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How to maintain your fabric-upholstered furniture

Maintaining fabric-upholstered furniture is easy to do and doesn’t require much time once you get into the habit of regular cleaning. It may require extra work if you have young children or pets at home, but prudent care is always worth the effort.


(Design: Design Intervention)

In the store

Before bringing home your new upholstered sofa or chair, take time to ask about the recommended cleaning method for its specific fabric. This will take the guesswork out of dealing with spills and stains in the future. Also, ask if they have additional fabric protectors that can help with the care of your furniture.

Vacuum away

Vacuum your furniture weekly for general cleaning. Before vacuuming, tighten loose buttons or clip threads that can snag the fabric. Use the soft brush attachment to gently whisk the dirt away on cushions, and the crevice tool to get in all the tight spots and corners.

 If your upholstered furniture starts to look dingy or has developed spots and stains, be sure to vacuum it first before any cleaning procedures. Vacuuming will lift up dirt and dust which, when wet, can further sully the upholstery and add to your cleaning woes.

Spot clean

Spills are inevitable, no matter how meticulous you are with your weekly cleaning. Gently blot any spills – don’t rub or scrub – immediately with a clean white towel or paper towel. This will prevent the stain from setting into the fabric.

If the stain requires more than a gentle dab, spot clean by following the instructions on the manufacturer’s tag. Always test your cleaning product first in an inconspicuous area. Apply with a soft brush in a circular motion to work it into the fibres, then vacuum when dry.

Call a professional

Don’t wait for your upholstered furniture to get visibly dirty before calling in the pros. Have it deep cleaned every year or two. Regular professional cleaning not only restores the beauty and comfort of the fabric, but also extends the lifespan of your furniture. Leave stubborn and heavy stains to the experts.

Too much sun exposure can damage upholstery, causing it to fade and even fray. Try to position your furniture in such a way that it is out of direct sunlight for long periods of time. If you can’t move the pieces away from direct sunlight, use curtains, shades or blinds to keep the sun’s damaging UV rays off them.

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