How to clean that upholstered chair

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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I recently purchased a second-hand upholstered chair. I found it brand new online for $300, plus the cost of shipping. I also found it locally from a woman in Ewa for less than one-third of the online cost. I immediately messaged her and made arrangements to get the chair.

I have purchased second-hand items before, such as dining tables, dressers and desks, but I had never purchased anything upholstered. The germaphobe in me regretted the buying decision as soon as I made it. Then, I realized that just because something is upholstered, doesn’t mean it cannot be disinfected. I disinfected the chair several times, through several different ways, just to be safe. Now, I’m perfectly happy with the chair and even happier with the deal. If you need to disinfect upholstered furniture, too, consider some of these ideas:

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Go vacuum. Start by vacuuming the item thoroughly with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment. Remove cushions or other parts so that you can access and clean hidden debris.

Go natural. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Shake it up until the ingredients are combined. Spray the solution over the furniture from about 12 inches away. Place the item in the sun to dry thoroughly. As a bonus, the vinegar will deodorize as it disinfects.

Go for the steam. If you have a carpet steam cleaner, use the upholstery attachment for your furniture. If you don’t have one, you can rent one from most grocery stores or some hardware stores. The cost of renting a steam cleaner is not inexpensive, and keep in mind that you must also purchase the cleaning solution to go with it. Our 24-hour rental, along with cleaning supplies, ended up costing around $100.

Go store-bought. If the natural route isn’t for you, Lysol also is safe for many surfaces, including fabric. Follow the instructions, and remember to test a small, inconspicuous spot before moving on to larger areas. According to Lysol, the spray will kill 99.9 percent of common viruses and bacteria, will prevent mold and mildew growth for up to a week, and will also eliminate surface odors.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.