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Fur Ottoman Cleaning: 1 Easy Hack

In today’s article, I will show you how to clean and re-fluff a fur ottoman or footstool. With the right tool, it only takes about three minutes to clean a fur footstool and just a bit longer to rejuvenate a fur floor poof.

When I saw this faux fur footstool floating in a bin at the Goodwill Outlet, I’ll admit that I might not have been completely smitten – but I knew it would be a great project to test out my method for cleaning genuine sheepskin to see how it would work on the fake fur that is more often used on furniture, floor poofs, ottomans, and footstools. So I fished this little fur footstool out of the bins and, a little bit disgusted by how extremely matted the surface of the footstool was, tossed it in my cart.

Before and after cleaning my fake fur footstool.

Cleaning and Combing my Faux Fur Ottoman

I so was excited to test out my method for cleaning and combing fur.

This method works so well fur making a dramatic, instant improvement to the look and texture of fur. Like, you won’t believe how quickly gross, dirty, and matted fake fur furniture can go from so disgusting you don’t even want to touch it to soft, plush, and luxurious.

Buying clothes, blankets, and furniture with gross fur or faux fur is one of my favorite flea market flips because the cleaning process is SO fast, SO easy, and super dramatic.  BUT it depends on having the right tool. Traditionally, a carding brush is what professional cleaners would use to fluff, clean, and rejuvenate fur – but carding brushes are pretty expensive and there’s a very affordable alternative: a slicker brush sold in pet stores and pet supply departments.

Fake fleece is notorious for matting.

While you can buy a fiber carding comb for around $12, carding combs and wire-tine slicker style dog brushes are very similar. Recently Burt’s Bee’s started making this charming little honeycomb-shaped wood and wire brush, but I love the Miller’s Forge Dog Grooming Brush shown in my photos- it’s larger, sturdier, and more ergonomic than the wood-backed palm-sized version- which makes refluffing my shearling blankets and cleaning sheepskin much faster.

The slicker brush works because it has dozens (sometimes hundreds) of closely spaced and inwardly curved thin wire tines. These tines dig into the fur fibers, straightening them, detangling, and aligning the fibers. The result is that within a few swipes with the slicker brush, matted faux fur furniture like Ottomans, fur footstools, and even throw blankets become plush, soft, and cozy with a few swipes.

A for Ottoman being cleaned with a carding brush.

The trick is to let the tines do the work. Don’t press too hard initially or pull too aggressively. Avoid very long strokes. Instead, to clean my faux fur footstool I use one hand to stabilize the footstool and the other hand to rake the slicker brush across the surface of the fur in quick and short strokes. Immediately, and remarkably, you will see the fur begin to soften and lengthen.

Fibers Sedding from Fur Ottoman During Cleaning

You’ll need to stop and clean your brush several times during the first fluffing process. Whether your cleaning a fur Ottoman or a faux fur footstool, you’ll find that many fibers transfer onto the brush – this is normal (and actually, it’s good!)

Many of those fibers were already loose and not connected to the base of the fabric. Instead of shedding naturally, the matting process holds fibers in place that are not connected, and then those fibers create a much worse tangle. In addition to combing out loose fibers, as the fibers are aligned, they will release dirt and debris that was captured in the matted material. Organic material, dust, dirt, and pet hair will all come out of the fur as you comb it.

The right tool makes cleaning fleece fast and easy.

Although this method doesn’t use soap and water or washing machine (as if you could put your fur Ottoman in a washing machine!) It can get fur furniture really clean! Even fur or fur-trimmed furniture that’s way too big for a washing machine can be deep cleaned with this brush.

A combination of lifting and removing dirt and debris from the fur with a comb and then vacuuming up the dust and debris definitely gets faux fur furniture cleaner than any other method. If you wash matted faux fur, it just becomes more matted- holding the debris that was in it plus dirt from your wash water. Aggressive brushing actually removes dirt from faux fur and helps prevent mats from forming and catching debris, resulting in a cleaner home.

Ottoman after cleaning and combing.

Everyday maintenance of faux fur furniture, Ottomans, and footstools

Once you have a slicker brush and have done a deep clean of your fur furniture, begin cleaning your faux fur Ottoman as part of your regular cleaning routine. Prevent the gross look of matted fibers by giving your faux fur Ottoman a quick brush-out about once or twice a month. With only a few swipes of the slicker to interrupt the process of fibers getting matted, your faux fur furniture can stay new-looking no matter how old it is.

Synthetic fleece is easy to clean with the right tool, here is a before and after shot of two minutes of cleaning.

I’ve been on the furniture buying binge lately. If you’ve read much about my recent blog updates, you know that I am in the process of decorating a new home – but settling into this home has been unlike other moves. Why? Because I have no furniture.

No, really. I moved twice in 2020, and the second time was a nearly 3,000 mile cross-country move. What I didn’t jettison in the first move, I gave away, sold, or donated before the second. By the time I arrived to Hawk Hill Cottage, a mattress and a 3-foot folding table were literally the only furniture I owned. Purchasing used staging furniture has helped me get a leg up on decorating, but I am now a regular visitor to thrift stores and used furniture markets in my quest to find treasures to fill and decorate the cottage.

Combing the fibers removes loose fibers, dirt, and debris.

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