How to Care for Upholstered Furniture

Your upholstered furniture can deal with some pretty serious wear and tear over its lifetime. From the kids and pets jumping on the upholstery to spills and scratches, this wear and tear can quickly take its toll.

Furniture upholstery can be tricky to clean and difficult to fix. But the good news is that with a little proactive care and maintenance, you can keep your upholstery looking great without having to pay for cleaning and repairs. Also you can check some kinds of materials available for upholstering furniture, helping you make your decision for what fabric to choose.

And the best way to do this is with a regular furniture care routine.

Why do I need an upholstery care routine?

By regularly maintaining and cleaning any upholstery, you can expect the upholstery to last much longer and stay looking great. You can spot issues early and prevent other problems from developing.

Regular cleaning and care will ensure the furniture stays comfortable to use. The pile will stay soft and no unwanted smells will linger.

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So what should your routine look like?


Start your routine by plumping, turning and rearranging seat cushions, like on lounges and sofas. This helps stop any area of the cushions showing more wear than others.

To assist with this, try to avoid sitting in the same spot on a chair or sofa whenever you use it. Otherwise, you can quickly end up with a dent or sag in the cushion that can be difficult to remove. The fabric in this area will also wear more quickly.

Next, draw the blinds on any nearby windows and keep heaters away from upholstery. Heat and sunlight can fade the fabric or even cause it to start to rot.

Try and minimise daily wear by avoiding accidents where possible. Have a rule about no food or drink on the furniture and have separate furniture for kids and pets.

If accidents do happen, clean up any stains immediately. Dab at the stain with a dry cloth. If this doesn’t work, follow the fabric care instructions from the manufacturer.

You can also minimise daily wear and tear by making an effort to not snag the fabric. Avoid wearing clothing with buckles and studs. Rings can also catch on fabric. If you have a cat, encourage it to use a scratching post rather than the furniture. Using furniture covers on high-impact spots, like armrests, can help.


Using an upholstery attachment, vacuum your furniture once a week. Make sure you go in the direction of the pile to avoid damaging the fabric. Don’t forget to get into nooks and crannies, otherwise you may end up with a build-up of dust, dirt and even mould.

To get rid of pet hair, use a clothes brush or lint remover. If there’s a particularly doggy smell or another unpleasant aroma lingering on the fabric, sprinkle some bicarbonate soda on the fabric in the evening. In the morning, the bicarbonate soda will have sucked up the odour and you can vacuum it all up.

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To get the most out of your upholstery, you should have it professionally cleaned once a year. Ensure the cleaning service refers to the manufacturer’s instructions for what methods are suitable for the fabric.

To get the most out of any upholstery, it’s important to take care of it every day. Simple things like turning cushions and vacuuming are easy tasks that can be incorporated into regular cleaning routines.

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Patrick Navascues

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