There is a growing trend of homeowners attempting to pressure wash their furniture. While this is an admirable feat and beneficial for the cleanliness of your home, it's important to have a process to follow based on the type of furniture and upholstery. After all, some furniture is not suitable for pressure washing!
In this article, we'll break down the information you need to know about pressure washing your couch, chairs, rugs, and other indoor furniture.
Understanding Pressure Washing
Pressure washing means using a pressure washer machine, typically rented from a hardware store. The equipment uses pressurized water and a bleach or cleaning solution to wash away stuborn dirt and grime. Most often, pressure or power washing is used by professional companies to clean your house exterior or roof.
In recent years, the ability to rent a pressure washer has made it possible for homeowners to rent or buy the equipment and try it out for themselves.
Different Types of Pressure Washers
Pressure washers vary in their pressure levels and the amount of water they can produce. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose a lightweight unit that uses less pressure, or a bigger machine with high pressure for more difficult jobs. It is important to select the right washer to ensure safe operation and effective cleaning.
- Electric: An electric power washer is a good choice for homeowners who don't want to deal with adding gas to a machine. They are powered by electricity and are proven to be effective for light to moderate cleaning tasks such as cars, patios, and outdoor furniture.
- Gas-Powered: A gas-powered pressure washer is more powerful than an electric one. Unlike electric washers, they are not limited by the presence of electricity. Typically, this type is used for more heavy-duty tasks such as washing large decks, driveways, house exteriors, or commercial spaces.
- Portable: A portable pressure washer provides the ease of an electric washer without the need to be hooked up continually to an outlet. These power washers are lightweight and easy to use and transport.
Safety Precautions for Using a Pressure Washer
- Make sure to read the user manual carefully before starting any project
- Use protective gear, including safety glasses, gloves, and close-toed shoes
- Select the proper nozzle or attachment for the task; Start with the lowest pressure and work your way up
- Test on a small area outdoors before you commit to using it on furniture
- Keep your distance (at least a distance of 2 feet) from the surface being washed
- Only use pressure washers outdoors! Never complete the cleaning process indoors despite cleaning indoor furniture; bring it outside.
Please take these safety precautions seriously. These recommendations come from the CDC guidelines for pressure washer safety.
Indoor Furniture Suitable for Pressure Washing
Furniture Materials that Can Withstand Washing
- Metal: If you have metal furniture like bar stools, folding chairs, or a coffee table, it can withstand the pressure. However, use a low pressure if it is a painted item to avoid stripping away the paint. Be especially cautious if the furniture is old, as there could be the presence of lead paint.
- Plastic: Many plastics can undergo power washing. However, care should be used with fragile or older plastics.
- Glass: Do you have an old glass coffee table or grimy mirror to clean? Use the lowest setting to clean off stubborn dirt.
- Concrete or Stone: Furniture, including table tops and benches, can tolerate a pressure wash. Please check the surface thoroughly for any cracks or chips to watch out for, though.
Materials that are Not Suitable to Pressure Wash
- Wood: Indoor wood furniture is typically not designed to withstand high pressure. When you pressure wash stained wood, this can strip the material or create warping in the wood. You can opt for wood cleaners instead to restore the cleanliness to your wood surfaces.
- Upholstered Furniture: Sorry to say, but your mattress or couch is not a candidate for pressure washing. When you wash a couch with high-powered equipment, this can cause the material to become oversaturated and unable to dry fully, even when placed in the sun for hours. Overtime, mold growth can occur on pressure washed upholstered furniture as there is restricted airflow in these materials. It is much better to hire an upholstery cleaning company to complete steam cleaning.
Determine the Condition of the Furniture
- Assess the furniture for stability. Make sure there are no loose screws or joints or anything that could worsen with power washing
- Take note of any elements of the furniture that are delicate such as carvings or inlays; You may want to cover or tape off these aspects.
- Review the piece of furniture for any present damages, including chips, cracks, or scratches that may be made worse with cleaning. Remove loose debris by dusting the furniture off with a damp cloth
Steps to Pressure Wash Indoor Furniture
- Gathering necessary equipment and materials, including your pressure washer, a tarp, the furniture, cleaning solution, gloves, safety glasses, and close-toed shoes
- Setting up a suitable work area: Avoid damaging the area around the object by laying down a tarp over walls, floors, or plants
- Fill the pressure washer up with water (if not connecting to the hose); You can add hot water if necessary for stubborn stains if you're using a portable power washer or add a cleaning solution or bleach
- Make sure your pressure washer is set to the lowest setting
- Keep a safe distance from the furniture (about 2-3 feet) and adjust as needed
- When you're done with the cleaning process, make sure to allow the indoor furniture to dry in the sunshine thoroughly before bringing it back inside.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it OK to pressure wash a couch?
No, pressure washing a couch is not recommended. When you wash a couch with pressured water, this can saturate the material, making it unable to dry out properly. This can lead to mold growth.
Can I power wash upholstery?
No, power washing upholstery is not advised unless the piece is thin and able to dry out quickly. You're better off spot cleaning your upholstery or calling a company to complete steam cleaning.
What is the best way to wash your couch?
First, vacuum your couch to remove loose dirt and crumbs. Then, mix about 2 cups of distilled water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of clear dishwashing liquid or dish soap. Use an old rag or cloth to gently blot stains or soiled areas with the cloth and allow it to dry. If this doesn't remove the stain, please get in touch with a professional upholstery cleaning company to steam clean the fabric.
What do professionals use to clean upholstery?
Most upholstery cleaning companies will use a steam cleaner which uses hot water extraction to remove dirt and stains. The machine will release hot water and a cleaning solution into the upholstery. Then, the cleaner will go back over the piece with the equipment attachment and extract the dirt and water. This allows the furniture to dry much faster.
Overall, pressure washing your indoor furniture can be a good option if regular scrubbing methods do not suffice. When you pressure wash, you're able to use a powerful wash to clean away grime off surfaces that may take hours to clean by hand. However, if you have a mattress, couch, or upholstery that's heavily soiled - leave it to the professionals!
Our team at ProClean Pressure Washing of Bradenton is ready to help. Give us a call when you require our services for exterior power washing services.