A Complete Guide To Cleaning Upholstered Chair

Upholstered chairs are popular for adding style and comfort to any living space. However, they can accumulate dirt, stains, and unpleasant odors over time.

Regularly cleaning your upholstered chairs is essential to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning upholstered chair effectively.

Understanding Upholstered Chairs

Upholstered chairs are furniture pieces that feature fabric or leather coverings over the padding or cushioning material. These chairs come in various designs and materials, such as velvet, linen, leather, or microfiber.

The upholstery enhances the chair’s aesthetic appeal and provides comfort and support.

Benefits Of Cleaning Upholstered Chairs

Keeping your upholstered chairs clean offers several benefits. Firstly, it helps maintain their appearance, ensuring they look fresh and inviting.

Secondly, regular cleaning removes allergens, dust mites, and pet dander that can accumulate in the fabric, promoting a healthier indoor environment.

Lastly, cleaning upholstered chairs can extend their lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

Tools And Materials Required

Before you begin cleaning your upholstered chair, gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
  2. Soft-bristle brush or cloth
  3. Mild detergent or upholstery cleaner
  4. Distilled water
  5. Spray bottle
  6. Clean, white microfiber cloths
  7. Sponge or soft brush
  8. Steam cleaner (optional)
  9. Odor neutralizer (optional)

Preparing The Chair For Cleaning

Start by preparing the chair for cleaning. Remove any loose cushions or removable parts. Check the manufacturer’s instructions or tags attached to the chair for specific cleaning recommendations. It’s important to follow these instructions to avoid damaging the upholstery.

Vacuuming The Chair

Using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner, gently vacuum the entire surface of the chair. Pay attention to the crevices and corners where dust and debris tend to accumulate. This step helps remove loose dirt and dust, preparing the chair for deeper cleaning.

Spot Cleaning Stains

If you notice any stains or spills on the upholstery, it’s essential to address them promptly. Blot the stain with a clean, white cloth to absorb any excess liquid. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can spread and penetrate the fabric further.

Mix a mild detergent with distilled water for water-based stains and apply it to the stained area using a soft brush or cloth. Blot the stain again with a clean cloth to remove the cleaning solution.

Cleaning Upholstered Chair
Cleaning Upholstered Chair

Deep Cleaning Techniques

For more stubborn stains or overall deep cleaning, you can use different techniques based on the upholstery type. Always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire chair.

Steam Cleaning the Upholstery: Steam cleaning is effective for deep cleaning upholstery. Follow the instructions provided with your steam cleaner and apply steam to the fabric in a sweeping motion.

The steam helps loosen dirt and stains, which a microfiber cloth can then absorb. Allow the upholstery to dry thoroughly before re-drying and reassembling the chair.

Removing Odors

Upholstered chairs can develop unpleasant odors over time, especially if they have been exposed to spills or pets. To eliminate odors, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the upholstery and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

Baking soda is a natural odor absorber. Afterward, vacuum the chair again to remove the baking soda residue along with any trapped odors.

Drying And Reassembling The Chair

Once you have finished the cleaning process, it’s important to allow the chair to dry completely before reassembling it. Proper drying prevents the growth of mold and mildew and ensures the upholstery retains its shape and color. Place the chair in a well-ventilated area and let it air dry naturally. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade the fabric.

After the chair is completely dry, reassemble any removable parts and cushions. Make sure they are properly aligned and secured.

Preventive Measures For Upholstered Chairs

To keep your upholstered chairs cleaner for longer periods, there are some preventive measures you can take:

  1. Use Slipcovers: Slipcovers can protect the upholstery from spills, stains, and pet hair. They are also easy to remove and clean.
  2. Avoid Eating And Drinking On Upholstered Chairs: Minimize the risk of spills and stains by avoiding eating or drinking on the chairs. If accidents happen, clean them immediately.
  3. Regular Vacuuming: Incorporate regular vacuuming into your cleaning routine to remove loose dirt and prevent it from settling into the fabric.
  4. Rotate Cushions: Regularly rotate the cushions to distribute wear and tear evenly and prevent them from becoming flattened.

Tips For Maintaining Clean Upholstery:

Here are some additional tips to help you maintain clean upholstery:

  1. Read And Follow Manufacturer Instructions: Each upholstery type may have specific cleaning recommendations. Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’re using the appropriate cleaning methods and products.
  2. Blot Stains Immediately: Whenever a spill or stain occurs, blot it immediately with a clean cloth or paper towel to prevent it from setting into the fabric.
  3. Test Cleaning Solutions: Before applying any cleaning solution to the entire chair, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to check for colorfastness and any adverse reactions.
  4. Professional Cleaning: Consider hiring professional upholstery cleaners for deep cleaning at least once a year. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to clean upholstery effectively.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Establish a regular maintenance routine, including vacuuming, spot cleaning, and overall cleaning. This will help keep your upholstered chairs looking their best.


Cleaning upholstered chair is vital to maintaining their appearance, hygiene, and longevity. By following the outlined steps and techniques, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odors from your chairs, restoring their beauty and ensuring a clean living environment.

Regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and preventive measures such as using slipcovers and avoiding eating on the chairs can significantly prolong the cleanliness of your upholstery.

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