How To Deep Clean A Couch/Upholstery At Home Easy Guide

The couch, a place where family, friends, as well as loved ones, gather to sit down and enjoy a movie night or a simple chat. Throughout the years, the couch starts accumulating everything from dirt, stains, and if you have a pet, bunches of hair.

While an insurmountable number of people use certain cleaning methods like dusting or simply wiping it, these methods although seem like they clean the surface leave residual grime. Sofa Cleaning can be a thorough process that many are inept to understand if they don’t do their research.

While many decide to hire home cleaning services, which can offer sofa cleaning, there are measures one can take to upkeep your couch. These methods range from:

  • Baking Soda and Vacuum
  • Vacuum clean only
  • White vinegar and water
  • Sanitary Wipes

Once you thoroughly clean the sofa, it is critical to upkeep your couch so that your guests always feel welcomed to take a seat. For many home spaces, the couch is known as a centerpiece to any living room arrangement.

Couches are a staple in the household, there for a dirty or dusty couch will be the topic of criticism from others if not well kept. The value of a couch skyrockets after it is deep cleaned, whether you would like to eventually sell the couch or give it away, it is important to have the couch in mint condition.

It is important to note that this works vice versa, when you purchase a couch from a colleague or friend, you may consider deep cleaning the couch for hygienic purposes. These are the tips, tricks, and tools needed to clean your home.

From vacuums, steamers, bristle brushes, and more! Here is the step by step in many ways you can win the battle against dirt, dust, and grime.

1. Review Couch Tag and Instructions

How do I find out what is the best way to clean a couch?

When many individuals first ask themselves how to clean a couch at home, a lot of questions come to mind. For example, what kind of couch is it? Leather, upholstered, velvet, cotton, etc. Some start to do their research without realizing the answer is right in front of their eyes.

The couch itself has instructions, the tag that is attached to the sofa holds the key as to how you can clean it and how you should not clean it. Some instructions are a bit difficult to understand due to the symbols and letters that the tag contains. Below is an example of an instruction tag:

Review Couch Tag and Instructions

This tag is not only located on the couch but also on the couch cushions and other couch accessories that the couch may come with. These instructions include:

  • W: meaning water solvent, only use a water-based detergent
  • S: this means non-water solvent, only anti-water products
  • WS: This means it would be okay to use either a water-based detergent or water-free detergent
  • X: Dry cleaning only, no liquid cleaning. However, vacuuming is allowed.

This information is detrimental to finding out how to clean sofa, if you use a product that is not recommended in the product tag, you could end up ruining the fabric. That would mean anything from loose threads to eventual wear and tear.

chicago home cleaning service

You may decide to research the product and eventually come to find different solutions as to how to clean a couch properly but we recommend looking at the tag to accurately clean the couch without even so much of a loose stitch.

2. Vacuuming the surface

How to deep clean a couch/upholstery and remove all surface dirt?

Before you get down to the nitty-gritty, a lot of individuals miss the crucial step of removing all surface objects such as loose hairs, crumbs, and dust. If you do end up cleaning the couch without removing these micro bacteria infestations it can remain on the couch even after a wash.

That is why the best way to remove these subtle imperfections is to thoroughly vacuum the couch. For pet owners, this is a must as your pet tends to shed or leave even the smallest of bacteria or germs that can be hidden away in the creases of the sofa.

Vacuum the surface

The vacuum comes with several extensions that can facilitate easier cleanings. Vacuums can be used for just about any different fabric. While many own a vacuum, some households aren’t equipped with one.

In this case, there is an alternative which would be to remove the sofa cover or cushion covers and shake it outside until all of the dust, hair, or crumbs come off completely. This will help prepare the couch for the next step on how to deep clean a couch.

3. Target the Stains

How to remove stains from a couch?

Remember that time you shared red wine after having guests over? Hard to forget after the stain that was left on the couch that same night. We’ve all been there, leaving stains on the couch happen to even the most careful of household owners.

Remove Stains from a Couch

Whether it was done by another individual or yourself, removing the stain can be quite infuriating. When it comes to stains, it is important to refer to the manufacturer tag once again.

This will help us understand what kind of couch cleaner can be used. If it is a homemade cleaner, it is highly suggestible to first test the cleaner in a small area of the sofa cover for safety.

The following practices are recommended for stain cleaning a fabric couch:

  • Use a sponge and detergent to mildly dampen the stain
  • Place baking soda throughout the couch and wait 20 minutes before vacuuming the couch with a brush attachment to remove the baking soda
  • Use 2 cups of distilled water, add 1 tablespoon of dishwasher soap, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to blot the stained areas

You will also be able to use a water solvent cleaner for leather and dry with a microfiber cloth. Now for microfiber couches, it is recommended to clean with a non-water solvent like rubbing alcohol.

Once you have removed the stains, it will be easier to clean the rest of the couch as you have targeted the problem areas right away. This leaves the rest of the couch ready for deep cleaning.

4. The Magic of Baking Soda

How to deep clean a couch using baking soda:

While many have sofa cleaning products at home, for new homeowners or homeowners that are trying to be more economic they might be able to purchase these products. When thinking about how to clean upholstery, this also comes into play as many products on the market use chemical items which could prove to be dangerous to inhale.

What a lot of people fail to recognize is the simple household objects that can clean even the dirtiest of couches. One household item that serves to be extremely useful is baking soda.

couch using baking soda

As you previously read about the magic of removing stains with a concoction of baking soda, it can also be applied to the other parts of the couch. Baking soda can be used for just about every type of fabric including:

  • Suede
  • Cotton
  • Velvet
  • Leather

The use of baking soda can also help remove the repugnant odor that your couch may be emitting. As is the case if someone owns a pet or has bought a couch from a thrift store or friend, couches will eventually start to let out an odor that can be off-putting.

Some homeowners end up using air fresheners or other fragrances to cover the odor, however with baking soda which absorbs the smell entirely. Using a thin layer of baking soda to cover the couch and then scrubbing away with a cleaning brush as well as water will remove just about any dirt, grime, chemicals, and other products.

