How to Clean Upholstery: Tips for Refreshing Your Furniture

Tips for Refreshing Your Furniture’s Upholstery

When it comes to creating a clean and comfortable living space, one often overlooks the importance of upholstery maintenance. Upholstered furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and even mattresses, can accumulate dirt, grime, and stains over time. Neglecting to clean your upholstery regularly can lead to allergens, odors, and a less appealing appearance. To help you maintain a fresh and inviting home, we at Crystal Facilities Management have gathered some valuable tips on how to clean upholstery effectively.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Supplies

Before diving into the upholstery cleaning process, it is essential to gather all the necessary tools and supplies. Here are the items you will need:

Vacuum Cleaner

A powerful vacuum cleaner equipped with upholstery attachments is essential for removing loose dirt, dust, and pet hair. This step will prepare your furniture for a deep cleaning.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are perfect for picking up dust and absorbing excess moisture during the cleaning process. Their soft and lint-free texture ensures that your upholstery remains in pristine condition.

Upholstery Cleaner

Invest in a high-quality upholstery cleaner suited for the specific fabric of your furniture. There are many options available on the market, ranging from foams to sprays.

Soft-Bristled Brush

To gently scrub stains and dirt, a soft-bristled brush is ideal. It ensures effective cleaning without damaging the fabric.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that helps eliminate unwanted smells from your upholstery. It is especially useful for combating pet odors.

Vacuum Thoroughly

Start by vacuuming your upholstery thoroughly. Use your vacuum cleaner’s attachments designed for upholstery, such as a brush or crevice tool, to reach all the nooks and crannies. Make sure to remove the cushions, as dirt often accumulates underneath them. Move the vacuum cleaner in slow, overlapping strokes for maximum effectiveness.

Spot Test the Upholstery Cleaner

Before applying any upholstery cleaner directly to your furniture, it is crucial to perform a spot test. Choose an inconspicuous area of the upholstery, such as the back or bottom, and apply a small amount of the cleaner. Gently rub it in and let it sit for a few minutes. If there is no discoloration or damage, it is safe to proceed with the cleaner.

Treat Stains Carefully

Stains are an inevitable part of everyday life, but they don’t have to ruin the appearance of your upholstery. Here’s how to treat common stains:

Food and Drink Stains

If you spill food or drink on your upholstery, act quickly by blotting the stain with a clean, absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it may only spread it further. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, use a mild detergent mixed with water to gently clean the stain. Blot the area with a damp cloth and then pat it dry.

Ink Stains

Ink stains can be particularly challenging to remove, especially if they have already dried. To tackle fresh ink stains, apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and dab the stain gently. For old or stubborn ink stains, a professional upholstery cleaning service may be necessary.

Oil and Grease Stains

An effective way to remove oil and grease stains is by applying baking soda or cornstarch to the affected area. Let it sit for approximately fifteen minutes to absorb the oil. Then, use a soft-bristled brush to remove the powder, and vacuum any residue.

Deep Clean with Upholstery Cleaner

After treating any stains, it’s time for a deep clean using your chosen upholstery cleaner. Follow the instructions provided on the product label to ensure proper usage. Typically, upholstery cleaners require spraying or foaming the fabric and allowing it to sit for a specified period. Gently scrub the upholstery with a soft-bristled brush to work the cleaner into the fabric.

Deodorize with Baking Soda

To keep your upholstery smelling fresh, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the fabric. Ensure that the entire area is covered, especially if you are targeting specific odorous spots. Allow the baking soda to sit for at least fifteen minutes, or overnight for more severe odors. Afterward, vacuum the upholstery thoroughly to remove the baking soda.

Consider Professional Upholstery Cleaning

If your upholstery is heavily soiled, or you prefer to leave the task to professionals, consider hiring a reputable upholstery cleaning service like Crystal Facilities Management. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized equipment to deep-clean your upholstery and restore it to its original condition. They can also provide additional protective coatings or treatments for long-term maintenance.

Routine Maintenance for Upholstery

Now that your upholstery is clean and refreshed, it is essential to establish a routine maintenance plan to prolong its lifespan and cleanliness. Here are some valuable tips:

Regular Vacuuming

Vacuum your upholstery at least once a week to remove loose dirt, dust, and pet hair. This simple step will prevent the build-up of grime and allergens.

Immediate Stain Treatment

Act promptly when spills occur, as fresh stains are easier to remove. Blot the stain gently with a clean cloth, and if necessary, use a mild cleaning solution to avoid permanent damage.

Proper Sunlight Exposure

Direct and prolonged sunlight exposure can cause upholstery fabric to fade. Use curtains or blinds to block direct sunlight and consider rotating furniture periodically to ensure even exposure.

Regular Fabric Protection

Consider applying a fabric protection spray to your upholstery to create a barrier against spills and stains. You can find various options at your local home goods store. Remember to follow the instructions provided.

Professional Cleaning

Schedule professional upholstery cleaning once every year or as recommended by the manufacturer. Professional services can ensure a deep clean and reinvigorate your upholstery, extending its lifespan.


Regular upholstery maintenance plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy, clean, and visually appealing space. By following these effective tips for cleaning and refreshing your furniture’s upholstery, you can enjoy a fresh and inviting home. Remember, if you prefer professional assistance, Crystal Facilities Management is always there to provide high-quality cleaning services tailored to your needs.