Fabric Upholstery Care: How to Clean & Maintain

Fabric is the glue that ties the room design together. The colors, patterns and materials, all of it presents the perfect way of expressing your style. What makes upholstery furniture such a great choice is that maintenance is not as hard as one might think, you can keep that fresh look and vivid colors for years to come by applying the right techniques and creating a regular maintenance schedule.

So let’s see what are the best cleaning and maintaining options for your fabric upholstery.

The perfect choice of fabric:

The longevity of your furniture largely depends of the choice of fabric. Not all fabrics can whitsand increased usage and the rigorous cleaning schedule that comes with it. This is why it is important to choose high quality upholstery fabric for your couch, chairs or pillows, so that you can maintain them on the regular basis without worrying about possible fabric tearing and damage. The material that provides the best results when it comes to furniture upholstery is, of course, in the first place leather, durable, not easily stained but requires a lot of maintenance. You can also opt for artificial materials like viscose and polyester, just avoid 100% polyester since it can be easily stained with oils in skin or food. Another great option is choosing rich pattern fabrics that have a stain and water resistant finish.

Fabric specific maintenance:

You have dedicated a lot of time picking out the perfect upholstery fabrics for your furniture, so it would be a shame for it to get damaged due to application of inadequate cleaning techniques. Not all types of fabric can be cleaned in the same way. So in order to provide your furniture with the best possible care, try to uphold the following set of rules.

  • Leather furniture needs to be cleaned every three months. The best option is to use a commercial cleaner recommended by the manufacturer, since a more aggressive one can damage the fabric substantially.
  • You can have different types of velvet fabric, most common are cotton and polyester. Naturally polyester is more durable, but the cleaning process is basically the same for both types, just make sure not to get the fabric too wet. On the other hand acetate, rayon, or silk velvets are too sensitive for home cleaning options.
  • For vinyl furniture regular cleaning is a must, especially because heavy usage, soil and body oils may cause vinyl to stiffen, crack and deteriorate. Use a soapy solution and a soft-bristled brush to remove stubborn soil from the fabric.

Basic maintenance and cleaning tips:

There are several things you can do regularly to maintain a high level of upholstery cleanliness in your home. The first step is, of course, vacuuming, so using the upholstery attachment, vacuum your furniture from left to right in short, overlapping strokes. The best results are obtained if you start at the top of the piece and work your way down toward the bottom. Make sure that you set the suction to low for fine fabrics like silk and linen. After you have thoroughly vacuumed the fabric it is time to remove stains. The best option is to use luke-warm water, regular soap and a white cloth. You can use stronger stain removers on the more durable cloth, they mostly come in a form of powder that you rub in with a dry cloth and vacuum afterwards. Finally, you can use special upholstery shampoo to wash the entire piece. Make sure you have a lot of foam, and use a soft brush. It is important to avoid getting your furniture too wet, because it will take a long time to dry and the moisture can cause mould formation in the padding.

So there you have it, easy to apply tips for upholstery fabric cleaning and maintenance. Of course there are some other things you can do to prolong the life of your upholstery fabric. Keep it away from direct sunlight, avoid eating on it and most importantly do not try to scrub or rub off stains. If you have kids or pets, you should be prepared to have your furniture refurbished at least once, either due to crayon and marker stains, or your cat’s claw sharpening technique.

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