How to Clean Various Types of Furniture

Knowing how to properly care for and maintain your furniture means your home furnishings will look better and last longer. Instead of making it an overwhelming task of cleaning everything at once, do regular vacuuming and dusting of your furniture with your other weekly chores. And, on occasion, a deeper clean will keep your items in the best condition. Various types of furniture require various types of cleaning as detailed below. As a reminder though, please check with your manufacturer and their warranties before putting any cleaning solutions on your furnishings.

Upholstered Furniture

Vacuum it. This is the easiest way to keep your item (such as a sofa) clean. Check under the cushions and in the crevices to clear any debris or crumbs. If you have microfiber, they are designed not to stain as easily, so much of the dirt or spills will be easily brushed away.

Check the tags. Your product should include a guide for the type of cleaner appropriate to use on the fabric. The tags will say whether to use water based, a dry cleaning method, or whether a professional cleaner is required.

For most fabrics that allow for a water based cleaner, this is easy to make by mixing a small amount of blue dish liquid (like Dawn) with warm water. It can be applied with a sponge or wash cloth, being careful not to soak the fabric too much. Make sure to blot dry with a dry cloth. (Don’t forget to test your detergents to make sure they don’t stain. This can be done on the back of the furniture where it can’t be easily seen.)

Cleaning Leather

Vacuum it. As with other types of furnishings, you really can’t go wrong by giving the product a good vacuuming. Immediate attention to spills will be the best way to prevent anything from setting.

For leather though, you can use a equal part vinegar and water mixture and wipe with a cloth. Rinse the cloth often so to not spread the dirt, and then dry each area well.

You can condition your leather with commercially available leather conditioner or use one part vinegar to two parts linseed oil. Leave on for ten minutes and then buff with a cloth in order to brighten and condition your leather.

For Wood

Generally with wood, you’ll want to play it safe depending on the finish of the wood. Do not use any harsh cleaning supplies. You can always go stronger if needed, but if you use something to harsh to begin with, you risk damage to your product.

For cleaning wood, do not use much water and don’t allow the water to sit for too long. Standing water can make the wood warp or crack.

For grimy buildup, using mineral spirits (paint thinner) will break through that grime, but you may risk damaging the fishing on your wood. Check in an inconspicuous spot to make sure you wont stain or damage the  finish  before applying everywhere.

Wax wood for a shiny and conditioned finish.