Shampooing Upholstered Furniture

Vacuuming your upholstered furniture regularly helps keep it clean, but nothing freshens it up like a good shampoo.
Rather than pay a professional to perform this task, save your valuable money and learn how to do it yourself with a few common household items.

Step 1

Vacuum the furniture with a brush attachment. Removing surface dust and dirt will help prevent these impediments from being ground into your furniture as you shampoo it.

Step 2

Place a large towel on the floor in front of the upholstered piece. This is where you will place the two bowls and sponge as you shampoo your furniture.

Step 3

Fill a small bowl or bucket with cool water. Set it aside.

Step 4

Squirt about 2 tablespoons of mild liquid dish soap into another medium-sized bowl or bucket. Turn on your faucet and wait for the water to turn very warm but not hot. Fill it with about 4 cups of water, or until a surge of bubbles forms.

Step 5

Dip a clean sponge about halfway into the sudsy water. Squeeze it out gently so that it doesn’t drip. You should have a fairly even distribution of water and soap on the sponge.

Step 6

Begin shampooing your furniture, working from the top down and on one small section at a time. Dab the furniture with the sponge and then work the suds into the furniture in a circular motion. As the sponge dries out, immerse the sponge in the suds again and reapply.

Step 7

Dip the second sponge into the bowl or bucket filled only with water once you are confident that you have removed a stain or the furniture is clean. Continue shampooing your furniture in this manner — applying the soap and then removing the soap residue with a damp sponge — until you are finished.

Step 8

Let your furniture dry naturally or, if you’re in a hurry, wipe it with a clean towel. In the latter case, it still may take a few hours for the moisture to completely evaporate. Go over your furniture with a fine-bristle brush — and in one direction only — to restore the look of matted-down fibers.

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum with brush attachment piece
  • Gentle dish soap
  • 2 large work towels
  • 2 medium bowls or small buckets
  • 2 soft sponges

Tips

  • This shampooing technique should remove dirt, pen and pencil marks, coffee, wine and other stains, safely and easily. Blot spills of any kind immediately to increase your chances of removing all trace of them.
  • It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your furniture. But don’t be surprised if the instructions steer you to expensive commercial cleaning products, which will impact your indoor air quality.

About the Author

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.