Thursday, December 8, 2011

DoggyStyle: On Dogs, Couches, and Upholstery Cleaning

 Since adopting our pooches, I'm constantly on the quest to find easy cleaning solutions. I know a lot of people are deterred from having pets because they think it limits their options, but we even have white furniture.
 We do have a 'No dog on the Sofa' rule, but our dogs think they are much more clever then us. We are constantly writing about Miss M's trickery where she will sleep on the sofa with one eye open ready to jump off the moment we come home. Our favorite was when she got a throw pillow stuck to her collar and she ate dinner like nothing was wrong.
 Though lately we found out Mr. B is in on the trickery. They even have assigned seats on the couch. Here he is caught, and not realizing what else to do, he plays possum.
On the microfiber couch, we do have a dry cleaning sponge we use that can brush off light stains and hair.  Though after many cycles of Miss M's trickery, combined with her drooling in her sleep, there were some stains even the sponge couldn't brush off. In my nativity I thought it just meant we needed to live with it, until after some googling I realized we could just get an upholstery cleaner to come clean our couch.
We used used A-Abace from Logan Square. The service is done by the owners who have been in the business for decades and they are very professional and knowledgeable. After realizing all the potential for dirt, oils, dog saliva, and bird and squirrel feces that could be brought in, the fact they were never cleaned before, and seeing how our couches looked practically new afterwards, we thought it was money well spent. It was around $100 per couch.
 The only bad part was we have the Crate & Barrel Petrie sofa which can only be dry upholstery cleaned so it will still get out the stains, but it's harder to get out discoloring; we also learned the white will eventually begin to yellow from the sun. Fortunately for us, the pooches have never tried to sit on that sofa. But we do enjoy having the white...especially since we're headed for a dark and gloomy winter.
We have also heard of many people who use couches with slipcovers. I was also curious if people liked that, or if it became too cumbersome to clean very often. Or do people have other recommendations for couch cleaning?

27 comments:

Kerri said...

My no dogs on the sofa rule got thrown out the window as soon as the pup was big enough to jump up - it's my fault though - he's just too snuggly. I have a very light cream sofa in micro suede, so I just toss on a nice light blue bedspread from Ikea to prevent any lasting damage. It adds a pop of colour to the room, and is super easy to toss in the wash. I have white pillow covers as well that are washable, so we've been lucky so far. I also make sure to wipe his paws when we come inside on wet days. Eventually I'll have my sofa cleaned, but I think everyone has to do that, pets or not.

SherBear said...

I keep fleece blankets on the coach so Nala can sleep at her leisure...of course my decor is nowhere near as nice as yours! (I do take the blankets off for parties)

Katharine said...

We were going to have a no dog on couch + bed rule, but that lasted about five minutes. So we got a light tan-colored couch from West Elm that has slip covers. We wash them every two weeks or so. Additionally, we have an alternate slip cover that has not been touched by the dog or cats. So that's our "nicer" option. We also keep our throw pillows off the couch, except for when guests come over.

Kim @ Yellow Brick Home said...

We also have the no sofa rule! Here's what we do when we're not at home:

http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2011/02/14/jacks-trick/

Nancy said...

We have a crate and barrel sofa in a tweed fabric. The pups just laugh when I try to get them off ( no, seriously) so it does get it's share of dirt and hair. Recently, I just took the cushion covers off ( all of them) and washed them in the washer with woolite on cold/delicate. Much to my surprise, they came out beautiful. I put them back on the cushion slightly damp and let them dry. Viola, clean and smelling good...all ready for them to jump back up! ( I do have blanket/throws up there for the pups now.)

Corbin said...

We're actually in the market for new furniture... Corbin destroyed the sectional we currently have -which didn't really bother me because I hate it anyway, it was a handmedown. We had all of our handmedown furniture steam cleaned before using it - although we knew who and where it came from, it skeeved me out thinking about laying on someone elses furniture! We also always have sheets on the couch - much cheaper than covers and so easy to throw in the wash and freshen up every week. Good to know about the white changing color though, I was strongly considering getting white, even with Corbin!
-Corbin's momma Jenn

road-dog-tales said...

No dogs on sofa rule? Say it ain't so! haha Mom has a light cotton quilt in a coordinating color that goes over the couch and is washed FREQUENTLY! Dad hates it 'cause it doesn't stay put but Mom says it's better than have a yukky sofa. Of course, no one can ever see the lovely sofa fabric. We say - so what?!

PeeS - sent another email - check spam box :)

The Road Dogs

Emily said...

We have a very strict "Dogs ON the couch rule," so I don't know. Right now we have a leather furniture so I guess that helps, but it is also hand me down furniture from a friend with dogs. I can't imagine keeping my cuddle buddies off the furniture, but I know plenty of people have that rule. Right now our rule is just "no playing on the couch!" ;)

Daisy Dog said...

