How to clean upholstered furniture

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Old 06-18-20, 02:35 PM
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How to clean upholstered furniture

I have four upholstered kitchen chairs and two living room recliners that I would like to clean myself. I had them cleaned professionally quite a while ago but was never really satisfied with the results so I thought I would see if I could do a better job. Actually, I'm not talking about removing stains....just normal dirt from a number of years use by two adults.The heaviest soiling is on the arm and head rests. I really would appreciate any information that will help with this task.
 
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Old 06-18-20, 02:42 PM
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I have a pet vacuum that works quite well but you could do the same with a spray bottle and shop vac. It works well to get the cleaning solution deep into the fabric and then suck out most of it.
 
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Old 06-18-20, 03:29 PM
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I have same pet/kid shampoo machine (green machine?) but before kids used to rent carpet shampoo machine but just used the hand attachment.

The rental was more powerful but the home machine was better to justify the expense!
 
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Old 06-18-20, 03:50 PM
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What do you use in the spray bottle?
 
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Old 06-18-20, 05:42 PM
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After many years as a Real Estate Agent, our office simply purchased a rug cleaner, worked great as a marketing tool "Interested in Selling - Free Rug Cleaner Rental."

Today even the basic ones have a "furniture attachment" which I WILL say ALSO works on stains that you'd normally expect only a dry cleaner to get out.

The trick (which I learned from labs/nurses is that you DO have to clean things "using the right tools."

First- just vacuum the floor. Most people forget that, and then get frustrated because the carpet cleaner is putting MORE effort into removing hair, grit, and fine dust, that it is into actually getting out stains.
Second, use just hot water in the carpet cleaner to get out easy stains. And repeat the hot water until you get clear water You'll be AMAZED at how much dirt you will remove with just hot water.
Third, wash with a soap or detergent to break down and remove oils and waxes. By doing step #1 and step #2 before hand, you will have removed MOST of the material, and you'll find that you can use a MUCH smaller amount of soap/detergent to clean the car. It's similar to using a say to trim 1" off a board instead of starting off using #800 sandpaper.
Fourth make a final wash with hot SALTY water, aka "HIGH IONIC STRENGTH" which simply means that stains that result for charged or polar materials such as salts, metal oxides, and silica oxides (dirt), will release MUCH better when washed with salt water. Then rinse with plain water.
Fifth, run the vacuum over the floor again, I find that putting a foot on the front and skipping the carpet cleaner backwards ALWAYS pulls up even more water.
 
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Old 06-19-20, 05:15 AM
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You can use an upholstery cleaner. It's rather mild and does not harm most fabrics but you should try it on a small area out of sight to make sure it's OK.

I'm bald and use sunscreen and occasionally I forget and sit in a upholstered chair... over the years there are really difficult stains where my head and arms hit. Sweat & water resistant sunscreen is rather difficult to remove. I've had good luck with heavy duty degreasing cleaners like a diluted solution of Purple Power or Simple Green. At that point you're off the instructions sheet and on your own. I test thoroughly first on the side of the seat cushion where it's out of sight.
 
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Old 06-19-20, 09:14 AM
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I like the idea of using upholstery cleaner. I assume you would spray it on the fabric full strength but how much? Should I lightly spray the fabric or should it be saturated? About how long should I wait before I vacuum it?
 
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Old 06-19-20, 10:35 AM
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FWIW, those over the counter upholstery cleaners are just meant for spot cleaning, not for whole furniture.
Having a pro do it is really the best. If you weren't satisfied with the one you got, then maybe the dirt is too ground in. Sometimes it's just time to reupholster, if it's that old. You could rent a machine and try that. Doubt that something in a can is going to do what you want. If you go that route, I'd follow the directions on the can. You normally would wait till it's dry to vacuum.
 
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