Most people tend to overlook the textured and piled fabrics that cover upholstered couches and chairs. These fabrics, too, are dust traps. Upholstery should be vacuumed weekly to keep it bright and fresh-looking and at least once a year it should be shampooed or even dry cleaned.
In just four easy steps you´ll have your couch or chair looking like new!
Step 1: Preparing the cleaning solution
Mix 1 gallon of lukewarm water with 1 tablespoon of white powdered laundry detergent and 1 teaspoon of household ammonia or white vineger. Pour a small amount of the detergent mixture into a bucket; then, using an ordinary kitchen egg beater or an electric mixer, whip the ingredients into a stiff foam; there should be little or no liquid at the bottom of the bicket. Alternately, use an electric blender to create the foam.
Test the cleaning solution on an inconspicious area of the upholstery.
Step 2: Wiping out light soil
Fold a clean white terry towel into a convenient working size, and dip it lightly into the foam. Wring it thoroughly, until no more moisture can be squeezed out. Wipe one complete panel of the upholstery with firm, parallel strokes, either hroizontal or vertical; overlap the strokes slightly. Occasionally dip the towel into the foam to recharge it, each time wringing it out. As soon as the working surface of the towel appears dirty, refold it to expose a clean section. As the foam begins to dissolve, whip it again.
Repeat the entire process, going over the panel in the opposite direction. Then remove the foam by wiping the entire panel with a clean terry towel moistened in fresh water and wrung dry. Work in parallel strokes in the original direction; rinse the towel often, and each time wring it dry.
Step 3: Brushing out heavy soil
Immerse a soft-bristled nylon scrub brush in boiling water for a few seconds to soften the bristles. Blot dry with a clean terry towel. Dip the brush in the foam mixture, and shake most of the foam back into the bucket. Using light pressure, scrub the upholstery in a circular pattern, working over about a square foot at one time. Repeat, scrubbing adjacent areas; as you work, overlap the areas slightly. Recharge the brush with foam as necessary, and when the bristles begin to stiffen, immerse them again in boiling water. If the foam begins to dissolve, rewhip it. Remove the foam with a clean terry-cloth towel moistened in fresh water.
Step 4: Restoring the nap
When the fabric has dried completely, run your hand back and forth to determine the direction of the nap. Then, using a clean, dry terry towel, raise the nap by wiping the fabric in the appropriate direction. For best results, flattern you hand, with fingers extended, and stretch the towel across the palm, holding the ends taut with your free hand. Work in smooth, overlapping strokes until the original appearance is restored.
Allow yourself several hours to shampoo a chair, a full day or more for a couch, but do not expect to do the whole job at once. Cleaning large pieces of furniture can be time consuming and an arm-wearying process but in the end you will be glad and proud of your master piece.