Cleaning upholstery regularly is essential to keeping your home organized and free from allergens like dust mites that may trigger allergic reactions in both humans and pets. These microscopic creatures can lead to asthma attacks.
Make your own natural and chemical-free cleaner using white vinegar mixed with some dish soap in a spray bottle, then lightly spray fabric surfaces before allowing them to sit for several minutes before repeating this step.
Table of Contents
White Vinegar and Dish Soap
Whenever time is of the essence and you need to clean upholstery quickly and affordably, try this easy-to-make homemade cleaner recipe. With only five ingredients required and no risk of an allergic reaction from its use, this solution may just save money over commercial cleaners while being much safer for both you and your pets!
Combine white vinegar, liquid dish soap and water in a spray bottle to use on stained surfaces of furniture. Rub gently until the stain lifts with a soft cloth then use another clean cloth to wipe away any remaining soapy residue.
Baking soda paste can also help revive fabric upholstery by naturally deodorizing it and absorbing oils that discolor it. To create this paste, mix some baking soda in a bowl with water until it forms a thick consistency; apply directly onto upholstery stain spots, wait a few minutes, then wipe clean using a clean lint-free cloth.
This all-purpose cleaner is great for most types of fabric upholstery and easy to make, too. Simply combine equal parts rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle and shake well – the rubbing alcohol will dissolve most stains while white vinegar and dish soap will remove any leftover grime. If you want to add fragrance with just a drop or two of essential oil.
Not only is this solution an efficient fabric upholstery cleaner, it’s also great at treating set-in stains on cotton, linen and blended fiber fabrics like outdoor fabric. Plus it requires only two ingredients to make! Hydrogen peroxide and dish soap.
Before beginning to clean your upholstered furniture, locate and read its care tag to ascertain what type of cleaner will best suit its fabric. It will indicate whether it is W (water-based), S (synthetics only) or WS (water and solvent), along with what kind of cleaning solution to use on it.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap
If you prefer more natural solutions or are concerned with chemicals in commercial cleaners, an inexpensive homemade upholstery cleaner made of water and dish soap might be just what’s needed to get your upholstery clean. This solution is gentle enough for cotton, linen and blended fiber upholstery as well as vinyl and faux leather upholstery, including vinyl and faux leather upholstery. To create this natural cleaning product combine one-half cup distilled white vinegar and teaspoon Castile liquid soap in one cup of warm water in a spray bottle; spray this mixture onto fabric surfaces until lightly saturated then allow dwell for minute or two before applying brush/rag until brightened surfaces surface before spraying it out using water to rinse it and use shop vac for quick dryup after.
Before using cleaner, first vacuum the furniture using either an indoor or shop vacuum to capture food crumbs, dust and pet hair that have become embedded into its upholstery. This will help get rid of most surface dirt while you can also use a lint roller to access any deeper pockets of dirt that have lodged themselves within its fibers.
Most commercial upholstery cleaners and stain removers contain solvents or surfactants to help water penetrate dirt particles and wash them away, but this DIY recipe uses hydrogen peroxide instead. This makes it safer for W and W/S labeled fabrics; however, always perform a spot test to check colorfastness or shrinkage before proceeding.
This cleaner also reduces the need for rinsing, which is key in avoiding soap residue build-up on fabric which attracts dirt and causes musty odor. It works particularly well on oil-based stains such as cooking grease or blood. To create this formula, combine equal parts Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and apply directly onto stained areas on upholstery; allow to sit for several minutes before using a clean, lint-free cloth or brush to scrub it clean.
Rubbing Alcohol and White Vinegar
This simple, inexpensive, and effective cleaner for general upholstery cleaning can be easily made at home using equal parts rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. Spray the solution onto fabric until lightly saturated before scrubbing with a brush or rag gently for several minutes before rinsing with water and blotting dry afterwards. If the fabric is particularly dirty, more vigorous scrubbing may be required until its appearance improves; repeat this process several times until fabric appears clean again.
Rubbing alcohol is a versatile solvent that can dissolve a wide variety of substances, such as oils and fats, while vinegar serves as a mild acid that breaks down basic soils while neutralizing any odor-causing particles. Dishwashing detergent cuts through spills, dirt, grease and grime effectively for quick results – an inexpensive and eco-friendly cleaning method suitable for most fabric types, though testing should first be conducted in an inconspicuous area to determine colorfastness before use.
Before using any cleaning solutions on your upholstered furniture, always read its care tag (typically located under a cushion or at the base of an upholstered piece) for a code that indicates if water-based cleaners can be used or dry cleaning is required. Since 1969 all furniture sold in the US must come equipped with such tags indicating its intended method of care; an W label indicates water-based cleaning while an S label indicates dry cleaning only.
If you notice a stain on your upholstered furniture, baking soda may help remove it before resorting to commercial or homemade cleaning solutions. To create a baking soda paste, mix a cup of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste; apply to stain and let sit for half an hour before vacuuming off residue if necessary – repeat if necessary in affected area for best results. Alternatively, try cleaning using vinegar and club soda as an effective cleaning alternative instead.
Water and Dish Soap
Water and dish soap make an effective upholstery cleaner, as this combination is gentle on any fabric such as microfiber and suede, yet effective against most stains. Furthermore, this solution works very well at eliminating pet urine odors from couches by lifting stains without pushing them deeper into cushion or fill material beneath fabric fabric layers.
Pour four cups of warm water into a large bowl or bucket and stir in one-fourth cup of dishwashing liquid to create plenty of suds. Whisk or hand mop this concoction, using a clean sponge or brush, until lots of foam forms. Scrub gently across furniture using foaming cleaner scrubbing gently away dirt and stains with your clean sponge or brush; be careful not to soak fabric; it must dry quickly so as to prevent fading and pilling of fabric fibers.
As the final step of cleaning an upholstery stain, using a dry and lint-free cloth to blot the area can help remove any remaining moisture, while simultaneously drawing off dye from the upholstery fabric. Blotting each section several times to make sure all traces of staining have been eliminated from each section is recommended to ensure a thorough removal process.
Though commercial chemical cleaners can help remove stubborn stains, they’re sometimes too harsh for your household needs. Homemade cleaning solutions are safer for children, pets, and the environment than chemical products and cost much less to make yourself. Plus, homemade cleaners let you avoid their toxins which may be hazardous to respiratory health in other ways.
If you are concerned that the cleaning method you have selected will harm the fabric of your upholstery furniture, it is wise to first conduct a test on an inconspicuous area before trying it on all of it. Furthermore, it would be advisable to choose an outdoor spot as some chemicals may leave behind an unpleasant odor for some time after they have been applied.
Once you know which homemade upholstery cleaner you prefer, experiment with mixing several solutions together. Add essential oil for a boost of fragrance; citrus scents offer invigorating benefits as well as natural disinfectant properties.