Sofa Care Guide
Having taken a great deal of time and trouble to choose your furniture, you will want to ensure that it remains at its beautiful best for as long as possible. Your sofa is designed to ensure your comfort and will stand up to the rigours of daily life, but some wear over time is inevitable. However, with the proper care, your furniture will serve you well for many years.
Handling Your Furniture
From time to time it may be necessary to move your furniture around the room or to reposition it in a different room. You could also move house at some point in the future. It is vital that you handle your sofa with care to avoid damaging the fabric, the frame and the other features of your home.
- Try to avoid dragging your furniture around the house. Sofas are heavy but it is worth finding the help you need to move them without having to drag them across the floor. Dragging could damage both the fabric and the frame.
- You should protect your carpet and wooden flooring from marks and indents caused by the casters and feet of furniture. Such marks are incredibly annoying if you do rearrange your room at any time. A small investment in pads for your feet or cups for your casters will save you from big trouble in the future.
- Wear gloves when picking up your furniture to prevent the transfer of sweat and dirt. If you are moving your sofa from one room to another, drape a blanket over it just in case you knock it against other furniture, door frames or walls. If you are moving house, wrap your furniture in a protective layer before transporting it. If possible, remove cushions and wrap these separately as this will make the sofa easier to handle and will minimize the weight that must be carried.
Protecting Your Sofa
Vulnerable areas of your sofa may benefit from a little extra protection every day whilst the entire piece of furniture should be shielded from damage if you are decorating the room.
- The addition of a throw will protect your sofa from the oils in your hair which will inevitably be transferred when you lean back against the upholstery. You can always remove the throw if you would like to show off your sofa to visitors or are conducting viewings of your home.
- Arm covers will keep the arms of your sofa clean and free from wear.
- If you are painting your room, cover your sofa with a dust sheet to ensure that no paint drips onto your furniture.
- If your pets like to join you on the sofa, it is best to place a throw or blanket in the place where they usually choose to sit. However, it is advisable to keep pets off the furniture completely!
- Try to ensure that your sofa is sitting on a level floor as any rocking will eventually distort the frame.
- Avoid sitting on the arms of your sofa as this will result in distortion over time.
- Prevent cosmetics, lotions, sun creams and similar products from coming into contact with your upholstery.
- Direct sunlight will cause colours to fade so protect your sofa by locating it away from windows or keeping curtains drawn during the day.
- Be aware of the damage which can be caused by sharp objects which you are using or carrying about your person. Studs, belt buckles, scissors, knives, combs and toys all have the potential to snag or cut into your upholstery.
- Avoid wearing shoes if you tend to tuck your feet up when seated, if you use a recliner with a foot rest or have a footstool.
Cleaning Your Sofa
Nobody relishes their cleaning chores but a little TLC occasionally will prolong the life and the look of your sofa.
- Vacuum over your sofa once a week as the accumulation of dust becomes abrasive and will cause wear to the fabric. Don’t forget to vacuum in all the gaps between the cushions.
- Attend to any spills immediately as this will enable you to prevent much of the liquid from soaking into the furniture. It is best to avoid using chemical cleaners as these may fade colours or degrade the fibres in the fabric. Soak up the excess moisture with a paper towel and then use a clean cloth and plain water to address the spill. If you are forced to use a stain remover, test this on a concealed area of the fabric first.
- Engage a professional to clean your upholstery every 12 - 18 months providing it is cleanable (some fabrics should not be washed or dry cleaned). Have all matching pieces of furniture cleaned at the same time to produce an even fade.
- If you have loose covers or wish to clean your sofa yourself, always follow the included instructions and test any cleaning products which are to be used on a concealed area of the sofa before proceeding.
Velvet and Leather Care
Velvet and leather are wonderful fabrics with unique properties. It is important to understand the nature of these materials and to care for them appropriately.
- Velvet is wonderfully luxurious but it has a very obvious nap or pile. This tends to catch the light in different ways according to the direction in which it is lying. The resulting appearance is not a fault, just a characteristic of the fabric. However, the pile may need brushing from time to time.
- The pile of velvet will eventually crush but this does not affect the durability of the fabric and only serves to enhance the charm of the furniture.
- Leather sofas always draw the eye and leather is a durable material which is resistant to staining. But leather will dry and crack if positioned too close to heat sources.
- Regular dusting will help to preserve leather upholstery.
- Consult a leather specialist if a stubborn stain requires attention or any nicks and cuts need repairing.
Pilling is a characteristic of many upholstery fabrics and is the result of excess fibre coming away from the surface of the material. Small balls or “pills” form on the surface. The effect is similar to the fuzzing you will experience with a wool jumper and does not mean that there is an issue with the fabric. When the excess fibre has been depleted the pilling effect will cease.
You can remove the pilling with a battery operated furniture shaver. You may have to perform this procedure up to 4 times.
Plumping Your Cushions
Regardless of the quality of your furniture, constant use will eventually take its toll on your cushions. But you can guard against the worst effects of wear with a few simple measures.
- Shake scatter cushions regularly to redistribute the filling. This will help to maintain the cushions’ original shape.
- Rotate seat cushions weekly to ensure even wear.
- Plump your cushions occasionally. This is best done by placing a cushion on one of its edges and then beating the opposite edge inwards with your hand. Repeat the process on all four sides. Complete the process by shaking the cushion and smoothing the cover.