Whilst it's possible to clean up small stains and spillages on your upholstered furniture on your own, there are a number of situations in which it's better to book an upholstery cleaning professional and have them do it for you. Here are some of those situations.

It's a large piece of furniture that is completely covered in grime

If you have a piece of furniture that's both very large and completely covered in grime, then it would be inadvisable to try to wash it on your own. First of all, without the right type of equipment, you might find cleaning this furniture exhausting and you might create additional issues.

For example, in this situation, you would need to use water and detergent all over the upholstery to remove the grime. Whilst you might be able to get rid of most of the dirt by doing this, you could also end up saturating the padding under the upholstery fabric. If you don't then have a high-quality wet-dry vacuum or a powerful steam cleaner that will pull most of this moisture out of the furniture, mould might grow on the internal padding as well as on the upholstery fabric. This mould might make the furniture unsafe to use. Additionally, the process of scrubbing a large piece of very dirty furniture could take many hours and could totally exhaust you.

In contrast, because upholstery cleaning experts have powerful equipment, including commercial wet-dry vacuums and steam cleaners that can absorb almost all of the moisture from wet upholstered furniture, any furniture they wash for you will be dry very quickly after they're finished, long before any mould has a chance to develop. Furthermore, their equipment, along with their understanding of what tools and detergents work best on certain furniture stains, means that they'll also wash your large furniture item very rapidly (far more quickly than you would be able to).

The furniture is extremely dusty and you have a dust mite allergy

If you have a dust mite allergy and the upholstered furniture you need to clean is incredibly dusty, this is a task that you should assign to an upholstery cleaning business, as it would probably be an incredibly uncomfortable and difficult thing for you to do. For example, you would need to use several pieces of safety gear to stop the dust mites from getting into your eyes, nose and mouth; this might mean that you'd have to wear a respirator and goggles during this task, which could be uncomfortable if you get hot and start to perspire whilst doing this physically demanding job. Furthermore, fully removing dust and dust mites from upholstered furniture is not easy, as the mites can get embedded in the upholstery fabric's fibres. As such, even after using your vacuum's upholstery tool on this furniture and then assuming it's safe to use, you might find that you have another reaction when you sit on it.

For these reasons, it's best to have the furniture taken away by the upholstery cleaner, who will not only use their industrial vacuum tools on the furniture but may also use other cleaning products to target the dust mites (such as diatomaceous earth) and ensure that the furniture is free of both dust and mites when it's returned to you.