5. Next up – the cushions and other couch accessories

How to clean couch cushions?

Now that you’ve scaled the couch with the baking soda material, next it is time for the cushions. The cushions are an important part of the couch as it is used for guests to get more comfortable. This would mean that the cushions can be the dirtiest part of the couch due to its overuse.

cushions and couch accessories

For this area, we also recommend looking at the tag to be certain of what product can or cannot be used to clean the cushions. When you’re cleaning removable cushions, you can use several processes.

Including the stain removal process which includes baking soda, distilled water, and vinegar. You can even wash them in the laundry if the manufacturer label permits. However, make sure to use a gentle cycle to protect colors and fabric.

When it comes to non-removable cushions, it is advised to request home cleaning services. If you aren’t equipped economically to request home cleaning services, the other options are:

  • Steam Clean, allows for both vacuum and cleansing at the same time
  • Creating a wet paste from detergent and water, then rubbing off with a wet sponge
  • Beat the fabric outside with a broomstick or any other stick-like object

The wet paste option also works remarkably well for stains if your cushions have them.

6. Steam Clean

How to steam clean the couch:

While some fabric can be cleaned with baking soda and vinegar, some options can make cleaning your couch a smooth process. Steam cleaning the couch is a slightly less difficult process due to its convenience as it uses vapor to clean.

Steam Clean

This process not only aids complete sanitization and removal of bacteria but also without the help of chemicals making it a more organic procedure. Steam cleaning involves using high temperatures which helps break down dirt, this in turn aids in illuminating the fabric colors.

To find out if you can steam clean your couch’s fabric, it is advisable to first look at the manufacturer tag. If the tag reads W or WS, which means you can use a water solvent, then it is safe to steam clean as it uses water properties for steaming. For steam cleaning, you will need to pay heed to the following steps:

  1. You will first need to vacuum the sofa to remove any dust, debris, or small crumbs that the couch may have. When vacuuming it is advised to use the cushioning attachment for accuracy and efficient cleaning.
  2. Before beginning to steam clean, review the manufacturer guide and make sure that that the steam cleaner is at the appropriate settings for the fabric as well as any attachments needed are being used. This typically tends to include a microfiber cloth.
  3. Next, you will test drive the steam cleaner on a small area that is not conspicuous or in everyone’s line of vision. Wait for 15 minutes until it is completely dry to review the area and make sure that the fabric has not been damaged with the settings used.
  4. If the small area was properly executed and the fabric is now spotless, you will be able to clean the rest of the couch.
  5. It is recommended to continuously change the microfiber cloth throughout the cleaning as it can accumulate dirt during the cleaning process.
  6. Once you are done, to speed up the drying process you can use a fan or if you aren’t in rush you can wait until it is completely dry and enjoy a cleansed couch.
  7. As a safety precaution, we advise waiting until the water in the steam cleaner is completely cool to dump it out.

Now that you know how to steam clean, you are ready to maximize your couch experience with beautifully polished furniture that will continue to impress guests.

7. Drying and Reaping the Rewards

How long does the drying process take, can it be sped up?

Now that the hard part is out of the way, the last step in cleaning is simply to let the couch fabric, cushions, and other couch attachments dry completely before sitting down.

This could ultimately take some time; we recommend using a fan or airing out the fabric in clean dry air in the patio (if the homeowner has one).

Drying and Reaping the rewards

The importance of maintaining a clean couch goes beyond its impressionable aesthetic conclusion, it is part of a hygienic routine.What many people fail to understand is, the dirtier the couch is the more likely it could become a detriment to your overall health.

Individuals with asthmatic symptoms, the elderly, and children can easily be affected due to the dirt or debris the couch can hold.  The best part of cleaning the couch is the aftermath. Now you can sit down and binge on that new Netflix series with the comfort of a beautifully sanitized couch.


How to Clean Your Duvet/Comforter At Home

The duvet and comforter are two handy textiles in the home because they are both comfortable and keep you warm on cold nights. However, just like every other textile material, they can get dirty and require washing them.

Sometimes, though, it might not be all too easy to take your duvet or comforter to a laundry or dry cleaning facility to wash it. But, the duvet-cleaning process can also be done at home with just a few steps.

This article will focus on how you can go about with your duvet or comforter cleaning process safely without damaging the material. But first, let’s find out more about these two, duvet and comforter.

Duvet And Comforter: Any Difference?

A lot of people are often confused when it comes to distinguishing between duvets and comforters. Some refer to the duvet as the duvet cover and the comforter as the duvet itself.

duvet white pillow

Let us closely examine the difference between duvets, duvet covers, and comforters to prevent further confusion.


Duvets are made by sewing a piece of fabric to form a large sleeping bag, filled with either down or other soft materials such as wool or feathers and synthetic fibers. This filling makes it to keep you very warm, although being considerably lightweight.

Duvets typically come in white colors and are not decorative as they will not be visible through the duvet cover. Duvets can not be used without the duvet covers, and they can be sold separately, making it possible for you to choose the color of the duvet cover to match your bedding.

Duvet Covers:

These are sewn in the form of a large pillowcase that is intended to cover your duvet. The duvet covers help protect your duvet from a wide variety of stains, spills, and damage.

They come in a wide array of colors, patterns, materials, and styles. Duvet covers help relieve the burden of regular duvet cleaning and allow you to switch up your bedding style and color by simply changing them. They are also very easy to remove, clean, and store.


Comforters are pretty much like duvets, hence, the confusion. However, comforters are not filled with as many soft materials as the duvet, making it flat and less fluffy.

Since they are less bulky than duvets, comforters do not supply as much warmth on colder nights as duvets, so you may have to layer it with extra blankets.

Comforters are often sewn with fancy fabrics, and they can be very decorative, even including matching curtains, decorative pillows, and bedsheets. But, if you want to change your bedding look, you will have to change the entire comforter.

