Upholstery Maintenance 101

Maintaining upholstery is always much easier and more efficient than leaving it for years and then panicking. If your upholstery is properly maintained, you will find that doing so is a relatively an easy job. Even if you can't always see it, you should know that a lot of dust settles on upholstery as much as it does anywhere else, so if you try to remove it regularly (about once a month) you will be saving yourself a lot of hassle in the long term.

The best tools to use for this are upholstery nozzles and crevice tools. Brushes can remove some of the dust (for those who don't have these vacuum attachments) but is somewhat counterproductive as it ends up scattering the dust too. But if you have any pillows or cushions filled with down that do not have down-proof ticking, brushes should be used for them as vacuuming could end up drawing out the down.

If you have arms and headrest covers, these tend to protect the areas from a buildup of soil that results from skin and hair. To avoid an excess of body soil, cover furniture with throws and sheets. For a fuller cleaning, don't be afraid to use commercial upholstery shampoos which are very simple to use. But if you prefer to make your own concoction, that is easy too. Just take ¼ cup dish/laundry detergent with 1 cup of water and whip until dry suds form, looking like whipped cream. Test it first in a place on the upholstery that can't be noticed (like under the stairs) and apply with a cloth. Allow to dry and if it looks a bit cleaner and not discolored, try it on the rest of the upholstery. Do a bit at a time and use a spatula to lift dirty suds. Repeat if necessary and then dry completely. Throughout any cleaning, try to keep the upholstery as dry as possible to prevent damage and to dry speedily, open windows or use an electric fan or air conditioner.

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