Over the years, furniture does go through lot of wear and tear. It does not matter whether the furniture item in question is a sofa or a smaller item such as a side table. Furniture requires regular maintenance and even, if you are extremely careful, external factors such as humidity will take a toll. In this blog, we cover a range of maintenance techniques, depending on the material.
Before we dive into material specific techniques, let us look at some general tips:
Remember that excitement you felt when you bought your sofa home for the first time? The feeling of protecting it at all costs, making sure it is wiped clean and dusted every week? As months go by, there is a tendency to get careless about these things. Try and remember that excitement, and protect it like you did when you just bought it! Needless to say, the life expectancy of furniture can be increased exponentially if we follow a few basic rules.
Pro tip: Avoid placing your furniture directly in sunlight, especially if it is painted. This can impact the finish, cause the product to be discoloured and eventually making it look unsightly. If sunlight is unavoidable, cover the piece with a throw during the day, so it remains protected. Use coasters for centre tables, where the worktop is made of wood, this helps in ensuring the polish coat doesn't wear.
Maintaining the quality
Given that the furniture in your home is going to used frequently (especially post the pandemic) and will be exposed to elements such as dust and humidity, it is important to pay attention to maintenance. Your furniture needs to be cleaned regularly, if you want to maintain it. Consider delicate cleaning of your sofas, cabinets, drawers and other items every week. For example, things such as the headboard of your bed, or your work table can be cleaned every day to ensure the dust stays off. Bigger items can be cleaned once a week. Also, who doesn’t want to stay in a clean environment?
Pro-tip: Set aside some time on your weekends to clean your furniture. This dedicated one or two hours will add up to more years of furniture life! We promise!
Apart from the general cleaning tips, you also need to consider that different materials require different types of care. You cannot use the same cleaning techniques you use for wooden furniture on the upholstered pieces.
Tips to maintain wooden furniture
Remember, soap and water
You can use mild soap and a damp cloth to clean your wooden furniture, such as cabinets, drawers, or dining tables. Make sure that the cloth you are using is clean, as dust tends to stick more if the cloth is unclean. The three mini tips under this style of cleaning are:Use a mild soap and damp cloth to clean the area
- Use a mild soap and damp cloth to clean the area
- Use another slightly wet cloth to clean up the soap
- The last step is to wipe the excess dampness on the surface with a dry cloth
When you clean wooden furniture with soap, chances of the polish wearing off is very high! Keep a furniture polish handy, preferably with a low alcohol amount. This can help bring shine on the surface, while also protecting it
Dusting on a daily basis is a good way to ensure that your furniture stays in good shape. Set aside 10 minutes a day to dust your wooden furniture, with deeper cleaning to be done on weekends. This prevents accumulation of dust, which looks a lot more prominent on dark, wooden pieces
Usage of coasters
In order to avoid glass stains, try making use of coasters as much as possible. This reduces the clean-up after every use, which can get quite tedious and frustrating.
Keep out of sunlight
Direct sunlight can affect the finish of a wooden product. Try avoiding keeping the item in direct sunlight, or drape it with a throw for the hottest parts of the day
Some other tips:
- If you have pets at home, take necessary steps to protect your furniture.
- Avoiding keeping wood furniture in areas which are prone to humidity (such as bathrooms)
- Ensure the temperature at home is maintained. Drastic fluctuations can impact the humidity at home, thus creating dew which is not ideal for wooden furniture
- On the other hand, do not let your house get excessively dry. Dryness can make wood shrink, or makes it split
- Avoid direct contact with liquids such as water. Soft soap and a little water is ok, but excess of this and it has high chances of ruining your furniture!
Tips to maintain fabric/upholstered furniture
Pick the right kind of fabric
Choosing the right type of fabric makes the maintenance task easier, and this solely depends on your lifestyle. For instance, synthetic fibers are a better option for upholstered pieces which are used heavily. Similarly, if you have pets avoid going for fabrics which have loose threads/weaves
Protect the fabric
Usually, fabrics are extremely susceptible to stains. Thus, pay close and great attention to spills regularly. If you end up spilling something, make sure you clean it up quickly and follow the instructions on how to clean it effectively
Turn the cushions
Turning cushions is commonly done in many households, and, for a good reason! The life of any upholstered furniture can be extended if you regularly turn the cushions over. This is because, the wear and tear gets evenly distributed on all sides and thus, reduces sag and wear and tear.
Use a vacuum cleaner
The fun part about vacuum cleaners is that they clean out every speck of dust on the surface! If used effectively on fabrics, it sucks in any particles, such as dust, unwanted food specks, and more. You can use a vacuum on your upholstered furniture every week to give it a general cleaning
Tips to clean glass furniture
Always remember to wipe glass dry
After using or cleaning a table top with a glass top, wipe it completely dry. If you leave the glass unattended when wet, it leaves marks which cannot be removed easily. Why invest in stronger buffs or chemicals when you can just wipe the product clean after each use?
Stay away from hard water
Use purified or distilled water while cleaning your glass furniture. Hard water consists of mineral residue which can leave marks. This is one of the primary reasons you can go for water mixed soap sprays to clean glass furniture
Microfiber or chamois cloth for cleaning glass
Using a daily used cloth or tissue can leave several lint particles or paper residue on the glass. Instead, go for microfiber or chamois cloth, which is specifically made for such purposes. Microfiber cloth has the ability to remove lint and fiber, while chamois cloth will not leave behind any residual material!
This is a simple but effective tip which most of you already know: do not use any other cleaner other than a one meant for glass! Using soap, or any other cleaning liquids can mess up the quality of the glass, making it look unsightly
Who knew you can buff glass with newspaper, huh? This is an age-old technique used through generations. Using a newspaper to clean your glass can leave it squeaky clean, and remove hard stains or oil marks.
Long term Care
While the above mentioned techniques are to be followed frequently, there are still cases when you may need professional help to keep the furniture in good condition. For custom made furniture, make sure you get polishing and waxing done. Also, you can call a professional company such as Urban clap to clean your upholstered sofas, chair or cushions. Fabrics can get hard to clean, especially if there have been spills. If you don't think you can do a great job at cleaning blots, spills, or more, consider getting a professional cleaner once a month or once in two months!
If you have bought any of the pieces off the shelf, ensure that you read the care instructions carefully and make sure you aren’t using products that aren’t suitable for the product.
Now, doesn’t cleaning furniture seem relatively simple and easy? Just by following a few tips, you can make sure your furniture looks and stays brand new, while also prolonging the life of the products! The key, is to keep up the regimen of maintenance.