It is used and abused on a daily basis but is often overlooked at house cleaning time. Furniture is a major financial investment and should be a priority when it comes to routine household maintenance. Retain the new appearance and extend the life of your furniture with minimal effort and a schedule of regular preventative care. Remember to always review the manufacturer’s care instructions before attempting any cleaning method. Here are a few tried, tested, and proven methods of keeping that couch looking brand new.
Let’s start with the obvious one: Vacuuming. Yes, the humble vacuum is the safest and easiest way to keep your furniture clean.
Pro Tip: Use the vacuum cleaner brush attachment to thoroughly remove dust and surface dirt from the cushions, back and sides of furniture. Remove cushions and vacuum any loose dirt particles from the seat pan and hard-to-reach areas with the crevice tool. Vacuuming also works on wood, leather and wicker furniture with a soft brush attachment.
Most upholstered fabric furniture is suitable for either professional dry or steam upholstery cleaning. Both methods are effective and are performed in the home. The dry process is preferable to many homeowners because the furniture can be used immediately after cleaning.
Pro Tip: Professional cleaners have special products to clean leather furniture as well. It is recommended a professional cleaning be performed every six to 12 months.
Slipcovers can be dry-cleaned or professionally laundered depending on the fabric content. Another option is to machine wash slipcovers at home. Begin by pre-treating stains then wash on a low-temperature permanent press setting with a mild detergent.
Pro Tip: Dry slipcovers on low for 15 minutes to remove wrinkles, hang to partially dry and place the covers back on the furniture. They will dry completely within several hours. Consider getting your slipcover and bed cleaned professionally with a hygienitech machine once a year.
Spot removers are an economical solution for quick stain removal. There is a wide range of products and applications available to consumers. One downside–you may have to try several different products to find the right one for your furniture or particular stain. Spot stain removers are most effective on new stains.
Pro Tip: Try the product an inconspicuous area to test for colour fastness prior to spot cleaning.
According to Pottery Barn, the best way to clean hard surface furniture is to use a clean, soft lint-free cloth to remove ordinary fingerprints and dust. A soft natural bristle cosmetic brush or paintbrush is ideal for cleaning crevices. To preserve the factory finish, avoid strong abrasive cleaners or rough cleaning pads.
Pro Tip: Metal furniture can be cleaned with a clean, damp cloth, and glass cleaners are recommended for glass shelves and tabletops.
Between professional leather cleanings, it is recommended to spot clean your leather furniture with specially formulated leather upholstery cleaners. To protect leather from sun damage, scratches and stains, treat periodically with a leather conditioner and protector. These products are available through your furniture cleaning service or leather furniture retailers.