubbing are extremely important, especially if you allow pets to sit on your couch.

  1. Use a protective spray that is safe for suede

Although not completely foolproof, treating your suede sofa with protective sprays will assist in preventing spills and other stains from becoming permanent. Some sprays are water-based while others are based on synthetic solvents. Consult your manufacture’s manual to find out what types of surface cleaners are safe for your sofa. And also note that if your sofa is brand-new, application of a protector can void the warranty.

Always work in a properly ventilated area. Fumes that are emitted from aerosol sprays may be harmful in several ways and must be avoided as much as possible. Make sure you keep all the windows open and use as many fans as you can. You can also use a painter’s ventilator mask.

  1. Flip/Rotate Cushions

I would recommend this to be done at least once every month, or as soon as they start appearing uneven. 

Irrespective of how you keep your home, it’s inevitable that your couch will eventually require some cleaning. Whether its spot cleaning because of a spill or a thorough all-over washing, it is extremely important that you stick to the above tips so as to have your couch sparkles as well as to avoid any potential material damage. What do you think? Do you have any other tips for cleaning/maintaining a couch?

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