What is the Best Cleaning Method for Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture looks excellent when it is brand new, but after years of use, it can become dingy and stained. Or what if disaster strikes as you reach for that glass of red wine which tumbles over onto your beautiful fabric sofa? If you are in either one of these positions – or something similar – you are left scrambling for the best way to clean your upholstered furniture.

clean couch with cat on top by the window

If you catch a spill early enough, you may be able to spot treat the stain yourself. If you attempt this, however, you must be very careful to read the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, you could risk ruining the fabric or voiding warranties. If you have long ago lost the manufacturer’s instructions, there should be a cleaning tag located on the furniture. Here is a list of symbols you are likely to find on that tag and what they mean:

  • W – It is ok to use water on this item.
  • S – Do not use water on this item.
  • WS – It is ok to use either water or a solvent based cleaner on this item.
  • X – Vacuum only.

While occasional DIY cleaning upholstered furniture is an option, having your furniture professionally cleaned is recommended both to keep it looking its best and to extend its life. Over time, dirt particles can work their way down into the fabric. This happens so gradually, you might not even notice that your furniture is becoming dingier and dingier – but a good professional cleaning can bring new life to the fabric and make it look like it did on the day you brought it home.

Different professional cleaners use different methods to clean upholstered furniture. These methods include:

  • Steam Cleaning – this method uses high pressured water to dissolve dirt. This can leave your furniture wet for several hours and may not be suitable for all types of fabric.
  • Encapsulation – more commonly used on carpet than on furniture, this method uses a detergent that crystallizes and captures dirt which is then vacuumed away. This method can be effective for removing surface dirt but is less effective at removing deep down dirt.
  • Dry Foam Cleaning – In our opinion, this is the best method for cleaning upholstered furniture. A biodegradable powder is set into the fabric using a motorized brush. The powder absorbs any dirt in the material and is then removed. Dry foam cleaning is effective for both surface stains and deep down dirt, and there is no drying time required so your furniture can be used again immediately after it has been cleaned. It is also a safe, non-toxic method to use around children and pets.

If you have upholstered furniture in your home that has become stained from the use or if it is simply time for a good professional cleaning, nothing beats the dry foam method. For a free quote on bringing new life back into your furniture, contact Sparkling Clean Carpets today!