Even a small spot on the furniture in your home can create a bad impression. To make matters worse, if you do not properly clean the spot, you can create a blemish in the fabric that no amount of cleaning will remove. Thus, the odds of failure may seem high for someone who wants to do at-home upholstery cleaning. However, if you know what you are doing, you should be able to clean your own upholstery without problems.
Understanding Upholstery Cleaning Labels
The first step in making sure that you can properly clean the furniture in your home is understanding what you are getting into before you make a purchase. For example, if you buy a piece of furniture with an "x" on its cleaning label, then you are not supposed to use water or cleaning solvents to clean it. Instead, you will have to contact upholstery cleaning professionals or a restoration shop to make sure the piece is cleaned properly.
On the other hand, if you see a "w" on the label, then you should be able to use water and a mild liquid soap to clean away stains. If you see an "s," then you should only use dry solvents without water. If you are worried that children or pets may dirty your furniture, then you should look for furniture with the "w" or "s" label. Typically, you should avoid furniture with an "x" label unless you are going to place it in a low-traffic area.
Preparing to Clean Your Furniture
Whether you are going to use water, a combination of water and solvents, or solvents alone to clean your furniture, it is important that you start by thoroughly vacuuming the piece. If you apply water or solvents to a dusty piece of furniture, the dust can dissolve into the water and then permeate the fabric. If you are trying to clean a wet spill, the water or solvents may cause the stain to spread. Thus, using a wet/dry vacuum to lift dust or liquid spills is an important first step.
Once you have vacuumed your piece, you should test whatever cleaner you will be using on a small, out-of-the-way segment of your furniture. Even if a cleaner comes highly recommended from a cleaning professional, until you know how it will react with your furniture, you should not use it to clean a highly visible area of your furniture, just to make sure that it will not create a blemish.
In some cases, you can use all the right cleaners and cleaning methods without lifting a stain. If this is the case, do not give into the temptation to use more aggressive cleaners. Instead, you should call in upholstery cleaning professionals, such as Supreme Cleaners Inc, to clean your furniture without damaging it.