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Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

Last post 03-14-2013 7:16 PM by AlexH. 19 replies.
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  • 04-06-2008 8:22 AM

    • Brandy
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    Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    My Mother-in-law gave us her couch and recliner. It needs a good cleaning. I was mixing a commercial cleaner with water but I am out so I need a good homemeade cleaner. Does anyone have a mixture they recommend?

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 04-06-2008 9:25 AM In reply to

    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

     

    Hello Brandy,

     I have used Mr. Clean for my upholstery cleaner for a few years, it works very well, even better than the stuff I bought when we bought our living room suite and they advised us to only use it. I use it full strength, spray it on, and wipe it off or rub it in, with great results and I use the blue one, for I like the smell of it best.

    I have used it to clean my area rug in my livingroom too, after the dog was eating her rawhide bone and got the slivers from the bone on the rug, I used it with a small nail brush, and it took all the rawhide off and left the rug clean and smelling great too.

    Good Luck and let us know how it works, if you use it.

    ...and may the Lord bless us, with all we need. AMEN
  • 04-06-2008 9:35 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    Since I need to clean it today, I have to use what I have on hand. I have a few mixtures I found online but I am not sure which to go with yet.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 04-06-2008 10:39 AM In reply to

    • Pat
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    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

     I know a woman who used to (and probably still does) clean the car's cloth upholstery with laundry detergent. I'm not sure how strong she mixed it, but it probably wouldn't have to be too strong. It would probably be wise to follow with a weak vinegar once-over. You might try it in a place where it won't show, to be sure it doesn't leave any residue - I don't know what kind she used. 

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  • 04-06-2008 10:58 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    I am not concerned with messing up the fabric. I am covering the couch and chair. I do need to clean them as my MIL is a smoker and we are non-smokers with asthma and allergies.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 04-06-2008 11:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

     I googled it and found this recipe plus a great site called Guide to less toxic products with lots of homemade mixes. I will post that in another thread.  I know normally carpet cleaning companies etc use the same product on furniture as the carpet. I guess it depends if you have a carpet cleaner with an upholstery attachment. like the little green machine. I would use a vinegar rinse if possible to get rid of the residue because soap attracts dirt. I started doing that on our rugs when cleaning them and it helped. 

    Mix

    6 T Soap flakes (some stores still have them boxed in the old fashioned cleaning supply area...over by the bluing and such, but you can make your own with a cheesegrater and a bar of plain ol' soap.)
    1 pint of boiling water
    2 T Borax...look for this over by the laundry soap (It's an old laundry booster, like Oxyclean, I wonder if Oxyclean could be substituted?)

    Mix everything together, let it cool until it gels. Whisk or beat until it foams. Use the foamy bits with a rough cloth or brush to scrub the upholstery, making sure not to soak the fabric. Rebeat the soap as necessary to get more homemade scrubbing bubbles. As you work, use a clean damp cloth to wipe away the soiled suds.

    Going over the chairs really thoroughly with a vacuum to loosen the dirt up a bit would be a good idea.
    Borax helps with the smells, but a little outside time probably wouldn't hurt, either. Happy scrubbing!

     
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  • 04-06-2008 12:51 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    Updating while taking a breather:

    First washing of couch and recliner:

    I used a mix of two caps of detergent, two or three tablespoons of Borax in a bucket of hot water. The water came out black and some of the heavier soiled areas looked cleaner. It still smelled of smoke.

    Second washing of couch and recliner:

    I decided to pull out one of my few concessions of commercial products. I poured some mint oil in a bucket of hot water. This is the stuff I was using in the wash for my husband's clothes when he was on the boat so I know fabric can handle it. Both pieces look cleaner but the water was black again and still smells of smoke!

    Third washing:

    I did a second wash with the mint oil. Again, the soiled spots were reduced but there is still a smoke smell and the water is not clear yet.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 04-06-2008 1:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    Are you using a uphostlery cleaner? mechanical that is, to help extract the water?   I know from the past that the smoke gets deep inside furniture in the foam etc.  If it is nice and sunny where you are, a couple of days in the sun will help. good luck smoke is a hard thing to get rid of and takes awhile.

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  • 04-06-2008 1:16 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    No, I don't have an upholstery or carpet cleaner. I am wishing I did right now.

    It looks like it will rain this afternoon as it has for the past few...figures.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 04-06-2008 1:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Homemade Upholstery Cleaner

    Might be worth renting or borrowing. it probably will take a couple of trys to get it clean.  I know when we got a couch from a friend. It was clean but smelt of baby formula (that smell is so gross to me since I am not used to it) and since our hall carpets and the kids room needed cleaning also I splurged and got citrus o carpet cleaners in. actually they did a great job and got out stains in the carpet I couldn't get out with the regular carpet cleaner.   I couldn't face spending hours cleaning the couch with the little uphostlery cleaner I have.  I did the living room rug one afternoon when 8mths pregnant with the little green machine I have and it took hours.  I am ripping up the carpet in the hall and kids room. I am tired of cleaning it all the time. If the lino is bad I will get cheap rugs or cheap vinyl tiles to put down until we can afford wood flooring.  or use leftover parts of the basement carpet now that I am thinking of it.   now that I have blood stains in the hall to get rid of from the cat too. lost track of how many "accidents" and throwing up in the kids room there is. tired of cleaning it. plus there will be more!

    It was nice too that I got to claim the carpet cleaning on our taxes for home upkeep for the homestay money. but as I said I would rather rip the carpet (getting old and worn too) out then pay for that again. might do it in the future for the basement.  reminds me that I have to see if dh can fix my upright carpet cleaner. 

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