How to Go About Upholstery Cleaning: Everything You Need To Know In 5 Steps


House furniture is usually, one of the first household equipment’s to get stained and one of the most tedious to clean; this is because it hardly moved and used frequently. Cleaning upholstery does involve a good number of steps, and there is a tendency to get it wrong when you don’t have a clue of what happens when. There is the option of calling a cleaning upholstery company which is highly recommended; there are a good number of them in Perth, but if you are strapped for cash or just trying to cut down on expenses, you might consider taking up upholstery cleaning yourself. These are five quick and easy steps to get you going on your journey of having your upholstery cleaned

How to make sure your upholstery is free of dirt and dust mites?

The first thing you need to have at the back of your mind while cleaning your upholstery is that dirt accumulates in the strangest places. This is due to the fact that furniture is almost never moved. Another reason is that people spend a lot of time on couches, so there is always a transfer of particles from person to furniture. The first step to take when embarking on an upholstery cleaning mission is to get rid of all the dust and dirt by vacuuming. Ensure that upholstery placed against the wall is moved and is dusted. Clean the wall, where the furniture was placed with a wet rag, to remove dirt. Remove the cushions and vacuum the corners. Ensure every nook and cranny is vacuumed, and don’t forget to pocket any loose change before vacuuming.

What type of upholstery are you cleaning?

This is a very important process, as it determines how you will clean the fabric. Basically there are three major types of fabric natural, synthetic and a combination of both. It is essential to identify your furniture type as this will help you choose the right cleaners, as well as enable you know how much water to use. In determining what type of upholstery you own, take time to inspect the furniture; for any wear, tear or abnormality so you could get it fixed up.

What does the upholstery cleaning code mean?

This can be found underneath the center cushion, it is a guide on how to clean your furniture efficiently. This cleaning instruction has four codes (W, S, WS, and X). These codes have different meanings, they are as follows:

W: This is a cleaning instruction for natural made fabrics, for instance, cotton, wool and silk. It states that water based cleaners or foam are to be used for this kind of fabric. In using water based cleaners however, you should keep in mind that tap water is not acceptable, because it contains minerals which have the ability to cause rings or fading. Instead, use distilled water as part of the cleaning process for your upholstery.

S: This code means that the cleaning upholstery agent’s necessary for man-made fibers like polyesters, nylons and olefins are solvent based. These agents are mild and water free. These solvent based agents should be used alone without the inclusion of water as it could damage the upholstery.

SW: This cleaning agent can be used on materials that are a combination of natural and man-made fibers, and as such both water based and solvent cleaning agents can be used. If you decide to use a water based upholstery cleaning agent, keep in mind that distilled water is the preferred choice.

X: This code is rarely used and the materials are fabrics like drapes, curtains and fabric blinds. Cleaning this upholstery would need a more professional and experienced cleaner. The code states that the upholstery should only be cleaned by vacuuming or light brushing to remove dirt. Under no conditions should water or solvent based cleaners be used for this fabric. If you come across this type of fabric, lease cleaning service Perth would be your best bet.

The various Types of Fabric and the best ways to clean them.

There are four types of fabrics to consider when cleaning upholstery; natural, synthetic, a combination, microfiber and leather.

Natural Fibers

These kinds of fabric can be cleaned alone, without any help. Water based cleansers should be your first choice. Getting water, on the fabric would be very necessary to clean the upholstery. It is advisable that you use a moderate amount, as excess usage can cause the appearance of rings and shrinking. To clean this material, you will need a brush and a fabric cleaner in a spritz bottle.

  • First of all use a towel to cover all the parts where you do not want the water to get to; that is in the case of unmovable upholstery. If the upholstery is movable, for instance a cushion; place it on a surface which will not attract more dirt to it
  • Spray the fabric with some fabric cleaner, as generously as you can afford, on to the upholstery. This attracts all the dirt and brings it to the surface.
  • Take the brush and brush against the grain of the fabric to get the dirt out quicker. Depending on the type and levity of the stain or spill on your fabric, you may need to clean the upholstery more than once. Do these steps as many times as possible to get the stains off.

Synthetic fibers

These types of fibers are generally easy to clean as well. It is advisable to check your upholstery cleaning code to determine the type of cleaning agents befitting for the fabric in question. Synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and vinyl use solvent based cleaners. Make sure you test the fabric cleaners before use. To do this, apply the cleaner to a small section, preferably the back of the couch or upholstery. Take note of any reaction taking place; things you should keep an eye for are discoloration and shrinkage. Should any of these happen, stop cleaning immediately and look for an alternate cleaning agent.

