How to Deep Clean and Sanitize Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture can accumulate dust, dirt, allergens, and bacteria over time, making regular deep cleaning and sanitizing essential for maintaining a healthy and fresh living environment. New Jersey cleaning experts offer a comprehensive guide to thoroughly clean and sanitize your upholstered furniture below.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before starting, gather all the necessary cleaning supplies: a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, a soft-bristled brush, mild dish soap or upholstery cleaner, white vinegar, baking soda, a spray bottle, microfiber cloths, rubbing alcohol or disinfectant spray, and optionally, a steam cleaner. All these supplies will streamline the cleaning process and ensure you are prepared for different types of stains and grime.

Vacuum Thoroughly

Begin cleaning by vacuuming the upholstered furniture to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to reach crevices and corners. Pay special attention to areas that collect the most dust, such as seams, tufts, and the spaces between cushions. If your furniture has removable cushions, take them off and vacuum both sides thoroughly. Vacuuming is an essential step that prevents dirt from embedding deeper into the fabric during cleaning.

Treat Stains

Locate any stains on the upholstery and treat them as needed. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water for general stains. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution and gently blot the stain, avoiding rubbing to prevent further embedding. For grease stains, apply baking soda to the spot and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb the grease. Vacuum up the baking soda, then use the soap and water mixture. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for wine or coffee stains, lightly mist the stain, and blot with a clean cloth until the stain is gone.

Clean the Entire Surface

Once the stains have been treated, clean the entire upholstered surface to achieve an even level of cleanliness. Prepare a cleaning solution with mild dish soap and water, or follow the directions on a commercial upholstery cleaner. Moisten a microfiber cloth with the solution and gently blot or rub the fabric in circular motions, working in small sections to ensure thorough cleaning. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub gently for heavily soiled areas without damaging the fabric. If permitted by the care label, consider using a steam cleaner for a deeper clean, adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the fabric can handle the heat and moisture.

Rinse and Dry

To remove any soap residue, dampen a clean microfiber cloth with plain water and blot the upholstery to rinse. Removing all cleaning solutions is essential to prevent them from attracting more dirt. After rinsing, dry microfiber cloths blot excess moisture from the fabric. Place the cushions and furniture in a well-ventilated area or use fans to speed up the drying process. 

Sanitize the Upholstery

To sanitize the upholstered furniture, you can use rubbing alcohol or a fabric-safe disinfectant spray. Pour rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle or use a commercial disinfectant designed for fabrics. Lightly mist the upholstery with the disinfectant, ensuring the fabric is damp but not soaking wet. Allow the disinfectant to air dry completely, as rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly and will help kill bacteria and germs without leaving a residue. Alternatively, if available, you can use a steam cleaner with a disinfecting feature, as the steam can effectively kill bacteria and sanitize the fabric.

Maintain Regularly

Consistent upkeep preserves the appearance and freshness of your upholstered furniture. Weekly vacuuming eliminates dust and prevents dirt accumulation. Regularly rotating and flipping cushions ensures they wear evenly. Promptly tackle spills and stains to avoid permanent marks, and consider using fabric protectors or covers to shield against future stains and spills. By adhering to these practices, you can effectively deep clean and sanitize your upholstered furniture, maintaining its comfort and hygiene as a valued part of your home.


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