Is upholstery cleaning a safe do it yourself project?

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You may want to try upholstery cleaning as a do it yourself project, but it's not...

You may want to try upholstery cleaning as a do it yourself project, but it's not recommended. The textiles used to craft upholstery are similar to the fabrics used to make clothing, in that some are easy to care for and others are easily damaged. If you use the wrong cleaning method, you can end up permanently damaging your upholstery. Read on to learn when you can save money on upholstery cleaning by doing it yourself and when to call your local Atlanta professional upholstery cleaner for some help.

Find out how to care for your piece

Check the care tag on the underside of your furniture. Look for the paper that says "Do not remove under penalty of law." It tells you what materials were used in making your furniture. It also gives you information on how to care for the fabric, usually in the form of a cleaning code. You can look up the cleaning code online to get details on what cleaning agents can safely be used on the upholstery. If there is no care tag and you don't know what fabric is on your furniture, it's a good idea to call a pro.

Five upholstery cleaning tips for easy-care fabrics

If you have an easy-care fabric on your furniture and want to go ahead with cleaning as a do it yourself project, try these five tips in order to get your upholstery clean.

  1. Set your vacuum on its highest setting and vacuum the surface of the furniture and cushions to remove loose dirt particles.

  2. Remove the cushions so you can clean the furniture inside and out, but do not forget to vacuum them, too, as cushions pick up a lot of dirt.

  3. Check for stains. Test an out of the way spot for colorfastness, and spray a generous coat of stain remover on soiled areas. Use paper towels or a small scrub brush to work the stain remover into the stain, rubbing from the outer edge to the center so the stain does not get bigger.

  4. Leather or vinyl: Use spray-on cleaner labeled for your type of upholstery material. Buff the cleaner into the surface of the upholstery, rubbing in small circular motions and using light pressure. Cloth: Use a steam cleaner if your upholstery is cloth, working the cleaner's nozzle in straight up and down lines until you have cleaned all exposed surfaces. Make sure to flip the cushions over and clean both sides.

  5. Set up fans and point them at the clean, damp upholstery. This circulates air around your freshly cleaned furniture so it dries faster. Keep the fans turned on until the upholstery is completely dry.

If your furniture requires more care than you can manage, hire an upholstery cleaner.

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