How to Care for Upholstered Furniture to Make it Last

How do I care for my upholstered furniture?-is a common question people ask after purchasing quality upholstered furniture such as sofas, ottomans, and other fabric-covered pieces.

The reality is quality upholstered furniture is usually built to last a lifetime, but does this mean you don’t require to care for and maintain them often? Not! No matter how careful and clean you may seem, some spills, stains, and accidents over time are bound to occur, such as coffee spills and muddy paw prints.

As we all know, upholstered furniture is usually the most used, especially in the home, as it serves as a place to eat, play, sleep, and for pets. You can’t keep your upholstered furniture off limits; you bought them in the first place for use.

You should care for your upholstered furniture to prevent them from fading over time. The maintenance process is a must-know for all to reduce the effect of accidents.

These nine easy tips on how to clean your upholstered furniture will help you maintain the beauty and longevity of your sofas and chairs amidst everyday use.

upholstered furniture

What is an Upholstered Furniture?

Upholstered Furniture consists of entirely or partially resilient cushioning materials enclosed within a covering made of fabric or other related materials and is intended for indoor use in a home or other dwelling for residential occupancy.

How to Care for Upholstered Furniture

Caring for furniture makes them last long and adds beauty to our homes. Below, I will share with you the secret to having an Upholstered furniture that last long while maintaining its beauty.

Choose the Right Fabric 

If you want to make your upholstery furniture maintenance easier, choose the suitable fabric for the right space and lifestyle. For example, if you own a pet, you can go for furniture with synthetic fibres in areas of heavy usage or choose fabrics with loose weaves or fewer textures.

Fabric Protection 

The best way to protect your fabric is to attend to spills quickly. Most upholstered fabrics are treated with soil and water repellents after factory finishing. Additional fabric protectors or mildew inhibitors can also be applied to upholstered furniture. They help to prevent spills from being absorbed into the upholstered fabric immediately. 

Above all, you should attend to spills immediately and follow manufacturers’ instructions for proper maintenance and care.

Turn Seat Cushions

You can periodically turn over loose cushions to extend the longevity of your upholstered furniture. This tip allows you to distribute wear and tear evenly and prevents your cushion from developing indentations.

In addition to turning them over, you can change the cushions occasionally, as some seats get used more than others. If the seat cushion becomes sloppy over time, open a seam along the back and add extra padding.

Vacuum your Upholstered Furniture

You can vacuum your upholstered furniture weekly and often to clean and eliminate dirt. Frequent cleaning will prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the fabric fibre. If you decide to ignore this dirt, it will give your furniture a dirty appearance and wear away through upholstery fibres.

Also, use a soft bristle brush without snagging the fabric to remove dried dirt and debris.

Avoid Sunlight 

Direct exposure to sunlight can make your upholstery fabric fade away. Always ensure they are not placed under the sun for extended hours, especially delicate fabrics like silks. If you have difficulty moving your upholstery furniture, you can use fitting blinds or sheers to reduce the light.

Remove Odours

Upholstered furniture absorbs airborne pollutants, such as fumes or smoke, that can harm the fabric. Proper ventilation can immediately reduce this. In addition, to eliminate the odour, you can sprinkle your sofa with bicarbonate of soda (it can’t harm the sofa), leave it overnight, and vacuum it the following day. This process will keep your fabric fresh and alive.

Clean Up Spills

Whenever an accident occurs, like liquid spills, attend and clean immediately by blotting with a clean folded towel. Blot only and never rub the stains, as this can only worsen, spread them, and make them permanent. Sometimes this is enough to eliminate the stains, especially if the fabric has been pre-treated with a fabric protector.

Always ensure you test clean before using any product to clean, and always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper cleaning option (water-based or solvent-based cleaner). 

Sometimes, you can use a mild cleaning product. Use a soft brush to apply in a circular motion on the fibre, and vacuum when dry.

Professional Cleaning 

You don’t have to wait for your upholstered furniture to get dirtier physically; the messier it gets, the harder it becomes to remove. Professional cleaning should be done annually, aside from DIY cleaning.

You can book a cleaning session with a reputable upholstery dry cleaning service provider or hire a household steam cleaner near you.

Identify and Clean According to the Cleaning Codes

Washing your upholstered furniture fabric is one of the significant ways to keep it spotless, as they are often susceptible to dust, spills, oils, and other stains. In addition, not all fabrics are machine washable. 

Always ensure you check beneath your furniture or check the label of the care codes for the recommended cleaning methods. Any quality furniture will have an extra swatch of fabric included with information about the fabric type. Below are what those codes mean:

W = (Water-based): You should only use water-based cleaning agents, brush, and vacuum when the fabric gets dried up.

S = (Solvent-Based): You should only use dry cleaning or water-free/mild solvents and ensure the room is well-ventilated with no open flames.

WS = (Water or Solvent): You should use either solvent and upholstery shampoo or mild water-based detergents.

X = (Professional Cleaning Required): This means only vacuum or professional cleaning should be carried out, and home cleaning products can result in staining or shrinking.


Reading these tips will ensure your upholstery furniture becomes more attractive and lasts longer. Although, with time, you might become bored with your upholstery fabric and decide to change them.

Only quality upholstered furniture will be easy to clean and maintain. Always be on the lookout for quality fabrics before buying them.


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