Your sofa is probably one of your major investments in your home.
It is also a central piece in your living room where you and family relax at the end of the day or receive visitors.
A well-cared for sofa speaks volume about the housekeeper.
While there are professional cleaning services that can do the job, doing the sofa cleaning yourself can be a cathartic exercise. Plus, you save a lot of money and ensure that its cleaned to your satisfaction. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. But before you whip out the cleaning spray, take the time to learn how to do it properly. Sofa cleaning is different for different types of fabric.
Cleaning Sofa Fabric Upholstery
A lot of homeowners like fabric upholstered sofas because of the limitless choice that can suit every taste and budget.
But fabric is a magnet for dirt and grime.
The best way to protect it is to take preventive measures. You can spray soil and stain repellants, cover it with antimacassars, throws or loose covers to at least minimize the dirt and damage.
You should also run the vacuum over it at least once a week, more if its a high-traffic seater.
Every now and then, rearrange and swap your furnitures around so as to distribute the wear.
These steps however, are not foolproof. Eventually, your sofa will need cleaning.
Check the care label for your sofa before starting to clean. If it has one, then follow the instructions carefully. But if there is none, you need to do some quick research as to how to clean it. For delicate fabrics, you may need to dry-clean it. You might need help with this because if you apply moisture to these fabrics, it might shrink or bleed. Proceed with caution.
If the fabric is a bit rough or plush, then you will have an easier time cleaning it. You can either buy a cleaning product in home improvement centers or a buy/rent a steam cleaner. If you choose to just buy a cleaning product, make sure that it is the right cleaning agent for your sofa. Of course, follow instructions to the letter.
If you choose to steam clean, make sure that you get a good steam cleaner. It will pump water mixed with cleaner onto your sofa, and then suck it out again. You can do this once every one to two years, depending on the state of your sofa.
A steamer can usually be used if your sofa is not damaged by water-based cleaner.
Don’t overwater your sofa and run the steamer carefully over pipings.
Afterwards, open your doors and windows to help speed up the drying process. Under normal conditions, your sofa should be good and dry after twenty-four hours.
There are many products that you can use in sofa cleaning. Hydrogen peroxide, for example, can erase red wine stains.
For regular dirt and grime, a mixture of baking powder and club soda ought to do the trick. You can use denatured alcohol for stains on suede sofa. There are many other products that can be used. The easiest way is to get to them as soon as they are spilled and before it becomes a stain.
Cleaning Sofa Leather Upholstery
Homes with pets and children will do well with leather upholstered sofas.
They are easier to maintain than fabric. Like fabric upholstered sofa though, it is best to do regular cleaning to prevent buildup of dirt. Regularly vacuum your leather sofa to remove dirt, hair, crumbs and whatever is left there by humans.
Once or twice a week vacuuming is enough to keep it clean.
Every now and then, run a damp cloth over the leather. Make sure not to use overly damp rags so as not to damage the leather. You only need to pick up surface dirt with water, so do not blot and press the leather. Let it dry at once. You can also run a duster over it to get rid of hair or dust.
For thorough cleaning, buy leather soap and conditioner from home improvement centers. Some experts recommend saddle soap. However, there are those who disagree. Saddle soap is used mainly for saddles (thus the name), thus it does not do well for indoor use. Wipe the soap all over the leather using a clean rag. This is the time to get to the stains that you missed on your regular cleaning. Rub thoroughly but gently. Wipe off the soap with water, and let it dry at once. Again, make sure not to overwet your sofa.
Once its been totally cleaned, or whenever the leather becomes crack or looks dry, spray on some leather conditioner over it. The spray will usually have instructions on the can, follow it carefully. If you are not too sure whether the product will damage your sofa, test it on an inconspicuous place first. If it has no effect on the color, then spray it all over.
A good leather conditioner will not only extend the life of your sofa, it should also make it impervious to dirt and give it some shine.
Products for leather sofas are limited. You would do well sticking to commercial products as they have been proven to be effective. Nonetheless, always do your research and test it first on a spot whenever using a new product.
Sofa cleaning is not rocket science. You do not need a degree in cleaning to excel at it. All you need is a little common sense and some good old fashioned research. With a little patience and a lot of time, you can have a clean sofa that is always ready to receive the most critical visitor. A clean sofa will go a long way in ensuring that you have a healthy home, one that is considerate of allergy sufferers. You will have a living room where family members love to stay in as it accommodates the needs of your household. Thus, you should make sure that you do your sofa cleaning on a regular basis.