Fabric & Furniture Care Guide
Soft, cosy and warm, fabric beds leave us longing for bedtime every night. Fabric beds and furniture are the nucleus of any inviting bedroom, and the versatility of fabric allows for a wider range of colours and styles when compared to metal beds.
Once you’ve found your perfect match, it will require some attention to keep its vibrant, elegant appearance. Use our care guide for tips on cleaning everything from fabric cushions to upholstered headboards. It’ll keep your fabric furniture in peak condition for longer.
Fabric Beds and Headboard Care
Over time, fabric or upholstered headboards can develop a build-up of dirt and begin to lose their colour. Given the amount of time they spend in contact with your head and hair, it’s inevitable a certain amount will be transferred over onto the fabric.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to remove existing dirt, keeping your headboard clean for another excellent night’s sleep.
What you’ll need:
For most cleaning tasks related to your fabric headboard, you’ll need the following basic household items:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Fabric cleaner spray
- Baking Soda
- Dry white cloth
How to clean an upholstered fabric headboard
As long as you stick to a regular cleaning schedule, your headboard should never get to the point where extensive cleaning is required. Still, it does require consideration – here’s what to do:
- Vacuum the fabric headboard, hoovering up any dirt or dust that has accumulated
- Mix some lukewarm water with a small amount of detergent (enough to see some bubbles form)
- Apply to a cloth and work the solution into any light stains on the headboard
- For tougher stains, break out the fabric cleaner. Apply to the stain and leave for a couple of hours
- Be sure to test your fabric cleaner on an inconspicuous area first. If discolouration has occurred, try a different product
- Once you’ve allowed the headboard to dry, come back and vacuum up any remaining residue. You could even use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process
How to remove scalp oil from a headboard
Naturally, your headboard will encounter your head, and all the natural scalp oils involved, every single day. To stop a build-up that could cause lasting damage, follow these steps:
- Apply baking soda to the affected area and leave it for several hours
- Return and vacuum up the baking soda. As it absorbs into the surface, it will gather any surface oils, which are then removed by the vacuum
- Apply some detergent and water solution to a sponge, and work into the fabric. Blot the area dry with a cloth
- To finish off, use a clean sponge that’s been dampened with water. Gather up any soap, before drying again with a clean cloth
How to remove grease stains from upholstery fabric
Generally, you can take the same advice as above. Scalp oil is a greasy substance that can be treated with baking powder. If you don’t have any lying around, or want to try an alternative, here’s what to do:
- Grab some baby powder and apply it to the affected area. Leave it for around an hour
- Use a light brush and gently remove the powder. Like baking soda, the baby powder will absorb the grease in the stain
- Use a mild detergent and water cleaning solution and apply to the area with a clean cloth. Leave it to dry
- Return with the vacuum cleaner and remove any remaining powder or residue
How to keep an upholstered fabric and headboards clean
With just a few minutes of your time during your weekly house clean, you can prevent any lasting dust or dirt becoming ingrained in the fabric. As you clean the room, follow this procedure:
- Make vacuuming a weekly habit, and don’t leave the headboard out. Run the vacuum over the headboard, allowing it to collect any dust or loose dirt that is clinging onto the fibres of the fabric
- Use a quality scented fabric spray, like Febreze, to keep the headboard smelling fresh
- Every month or so, give your fabric headboard a deeper clean with trusty baking soda. Apply some to a damp cloth and work it into the fabric. Let it sit on the headboard for a few hours before removing any residue with a vacuum cleaner
How to clean fabric sofa cushions
Given your cushions are likely made from similar fabrics to that of your bed and headboard, you can follow the advice above and not run into any complications.
However, given their small size, some cushions are machine washable. Here’s a quick guide for those that are.
- Separate the cushion from its cover
- Wash on a gentle, cold cycle (be sure to zip the cushion up)
- After the wash, place the cushion back in, otherwise it might shrink as it dries
- If you get stains on the cushion too, you can also put this in the washing machine. However, make sure you take the agitator out, as it might end up ruining the cushion
Cleaning alternative upholstery fabrics
For the majority of standard fabrics, the advice above will do just fine. But more expensive or delicate fabrics require alternative methods. Here are two of the most common examples and how to clean them:
How to clean a velvet headboard
Velvet is much more sensitive fabric and must be treated with more care if you don’t want to ruin or discolour the surface. Here’s how you go about cleaning velvet:
- If you’ve got a liquid stain on the fabric, be sure to first soak up as much moisture as you can with a paper towel or dry cloth
- Mix some detergent and water and blot the fabric as gently as possible (another option is baking soda and lemon juice)
- Be sure never to scrub the velvet
- Use a dry cloth (and a hairdryer if you wish to speed up the process) to get the fabric dry
How to clean a suede headboard
As with velvet, suede needs a more considered approach, otherwise you might end up damaging the fabric.
- Suede is susceptible to dirt, so start with a light brush and vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or hair
- Mix detergent with water in a bucket, apply to a cloth and gently blot on the stain. Water can be particularly unkind on suede, so be extra careful when doing this
- Be sure never to scrub the velvet
- When you’re done, carefully dry with a cloth
If in doubt, refer to the label
There are that many fabrics out there that sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart. If you’re unsure exactly the type of fabric your furniture or bed is, the label can help you. Not only will it help you determine the type of fabric, but it will also have a letter that corresponds to cleaning instructions. Here are the codes and what they mean:
- S – dry cleaning solvent only, and absolutely no water. If possible, use a professional dry-cleaning service for S labelled fabrics
- W – the easiest fabrics to clean. The “W” stands for water, so use of water-based solvents or foam upholstery cleaner
- W/S – combine the two points above for those with a “W/S” label. Solvents and water-based cleaners may be used
- X – with this label, your only option is to use a vacuum cleaner and a brush. Any water or solvent-based cleaners will likely damage the fabric
Throughout your cleaning endeavours, it’s always best to check an inconspicuous area if you are unsure if a cleaner will damage the fabric.
For best results we would always recommend following the advice from the manufacturer of your item and / or the services of a professional company. The tips and advice contained in this guide are general methods and techniques that can be used for cleaning and maintenance. In the first instance we would always recommend that you check your product warranty and any guarantees before carrying out any work or maintenance.