Upholstered furniture serves as both a functional and aesthetic centrepiece in our homes, offering comfort and style. However, ensuring its longevity and cleanliness requires a thoughtful approach to maintenance. From routine cleaning practices to periodic professional interventions, understanding the nuances of upholstery care is paramount.
In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll look into the best ways to clean upholstery, how often should you clean your upholstery, the associated costs of professional services in Australia, and the importance of staying vigilant for warning signs of pests.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
What is the best way to clean upholstery?
Cleaning upholstery is a crucial aspect of maintaining the overall hygiene and aesthetic appeal of furniture. Whether it’s a beloved sofa, a cherished armchair, or any other upholstered piece, regular cleaning is essential to remove dirt, stains, and allergens.
Choosing the best way to clean upholstery depends on the type of fabric and the nature of the stains. Here are some effective methods to ensure your upholstery stays clean and well-maintained.
1. Identify the Upholstery Fabric
Before you start cleaning, it’s crucial to identify the type of fabric your upholstery is made of. Common fabrics include cotton, linen, polyester, microfiber, and leather. Each material requires specific cleaning methods to avoid damage. Check the manufacturer’s care instructions or look for a tag with cleaning codes to determine the appropriate approach.
Begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the upholstery. Use a soft brush attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Vacuuming helps prevent these particles from grinding into the fabric during the cleaning process, making it easier to tackle stains later on.
3. Spot Cleaning
Address stains promptly to prevent them from setting into the fabric. Different stains require different treatments, so it’s essential to use the appropriate cleaning solution.
For water-based stains, such as coffee or wine, blot the area with a clean cloth a mixture of water and a mild detergent. Oil-based stains, like grease, may require a specialised upholstery cleaner. Fortunately, grease-cutting dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar rubbed in with an old soft toothbrush usually works.
4. Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is an effective method for deep cleaning upholstery, especially for fabrics that can withstand moisture. It involves using a steam cleaner or hiring a professional service. The steam helps break down and lift dirt and stains from the fabric, leaving it refreshed and sanitised. However, it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and avoid excessive moisture, which could lead to mould or mildew.
5. Dry Cleaning
Some upholstery fabrics, such as silk or wool, may be sensitive to water and require dry cleaning. Dry cleaning solutions are designed to lift dirt without saturating the fabric. You can use a foam upholstery cleaner or hire a professional dry cleaning service for more delicate materials.
6. Homemade Upholstery Cleaner
For those who prefer natural cleaning solutions, a homemade upholstery cleaner can be effective. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar or mild dish soap to create a gentle cleaning solution. Test the solution in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire upholstery. Gently blot the stains with a clean cloth and the homemade cleaner.
7. Protective Measures
Consider applying a fabric protector or upholstery spray after cleaning to prevent future stains. These products create a protective barrier that makes it easier to clean spills before they penetrate the fabric. Follow the product instructions carefully, and reapply as needed.
The best way to clean upholstery depends on the fabric type, the nature of the stains, and your preferences for cleaning methods. Regular maintenance, prompt stain removal, and appropriate cleaning techniques will help extend the life of your upholstered furniture, keeping it looking fresh and inviting for years to come.
How often should you clean your upholstery?
Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for your upholstery is key to preserving its longevity and appearance. The frequency with which you should clean your upholstery depends on several factors, including usage, lifestyle, and the presence of pets or young children.
Establishing a routine not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your furniture but also contributes to a healthier indoor environment. To ensure your upholstery remains in top condition, here’s a guide on how often you should clean it and the importance of periodically getting your upholstery professionally cleaned:
- Routine Cleaning: Conduct routine cleaning practices to prevent the accumulation of everyday dirt and allergens. For high-traffic areas or pieces of furniture used daily, a light vacuuming or brushing every two weeks is recommended. This helps to remove surface dust and prevents it from embedding into the fabric.
- Stain Removal: Tackle stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from becoming permanent. Spills and accidents are inevitable, so it’s essential to address them promptly. Have a quick and effective stain removal process in place, using appropriate cleaning solutions for the specific type of stain.
- Annual Deep Cleaning: Regardless of how diligent you are with routine cleaning, an annual deep cleaning is advisable. This involves a more thorough cleaning of your upholstery to eliminate deep-seated dirt, bacteria, and odours. You can either use a home steam cleaner or consider hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service to ensure a comprehensive and effective clean.
