10 Common Upholstery Cleaning Mistakes
To DIY or not to DIY?
These days, everyone is into DIY. From handmade gifts to household fixes, there is just something truly rewarding about getting your hands dirty. However, when it comes to services like carpet and upholstery cleaning, you might end up causing more harm than good should you decided to use a tutorial to get the job done. This is because to get it done right you need a perfect understanding of not only the techniques and equipment but also the fabric you are working with. So if you do not know what you are doing you could make a lot of mistakes that your furniture and ultimately you will have to pay for.
So what could possibly go wrong?
10 rookie upholstery cleaning mistakes
- Too much water
More water does not necessarily mean a cleaner couch. In fact, using a lot of water when cleaning upholstery may end up causing lasting damage. First off, water saturation requires significantly longer for adequate drying not only of the fibre but also of the padding underneath. Secondly, some fabrics are sensitive to water and may actually end up getting damaged as a result of the soaking. A great example here is the grass-fibre group including sisal upholstery.
- Too much detergent
What is the problem with using too much soap? Doesn’t it just make sure that you get every last one of the dirt particles?
As with water, when it comes to upholstery cleaning less is actually more. So using a little more detergent will not make your job easier. In fact, it will make the work harder than it needed to be in the first place. This is because when a lot of soap is used, a lot of water is needed to rinse it all out. You will therefore either end up with a soapy couch or a wet one.
- Scrubbing stain spots
Oops! You accidentally spilled your drink or your baby’s food on the couch. And it is staining before your very eyes. Do not panic and start to scrub it out. If anything this just makes the situation a whole lot worse. Scrubbing works against you as it spreads the pigments further on the upholstery.
Instead, get some paper towels or an absorbent cloth and gently blot as much of the mess as you can especially with liquid spills. Then when you are done with that make sure to schedule a professional cleaning session to get it permanently taken care off before it becomes a living nightmare.
- Rough scrubbing in general
Another common DIY cleaning mistake is scrubbing the fabric too hard. Some fabrics may be able to survive the coarse strokes. However, most of them literally crumble under the pressure. They become weaker and may even start to come loose. So you will have a clean couch but you will also have a bunch of fibres sticking out and no one wants to see that. Something else that could go wrong here is that you could end up releasing the fabric dye with the rough scrubbing which causes fading.
- Not understanding the specific fabric needs
Every fabric type used in upholstery is unique and has very special needs. Some need steam cleaning, others just need a light wipe while others can only handle vacuuming. Not understanding what your fabric needs is one of the main causes of damage with DIY upholstery cleaning. Unfortunately for DIY enthusiasts, this is something that no number of online tutorials will ever fully prepare you for.
- Using the wrong vacuum attachment
What is so hard about vacuuming a couch?
Trust me, it is not as easy as it seems. You may end up using your time and energy vacuuming and get absolutely nothing done. This is because a lot of people do not know the correct vacuum attachment to use for upholstery. The type depends on the type of material as well as design elements such as gathers and button detailing.
- Using bleach
When dealing with stubborn stains, you may be tempted to just douse the spot with bleach and have the mess out of your hair. The good news is that in most cases the bleach will actually get the stain off your upholstery. The bad news is that it will also remove your fabric’s dye. So where you had an unsightly red wine stain you will now have a conspicuous discoloured one. And I don’t know about you but both suck just about the same.
- Underestimating water damage
Water damage is something very serious when it comes to furniture and upholstery. This is because the situation tends to get a lot worse much faster than most people anticipate. What is a harmless little spot today will be a colony of mould in a few weeks. It takes a trained professional to identify the risk and deal with it efficiently.
- Not letting it dry
Drying is no one’s favourite part of upholstery cleaning. It takes a really long time and sometimes all you want is your couch back indoors so you can lounge and catch a movie. As a result, one of the most common mistakes made when cleaning upholstery is rushing the drying process. You will be left with a damp or even fully wet couch and this comes with problems like funky odours or even water damage.
- Not calling the professionals
Finally, the biggest problem is not calling professional upholstery cleaners to do it in the first place. This is actually the best way to prevent all these problems. They understand your upholstery and all its needs and will ensure that your furniture gets the very best quality treatment there is.
Do your couch a solid and get the pros on the job
With all this information in mind, there is no denying the risks of pulling a DIY on your upholstering cleaning. You could end up doing a lot of damage to the furniture that you invested so much in.
Your best move if you think your couch or other upholstery pieces need to be cleaned is getting a professional to do it. They have the technical knowhow to deal with whatever stain or mess you throw at them and they will give you back a perfectly spotless couch for less money than you will inevitably use to fix the DIY backfire.