Caring for Your Upholstery
Tips How to Prolong the Life of Your Upholstery
Automotive Fabric Upholstery
- Getting your car detailed every six months prolongs the life of your upholstery.
- Avoid smoking in your vehicle. Smoke residue leaves a film on top of your upholstery.
- Take care of what you transport and how you pack it inside your vehicle. Carrying large objects with sharp edges can tear your upholstery. Animals can also rip your upholstery.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Fabric Upholstery
- Clean up spills immediately to avoid the liquid to setting and soaking in. Never rub, but blot gently.
- Vacuum regularly. Surface soil and other debris can get ground in and really tough to remove. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently whisk the dirt away.
- Remove stains as quickly as possible. Always test wash a small area before you use any cleaning product to make sure it is compatible with your fabric. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning is not a recommended cleaning method. Do not soak the fabric.
Cleaning Trouble Areas
- Ink. Spray the area with hairspray, let it sit for a few minutes until it absorbs the stain, and then wipe it off. Repeat as needed.
- Blood. Do not let bloodstains set and do not clean the area with hot water (it will set the stain). Make a paste with cold water and powdered laundry detergent and apply this to the stain. When this paste dries, use a soft brush or vacuum to remove it.
- Grease. Sprinkle baking soda onto the stain, making sure the stain is completely covered. Let sit for 20-30 minutes, and then vacuum. Dampen a cloth with a dry-cleaning solvent and press the cloth onto the grease stain.
- Animal hair. Use a squeegee, lint brush, or masking tape wrapped around your hand – sticky side out – to pull pet hair off of upholstery.
- Odors. For fabric smells, sprinkle baking soda on upholstery to get rid of bad odors. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes, and vacuum it off when you’re done.
Leather and Vinyl Upholstery
- Condition the leather on a regular basis because natural leather can become brittle and weak over time. Use leather conditioner or saddle soap, buffing thoroughly to remove any residue.
- Leather should be gently vacuumed and wiped with a damp cloth as needed, using as little water as possible. Make sure to dry your leather upholstery well – it is sensitive to water, but water is necessary to clean it.
- Mix together a half gallon of water with 2 tablespoons of a low-pH soap dish detergent. Use a soft cloth to clean it, then dry thoroughly afterwards.
Indoor Vinyl Upholstery
You can use a commercial vinyl cleaner, or make your own by mixing a half gallon of water with two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. You can soak hard-to-clean dirt and grime for a few minutes with the solution, if needed. After you finish scrubbing, wipe down all upholstery with a clean rag making sure that all soap residue is gone.
Vinyl Upholstery Cleaning Tips
- Don’t use bleach, ammonia, or any other cleaning solutions; these can deteriorate the fabric and its stitching. Use mild soap and avoid harsh detergents.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scratches.
- Make sure you rinse all of the soap off the vinyl using clean water and a soft cloth.
- Dry your vinyl well with soft towels.
Marine and Outdoor Vinyl Upholstery
When your boat sits long enough, it can accumulate dust, dirt, grime and mildew, and the upholstery is the first place that will start to show wear. Not maintaining your upholstery will risk it becoming faded, cracked or ruined and will require replacement more quickly.
How to Protect Boat Upholstery
- Choose vinyl marine upholstery that is manufactured with UV resistant coatings, mildew resistant, and made colorfast and waterproof.
- Regularly clean your upholstery every few weeks when it isn’t in storage. There are many quality boat vinyl cleaners and cleaning kits on the market. You can also make your own cleaning solution using mild soap and water. Consistently cleaning will keep your vinyl looking good.
- Vinyl naturally has a long lifespan, and you can extend this by applying ultraviolet ray protection. This helps keep your vinyl from drying out, cracking, and fading. Make sure this product is made for the marine environment.
- For removing stains and mildew, choose from the many cleaning solutions available in stores and online.