Tips For Keeping Antique Upholstery Clean


Carrocel Custom Tufted Sofa

Cleaning and maintaining your antique furniture is necessary, but sometimes, cleaning antique upholstery can actually destroy the value of the piece. Most antique furniture pieces have very delicate fibres used to upholster them, which means using the wrong furniture refinishing method could permanently destroy the piece. The main purpose of furniture refinishing is to preserve the original techniques, materials and beauty of the item. Therefore, it is best to consult an expert before refinishing your own vintage furniture.

Tips For Maintaining Antique Upholstery

While a professional is your best option for antique furniture upholstery, there are ways you can maintain and clean your upholstery without destroying its value. Some things you can do, include:

  • Taking Care Of Spills Appropriately – Blot a spill spot immediately after it occurs. Never rub or scrub a spill. Blotting will absorb the liquid and continue to blot with a clean towel or paper towel until most (if not all) the liquid is absorbed.
  • Act Fast – Cleaning antique furniture must be done as soon as a stain or spill occurs. Allowing stains to set may permanently destroy the fabric on the item.
  • Vacuum – To keep dirt and dust from settling into the fibres of your antique furniture, gently dry vacuum the surface. You should also vacuum before cleaning your antique upholstery with a fabric cleaner to prevent scrubbing dirt into the fibres.
  • Deep Cleaning – A cleaning foam approved for upholstery use may help remove built-up dirt and grime. Test the foam on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to make sure it does not cause discoloration. Follow the instructions on the foam, using only clean towels. Never rub or scrub; instead, use a dabbing motion to clean the surface.
  • Avoid Heat – Never use heat to dry your antique upholstery. Heat can cause permanent damage and shrinkage to the fibres. Instead, use fans to allow the fabric to dry naturally and do not use the furniture until it is fully dry.
  • Hire An Expert For Antique Furniture Refinishing – Because antique upholstery is so delicate, hiring a professional is your best option. A professional can assess the type of fabric used on your antique piece and use the proper cleaning method. If the fabric itself cannot be salvaged, a professional can help reupholster the item with fabric that is reminiscent of the era.

Carrocel furniture store can help with all of your antique furniture refinishing needs. From cleaning upholstery to performing a full refinish of the item, Carrocel’s team of refinishing experts draw on years of experience to preserve the beauty and history of each antique piece they work on. Visit or call us today at 416-999-2525.

10 Response(s) for “Tips For Keeping Antique Upholstery Clean

  • Baxter Abel says:

    I never thought that so much could be done before actually restoring furniture to help antique furniture look more presentable. I’ve also never heard the tip to not use heat on antique furniture, after you do furniture restoration I wonder if you should still avoid using heat on it? I also like your tip to be careful when cleaning up spills on antique furniture.

  • Chris Winters says:

    I can see why you would want to immediately remove stains from upholstery. We recently bought some new couches, but our kids have made some serious stains. I definitely think that I should find a service that could help to clean them and remove any traces of stain.

  • Scott Adams says:

    I’m really glad that you mentioned never using heat to dry upholstery. I’m going to reupholster my chairs soon, and I want to be sure to care for them after. I can see how drying with heat could shrink the fabric. I’ll make sure not to use heat. Thanks for the information!

  • Bethel Smith says:

    I was not aware of how delicate antique upholstery can be when it comes to cleaning. We have an old chair that I received from my Grandmother. It has been in the family for a long time now. She did a fabulous job of keeping it in great condition over the years and I would love to keep it pristine as long as possible. Your suggestion of cleaning spills immediately so they don’t set and vacuuming prior to cleaning will certainly come into use. If we do ever get a big spill, I will not hesitate to take it to a professional to prevent permanent damage.

  • Spencer Montgomery says:

    Thanks for the tips! I agree that you should act fast when a stain or spill occurs to avoid further destruction of the fabric. Also, if I have an antique furniture, I’ll make sure to call in an expert for their expertise.

  • Theodore Winston says:

    My mom is really fussy with her antique furniture. Unfortunately, one of my kids got several of the chair’s cushions dirtied and I’m wary about touching them to do a clean-up. I suppose entrusting it to professionals would get us the best results. Now the only problem is how I’d tell my mom what happened. Thanks for the tips!

  • Fréd Lizotte says:

    Thanks for the tips For Maintaining Antique Upholstery. This will really help specially I’m new at this

  • Monica Chavez says:

    My sister has antique upholstered chairs at her dining room table, and her kids often make messes or have spills. It’s proven to be really hard for my sister to keep clean and looking nice. I like how you point out that cleaning antique furniture should happen as soon a stain or spill occurs. It would probably be really helpful if she could have a professional cleaner come in as well.

  • Zia Murphy says:

    I like that you suggested using fans when you’re drying your upholstery because too much heat can cause damages to it. This is something that I will make sure to remember because I’m planning to clean and do some repairs to one of our sofas. What I want is to not commit mistakes that can worsen its condition. Anyway, I’m also planning to replace some of its upholstery nails to restore its looks. I’ll follow all your tips.

  • Ron Booker says:

    Thanks for explaining that stains and spills should be cleaned immediately when they happen. My aunt wants to buy some vintage furniture because she will be opening a boutique, and she wants to know how to maintain the furniture. I will pass her the tips so he can choose her clutches wisely and have them clean is a spill happens.

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