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How to Get the Most Life Out of Your Furniture

1. Know Your Fabric Code

All upholstered furniture is given a fabric code to guide you on how best to clean it. Depending on your code, some of the tools we recommend may not work. Check your code before proceeding with our tool list.

  • W – Use water-based solvents.
  • S – Use solvent-based products typically used for dry cleaning.
  • W-S – Either water-based or solvent-based products can be used.
  • X – Do not use any cleaning products. Hire a professional only. DIY products may cause shrinking in the fabric. This is where you’ll want to find out the professional couch cleaning cost. 

So how DO professionals clean upholstery? They start by following the fabric code.

2. Vacuum – THE Cleaning 101 Tool

Soft fabrics are so comfy to sit or lie on, but they also are a magnet for particles. Food, pet fur, dust, dead skin, smoke are just a few examples of the things that can wind up settling into the fibers of your couch. 

Give your couch and chairs a once over with a vacuum with an upholstery or brush attachment at least once a week, if not more often depending on how heavily they are used. It will save you money in the long run. Don’t forget the sides, backs, under and between cushions, and the bottom of the couch. 

3. Steam Cleaner – For Furniture Deep Cleaning

Stains happen. Spills happen. Snacks that get dropped on furniture get ground in. Muddy feet can grind dirt into the fibers of your upholstery. To keep your upholstery as clean as the professionals, be sure to treat the fibers of your furniture with a steam cleaner every two years. This, too, will save on your long-term professional couch cleaning cost.

There’s no need to use soap, just clean water (and a clean reservoir) can work wonders. Households with pets and kids who want to tackle upholstery cleaning at home should invest in a steam cleaner for the home. When comparing professional upholstery cleaning vs do it yourself upholstery cleaning, a steam cleaner is what the professionals use.

4. Baby Wipes – A Do It Yourself Upholstery Cleaning Must

Not just for baby butts anymore, baby wipes are a great way to treat spots when they happen. There is just the right amount of moisture, not too much or too little, and the soap is gentle enough that it shouldn’t damage the fabric. But to make sure, you’ll want to test a small, inconspicuous area first, to make sure the color doesn’t run or create a spot. And always remember, blot, don’t rub. You don’t want to damage the fibers. 

5. Water – Another Important Upholstery Cleaning Tool

Sometimes, you only need water and a little patience to remove a spot or stain. But you want to be careful about how much you use. If you over-saturate the cushion, you could wind up with water deep into the cushion that doesn’t dry, leading to bigger problems like mildew and smell, creating the need for furniture deep cleaning by a professional. 

What do professional upholstery cleaners use? They’ll use water, too. But they know when it comes to upholstery, a little water goes a long way. This rule even applies when you’re talking about how to clean a couch of cat pee. Start with water (and see our blog about cleaning cat pee in your home to learn more).

6. Lint Roller – Not As Clean As a Vacuum, But Great in a Pinch!

No time to haul out the vacuum cleaner before your friends come over for the evening? Your lint roller is a great way to hit the most obvious dirt offenders like pet fur, dust, and crumbs. Keep one in your side table drawer for easy access. We keep lint rollers or squeegees close at hand as a handy way to remove common dirt offenders in a pinch. 

7. Scotchgard™ – Professional Upholstery Cleaning Recommended

A fabric protector like Scotchgard™ will add a coating to all of your fabric furniture that repels stains, keeping upholstery fabric clean. Instead of soaking into the material, any liquid that drops on it will bead on top of the fabric, making it much easier to clean up. Be sure to test a small area first, to be sure it doesn’t discolor the fabric.  

Professional upholstery cleaners concentrate on covering the areas of the furniture where arms and heads come in contact with the fabric – the places where body oils are easily transferred. This helps cut down on the time between professional upholstery cleaning recommended visits. And it can keep your upholstery looking clean and new.

8. Clean, White Towel – Another Unexpected Cleaning Tool

We’ve said it before, but when you’re trying to remove stains from the fabric of a couch or chair, you want to be sure to blot, not rub the stain with a clean, white towel until what caused the stain has been removed. Rubbing the fabric could damage the fibers. The best way to tell that you’re getting that stain is to use a white or light-colored towel, so you can see the discoloration as it comes up. If the color isn’t coming up, you’re probably going to need to find how much does it cost to get a couch professionally cleaned.

9. What Do Professional Upholstery Cleaners Use For Leather? Soap and Conditioner

Leather furniture is also upholstered and super easy to clean because, in most cases, it is treated and anything you spill on it can be wiped away. Tougher stains caused by grease, like your body’s natural oils or food, may not need furniture deep cleaning, but will need a little massaging before they eventually soak into the leather. It is best to use a soap that is designed for leather, and to follow it up with a leather conditioner. This will keep the leather soft and pliable, and prevent cracking.  

10. Turning Your Bathtub into a Cleaning 101 Tool

That’s right! A bathtub is your best friend in the world of do it yourself upholstery cleaning. Why? Because your cushions need love too! The real wear and tear on a couch begins with the cushions. If you can remove the covers from the cushions, take the time to do a furniture deep cleaning by dunking them in your tub. 

Make sure your tub is clean first, to avoid introducing any debris to the air pockets within. Add warm water and a little mild laundry detergent and  give your cushions a good massage to work the water solution into the cushion. Rinse and repeat as necessary. It will refresh your cushions and keep them in better condition for longer. 

In all cases that involve liquid cleaners, give your couch time to dry completely. Just like with over-saturation of water, if you don’t let it completely dry, you could wind up with mildew build-up. Set up a box fan or dehumidifier if you want to help the process along. 

Need More Information? 

Have you read all this and asked yourself, how much does it cost to get a couch professionally cleaned? Or maybe you decided on professional upholstery cleaning vs do it yourself? Zerorez® can help you get a free estimate on your professional couch cleaning cost. You can also contact us to find out about our current Monthly Specials on Residential and Commercial Cleaning Services. Call Zerorez® DC Metro at 703-382-1221 — or book a carpet cleaning appointment online. Does Zerorez® really work? Check out our Zerorez® reviews and you’ll find the answer is a resounding yes!

We invite you to connect with Zerorez® DC on Facebook to find the latest Zerorez® carpet cleaning specials or to see examples of our upholstery cleaning service! We can also be found on LinkedIn for business and commercial accounts — and get all our great cleaning tips on our blog, The Residue Chronicles!

Locally owned and operated Zerorez® DC and Fredericksburg“The Right Way To Clean” in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, Stafford County (including Ramoth, Dahlgren, and Hartwood), Maryland (including Cabin John, Darnestown, and Poolesville) and the Northern Virginia Region (including Vienna, Aldie, and Purcellville) since 2015.

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