Keep pets off furniture to keep upholstery clean

I'm a pet owner. What's the best way to care for my upholstery?

The bottom line is: Keep your pets off furniture. We all love pets, but if they're having accidents on your upholstery, keep them off of it.

It's OK if you have a cat that sleeps on the same spot on your couch every day. If that's the case, to reduce cat hair on the upholstery, just lay a towel down in that spot for the cat to sleep on.

You should also vacuum your upholstery frequently. We can do it for you, but the sooner you remove the hair, the easier it is to clean. The trick to getting animal hair off is to put on a rubber glove and rub the spot, which will pull the hair into a ball. Then vacuum it up.

Accidents happen. If a pet has an accident on a delicate or dry-clean-only material, get it professionally cleaned, because if you try to clean it yourself, you'll cause water spots or other damage.

The furniture you use every day, such as in the family room, should be professionally cleaned once a year in order to freshen up the upholstery and maintain its color.

There are ways for you to maintain the cleanliness of your upholstery. If a pet stains a cushion, blot it and dampen the entire area immediately.Do not rub it in. That will only cause the mess to soak deeper into the fabric, and it will be harder for us to clean later. Instead, soak it up immediately and spray on an over-the-counter product like Nature's Miracle, to mask the odor. Treated synthetic materials are easier to clean.

Pet odor seems to be the biggest problem when it comes to such stains. Cat urine is one of the strongest odors to get rid of. If it's a one-time accident, we can typically get it out of furniture.

For hard-finished leather furniture, you can wipe up pet stains immediately with diluted dishwashing liquid. However, the softer the leather is, the harder the stain will be to get out. I recommend not trying to clean soft leather yourself.

If a persistent stain gets into the foam of a cushion, we'll work on it from the inside or inject a pet deodorizer into the cushion. We'll even get up under the couch to the inner back lining, remove it and deodorize it.

Most upholstery cleaning products today are pet-friendly. You'll find, though, that the best products are the expensive ones. Don't cut corners!

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