Extending the Life of Your Furniture
A quality piece of upholstery sets the tone for an entire room. It’s the comfortable couch we gather on for movie nights, the plush headboard that makes our master bedroom feel like a sanctuary, or the statement chair that accents our favorite rug. We often take weeks, even months, to settle on these special purchases. Once you’ve found the perfect piece, you will want to take a few simple steps to protect your high-end upholstery, so that you can enjoy your investment for years to come.
Fight the Fade
Upholstery will fade over time. However, you can do several things to protect the brilliant hue of your fabric or leather. If possible, position your furniture out of direct sunlight, since the sun will fade colors. If you need to arrange your furniture where sun shines through a window, consider hanging sheer curtain panels to filter the light during the day.
Certain fumes will also react with oxygen and humidity producing a mild acid that can damage and discolor certain fabrics. The gaseous byproducts of your furnace, stove, or fireplace can dull fabric this way. The phenomenon is called ‘fume fading’. You can minimize fume fading by properly ventilating the kitchen with an exhaust fan, and correctly using your fireplace damper.
Remember that tobacco smoke will also leave a greasy residue on furniture. Consider asking guests or family members to smoke outside when the weather permits, and setting up a comfortable outdoor space for them to do so.
Extreme heat or cold badly affects upholstered furniture. If fabric is over-heated, it will quickly fade and its fibers become brittle. The wooden frame of the furniture could warp after prolonged exposure to cold, dry air. Your furniture will do best if you can maintain a consistent indoor temperature without dramatic fluctuations.
Whether you are cranking the heat in the winter or blasting the air-conditioning in the summer, keep your furniture at least twenty inches from air and heating vents. This has an added benefit as well. Your HVAC system circulates air from all parts of the house. If the vents are in close proximity to your furniture, they may blow dust, contaminants, and fumes from other rooms directly onto the upholstery.
Be sure to always protect your furniture from humidity. Mold and mildew can leave permanent stains and hard-to-eliminate odors in fabric. Mold spores can eat away at the surface of leather, so that even after the mold is removed the leather is pitted and punctured. If you are leaving for several months, considered programing your thermostat to maintain a consistent indoor temperature. If possible, do not store upholstered furniture in damp basements or unfinished attics.
Dust will act like sandpaper on delicate fabrics and leather. Protect your high-end upholstery by vacuuming your fabric furniture regularly with the recommended attachment. You can also wipe your leather furniture with a damp cloth once a week. Use the arm caps to protect the arm rests. Rotate and fluff the cushions at least once a week so that the cushion core and fabric wears evenly.
Address any issues immediately. Blot up spills with an absorbent towel before liquids have a chance to sink into the interior of the cushions, or pool on the surface of leather. Wipe muddy paw prints off with a damp cloth. Try to keep things that could scratch or snag, like metal jewelry, away from the surface of your upholstered furniture.
If something does stain your furniture, you can usually spot clean leather and fabric upholstery with cool water and gentle detergents yourself. Always be sure to test your cleaning solution in a discreet place on your furniture. Once you ascertain that it won’t damage the material, you can move on to a more visible spot.
In order to protect your high-end upholstery, have it professionally cleaned on a regular schedule. Deep cleaning furniture removes dirt totally and from every crevice. This improves the cosmetic appearance of your furniture, but by also thoroughly removing dust, dander and other debris, you will protect the fabric from unnecessary wear and tear. Your upholstery will look better and last longer.
The experts at Modernistic have more than 40 years of experience cleaning your fine furniture, and are dedicated to providing the highest level of service. Contact us to schedule your appointment with one of our specialists.
Serving residents of Bath, MI for 40 years.