  • To clean, get a cloth and your solvent based cleaner. In the case of polyester you could use low pH soap.
  • If you are sure the cleaning agent, is the right one, spray the cleaner onto the couch. Gently rub the cleaner into the upholstery in pushing motions.
  • When you are satisfied with the level of cleanliness of the upholstery, take a damp clean cloth and try to extract as much water as possible. You could also take the opportunity to steam clean your upholstery.

Combination fibers

These materials contain fibers in a 50/50 ratio, with regards to the natural and synthetic fibers. They usually have a mixture of natural fibers such wool and cotton embedded in polyester or nylon. These kinds of materials need experienced hands. It is advisable you contact a commercial cleaning service in Perth in order to protect and preserve your upholstery as the materials require a kind of technical know-how, which only professional cleaning services have got.


These materials are one of the greatest investments an upholstery purchaser could have. Not only are they extremely comfortable, they have been designed in such a way that it is very easy to clean and maintain. The micro fiber upholstery, true to its name is made up of a huge number of tiny fibers, which generally make up the furniture. This is what makes cleaning a breeze. To clean a microfiber couch, all you need do is a little vacuuming and you are done. However, in the eventuality of a spill or a stain, all you need is a sponge, some rubbing alcohol and a spray bottle. To clean:

  • Put the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle; spritz some rubbing alcohol over the spot you want to clean.
  • Use the sponge to brush the upholstery.
  • If all the stains do not come out the first time, do not worry. Repeat these steps two or three times and watch your couch become stain free.

The microfiber upholstery does tend to get matted down, so to fluff the couch and get it back to its old glory, get a bristle brush after you have dried the upholstery and brush until the fluff returns.


Leather is a bit high maintenance, but if you know the right process, you can do no wrong. If you have an old leather couch, sitting around the house, and you’ve been confused about the way to clean it. Take a sit, and get ready to be informed. Now, because leather is so different from other materials, the usual old fabric cleaner won’t cut it. You need specialist equipment like leather furniture cleaner and a leather conditioner. Leathers unique nature and as such it is imperative to treat it right, to encourage longevity. In cleaning your leather upholstery, you will need a sponge with foam like consistency, leather furniture cleaner or plain old saddle soap, and a cloth.

  • Put the cleaner on the sponge, rub the sponge into the leather in a circular motion to start to lift the dirt and grime, do this until every trace of dirt is gone.
  • Use the terry cloth to clean up the excess product.

For stains like grease and a ball point pen, you could use cornstarch and shaving cream respectively. If you do not clean the ball point pen stain, there is a possibility of it disappearing on its own over time. There are a lot of cleaning tips to take note of when it comes to leather:

  • It will smell over time, so you need to clean it as frequently as possible.
  • There is no need to use a lot of water, to avoid damage.
  • You should also vacuum as much as possible.
  • Make sure you test whatever product you plan on using on a small non-visible portion of the upholstery.

How to dry your upholstery manually?

The ideal thing to do, would be to choose a day where Perth is bright and sunny, to clean your upholstery, but what if that is not very possible? How do you ensure all your hard work does not go down the drain? It takes roughly 24 hours for your upholstery to be completely dry and ready for use, so here are alternate ways to dry your upholstery, when a clear sunny sky is elusive:

  • Use your hair dryer. While this is painfully tedious, it does beat having to clean up, all over again
  • Increase your radiator heat a by a couple of degrees. It doesn’t have to be so high, just enough to get the job done.
  • Put your air conditioner to good use, turn it to three or four degrees lower, than it normally is. You might have to wear a sweater as it will get a little chilly.
  • Use your ceiling fan, to dry your furniture at a tremendously quicker rate. Turn the fan counterclockwise, after the switch has been put on. This is done to push the warmer air down to the upholstery.
  • It is very important that by all means necessary, people be kept off the couch. This is because the more people sit on it, the more moisture seeps into the lower portion of the upholstery. This not only increases the difficulty level in terms of drying off, it also causes an unpleasant smell as a result of the upholstery not being able to dry off properly.
  • Open all the windows, and curtains, so there can be as much sunlight and breeze a possible, filtering into the room.

What to Consider When picking the Upholstery cleaning agent?

Apart from the upholstery cleaning code, there are so many other factors involved, when picking a cleaner. Some of them are:

Finances: This factor is mainly attributed with those with monetary constraints. If you are trying to be prudent and save money for other utilities, making a cleaner from household ingredients is your best bet

Cleaning agent Preference: this factor is dependent on what the individual wants. Some prefer commercial cleaning agents, while others prefer homemade DIY cleaners

Whatever your choice of cleaners, do not forget the most important tip, test before you use.



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