Now that we have cleared up that misconception, what do you have in your home? A duvet or a comforter? Interestingly, the suggestions for duvet-cleaning are also applicable to comforter cleaning. So, let us look at how you can clean your duvets and comforters at home.

How To Clean Duvets/Comforters At Home

To prolong the lifespan of your duvet or comforter, you must take proper care of them. A duvet does not even need to be frequently washed since it has the duvet cover that protects it and keeps it clean.

However, if there happens to be a spill or a tiny stain on your duvet, it will be best to spot it clean and dry. You don’t need to complete a whole duvet-cleaning process to keep it clean. It is often the duvet covers that need to be washed and not the duvet itself.

Sometimes, you have to freshen up your duvet before the need to all-out wash it arises. So, if you want to freshen up your duvet, and probably kill some germs without actually washing it, you need your dryer and a few dryer balls or clean tennis balls.

Place your duvet or comforter in the dryer and add the dryer balls. Set the dryer on a low or medium heat and allow it for about 30 to 40 minutes. Stop the dryer every 10 minutes and rotate the duvet to distribute the heat evenly.

That way, you can freshen up your duvet without actually having to wash it. On the other hand, a comforter has no covering, and so it is not often protected against stains and will need to be washed as frequently as possible.

Therefore, if you cannot merely freshen it up, below are a list of steps that you can take to wash your duvet and comforter at home.

  • Follow The Instructions:

Most beddings often come with labels that provide care instructions on how to clean the material properly. Paying attention to the label before duvet-cleaning will give you a clue as to the type of material that you are dealing with and how to wash it safely.

Remember, do not launder fabrics labeled “dry clean only” as that could significantly damage the duvet or comforter. Ignoring this first step can cause you to destroy your duvet or comforter.

  • Choose a Washing Method

If your duvet or comforter is sewn with a material that needs to be dry cleaned, it will be best to send it to a reputable dry cleaning facility like Soji Cleaners to have it cleaned up.

You can either hand wash the duvets or wash them with a washing machine. If you are using a washing machine, ensure that it is large enough to contain your duvet or comforter without ripping it.

Duvet in a washing machine

duvet in washing machine

First, place your comforter or your duvet cover into a large washing machine and add the appropriate quantity of liquid soap that is best suited for the material that you will be washing.

Next, set your washer cycle at gentle or delicate, set the spin to medium or low not to stress the seams, and use cold water in the duvet cleaning or comforter cleaning process.

Granted, you want your duvet or comforter to look very neat, sparkly, and incredibly soft. Still, it will be in your best interest to resist the temptation of using a bleach, fabric softener, or anything else to either brighten or soften your duvet.

The bleach removes the protective down-proof layer covering the fabric. The fabric softener coats the down, and other natural or synthetic fibers used in filling up the duvet or comforter prevent it from properly drying.

After the washer has completed its cycle, run it through the rinse cycle for at least 2-3 times to ensure that your duvet or comforter is thoroughly rinsed without any residue of the liquid soap used in washing it.

Once you are done washing and rinsing your duvet, you can then take it to the dryer. If the duvet is made with synthetic materials, you can set your dryer on low to medium heat or tumble dry on low heat. However, if the duvet or comforter is made with down or other natural fibers, it will be best to set your dryer on low heat and allow it to dry.

You can as well add dryer balls or clean tennis balls wrapped up in some socks. This will help to agitate the down and fibers as the duvet dries, returning them to their natural forms and preventing the formation of lumps on the duvets or comforters.

Stop the dryer at intervals, take out the duvet and shake it to redistribute the down or other fibers inside it. Rotate it and use your hands to smoothen out any clumps that you find before putting it back into the dryer again to dry completely.

Once the drying cycle is complete, take out the duvet or comforter and hang it under shade to air it. Do not spread your duvet under direct sunlight as it causes the down filling to release an unpleasant odor in addition to a small amount of shrinkage that may occur.

After duvet cleaning, ensure that the duvet is completely dry before placing it back on your bed to prevent mildew. If you notice any clumps in the duvet, it is an indication that the duvet or comforter is not dry, so you will have to place it back in the dryer to dry completely.

white pillow
  • Washing by Hand

A duvet cleaning or comforter cleaning exercise can be a little bit difficult to carry out by hand. But, it is not impossible to do, especially if you cannot seem to lay your hands on a washing machine or afford the cost of having it cleaned by professionals.

You will need a clean bathtub, cold water, and a mild washing soap or detergent to accomplish this task. Before placing your duvet or comforter in the bathtub, ensure that there is no dirt in it.

It will be best to scrub the bathtub with a cleaning agent and rinse thoroughly to be on a safer side. Next, fill in the tub with cold water and add the right amount of mild washing soap suitable for the duvet.

Use your hands to lather up the soap to create a soapy solution. Then place your duvet or comforter inside the soapy water and allow it to sit in the water for about 30 minutes.

Next, gently move your hands around the surface of the material to get rid of stains. Remove the duvet or comforter from the bathtub and drain the soapy water.

Refill the tub again with cold water and place the duvet back into the water to remove any excess detergent or soap suds. Do this a couple of times until the duvet or comforter is rinsed thoroughly. Finally, drain the water and gently roll up the duvet several times to squeeze out excess water.

If you do not have a dryer to dry your comforter, you can pick it up after removing excess water and give it a good shake to make sure that the down and other synthetic fibers are not clumping before you hang it.

It is advisable to hang the duvet or comforter on a place where it is suspended to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. You can drape it over a drying rack or place it near a window or fan so that it can dry up quickly.

There are still certain things that you can do to keep your duvet or comforter clean and prevent frequent washing that can cause the material to lose its quality. What are those? Let’s find out.

Extra Tips To Keep Your Duvets/Comforters Clean

These tips can enable you to treat your duvets better and keep them fresh before each wash.

