Upholstery Care Tips

Upon Delivery of New Upholstered Furniture

Upon initially unwrapping your furniture, the tight packaging may have caused marks and creasing on your fabric or leather but these will soon disappear in a warm room. This is often most pronounced on the corners of soft back cushions and the front of arm pads, and can be easily recovered by plumping and manipulating the soft fibre filling. Also evenly smooth the fabric / leather with your hands. The packaging may also leave a film of dust on your furniture, which can be simply cleaned away using a clean white cloth.

If you have wooden floors, use a protective felt on the feet of your new furniture to prevent scratching. Always ask someone to help you lift and carry it, never drag it, as this can cause damage.

Once the packaging has been removed, inspect your new furniture.  Make sure you are satisfied before the delivery team leaves your home.

There are four basic steps to protect your investment:

  1. Apply Stain protector.
  2. Vacuum Regularly.
  3. Remove spills immediately.
  4. Get professionally  cleaned once a year.


1. Stain Protector

We highly recommend stain proofing on all upholstery fabrics/leather, as although it will not make them invincible it will lessen the staining caused by everyday spills. It is still very important that you act quickly to remove spills and stains on your upholstery fabric/leather even if they do have a stain protective treatment. Stain proofing should always be applied by a professional, so please contact our helpline on 01582 882620 or email us at info@bedscarpetcleaners.co.uk.
It may be necessary to apply several layers to ensure the optimum level of protection is achieved.

2. Vacuum & Brushing

Vacuuming on a weekly basis helps to eliminate dirt before it becomes embedded in the fibres. A light brushing with a soft bristled brush on a fabric suite or a clean duster on a leather suite is also helpful to remove dirt.

3. Spillages / spot cleaning

• Always ensure spots & stains are cleaned as quickly as possible with a clean folded towel; never rub, but blot gently.
• For fabric always test in an inconspicuous area before applying any spotting product to your upholstery and always use WoolSafe approved spotters. For stains on leather, contact our helpline on 01582 882620 or email us at info@bedscarpetcleaners.co.uk.
• Soaking any fabric can cause the colour to bleed and may well leave a permanent mark, cause shrinkage or damage the filling.
• Prompt action will always improve the likelihood of success.
• Do not try to wash or rub minor spills on fabric as the structure could be affected, maybe causing pilling or shrinkage. Always mop up a spillage working from the outside of it inwards to avoid it spreading.

4. Cleaning

It is recommended that your upholstered furniture is cleaned professionally once a year (once every 6 months with heavy usage) to keep the fabric/leather looking fresh and new.
It is unwise to clean your suite yourself due to the variety of leather types and fabric construction, each of which require specialist cleaning techniques. We would therefore recommend that you contact a professional upholstery cleaner such as ourselves on 01582 882620 or email us at info@bedscarpetcleaning.co.uk where we can recommend the correct system for your fabric.

The effectiveness of any specialist cleaning treatment will depend on the degree of soiling. It is therefore advisable to have this done before dirt becomes too ingrained.
A strict cleaning regime is particularly important on lighter coloured suites. Discolouration can occur through dye transfer from dark clothing, especially denim, and if allowed to build up this can cause an unsightly problem.


Other ways to Protect your upholstery


Loose Cushions

It is recommended you turn cushions on a daily or weekly basis to allow even distribution of wear and tear and avoid developing indentations straight away. Over time some fillings will lose up to 20% of their volume; daily plumping will help them last longer and keep them in shape. It is advisable to change the cushions around where possible, as some seats get more usage than others and this will ensure a more even usage.

Loose threads

Avoid pulling loose threads as this could potentially create a hole in the fabric. Just simply trim them off neatly with sharp scissors.

Prolonged sunlight / heat exposure

Upholstered furniture should not be exposed for long periods to direct sunlight as this may result in the fabric fading and rotting or leather to crack.  Protect it by drawing your curtains or blinds.
In addition, keep your furniture well away from direct air conditioning or heat, e.g., radiators and fires, as it can cause joints to dry out and creaks to develop in the frame. Allow a gap of at least 20-30 cm from such appliances.


Airborne pollutants such as smoke and fumes from cooking can also harm your fabric/leather. This is not easy to avoid, but regular ventilation can help with odour control.


Useful hints

• All furniture should be lifted and moved rather than dragged to prevent any damage to it or the surface on which it stands.
• Because of television your upholstery probably gets more use than ever. Sit in your furniture in the manner in which it has been designed.
• Do not sit on the edges of cushions or the arms as this may cause permanent wear and distortion on the padding and fabric.
• Do not use the arm pads to leaver yourself out of the furniture.
• Rather than having a favourite seat, use your whole suite equally. This will keep your suite looking the same all over and equalise any wear.
• Avoid rubbing your hands along the arms as this is where the first signs of misuse appear.
• Protect your furniture from damaging hair products.
• Please note that animal coats contain quantities of abrasive oils that accelerate wear. Avoid allowing sharp edged toys, buckles, jewellery and domestic pets to snag or pluck the fabric. If these occur, however, carefully cut off the loose ends with scissors or tuck back in, under no circumstances pull them.
• Standing or jumping on upholstered furniture can cause damage to the frame work and fabric/fillings. This will shorten the life span of your furniture.
• Do not allow your children to use your upholstery to demonstrate their gymnastic abilities.

Things to be aware of

Velvets and Chenilles
• Through normal handling, and wear of the furniture, crush marks, creasing and random shading of the fabric surface will occur. This is a desirable expression of the fabric’s comfort and elegance, and in no way affects the durability of the material.
• These fabrics have a tendency to “pill” (shed fabric particles) in the initial months of use, but this will decrease with time. This is a natural feature and will not reduce the quality. Any evidence can be removed with gentle brushing or a debobbler.
Printed Fabrics
• Certain printed fabrics will, after prolonged use, lose some colour density where the surface pattern begins to wear.
• The surface of any fabric will slowly wear, this in itself should not be taken as an indication that the fabric is worn out.
Fringes / Ruching
• If your upholstery is fitted with decorative fringe or ruching, its appearance will be maintained by avoiding damage. It is designed to be decorative and not to withstand scuffing or snagging. Things to guard against are vacuum cleaners, sharp objects such as toys, shoe buckles, and heels, and domestic animals, such as cats.
• Where zips are fitted, this is often to assist in the ease of manufacture and does not necessarily mean that the cover is removable for separate cleaning. Care should be taken when undoing the zip to avoid damage to the “teeth”. Please never force a zip open / closed.
Wood Trims
• Most decorative facings require minimal maintenance and should be occasionally wiped with a damp cloth to remove dust. Do not use spray polishes or solvent cleaners as these can have a damaging effect on both the facings and adjoining fabric / leather.
• Armcap covers will help to protect the lighter weight fabrics on those areas where heavy build-up of soiling is common, and material can be purchased for this purpose.
• It is important to note that denim fabrics will wear upholstery much quicker than any other fabric. Dark coloured jeans can experience “dye transfer” onto your upholstery fabric/leather and the studs / zips can lead to “pulling” of flatweave fabrics and scratching of leather.