06 September 2010

cleaning upholstered chairs

Hubs and I bought these dining chairs soon after we got married. I wanted upholstered dining chairs because they seemed more comfortable than all-wood chairs. 

Why did I not consider our future children ruining that upholstery by smearing bits of food over every square inch?




These chairs are going to be recovered or replaced somewhere down the line, as soon as the kids can learn to eat like civilized people. But for now, I'm stuck with them.

I had a burst of energy the other day and decided to try to clean them. I've tried spot-cleaning before, without much success.  But this time, I filled a spray bottle with hot water and a little dish soap, shook it up, and sprayed that upholstery completely. 

It couldn't make them any worse, right? 
If I'm going to recover them anyway, who cares if I mess up the fabric? 
At least they'll be clean.

So I sprayed them and scrubbed them with a heavy duty scrub brush.
When I finished, Little Mister asked to use the cleaning tools for his dump truck.
And I went to work wiping down the wood frames of the chairs.

And now, my chairs. are. clean.
This chair was the dirtiest one, the same one in the top two photos.
(Those dark spots were just wet--they hadn't dried completely before I took photos. 
I was too darn excited to wait!)

See? Same markings on the wood frame:
chairs before and after

My only advice is if you actually like your upholstery, use a gentler brush. I roughed up my fabric a little from vigorous scrubbing. A cloth might be better--you can still scrub with it, but it shouldn't damage your fabric.

I feel so much better now that those chairs are clean! Of course, in the days since I've cleaned them, the kids have messed them up again. But at least I know I can fix it when I want to. :)