Wednesday, 17 December 2014

What to do with your old sofa? Clean, reupholster or replace?

Sofas are no small investment, your looking at anything between a few £100 and a few thousand.

So when your sofa looks like its seen better days what should you do? Clean, reupholster or replace?

Here are a few options to help you make the best decision for you.


DIY cleaning - this is OK for a little spruce up but, as with carpet cleaning, your only going to scrape the surface of the issue, leaving much of the dirt deep in the fibers.  You may hit some other major drawbacks such as colour loss, fiber damage, cover shrinkage and very stubborn staining.  Without correct knowledge on upholstery cleaning you risk doing further damage.

Cost: £10 approx for cleaning products

Professional cleaning - following an inspection of the sofa good professional will give you a breakdown of what is realistically achievable by cleaning - decided by the degree of staining and fabric condition.  A successful clean, using either the hot water extraction or dry cleaning methods, should remove practically all the marks and leave your sofa looking close to new again.

Deep cleaning the fabric removes debris that would otherwise start to break down the fibres. The added benefit of having your sofa cleaned is your sofa will now last for many more years. This is not a chequered cushion, we've simply cleaned the three light areas to show the incredible difference. Remarkable, huh?
 What a difference a professional cleaning makes. 
 Extraction cleaning upholstery

Cost: Approx £100-£200 or so, depending on size and condition


DIY reupholstery - This can be a very satisfying and cost effective way of jazzing up an old sofa - sewing experience will be necessary!  Be under no illusions, this is not an easy job.  But getting the look you want for just the price of materials (that is; assuming your sofa is the right style and not in need of structural repairs), you can have a great looking piece in a matter of days.

I found this great blog that takes you step-by-step through the process 

The author says "Every part of my body ached after finishing this project, and I felt like I couldn't use my hands for 2 days" .....

Cost:  £200-£400 (depending on you choice of materials)

Professional reupholstery -If, like many, you lack the skills, confidence or time to reupholster yourself - but still want your individual style - then a professional upholsterer is needed.  Using your old sofa they can update and rejuvenate the upholstery and cushions, giving you a practically new, and often almost unrecognisable, reincarnation of your old sofa.

For outstanding work see Jones and Jones of Cambridge

Cost: Approx £400-£500 and up (depending on material and size)


The quick and easy, though more costly, option.  There are a huge number of sofas out there for sale, in all shapes, sizes and styles.  And if you buy them on sale then you may grab yourself a bargain.

The drawbacks are cost, quality and style.

Buying a cheaper sofa will mean the materials are not so great, meaning the sofa will look good for a few years but will probably then need to be replaced. The frame will be cheap wood, probably even ply-board, the stuffing will not be high quality - sagging over time, and the upholstery will be synthetic.

Art of Clean

Cost: £500-£1000 plus

If in doubt, call the Professionals.

Art of Clean are specialists in: 

Working for domestic or commercial clients throughout Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire.

For more information about our services please contact our friendly team on 01223 863632 or visit