What is Upholstery Cleaning

    upholstery cleaning

    What is Upholstery?

    Upholstery refers to the textile material used for covering different furniture items, including chairs, couches, Ottomans, etc. It is made of curtain-like fabric and helps to make the seating and usage comfortable. However, it can develop stains and become dirty due to accumulated dust, which requires regular cleaning to maintain its condition and have a healthy environment in your property, such as your home, office, etc.

    This guide includes types of upholstery fabric, causes due to which upholstery becomes dirty, and different aspects of professional upholstery cleaning, including the procedure, benefits, cost, and cleaning methods. You can also get information about the factors to consider while choosing a professional upholstery cleaning company and essential factors to consider for stain removal.

    Moreover, this article also provides insights about common upholstery cleaning mistakes to avoid and expert tips which help keep your upholstery clean to ensure its maintenance.

    Types of Upholstery Fabric

    The upholstery fabric can be of any type, including:

    • Natural
    • Synthetic
    • Semi-Synthetic

    The professionals carefully select the cleaning method for each type of upholstery fabric to get the most effective and desired results.

    Causes of Dirty Upholstery

    Despite all the care and cleaning, upholstery furniture items still become dirty over time due to:

    • Mould
    • Pet Hair
    • Moisture
    • Bed Bugs
    • Food Spills
    • Skin Flakes
    • Human Hair etc.
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    Professional Upholstery Cleaning

    The Procedure

    Professional upholstery cleaners have all the required knowledge to clean furniture items with great care by using the right tools and detergents in the following steps:

    • They inspect the fabric to check for any damage or stains.
    • They remove all the dust, debris, fibres, and other small particles with a vacuum machine.
    • They use specialised detergents based on the type of upholstery fabric to treat all stains.
    • They deep clean the upholstery based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
    • They coat the upholstery fabric with an extra protective layer to prevent dirt accumulation and prolong the fabric’s life.

    The Benefits

    With professional upholstery cleaning, you can enjoy these benefits:

    • The experts use specialised detergents and equipment for fabric cleaning to avoid any damage, such as loose threads or fabric thinning etc.
    • You can ensure proper maintenance of your furniture with a fresh and clean appearance.
    • The professionals coat the fibres with specialised solvents to make them capable of withstanding excessive daily usage.
    • The specialists use professional cleaning equipment to extract all the small particles, debris, and dust and make the fabric look and smell fresh.
    • You can ensure to have a clean environment inside your home with thoroughly cleaned upholstery, eliminating different health issues, such as allergies, asthma, etc.
    • The experienced cleaners remove all the minor and stubborn stains by utilising their knowledge and using a suitable detergent for cleaning a particular fabric.
    • You can save your efforts, time, and money by reducing the damage risk to fabric if you attempt to clean it yourself.

    The Cost

    There are various factors which determine the final cost of professional upholstery cleaning services, such as:

    • Fabric Type: Some of the upholstery fabrics require the use of specialised and high-end solvents or detergents, such as leather, wool, etc, requiring higher costs as compared to others.
    • Number of Furniture Items: The final cost is directly related to the number of upholstery furniture items to be cleaned. More number of furniture items means a higher cost required.
    • Size & Type of Furniture: Bigger-sized furniture items require more cleaning cost, and the cost also varies for different types of furniture, such as it will vary for an armchair and a couch.
    • Cleaning Appointment: If you wish to get the upholstery cleaning services at the weekend or during holidays or off-work hours, then you will have to pay higher costs.
    • Special Requirements: If you want the cleaners to add an extra protective layer over your upholstery furniture or you have any other special requirement not included in the list of their services, then it will incur more costs.

    Therefore, you need to provide the complete information to the cleaning company to determine the total cost, which includes:

    • Upholstery Type
    • Number of Furniture Items
    • Additional Work
    • Specialised Services
    • Time & Date

    However, the cost of upholstery cleaning usually varies from £5 to £40 based on the type and number of upholstery furniture.

    upholstery cleaning

    The Cleaning Methods

    Based on the type of upholstery fabric. Required tools and equipment, and your requirements, the following are the two broad types of cleaning methods, which are further categorised:

    • Deep Cleaning

    Deep cleaning helps in the extraction of accumulated grime, dirt and dust from upholstery furniture, making all the fibres clean. This type of cleaning requires the use of specialised detergents and equipment, including:

    1. Steam Cleaning: This technique is also referred to as the hot water extraction method, which involves the use of steam power for cleaning and sanitising the upholstery. This technique is beneficial for removing all the dirt, dust and stains from your furniture items.
    2. Carbonation Cleaning: This cleaning method involves the use of moisture and heat with a specialised machine which releases carbonated bubbles. These bubbles explode on reaching the fibres and extract all the accumulated dirt, leaving behind a protective layer on the fabric, which minimises dirt and grime build-up.
    3. Encapsulation Cleaning: This cleaning technique involves spraying chemically safe solutions of upholstery furniture with the use of hands. These solutions break the bond of fibres and dirt, after which the furniture items are vacuumed to leave them thoroughly cleaned.
    • Surface Cleaning

