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Cleaning Furniture and Upholstery

Furniture plays a huge role in our daily lives and can be difficult to keep clean. No matter how hard we work to keep our furniture spotless, there will always be scuffs, spills, and marks that accumulate from family members and pets. Don’t be discouraged! With a few common household products and a little elbow grease, you will be able to keep your furniture looking vibrant as ever!

burgundy microfiber wingback chair with orange throw pillow

Cleaning Microfiber Furniture

People love microfiber furniture for a lot of reasons, but cleaning microfiber isn’t usually one of them. While microfiber is both soft and stylish, the material tends to show stains more than other types of furniture material. Owners of microfiber furniture are often hesitant to scrub or wipe them, but luckily, microfiber can be easier to clean than some fabrics like leather! If you find stains on your microfiber furniture from food or ink, you just need a few common household items and you’re ready to start cleaning microfiber furniture!

The supplies you’ll need:
A spray bottle
A white bristled brush (white helps prevent color transfer)
A white sponge
Rubbing alcohol

  1. Fill the spray bottle with rubbing alcohol. Spray the rubbing alcohol over the entire stained area, saturating it pretty heavily.
  2. After the stained area is fairly damp, scrub the area with your sponge. If the sponge gets dirty, switch it out for a clean sponge so the dirt doesn’t start transferring back into the couch.
  3. Leave the damp areas to dry completely, and then take your bristled brush over the places you’ve just cleaned. The area might feel hard to the touch, so use a swirling motion to fluff the fibers back up.

A few helpful hints:

While the smell of alcohol will quickly go away, it might help to leave your window open while cleaning microfiber furniture.

Once a month, take a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol, a sponge, and a brush and do a spot check. This will keep gross stains from building up over a long period of time, and will keep your microfiber furniture looking like new!

While you want to saturate the stained area, make sure not to over-soak it or the rubbing alcohol will take much longer to dry.

Cleaning Chenille Furniture

Chenille furniture is liked for its elegant and versatile look. Chenille is a very durable material, however, it is not the easiest to clean or maintain. Chenille tends to shrink when it gets wet, so owners must use different techniques to care for this kind of furniture. But don’t be alarmed! With a few simple ingredients and the occasional vacuuming, this furniture will look as clean and stylish as ever!

The supplies you’ll need:

A cup of cold water
dye-free liquid soap or detergent
2 white cloths (white helps prevent color transfer)

  1. Add a little bit of detergent to the cup of cold water and mix them together.
  2. Dip a white cloth into the mixture and then dab it onto the stains, being careful not to rub too harshly.
  3. Once the stains are removed, take a clean damp cloth and dab it on the area to remove excess detergent.
  4. Let the furniture air dry.

Quick Tip: To keep your chenille furniture looking great all the time, try to vacuum it regularly to keep dust and dirt from penetrating the material.

A person's hand using a yellow cloth to clean a brown leather sofa.
brown sofa cleaning

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Cleaning leather furniture can be a nerve-wracking idea. After all, you can’t soak it in too much water or use harsh cleaning chemicals. But, with the right common household ingredients, you can keep your leather furniture in like-new condition. Keep a collection of soft rags handy and you’ll be ready to tackle most stains, scratches, or general dinginess. And remember–try to keep leather furniture out of direct sunlight to prevent drying and cracking!

Getting scratches off of leather furniture

Remove scratches by dipping a soft cloth in olive oil and rubbing the cloth in firm circles over the scratches. Wipe off the remaining olive oil with a paper towel and your leather couch should look as good as new!

Cleaning leather furniture with a moisturizing soap

When it comes to a  good, general cleaning, you can’t go wrong with a common drugstore moisturizing soap. Lather it up on a dishcloth and rub it on the leather furniture. When cleaning leather furniture, it’s important not to over-wet the cloth or the furniture. Use another soft cloth to buff away the soap.

Nourishing leather for a healthy shine

If your leather furniture is looking a little worn, create a mixture of one-part vinegar with two parts linseed oil. Shake or mix it together, and apply it to the entire furniture piece with a soft cloth; apply in a circular motion. After you’ve rubbed the mixture in, let it sit for about 10 minutes before you buff it with another soft cloth to make it shine. The leather will look like a brand new piece of furniture!

Removing dark stains with rubbing alcohol

If you get ink or other dark stains on your leather couch, soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently rub it over the stain. Use a blow dryer to dry the area. If the stain still remains after you’ve finished drying, use a non-gel, non-oily cuticle remover–apply it to the stain and leave it to sit overnight. Wipe it off with a damp cloth in the morning.

Comments (16)

It works quite well for me

It works very well for me

I really appreciate your tip to not oversoak any of your furniture when you are cleaning it. My wife and I have been thinking of getting a new house, and we want to make sure that our furniture looks good for all of the house parties that we plan on throwing. I will be sure to tell my wife that we should try and avoid oversoaking our furniture when we clean it!

When it comes to upholstered furniture, nothing is more important than the type of fabric that is chosen to cover it. In short, upholstery fabric makes a direct statement about a home and its owners in the way few other decorating choices can.

Wow, I never knew that using olive oil could help remove scratches from leather furniture! I’ve had a leather couch for years that’s been collecting more and more scratches. I’ll be sure to try this out!

Thanks Ginny! I’ve never tried vinegar and linseed oil on leather, but our couch is in need of a shine. I’ll give it a try this weekend. Thanks for the tips!

I want to make sure that my furniture is taken care of. It makes sense that I would need to take special care when cleaning upholstery! I’ll be sure to use the proper method for each kind of material.

I have always used fresh walnuts to clean my wood furniture. I crack open the nut and rub it into any cracks on wooden tables or chairs. The oil does wonders at fading the scratches.

Thank you so much for sharing this post about cleaning furniture and upholstery! I have a dog who is rather rambunctious and he jumps on the furniture frequently. This leaves me with paw prints on my couch arms and this post has been very helpful for me.

Very good posting. it’s nice. after long days i saw this kind of post. thanks for posting

I agree that people love microfiber furniture. More specifically you said that cleaning microfiber usually isn’t one of the perks. I think it’s a good idea to choose furniture that has a removable cover so that it can be washed ahead of time.

Great cleaning tips! The house needs a good deep clean every now and then. Thanks for sharing!

That’s an interesting tip about a mixture of one-part vinegar with two parts linseed oil. I didn’t know you could shine leather with chemicals sitting around your house. I’ll have to try that sometime.

My husband and I just bought new, leather furniture. We are worried about keeping it clean and in the best condition possible. I like how you share how to get scratches off leather furniture by dipping a soft cloth in olive oil and rubbing the cloth in firm circles over the scratches. We will have to keep this tip in mind next time our kids accidentally scratch the furniture.

These are great cleaning tips. You can’t forget the inside of your house during spring cleaning. Thanks for the reminder.

I have cleaned microfiber furniture using these tips before, works great. I do have some leather furniture in my home that I need to liven up, but I wasn’t sure how. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

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