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Before & After representation of a dirty couch that has had upholstery cleaning

What is the best way to clean fabric upholstery?

Want to keep your furniture looking fresh and clean? We all wonder what is the best method for Upholstery Cleaning.

This guide has everything you need to know! Learn expert tips, easy tricks, and answers to common questions to get your upholstery sparkling clean and looking like new. Let’s get started!

The best way to clean fabric upholstery is to use Professional Steam Cleaning, however this easy mix can help you react to a spill quickly

For couches and fabric chairs: Make a cleaning spray by mixing:

  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap (do not use fabric softner)

Put the mixture in a spray bottle. Lightly Spray the stain and then rub it gently with a soft cloth until it’s clean.

Always start by checking the label and following the instructions provided.

  • X: Use vacuum only for cleaning, do not use water or solvent based detergents
  • W: Use only water based detergents for cleaning
  • S: Use solvent-based or dry cleaning detergents only on fabric
  • SW: Safe to use solvent cleaner or water for cleaning. Use water for water based spills , solvents for solvent based spills

Upholstery Cleaning Codes


Benefits of Upholstery Steam Cleaning

One of the major advantages of high-temperature steam cleaning is its chemical-free nature. Unlike traditional methods that rely on harsh chemicals, steam cleaning uses only water, making it safe for both people and pets.

Moreover, using steam for upholstery cleaning it effectively disinfects and removes:

  • Bacteria
  • Pathogens
  • Dead skin cells
  • Mold
  • Bodily fluids
  • and microorganisms thriving in warm, humid environments, leaving your upholstery fresh and clean

Upholstery Cleaning

What is the best way to clean upholsteries?

Step 1: Identify the Fabric Check the manufacturer’s tag on your furniture to identify the fabric cleaning instructions. The tag usually has codes like ‘W’ (water-based cleaners), ‘S’ (solvent-based cleaners), ‘WS’ (either water or solvent-based cleaners), or ‘X’ (professional cleaning only).

Step 2: Gather Your Cleaning Supplies Based on the fabric type, gather your cleaning supplies. This could include a vacuum cleaner, soft cloth, mild dish soap, warm water, white vinegar, baking soda, a spray bottle, and a soft brush.

Step 3: Vacuum the Upholstery Use your vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dirt or dust from the upholstery. Use the brush attachment to avoid damaging the fabric.

Step 4: Spot Test the Cleaner Before applying any cleaner to the upholstery, spot test it on an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the fabric.

Step 5: Apply the Cleaner If the spot test is successful, apply the cleaner to the upholstery. For fabric that can be cleaned with water, use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. For fabrics that require a solvent, use a commercial upholstery cleaner.

Step 6: Scrub Gently Use a soft brush to gently scrub the cleaner into the fabric. Be careful not to scrub too hard as it can damage the fabric.

Step 7: Rinse and Dry After cleaning, rinse the fabric with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue. Then, let the upholstery air dry.

Step 8: Freshen Up To freshen up your upholstery, sprinkle some baking soda over it, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum it up. This will help remove any lingering odors.

Upholstery Cleaning Challenges and How to Overcome Them

  1. Stubborn Stains: These can be caused by spills or accidents. To remove them, you can use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Apply the mixture to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then blot it with a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Odors: Upholstery can absorb odors over time, especially if you have pets. To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda over the upholstery, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum it up.
  3. Fading Colors: Sunlight or harsh cleaning products can cause the colors of your upholstery to fade. To prevent this, try to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight and always use gentle cleaning products. Fitting a UV filter to the window also helps prevent fading
  4. Shrinkage: Some types of fabric can shrink if they get too wet. To prevent this, never soak your upholstery. Instead, use a damp cloth to clean it.
  5. Water Rings: These can be caused by cleaning a small area of a piece of upholstery. To prevent water rings, always clean an entire section of upholstery at a time.
  6. Damage to Fabric: Some cleaning products can damage certain types of fabric. Always test a cleaning product on an inconspicuous area of your upholstery before using it.

Remember, the best way to keep your upholstery looking its best is to clean spills and stains as soon as they happen, vacuum regularly, and do a deep clean at least once a year.

Upholstery Cleaning process

East Coast Industro Services make us of a upholstery cleaning system that is certified by the institute for Hygiene & Microbiology. The process of high-temperature steam cleaning is simple and straightforward .

Our steam cleaning process is as follows.

  • Upholstery is thoroughly dusted to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  • Next, a special cleaning solution is applied to the upholstery to help break down furface tension of the stains or contaminants.
  • The steam cleaning machine is then used to apply high-temperature steam at 170°C with hot water to the upholstery, penetrating deep into the fibers and loosening any stains or contaminants.
  • These contaminants are then extracted from the upholstery leaving an natural neutral fragrance behind

High-temperature steam cleaning with 170°C steam at 8 bars of pressure is an effective and safe method for cleaning upholstery. Certified by The Institute for Hygiene & Microbiology, this method removes:

  • perspiration,
  • dead skin cells,
  • mold
  • bacteria and pathogens
  • Dust mites

 If you are in need of upholstery cleaning, be sure to contact us ensure that your upholstery is cleaned properly and safely.

Can you remove stains from my upholstery

Yes, we can remove stains from upholstery. Our success rate has been excellent to date, however this varies depending on the type of stain and the fabric of the upholstery, but we have a high success rate in removing common stains such as wine, coffee, and pet stains. We cannot guarantee complete stain removal due to factors like the type of fabric that has been stained, the dwell time etc.

How do you deep clean sofa upholstery?

upholstery cleaning fights Microscopic Particles.Upholstery Cleaning to remove perspiration, dead skin cells, bacteria, viruses, mold

Upholstery cleaning includes vacuuming, spot cleaning, and overall cleaning using mild SABS approved detergents and a Certified Hygienically approved Steam Cleaning System . Consequently, the length of the cleaning process will vary depending on the size and condition of the upholstery, but it typically takes 2-3 hours to complete

How often should upholstery be professionally cleaned

We recommended  having upholstery professionally cleaned every 12-18 months or as needed based on the usage and visible dirt and stains. Therefore for homes with pets and children or offices, it may be necessary to have it cleaned more frequently.

Do you use environmentally friendly cleaning products for upholstery cleaning

Yes, we use environmentally friendly SABS approved cleaning products that are safe for both the upholstery, pets and the environment

What types of fabric can be cleaned with your upholstery cleaning services?

We are able to clean a wide variety of fabrics including cotton, linen, microfiber, and leather. For instance, we also have special techniques for cleaning delicate fabrics such as silk and velvet.

How long does it take for a couch to dry after upholstery cleaning?

With our system of upholstery cleaning it takes approx. 2-3 hours to dry naturally In room temperatures above 22°C .

What is the best homemade upholstery cleaner?

Upholstery Cleaning

Make a cleaning spray by mixing:
¼ cup vinegar
¾ cup warm water
1 tablespoon dish soap (do not use fabric softner)
Put the mixture in a spray bottle. Lightly Spray the the stain and then rub it gently with a soft cloth until it’s clean.

Written by Sue

Meet Sue Naidoo, a seasoned cleaning expert and successful business owner. Her passion for empowering others with practical cleaning knowledge shines through her insightful and approachable writing. Sue’s articles make even the toughest cleaning tasks manageable, reflecting her genuine desire to help. Beyond cleaning, Sue finds solace in crocheting and caring for pets, adding warmth and relatability to her advice. Whether you’re a cleaning novice or a seasoned professional, Sue’s writings offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration, making her a trusted voice in the industry.

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