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The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Upholstered Furniture

Posted by Josh Kennedy

Nov 9, 2017 8:53:14 AM

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 8.50.41 AM.pngYour sofa, easy chairs, and other upholstered furniture receives heavy use and requires cleaning and maintaining, in return.  Use our “dos” and “don’ts” to keep your upholstered furniture clean and looking great!


  • Act Quickly: When you act quickly to remove a stain, this can prevent it from being absorbed by the upholstery fibers or seeping through to the underlying padding.  Stains are more difficult to remove if they are allowed to dry and set in the fibers.  The quicker the reaction time, the greater the chance of removing the stain completely, so address stains as quickly as you can.
  • Test Your Cleaning Solution: If you accidentally choose the wrong cleaning solution or stain remover, you can actually make the stain worse, or cause fading or other damage to the upholstery.  Take the time to test the stain remover in an inconspicuous area of the furniture.
  • Read the Instructions: Stain removers often require special application methods, drying time, or have cautions for use.  Read the labels of any cleaning solutions you plan to use, and also read the labels of the furniture itself to look for notes or instruction for care and cleaning.


  • Don’t Start in the Center: It’s tempting to start blotting the stain in the very center.  This is where the stain is most concentrated, though, and by starting in the center, you’ll only spread the spot.  When attacking a stain, wipe or blot from the outer stain edges and work toward the center.
  • Don’t Rub or Scrub: Rubbing or vigorous scrubbing forces the stain further into the upholstery fibers and can even result in wearing away the material.  If you rub or scrub hard enough, it can create heat which will result in the stain chemically bonding to the material.  Scrubbing can also cause the pile to become distorted.  Instead of rubbing or scrubbing when cleaning upholstery, scrape up what you can with a spoon and then blot the stain with a clean towel.
  • Don’t Use Bleach: Think twice before using bleach or bleach products on the stain.  Bleach can often make the stain worse and the affected area larger.  Using bleach on upholstery can be a huge mistake that may require you to have the entire piece reupholstered.
  • Don’t Use Heat: Hot water can actually change the chemical structure of the stain, causing it to bond to the upholstery surface.  Food, blood, and other protein stains are particularly susceptible to heat.  Vinegar and other acids will also act as heating agents, promoting chemical alterations.  Always use water that is cool or only warm.   
  • Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemicals and cleaning solutions can wreak havoc on upholstery.  Simple mild detergents combined with water will often remove a stain, especially when used immediately.

Probably our most important tip for upholstery cleaning is this: DON’T try to take on an upholstery cleaning project if you’re unsure of how to handle it, and instead DO trust the job to a great professional upholstery cleaning company!

First Coast Home Pros is the best Jacksonville FL upholstery cleaning company and the team to trust with your furniture.  Stains are tough to get out, but our upholstery cleaning technicians are highly trained in the best methods and best cleaning solutions to tackle even the most stubborn stains.  We specialize in providing maintenance cleaning for upholstered furniture, removing stains, and providing deep cleaning as well.  You’ll love the results, once your favorite furniture has been through a First Coast Home Pros cleaning!  Our customers in San Marco, Riverside Avondale, Nocatee, Fleming Island, Jacksonville, and the Beaches love the results of our upholstery cleaning service, and you will too!

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Topics: Upholstery Cleaning

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