What You Should and Shouldn’t Use To Clean Your Vinyl Upholstery Material

Vinyl is a versatile and attractive option for upholstery. It provides a leather-like look without the price tag, it comes in hundreds of colors and styles, and it’s easy to clean! What cleaning solutions should you have on hand to wipe up messes? Perhaps more importantly, what products should you keep away from your vinyl upholstery? Here’s a quick list of what you should and shouldn’t use to clean your vinyl upholstery material.

Use: Diluted Soap

Mix a quarter-cup of a mild detergent or fabric cleaner with a gallon of warm water and keep it on hand for spills. Dampen a soft cloth with it and gently clean up the mess with a circular motion before wiping it clean with water. Towel the area dry afterward to avoid water seeping into cracks. Those cracks are prime real estate for mildew.

Don’t Use: Undiluted Bleach

Keep bleach far away from your vinyl upholstery fabric! Bleach is notorious for sucking the pigment out of fabric and upholstery. But if you’ve got a stubborn mess on your hands, mix a quarter-cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Test the solution out on a small, inconspicuous part of your upholstery. Wait a few minutes, and if the solution hasn’t bleached or damaged the upholstery, gently wipe up the mess and follow up with plain water.

Use: Vinyl-Specific Products

There are many cleaning solutions out there specifically formulated for vinyl fabric. Peruse the different furniture cleaners at the store and pick up one that specializes in cleaning leather and vinyl.

Don’t Use: Ammonia-Based Solutions

When you shop for furniture cleaners, read the list of ingredients on each bottle. Ammonia-based products, and even general cleaning solutions like Windex, will break down the vinyl fabric over time and shorten its life.

Use: Soft Cloths

A chamois or old T-shirt is perfect for cleaning vinyl fabric. When you wet it with your cleaning solution of choice, wring out all excess liquid before you clean. A soft, damp cloth and a gentle touch will clean your vinyl upholstery fabric without damaging it.

Don’t Use: Scrubbers

Stay away from rough washcloths, sponges, and Brillo pads when cleaning your vinyl furniture. And don’t even think about steel wool, no matter how harsh the spill or stain looks. Scratchy materials will leave little scrapes on your vinyl. Keep your vinyl looking like new by avoiding any abrasive materials.

When mopping up messes on your vinyl upholstery, be careful about what you put on it. Be gentle to your vinyl, and it’ll last for years. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t use to clean your vinyl upholstery material; keep this list in mind next time you’ve got a spill on your hands.

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