My couches and chairs are all fitted slipcovers and I have 2 sets of different pattens/colors so I can change it up when I feel like it. One is a black and white floral, the other is a tan and peachy red floral, with a tan couch, I also have a red corduroy one for the couch, which is a total hair magnet. Very different. I wash them about every 6 months, it takes time but it is worth it to me. Also I tend to alway have a throw on the chairs where the dogs primarily sit to keep the hair off. When I have guest I pull the throws off. I have the same set up in my den too.

In Black and White said...

I have a blanket on the couch which isn't very pretty but saves drool marks. I also bought a tweedy style fabric which doesn't show up the hair as easily. In retrospect though I'm kind of wishing I'd bent on getting a leather sofa. I used to really hate leather couches but I've come round recently and I know that it would be so much easier to clean up.
I also limit damage control by wiping down dirty paws (and bottoms!) as soon as the pooches walk in the house. They know not to go wandering around until that's done.

h(eather) said...

Our dogs are allowed wherever they want, so naturally our stuff gets dirtier faster..

We have an Ikea couch and replaced the slip cover after 2 years, after washing it monthly. It worked fine, but it lost some of it's color and a regular washing machine didn't get out all the stains/discoloration.

I recently purchased some cute tapestries that we will use as cheap/removable slip covers.

EEB said...

We have a microfiber couch with Macy, and I just vacuum it while I'm cleaning the rest of the living room. For the occasional drool mark or antler remnants, I have a secret weapon: put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, then spray it on the couch cushions. Before it dries, rub with a white paper towel or new white sponge. This takes off the grime, and leaves the cushions looking good as new!

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Our furniture is trashed. We do have slipcovers to put over the couch & love seat. We purchased them (on super clearance) after the furniture was already shot & I only put them on in the rare instance when someone human comes to the house. We are looking for new furniture, but I can't make myself do it yet.

brooke said...

Our no couch rule went out the window when Darwin could sit with her butt on the couch and her 4 legs still on the floor. Since then we've started covering the couch. We just got cheap sheets from Ikea and drape them over. We've learned that we especially need to cover the end of the couch as that's where she likes to rub her face after a bath, after being out in the rain, after eating or drinking...

Kate said...

Our dogs love getting on the sofa, so when we bought our new one having a slipcover was a definite requirement. I really like our slipcovered sofa though because there's a separate cover for each piece of the sofa so nothing gets loose or bunches up. I try to keep it covered with a blanket or sheet anyway, but just washed it recently. It was so nice to have it come out of the wash all clean :) I think I might even buy a white slipcover next sometime when they go on sale...

Christine said...

At least they only seem to lie on the couch that their fur blends in better with! We have a no dogs on couch rule too, but sometimes our floors seem so littered with a variety of dog beds that I wonder if the couch wouldn't just be easier!

Brenda said...

Either Lady, Lucky, and Katie are really REALLY sneaky, or they actually follow the "no dogs on the couch" rule. Well, with the exception of Lady. She's so sneaky, she's never caught, but there's no denying those tell tale German Shepherd hairs!! But fortunately, other than having to brush away a few hairs, the couches stay pretty clean.

Two French Bulldogs said...

we are triksters too. Mom loves slip covers just in case. Here is a good idea (Per mom, NOT us) She puts 3 cans with coins laying on the sofa when she is not home. If we jump up it scares us....so we haven't been on thesof lately since the canstook over
Benny & Lily

Kari in Vegas said...

my easy cleaning solution = Ian ;)

Stop on by for a visit
Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

loveandaleash.com said...

I'm glad to read about this, because clever miss Dora the Explorer thinks it's fun to eat her snacks on our No Dogs sofa. She jumps off as soon as I ask her to and has been good the last couple of days, but it doesn't take many kong-peanut-butter-drool puddles before you're thinking about having a sofa cleaned. Maybe we'll try finding a service to do it after she's adopted :)

superpuppy said...

I had a no dog on the couch rule too but you have to pick battles. When I go out he was going on the couch. So now I put a dog blanket on the couch when he is allowed up. Yet slobber and stuff still gets through. I have a microfiber couch. I wipe it down with clorox or lysol wipes.

superpuppy said...

I had a no dog on the couch rule too but you have to pick battles. When I go out he was going on the couch. So now I put a dog blanket on the couch when he is allowed up. Yet slobber and stuff still gets through. I have a microfiber couch. I wipe it down with clorox or lysol wipes.

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Tina Mongeon said...

Miss M's throw pillow-on-her-collar stint was very cute! How can you even get mad at her for sitting on the sofa, right? Cleaning it was another matter though, which I think is already an accepted fact once you welcome pets in your home. You can spray some rubbing alcohol on your microfiber couch and wipe it with a clean cloth. That can help in maintenance. ;) Tina@Enviropure

Brad Wike said...

Having dogs inside the house may spell trouble for your couch. Some dog hair may get stuck on the upholstery, as well as dust and other dirt. I commend you for doing a great job in cleaning your couch, and as for the recommendation, I suggest you consider having trusted professionals come over and do the dirty work for you. Good day! :)

Brad Wike @ Peerless Restoration

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