    The surface cleaning methods only treat the upholstery furniture items’ outer layer by extracting the superficial dirt and dust. These methods include:

    • Foam Cleaning: This method involves the application of a foaming shampoo on upholstery furniture, followed by surface vacuuming. This technique requires little water or specialist equipment and is not effective for deep cleaning.
    • Dry Cleaning: This cleaning technique only requires a vacuum cleaner. A chemical powder is sprinkled all over the upholstery, which is then rubbed or left over the furniture for some time. After some time, the furniture items are vacuum-cleaned to remove the superficial dust.
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    Choosing Professional Upholstery Cleaners – Factors to Consider

    You should invest your time in researching a reputable and professional company for upholstery cleaning. This process requires you to consider several factors, such as:


    You should critically notice the design and appearance of the company’s website and prefer to hire upholstery cleaners who have user-friendly websites. A good website is well-organised, contains high-quality images, provides all essential information, and depicts past work and customer reviews are available. A reliable company also displays information about the cleaning tools and detergent used by them.


    You should scroll and explore the complete website of upholstery cleaners to confirm there are no additional costs or hidden charges. After getting information from their respective website, you should also call them to confirm their pricing policy. It will give you a clear picture of the expense required for cleaning a particular number and type of furniture items.

    You should then compare the price structure of different companies and prefer to hire one with a middle-range pricing structure. In this way, you can avoid paying unnecessary costs and get quality services as well.


    Customer reviews speak about the company’s reputation and work quality. Therefore, you should read the reviews of past clients on the company’s website to confirm the authentication and quality of services being provided.


    You should explore and inquire the company about its team members’ qualifications, including certifications and accreditations. A reputable and professional upholstery cleaning company should have a team of certified and accredited cleaners with years of experience working in the industry.

    Customer Service

    Senses never lie. Therefore, you should always believe in your senses when you interact with the upholstery cleaning company. A professional company always provides detailed information about their services and transparent pricing structures. Moreover, the specialists communicate in a friendly and polite manner to answer all your queries and resolve your concerns.

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    Factors to Consider for DIY Stains Removal from Upholstery

    Stain removal requires you to consider these different factors to select the best cleaning method:

    • Stain Age
    • Stain Type
    • Required Detergent Type

    Common Upholstery Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

    The following are some of the common upholstery cleaning mistakes which should be avoided to get the effective results:

    • Labels’ Check: You should always check the label on your upholstery furniture to determine the type of recommended cleaning product which can be used safely, saving your furniture from expensive damage.
    • Water Usage: You should never use water to clean all types of upholstery fabrics, and always check for the manufacturer’s guidelines in this regard. In this way, you can save your furniture from potential damage, moisture build-up, mould and mildew growth, etc.
    • Wrong Cleaning Products: You should only use the recommended cleaning products for particular upholstery types, such as using lemon juice or vinegar and strong chemicals to clean leather upholstery and cotton or silk upholstery, respectively.
    • Patch Test: It is recommended by the experts to always perform a patch test before applying any cleaning product to your upholstery. For this purpose, you should rub a small quantity of cleaning product on a hidden patch of your furniture item to confirm there is no reaction or discolouration of the fabric.
    • Wrong Cleaning Tools: It is crucial to use the appropriate cleaning tools to avoid potential fabric damage. Therefore, you should always use microfiber cloths and soft sponges, avoiding the use of stiff bristles’ brushes, etc.
    • Inappropriate Cleaning Method: It is essential to use the appropriate cleaning method for a particular type of upholstery. You should never scrub the upholstery excessively, as it can damage the fabric. It would be best if you always blotted the stain rather than rubbing it, and always remember to vacuum the upholstery thoroughly to remove all the dirt and dust.

    Expert Tips for Effective Upholstery Cleaning & Maintenance

    The following are some of the expert tips gathered from different professionals to ensure effective upholstery cleaning and maintenance:

    • You should brush the upholstery items once or twice per week to avoid dust settlement.
    • You should vacuum your upholstery every week to prevent dirt accumulation over time.
    • You should act immediately to clean the spills to avoid stain formation.
    • You should act fast by applying repellents that prevent moisture absorption in case of spills.
    • You should regularly flip the upholstery covers and change the cushions’ position to prevent wear and tear and extend their life span.
    • You should ensure that upholstery items are not exposed to direct sunlight for a long time to avoid discolouration issues.
    • You should keep the room adequately ventilated to avoid smell absorption in upholstery fabrics.
    • You should all professional cleaners to get the upholstery items deep cleaned to remove stubborn and old stains with the help of specialised tools and equipment.

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