After making a big ticket purchase on an upholstered sofa or chair, it’s only natural that you’ll want it to last and look good as long as possible. But everyday use – and in some instances with young kids or pets at home – can take a toll on any upholstered piece. Not to fret though, for we’ve got you covered with six tips that will make sure your favourite sofa or chair lasts through the years.
The best way to clean and maintain your upholstered furniture is through weekly vacuuming as it helps prevent dust, dirt and stains from being embedded into the fibres. The longer you go without vacuuming your sofa or chairs, the worse the damage will be, for the dust will be forced further deeper down into the fibres of the upholstery whenever you sit down, causing the material to wear out a lot faster. Before vacuuming however, always check first for loose buttons and threads, and make sure you tighten the buttons and clip any threads before proceeding. Then, use the soft bristled brush attachment on your vacuum to whisk away the dirt and prevent the fabric from snagging. Don’t forget to switch to a crevice tool to clean corners and tight spots as well.
Tackle spills immediately
No matter how meticulous you are in taking care of your furniture, spills are inevitable. But the important thing is to clean them up as soon as they happen to minimise the chances of a stain forming. To do so, grab some clean kitchen towels or a clean dry cloth and gently blot up the surface liquid. Don’t rub or scrub. This will prevent the liquid from setting into the fabric. If you’re quick enough, you can often avoid a stain altogether, or at the very least, reduce any surface blemishes.
Keep away from direct sunlight
Whether your sofa or chair is made up of fabric or leather, remember that direct sunlight can damage your upholstery with prolonged exposure, causing colours to fade or even fabric to fray. A little exposure to the sun every now and then is relatively harmless, but do try to position your furniture such that it doesn’t sit in the sun for extended periods of time. Draw the curtains or blinds when you’re going out, or install sun-filtering window coverings – like sheer drapes – for rooms that you want to have natural daylight filtering through.
Rotate and fluff up the cushions
One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your upholstered furniture is by periodically turning over the loose cushions. This easy maintenance method allows wear and tear to be evenly distributed, and will also prevent your cushions from developing indentations. Aside from flipping them over, changing cushions around from one part of the sofa to the other will also help to ensure even usage between all your cushions. Additionally, fluffing them after cleaning also helps to keep the cushions in shape. All you’ll need to do is to slap, prod and perhaps a little light punch here and there to help them retain their original shape and provide comfort for years to come.
You may not realise this, but upholstered furniture can easily absorb odours, and may develop a funky smell over time. This is especially important for homeowners with pets at home as well. When this happens, sprinkle baking soda on all the upholstered areas of the sofa. Apply enough baking soda such that it leaves a lightly visible residue on the entire sofa. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes, or overnight for severe odours, before vacuuming in the morning. The baking soda has the ability to absorb any smells from the fabric and cushions, in turn freshening up your sofa.
Call in a professional
In addition to regular maintenance, you should also have your upholstered furniture deep cleaned once every year or two. Besides restoring the aesthetic beauty and comfort of your furniture pieces, professional upholstery cleaners are also equipped with the proper tools to remove certain stubborn and heavy stains, as well as fabric scratches. However, bear in mind to not wait for your sofa or chair to get visibly dirty before calling in the experts, for the dirtier the furniture becomes, the harder it is to restore to its original glory.