We all love the look and feel of brand new furniture, but what are the steps we can take to maintain clean furniture? Winter is a great time to refresh your décor and give your furniture the maintenance care necessary to protect your investment. Read on for a few quick and inexpensive suggestions to help you get started.
How To Keep Furniture Clean
A good place to begin cleaning is in your favorite movie-watching zone, where your furniture likely gets the most use. Dirt and dust act like sandpaper on fabric and wood, so remove it frequently. For upholstery, start with flipping seat cushions to ensure that they wear evenly. Using the attachment on your vacuum cleaner, remove any dust, food crumbs, or pet hair from under the cushions and in the crevices. Next use a damp cloth to spot clean any areas that appear dirty. Remove pillow cushion covers or decorative throws and wash them on the delicate cycle. Be sure to read the instructions carefully – it’s often best to hang these items to dry instead of using your dryer. If your items require dry cleaning, it’s worth the investment to help your upholstery look fresh for many years to come.
Wooden furniture is quite common in our homes, and it requires a bit of care to keep it looking as good as new. Never use household cleaners or anything containing ammonia to clean hardwood furniture. For most pieces, cleaning with a damp cloth and allowing it to air dry is the safest method. Avoid using feather dusters as they can scratch delicate surfaces. After cleaning, use a professional-grade product to polish and protect the wood. Guardsman furniture products, or any product that doesn’t contain silicone, is recommended. To protect wood for the long haul, it’s essential to use coasters to prevent discoloration and moisture damage.
A key thing to remember when considering where your furniture will be used, is that wood is sensitive to light, moisture, and temperature changes. If you give your furniture a place in your home protected from these elements, it will last much longer.
Leather furniture requires a bit more care than wood or fabric upholstery. Leather should be dusted regularly using a microfiber cloth. Since leather is made of animal skin, think of caring for it as gently as you would your own skin. Applying a quality leather conditioner on a regular basis helps prevent the leather from drying out and developing cracks. It’s a good idea to read the manufacturer’s recommendation for what type of conditioner to use. For most pieces, conditioning once or twice a year using a microfiber cloth is enough to keep leather looking like new.
Furniture Care Basics
If possible, always place furniture away from prolonged direct sunlight. Avoid placing near air conditioners or heat sources too.
If you must store your furniture for a season or a move, wrap fabric furniture in plastic to prevent tears or stains during the move. Leather furniture should never be wrapped in plastic – despite what your movers may tell you! Leather needs to breathe, and wrapping it can create moisture and ruin the furniture.
Be sure to buy a leather care kit that contains products made exclusively to clean leather. It’s best to have leather care products on hand instead of waiting until an accident happens. All-purpose cleaning sprays, furniture sprays, and other cleaning products can be harmful to leather.
Invest in a professional cleaning at least once per year. Even if you diligently clean your furniture regularly, there are areas that will be missed. The experts know how to extend the life of your furniture.
What To Do if Furniture Becomes Stained
To prevent permanent damage, the most important thing is to clean spills as quickly as possible – for any type of furniture. Begin with using a dry cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible. Then blot the stain with another dry cloth. If blotting doesn’t work to remove the spill, try a small amount of liquid soap and water. There are plenty of stain remedies advertised – everything from white vinegar to sea salt, but using some of these cleaning methods might cause more damage. For difficult stains, like wine, it’s best to consult a professional.
Never allow liquid to soak into leather as it will permanently stain the furniture even if it’s coated with protectant. Be sure to clean any spills immediately by blotting with a dry cloth. Rubbing the spill to clean it from leather will only cause the liquid to spread further and soak into the grain.
If you need more tips on how to properly take care of your furniture, contact us or stop by our showroom. The Guest Room carries a variety of furniture care products, and our designers can assist you with selecting the products that are made to enhance the longevity of your furniture.