How to Clean an Ottoman: Essential Cleaning Tips

How to Clean an Ottoman?

To clean an ottoman, it is important to act quickly to prevent spills and stains from setting in.

Dab up any excess liquids and vacuum or dry brush away any loose debris.

For ottomans with storage, inspect and clean the interior, edges, and contents if necessary.

Check the wooden supports or legs and clean them with a damp cloth and furniture polish.

Before using any chemicals, identify the type of covering or upholstery used in the ottoman’s construction and test any chemicals on a hidden part first.

The recommended cleaning methods for common ottoman coverings include shampoo for cotton, a damp sponge or baby wipe for faux fur, diluted dish soap for microfiber, saddle soap or a vinegar and water solution for leather, and a baking soda paste with a soft brush for vinyl.

Soak up any excess cleaning fluid with a clean, dry cloth in all instances.

Key Points:

  • Act quickly to prevent spills and stains from setting in
  • Dab up excess liquids and vacuum or dry brush away loose debris
  • Inspect and clean the interior, edges, and contents of ottomans with storage
  • Check and clean wooden supports or legs with a damp cloth and furniture polish
  • Test any chemicals on a hidden part of the ottoman before using
  • Use specific cleaning methods for different ottoman coverings


Did You Know?

1. During World War II, Ottomans were used as hiding spots for secret messages. Spies would write the coded messages on thin pieces of paper, roll them up, and hide them in the folds and compartments of ottomans to prevent detection.

2. Ottomans were originally introduced to Europe after the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453. European visitors were fascinated by the luxurious and comfortable furniture and quickly adopted it into their own homes.

3. The word “ottoman” actually originated from the French word “ottomane” which refers to a textile produced in the Ottoman Empire. The fabric was often used to upholster the early designs of ottomans, eventually leading to the name of the furniture itself.

4. While many people think of ottomans as purely decorative or for resting feet, they were originally designed as low seating furniture. The Ottomans used them as an alternative to sitting on the floor, and the cushioned seating became a symbol of prestige and comfort.

5. Ottoman cleaning can be a daunting task, but did you know that a simple method to remove stains is using a mixture of equal parts water, vinegar, and mild dish soap? This gentle solution helps eliminate most stains without harming the fabric. However, it’s essential to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the fabric doesn’t get damaged.

Acting Quickly To Prevent Spills And Stains

Acting quickly is crucial when it comes to cleaning spills and preventing stains from setting into your ottoman. Whether it’s a glass of wine or a cup of coffee that accidentally tips over, every second counts. The longer the spill sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove it completely.

When a spill occurs, grab a clean cloth and gently dab up as much of the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing the spill, as that can push it deeper into the fibers of the upholstery. Instead, blot the area until you’ve absorbed as much of the liquid as you can. This method helps to prevent the liquid from spreading and the stain from setting in.

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To effectively clean the spill, consider the following steps:

  1. Identify the type of spill – Knowing the nature of the spill can help you choose the appropriate cleaning solution or method.

  2. Test the cleaning solution – Before applying any cleaning product to the stain, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the ottoman. This ensures that the solution won’t cause discoloration or damage to the fabric.

  3. Apply the cleaning solution – If the test doesn’t cause any issues, apply the cleaning solution to the stained area. Use a clean cloth or sponge to gently work the solution into the stain, starting from the outer edges and moving towards the center.

  4. Blot the area again – After applying the cleaning solution, use a fresh cloth to blot the area once more. This helps to remove any remaining residue and prevents the stain from setting further.

If the stain persists after following these steps, it may be best to seek professional upholstery cleaning to avoid any potential damage to your ottoman.

Remember, acting swiftly and utilizing proper cleaning techniques can greatly increase your chances of successfully removing stains from your ottoman.

Dabbing Up Excess Liquids And Vacuuming Loose Debris

To effectively clean an ottoman, it is important to follow these steps:

  1. Act quickly to remove any excess liquid and loose debris.
  2. Use a clean, dry cloth to soak up any remaining liquid to prevent further absorption into the upholstery.
  3. Gently vacuum or dry brush the ottoman to remove crumbs or dirt.
  4. Use a handheld vacuum or a soft-bristle brush attachment to avoid damaging the fabric.
  5. Take your time and ensure that you remove all visible debris from the surface of the ottoman.

Remember, acting quickly and removing excess liquid is key, and using a gentle touch while vacuuming or brushing will help keep the ottoman in good condition.

Cleaning The Interior, Edges, And Contents Of Storage Ottomans

For ottomans with storage compartments, it’s essential to clean not only the exterior but also the interior, edges, and contents if necessary.

  • Start by emptying the ottoman’s storage and carefully inspecting its contents. Discard any items that are no longer needed, and clean any spills or stains on items that you wish to keep.

  • After clearing out the ottoman, use a vacuum or a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris from the interior. Pay close attention to the corners and crevices where dust and grime tend to accumulate.

  • If any spills or stains are present, spot clean them using the appropriate method for the ottoman’s upholstery, which will be discussed further later in this article.

  • Clean the edges of the ottoman with a damp cloth, paying particular attention to any visible dirt or stains. If the ottoman has removable cushions, remove them and clean them separately according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Checking And Cleaning Wooden Supports Or Legs

While cleaning the upholstery is crucial, it’s equally important to keep the wooden supports or legs of your ottoman in good condition.

