Mastering Sofa Care: 7 Sofa Cleaning Mistakes You Should Avoid

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Having a sofa in your home can help to elevate the house's appearance and comfort level. It can also be the main point of your house, where you can gather with your loved ones to engage in conversation.

Unfortunately, although the sofa can be one of the most important pieces of furniture in the house, many homeowners don't provide the right care for their sofas, thus it is not uncommon for some of the sofas to be irreversibly damaged as time goes on.

Many don’t realize that providing proper care for the sofa is not as hard. You just have to make sure that you steer clear of the cleaning mistakes that our team at Luce has curated below!

1. Ignoring Manufacturer Guidelines

Adhering to the sofa manufacturer’s cleaning instructions is crucial to maintain the longevity and appearance of your furniture. Manufacturers generally will provide specific guidelines on how to clean and maintain your sofa, based on the materials used. These are the cleaning codes that you can find, and what they mean:

  • W: Indicate water-based cleaning
  • S: Indicate solvent-based cleaning
  • W/S: Allows for both water and solvent-based cleaning
  • X: Vacuuming only and may require professional care

These codes are important to know and understand. Ignoring and inadvertently employing incorrect cleaning methods, can lead to damage to the sofa material, and compromise your comfort. Thus why, we recommend that you thoroughly read these labels before initiating the cleaning process to ensure you are aware of the proper care methods for your sofa.

2. Using Incorrect Cleaning Products

Another major error that many homeowners often make while cleaning their sofa is utilizing incorrect cleaning products. Given the diversity of fabrics, what proves effective for one may pose a threat to another.

For instance, using harsh or incompatible cleaning agents may result in discoloration, fabric damage, or accumulation of allergen residues in some sofas. Below are some of the examples of sofa fabrics that are incompatible with certain cleaning products:

Type of Sofa Fabric Cleaning Products You Should Avoid
Cotton Bleach, and strong detergent
Leather Harsh chemicals, and ammonia-based cleaners
Microfiber Water-based cleaners, and abrasive brushes
Linen Bleach, and acidic cleaners
Velvet Water, and harsh chemicals
Silk Bleach, and strong detergent
Polyester Harsh chemicals, and hot water
Wool Bleach, and enzyme-based cleaners

You should also keep in mind that using homemade cleaning products for your sofa might not always be a good decision. Thus, you might want to steer clear of that. 

3. Not Doing Patch-Test

Another mistake many homeowners commit while cleaning their sofas is neglecting to do a patch test beforehand. It is crucial to test the cleaning products before using any potentially harsh cleaning solution, especially if it’s the first time you use that particular cleaning solution.

After all, each fabric may reach different various cleaning agents. What seems harmless to some fabric, might lead to irreparable damage to the other. For example, if you use a bleach-based cleaner on colored fabric, it may cause fading or discoloration. Thus, to prevent such problems conducting a patch test is a must.

To do a patch test, you can apply the cleaning solution to the small section beneath the sofa and observe its impact on the material. By setting aside some time to do this, you can easily prevent making any mistake that can ruin your sofa completely!

4. Cleaning with Wrong Techniques

It’s great if you know that cleaning your sofa is an important thing that you should do regularly. But unfortunately, many may not understand how to clean it properly, and instead use the wrong technique. You can use this technique below as a guideline on what to do and avoid.

  • Do: Use a gentle blotting motion when dealing with stains on your sofa. Blotting can help absorb the stain without spreading it or damaging the fabric.
  • Don’t: On the other hand, you should stop scrubbing roughly at stains that are present on your sofa fabric. Rough scrubbing can damage the fabric and even drive the stains deeper into the fibers, making them harder to remove.
  • Do: When cleaning your sofa, it is important to use water sparingly.
  • Don’t: Overwetting the sofa surface is a big no because prolonged wetness can promote mold growth and damage the fabric over time.
  • Do: Opt for spot cleaning because it can help maintain the cleanliness of your sofa without the need for frequent deep cleaning.
  • Don’t: Don’t wait too long to address stains, because when you allow stains to set - it can make them more difficult to remove. You might even need a more intensive cleaning method to remove it from your sofa fabric.
  • Do: Use the spraying technique when applying the cleaning solution to the sofa. Spraying can help distribute the cleaning solution evenly without saturating the fabric.
  • Don’t: You should never drench the fabric with your cleaning solution, even when it claims as the gentlest solution. Excessive moisture can penetrate deep into the sofa, which can lead to prolonged drying times and potentially damage the fabric.

Following these do’s and don’ts can help ensure that your sofa remains clean and well-maintained without risking damage to its fabric or structure!

5. Not Cleaning Spills Promptly 

The key to preventing a permanently stained sofa is cleaning any spill promptly after it happens. The delay in quick spot-cleaning is a significant factor that can lead to permanent stains in your sofa. Whether dealing with a coffee stain or handling a pet accident, swift action is essential. Failing to clean stains promptly will allow them to penetrate deeper, making them more challenging to address later on.

6. Cleaning the Sofa Only When It Looks Dirty

Homeowners should never wait to clean their sofa until it looks visibly dirty. While it may not appear visibly dirty on the surface, your sofa could be harboring a significant amount of dirt and germs within the fiber. Not to mention, waiting until it looks very dirty can make it harder to remove any stains that are already present. Cleaning your sofa consistently is essential to maintain a clean and hygienic environment.

7. Not Hiring a Professional

Last but not least, thinking that hiring a professional sofa cleaning is not important. Especially if your sofa is prone to frequent stains due to pets or kids, hiring a professional sofa cleaning company to do deep cleaning is a wise move to ensure you have a thoroughly clean sofa. 

A professional will have the knowledge, equipment, and cleaning solutions to address any problem that you have with your sofa. You can have the best cleaning result, without risking damage.

The Takeaway

It’s crucial to avoid all of these cleaning mistakes above to ensure a spotlessly clean sofa. From adhering to manufacturer guidelines to hiring a professional cleaner, these are the ultimate key practices to maintain the cleanliness of your sofa. 

By steering clear of these common mistakes, you can ensure that your sofa remains in pristine condition, enhancing both its aesthetic appeal and overall lifespan!

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