How to care for upholstery furniture

Upholstery furniture can be a nightmare to deal with when messy or stained. Take a look at our handy hints to help you care for your furniture.

Cleaning Upholstery Furniture

  • To remove dust, vacuum or brush the surface gently, watching out for delicate fringes or braids.

  • When cleaning upholstery, clean all of it. This will help to prevent irregular fading over time.

  • Wipe wood or decorative facings with a damp cloth to remove dust.

  • Thoroughly clean all upholstery at least once a year to prevent ingrained dirt, or get a professional upholstery cleaner in to do it for you.

Refitting Upholstery after washing

  • Avoid stretching zips when removing and replacing covers.

  • To get the best fit, put the covers back on when they're slightly damp.

  • Put the covers back on in the right order (arms, seat area, back and valance).

  • If the covers need ironing, do this after they've been fitted and use a damp cloth over the material.

Products to use

Foaming Shampoo

Foaming shampoo is a great product to remove dirt from carpets and upholstery. Unlike many other products, it won't leave sticky residue that attracts more dirt.

Spot Stain Remover

Spot stain remover is a very aggressive cleaner for stubborn stains.

Dried-in Stain Remover

Dried-in stain remover works effectively without any scrubbing so you won't damage your upholstery. Non-toxic, it breaks down into oxygen and water when dry. As with any stain remover you may need a number of applications but the results can be impressive, even on tough stains like coffee, tea and blood.

Oil, ink and shoe polish spotting wipes

To deal with really tough stains like oil, ink and shoe polish, you'll need to get hold of some specialised spotting wipes. If used on a stain quickly, these can remove stains before they have a chance to dry and set.

Upholstery Maintenance Tips

  • Follow the manufacturer's cleaning and care instructions.

  • Cut off any snags or loose ends and tuck them back in – never pull them.

  • Seats are for sitting on – don't use them as a trampoline!

  • Keep your pets off the furniture where possible.

  • Use arm caps as this is the area that shows most wear.

  • Swap the cushions around every week and plump them regularly.

  • Avoid sitting on the edge of seat cushions as this could distort or damage them.

Read our disclaimer

DIY