How to Clean Upholstery

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Whether you spilled a drink on your car seat upholstery, or noticed an odd stain on your favorite chair, cleaning upholstery is easy if you follow these steps. Use this method to spot clean a stain or to clean a larger area, such as a chair cushion.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Soft bristled cleaning brush
  • White cleaning rag
  • Brush the area lightly with a soft bristled brush to loosen any dirt or dried stain.

  • Vacuum the upholstery thoroughly to remove all dirt and debris.

  • Test the upholstery cleaner on a small, hidden spot of fabric, such as the back or bottom of a cushion. Some cleaners can bleach or damage the fabric. If the upholstery is damaged, try a different cleaner.

  • Spray the upholstery cleaner on the area to be cleaned. Follow the cleaner’s instructions to determine how much to spray.

  • Wait the amount of time indicated in the cleaner’s instructions to allow the cleaner to penetrate the fabric and loosen the dirt.

  • Blot the upholstery with a damp white cleaning rag to remove the dirt and/or stain. Rubbing can damage the upholstery and spread stains.

  • Allow the upholstery to dry and repeat steps 1-6 if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have any instructions, tags, etc. that indicate how your furniture or upholstered item should be cleaned, follow the instructions as indicated.
  • Never use a cleaner on an upholstered item for the first time without testing it on a hidden area first. Bleaching or fabric damage can occur.
  • Do not clean your upholstery with a colored rag. The rag color can transfer to the upholstery.

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