When it comes to buying furniture, choosing high quality upholstery is a long-term investment. While nowadays many people prefer to change up their pieces more often- about every ten years or so- some want theirs to last even longer, perhaps twenty or even thirty years. It’s important to care for your upholstery and clean it regularly in order to keep it looking like new. But no matter how careful you are or how many pets and kids you ban from touching the furniture, dirt and spills are inevitable. So here are the best ways to care for your fabric…
Vacuum the surface of the furniture and under the cushions on a regular basis. The frequency of this depends on how you use your pieces. If a sofa is in a hardly-used living room it doesn’t require constant cleaning but if you sit in it every day, eat and drink on it, and allow pets to sit there it will probably need to be vacuumed more often to remove debris like crumbs and pet hair. Be sure to use the upholstery attachment to get into the small crevices where dirt hides.
Brush your fabric with an upholstery brush to remove stuck-on pet hair.
You can extend the life of your pieces further by having them steamed. Steam cleaning your upholstery can and should be done about once a year to remove stains, dirt and odors that have become embedded in the furniture over time. If you choose to do it yourself be careful not to use too much water as this can damage the fabric. Or you may wish to hire a professional to ensure it is done correctly.
Fresh spills on your sofas and chairs must be treated immediately to prevent them from sinking deep into the fabric. Blot (don’t rub or scrub) the spill right away with a clean cloth to stop it from spreading. The type of cleaner you use to remove it depends on the fabric content and type of stain but there are some general rules to follow…
Many fabrics have cleaning codes that indicate what kind of cleaner to choose. A fabric labelled “W” should be treated with a water-based detergent, while “S” means a water-free solvent is best. “WS” is the easiest to clean because you can use either of the previous two. An “X” cleaning code is reserved for more delicate fabrics and means it must be professionally cleaned. You must only vacuum and/or brush this fabric but never try to remove stains yourself. When trying any method for the first time it is a good idea to test a small inconspicuous area to be sure the fabric reacts well and then apply it to any stains.
Leather furniture has its own methods for cleaning that are quite different from fabric upholstery. Because leather is a natural product it is much more delicate than most fabrics and requires special care, however if you treat it well and clean it correctly leather furniture will last a lifetime.
You can remove dust and debris from the surface of your leather regularly using a dry cloth or vacuum. Wipe spills immediately with an absorbent cloth. Dampen the cloth slightly if necessary but never soak the leather with water. Soaps, detergents, solvents and oils of any kind should never be used on leather. Oil and grease stains can be wiped with a cloth and will dissipate into the leather after some time. Scratches can be buffed out with your fingers and a good quality conditioner should be applied every six to twelve months to keep the leather soft and supple.
Follow these cleaning tips to keep your furniture looking and feeling like new!