Keeping the sofa clean over Christmas

With all the will in the world, whether we have a houseful once or frequently, over the festive period the sofa is going to take a hammering.

A sofa doesn’t come cheap, and no matter how thrilled we are to be surrounded by loved ones at Christmas we’re not going to be quite so pleased when countless chocolatey fingers or yet another dollop of mayonnaise lands on it. Not to mention the dog’s determination to sniff out every last crumb.

Before the festivities begin, it’s worth becoming familiar with the sofa fabric, what it’s made of, and any recommended cleaning instructions or products as it makes sense that different textiles have different characteristics and so may respond better to different cleaning approaches. Unless the sofa was bought pre-treated, you might also want to consider a chemical fabric protectant that repels liquids long enough for you to wipe them up before they sink in and do any damage.

So, assuming it’s going to happen, what can be done to minimise the damage to both sofa and state of mind?

Firstly, remove any obvious dirt or debris from the stained area and then think about the type of stain you’re trying to remove.

Our first instinct is often to launch into frenzied scrubbing on the basis that the harder we do it, the cleaner we can make it. Often however, all we succeed in doing is shoving whatever has been spilt deeper into the fabric making it even harder to get out. And if we do manage to get the substance out, we might have damaged the fabric’s appearance. So, if the stain is wet, pat don’t rub – place a dry cloth, towel, or even kitchen roll over the stain and let it absorb any excess.

If it’s greasy, covering it with bicarbonate of soda for a few hours should absorb some of the grease and can then be brushed or vacuumed away before gently dabbing off any residue with a damp cloth.

If it’s inky then apply a small amount of surgical spirit to a cloth, blot and dab lightly then use a clean dry cloth to dry off the area.

Don’t underestimate the power of a damp cloth that has been wrung out in warm soapy water then dabbed dry – but be very careful doing this to leather as water can stain so try to dry spillages as quickly as possible.

Some substances can leave a lingering smell if they’re not removed thoroughly (think spilt milk), as well as stains or discolouration. Steam cleaners are a chemical-free way to sanitise as well as clean although there are dedicated cleaning solutions available.

Whatever cleaning method you try, always test a hidden area of the sofa first so if it doesn’t go to plan it’s not as much of a problem.

And, if you’ve tried using the recommended products to no avail or just don’t have the time (or nerve) to have a go yourself, then it may be worth calling in the professionals.

ServiceMaster Clean provides exceptional commercial office and industrial cleaning in the North West.

To discuss your cleaning requirements with our experts, please get in touch.