Keeping your beautiful upholstered furniture clean for the long haul is an essential part of home care. With the right practices, performed consistently, these pieces can last a lifetime. Where do you begin?
1. Protect Your Fabric: Prompt attention to spills provides the best fabric protection available. Because upholstery fabrics usually undergo a finished process at the factory, in which it is treated with soil and/or water repellents and mildew inhibitors, much of your work is already done when the piece enters your home. Play your part and promptly attend to any water or food spills on your furniture, with attention to manufacturers’ instructions for proper methods.
2. Flip the Cushions: Give one side of your loose couch cushions a break and turn them over. This simple tactic provides easy maintenance and allows for an even distribution of wear and tear, as well as protection against cushion indentation. After cleaning, be sure to fluff your cushions as well to keep them in shape.
3. Vacuum: This household cleaning standby works just as well for upholstered furniture. Vacuum pieces weekly for general cleaning and to remove surface dust and soil. This not only revives the surface but prevents dirt from embedding into the fibers. In addition, you can use a soft, bristled brush to gently clean and avoid fabric snags.
4. Spot Clean: Small accidents do not require a full-scale cleaning. Instead, a quick spot clean will do the trick. Blot spills immediately with folded towel. Never rub, as this ingrains the stain further. Spot cleaning is often enough to get rid of the stain completely, especially if the piece has been pre-treated with a fabric protector. Before you use any product for spot cleaning, test it first in an inconspicuous place on your furniture to make sure it does not further stain or damage your fabric.
5. Avoid Sun Fade: Do your best to position your furniture so that the sun does not linger on it for extended periods. Too much sun exposure can cause your fabric to fade and even fray. In addition, fumes from cooking or smoke can negatively affect the health and beauty of your fabric. Proper ventilation near your valued furniture can help diffuse these airborne pollutants.
6. Professional Care: Every few years, treat yourself and your furniture to a professional cleaning. Don’t wait for the surfaces to become visibly dirty; the dingier your furniture becomes, the harder it will be to return to its former glory.
With the right practices, maintaining the just-bought appeal of your upholstered furniture can be simple. Reward yourself for choosing an a piece you love and treat it well.