- Consider Your Lifestyle: Adjust your upholstery cleaning schedule based on your lifestyle. If you have pets that frequently shed or children who enjoy messy activities, more frequent cleaning may be necessary. Additionally, if someone in your household has allergies, regular cleaning becomes even more critical to reduce allergen buildup in the upholstery.
- Professional Upholstery Cleaning: While routine cleaning is essential, periodically getting your upholstery professionally cleaned provides a deeper level of care. Professional upholstery cleaners have the expertise and equipment to remove stubborn stains, allergens, and deep-seated dirt effectively. Aim to get your upholstery professionally cleaned every 12 to 24 months, depending on usage and the specific needs of your furniture.
- Upholstery Assessment: Regularly assess the condition of your upholstery to determine if it requires immediate attention. Factors such as visible stains, unpleasant odours, or a noticeable decline in fabric texture may indicate the need for more frequent cleaning or professional intervention.
- Preventive Measures: Implement preventive measures to reduce the frequency of intensive cleaning. Using furniture covers, rotating cushions, and avoiding eating or drinking on upholstered surfaces can help minimise the risk of stains and spills.
Establishing a comprehensive upholstery cleaning routine involves a combination of regular maintenance, prompt stain removal, and periodic professional cleaning. Integrating these practices would help you ensure that your upholstery not only looks inviting but also contributes to a healthier and more comfortable living space. Don’t forget to get your upholstery cleaned by professionals regularly to maintain its integrity and extend its lifespan.
How much does professional upholstery cleaning cost in Australia?
While the price may vary based on factors such as the size of the furniture, the type of fabric, and the cleaning method used, investing in professional services can significantly enhance the lifespan and appearance of your upholstery.
Additionally, considering the warning signs of pests becomes imperative, as these factors can impact both the cleanliness and longevity of your upholstered furniture.
Upholstery cleaning typically ranges from $170 to $200 per job on average. The cost is determined per piece or seat, and it varies based on the number of items you want cleaned. Factors such as the material and size of your furniture also influence the overall cost. Additional items like cushions and pillows may incur extra charges.
When it comes to couch cleaning, steam cleaning prices are usually higher compared to other furniture pieces due to the larger size and the need for more materials and time. The cost varies based on the material of the couch. Leather and suede sofas typically cost between $200 and $300 because they require special tools and solutions to preserve the material. Couches made from other materials, even if they are the same size, generally range from $105 to $180. A smaller loveseat can be professionally cleaned for approximately $75 to $120.
Cleaning costs for different types of chairs vary
Chaise lounge cleaning costs
Chaise lounge cleaning costs depend on whether it’s for indoor or outdoor use. Indoor chaise lounges in your living room and outdoor ones around your pool or patio may differ in price. The cleaning cost is estimated to be around $60 to $80, and it varies based on the specific type, each requiring its own set of products and tools.
Armchair cleaning costs
The cost of cleaning armchairs typically falls between $40 and $70 per piece on average. This is because armchairs are larger compared to regular chairs.
Dining Chair cleaning costs
Dining chairs, with their limited fabric, tend to be the most affordable among furniture types. You can expect to pay approximately $15 to $25 for each dining chair.
Office Chairs cleaning costs
Office chairs, especially the pricier models with features like swivels and adjustable seats, require special care. The cleaning cost for each office chair generally ranges from $15 to $30.
Ottomans, Stools, and Benches cleaning costs
Ottomans, being smaller furniture pieces, have a cleaning cost ranging from $20 to $50, sometimes even less.
Benches and stools often come with removable upholstery cushions, and some may be machine-washable (check the label). If the upholstery is not removable, the cleaning cost might be less than ottomans, though this varies depending on the cleaning company’s policies.
Big sofas and couches are pricier because they’re the largest furniture pieces. The type of material, like suede or leather, also affects the cost, with these being more expensive.
To keep your furniture looking good, it’s smart to get professionals to clean it. Once a year is good, but if you have kids or pets, consider doing it two or three times. Don’t worry, though; getting professionals to clean your upholstery costs way less than buying new furniture or redoing the upholstery.
So, it’s like giving your furniture a spa day, making it last longer, and saving you money in the long run. Taking care of your couch doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and a yearly or more frequent cleaning can keep it cosy and stylish without breaking the bank.