Dear Jenny: Cleaning Upholstery

Dear Jenny:

I noticed in this post, you mentioned you used outdoor velvet on your new upholstery. How amazing must that be! I wondered if the linen on your new gray sofa was also indoor/outdoor? If not, I would love to know what cleaning supplies you use on the upholstered pieces in your house. I have four children and I feel like there might be something to those clear plastic covers they used to put on everything back in the 50s!! Ha!!

Thanks,
Kelly P

Hi Kelly! I am the HUGEST (and completely un-sponsored) fan of Folex upholstery and carpet cleaner. It is so incredibly easy to use. Basically you dose the stain with the spray, let it sit for a sec, and then sort of rub it in with your finger. The stain will disappear before your eyes and won't damage your carpet or fabric! The best part is there is no rinsing required at all. You can blot up the cleaning liquid with a towel if you want though. Fast and so easy!!


Want to see it in action? I got this adorable little kids settee at a flea market last year. I love the chippy guilding on the frame.


The upholstery is really old, but it's still in good shape. I'm waiting to change out the fabric until I have the other fabrics in the girls room nailed down. So really, I hadn't done anything to the piece other than clean it since buying it last year. It held up well for a while, but then recently we had some play dates at our house and there were a couple of messes on the piece:



Pen is always the hardest thing for me to get out of fabric. Here's the 'during' shot, after a couple sprays of Folex. You can see the black ink is starting to disappear:



About 20 seconds later, the pen was completely gone.



The whole piece cleaned up beautiful (with almost no smell) in about five minutes.



It was wet for a couple hours, but the stains were totally gone after the cleaner dried.


I'm glad it cleaned up so well so we can keep using it until it's reupholstered. It really is one of my favorite little pieces of furniture. It's just the right scale for a kids room and is a perfect prop for impromptu photo shoots of sisters (that love each other a lot).



Do you readers have any tried and true upholstery/carpet cleaning tools or products to share with Kelly?

49 comments:

pve design said...

vodka for cleaning the bathroom....cheap vodka!
pve

lizziefitz said...

I am a huge Folex fan too! I use my Bed Bath and Beyond coupon to keep it stocked in my home. Disclaimer : Do not use on laundry stains, I tried and it discolored clothing fabric.

Your girls are so cute . I love that sassy settee:)

Decor Arts Now said...

Never heard of it before but now so glad to know. Btw your daughters are adorable! Lynn from Decor Arts Now

Red Door Home said...

Thanks for the tip! I have not heard of this product before but will be keeping it in mind for all the stains that I know are in my future!

maggie said...

That's spot remover is amazing! I've never heard of it but will get some asap.
Love that tiny settee and your little girls are so cute.

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

I had not heard of Folex but it sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Finding Home said...

My Mom introduced me to Folex years ago and it is as good as you say it is! Take care, Laura

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me with that little settee? ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!

Dwelling said...

Thanks for the very practical post! We have a settee in our breakfast area upholstered in a faux ostrich vinyl. My girls (4 and 5) decided to color it with pen. After trying just about everything I googled (although hadn't tried Folex) I read about using blemish cream. I rubbed some into the stain and let it sit and after a couple of applications, the pen was gone! I would only use this on vinyl though because I believe it would bleach most fabrics!

Vu the Explorer said...

Your kids are so adorable. Your blog is my daily read in the morning. It's my uncontested favourite. Thanks for sharing. I just finished painting my credenza red yesterday.

Hayley Neil said...

I will be dreaming about that darling settee and how great my home will look after I buy some Folex! I have also had a lot of success with plain old aerosol hairspray on removing pen stains off of things that can be washed, i.e. clothes, bedspreads, blankets, pillows. You just cover the stain with hairspray and then stick it in the wash. Waalaaa! Pen gone!

Ingrid said...

I have to second the Folex. I love that stuff. I also have become a huge fan of Biokleen Bac-Out fan. It is all natural but works so well. I use it on everything, clothes, rugs upholstery etc. It also smells wonderful! I have tried to go all natural in many areas and have been disappointed in so many products but this works wonders. Another one is Oxo-Brite by Earth Friendly Products, this stuff works better than Ox-Clean!

Kat said...

Thanks for posting about this product. I was ready to take my couch to the car wash...no seriously, I was. You saved me a tiresome trip!

AnnP said...

I love Blue Magic. It is amazing. My daughter ate strawberries on some stools we have that have white upholstery. I thought it would never come up, but the Blue Magic worked miracles.

Julia's Bookbag said...

THANK YOU for letting us know about the miracle stain remover!! And how cute are your girls?? DARLING! xo, Melissa

Anonymous said...

I used to use Folex but found that Shaw R2X Carpet Stain & Soil Remover works even better than Folex. I have four kids, white furniture and not a stain visible :) I use it on clothes too. It works every time!

Emily said...

Thanks for the Folex reminder! I haven't used that in years. :) Um, I LOVE that settee!!

Katherine said...

how timely...i googled how to clean upholstery yesterday after one of my kids decorated the ENTIRE back of the couch with magic marker. what a great supervisor i am :) can't wait to try it.