To keep the wood in good condition, follow these steps:

  • Start by checking for any visible dirt, dust, or stains on the wood.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface, removing any traces of dirt or grime.
  • For a polished finish, apply a small amount of furniture polish to a clean cloth and gently buff the wood.
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If the wood has deep stains or scratches, you may need to take additional steps to restore its appearance.

Follow these tips:

  • Depending on the type of wood and its condition, you can use specialized wood cleaners or remedies such as a mixture of vinegar and water to remove stains.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional if you’re unsure.

Knowing The Type Of Upholstery Before Using Chemicals

Before using any chemicals or cleaning solutions on your ottoman, it’s important to know the type of covering or upholstery used in its construction. Different materials require different cleaning methods to ensure the best results without causing damage. To avoid any mishaps, take the time to research and understand the specific cleaning requirements for your ottoman’s upholstery.

To test the effectiveness and potential damage of cleaning chemicals or solutions, it is recommended to first test them on a hidden part of the fabric. This will not only allow you to assess the product but also prevent any discoloration or damage to the visible areas of the ottoman.

Recommended Cleaning Methods For Common Ottoman Coverings

Cleaning methods for ottomans can vary depending on the type of covering or upholstery. Here are some recommended cleaning methods for common ottoman coverings:

  • Cotton: Apply a small amount of shampoo on a soft cloth and gently wipe the surface of the ottoman. Rinse the cloth and wipe again to remove any residue. Allow the ottoman to air dry completely.

  • Faux Fur: Using a sponge dampened with water or a baby wipe, gently wipe the surface of the ottoman in a circular motion. This method will help remove any dirt or stains without damaging the fur-like texture. Allow the ottoman to air dry.

  • Microfiber: Dilute dish soap in water and apply the solution to a clean cloth. Gently dab the ottoman’s upholstery, focusing on any stained areas. Avoid excessive rubbing to prevent damage. Rinse the cloth and repeat the process until the stain is removed. Allow the ottoman to air dry.

  • Leather: Use saddle soap or a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to clean leather ottomans. Apply the cleaning solution to a clean cloth and gently wipe the surface, paying attention to any stains or marks. Rinse the cloth and wipe again to remove any residue. Allow the ottoman to air dry and apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple.

  • Vinyl: Make a paste using baking soda and water, and apply it to any stained areas with a soft brush. Gently scrub the surface of the ottoman in a circular motion. Rinse the brush and repeat the process until the stain is removed. Wipe away any excess paste with a clean, damp cloth and allow the ottoman to air dry.

Remember, regardless of the type of upholstery, excess cleaning fluid should always be soaked up with a clean, dry cloth to prevent further damage or staining.

Keeping your ottoman clean and well-maintained is essential for its longevity and appearance. Acting quickly to prevent spills and stains, dabbing up excess liquids, cleaning the interior and edges of storage ottomans, checking and cleaning wooden supports or legs, knowing the type of upholstery before using chemicals, and following the recommended cleaning methods based on the ottoman’s covering will help keep your ottoman looking fresh and pristine for years to come.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean a large ottoman?

To clean a large ottoman made of cotton, you can use a mild shampoo on a soft cloth. Gently wipe the surface of the ottoman with the cloth, taking care not to saturate it with too much water. For faux fur ottomans, a sponge dampened with water or a baby wipe can effectively remove dirt and stains. Simply wipe the surface of the ottoman with the damp sponge or baby wipe, and allow it to air dry. For microfiber ottomans, dilute dish soap with water and use a cloth to dab the solution onto any stained areas. Blot the ottoman with a clean, damp cloth to remove the soap residue. If dealing with a leather ottoman, you can use saddle soap or a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Apply the solution onto a cloth and gently wipe the ottoman to remove dirt and stains. Lastly, if your ottoman is made of vinyl, a baking soda paste can be used to clean it. Combine baking soda with water to create a paste, then apply it onto the ottoman using a soft brush. Allow the paste to sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean, damp cloth.

How do you get old stains out of an ottoman?

To effectively treat old stains on an ottoman, start by thoroughly vacuuming and dusting the furniture to remove any loose particles and debris. Once prepped, consider using a mild fabric cleaner or upholstery shampoo specifically designed for ottomans. Gently scrub the stained areas, ensuring to follow the instructions provided by the cleaner. Afterward, wipe away any excess suds with a dry towel, allowing the ottoman to air dry completely. By diligently following these steps, you can restore your living room storage ottoman to its former pristine condition and give it a rejuvenated appearance.

Can you wash ottoman cover?

Yes, ottoman covers can be washed depending on the material. It is important to check the specific cleaning recommendations for your ottoman covering. For cotton ottoman covers, a gentle shampoo applied on a soft cloth is commonly recommended. On the other hand, faux fur ottoman covers can be cleaned by using a damp sponge or a baby wipe. To ensure that the cleaning solution does not cause any damage, it is advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the ottoman first.

How do you clean a felt ottoman?

To clean a felt ottoman, begin by using a vacuum with an attachment to remove any loose dirt or debris. For spot cleaning, choose an appropriate cleaner specifically designed for felt fabric and follow the instructions on the product. Gently dab the cleaner onto the affected areas using a clean cloth or sponge, and then allow the ottoman to air dry. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water to prevent damage to the felt.

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