Cleaning | Home Maintenance

Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning Tips

Household upholstery and carpeting require regular cleaning to ensure they remain in good condition and do not contaminate indoor air with dust or pet dander. Fortunately, you only require basic DIY skills to clean them properly. Here are some furniture and carpet cleaning tips to get you started throughout your homeownership:


You can use your vacuum machine to clean up any loose debris. To do this, you would need to replace the attachment for cleaning floors with one for cleaning upholstery. This should not be a problem because most modern vacuum machines come with detachable heads. When cleaning upholstery and furniture, pay special attention to the areas where dirt tends to accumulate such as fabric folds, crevices and creases. You may not get the superior clean with your carpets that a commercial vacuum can provide but there are some brands that can come close likeupholstery and carpeting tips - Toolbox Divas Shark or Dyson.

Dealing with spills and stains

You should clean stains as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains. To do so effectively, use an absorbent piece of cloth or white paper towel to clean spills immediately. However, do not use rubbing motions to dab spilled liquids because you could damage upholstery fabrics. If you spill semi-solid substances, use a spoon to scoop up as much of the semi-solids as you can before using paper towels to dab off the liquid (if any). After this, use the proper cleaning technique to clean any visible stains and marks. For instance, coffee, wine, food, or pet poop/pee stains respond well to steam cleaning. If there is a stain that won’t come out then hot water extraction may be your only option, which a professional carpet cleaner like All Brite Chem-Dry can provide. Alternatively, you could use a white vinegar & water solution to remove such stains. If you encounter hard-to-remove stains such as oil-based stains, use an appropriate chemical-based cleaner.

Baby wipes

If you are worried about damaging expensive or rare upholstery fabrics, use baby wipes. Unlike conventional pieces of cloth or paper towels, baby wipes are great for spot cleaning because they are designed to clean baby skin without causing injuries. Moreover, they do not contain coloring agents that could bleach and make the stain even worse.

Using water

In general, it is not advisable to use excessive water to clean sensitive upholstery fabrics. Nevertheless, if you have to, use a mixture of warm water and non-abrasive laundry detergent. Apply this soapy solution on the upholstery you intend to clean and use a microfiber cloth to wipe it off the surface. Do not apply too much soapy water because it will make upholstery fabrics too wet or damp, which in turn could create other problems down the line such as mold growth. Spraying an anti-fungal spray may also help reducing mold growth if you have over saturated the fabric with too much water.

upholstery and carpeting tipsRemovable upholstery covers

Before cleaning removable upholstery fabrics using a washing machine, find out if they are machine-washable. Most manufacturers sew stickers with cleaning instructions. If machine-washable, remove, wash and dry before covering your couches and other pieces of household furniture.


To remove carpet stains using baking soda, prepare a mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Add some water to this mixture, apply it onto the stained area, and then use a sponge to scrub off the stain. Of course, you should apply this mixture on a test fabric before applying it on your carpet. Finally, use clean warm water to rinse the stained area. To clean your entire carpet, use a solution containing one part laundry detergent to 10 parts of warm water.

You only need to learn a few DIY upholstery and furniture cleaning skills to keep your upholstery and furniture spotlessly clean. Some of the things you need to learn include how to change and use a vacuum head for cleaning upholstery, how to prepare homemade stain removal solutions, when and how to clean spills and how to clean upholstery without causing fabric damage.


Article written by Kiryako Sharikas.  Kiryako is an SEO, Analytics, and Content Creation enthusiast who enjoys learning about any industry that comes his way. He studied Marketing at VCU in Richmond VA and is currently working at NetSearch Direct. He loves sharing what he’s learned and believes that anyone can learn how to do any task as long as you dedicate the necessary time. Happy Learning! Follow Kiryako in LinkedIn.

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  1. The tip with the baby wipes is just precious. Thank you for sharing this amazing article and helping everyone with cleaning their carpeting and upholstery. It can be a daunting task and you definitely make it easier.

  2. We all want that wonderful feeling when we first purchased our new furniture. Cleaning can be daunting if you don’t exactly know how to deal with stains especially on upholstered furniture. I’m planning to replace my leather furniture and I’m hoping to get all the help I can in order to take care of them. It’s not like it’s my first time owning upholstered furniture but being sure is always the best. Thanks to this blog and I’m halfway ready.

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