  • If you are using a duvet, always protect it against stains, sweat, and damage using a duvet cover. A thorough duvet cleaning should be done only once in a while.
  • Regularly fluff your duvet or comforter as this will help to redistribute the fillings and prevent them from becoming matted.
  • Do not store or transport your duvets or comforters in a plastic bag. Instead, place it in the cotton bag that it came with, as it allows air to penetrate through to the duvet.
  • After duvet or comforter cleaning, do not iron or starch the material as this can melt the fillings.
  • Use a steamer to remove wrinkles, odor, and germs on the duvet or comforter before wash days.

Final words

Your duvets or comforters can look and feel new all over again with just a little bit of extra attention from you.

Following the tips above on duvet cleaning and comforter cleaning will guide you on how to give your duvets or comforters the appropriate care by either washing and to dry them or freshening them up. Either way, you can look forward to a good night’s sleep when you take care of your duvets and comforters.


Simple Ways To Remove Stains From Dry Clean Only Clothes

While going about everyday activities, stains are bound to happen and most times it is not practical to get your clothes dry cleaned frequently. Often, it is a matter of the time that is required to drop the clothes off at the dry cleaner. Other times, the cost of having clothes dry cleaned is very high

The easiest dry cleaning stain removal process is to just drop it off at the dry cleaning facility. However, if you are unable to get the clothes to professional dry cleaners, you have nothing to worry about.

This article will provide you with some simple tips on how to spot clean dry clean only clothes. Before we dive into the tips, let us find out how dry cleaning actually works and what to do when you buy clothes that are labeled dry clean only.

Dry cleaning 

The concept of dry cleaning is different from laundering. Dry cleaning involves a method of cleaning stained fabrics without the use of water as a solvent.

However, the fact that it is called “dry” does not mean that the cleaning process is an entirely dry process. Instead, it refers to a way of cleaning fabrics using some chemical solvents other than water.

This method of cleaning clothes is often applied to fabrics that are very delicate and can not be washed either by using a washing machine or by hand. It also helps to preserve the desirable qualities of the fabrics by preventing stretching and shrinkage.

The chemical solvents that are used in the dry cleaning process are not often readily available to be used at home. So, fabrics to be dry cleaned are taken to professional dry cleaners to remove stains.

These professional dry cleaning services have large machines that are used in the cleaning process, including the chemical solvents required to completely get rid of stains on the fabrics.

Dry cleaning services provide a large number of people with professional cleaning services at costs that are proportional to the quality of services that they deliver to their clients.

Once the fabrics are either dropped by clients or picked up by the dry cleaning service, the first step that they go through will be sorting. This sorting is carried out either based on the color of the fabric or the material of the fabrics.

Next, the dry cleaning stain removal stage where fabrics are treated for the stains that are found on them. The professionals are skilled and they know the exact treatment to give to any stain found on the fabrics, oil, grease, sweat, coffee stains, and more.

Coffee Stain

Coffee Stain on clothes

The clothes are thereafter loaded into the dry cleaning machine with the right amount of chemical solvent needed to get rid of stains and the machine is then turned on so that the fabrics can be cleaned by gently agitating them so as to loosen the stains and get rid of it.

After the clothes have been washed and rinsed with another clean chemical, they are removed from the machine and taken to a dryer. It might also be dried by the same machine that was used to wash the fabrics if it is a closed system.

Next, they are pressed or ironed and packaged for delivery to their respective owners. The purpose of this packaging is to prevent the clothed against any further stains that may occur.

In recent years, though, there are several dry cleaning kits that are available for use at home. These kits come with manuals on how to clean the fabrics and that makes them very easy to use. They help to minimize costs that will have otherwise been used to pay for professional dry cleaning services.

However, it is vital to keep in mind that the services rendered by these professionals can not be compared to the results that you are bound to get from the use of the dry cleaning kits. Therefore, it will be wise to only dry clean at home those fabrics that do not have tough stains on them and reserve the ones with tough stains for the professional dry cleaners who know exactly what to do about them.

Additionally, the emergence of on-demand services, including on-demand dry cleaning services has made certain house chores, such as laundry, easier to carry out. By means of an app, you will be able to have your clothes picked up at a time that is convenient for you, dry cleaned and delivered back to you without even having to break a sweat.

But, there are certain dry cleaning stain removal that do not necessarily need to be taken to the dry cleaning facility. Let us see what to do about them.

How to Spot Clean Dry Clean Only Clothes

Spot Cleaning

Spot Cleaning clothes

Spot cleaning refers to a treatment that is given to a stained fabric with the intention of cleaning the stained part of the fabric alone and not the entire cloth. There are some fabrics that can only be spot cleaned and that is because they can not be washed safely using a washing machine or hand washing.

Fabrics that have intricate designs and hand-sewn embellishments such as beads, rhinestones, and laces are often spot cleaned because doing so will remove stains from the fabric without bringing any damage to the designs.

Another possible reason for spot cleaning a piece of clothing is due to the fact that the material used in sewing the cloth can not be able to hold the dye during the washing process; and therefore, does not need to be immersed in water or any other solvent so as not to color bleed and ruin the fabric.

Spot cleaning can also be done even when you are washing a piece of fabric with water. This will help to remove some tough stains on the fabric before the actual washing process commences. It is often done to confine the stain to a particular area on the fabric and prevent it from spreading to other areas and inducing subsequent stains.

Always remember that not all fabrics can be spot cleaned. For instance, an attempt to spot clean silk will most likely make the stain worse than it is already since it will leave large blotches of stain on the fabric. Therefore, it is important that you know how to spot clean dry clean only clothes to avoid creating a bigger mess.

Applying too much of a cleaning solution, using excess water, or just simply using the wrong product to remove a stain can cause you to end up ruining your favorite piece of clothing while spot cleaning on your own. So, if you are not very familiar with the basic principles surrounding spot cleaning, it will be better to take the clothes to a professional dry cleaner to have it cleaned properly.

Professional dry cleaners will be able to detect the issue with the fabric immediately and take care of it very conveniently.

Sometimes, though, there may not be enough time to take the fabrics to the dry cleaner, so, it will be best that you learn how to spot clean dry clean only clothes even before the stains occur. Let us now examine a few steps to take that will help to eliminate stains from your fabrics as soon as they happen.

