Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Clean Your Furniture

It is important that you know how to clean and care for your upholstered furniture so that it can look its best for a very long time. The maintenance is much easier when you choose the right fabric in the beginning. Make sure the fabric is appropriate for your lifestyle and for the upholstered furniture piece. Synthetic fibers would be a good choice for heavily used pieces. It is also a good idea to use fabric protection. A lot of work is done for you when the upholstery fabric undergoes the finishing process at the factory. It is usually treated with soil and water repellents and some form of mildew inhibitors may also be used. Additional fabric protectors can be applied to your upholstered furniture in the store or at home. This helps with maintenance and care by keeping spills from being absorbed into the upholstery fibers right away. However, it is not a substitute for prompt cleaning of a soiled piece. Always clean up any spills or stains in a timely manner, and follow manufacturers’ instructions for proper care methods.
You can extend your upholstered furniture’s life by periodically turning over the loose cushions if you can. This easy maintenance method allows for an even distribution of wear and tear. Change the cushions around from one part to the other in addition to turning them over. Some seats get more usage than others, so changing cushions around will ensure even usage. Vacuum your upholstered furniture weekly for general cleaning and to remove surface soil. This also prevents dirt from becoming embedded into the fibers. While regular care does a lot for your upholstered furniture's maintenance, accidents will happen. Blot any spills immediately with a clean folded towel. Sometimes this is enough to get rid of the stain completely, especially if the fabric has been pre-treated with a fabric protector. Always test in a hidden area before you use any product for spot cleaning, and check the manufacturer's instructions to see if you need water based or solvent based cleaner. It is best to use a mild cleaning product. Apply with a soft brush in a circular motion to work into the fibers, then vacuum when dry.
Too much sun can damage your upholstery fabric, causing it to fade and even fray. Try to position it so that it doesn’t sit in the sun for extended periods of time. Airborne pollutants such as fumes from cooking or smoke can also harm your fabric. It isn’t always easy to avoid that from happening, however, proper ventilation can help. It can also help with odor control, as upholstered furniture can easily absorb odors. It is best to have a professional clean your upholstered furniture every couple of years. Experts recommend having this done on a regular basis and not wait for it to get visibly dirty. The dirtier a sofa or chair becomes, the harder it is to restore to its original beauty.