Ways & How

How to Dry Clean Upholstery

How to Dry Clean Upholstery

You can easily clean faux leather couches, chairs, and other upholstered furniture with a soft cloth and the appropriate cleaning agent. However, this is not the case with furniture covered in fabric, especially those made with natural fibers. These types of textile absorb and retain stains more readily and stubbornly compared to those made of synthetic materials. As such, certain cleaning procedures may not be suitable for the fabric. To ensure that you’re cleaning your upholstery the right way, check the manufacturer’s code on the label. If you see a “W,” it means that you can clean the fabric with water. If you see an “S,” a cleaning solvent is the more appropriate agent. If you see “X” on the label, it means that you should not use water or a solvent and that it must be dry cleaned or buffed with a brush. If you still choose to clean “X” upholstery with water and soap, it may yellow or have unsightly brownish or grayish soap rings. It’s also possible that the fabric color will run and create uneven shades. But if you can’t use soap and water, how do you clean upholstered furniture? This is where learning how to dry clean upholstery comes in handy.



e steps:

  1. First, you’ll need to prepare the material you’ll be dry cleaning. You can do this by vacuuming or whisking a firm bristle brush over the surface of the furniture or upholstered area, depending on the care instructions specified by the manufacturer. Prepping your upholstery this way ensures that loose particles like pet hair, dust, crumbs, and dirt won’t affect the effectiveness of the cleaning agent you’ll be using. Don’t forget to sweep or vacuum the area around the furniture.

  2. Check for colorfastness by rubbing a small portion of the cleaning agent on a discreet spot, such as the seams and edges. Let the substance dry first before checking whether it causes some staining or fading. If there is no change in the fabric, this means the textile material is colorfast and can be used with the dry cleaning product you tested.

    In case the product does change the color or leaves behind a stain, consider using another product or chemical. You can try Dryel, Dry Cleaner’s Secret, or Woolite. There are also foam-type auto upholstery cleaners that you can try on household upholstery. Just make sure that you follow the instructions. If you’re not sure, consider asking store representatives or those who have already used the exact same product you’re considering.

  3. Apply, spray, or rub the cleaning agent over the entire surface of the upholstery. You should work in sections, starting on the left and moving toward the right (or vice versa). This systematic work process helps ensure that all areas get cleaned. It will also prevent you from spending too much time on certain spots, which may affect the results. Consider using a fabric-friendly scrubber on areas with stubborn stains.

    If you’re using a cleaning cloth to apply the product, make sure that you use a new one as soon as it gets soiled so that you don’t end up spreading the dirt on other areas of your upholstery.

  4. Let your furniture air-dry. Make sure no one touches them at this point.

  5. Once dry, vacuum the loosened dirt off your upholstery.

Even if you know how to dry clean upholstery, leave the task to the professionals if your furniture is covered in fragile fabrics, such as silk. In other cases, feel free to follow the steps above to dry clean any upholstered furniture or items.

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