Importance Of Cleaning Your Upholstery

Do you need to clean your upholstery? Discover at-home upholstery cleaning tips and when to hire a professional upholstery cleaning service.

Upholstery is prevalent in many homes and offices. Most people have upholstered couches, chairs, and other pieces of furniture. Their vehicles also are upholstered in some way. Yet not everyone thinks to clean their upholstery in the same way they remember to regularly do dishes or vacuum floors. Some people never clean their upholstery at all. Others do so sporadically or for specific reasons, such as before having house guests or after spilling something on the furniture. They have no idea how often their upholstery requires cleaning. 

Maintaining upholstery is important for several reasons, ranging from financial to medical. Yet, you may not know how to approach the process. For example, you can clean it yourself or hire professionals. When cleaning yourself, you might not know which products to use. You may also wonder when you need professional upholstery cleaning help. The answers to those and other questions about upholstery cleaning are provided below.

What is the Difference Between an Upholsterer and an Upholstery Cleaner?

Upholstery is any material used to enhance furniture, specifically by creating surfaces on which to sit or lie down. By that definition, items like springs and webbing are included. However, for cleaning purposes, the most important parts of upholstered furniture pieces are the fabrics. Different types of fabrics often require different cleaning methods.

A professional who creates upholstered furniture or repairs it for a living is called an upholsterer. He or she uses all the above materials to create beautiful, comfortable pieces of furniture. According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 28,020 upholsterers working in the United States, as of May 2021. In contrast, an upholstery cleaner is an individual or company specializing in cleaning existing upholstery. An upholstery cleaner usually focuses on the surface fabric and the other soft materials that make up the piece. In some cases, a company that creates or repairs upholstered furniture also offers cleaning services. However, the two services are often separate.

Why is it Important to Clean Your Upholstery?

One of the biggest reasons you may choose to clean your upholstery is to eliminate visible stains. Such stains are unsightly. They are also potentially embarrassing, especially if you are hosting house guests. You may also want them cleaned quickly if the furniture in question is sentimental to you, such as if it was passed down by family members. Similarly, if your furniture starts emitting embarrassing odors, you may need a professional cleaning service. There are also many other reasons upholstery needs frequent cleaning. For example, cleaning: 

  • Reduces Household Dust

  • Can Eliminate Dust Mites

  • Reduces Airborne Allergens and Improves General Air Quality

  • Reduces Fabric Wear, Increasing the Longevity of Furniture

  • Helps Eliminate Some Sources of Household Mold and Bacteria

  • Gives Furniture a Refreshed and Revitalized Appearance

What Popular Products Can You Use to Clean Your Own Upholstery?

There are two main types of at-home upholstery cleaning products. One category is portable upholstery cleaning devices, which also often work for carpet cleaning. The other category is applied upholstery cleaners, which are typically sprayed onto surfaces, mixed into solutions, incorporated into surface wipes, or applied using gentle tools, such as sponges. When choosing applied upholstery cleaners, choose one designed for the type of upholstery you have, such as leather. Here are some of the top choices in both categories:

How Often Should You Have Upholstery Cleaned?

Determining when to clean upholstery is often difficult. The answer sometimes depends on circumstances. For example, if you spill a substance that stains your furniture and you do not know how to remove the stain, call a professional service. Trying home stain removal remedies on your own could make the issue worse. The sooner you call a professional, the less time the stain must permanently set.

Usage and maintenance also influence when professional upholstery cleaning is required. Daily use furniture like a sofa typically needs at-home cleaning approximately once per one to two weeks. It can also benefit from professional cleaning every six months to one year. Pieces that get less usage, such as formal dining chairs, may need at-home and professional cleaning less often. However, you still cannot neglect them for long periods. Left alone for too long, they can collect dirt, dust, and mold. When in doubt, it is better to clean them too often than not often enough.

What Are Some Top Professional Upholstery Cleaning Services?

Hiring professional upholstery cleaning services is important because professional upholstery cleaners have the experience and tools to get the job done thoroughly. Rather than surface treatments alone, they can perform in-depth deep cleanings. Their steaming tools have more power than small hand-held devices meant for home use. If you are ready to hire a professional, choosing a nationally recognized brand is usually a safe option. Many such companies are marketed as carpet cleaning services, but they also offer upholstery cleaning. Here are some of those top companies:

Another top cleaning and restoration company recognized nationally is SERVPRO. However, it specializes specifically in cleaning up after damage caused by certain events. For instance, you can call SERVPRO to get your upholstery cleaned if it has been damaged by smoke. If you have a leak in your home, SERVPRO may also help you clean and restore your upholstery.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Professional Upholstery Cleaning Service?

The cost to clean upholstery depends on many factors, including the nature of the furniture and the amount of furniture requiring cleaning. For example, a leather sofa can cost up to $500 to clean. Sofas upholstered in other fabrics typically cost less. Similarly, chair cleaning costs vary by fabric type, but they also vary by size. For example, armchair cleaning is usually more expensive than office chair cleaning. When you are ready to hire professional upholstery cleaners, your best option is to request quotes from several companies based on your specific needs.