Of all the surfaces in the home that need looking after, fabrics are the trickiest. We interact most with fabric-covered surfaces and it catches the most amount of dust and dirt, and over time, the layers of dirt become ever more difficult to clean. So, regular maintenance is essential, and this is the best time to do it because in the Indian summer, even the heaviest of fabrics will dry out pretty quickly.
A couple of things you need to keep in mind before you start cleaning fabrics:
• Always check the instructions label, which will contain fabric care details
• In case the fabric is delicate, it’s best to hand it over to professional cleaners and avoid doing it on your own. Here is a list of cleaning services pan India that you can refer to.
• Start every cleaning process by vacuuming the entire surface. If there are any crumbs, small particles, dust or dirt on it, this will take care of it. Make sure to vacuum regularly, to avoid buildup.
• Always have some baking soda in your kitchen, because it’s useful for many things besides baking. It is a go-to cleaning ingredient for everything from fruits and vegetables to bathroom stains.
The how-to of cleaning all the fabric surfaces in your home:
How to clean a mattress:
• As a thumb rule, flip your mattress over every three months, and clean it once in 6 months. You should also vacuum it once a month.
• In case of stains, there are a couple of ways to get rid of them. If you have a cotton mattress, simply spray white vinegar on it, rub it with a clean cloth and let it dry out. This will also disinfect it completely.
• If your mattress has foam, make sure you do not make it wet. If there’s a stain then spot clean it by applying the suds created by mixing detergent and water, then dab it with a clean cloth. If the stains are tougher, a mixture of two tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of dish soap is a popular remedy. Again, blot or rub with a clean cloth.
• Once the stains are out, sprinkle a layer of baking soda all over the mattress. This helps kill bacteria and eliminates odours. Let the powder remain for a couple of hours and then vacuum the mattress again. Then repeat the same process on the other side of the mattress.
• After your mattress has been cleaned, cover it with a mattress protector. This will make it easy to maintain it.
How to clean a sofa, or other upholstery:
• Start with an area that is usually not visible from the outside, like the back of the sofa for example. You should test the process on this bit before proceeding to the whole surface, just to be extra careful. Additionally, when considering the overall aesthetics, incorporate your preferred living room design elements to create a harmonious and inviting space.
• Mix any good quality mild detergent with water, then use a white coloured (so that the colour doesn’t leak) microfibre cloth or soft brush to rub on the whole surface. Use a sponge dipped in water to wipe it down again. Leave the sofa to dry out in a well ventilated area.
• In case of tough stains, spray diluted vinegar on the affected area and then rub it with a clean cloth.
• If the sofa has a removable cover which is machine-washable then you can just throw it in the washing machine. Sometimes, the cover is so large that not all parts of it get cleaned equally. In that case ensure that you put the fabric into the washing machine in a way that exposes the bits you want to get cleaned. You may have to repeat the process occasionally. Just ensure the care label indicates that you can machine wash.
• If your sofa is made of leather or vinyl, make a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water. Then dip a soft cloth in this solution and wring it out. Make sure it is damp and not wet. Wipe the sofa from top to bottom. Next, take a dry soft cloth and wipe it dry. In case you are looking for a safer option, you can use commercial leather cleaners and conditioners.
How to clean carpets and rugs:
• If your rug is made of cotton or wool and is small in size, you can simply hand wash it with diluted detergent. Then rinse it in a mixture of cold water and white vinegar to disinfect it. For larger carpets or carpets with delicate materials, it's advisable to seek professional cleaning services or explore carpet ideas that match your desired style while ensuring proper care and maintenance.
• In case of stains, sponge the stain with mild detergent. You can also use baking soda for tougher stains. Use a brush to scrub the stains off, let it dry and then vacuum again.
• For small to medium-sized synthetic rugs, opt for machine wash on the gentle cycle. Then hang it out in the sun to dry.
• For stains on larger rugs, sprinkle baking soda and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Then vacuum it. Also, roll the sides and vacuum under the edges. Occasionally, have it professionally cleaned for a deep clean.
Please note: If your rugs are made of sensitive material or is a vintage piece then it is best to leave the thorough cleaning to professionals.
How to clean curtains and shades:
• If you have cotton curtains you can simply put them in the washing machine on a gentle wash cycle with a good washing detergent. Put them in the dryer to avoid wrinkles.
• Hand wash it if the fabric is delicate. Mix water with detergent in a tub and rub the curtains in it. Leave them to soak in the tub for an hour or so. Then drain the water and leave it out to dry. Once the curtains are dry, iron before hanging them up.
• In the case of shades and blinds, rub a soft brush or sponge over the surface and the edges. This will help get rid of dirt.
• If you see stains, spot clean with a sponge dipped in diluted detergent liquid. Scrub the stain and let it sit for a while, and wipe it off. Next, wipe the whole surface with a clean sponge dipped in warm water and leave it to dry.
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