DG said...

I must comment on leather furniture....during a power outage I sat on the couch with a sharpie in my back pocket, somehow the cap fell off,imagine my tears when the lights came back on. I could not replace my Harden sofa so I was willing to try anything. I used a magic eraser as a last resort, it worked wonders on permenant marker! I would spot check first, but I have multiple leather items and 6 children so that little eraser gets alot of use in this house!

Barbie said...

This is what my parents have always used too, but I was amazed to see what it removed from your adorable settee! I will definitely be picking up some of this stuff!

have a lovely said...

GREAT tip! thank you for sharing! will file this one away for when needed for sure!

Kelly@Bungalow Blue said...

Thank you SO much for posting this!! A client's puppy had an "accident" on a brand new rug we picked for her living room. I'm off to find this ASAP!

libbie said...

I use and love Folex too. I get mine at Lowes.

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

I love folex too! I use it often on my light colored slip cover. The slip is washable, but it's such a pain to take the whole thing off to launder it for one little spot. SO much easier to folex it!

sarah said...

does folex remove paint too from fabric?

Anne @ ModernMrsDarcy said...

What timing! My mom just got me some of this stuff after hearing about it from a friend. It's great--truly!

kristin said...

Hi -

I was wondering what paint color is on the blue dresser. It's just gorgeous! Thanks!

Lindsay said...

I love Folex! Even got myself in an issue of Real Simple because of my devotion to this amazing product. Happy to see you sharing it here, too!

Marissa said...

I just have to second Folex. I have been using it for a few years and LOVE it. It gets out everything.

Anna said...

Does anyone know of anything similar available in Australia?? My entire house needs a good dose of this!

NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

This is an awesome post :)

Would you also have a handy trick for cleaning microfiber upholstery?? I have water marks all over my couch from cleaning it and hope that there's a magic product that will help me get rid of them :)

Courtney said...

OMG I need this in my life!

--Courtney

Anonymous said...

What a precious piece of furniture and such adorable girls!

Thanks for the tip on this cleaner, too.

Elizabeth

Tiffany @ {Living Savvy} said...

Folex is the best! I have a white microfiber sofa and 2 young boys! It takes out EVERYTHING!!!

Tiffany {Living Savvy}
www.savvydesignwest.com

wheezer said...

Must get some Folex to try. For stains I use baby wipes. Specifically, Huggies "natural" unscented wipes. They get out absolutely everything on every surface I've tried. Besides stains it works great on that greasy gunk on your stove and no strong chemical smell.

:o)

Stagner Family said...

is the settee linen? I have a linen chair that my husband has taken a liking to and my son stamped the arm with our return address stamp! I was about to take it to my workroom but may try this first!

Sara said...

Good suggestions, love the bench, the pic of the girls is darling, and I LOVE the dresser. WHere did you find that and what color did you paint it?

Megan (MIMI+MEG) said...

That stuff is a dream! Perfect when I had my 2 dogs.

Anonymous said...

We love FOLEX!!!! Greatest stuff yet!!

Valori Pagone said...

Folex is the best cleaner I have found! Love it!

Miss B.e.e. said...

I'm going to BB&B to get some now (they carry it...according to one comment?)! I am ALWAYS looking for a true spot remover for furniture/carpet with threee boys:) Thanks for sharing!
Miss Bee @ http://beeinteriors.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever used Nature's Miracle? This is without a doubt my fav cleaner for carpet & upholstery. Kid & pet safe, user friendly, enzyme-based, it works for stains AND odors.
Found it through a friend that had bought her first dog (puppy) not realizing they had to be 'trained'LOL! Have to love being able to learn from others' mistakes.

erin said...

Does this product work on dry clean or upholstery that says use a water free solvent? With three kids my furniture needs help!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent I am going to give this a whirl...I have an off white velvet like sofa with a stain on one cushion, that I've just kept hidden....of course the stain fairy did it, no one in my Casa knows how it got there.... :(

All the best and thanks for the tip, I see you can purchase it at BBandB...

All the best,
Kathy :)

Dee said...

What an adorable settee! Thanks for the Folex recommendation. I bought some this weekend and am amazed by how well it works! With 4 kiddos and a dog, I'm definitely going to buy more!

casey at loft and cottage said...

Awesome tip! I have to try this.

Paige said...

I use Folex on carpet but never thought to try it on my couches. I will now! That stuff is great!

Anonymous said...

Haha Kat, I took a fateful couch to the car wash when my daughter first learned to open up the refrigerator, in the wee hours of the morning. I got up to find her covered in chocolate syrup. That was the easy clean up. The poor love seat though! Syrup, eggs, whipped cream, cheese slices... I looked like she went for making art our of breakfast. 14 years later she's still all for painting things, but now she goes for canvas.

Ingrid I second the Bac-Out. Its a must keep for pet owners I've found. Love that it smells nice.

The Entertaining House said...

I've never heard of Folex but am off to get some in the morning. I found this post via Pinterest. I have white duck cushions on my dining room chairs and my 7 year old is single handedly ruining all of them!

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