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  4. Your Upholstery Might be Affecting Your Indoor Air Quality
  • Your Upholstery Might be Affecting Your Indoor Air Quality

    Breathe easier with a deep-cleaning schedule that tackles pollutants in your couches, carpeting and curtains.

    The fabric in your furniture, curtains and carpet is a sneaky spot where airborne particles can hide. Here are some ways to clean your upholstery and how it might improve your indoor air quality.

    • Unlike the easy-to-spot dust buildup that accumulates on hard surfaces (think fireplace mantels and shelving), airborne particles can find sneaky hiding places embedded within furniture fabric, curtains and carpeting. From kid spills to pet paws to dirty shoes, it’s inevitable that these high-touch, highly trafficked upholstered objects will get dirty. Maintaining a deep-cleaning regimen will boost the longevity of your favorite sofa or rug, while also improving indoor air quality.

      How often should I deep clean my upholstery?

      The frequency with which you deep clean your upholstery depends on your lifestyle. At a minimum, sofas, curtains and carpeting should be deep cleaned once or twice per year, but as often as every three to four months if you have children or pets.

      Of course, annual deep cleans don’t get you off the hook the rest of the year. To keep your upholstery in prime shape, make sure you’re vacuuming couches, carpeting and curtains weekly, and treating stains as they occur.

      What are the best methods for deep cleaning upholstery?

      Using the incorrect products or processes to deep clean your upholstery can cause colors to fade and fibers to break down, so before you douse your bright-red polyester sofa cushions in hot water, it’s crucial to read the cleaning instructions from the manufacturer. Some basic household ingredients and tools are generally considered safe to use on most fabrics, but when in doubt, always test your cleaning solution on a small patch of the upholstered item.

      • Deep cleaning sofas: Start by brushing or vacuuming the fabric to remove crumbs, hairs and larger pieces of debris. Sprinkle the surface with baking soda, which helps eliminate odors and moisture, and let it sit for a while before vacuuming it up. If you’re treating a stain, you can usually use a mixture of warm water, vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle.
      • Deep cleaning curtains: Sometimes a trip to the dry cleaner is unavoidable, especially if your drapery features embellishments or delicate fabric (think: suede, wool, silk, cashmere). Cotton, polyester and other synthetic curtains, however, can be gently hand- or machine-washed with cold or tepid water and mild detergent, then dried on a low-heat setting or hung to air dry.
      • Deep cleaning carpets and rugs: Run a vacuum over your floors to pick up any loose particles, and take care of visible stains by spraying them with vinegar and water. Next, sprinkle the carpeting with baking soda and salt, dampening the mixture with either water or steam (you can rent a steamer from most local hardware stores). Use a scrub brush and towels to lift set-in stains and particles, and let the carpet air dry before going over the area with a vacuum once more.

      How can upholstery choice impact indoor air quality?

      Clean upholstery is aesthetically satisfying, but being selective about what enters or stays in your home is also important. Leather or vinyl furniture can actually mean fewer particles that settle into your furniture.¹ Fabric surfaces (think throw pillows) are porous, trapping allergens, dust and dirt.

      Along with cleaning and choosing different furnishings, make sure you’re also using a high-efficient HVAC filter and replacing it regularly. For our 1” filters, we recommend changing it at least every 90 days. For deep pleat filters (4”, 5” or 6”), the replacement schedule should be every 12 months.


      1. https://community.aafa.org/blog/breathe-easier-improving-indoor-air-quality-in-your-living-room

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