No matter what material your sofa is made of, leather or fabric, is one of the major investment you will make for your house. In many ways, your couch is the heart of your home, so spending a “small fortune” on it makes total sense. The same as taking good care of it, makes total sense as well. Think about it this way: placed in the living room, this piece of furniture it’s the place where we lounge, read, eat and drink, entertain friends and family, watch TV, even sleep sometimes. So why wouldn’t you protect your investment, so you could enjoy its good look and great shape for many years to come.
While vacuuming or wiping down your sofa may tackle day-to-day dirt and pet hair, for a thorough deep cleaning and stain removal, you should have it cleaned by a professional upholstery cleaning company every once in a while.
Read our article below to find out which are the main benefits of professional sofa cleaning, as well as the things you could do yourself to take better care of your furniture.
- How to take care of your sofas?
- Restore your sofas’ original appearance
- Remove unsightly spills and stains
- Remove odours
- Improved indoor air quality
- Prolong your upholstery’s life span
- Saves time and money
- Most common DIY methods
- How often should upholstered furniture be cleaned?
How to take care of your sofas?
Upholstered furniture is a great addition for any space, especially the living room area. It not only enhances the appearance of the room bringing all the elements together, but its practicality is undeniable. Your sofa is there for you and your family, should you decide to have a movie night, or simply entertaining some friends. Even your pet might have its favourite spot on it. Therefore, the decision on the type, colour, or size of your couches, should be taken based on your needs and usage. Whether you go for a bold pattern or neutral tone, choose carefully to ensure it fits with the pre-existing décor. More than that, for busy family homes, with kids and pets running around, opt for a fabric that’s easy to spot clean. Loose covers really worth a try, as they can be removed for cleaning and some are washable too. An informed decision it will save you time and money, as it will be easier for you to take care of your sofa.
One of the best thing you can do for your furniture, is to place it in a shady spot, away from direct sunlight or heat. Leaving your sofa out in the sun, or close to radiators, pipes or fireplaces, it will make it fade, bleach, and loose its natural qualities, becoming dried out and warped. You could also use slip covers, which are a very popular way of making your couches more child friendly. Most of them are machine washable and can be easily removed when expecting guests. Plus, you won’t have to worry that the dye from your new black jeans, will transfer onto your upholstery. Just make sure you read your manufactures’ instructions, as some fabrics are not washable and if you give them a spin, even at a low temperature, it might affect how fire retardant they are, and it could also cause discolouration and shrinkage.
Another great thing you could do for your sofas, is to plum the cushions, so they keep their natural shape, and also provide you with the optimal level of support and comfort. At the end of each day or after long period of use, is essential to plum your seat, arm rest and back cushioning. This is very important for sofas filled with feathers, fibres or a combination of both, as they don’t have the same resilience as foam and won’t return to their original shape. You might be surprised to find out, that we tend to sit in the same spot over and over again. In time, you might even notice how one part of your couch started to lose its shape. To evenly wear out the fabric, keep switching your place.
Cleaning your furniture on regular basis is mandatory, if you want to enjoy its good look for an extended period of time. Using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, go over the entire sofa, giving it a good clean at least once per week. Don’t forget about the back of the sofa, arms, skirt, as well as the cushions. If they are removable, take them off and vacuum the fabric underneath. You can clean around the buttons, seams or along the trim, using the crevice tool. Some fabrics, for example velvet, require an extra step to keep them clean and looking good: brushing. To preserve the materials’ natural sheen, you will need to go over it with a clothes brush.
Things are no different when comes to leather furniture. If not properly maintain, the quality will deteriorate due to wear and tear. Cleaning and conditioning leather on regular bases will keep it soft and supple. In case on any accidents quickly blot spills away, to prevent stains from setting.
No matter what type of material your furniture is, you should have it professionally cleaned at least once per year, and not only when dirt becomes very visible. The longer you wait, the harder will be to restore its “good look”.
Read our list below to find out the main benefits of professional upholstery cleaning.
Restore your sofas’ original appearance
When you buy any upholstery for the first time and bring it home, you pay a lot of attention to their cleaning and maintenance. As it is a big investment, you want to keep your furniture at its best. But as time passes by, you may start not paying so much attention to properly care for your sofas. In time, upholstery can start looking dull and grubby. From food to pet hair, fabric-covered couches and chairs, as well as leather furniture, are exposed to a variety of substances that can impact the quality of the furniture.
Many people think they need to buy a new couch as the old one would never look as good as new again and it’s not worth cleaning. But this is not the case! It’s amazing what professional upholstery cleaning can do for your furniture! Although you could try to clean it yourself it is unlikely that you have the expertise and the tools.
