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Cleaning upholstery is a crucial aspect of maintaining a clean and healthy home, whether it is a sofa, chair, or mattress. 

However, it is important to avoid common mistakes that can damage the fabric or make the cleaning less effective. This article will discuss five common mistakes you can make while cleaning upholstery and how to avoid them.

1) Using Too Much Water

One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning upholstery is using too much water. While water is essential for cleaning, excessive amounts can cause the fabric to become saturated, leading to water damage, mould growth, and unpleasant odours. 

Additionally, using less water can make cleaning longer and more complex.

2) Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Another common mistake people must correct when cleaning upholstery is using the wrong cleaning products. Different fabric types require other cleaning products; using the wrong ones can damage the fabric or leave stains behind. For example, using bleach on a coloured fabric can cause discoloration, while using an abrasive cleaner on a delicate fabric can cause tears and fraying.

Always check the cleaning product’s label to ensure it is safe for the fabric you are cleaning. Alternatively, you can opt for natural cleaning solutions like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice, which are safe for most fabric types.

3) Not Testing the Cleaning Solution

Before using any cleaning solution on upholstery, it is essential to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric. Failure to do so can result in irreversible damage to the fabric, such as discoloration or shrinkage. Additionally, some fabrics are more sensitive to specific cleaning solutions than others, and testing can help you avoid such issues.

To test a cleaning solution, apply a small amount on a hidden area of the fabric and wait for a few minutes to see if there is any adverse reaction. If there is no reaction, you can proceed to clean the rest of the upholstery.

4) Scrubbing Too Hard

When cleaning upholstery, it is essential to be gentle, especially when scrubbing. Scrubbing too hard can damage the fabric, leave marks, or cause the stuffing to shift. Additionally, using abrasive materials like steel wool or hard-bristled brushes can cause tears and fraying.

Use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth to scrub the fabric gently. If you encounter hard-to-remove stains, use a specialized stain remover instead of scrubbing harder.

5) Not Allowing Enough Drying Time

After cleaning upholstery, it is essential to allow enough time for it to dry completely. Failure to do so can cause mould growth, unpleasant odours, and water damage. Additionally, using the upholstery before it is scorched can cause the stuffing to shift and make the fabric lose its shape.

To ensure that the upholstery dries completely, avoid using too much water during the cleaning process, use a fan or an air conditioner to circulate air, and open windows to increase ventilation. Additionally, avoid using the upholstery until it is scorched, which can take several hours or even a day or two, depending on the fabric.


Cleaning upholstery can be daunting, but avoiding common mistakes can make the process easier and more effective. By using the right amount of water, choosing the right cleaning products, testing the cleaning solution, scrubbing gently, and allowing enough drying time, you can keep your upholstery clean and in good condition for years to come.

Are you tired of struggling with cleaning your upholstery and risking damage to your furniture? Carpet Cleaning by ATL Clean is an upholstery cleaning service in Duluth, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and surrounding areas that can help you remove even the toughest stains and dirt from your upholstery. Get in touch with us today to learn how.

Contact Us Today For FREE QUOTE AT: (912) 421-2505