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Upholstery Care: Tips and Tricks for 2024

Discover the best 8 tips and tricks for upholstery care in 2024.

Upholstery Care: Tips and Tricks for 2024

By Kristen Phang

You don’t need to spend RM80-240 to deep clean your sofa or rugs every 6 to 12 months.

Yes, cleaning upholstery fabrics permanently attached to our furniture can be tricky to clean. We cannot just stuff sofa cushions into our washing machines or dretch armchairs with a garden hose. It will ruin the stuffing! Even moveable furniture like velvet curtains and fur carpets can be a hassle to clean because they are so wide and heavy! Still, sending our furniture to a cleaning professional should not be our first choice but our last resort.

You can use at least 10 household tips and tricks to clean upholstery fabrics with minimal effort in less than 10 minutes for an affordable price or – better yet – free.

Bookmark this article for your next house party because I’ll show you the top 8 tips and tricks for upholstery care in 2024.

Fellow / Collection

1) The Pot Lid TikTok Hack!
This absurdly brilliant sofa cleaning trick that went viral in 2023 still holds up today because it makes light sofa cleaning simple with a makeshift, handheld tool. You only need a microfibre towel, a cleaning solution and a pot lid.

There are many variations of this trick online, but I will focus on the method presented by Creative Explained for this article. His natural all-purpose cleaning solution has precise measurements and includes no strong or harmful chemicals.

Step 1: Make a homemade cleaning solution with the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups of Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of dish soap
  • Half a Lemon

You will know you’ve got the formula right if it becomes foamy. If you do not have the time to make this solution, mix laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid with warm water. This solution can also clean your curtains, pillows, and other upholstery fabrics you cannot put in the washing machine.


Step 2: Soak your microfibre towel in the cleaning solution and squeeze out the excess from the cloth so that it’s damp – not dripping.

Step 3:  Wrap the cloth around a large pot lid.

The pot lid’s wide surface area helps make your cleaning more efficient. Make sure the cloth folds over the handle so you can grab and securely it tightly on the lid.

Step 4: Brush the lid over your sofa surface.


You will see all the dust and dirt gather around the edges of the makeshift tool! It is effective enough to get rid of light stains as well. With this tool, you can clean sofas, carpets and mattresses every two weeks or a month for light cleaning.

@home_reimagined 3 blind cleaning tips & tricks that will make life easier! ✨ Instead of flinging dust around and smacking the window with the duster. Which makes me very frustrated!! 😡Try one of these:   1.     Close your blinds to face one way and dust WITH the direction to clean the entire sides at once👆 
Then Flip the blinds the other way and dust with the blinds again, getting both sides fully and quickly!👇🏼 2.     Use a vacuum and brush attachment to vacuum up dust and debris quickly and use it in the same pattern OR open the blinds and get between each one, if easier for you! 🧹 3.     Secure Microfiber cloths on the ends of tongs and use them to clean each blind. Spray with multipurpose cleaner to clean or just spritz with water to dust! 🍴     Products 🔗 in my Amazon Shop in Bio. Follow for more cleaning & organization tips! 🧼 #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #cleaninghacks #cleaningtips #cleaningmotivation #blindcleaning ♬ Chill Day - LAKEY INSPIRED

2) Clean Window Blinds with Kitchen Thongs!

Our window blinds do a fantastic job of controlling the sunlight in our room and gathering dust in the most difficult places! As working adults, we don’t have the time to individually wipe dirt off the top and bottom of each panel. Thankfully, home_Reimagined found a cleaning hack that simplifies this process: kitchen thongs.

First, wrap a cloth on both ends of the thongs and secure them with rubber bands. Then, grip each panel with the tong and swipe them along the board. With this tool, you will be done with one window in under five minutes. Clean your blinds once a week, and they will be dust-free.

If you want a more efficient tool, you can also save money by buying “furry paw” dusters on Amazon for around RM30.


3) Dust off Awkward Spaces with a Lint Roller

Some parts of our furniture, such as mattresses, lamp shades, and armchair backrests, are hard to reach or clean. Even with handheld vacuums, there are just some corners they cannot reach, or it is awkward to use, like a set of curtains. A lint roller helps pick up the finer dust particles, pet hair, and crumbles stuck on flat surfaces, leaving them as clean as new.

I recommend using the horizontal rollers for large, broad areas for better control and the vertical roller for smaller, awkward areas. You can find both versions on Shoppee for RM2-3. However, use each roll fully as they cost nearly RM2 per refill.

4) Kill Bacteria with Hot Steam.

Even after using cleaners, machine washing, and sun drying, we get this nagging feeling that it did not clean out corners of dirt or worse, bacteria and dust mites. If you are living with toddlers or elderly folk, you know how important it is to have a sterilised environment.

Thankfully, steaming is an effective way to completely kill off bacteria on permanently attached upholstery fabrics without sending it to a professional cleaner:


“Cleaning with steam technology was able to penetrate surfaces without causing any damage and could reach relatively inaccessible areas like crevices by using the vacuum system to remove dirt and grime.” – GMS Hygiene and Infection Control, 2019


Honestly, I thought steamers were out of my price range because their advanced machinery and cleaning process look very professional. However, hand-held steamers are only around RM130 to RM300. That’s around the same price as a vacuum cleaner. In fact, investing in a steamer is 76%-91% cheaper than other disinfecting tools in the long run.

This eco friendly process also does not contain harmful chemicals, effectively kills bacteria twice as fast as a chlorine treatment and uses 90% less water than its chemical counterparts.

Other natural, eco-friendly ways to kill bacteria are sun drying and ironing. Sun drying is a great way to kill bacteria with heat because it gets into the stuffings of pillows and soft toys. However, untreated fabrics will wear down and lose them if exposed to intense UV rays, so remove the fabric before sun drying unless they are outdoor fabrics or UV-protected textiles. If the fabrics are small, like pillow covers, you could also iron them out.

