A three step strategy for keeping upholstered furniture looking fabulous year round.

There’s nothing like fabulous upholstery to freshen up any home, but how long it remains looking crisp and clean is entirely up to you. Follow Carpetcare’s strategy to keeping soft furnishings looking fab year round.

Preventative Measures

Vacuums aren’t just for floors and those intimidating attachments they come with can actually prolong the life of your furniture. Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum soft furnishings on a weekly basis. The angle-tipped crevice tool is great for reaching sneaky areas where the evidence of daily use such as dirt and oils like to set up shop like creases, fabric folds and tufted areas.

Once A Month

Take cushions outside and beat them by hand. This will help prevent dust from settling into the fibres. When replacing cushions, rotate and flip them as you would a mattress to ensure even wear. Grandma was on to something with the “no eating in the living room” rule. If you’ve the stamina to enforce a ban on food, drink and pets on the furniture, you’ll avoid worry and work further down the road. Take care with other less obvious sources of stains too even newsprint inks can bleed easily onto fabric.

First Aid For Stains

The first rule of tending to a spill……Get to it quickly before it has time to set.

Use a blotting motion with either a paper towel or clean white cloth. Rubbing can smudge the spill into a larger stain, an effect that upholstery cleaning pros call “blossoming”. Work from the outside of the spot towards the centre. Blot dry. If blotting hasn’t done the trick and a cleaning solution is required, take a moment to examine the manufacturer’s care label, usually located under the chair seat or inside a cushion cover. Here you’ll find instructions as to which types of products can be used in the cleaning of the fabric. W for water-based cleaners, S for solvents, WS for either, and X for none of the above in which case, vacuuming is your only option. Note that many grease or oil-based stains (gravy, butter, cosmetics) are only treatable with dry cleaning solvents.

Before applying a cleaning solution of any kind it’s a good idea to test the colourfastness of the fabric on an inconspicuous patch of the furniture. Apply the solution to a clean white cloth and press against the test area firmly for 30 seconds. Examine the cloth for evidence of colour transfer.

Whether spot cleaning with a pH-balanced (neutral) detergent in a 1:20 water mixture or a commercial dry cleaning solution, where appropriate, finish by blotting with clean water.

Never over-wet the fabric. Applying too much water or cleaning solution can spread the stain and saturate the backing underneath the upholstery, creating the perfect haven for mould, mildew or bacteria, all of which are far worse than a surface stain. Don’t try to speed up the drying time with a hot-air dryer either, heat may set the stain. Instead merely blot the area dry with a clean, white towel.

The Deep Clean

Once a year schedule your soft furnishings for a deep clean treatment with Carpetcare & Upholstery North East. We have great offers for our returning customers.

If your cushion covers are removable and machine washable (YOU MUST CHECK THE MANUFACTURERS CARE LABEL FIRST) it’s still best to turn them inside out and wash in cold water to prevent fading. They’re also likely to be ineligible for machine drying so this is something to add to your summer weather to do list.

If removable covers are dry clean only we strongly consider getting all covers professionally cleaned at the same time even if only one is particularly soiled. This will ensure any fading or colour variation after cleaning with be consistent across all matching fabrics.

When in doubt, or if removing the upholstery isn’t an option, don’t hesitate to contact us. Professional cleaning is also a must if there’s been a large-volume spill. Underneath that surface discolouration, the stain penetrating the padding may be three to four times as large.

If you are at all unsure of how to treat the stain, please call us for professional stain advice.