How To Remove Stains From Dry Clean Only Fabrics

Dry Clean Only

Dry Clean Only clotches

Dealing with stains on fabrics that are labeled “dry clean only” can be very risky. It is especially true with knitted and woven pieces of clothing such as wool and cashmere. Any mistake with the cleaning procedure will leave the fabric stretched and shapeless.

Learn: How to Wash and Clean Cashmere With Care

It is vital that you act quickly when stains occur because time is of the essence in terms of spot cleaning dry clean only fabrics. The earlier you take care of the stains, the easier it will be to get rid of them.

We will now look at four steps that you can take to remove stains from your fabrics as soon as they occur.

1. Check the label on the fabric

Labels are very important. The manufacturers of your garments are well aware of the need for labels and that is why they put it on the fabrics. Some people are not aware of this fact and that is why they are very quick to tear the labels out as soon as they purchase the garment.

The label provided you with a lot of information that will help you to take good care of your clothes to enable them last for a long time. It tells you about the type of material that your garment is made from, cleaning products to avoid using on the garment, ironing options, and if it is “dry clean” or “dry clean only”.

So you see, the label is like a guide that the manufacturer gives to you to help you handle your clothes correctly. Just imagine the number of clothes that are ruined on a daily basis, which would have been avoided if only the owners paid even the slightest attention to the labels.

Note that both fabrics that are labeled “dry clean” and “dry clean only” can be spot cleaned but it will require extreme carefulness. On the other hand, though, there are certain materials that you should not even attempt to spot clean on your own.

Materials like cashmere, leather, suede, and rayon should be promptly taken to the dry cleaner once they are stained. They are more experienced to handle these types of fabrics than you are.

  2. Identify stain

This step in how to spot clean dry clean only clothes is very critical in the removal of stains from fabrics. Identifying the type of stain on your clothing will give you leverage on the type of cleaning solution or product to use and how to go about it without bringing any damage to your clothes.

There are many different types of stains that we are faced with on a daily basis and it is very crucial that you learn about those stained before they occur. Below is a list of stains that are very common:

  • Oil-based stains:

Oil Stain

oil stain clothes

These are some of the most common types of stains that can be found mainly because we encounter them every single day. Most times, they are inevitable.

Oil-based stains are a little bit tricky to get rid of simply because of their tendency to spread to other parts of the fabric as quickly as possible. They also have the potential of leaving indelible marks on clothes if they are not removed quickly and efficiently.

Some common oil-based stains include lotions and body oils, petroleum, butter, mayonnaise, gels, salad dressing, lipstick, makeup, and many more.

  • Earth-based stains

Ketchup Stain

ketchup stain clothes

These stains are more commonly identified as food stains. They include a wide variety of liquid food stains that may occur at any time.

These stains are not as difficult to get rid of as the oil-based stains. They can be removed even with the most readily available solvent in the world, water.

However, before spot cleaning this type of stains, ensure that you have an idea of what you are doing to avoid turning a simple problem into a complicated one.

Tea, coffee, red wine, ketchup, juice, soda, and mud are all found under this type of stain.

  • Protein-based stains

Sweat Stain 

sweat strain 1

Protein-based stains are inevitable. Even if there is no visible stain on the clothes, protein-based stains will surely be found on it.

The stains under this category include sweat, blood, urine, milk, meat and fish juices, eggs, vomit, and urine.

  • Ink stains

Ink Stain

ink stain clothes

A stain from the ink is one of the most difficult types of stains to remove when thinking of how to spot clean dry clean only clothes. They are very tacky and often condemn any piece of clothing that they are found on, especially if it is in large quantities.

Stains like ink from a pen and permanent markers can be found in this category.

 3. Gather cleaning supplies 

Cleaning Supplies 

cleaning supplies products

It is true that there are different types of stains but the products or cleaning solutions to use in removing them are almost the same. Below are the necessary items to use in spot cleaning stains on a piece of fabric.

  • An absorbent white clothes or towel. This material is used to carefully blot the stain and absorb any excess moisture. The purpose of using a white material is to ensure that no further stains occur during the process.
  • Depending on the type of stain, you may need a scraper, a knife, or even the edge of your credit card.
  • Paper towels, cotton balls or cotton swabs are also needed for miniature stains.
  • A bowl of cold water to aid the removal process.

4. Choose the right method and cleaning products

Once you have identified the type of stain that you will be dealing with, the next thing is to find a suitable procedure on how to spot clean dry clean only clothes to use as well as an appropriate cleaning solution.

Choosing the right method and products will help to eliminate the stains more efficiently. We will now examine some simple ways to clean different types of stains on a fabric

  • Scrape off any excess.

Scraping off any excess stain is the first thing that you will have to do before every other thing. Doing this will help to prevent the stain from moving from one spot to another and creating a bigger problem than the one already at hand.

You can use the blind edge of a knife or your credit card to scrape off any excess mud, jelly or lotion.

  • Removing liquid-based stains

In the removal of liquid-based stains, water alone can do the work only if you address the issue as quickly as possible.

Start by spacing the stained part of your fabric on the absorbent white cloth or towel or simply hold it under a sink.

Next, pour cold water or soda water over the spot you are trying to clean. If the stain is not removed this way, prepare a solution of equal parts of vinegar and clear dish soap.

Use a paper towel or cotton swab to dip into the solution and gently start dabbing it on the stain. You must never rub the stain as it will aggravate the situation. But you can increase your tapping motion.

Don’t forget the white towel that you placed underneath the clothing and constantly rotate it when any part of it becomes wet or change it with a dry one entirely when it is fully saturated.

Once you are done with tapping the cleaning solution onto the stain, allow it to dit on the fabric for about 20 minutes. Repeat these steps until the stains are gone and use a clean cloth or cotton ball to wipe off the solution or you can rinse and allow it to dry off completely.

  • Removing oil-based stains

Using water alone never want to remove oil-based stains. In some cases, it might even make the stain worse. So you need a different approach when it comes to getting rid of this type of stain.