Shower curtain

5) Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Remove Mould on Shower Curtains


Our first thought is to clean mouldy curtains with the standard store-bought cleaning mixtures like laundry detergent, borax and bleach. However, the latter two have strong chemicals that can damage us and our shower curtains if they are not used well. Borax can be toxic and needs to be handled with gloves. Bleach can emit fumes, cause skin irritation, and ruin the colour of your curtains if their dyes are not colourfast.

You can wash your shower curtains with the same effectiveness and no side effects by using the acidity of vinegar and the alkali properties of baking soda.

Step 1: Dip the edges of your curtains into a sink or a plastic bin of undiluted vinegar. Let the curtain sit for at least one hour. Do not ever pour the vinegar directly onto dark fabrics as it may cause it to lose its dyes.


Step 2: Wash the curtains in the washing machine or hand with cold water and laundry detergent.


Step 3: Hang the curtains up to air-dry.


Step 4: Create a paste with baking soda and a little water and brush it over the mould-stained areas. Ensure you brush both sides of the curtain to remove the marks altogether.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 2 and 3.


Ultimately, washing your curtains every few months is the best way to prevent mould. You can ventilate your bathroom by turning on the air vent to prevent the spread of mould.

Sensuous / Collection

6) Get rid of stains with household items!

Most stains can easily be washed out with cold water against the weaving direction of the fabric or hot water for more stubborn stains like oils, blood, and food. However, if the usual laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids are not working, here are some household materials you can use to fight against those tough stains!

Baking soda for smelly fabrics:
Soak the upholstery fabric in a solution of baking soda and water overnight. Drain the presoak the next day and wash it like regular laundry.


Distilled white vinegar for sweat stains:

Mix a one-to-one solution of white vinegar and water and scrub it on with a soft-bristle brush. Then, soak it in the vinegar solution for 30 minutes before putting it in the washing machine.

Toothpaste for stubborn stains:
Wet the stain area and squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the stain. Rub the toothpaste on the stain with a soft brush and let it sit for five minutes before rinsing. Make sure the toothpaste doesn’t contain hydrogen peroxide, as it can lighten dark fabrics!


Rubbing Alcohol for Ink Stains:
Dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of rubbing alcohol and dab it over the ink stain. Use a cotton swab to get the finer details. Then, wash the fabric as usual.

Cornstarch for Oils:
Sprinkle the cornstarch over the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Repeat this process until all the oil is absorbed, and wash it in the laundry machine.

Salt for rust and red wine stains:
Sprinkle the salt over the stain and let it absorb the wine stain. Afterwards, brush it away and wash the fabric immediately.

Deluxe / Collection

7) Get Removable Fabric Covers

This hack is a no-brainer but a genius idea because we don’t think about it while shopping. There are plenty of sofas and armchairs in the market with removable cushion covers. To clean their fabrics and pillows, you only need to throw the upholstery fabric covers into the washing machine, sun dry the pillows, and maybe use a lint roller to dust off the backrest and armrests.


But if you have a perfectly good sofa or pillow set at home right now, don’t buy new ones. Why waste money you already invested in lovely upholstery furniture that will last at least a decade?


Instead, you should get a variety of sofa covers not just to style for different occasions but also for easy cleaning. All you need to do is remove the dirty sheets to contain the dirt, crumbs, and hair, put them in the washing machine and maybe replace them with another set of fabric covers. They can also keep your soft furniture dust-free while your family goes on an extended vacation.

If your upholstery fabrics or furniture are due for a change anyway, I recommend purchasing stain-free and antimicrobial fabrics to make cleaning easier.

8) Use a broom and a wiper to deep clean your rugs.

Have you seen the carpet cleaning videos on Instagram Reels? It is so satisfying to see all the dirt seeping out from the bottom of the rug into the drain as the designs on the rug become clearer and more colourful.  You can deep clean your carpets at home with a carpet cleaner, a garden hose, a broom and a window wiper!


Step 1: Dampen the carpet with your garden hose or a pressure washer.


Step 2: Pour your carpet cleaner or a mixture of water and laundry detergent over the carpet and brush it with a broom.


Step 3: Rise the carpet and repeat the scrubbing process until the water is clean and all the soap suds are gone.


Step 4: Drain the excess water by scrapping over it with a window wiper and leaving it to dry.


Cleaning furniture with fabrics is much easier, more affordable and quicker than we realise. With these 8 tips, I hope your living space will be fresher, cleaner and easier to maintain.

Gent / Collection


[@home_reimagined]. (2023, February 15th). 3 blind cleaning tips & tricks that will make life easier [Video]. TikTok.

[@creative_explained]. (2023, April 6th). How to clean fabric surfaces #clean #cleaning #cleaninghacks #lifehack #hacks #cleantok #kitchenhacks #diy #howto [Video]. TikTok.

DIY Makes Cents. (2022, September 15th). Cheap/Easy DIY Ry Cleaning + High Traffic Carpet Cleaning + Restoration [Video]. Youtube.

Leverette, M, M. (2024, January 31st). How to Quickly Get Rid of Mold and Mildew on Your Shower Curtain. The Spruce.

Leverette, M, M. (2022, July 13th). 11 Common Household Products That Are Great Stain Removers. The Spruce.

Oztoprak, N. Kizilates, F. Percin, D. (2019, October 24th). Comparison of steam technology and a two-step cleaning (water/detergent) and disinfecting (1,000 resp. 5,000 ppm hypochlorite) method using microfiber cloth for environmental control of multidrug-resistant organisms in an intensive care unit. GMS Hygiene and Infection Control. doi: 10.3205/dgkh000330.

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