One of the main benefits of professionally cleaning your upholstered furniture, is appearance, as you can see the change straight after the cleaning process. If dirt and debris accumulate on your furniture for too long, it will look dull and dirty. Given that the sofa is the central piece of your sitting room, the way it looks it affects the appearance of the entire space. A professional upholstery cleaning company can easily restore your furniture’s original appearance, as they have appropriate training, products and equipment.
Regular upholstery cleaning will ensure that fibres are restored and able to maintain their good look longer. If you leave the sofas get too dirty before cleaning them, the appearance may not be restored completely. Some stains on upholstery can set-in if left for too long.
Remove unsightly spills and stains
No matter how hard you try, accidents do happen. Either you spill some coffee during a rushed morning, some red wine or pizza sauce, your sofas will look grubby in no time. So why wait for those nasty spills to settle in and damage your furniture for good? The only difference between a spill and a permanent stain, is time. The faster you act, the better. Of course, there are some things you could do yourself at home, however, for excellent results you should call a professional upholstery cleaning company before it’s too late.
When an accident occurs, your first priority should be removing as much liquid as possible, before it has the chance to soak into the fibres. Grab a paper towel or clean, dry cloth, and blot the spill up. You might feel the urge to wipe and scrub the liquid, but remember this will only make it worse, as chances are you spread it around. After most of the spill has been removed, use a damp towel to dab any marks that have appeared. If you’re quick enough, you can avoid a stain altogether, or at least reduce the damage. After that, let the professionals do their job, and restore your furniture’s clean and fresh appearance. They are more proficient on their task, as they have the training and experience, to deal with a large area of stains, on a variety of fabrics/leather. Plus, they have the right detergents, stain treatments, machine and techniques to deliver great results.
Regular leather cleaning will not only remove dirt and oil, but will also protect your furniture and maintain its moisture balance, for keeping the leather supple, and less likely to absorb spillages and other foreign substances.
When comes to spills and stains, another thing that helps protecting your sofa, is stain guard. This is a process used on both carpets and upholstered furniture. It works as a protective seal that prevents staining, and also keep dirt and grime from attaching themselves to the fabric. That doesn’t mean your couch is bullet proof, however, stain guard will give you enough time to grab a towel and blot the spills up, so they don’t settle in.
Sofas retain odours, that’s a fact. So anything that sat on your upholstery, from people to pets, or food, is likely to have left a smell behind. Not to mention the upholstery in a smoking house! If your furniture has been there through thick and thin and it’s starting to smell, upholstery cleaning is definitely overdue. While you may be able to cover it up with a quick spray of air freshener, only a thorough, deep upholstery cleaning will truly rid your furniture of its unwanted odour.
At Happy Clean, we use the water extraction method for both carpets and sofa cleaning. This is the most effective technique in removing the build-up of dirt, dust, allergens, bacteria, as well as bad smells, from deep within the fibres. Once the source of the odour is eliminated, there is no risk of it coming back after your carpets or couches are dry.
Improved indoor air quality
Air quality is an extremely important benefit of upholstery cleaning. Dust, pet hair, and dander that nestle into upholstery fibres can be stirred up into the air anytime someone sits on a chair or sofa. As these elements build up, they can cause increased allergy symptoms, respiratory issues, and health problems. Professional upholstery cleaning goes deep into the fibres of your furniture and removes dander, pollen, and dust that can cause allergies and agitate the eyes, nose, and throat. The removal of these allergens leads to better air quality in your home and a healthier life for you and your family.
Prolong your upholstery’s life span
Dust particles can make your fabric suite look dull and thin. They have sharp edges which scratch the fibres of upholstery and can cause permanent damage. Also, if you don’t clean and hydrate your leather suite on a regular basis, it will present signs of ageing much quicker. Professional upholstery cleaning prevents stains from forming in the fabric of your furniture. It removes odours, body oils, and dust that can permanently adhere to your upholstery without proper maintenance.
In many materials, pigmentation can fade and suffer, and unfortunately leather is no exception. Furniture comes in contact with oils from our skin as well as sunlight, and therefore the pigment in the leather can be compromised to fade and become bleached.
By utilizing a professional upholstery cleaning service, you can extend the life of your furniture and save yourself money in the long run! If you think of how much new furniture costs, you will want to use a cleaning service regularly to increase its durability.
Saves time and money
While upholstery cleaning may seem like an unnecessary expense, avoiding the upkeep can cost more in the long run. Specifically, this routine maintenance helps furniture last longer so that you don’t have to worry about the cost of frequent replacement. And if you think about it, upholstery cleaning only costs a small fraction of the cost of a new sofa.
