If you‘re serious about upholstery cleaning, then you’re going to need to invest some money in the right products and/pr equipment.  You’re also going to need to invest your time learning how to use them properly.  Realistically, the more you invest, the better results you are going to get.  That said, there are definitely options you can use yourself at home.  Here are five of them.

General guidance

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance regarding what products to use on your upholstery and how to use them.  If you use chemical cleaners, always follow the instructions for use and wear personal protective equipment as necessary.  Remember that chemical cleaners meant for use by professionals can be much stronger than the cleaners sold in regular household stores.

Dry cleaning

With dry cleaning, you spread a cleaning powder over the upholstery you want to clean.  Depending on the cleaner, you may just leave it to sink in naturally or you may need to rub it in.  Once it has done its work, you clean it off, usually with a vacuum cleaner.  You can dry clean upholstery with homemade upholstery cleaner or with a chemical upholstery cleaner. 

The big advantage of dry cleaning is that it is dry.  That means you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get the water out of your upholstery after cleaning it.  The big disadvantage of dry cleaning is that it only really works on horizontal surfaces like carpets and seat cushions.  Dry cleaners just fall off vertical surfaces.

Chemical cleaning

Chemical cleaning is very similar to dry cleaning (with chemical-based cleaners).  The difference is that chemical upholstery cleaners have a consistency similar to dry shampoo.  This means they can be sprayed.  It also means that chemical cleaners will adhere to vertical surfaces.

Generally, they dry as they work so when they are done you can just remove them in the same way as you would a dry cleaner.  You may need to give your upholstery a little time to air dry before you use it.  This is, however, generally minimal.

Foam cleaning

Foam cleaning tends to be used more to spot-clean stains than for general upholstery cleaning.  It does clean well but you usually need to rub it in.  Doing this can be time-consuming and tedious, hence the fact that foam is generally used for small areas.

The foam dries as it works so it can be removed in the same way as dry and chemical cleaners.  You may need to allow a little extra time for your upholstery to dry.  That said, it’s virtually impossible to get your upholstery really wet with foam so your upholstery should dry very quickly.

Steam cleaning

Steam cleans just about anything effectively and surprisingly gently.  Its molecules are small enough to get deep into the fibres and it refreshes them as it works.  Regular household steamers can do a great job on upholstery.  Professional steamers do an even better one.  The only issue with steam cleaning is that it generally does require some drying time. 

Carbonation cleaning

If you’re thinking that carbonation sounds like something to do with fizzy drinks, you’re actually on the right links.  Carbonation cleaning basically uses bubbles to get deep down into the fibres of the fabric.  They dissolve dirt and stains and then raise the residue to the surface where it can be easily removed.

At present, the equipment and products needed for carbonation cleaning mean that it’s really only an option if you employ professional upholstery cleaners.