Dry Foam Cleaning for Upholstery


Dry foam isn't completely dry, but it isn't as wet as most cleaning foams and does not need water to activate it. Dry foam is a good choice for cleaning upholstery because the lack of water will help to ensure your fabric won't shrink, warp or mildew.

The Foam

  • When purchasing a dry foam for your upholstery, read all of the directions and precautions on the label before you use it. Many dry foam brands are intended for use on carpet but are also safe for upholstery, but some brands of dry foam are not safe for upholstery or delicate fabrics.


  • To clean upholstery with dry foam, you will also need a brush to rub the foam into the fabric and release the dirt. You may choose a hand-held brush for small jobs or to rent a machine for larger jobs. Either way, be sure the brush bristles are nylon so that they won't be too harsh on the upholstery and so that the chemicals in the dry foam won't harm the bristles.

    If you choose to rent a machine, ask professional upholstery cleaning services if they have machines available for the specific type of foam you are using and fabric you are cleaning. The company will be able to recommend a machine that will fit the type of job you are doing.


  • Before you begin to clean your upholstery with dry foam, be sure the fabric is colorfast, because dry foam can cause color bleeding on non-colorfast fabrics. You should also pre-treat any large or overly dark stains with a stain remover and allow the spot to dry before cleaning the rest of the upholstery with dry foam.

    If you're using a machine to brush the dry foam onto your upholstery, Brush and Clean recommends pressing the discharge valve while holding the machine over a bucket before applying the foam to the fabric. This is because some machines release liquid before the dry foam comes out, and if you get the liquid on your upholstery, you may be left with a stain.


  • After you've applied the dry foam all over your upholstery and brushed it in, lightly dampen a cloth and use it to remove the excess foam that didn't sink into the fabric. Then, allow your upholstery to dry completely before using it again. Depending on the amount and type of material you cleaned, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

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