Clean up your upholstery from Angie’s list
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1. Absorb the stain
Don’t let stains set in: It’s important to act quickly if you have a spill. Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels. Dab, don’t rub, or you risk damaging the fabric. Start at the outside of the spot and continue toward the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Blot until barely damp. Scoop up any semi-solids (like food spills) with a spoon.
2. Vacuum the furniture
Use all of your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachments to thoroughly clean up loose pieces of dirt, pet hair and other debris that can make your furniture dirtier.
3. Identify the types of stains
Food, dirt, pee or poop (from little ones or pets), wine, coffee and other stains respond well to steam cleaning. More stubborn spots may need more than one treatment. For oil-based or other hard-to-lift stains, chemical-based cleaners are required.
4. Read furniture upholstery tags
Before you use upholstery cleaner on your furniture, check cushions for fabric care tags or instructions — they’ll tell you what cleaning solutions to use. If you can’t find the tag, check the furniture manufacturer’s website. It’s also a good idea to spot check a small, hidden section of the fabric with the cleaner to test for damage and color-fastness.
5. Renting a steam cleaner
Should you buy or rent? If you won’t use the steamer more than twice a year, rent the equipment. Look for a steam cleaner that has wheels and moves easily from room to room. It should be light enough to carry up the stairs. Look for attachments designed to make cleaning hard-to-reach spots easier. If you’re buying, hand-held spot-lifter steamers begin at $40 at most major home improvement stores, while bigger furniture steam cleaners can cost up to $150.
6. Upholstery cleaning product costs to consider
The cost of furniture cleaner often takes people by surprise. Cleaners cost $15 to $20 per bottle at most retailers, and for bigger jobs, you may need more than one. Rental centers may insist you buy their brand cleaner, but many homemade products are perfect for DIY-cleaning. Buy a non-toxic cleaner if you have kids, pets or allergies.
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