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By Hannah Doherty
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Wet Cleaning Vs Dry Cleaning Upholstery

Dry Cleaning Upholstery - Don’t heed the label (in most cases)

Have you ever read the labels on your upholstered furniture before you get your upholstery cleaned?

Invariably, it will say that your suite is “Dry-Clean Only”.

The problem with this is that no drycleaner has a machine capable of cleaning your upholstery. Although there are products for on-site dry-cleaning, the results, in our experience, are very limited.

Actually, the truth is that most upholstery fabrics are wet cleanable and the “Dry-Clean Only” labels are inaccurate.


Why do Manufacturers Label Upholstery Cleaning the way they do?

So why do furniture manufacturers do this?

It’s a safe get-out for a manufacturer. Wet cleaning furniture without the necessary training and experience can present problems.

The manufacturers know this and so recommend dry cleaning because it is the safest course of action. The fact that it produces very limited results or indeed that most upholstery cleaners won’t even attempt dry cleaning is not the manufacturer’s problem.

Wet Cleaning Upholstery Works (If you have the training)

With proper training and a knowledge of the different fabrics, wet cleaning can be done very successfully and safely.

There are a number of different tests which every upholstery cleaning company should be aware of and carry out.

The amount of water used is important in safe upholstery cleaning. Faster drying times are achievable depending on which method is used. For example, foam cleaning is a successful way of cleaning upholstery in the home. This method leaves it virtually dry on completion. Specially adapted cleaning heads means that a top cleaning job can be carried out with minimal drying time.

In all commercial upholstery cleaning work our view is that wet cleaning is the best way to get a satisfactory result. This is because commercial upholstery is usually much more soiled than one would find in the home. While foam cleaning is very effective on lightly soiled upholstery, most commercial upholstery cleaning requires full hot water extraction cleaning. Wet cleaning of upholstery is by far the best way to achieve excellent results on commercial cleaning jobs.

As with domestic upholstery cleaning, tests need to be carried out to ensure that the fabric is safe to clean.

You must, however, be certain that the technician who carries out the work is competent and knowledgeable.

Contact Us With Any Questions

If you have any questions about cleaning upholstery please contact us now – or call us on 01 - 8400799 or email

Read more: Our expert Tom's previous blog post "How long does Carpet Cleaning take to dry?"

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Hannah Doherty

Hannah does a little bit of everything needed to keep the office running smoothly. She has working in the business for over 8 years now and, as she is Tom's daughter has been around Aqua-Dry her whole life. Hannah keeps track of clients, jobs and customer service as well as everything else! Read More
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