First, apply a large quantity of baking soda on the stain and tap it into the fabric using a cotton ball or a small, soft brush such as a nail polish brush. Always remember not to run the stain.

Allow the baking soda to sit on the fabric and absorb the stain for a few minutes and gently shake off any excess powder. Examine the clothing for any traces of a stain on it.

If the stain is not removed this way and is still visible, place the white towel under it and wet the fabric with cold water. Dab the stain with a small amount of citrus-based cleaning detergent.

Leave the detergent on the stain for a couple of minutes. Wipe off the detergent with a cotton swab and allow the clothing to dry, thus completing the dry cleaning stain removal process

  • Removing protein-based stains

Protein-based stains have a strong stench and so require high-quality products to get rid of both the stain and the lingering odors.

When cleaning a piece of clothing that has a protein-based stain on it, you will have to place the white cloth or towel under and wet it with cold water.

Next, you prepare a solution with 2 parts of water, 1 part of ammonia, 1 part of peroxide, and 1 part of a clear colored detergent. Use a cotton ball to tap this solution into the fabric and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Wipe off any excess product or rinse with cold water and leave it to dry off completely.

Always make sure that you only store clothes that are very neat and dry. Storing dirty or moist clothes can attract moths and some other insects that can damage your clothes.

  • Removing ink stains

Among all the different types of stain that can be found on fabrics, ink stains are one of the most difficult to remove.

They are best handled as soon as they occur when they are still wet. When ink stains occur, resist the urge to wipe it as the wiping motion will only push the stain deeper into the fabric and make it even more difficult to remove.

You can buy an ink removal kit and strictly follow the guidelines on how to use it.

5. Additional helpful cleaning tips

Below are extra tips that you can apply on how to spot clean dry clean only clothes and rid them of stains:

  • Alcohol can be used in the removal of a wide range of stains from fabrics. Therefore, endeavor to carry a small bottle of alcohol-based products like hand sanitizer at all times for immediate spot treatment.
  • Always bring with you a white cloth or small towel, and a handful of cotton swabs or paper towels.
  • Always remember to test any cleaning solution that you prepared for removing stains in inconspicuous areas of your clothing to know its reaction before using it directly on the stains.
  • It is often best to keep commercial stain removers on hand in case of emergency stains.
  • Endeavor to buy a home dry cleaning kit
  • Most importantly, act very quickly when stains happen. If you do, you will succeed with dry cleaning stain removal and avoid damaging your clothes.

When Stains Are Difficult To Remove At Home

Commercial Dry Cleaning

commercial dry cleaning

Try as you may, there are still some stains that you can not remove on your own. Spot cleaning dry clean only fabrics, take note of the stains that are very difficult and leave then.

Your best shot at fully eliminating stains from your fabrics is to take them to commercial dry cleaning facilities. The professionals there can dry clean spots on the fabrics using the best products and best methods possible.

If you’re not confident about using commercial dry cleaners, you may want to go through our guide on things to consider when choosing the laundry service for you.

Remember, though, that trying to tackle tough stains on your own can only result in damaging your fabrics and that can not be compared to the amount you will pay for the services of a dry cleaner.

The professionals know the entire dry cleaning stain removal process and how to handle each fabric to make your clothes look fresh all year round.

Final Words

Stains can be frustrating at times, especially if you just got your clothes back from the dry cleaner and manage to stain it the next day.

These simple tips on how to remove stains from your dry clean only fabrics without having to visit the dry cleaning facility will help to simplify your life and reduce much stress.

Always bear in mind that when spot cleaning dry-clean-only fabrics, it is advisable to take small spots at a time and not try to clean large stained areas on the fabric and subsequently ruining your garment.


Dry Clean Vs. Laundered – 10 Big Differences You Should Know

There is a famous saying that “You are addressed the way you dress.” This statement is very true when it comes to the type of clothes and accessories that you put on and how clean those clothes are. Stains are inevitable, no matter how careful you are, you are bound to find a stain or two on your clothes, either sweat stains or dust particles.

Two major cleaning methods are employed in the removal of stains, which we encounter daily, such as grease, oil, dirt, and other spots that make our clothes dirty, and they are dry cleaning and laundering. When these methods are used correctly, they can prove to be very efficient in removing stains, including sweat marks on your clothes.

However, these cleaning methods are often assumed to be the same. Certain fabrics are meant to be dry cleaned “only.” On the other hand, most fabrics are much better off laundered. Sadly, though, a lot of fabrics have been badly damaged as a result of not understanding the clear difference between these two cleaning methods.

This, therefore, gives rise to the million-dollar question, ” What is the difference between dry cleaning and laundering?” This article seeks to give satisfying answers to this question and many others. However, before we go further, let us take a closer look at what these methods mean and the processes involved in these two cleaning methods.

Dry Clean Vs. Laundered – What is Dry Cleaning?

Dry Cleaning refers to a method of removing stains, grease, and dirt from fabrics without actually using water as a solvent; hence, the word “dry.”

The name came about, not because it is a completely dry process but because this method of cleaning fabrics involves the use of certain chemicals that have the properties of removing stains found on fabrics. It is a method that is best suited for cleaning delicate fabrics that either degrade in water or becomes badly damaged by the tumble of a washing machine.

The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process includes solvents ranging from petroleum or hydrocarbons, liquified Carbon Dioxide, Silicon or Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, which is commonly known as D5, to the new and organic Solvon K4 and the most popular of them all, Tetrachloroethylene or Perchloroethylene, which is commonly known as ” Perc” in the industry.

Dry Cleaning services are not commonly done at home as a result of the large and expensive machines that are required for the process. Dry Cleaning services are often rendered by professionals who have both the expertise in handling tough stains and the machinery needed to give your fabrics the best treatment and cleaning it needs. The choice of solvent to be used in dry cleaning services can vary greatly based on the dry cleaning company you take your fabrics to.

