An ever growing trend in interior design has been the use of vinyl upholstery fabric. I've been seeing it on sofas, ottomans, and comfy chairs. You've got to be careful with vinyl, though, We have all seen vinyl gone wrong. It looks stained, and is cracked. At it's worst, it looks completely shredded and even peels. All of this is completely unnecessary. With proper care, vinyl can remain in good shape for years. So, how does one care for vinyl properly?

Things You Will Need

soft rag




Step 1

It varies depending on the age and use of the vinyl. New vinyl furniture is by far the easiest to care for. For thorough cleanings, all it will take is some soap and water. For routine cleanings, you will just need to wipe it down with a dry, clean wash cloth.

Old vinyl is a bit more tricky. Depending on where you got it and when, it may already be damaged. Many choose to reupholster pieces that are in too rough of shape. If you think you can maintain it, or even like the vintage and worn look, you can keep it clean. You will find that the basic soap and water solution just is not strong enough for old vinyl. You will need something more. I've happily used bleach and water, in a very diluted mixture. First, test the bleach on a piece of the furniture that won't be seen, just to make sure it won't be destroyed with the bleach. Never use a mixture that is stronger than half bleach and half water. If a mixture that strong won't clean the upholstery fabrics, you'll need to replace it.

Outdoor vinyl covered furniture can be washed with a pressure washer. It is is built to withstand the rain, it is strong enough for a pressure treater. Just make sure that you keep it set to the lowest setting. You can add some detergent to the pressure washer, but you may not have to. Try it without any cleaner first to see if you can skip that.

There is no reason to let vinyl upholstery fabric go to waste. It can be easily kept in good condition. Follow these simple steps and you will not have to worry about that shredded vinyl look.

Tips & Warnings

One thing to be cautious of is tap or well water. The minerals of tap water in some regions has properties that can destroy the finish of vinyl. This can significantly diminish the life of the vinyl upholstery. When ever possible, use filtered water.