DIY Upholstery Cleaning

I finally feel like I am getting back into the swing of some house projects. Finally.  Good thing because I had several in the works, and several that are dependent on other projects. Handy Hubby and I spent about 15 minutes discussing a few things that I want him to build upstairs, and we talked about a few bigger projects on the main floor. In the mean time, I wanted to knock-out a few small projects to get me inspired and to get our house back to "normal" until the next project hits.

Honestly, I never thought I would DIY cleaning my upholstery but here I am. I guess I figured it was too risky or I would screw it up or something. This blue velvet wingback chair inspired me to take the plunge and give it a try.  This chair was my grandmother's and every time I look I at it I think of her. She had it even in her bedroom in her last apartment.  I'm planning to use it our bedroom which already has a chair which I'll use in our basement eventually.  Unfortunately it has been jammed in an awkward corner of our living room for about 3 months, so something had to change...quickly.

This wingback is really good quality (Henredon) but was definitely in need of a good cleaning, so I did some web research and found this.  I found similar advice on other sites so I decided to give it a shot. At the very least, it would get the dust and light dirt out, right?

I started by making the soap foam using some Mrs. Meyers dish soap (which I LOVE) and  a little bit of old store brand fabric hand washing soap I had hanging around the laundry room. Total, it was less than 1/8 of a cup of soap. I added about 3/4 of a cup of water and whipped it up with my stand mixer. It's pretty amazing after only a minute or two!  From this...
To this!

I then grabbed some tools - spatula, old toothbrush, a white t-shirt rag, and old towel and went to work.  I loaded the spatula with soap suds and then scrubbed with the toothbrush on the grimiest parts.

I did the chair in sections (about 8"x8") starting at the top and working down. The suds and toothbrush definitely lifted some grungy mystery stains. I then blotted up the residue with the old t-shirt slightly dampened. I ended up rinsing the t-shirt about halfway through because it was looking pretty gross itself - proof it was working I guess!

When the suds in the bowl started to look less fluffy and more watery, I simply popped them back in the mixer for another whirl. Worked like a charm.

Overall, I think it was worth the effort - it took about an hour to do the whole project including mixing the suds. I can definitely see an improvement although not perfect by any means.

A little hard to tell in this photo, but it's definitely enough to keep me from calling in a professional until I have other carpets and furniture that need extra TLC.

Here's the back which is upholstered in a different fabric which is really pretty actually. I think the colors will work well in our room.

Less than 2 weeks until my oldest goes to kindergarten. I'm getting teary already!!

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