Once you drop off your dirty fabrics at a dry cleaning facility, the very first thing that the dry cleaner does is to inspect the fabrics for any stains to give it the needed pre-treatment. It is at this point that it will be especially important for you to tell the dry cleaner the actual cause of a particular stain so that it can be treated the right way.

The fabrics will then be treated with stain removers, which are designed for a specific type of stain, to efficiently remove the stains from the fabric. After this is done, the fabrics are loaded into the dry cleaning machine, where it is immersed in the chemical solvent that does the cleaning.

Immediately after the cleaning process is finished, the fabrics are moved to the dryer, which dries them out completely. The clothes are thereafter steamed or pressed to remove wrinkles, then packaged in plastic bags to stave off any other stain before you pick it up.

This is basically a rundown of the processes involved in dry cleaning services. However, there are certain fabrics that should not be dry cleaned, irrespective of what the label says. This now brings us to the next cleaning method: laundering.

Dry Clean Vs. Laundered – What is Laundering?

Laundry refers to the traditional method of cleaning dirty fabrics. This method involves completely immersing the fabrics in water, as a solvent, with the addition of various cleaning agents such as detergents, soaps, and more. This method of cleaning fabrics is more commonly done by handwashing.

However, in recent years, the use of washing machines has greatly risen to popularity, and it is gradually over-shadowing the conventional handwashing process utilized in laundry services. The fabrics are first sorted out and inspected to identify the type of stains on them and to give them the right treatment. Next, they are put into the washing machine with an adequate quantity of detergent or soap needed for the washing process.

The machine is then set to spin at a time and temperature that is high enough to break the attraction between the stains and the fabric, lifting it off the surface of the fabric. Once the cleaning process is complete, the fabrics will then be tumble dried and spun continuously to squeeze out the excess water on it. The fabrics can then be hung under direct sunlight to enable it to dry completely.

At times, some people who live fast-paced corporate life and do not have enough time to do their laundry, take these fabrics to professional cleaners for outstanding laundry services. As implied by their names, these professional cleaners are trained to carry out laundry services better.

In addition to the detergent or soap that is added to the water used for laundry, these professional cleaners can also use bleach or softeners to help in the removal of stains, and some other additives such as perfume, to give the fabrics a pleasant scent. They also follow the same procedures that are being applied to using the washing machine in your home. When the fabrics are completely dried, they are ironed and folded for collection.

Now that we have seen the different processes involved in both dry cleaning services and laundry services let us examine some of the big differences that exist between these two methods of cleaning fabrics.

Dry Clean Vs. Laundered – 10 Big Differences You Should Know

As much as dry cleaning and laundry are both methods employed in the cleaning of fabrics, there are some notable differences between them. Some of these differences include:

1. The Solvent Materials Used In The Process:

This is the biggest difference between dry cleaning services and laundry services. Dry Cleaning utilizes various chemical solvents, with the most commonly used solvent being Perc, to remove stains from fabrics. The use of these chemical solvents proves to be very effective in removing even the toughest stains from fabric.

On the other hand, laundry services involve the use of water as a solvent, as well as some cleaning agents such as detergents, soaps, and bleach to remove stains. This method, although being the easiest and most commonly used method of cleaning fabrics, is sometimes still not able to remove some tough stains.

Most fabrics are often sent to dry cleaning facilities once they are inspected, and there are certain stains found on them that can not be removed by just being laundered.

2. Energy Consumption:

The process of dry cleaning is a cleaning method that consumes a very high amount of energy. Dry Cleaning services make use of even more energy per kilogram of dirty fabrics to be washed when compared to conventional laundry services.

The Laundering process, on the other hand, is very energy efficient since it does not consume as much energy as required in the dry cleaning process. According to statistics, this method of cleaning fabrics actually uses about 50% less energy than what is used up during dry cleaning.

3. Affordability Of The Two Cleaning Methods:

Dry Cleaning is often considered to be a more effective method of removing stains from fabrics, and this makes it more expensive. The cost of having your clothes dry cleaned is very high when compared to having them laundered.

The main reason for this big difference in the cost lies in the materials used during the cleaning process. The cost of buying the dry cleaning machines and the chemical solvents that are used in the process is significantly higher than the costs involved in laundering.

The materials that are utilized in the laundering of clothes, namely, soap, detergents, and bleach, do not cost as much as the materials used in dry cleaning, thereby reducing the expenses.

4. Longevity Of The Fabrics Being Washed:

Using dry cleaning services tend to increase the longevity of fabrics. This is because there are certain fabrics that are very sensitive to water.  Therefore, using water as a solvent, to wash them will extremely reduce their durability. Dry Cleaning helps to prevent these fabrics from fading.

Clothes that are often laundered have a high tendency to fade very fast. This is mainly due to the constant strain on the fabric and the actions of some of these cleaning agents, including bleach and detergents, which wears out the fabric after it has been washed a couple of times.

5. Drying Methods Employed:

Dry Cleaning services remove excess water from the washed fabrics using a dryer that can also be found in the dry cleaning machine. This method of drying ensures that the fabrics are evenly dried without any traces of moisture in them. The fabrics are also steamed or pressed to remove any wrinkles that were not eliminated in the drying process.

Laundered fabrics, however, are dried using direct sunlight. The effects of the Ultra Violet rays (UV rays) on these fabrics tend to make the colors fade very quickly.

6. Maintenance Of The Shape And Texture Of Fabrics:

Dry Cleaning helps to maintain some of the qualities that the fabrics being cleaned has, including the shape, size, and texture. The dry cleaning process does not shrink the fabrics, and it also maintains the texture of the fabrics even after they have been dried.

However, the chances of finding your fabrics becoming smaller in size, shrunk, and crumpled, is relatively high in the laundering process. Most fabrics can not withstand the strain and tousle involved in laundry services. As a result, they drastically reduce in size and lose their shape.

7. Time Consumption:

In terms of speed, the dry cleaning process is not as time-consuming as laundry services. The various processes that are involved in dry cleaning services, from the washing of the fabrics to the drying, and steaming or pressing of the fabrics, are all carried out with the help of machines. This mechanical support helps to significantly speed up the cleaning process.

