How to Clean a Recliner – Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

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Last updatedLast updated: August 21, 2022
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It’s not easy to relax on dirty and stained furniture. However, the fact remains that you can’t have a professional in your house to do the cleaning for you every two weeks. As such, it pays to have a little knowledge on the matter of cleaning your recliner because what works on one type of seat may not work on another. As well some of the stains that may develop on these comfortable gems may get more difficult to remove over time.

Consequently, it pays to remove them as soon as possible. As such, we have compiled as much information on recliner cleanup as we can below. Once you read the write-up, you will know what to do always to keep your recliner spick and span.

How to clean leather recliners

How to Clean a Recliner - Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

Perhaps a few of the primary reasons why people buy leather recliners and even other furniture is because of the luxurious look and feel of it. All of this can be lost in a relatively short time. As such, you need to realize that the maintenance of your leather recliner is not a onetime thing and it should be done as often as possible.

Of course, any time you find yourself in a situation where something spills on your leather recliner, you need to wipe it off. You should have a soft cloth on standby, and one that you know won’t leave any lint for such occasions. Also, make it a routine to reach into the crevices and remove any solids trapped therein.

Another thing that you have to do is to vacuum. Pay the most attention to the crevices and even the underside of your recliner. Of course, this is a step you have to take even with materials other than leather. Mechanical and electric parts are as well susceptible to damage by dust. This is probably why you should flip over your seat and get to vacuuming all the nooks and crannies.

Once the seat is back upright, you can now wipe it down with a moisturizing solution. For some spills, just wiping it off won’t be enough to eliminate the stain. In these situations, you can use a homemade solution for the same. To make it, you need to mix white vinegar with water in equal proportions.

Of course, a cloth is needed to dip into this solution, which can then be used to wipe off the stain. As a rule, always squeeze the cloth until the moisture is almost gone. You don’t want to end up wetting the recliner since moisture is likely to damage the surface over time. All wiping should as well be gentle unless you want to ruin the leather upholstery.

As well you need a dry cloth on standby. This will help dry the surface of the leather recliner after you have used a moisturizing solution. Once the seat is dry enough, you can then apply a leather conditioner.

How to clean faux leather and vinyl recliners

How to Clean a Recliner - Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

If you love the leather feel but not the cost, you can get the next best thing, which is faux leather. However, if that route is the one you decide to take, you should realize that cleaning requires a different regimen to that of cleaning a leather recliner. Consequently, below are some tips and pointers on how to go about the exercise. You should also realize that this applies to vinyl recliners as well.

Should a spill or two occur, the first course of action is to blot it, preferably with a bright piece of cloth. Just placing it on the spill and allowing it to absorb the liquid should be enough. If you do try scrubbing motions, you may end up doing more damage than good.

It is essential to note that just because this is a different material, you are not exempt from vacuuming regularly. Of course, you as well need to pay particular attention to the crevices that hoard dust.

You will be glad to know the next step involves materials that are easily accessible in your home. It consists of warming up some water and adding a bit of mild detergent. After that, you can dip a cloth in there and squeeze to eliminate most of the moisture. This is the same cloth that you will then use to wipe off the stain.

Again you need to be gentle enough not to end up ruining the look of the chair. After that, you can look for faux leather or vinyl polish and apply it to the chair. If you are serious about maintaining the integrity and outlook of the chair, you will already have the polish in your home.

How to clean microfiber recliners

How to Clean a Recliner - Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

You may as well have opted to purchase a microfiber recliner rather than leather and vinyl options. The soft feel of the fabric might have persuaded you to take this course of action, or it may be due to something else. Nevertheless, you can be sure that cleaning is different here as compared to the cleaning of the other materials mentioned above.

However, there are some similarities. The first is, of course, the fact that you need to vacuum both the top and underside. Even before that, you need to make sure you eliminate all large particles from the crevices. Should you fail to do so and your vacuum cleaner ends up damaged, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Emphasis should be put on the stained areas, so you should check to see if there are any before you begin cleaning. Where they are present, you create a paste to get rid of them. The paste consists of baking soda and water in the ratio 3:1.

Also, an extra toothbrush might be handy in this scenario. Remember that you want one with the softest bristles you can find. This is what you should use to apply the paste onto the stained area and scrub it. The scrubbing as well should be very gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.

After a bit of scrubbing, you should start to see the stain fading. You can then dab the paste off with a wet cloth. Repeat this action chain until the stains are completely gone, then you can focus on cleaning the rest of the recliner.

For most of the chair, you will need to use a different cleaning solution. The primary component here is warm water, which is complemented by a bit of distilled white vinegar in the ratio 3:1. Try and do the mixing in a spray bottle.

