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Furniture Care 101: Taking Care of Your Fabric Upholstered Furniture

Furniture Care 101: Taking Care of Your Fabric Upholstered Furniture
Katy  |  03.07.18  |  Furniture, Product Care

Your new, beautiful fabric-upholstered furniture has been delivered and you’re wondering how to take care of it. Proper furniture care is essential to protecting your investment, and the basics are often fairly simple. In this post, we’ll cover a few general tips for maintaining your fabric-upholstered furniture.

Because there are so many different types of fabric and fabric treatments it’s impossible in this post to give detailed cleaning instructions appropriate for every textile. Nevertheless it is a very good idea to know the composition of your upholstery fabric (e.g. cotton, polyester, wool, linen, rayon, etc.) so that you can follow the cleaning directions appropriate to that fabric should a disaster (or your toddler) strike. For now, we will focus on general care information that applies to all fabric upholstered furniture.

How to Care for Fabric Upholstered Furniture

Dust your Upholstered Furniture Regularly

Dusting is a great way to keep your furniture clean and looking great, and is also helpful in maintaining the life of the fabric itself. Use a vacuum with an appropriate hand held attachment to clean your furniture on a regular basis. Lift the cushions (if they’re removable), and get the stuff that wriggles down between the cushions. Some vacuums come with special upholstery hand attachments for cleaning. However, if using an attachment with bristles or a brush, be sure it doesn’t snag or scratch the fabric before vacuuming your furniture.

Know how to handle Spills and Stains

While it is safe to use water to clean up spills on many fabrics, some fabrics require a solvent-based cleaner only (using water on these fabrics can cause the fabric to bleed or otherwise degrade). This is where knowing the type of fabric you have, and its cleaning code, is important. If you’re not sure which type of fabric you have on your new furniture, please contact us so we can help. Be sure to always follow the cleaning instructions for your specific upholstery fabric.

General procedures when a spill or stain occurs:

  1. Dry, wipe or mop up the spill with a dry, clean white cloth or towel. Avoid rubbing as much as possible, instead gently blot at the spill. (Always start with the least invasive tactic first!)
  2. If step 1 doesn’t remove the stain, add some lukewarm water (or if you have a fabric that requires a solvent-based cleaner, use the cleaner instead of water) to the towel and gently blot the fabric. Gentle rubbing may be ok if blotting doesn’t work, but this technique is only recommended for some fabrics.
  3. Let the area dry to see if the stain is removed. If the stain persists, you can repeat step 2 again.
  4. Difficult stains may require more aggressive treatment. It is best to consult an upholstery cleaner in these cases.

Fabric Cleaning Products

If you are looking for a fabric cleaning product that will be more powerful than plain water, we recommend the Ekornes Fabric Cleaning Kit. The kit includes three different types of cleaners and instructions for how to remove all of the most common stains.


These are the basics when it comes to upholstered furniture care. A few simple steps will help ensure your fabric furniture looks great for many years to come. If you have purchased furniture from The Century House and have specific concerns or questions, please contact us. We are here to help!

View all of our furniture care products.


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