When it comes to typical household chores, we're all guilty of neglecting a few important tasks until it's too late. One big one most of us avoid until the last possible minute? Properly cleaning furniture.
It's surprisingly difficult, especially with so many materials like wood, metal, wicker, leather, and upholstery involved. It can be tricky to know the best way to get your furniture sparkling. We're here to help, with a breakdown of exactly what you need to give all your furniture the love it deserves.
What you'll need: Vacuum and baking soda
Remove all bedding and place in the washer. We recommend washing your sheets on the Sanitize cycle if you have one. The Sanitize cycle will help kill bacteria and mites that live in your sheets.
After washing your sheets, you should wash your pillows with warm water and gentle spin. We also have an article with more detailed instructions.
The best way to clean your mattress is to actually use your vacuum. We'd suggest using a hand vacuum like the Black and Decker BDH2000PL, which is the best value pick from our review of the best cordless vacuums.
Sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress to help absorb odors. It's best to leave it there for several hours, then vacuum up the powder.
Glass surfaces and mirrors
What you'll need: Vinegar, hot water, rubbing alcohol, microfiber cloth
Create the perfect glass-cleaning solution with one part vinegar and four parts hot water.
Wet a rag with some rubbing alcohol. Use this to treat hot spots on the mirror.
Wet a microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution and wipe down the glass.
Check your mirror from multiple angles to make sure you've got everything cleaned up; repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.
What you'll need: Vacuum, liquid dish soap, water, baking soda, sponge
The first step is to vacuum every inch of the couch to get rid of all debris. This includes the underside of cushions, the back of the couch, and the floor on which it sits.
Use your favorite fabric cleaner on a sponge to dab spots and blotches. We suggest ForceField as an affordable upholstery cleaner. If you don't have a go-to cleaner, we suggest using a mixture of liquid dishwasher soap, water, and a pinch of baking soda.
Sprinkle baking soda on and under the cushions to absorb odors. Leave the soda there for at least 15 minutes or overnight for best results.
Finally, vacuum up the baking soda and your couch should be smelling and looking fresh
What you'll need: Vacuum, vinegar, water, linseed or coconut oil, cloth
Vacuum the cushions to get rid of large debris. Be sure to get underneath and in between the seats.
Wipe down the couch with a cloth dampened in a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water.
Wait for the couch to dry off
Rub coconut or linseed oil on your couch. Note: if you have a tan couch, the leather may look darker after applying the oil. Since leather is cow skin, applying oil regularly will keep it moisturized and prevent cracking.
What you'll need: Bar Keeper's Friend
Get Bar Keeper's Friend
Use Bar Keeper's Friend. (Seriously, it's the best stuff ever.)
For more information on exactly how well it handles all manner of everyday stains, please read our review of Bar Keeper's Friend.
What you'll need: Microfiber cloth, paintbrush, vacuum, vinegar, water
Remove the cushions and follow the instructions under the upholstery section.
Dust with a soft or microfiber cloth
Use a clean paintbrush to get in between the canes without damaging it
With the dusting tool, vacuum your wicker furniture. If you don't know what a dusting tool looks like, we suggest you check out our guide to vacuum attachments.
Rub down your wicker with a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water. This will help treat and prevent mildew.
What you'll need: Sponge, dish soap, mineral spirits, cloth
Use a mixture of dish soap and warm water to dampen a sponge.
Wipe down the piece of wooden furniture in question. Be sure to start somewhere inconspicuous to ensure the soap does not mar the finish. If it does, switch over to water only.
Make sure to thoroughly dry the piece. Beads of water will damage wood furniture.
Apply mineral spirit in a well-ventilated area. This will help give wood that new shine.