On the other hand, laundering fabrics consumes a lot of time, especially when using the conventional hand-washing method. Yet, even when the cleaning is done using a washing machine, some of the processes are manual, such as the drying process, and this consumes a lot of time.

8. Health And Environmental Concerns:

This is another major difference between these two cleaning methods. The chemicals that are used in the dry cleaning process are very toxic to humans, animals, and plants as well. Studies have shown that the commonly used solvent for dry cleaning, Perc, is Carcinogenic to human beings.

This implies that it can cause several types of cancer, including esophageal, bladder, cervical, and in some cases, breast cancer. Additionally, it can cause dizziness, mild memory loss, loss of coordination, and blistering of the skin, to people who often dry clean their clothes. The petroleum or hydrocarbon solvents are also not left out as they have flammable properties, which can quickly set the fabrics ablaze.

Contrastingly, laundry services are quite environmentally friendly. They have no hazardous health and environmental effects when used.

9. Recycling Of Solvents:

The solvents used in the dry cleaning process are constantly recycled. After a load of fabrics have been washed, the solvents are transported to a filter that helps to remove impurities from the solvent so that it can be reused again.

This is not the case with laundering. You can never make use of the soapy water that you used to wash a handful of dirty fabrics to wash another set of fabrics.

10. Fabrics To Be Washed:

Dry Cleaning is employed in washing a lot of fabrics. Many of these fabrics are delicate and require special care and attention to be given to them. Fabrics like silk, velvet, acetate, taffeta, and wool are often better off dry cleaned. Using water on these fabrics tends to damage them badly.

On the other hand, there are just a limited number of fabrics that are to be washed using laundry services, such as Cashmere, linen, acrylic, cotton, and nylon.

Now that we have seen some of the differences that exist between dry cleaning services and laundry services, which of these cleaning methods is better?

Dry Clean Vs. Laundered – Which is better?

The choice of a cleaning method to use in removing stains from your fabric is based solely on your personal preferences and the type of material that you are cleaning. However, you can choose between these two cleaning methods by taking a look at their pros and cons.

Dry CleaningPros

Below are some of the pros of using the dry cleaning method to remove stains from your fabrics.

  • Dry Cleaning effectively removes tough stains, such as oil and grease, that cannot be removed by water.
  • It is very effective in prolonging the quality of the fabrics being washed.
  • It helps to retain some of the desirable attributes of the fabric, such as texture and color.
  • It does not cause the fabric to shrink or crumble.
  • It prevents color bleeding, which is very noticeable in the laundering of fabrics with different colors.
Dry CleaningCons

These are some of the disadvantages of using the dry cleaning method to clean fabrics. They include:

  • It is a very expensive method of cleaning fabrics.
  • The chemicals used in dry cleaning are not conducive for humans, animals, and plants as well.
  • It leaves the odor of the chemicals used in the process on the fabric.
  • A lot of energy is consumed during the cleaning process.

More recently, there have been several innovations that are seeking to oust the use of Perc as a solvent in the dry cleaning process due to the health and environmental hazards it poses. One of such innovations is Solvon K4, a 99 percent halogen-free organic solvent with outstanding cleaning performance. It has the ability to absorb and dissolve both greasy or oily stains and water-soluble stains.

Once this solvent becomes widely used, it will eliminate some of the hazards that are most commonly associated with the use of chemicals like Perc, petroleum or hydrocarbons, and many others.


Below are some of the benefits you can derive from laundering your fabrics.

  • Laundering is a cheaper method of cleaning fabrics.
  • No hazardous chemicals are used during the cleaning process.
  • It consumes a little amount of energy during the process, up to 50 percent less energy than the dry cleaning process.
  • The softeners that are added to the fabrics while cleaning gives them a sweet and long-lasting scent.
Laundering Cons

Despite the huge benefits you can derive from laundering your fabrics, there are still some flaws that this cleaning method has. They include:

  • This method is not suitable for removing extremely tough stains on the fabric, such as grease, and deep oil stains.
  • It is known for shrinking and crumbling fabrics.
  • Constant laundering of fabrics tends to make the colors fade.

The Difference Between Dry Cleaning and Pressing

There are several other misconceptions that are popular when it comes to the cleaning of fabrics. One of them is pressing. What is pressing, and what difference exists between pressing and dry cleaning? First, let us find out what pressing is.

 What Is Pressing

Pressing, which is also known as Finishing, is the process of taking clean clothes, either laundered or dry cleaned and pressing the wrinkles that are on the surface of the clothes out as well as reshaping the garment to its original form to give it a crisp look.

Pressing is usually carried out using specialized equipment that is often designed with a particular type of fabric in mind. There are pressing equipment ranging from shirt press used for pressing shirts, pant press used for pressing pants or trousers, collar and cuff press, and utility press that is used for some non-standardized clothing items such as women’s blouses.

Once the pressing process is complete, the fabrics are then hung vertically to prevent it from wrinkling further.

Difference between pressing and dry cleaning 

The main difference between pressing and dry cleaning lies in the fact that dry cleaning is a cleaning method aimed at removing stains from fabrics using chemical solvents, other than water whereas pressing is a finishing process that is utilized to remove wrinkles from fabrics.

Pressing is one of the skills involved in the dry cleaning process, and it is often done after the fabrics have been dry cleaned and dried. Most times, though, a number of people press fabrics that have not been washed just to remove wrinkles on it. However, this just makes the stain removal process even tougher and almost impossible.

It will be very unrealistic for you to think that your fabrics will not get dirty irrespective of how careful and organized you may be. The most important thing to do is to learn about the cleaning methods, the type of fabrics you have, and the time factor.

Taking proper care of your fabrics is very important if you want them to last. Different fabrics require different ways to care for them, and doing things the right way will not only prolong their life but also make them look their best. Endeavor to follow these tips and see your fabrics last you a lifetime.