How To Properly Care For Furniture
Most of us spend a good amount of money on our furniture, so it makes sense to care for it in a way that will ensure it lasts a long time and looks new for years to come.
Maintaining clean and beautiful upholstery may seem tricky, but there are things you can do on a regular basis that don’t take up a lot of time and will keep all your fabrics in good condition. First of all, make sure you fluff and rotate seat cushions on a daily basis so that they wear evenly. Also remember to vacuum upholstered furniture with an upholstery brush as often as you can.
To get rid of ugly stains, you’ll have to do some spot cleaning, although it’s always a good idea to stay away from chemical cleaners containing toxic materials, such as carbon tetrachloride. Instead, use mild cleaning products like a water-free upholstery solvent or a dry cleaning product, and stick to tried-and-true cleaners you know how to use so you avoid damaging the furniture. But no matter what cleaner you end up using, always spot test it before applying to the affected area. Simply turn over an unexposed section of the fabric (the bottom of a chair, for example) to ensure the product doesn’t permanently ruin the material.
For badly soiled upholstery (wine stains), you might want to call in the experts. The same goes for light-colored furniture and high-end pieces. Some other tips: don’t wash movable pieces, such as cushion covers, as extra washing may cause the color to fade. Keep dark fabrics, and silk, out of direct sunlight to avoid fading as well.
If you really want to make your life easy, purchase furniture with built-in Teflon protection to guard against spills. On this type of fabric, instead of soaking into the material, liquid beads up and can be wiped away on contact with a damp cloth. If you buy traditional fabric furniture, consider Scotch Guarding to help your pieces withstand stains.
Dust wood pieces using a soft, slightly damp cloth run under lukewarm water. Dry the surface after wiping to avoid bubbling, which can lead to cracking down the road.
To maintain the wood’s lustrous beauty, wax or polish it once a year, but avoid chemical products. A mild product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap is safe to use, but stay away from silicone-based cleaners. Although wood polish is usually a good thing, make sure to use wax polishes that are vegetable-based – paraffin and beeswax also work well. Apply using a soft cloth with the grain of the wood, and then buff. Never use window cleaners on wooden furniture, as most of them contain ammonia, which can damage the finish.
If you want to get rid of unsightly nicks and scratches, a wax scratch remover stick should do the trick, or you can use a color-matching furniture polish. Dents can be hidden using specialized wood cleaners that raise the wood grain.
Finally, place wood furniture away from direct sunlight and heating vents, to avoid discoloration of the wood.
If you follow these simple tips, your furniture will continue to look beautiful throughout the years.