Upholstered furnishings care

Upholstered furnishings careWhether you have kids or pets, frequently host friends and family or simply are at home a lot, you know your upholstered furniture is getting a workout. Dust, pollen, germs, food crumbs, stains and blemishes are inevitable.

But you can actually maintain a healthier home and even prolong the life of your furniture by following some simple rules.

1. Use the upholstery attachments of your vacuum cleaner to vacuum soft furnishings on a weekly basis. The angle-tipped crevice tool is great for reaching sneaky areas where the daily use piles up dirt and oils.

2. Once a month, take cushions outside and beat them by hand. This will help prevent dust from settling into the fibres.

3. Try to ban food, drink and pets on the furniture to reduce the amount of unhealthy bacteria and allergens on and in your upholstered furniture.

4. To reduce fabric fading avoid letting full sun shine on textiles. Control the light with shades, blinds, or draperies.

5. Get to the spills quickly before they have time to set. Use a blotting motion with either a paper towel or clean white cloth. Rubbing can result in smudging the spill into a larger stain. Work from the outside of the spot towards the centre. Blot dry.

6. Before applying any cleaning solution to tougher spots and stains, read and carefully follow the furniture manufacturer’s and cleaner label directions, usually located under the chair seat or inside a cushion cover. Apply the solution to a clean white cloth, and press against an inconspicuous patch of the furnishing (test area) firmly for 30 seconds. If a ring remains around the stain after cleaning, you’ll need to deep clean the entire area. Don’t use colored towels or printed paper towels because they may transfer dye or ink to the upholstery. Never overwet the fabric. Applying too much water or cleaning solution can spread the stain and saturate the padding underneath the upholstery, creating the perfect haven for mould, mildew and bacteria.

7. Once a year, schedule your soft furnishings for a deep cleaning treatment. If your cushion covers are removable and machine washable, it’s best to turn them inside out and wash in cold water to prevent fading. When in doubt, or if removing the upholstery isn’t an option, don’t hesitate to consult professional upholstery cleaners.

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