Life happens, and along with them, accidents. Your upholstered furniture may fall victim to kids, a clumsy guest, family pets, or quite simply, time. The key to keeping your furniture looking great is to address stains quickly with an appropriate upholstery cleaning method. For some upholstery cleaning, commercial upholstery cleaning companies are best. It pays to know your fabric: read the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the material on your particular piece prior to starting any work. Also, spot clean an inconspicuous spot on the piece to be cleaned to check for color fastness or any other adverse result. Once you are sure that the cleaning methods and materials are safe for the upholstered furniture to be cleaned, then you may proceed.
Grease stains are common foes of upholstered furniture. Perhaps it was butter which dripped on the couch during movie night, or grease drippings from pepperoni pizza. Grease stains can be a challenge if not approached properly. The best upholstery cleaning method in this case? Dry cleaning solution! A dry cleaning solvent can be applied to a clean cloth (white is best) and blotted on the stain. Follow this with an application of a solution of 1 tablespoon mild detergent (Dawn or Ivory soap work well here), and one cup warm water. Blot the area dry with another cloth and let it completely dry. NEVER use heat, as this may set any residual stain remaining after treatment. If the culprit is cheese, try treating the stain first with the soap solution and then with an ammonia solution (two tablespoons of plain ammonia to one cup water). Blot and let air dry as before.
Coffee and tea are also common stains which require upholstery cleaning. Perhaps you or a guest splashed a bit while enjoying a cup of brew. Or maybe a cup slipped out your hands and overturned. Either way, it's an easy fix to clean. First blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Next, treat the stain with a mild soap solution (see above.). Finally, blot the area with a mixture of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to two parts water). Blot again with a clean towel to remove excess liquid and allow to air dry.
A final culprit that requires immediate upholstery cleaning is ink. Pen ink can seem especially frightening when they stain, but really aren't hard to remove. There are several substances that work well on ink. Apply one of the following to a white towel, and blot at the stain: rubbing alcohol (not a wintergreen compound or anything similar), turpentine, acetone nail polish remover, or aerosol hairspray. Commercial cleaners work well, too, but are more costly. Dab, don't rub. Several applications and dabbing may be necessary to remove the stain. Afterward, blot the residual cleaner away using a fresh towel and plain water. Allow the spot to air dry.
Upholstery cleaning and maintenance may be as simple as vacuuming regularly to remove dust to something more invasive. However doing so on a regular basis will go a long way to keeping your upholstered furniture looking its absolute best. The previous methods are great for minor stains. However, if staining is significant, of an unknown source, is on an unknown fabric, or does not come out with treatment, a professional upholstery cleaning service may be necessary. Addressing stains as they occur will help extend the life of your upholstered pieces and help maintain their value.