Upholstery Cleaning Tips
Taking care of your carpets, rug, and upholstered furniture will extend their lifetime and keep your home looking and smelling it's best. The foremost step in maintaining your carpets, rugs, and upholstery is vacuuming. Regular vacuuming will help decrease the amount of dust and dirt that settles onto your carpet, rugs, or fabric.
Even though most carpets are made to be stain resistant and new technological advances have allowed manufacturers to claim that their carpets actually repel dust and dirt, no carpet can be 100% dirt and dust free. The dirt that does manage to make it into the carpet can do irrepairable damage if not removed. Regular vacuuming will decrease the chances of dirt reaching deep into your carpet pile. In addition, you should get your carpets, rugs, and upholstery professionally deep cleaned about once a year to remove any dirt your vacuum can't extract.
Regular Carpet Cleaning has a number of benefits that we sometimes forget:
- It extends the life of your carpet.
- It gives a fresh, clean look to a room.
- It makes a room smell better.
- It eliminates dust and particles that bother people with allergies and asthma.
Vacuuming, however, is just the beginning. There are several other things you can do to increase the quality and lifetime of your carpet, rugs, or upholstery.
Reduce the Amount of Dust in your Home
- Have your duct work cleaned and use air filters on your vents
- Frequently wash bedding which can collect dust
- Invest in a good vacuum
- Keep door mats at the entrances of your home or even take off shoes upon entering your house
- Don't use a feather duster which will spread dust around, use a cloth sprayed with a dusting spray or dryer sheet
- Consider having wall to wall carpeting as changes from wood to carpet will allow dust to be pushed directly into the deeper region of your carpet.
Minimize Pet Hair on your Carpet and Upholstery
- Frequent vacuuming is the primary solution for this problem.
- No time to get out the vacuum, use a dryer sheet to wipe up the hair off of carpet, rugs, upholstery, and clothes. The static of hair will stick to it immediately.
Removing Pet Odors from your home
- First and foremost, change the litter box or attend to urine stains immediately
- Mix a solution of vinegar and water in a pan and put it on the stove to simmer.
- Try sprinking a little bit of baking soda on your carpet, rug, or upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Vacuum up completely. Baking soda helps neutralize many odors.
Removing Stains from Carpet, Rugs, or Upholstery
Stain removal is a question many people have. Let's face it, accidents happen and it is likely that you'll be faced with the need for stain removal. The key is to attend to the stain immediately. If the spill is allowed to remain, the chemicals in the material and the spill will reacti with each other and cause permanent discoloration of your carpet, rug, or upholstery. After reading the many steps below, you might want to consider creating a 'stain removal kit' so that you can respond to spills quicker.
For solid spills:
- Remove any solids using a spoon.
- Try to avoid pressing the liquid or spill further into the carpet pile.
- Once the solid portion has been removed, continue to the steps listed under "dry" or "liquid spills".
For dry spills or liquid spills that have become dried:
- Vacuum up any loose portion of the spill that is possible.
- Elsewise, using a spray bottle, mist the dry portion of the spill with water. This is to 'reliquify' the stain.
- Once this is done, proceed to the steps listed under "liquid spills".
For liquid spills:
- Using a CLEAN cloth or paper town, gently blot the stain.
- Look at the cloth and see if some of the color of the stain has been transferred to the cloth.
- If so, continue to blot using a new clean portion of the cloth each time.
- If no more color is being transferred to the cloth, but there is still stain on the carpet, rug, or upholstery, then spray the stain with a little bit of water and continue the blotting process.
- Always work on the outside edges of the stain first and work your way inward.
- If after continuous blotting and rewetting, the stain is not completely removed and no more color is being transferred to the clean cloth, try some of the following alternatives to water:
- Mild Detergent - A mild detergent mixed with water might be the final trick for most stains. Apply the detergent solution directly to the stain or mist it on as you did with the water.
- Vinegar plus Mild Detergent - for a gentle but stronger solution, add white vinegar to your mild detergent solution.
- Hairspray - Hairspray will usually work on ink stains
- Glass Cleaner - Glass cleaner cleans all types of carpeting and upholstery without leaving the soapy residue of most traditional carpet cleaners, which only attract more dirt afterward. And glass cleaner normally is effective on even the most difficult stains.
- Hydrogen Peroxide - This is also a safer alternative, but may be best for lighter colored fabric, rugs, and carpet.
- Rubbing Alcohol - Rubbing alcohol is good for unknown or greasy stains. Don't allow the alcohol to penetrate to the backing of the carpet as it will loosen up glue bonds. Mere apply it by misting it on or through a clean cloth.
- Ammonia - mix a solution of water with ammonia to get really troublesome highly colored stains (chocolate, berries, etc).
REMEMBER, always test any chemical that you want to apply to your carpet, rug, or upholstery in an inconspicuous area. There are many, many different types of fabrics and fibers out there and some will react to chemicals differently than others.