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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  1. It's important to have steam cleaning equipment that makes it easier for you to clean upholstery resulting in a less complicated process. So choosing the right cleaning device is just as important as the tips you're going to follow. We will provide suggestions later.

    Upholstery Cleaning Melbourne | Upholstery Cleaning Sunshine Coast

  2. It would be a nice change if I get to do upholstery, cleaning it, repairing it all by myself. I think that's a nice thing to do next year.

  3. The most difficult part in cleaning up upholstery is drying it. You’d think it has already dried up, but when you come and seat on it, you’ll realize it’s not. Leaving it under the sun would actually ruin the softness of the foam and the texture of the fabric. My suggestion would be to try and use a vacuum cleaner to ease the drying period. It’s really effective!

    Brad Wike


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