You don’t have to hire professionals and spend big bucks to clean your upholstered chairs. Surprisingly, many rely on expensive cleaning services that can cost more than 20 times the price of a DIY project! As a matter of fact, with these 5 easy tips, you can clean your velvet, suede, microfibre chairs with household items that you already have in your kitchen cupboard. No need to use expensive steam cleaners and chemical detergents - a bit of baking soda, vinegar, and a few drops of natural essential oils will get your chairs looking (and smelling) brand new! Let’s get started!
How to vacuum upholstered chairs?
Perhaps the easiest way to keep your upholstered chairs clean is regular vacuuming. How often do you need to vacuum your upholstered furniture? It is recommended to do so on a weekly basis or as frequently as you clean your floors, as the dust that gathers on the carpet will also collect on your couch. Small dust particles can become lodged in between the individual threads of the fabric, creating buildup and making the dirt quite stubborn to any cleansing agent in the future.
- Take off the cushions and gently dust them off, preferably outside.
- Use an upholstery attachment to vacuum the bigger areas of the chair, like the back and the seat.
- Switch to a more narrow head attachment to tackle the debris that’s hiding in the crevices of the furniture.
- If you find difficulty getting into these smaller areas, you can use a soft brush to gently sweep the dust from the spot, and then vacuum it again.
Once your upholstery is dust-free, it’s time to find the right tools to deal with the stain. This will largely depend on the type of fabric your chair is upholstered in, as well as the type of stain you’d like to remove. Consider the following methods:
How to use baking soda to freshen up chair upholstery?
If you'd like to freshen up your upholstery, reach into your kitchen cupboard and get yourself a container of baking soda.
- Mix 150g of baking soda with 5-6 drops of your preferred essential oil.
- Evenly sprinkle a thin layer of the mixture on the fabric.
- Let it sit for about 20 minutes (or overnight for strong odors),
- Vacuum the chair with the upholstery attachment on.
For more insights on the versatile uses of baking soda, check out this article.
How to spot clean upholstery stains?
Once your chair is left smelling fabulous, it’s time to get rid of those pesky stains. Remember to be very gentle and use soft microfibre cloths that won’t further damage the fabric. NOTE: When using a water-based cleaner, it is important to always spot-test the cleaning solution of choice on an inconspicuous part of the chair, like the underside. Better safe than sorry!
- Instead of using just plain water, try adding white vinegar and a gentle laundry detergent to your cleaning solution. Mix vinegar with warm water in a 1:2 ratio and add about 2 tablespoons of the detergent.
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle and shake to combine the ingredients. Once the solution is well incorporated, you’re ready to confront those bothersome stains and enjoy your soon-to-be clean upholstery!
- If the problem area was wet to begin with, gently dab it with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid - remember to lightly pat, not rub.
- Spray the solution you’ve just made onto the upholstery. Be careful not to excessively soak the area, as it can cause water stains to appear once the fabric dries. Worse yet, the moisture can seep deep into the chair, damaging the internal structure.
- Continue to dab the stain with a microfibre towel. If need be, lightly spray the fabric again and repeat the process.
How to get rid of resistant stains?
If the stain on your upholstered chair is especially stubborn, you can try adding some baking soda to create a more abrasive concoction. If you know the fabric can handle more coarse-grained paste, scrub the stains again. Remember to always test the solution on an area that’s more hidden to the eye If you’re not sure whether the upholstery can withstand the abrasion. Some fabrics are more delicate as well as prone to discoloration than others. For more guidance on spot cleaning different types of stains, refer to this comprehensive stain removal guide from The American Cleaning Institute.
How to properly dry upholstered fabric?
Try to dry the fabric right away, so that the moisture doesn’t seep into the cushioning of the chair.
- Use clean towels to soak up the excess cleaning solution.
- If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with warm weather at the time of cleaning, open the windows and let the warm air do its job. Remember that direct sunlight can cause discoloration, so try to keep your chair out of the sun.
- If you can, bring the chairs outside to air-dry in the shade, but watch out for strong winds that can move around dirty leaves and debris right onto your freshly cleaned upholstery.
- If you have to dry them indoors, simply open up all the windows in the room and run some fans on high settings to improve ventilation.
- Once your upholstered chair is all dry, you can use a clean, soft-bristled brush to delicately move the fabric in one direction (this is especially important if you have velvet chairs like these.
By implementing these DIY upholstery cleaning tips, you can save money and keep your chairs looking fresh and inviting, ensuring they remain in excellent condition for years to come. Don't wait any longer - give your chairs the care they deserve and enjoy a cleaner, more comfortable seating experience.