Cheap and Easy Upholstery Cleaner and Stick Vac Feedback

Getting a great deal on used chairs can quickly turn sour when it’s going to cost a lot of money to have them professionally cleaned. But not to worry. Whether you’re looking at hundreds of chairs or the sofas and chairs at home, there’s a very effective and inexpensive way to get that job done.

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Dear Mary: Lestoil sounds like a great stain remover for laundry. What do you use for stains on upholstered chairs? Our church is fairly new and when we bought chairs for the sanctuary we bought what we could afford—used. Some of the chairs have some interesting stains. What would you suggest  as the best way to clean them? Thank you in advance. Lois

Dear Lois: This is tricky. Depending on how much general soil has accumulated on the chairs, spot treating the worst stains could result in an even bigger problem with lots of nice clean spots that stand out and look as bad at the stains. I suggest that you do this right by performing complete upholstery cleaning on all of those “new” chairs. Don’t panic. What I am about to recommend is not difficult. In fact, it’s kinda’ fun.

Find someone in your congregation who owns a good portable upholstery cleaning machine and is willing to lend  it to you for this project. Or if someone wanted to make a donation (you’ll be cleaning those chairs more than a few times I predict), I recommend a good, portable machine like the Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, about $130. If that’s not a possibility, check into renting a portable carpet spot and upholstery cleaning machine. 

Once you have a machine, get a few cans of Spot Shot (the best stain treatment for carpet but I use it on upholstery all the time with great results). One person goes up and down the rows of chairs giving the obvious stains a hit of Spot Shot. Then another follows with the power cleaner to clean the upholstered areas. You want to stay away from soap in the cleaning solution, as that will be a challenge to rinse away, but will act as a dirt magnet if left behind in the fabric. Because you don’t know the nature of the stains and soil, you do need some cleaning power, so here’s the recipe I would use:

Into the cleaner’s reservoir, pour 1/2 cup Febreze Air Freshener Liquid that has no perfume, 1/2 cup liquid OxiClean Laundry Stain Fighter and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Add hot tap water to the fill line. Follow the instructions on the machine.

(For a smaller job at home, into a 16-oz. spray bottle pour 1/8 cup Febreze Air Freshener Liquid, 1/8 cup liquid OxiClean Laundry Stain Fighter and 1/8 cup white vinegar then add hot tap water to fill, apply the sprayer top and mix well. Lightly spray the areas to be cleaned then scrub gently with a clean white cloth.)

If you can borrow a machine, this should not be a very costly venture at all. And get ready for some awesome results.

Dear Mary: I saw your review of the Eufy Cordless Stick Vacuum and decided to order it. I love the vacuum! It’s lightweight and easy for me, a disabled person who uses a cane, to handle. So far, it’s doing a wonderful job picking up the litter my kitty drags across the floors and carpet. I actually enjoy using it. Thank you! Kathy

Dear Kathy: I’m getting mountains of mail in response to that Eufy. Most stick vacs must be laid down on the floor or returned to their charger when not in use, but not Eufy. It stands alone. And its powerful lithium-ion battery can hold a charge for months. I keep my Eufy in a convenient place that is far from its charger. When it gets low on “fuel” I plug it in for a refill. This stick vac is a dream come true for anyone, but especially for those with physical limitations who aren’t ready to give up on keeping a tidy home. Thanks for writing!

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