Additionally, you need to arm yourself with the next tool, which is a soft-bristled brush. A new shoeshine brush is ideal in this scenario. Just a reminder, shoe polish may stain your seat, hence why you should use a new brush.

All that is left is to spray the solution on a small area of the fabric recliner and scrub. Repeat this part of the procedure until you have covered the whole chair. After that, you can vacuum the seat again. This will remove some of the materials that have been dislodged by the brush. As to the frequency of this, try and maintain a routine of cleaning your microfiber recliner at least once a month.

How to clean recliners upholstered in fabric

How to Clean a Recliner - Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

There are also ways to clean up a dusty old recliner even if it is upholstered in fabric. However, before getting to that, you should check the cleaning instructions on the chair as soon as it arrives. Some Tags have “W,” meaning you can clean the chair with a water-based cleaner. In contrast, tags with “S” inform you that your seat is better suited by solvent-based cleaning.

There are as well options that you can clean with both solvent and water-based cleaning. These will have “SW” in their tags. Also, those that allow neither of these cleaners will have an “X.” For these seats, you will have to settle for vacuum cleaning. However, that does not exempt the other two types of chairs and fabrics from vacuum cleaning as well.

Where stains are involved, you can opt for a white vinegar solution. Of course, we advise that you dilute the vinegar with water in a ratio of at least 1:1 or higher in favor of the water. This is because the more water you add, the more gentle the stain remover. As well this has the added benefit of reducing the risk of damage to your fabric.

With regard to the stain remover, you never apply it directly to the lazy boy fabric recliner. You instead apply it on a separate cloth that you can then rub gently on the stain. The next step is to remove the stain remover from the recliner. Here soapy water comes in handy. Again, you need a fresh cloth that you can dip into the soapy water and wring to eliminate most of the moisture.

As a side note, there is a different way to go about this exercise and one that is becoming popular by the day. This is where people use a steam cleaner. Of course, for steam cleaning to be effective, you need to have vacuumed and eliminated all dust beforehand.

If you do encounter hard to clean areas, use the microfiber pad attachment or the scrub brush that comes with the machine. However, if the instructions on the chair say to avoid water-based cleaning solutions, avoid the steam cleaner as well.

Also noteworthy is the fact that some of you may not have steam cleaners at home. Where this is the case, some hardware stores can rent them out to you. The last step should be to leave the recliner to dry off.

How to clean suede recliners

How to Clean a Recliner - Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

Cleaning suede recliners is a unique process. Nevertheless, if you want the chair to retain its original luster, you are going to have to learn the dos and the don’ts.

Before you get to use the suede cleaner, there are a few hurdles. To start with, you will have to obtain a plastic spoon and use it to rub away at the dry stains on your recliner. After that, vacuum the crevices and the whole surface of the chair. This will eliminate dust, dander, and some of the particles on the chair.

At this time, you should have a bucket of water on standby. Add mild detergent to the water and then mix up the solution as much as possible. The result should be some suds on the water.

The next primary step is to pick up the suds using a soft piece of cloth and use them to blot stains on the suede recliner. We do advise against rubbing the stain. Also, as you will note, the stain will transfer to the cloth as you do this. You then repeat the same process with a clean portion of the cloth or use another one altogether.

Make use of the suds as much as you need to. Should they run out, you can agitate the bucket of water again to get more. After you are satisfied with the result, you blot the same section of the recliner with a dry cloth. Suede cleaner may also be used. Remember to let the chair dry before you or anyone else sits on it.

How often should you clean your recliner?

You are advised to vacuum your dusty old recliner at least weekly as dust that stays on the seat for longer may be more challenging to remove. There are exceptions to this guideline where you will be required to vacuum even more. For instance, if you have pets, you cannot allow the dander to accumulate; hence you should up the vacuuming dosage to two or three times a week.

Where you want to take the best care of your leather recliners, use appropriate leather-cleaning products on the chair about once a month. Also, for the upholstered recliner option, you can get away with a deep clean bi-annually. Nevertheless, stains should be cleaned off immediately after they happen.

How to Clean a Recliner - Different Methods for All Types of Upholstery

In conclusion

As we mentioned above, you should make it a point to check the recliner you buy for cleaning instructions. After that, you can make a beeline to the store to purchase the required materials. This will help in the long-run maintenance of your lazy boy fabric or leather recliner.

Nevertheless, you needn’t fret if you haven’t done so. As is stated above, you can opt to use readily available materials in your house for the cleaning exercise. Make sure you clean up regularly for the best and most comfortable experience while using your recliner.

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