Take Simple Steps to Maintain Your Upholstery

by Matt Solis


To increase your upholstery's longevity and keep it looking like new, consider the following tips.

Dust and clean upholstery on a weekly basis. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dirt from all the corners and folds of your upholstery. Remember to clean the back and legs to maintain a consistent finish.

Only use manufacturer-recommended cleaners. Every piece of upholstered furniture has a care label that indicates the cleaning materials that are safe to use on it. Make sure you follow these instructions. If the recommended cleaner doesn’t take care of a stain, have it professionally cleaned.

Test any cleaning material before you use it. Incompatible cleaners can discolor or permanently damage your upholstery, so it’s important to always test a small amount of cleaner in a hidden area such as underneath the upholstery or the back of the legs.

Tend to spills immediately. It’s important to quickly take care of accidents before the upholstery and its underlying padding absorb the spilled matter. Blot the affected area with a clean paper towel—never rub; it’ll spread the stain. If that doesn’t work, follow up with a dry cleaning solvent or mild detergent (apply the suds on the stain, not the liquid).

Rotate cushions. To prevent your cushions from assuming an uneven, pressed look, remove and rotate them every few weeks. If the cushion covers are removable and the weather is favorable, leave them out in the sun for a few hours to remove dust and bacteria.

Ensure upholstery is dry after you clean it. After you use any detergent or cleaner on your upholstery, make sure you remove any remnants with cold water. Never use excessive amounts of water—blotting with a moist towel is sufficient. After cleaning, thoroughly air-dry the upholstery to prevent mold growth.

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