How to clean upholstery using the rug doctor

Written by tyliee
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How to clean upholstery using the rug doctor
Upholstery cleaning doesn't have to be difficult. (sofa image by Clementina Cabral from

Upholstered furniture requires occasional maintenance; one of the best ways to bring new life to your old upholstered pieces is to clean them using the Rug Doctor carpet and upholstery cleaning machine. Rug Doctor is a well-known name for carpet and upholstery cleaning and restoration, with products in more than 33,000 retail locations nationwide. Operating a Rug Doctor to clean upholstery successfully is fairly simple.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Spray upholstery cleaner
  • Rug Doctor upholstery cleaning solution

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  1. 1

    Prepare your work space by opening windows. Adequate ventilation will help to speed drying time.

  2. 2

    Dispose of any visible debris (such as paper or coins) then use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove any crumbs, fuzz or hair from the surface you intend to clean.

  3. 3

    Spray any visible stains with spray upholstery cleaner and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

  4. 4

    Pour the Rug Doctor upholstery cleaning solution and water into the marked location on the machine. The Rug Doctor has two reservoirs–one to house the cleaning solution mix and one to house the dirty water removed from the surface. Use the manufacturer instructions for filling the reservoir to ensure you don't fill the wrong tank.

  5. 5

    Use the upholstery attachment to shampoo a small area (about 12 by 12 inches) of the upholstery with the water and solution mix. Use moderately firm pressure to scrub the area. The upholstery attachment will act as a vacuum hose as well. After shampooing the area with solution and water, use the vacuum feature to remove as much excess liquid as possible. (Note: Some Rug Doctor models are equipped with an automatic suction feature).

  6. 6

    Repeat Step 5 while working in small sections, moving the wand with the weave of the upholstered product. If your product has a cross weave, as most do, clean the upholstery first moving the upholstery wand in a vertical pattern and then again in a horizontal pattern.

  7. 7

    Concentrate on heavily soiled areas and continue shampooing until your upholstered surface is sufficiently clean.

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