TIPS To Protect Your Furniture During The Holiday

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Often times it can be helpful to apply a topical stain protector to your furniture before using it.  Stain protectors will help repel spills, block stains, and resist soils to keep your furniture looking newer, longer.

These protectors will eventually wear off so it is a good idea to reapply every few years.  However, be aware that these protectors do not and should not substitute regular care.  Be sure to contact the manufacturer of your furniture for the correct recommended stain protector.

Vacuuming and light brushing

Daily vacuuming or light brushing will remove tiny particles of dust, food and dirt that often times go unnoticed.  This dirt can cause substantial damage to your furniture in the long run if it is not removed.  These methods of cleaning will prevent dirt from setting in between the fibers in your furniture. For extra care, try placing a piece of screen over your vacuum nozzle.  This will prevent snags and tears in the fabric.

Rotate your furniture

Rotating your seat cushions can prevent excessive build up from settling on the fabric.  If the cushion is reversible, turn them over periodically.  This will prevent sagging and distribute wear evenly.

Direct sunlight can cause fading and discoloration on upholstered fabrics. Try and keep your furniture as far away from sunlight as possible.  If not, rearrange your furniture frequently to avoid patches of fading.

Avoid placing items such as newspapers, paints, inks, nail polish and nail polish remover on or around the furniture.  In addition, some dark coloured throws and blankets should not be used on light bodied sofas, as they can transfer color when wet.

Cleaning stains

Time is of the essence when it comes to cleaning uphoistered furniture.  The longer a stain remains on the uphoistery the harder it is to remove, so act fast!  Also, always test an area on your furniture that is not visible to make sure it will not discolour or destroy the fabric.

The first thing to do before cleaning any piece of furniture is to check the manufacturer’s label for instructions on cleaning and/or the cleaning code.  Fabric cleaning codes go as follows.

w- clean with water based agent

This code refers to fabrics that are man made, for instance, nylon and polyester. For these types of fabrics, it is best to spot clean using the foam from a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild soap, detergent or non-solvent uphoistery cleaner.

S- clean with mild water-free cleaning solvent

This code refers to fabrics that are of made of natural fibers.  If water s used on fabrics like cotton, linen, silk and wool, if may cause a permanent discolouration

WS-clean with a mild sovent, with or without water.

Fabrics with this code can be cleaned with both a water-based solvent or a water-free soap.

Follow the instructions for either the “W” or “S” cleaning codes above

x-clean only by vacuuming or light brushing

fabrics with this cleaning code should only be cleaned by vacuuming or light brushing

cleaning agents such as shampoo or water may stain, destroy or discolour the fabric.

After it is understood which cleaning agent would be best for your particular type of uphoistery, there are a few things you should keep in mind when trying to remove a spot, stain or spill.

Liquid spills should be absorbed immediately to avoid a bigger problem.  Take a dry white absorbent cloth or paper towel and always work from the outer edge towards the center of the stain to avoid spreading. Rub the stain in a circular motion, but not too hard as this could cause the fabric to snag and ruin, it is better to blot than to scrub,  if the spill consistes of solids such as jelly or butter, scoop up the excess with a soft edge spoon.  Be sure not to let stains dry before cleaning.

After the excess liquid and solids are lifted off the furniture, apply the cleaning agent. Keep in mind some fabric codes prohibit the use of any cleaning agents.  Use a white towel to apply the liquid and be sure to not over-saturate the fabric.  Using a coloured towel could discolour the fabric and create a bigger stain.  Blot the towel over the stain with cleaning agent and continue by using different parts of the towel until the entire stain is absorbed.  After the stain has been rubbed out of the uphoistery, pat the area dry, and use a blow dryer on a low/cool setting or an area fan.

It is important to remember that the cushion covers should never be removed and put into the wash or sent to the dry-cleaner, even if there are zippers on the cushions (unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer).  Doing so could result in covers that no long fit or become discoloured.  Always contact your manufacturer if you are unsure about the correct cleaning code for you fabric.

Repairing uphoistered furniture

Patching a tear in fabric or vinyi:

Insert an iron-on patch through the tear so that the adhesive side contacts the back side of the torn fabric.

Iron one side of the tear until the patch sticks firmly to the back of the cloth on that side.

Adjust the torn spot for smoothness over the other side of the patch.

Iron the second half of the patch, moving the iron toward the tear.

If necessary, you can apply fabric adhesive to the tear for a stronger bond.

Patching a hole in fabric or vinyi:

Locate and remove a piece of excess material from a hidden area of the furniture that is large enough to cover the hole.

Trim the uphoistery to match the hold and surrounding pattern.

Apply an iron-on patch or apply adhesive to the back of the damaged area.

Use fabric adhesive or a small iron-on patch to install the material patch in the hold.

Allow the adhesive to fully dry before use.

In both cases, make sure that your iron is set to the correct temperature  for the type of fabric that your furniture is uphoistered with. Cleaning your furniture does not have to be a major chore.  With these helpful hints, and general up-keeping, your furniture will look as great as the day you bought it.