086 600 6086 info@carpetdoctor.ie

A guide to DIY Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery poses a cleaning challenge, since it almost always covers some sort of padding – be it cotton batting or foam rubber – and because it’s often not removable. Even when upholstery material can be removed from the padding, as in the case of zip-up seat cushions, some experts warn against removing and washing it.

Sofa sold as having loose covers are, of course, different:
For most, you can simply use the washing machine to clean the covers. Just follow the care instructions on the labels. The danger of taking off cushion covers from fixed upholstery is that they may not fit back on the cushion afterwards. There may also be some fading, which could make your sofa arms look very dark in contrast. Assuming you’re leaving everything in situ, the most basic ain with most upholster cleaning is to clean without soaking the padding beneath

Vacuum upholstery regularly to remover dust and dust mites. Use an upholstery attachment with a gentle brush end. So you don’t damage the upholstery material. Use a crevice tool attachment for nooks and crannies. If your upholstered piece is stuffed with feathers, do not vacuum unless it is lined with a down-proof ticking fabric. You might suck the feather out. If you have no vacuum-cleaner attachments, brush the dust away with a soft-bristled brush at least once a month. Dust, when moistened or ground in, can stain upholstery.

For more thorough cleaning, or to remove stains, your upholstery will need washing. First, check the upholstery manufacturer’s suggestions, usually tagged to your item. The tag will will your wheterh you should use a water-based shampoo, a dry-cleaning solvent or meither of the two. Next, pick an inconspicuous spot on the upholstery and pre-test whatever cleaning technique is recommended. If there is any shrinking, bleeding or the colours runs, contact a professional cleaner. If not, proceed.

If shampooing is safe, use as little moisture as possible. It is important not to wet the upholstery’s stuffing, because it dries very slowly and can attract dust mites and mould. Clean, using the suds only. The easiest method is to use a foaming commercial shampoo in an aerosol can. Follow directions on the can, which typically will allow the foam to stand until dry and then vacuum it off.

If the fabric calls for dry-clenaing only and the upholstery is portable, bring it to a trusted dry cleaner. However, if you can source a dry cleaning solvent and you are happy to try it yourself, please take these 4 pieces of advice. A. Wear Gloves. B. Wear a mask and ensure adequate ventilation. C. Apply the solvent with a cloth to the affected area and DO NOT pour solvent directly onto a stain. D. Always pre-test the solvent is an inconspicuous part of the suite to ensure there is no colours loss.


Golden Rules. 1. Do not Overwet. 2. Test to ensure that you are not causing colour loss and friction fraying. Use a White Towel that has been dipped in your cleaning solution. Test your fabric by pressing the towel against an innocuous part of a cushion cover (the zip end usually). If there is colour transfer, do not proceed. If the colour test is fine, then you need to check whether agitation with your towel or a sponge will cause the pile to Fray or distort (lose shape) in any way?

Carpet Doctor: 23 Limewood Road, Raheny, Dublin 5, Ireland

Phone: 086 600 6086 | Email: info@carpetdoctor.ie