Maintaining a clean sofa can be hard work, especially if you have children or pets. Stains and other types of accidents can happen to it that are often a nightmare to clean. That’s why it’s a task that’s rarely performed at home. Most people clean their sofa thoroughly every few years or once a year at most. Some of the most common damage include:
- Liquid spills and food crumbs and leftovers;
- Oil stains;
- Pet hair;
- Tears and rips on the fabric;
- Discolouration of the wooden parts;
You can probably solve some of the damages to your sofa on your own. However, you’ll need an expert to preserve the furniture piece in good shape for some of them. Before the upholstery cleaning technicians can take a look at the sofa, you should certainly mop the stain up or remove a majority of the matter that has been spilled, so the stain doesn’t get larger. Think of it as a preventative measure.
DIY Sofa Cleaning
Liquid Spills, Food Crumbs and Leftovers
If you decide to use upholstery cleaning solvents to eliminate more significant problems, test it on an inconspicuous area of the sofa first. If you have spilled liquid on your couch, clean it up beforehand. Use a sponge or kitchen towel, water and try mopping it up. You will likely be able to remove most of the liquid but not the stain. If you think the blemish isn’t visible, there’s no need to call professional cleaners immediately. You can set up a schedule by which upholstery cleaning professionals take care of the entire piece once a year or so.
Oil stains may seem like a daunting task, but you can actually get rid of them very quickly with baking soda, dish soap and water. This method is safe for most upholstery, but if your sofa is made of delicate materials, it’s better to find a specifically formulated cleaning solution. If the oil stain is recent, absorb as much grease as possible using a paper towel. Don’t apply heavy pressure because it may cause the upholstery to absorb the oil deeper. Avoid rubbing motions because they can cause the oil to spread on other parts of the sofa. Use as many paper towels as needed, so the spill stays manageable. Once you’ve removed the excess oil, sprinkle some baking soda over the affected spot. Allow it to sit for several hours or overnight before vacuuming it. Mix warm water with dishwashing liquid until it creates suds. Scoop them out with a sponge and blot the oil stain, working from outside towards the centre. Rinse the soapy residue with a damp cloth before air drying.
Before you decide to deal with an oil stain on your own, check the upholstery cleaning code to know if you can use water-based or solvent-based products on your sofa. If you’re unsure, consult a professional to remove the oil and grease stains safely.
Pet hair is one thing you can take care of on your own. There are vacuum cleaners that remove most of it. It won’t be thorough, but it will get most of the hair out and make the sofa look better. If a person with pet allergies is visiting, it’s best to get it professionally cleaned beforehand.
Tears and Rips on the Fabric
If you have a rip or a tear on the sofa, it’s better if you don’t do anything to fix it yourself. Tears are tricky, and they have to be treated the right way, so the section that has been sewn isn’t noticeable. That’s an expert’s job.
Discolouration of the Wooden Parts
Most finishes on the wooden parts of a sofa protect it by forming a protective coating. Spilling coffee, ink, or other liquids will give frustrating stains and marks on the wooden pieces of your furniture, making its colour look dreadful. To repair a damaged finishing coat, work only as deep as the damaging effect is. Any repair that completely removes the damaged finish, such as deep scratches, gouges, and burns, also involves refinishing the area. For ink stains, you can use baking soda. For liquid marks like coffee, you can use mayonnaise or petroleum jelly. Once you’re finished cleaning the affected area, you might notice that the colour and surface are slightly different from before. This calls for polishing which liquid wax or paste wax can fix.
If the damage on the furniture isn’t too bad, a DIY repair is worth trying. However, spot refinishing isn’t always easy or successful. It’s best to leave the task to an expert.
Pros and Cons of Professional Sofa Cleaning
When considering the cost, DIY sofa cleaning is the option that outweighs professional services. Besides preparing cleaning solutions with ingredients you already have in your house, you can also rent tools and equipment to make your DIY cleaning more professional. However, cleaning the upholstery yourself requires a lot of time and energy that you may simply not have. With their expertise, professional cleaners can take care of a heavy cleaning process in 2 to 3 hours and free up time for you to run other errands or simply rest.
The truth is that no matter how thoroughly you clean, even with rented equipment, the chances are that the results won’t be as good as professional cleaners. A professional cleaning team can clean in more detail compared to DIY cleaning. You can actually end up doing more damage to your sofa if you don’t know how to handle them correctly.
Professional cleaners can also remove heavy stains, which a DIY approach often can’t handle because of the equipment and machinery they have. Adopting a DIY approach for removing heaving stains from heavy fabrics might not get you substantial results and can even worsen the situation.
Clean upholstery doesn’t only improve your home’s looks but also helps at improving health and safety and increases the lifespan of your furniture. You need to call for professional cleaning services in some situations. Still, there are undoubtedly many in which you can take care of the problem yourself, at least temporarily.