Leather furniture will last a lifetime if well looked. Proper care will keep your leather strong, durable and looking great for significantly longer than uncared furniture.
With the busy lifestyles we all have, cleaning the sofas yourself might be a bit of a hassle. Calling in professional cleaning agents is easier, faster and safer, for both yourself and the sofa.
Most common DIY methods
Before applying any DIY cleaning solution on your furniture, make sure you read the label carefully, so you don’t end up with completely ruined sofa or chairs. Take a look at the care tag, to see what is safe to use on the type of fabric your sofa is made of:
W– means water based cleaners are safe to use;
W/S– both water or solvent based cleaning solutions are safe to use;
S- only solvent based cleaning chemicals are safe to use;
X- only hoover or brush the fabric;
Water might not seem harmful, however if you use it on a sofa that specifically calls for solvent based cleaner, you might have a not so pleasant surprise, as it will actually leave a stain on your furniture. So better stick to the cleaning instructions on the tag.
For fabrics that can safely be cleaned with water, you can use a DIY cleaning solution made of dish soap and warm water to treat food or pet stains. Remember to use white/cream cloths, so they won’t bleed on your couch, and also to test the cleaner in a hidden area first. Blot the stain carefully, working from outside in. If you have removable covers, place a towel between the fabric and filling, to absorb the liquid. Once the spill is removed, dab the area with a damp cloth, and then blot dry.
Both coffee and wine stains can be treated with a water and dish soap formula. (½ tbsp. of liquid dish soap and 2 cups of cool water). Once you noticed the spill, blot as much liquid as you can, using an absorbent towel. Using the solution, sponge the stain until it disappears, then sponge once more with cold water and blot dry.
For fabrics marker with “S” use a solvent based cleaning product, according to package instructions.
The best way to clean a leather couch and the entire surface, mix 2 parts white vinegar with 1-part olive oil in a spray bottle and shake well. You can also add a few drops of fragrant essential oils to cut the vinegar smell. Ink based stains like ballpoint pen or marker can be removed with rubbing alcohol. Use a cotton swab and gently rub the mark until it begins to lift. Wipe away excess alcohol with clean, damp cloth. To revive the appearance of leather furniture and buff out small scratches and fading, try a natural cleaner like coconut oil. Use a clean, dry cloth to rub the sofa in a circular motion, much like shoe polish. Let penetrate 10 minutes, and buff out excess oil with a new, clean cloth.
Although it’s a popular practice, it’s essential not to use baby wipes on leather sofas for cleaning. While they are good for babies, they are extremely harmful for leather sofas as they will remove the protective film and this will lead to leather peeling and cracking in time.
How often should upholstered furniture be cleaned?
When determining how often upholstery cleaning should be done, there are two main factors to take into consideration. First, you need to consider how much you use the furniture. For example, if the upholstery is in a room where you hardly ever go, cleaning can be done every 18-24 months. Secondly, you need to think of who uses the upholstery. If you have small children or pets, a more frequent upholstery cleaning is necessary. In this case, we recommend cleaning the sofas once or twice per year.
By cleaning the upholstery regularly, you will not only extend its life but also improve your health!
Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning are a recommended DIY tasks, but cleaning the upholstery is best left to the professionals. One reason it is best to hire a professional upholstery cleaning company is that different fabrics require different methods and cleaning products. A professional sofa cleaner will know which method and products are best to use for your couches. Although it is fine to spot clean in order to remove stains, it is important to make sure you use the right cleaning solution in order to prevent permanent stains on the upholstery.
Even though it may seem like an expensive service, it only costs a small fraction of the replacement price. Most companies would charge between €25-€35/seat depending on the sofa and method used. From time to time, professional companies have special offers so you can keep an eye on that, and there’s a good chance you will get a bargain.
But be careful, there are also many companies or self-employed cleaners who charge very little, but they have no training, professional equipment nor are they using any professional products. While it may look like a great time at the time, it may end up being very expensive when you need to call a second company to do a second clean, or worse, when they damage your expensive upholstery.
Before choosing a sofa cleaning company , remember to read their reviews, to ask your friends and family and to have a look at the previous jobs they’ve done.
Upholstery cleaning has multiple benefits, from appearance to health and money saving. Chances are that you picked out your furniture because you liked it, so why not treat it like you still do? Throughout the course of a normal day, your upholstery goes through wear and tear that can lead to serious damage over time. Besides other benefits, cleaning will make you re-fall in love with your upholstery!