You sit on it, lie on it, snuggle on it, watch TV on it, and generally live your life on it, but when it comes time to do the chores, are you actually remembering to clean it?
No, no, not the carpet. The upholstery!
Upholstered furniture is often so ubiquitous in our lives that, unless something gets spilled on it, many people don’t even think to give it the kind of care we regularly lavish upon other surfaces, such as floors, tubs and countertops. And yet upholstery cleaning is just as important for maintaining a clean and healthy environment.
Why Clean the Upholstery?
Those with antiques, kids or pets, may already have a handle on this… but then again, maybe not. So here’s the run down:
Upholstery, like your carpets, acts as an air filter for your home. Dirt, dust mites, dead skin cells, pet dander and other allergens, as well as germs, viruses, bacteria and other contaminants love snuggling up in that couch or comfy chair just as much as you do. Yuck! Your favorite love seat seems a little less appealing now, doesn’t it?
Dirty upholstery – even if it doesn’t look dirty! – can pose a health risk to all the members of your household. Asthma, eczema, allergies and more can all result from the pollutants your couches, chairs, settees, and other furniture absorbs.
This impacts the longevity of your furniture as well. The grit you can’t see is still there, and it’s wearing on the fabric, grinding into the fibers a little more each time you sit or stretch out.
How Often Should Upholstery Be Cleaned?
Upholstery should be regularly vacuumed and professionally deep cleaned. Professional cleaning on an annual basis is the general recommendation, but if you have pets, kids, lots of parties, or other circumstances that subject your furniture to heavy or frequent use, you may wish to have it done more often. Ask your carpet and upholstery cleaning technician to advise you on the optimum frequency for your specific needs.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Your upholstery may be comprised of synthetic or natural fibers, or a combination of both. This can make DIY cleaning a little tricky, as some cleaning methods work well on synthetic fibers, but not on natural ones or vice versa and combinations of both… well, you get the idea. A reputable upholstery cleaning professional will be able to select the appropriate methods and cleaning solutions for your specific needs. So, while doing it yourself may look like a money saving proposition, it often winds up costing more in the long run. You can, of course, do your part through regular vacuuming, and by educating yourself on the nature of your upholstered pieces and their appropriate care when emergency clean-up is needed.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners.