The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Different Types of Furniture

The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Different Types of Furniture
By: Brittany Satterfield

It’s quite possible every area of your workplace has different furniture made from a variety of materials, and they all need to be kept clean. Some may require conditioning and others could need deep cleaning. The key to keeping upholstered furniture not only clean but also well-maintained, is to work on pieces according to their composition.

Different types of fabrics are used for upholstering furniture including velvet, suede, leather, linen, cotton and others. Each of these has do's and don'ts when it comes to cleaning them. However, generally speaking, there are some guidelines that commonly apply to all types of fabrics:

  • Use the appropriate products 
  • Adhere to the cleaning instructions
  • Avoid exposure to the elements
  • Schedule deep cleaning and conditioning

Don'ts of Cleaning Upholstered Furniture 

Just like there are some thing you definitely should do, there are also don'ts:

  • Don't choose pieces that are challenging to keep up with, such as light-toned colors if you have young kids who will most likely stain them with food and drink.
  • Clean up immediately because fresh stains are easier to remove completely.
  • Don't start with the strongest product, such as bleach first. Start with regular strength or consider using natural products like white vinegar and baking soda.
  • Don't scrub or work outwards

When getting stains out of your upholstery, work inwards towards the center of the stain. Scrubbing or working in a circle only widens it. 

Cleaning Specific Fabric Types

These guidelines apply to the following different textiles:


Vacuum the piece first to loosen dirt. Then, dip a soft to medium-bristle brush in cold water with a mild detergent or a product made for cleaning cotton upholstery. Swing the brush to remove excess water and scrub the pieces gently. Work in short, overlapping strokes. As you go, dip a cloth in clean, cold water, open it up and press it into the cleaned section to remove the soap. Finish this with a dry, clean cloth to remove as much moisture as possible. If you see any stains, use a stain remover or make a paste with white vinegar and baking soda, apply and give it a few minutes to work before scrubbing again. Finish and give the item time to dry. 


Velvet pieces will often be marked “S”, indicating water should be avoided and a cleaning solvent should be applied with a clean cloth and blotted firmly but gently. If there are stains, use a mild detergent mixed in water and soft-bristled brush to brush it gently. Finish by blotting with a damp then dry cloth and allow the item to dry completely.


Polyester and other synthetic upholstery can be cleaned like cotton. The same is true when used as a blend with cotton or linen, which are also strong and hard-wearing.


Refer to the product label for cleaning instructions and follow them. Acrylic will typically be marked WS/SX. This means it can be cleaned like cotton using the process described above, or opt for a safe upholstery cleaning.

Suede and Leather

These two products are typically marked S. This means they should not be cleaned using water, but rather with products made specifically for cleaning them. Do follow these instructions and use the right tools, like a brush made specifically for cleaning suede. These products not only clean, but also condition, which these two fabrics need to avoid cracking and peeling.


Even if  you can keep up with the regular chores at your office, you may find it more difficult to deep clean. This is a job you can leave to the experts, who will get it done right, and on schedule so every piece always looks its best. eMaids is the cleaning expert to call on.

With a wide and growing location network throughout the country, there is most likely an eMaids location near you. Simply enter your zip code on the website to find the nearest one. Staffed with rigorously vetted cleaners who undergo thorough in-house training before they can start working, eMaids also provides an account manager in your vicinity to schedule cleaning and handle questions or concerns. Furthermore, all office cleaners are bonded and insured.

Furniture cleaning could be considered as part of deep cleaning since it goes beyond routine daily or bi-weekly cleaning. All tasks being handled are indicated for every service. eMaids happily accommodates requests, such as using green or pet-friendly products and processes. Book your cleaning services online or contact us with your questions. Your furniture will be as clean and well-maintained as it can be.

Jun 12, 2023
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