We invest in our furniture because we want to live in both comfort and luxury. Whether it’s leather or cloth, you can find designs that will give you the feel of a warm loving embrace and a look straight out of “Home and Design” magazine.
But as beautiful and wonderful as our furniture make us feel, these are often subject to much use and abuse. We may not be aware of it but neglect can lead to long-term damage to upholstery. Sometimes, repairs or maintenance work may be futile and re-upholstery becomes the only option. Think about that well if your furniture is made of high-grade Italian leather which is very expensive.
If you want low maintenance furniture, your best option would be leather. Compared to fabric, leather upholstery has the following advantages:
Easy to clean; all you need are a damp cloth and a vacuum cleaner. Of course, there are specialty solutions you can buy to maintain the quality of the leather. But generally, water and mild soap would be enough.
Leather material is more durable; in fact over time as the material ages it will develop its own look and add “character” to the furniture.
Furniture designs using leather as material remain more contemporary compared to fabric.
There are different types and kinds of leather that can be used for upholstery. Thus, you can easily find leather furniture that will meet your budget.
Fabric upholstery presents greater challenges for cleaning and maintenance. It is more prone to heavy stains because the material is generally absorbent. Fabric material is made of interwoven strands which make it more susceptible to accumulation of dust, dirt and grime. It can be a nesting ground for dust mites, insects and unwanted pests.
Unlike leather, the material of most fabric loses strength over the years. As it gets worn, fabric will easily rip and tear. Designs for fabric exude a lesser sophistication compared to leather. In a matter of years, it may appear passé and may require home owners who want to maintain a modern vibe to replace furniture.
If you own fabric upholstery, here are a few tips to keep them clean and well- maintained:
1. Start with the vacuum
Run your vacuum throughout your furniture; get inside all the nooks and crannies. All vacuum cleaners come with an attachment that will allow you to get to the hard- to- reach places.
Vacuuming your furniture is important because it loosens up dirt and removes as much dust as possible. If you have a fabric couch, you’ll probably find enough crumbs to fill up an entire bag plus some loose change here and there.
These crumbs attract pests especially cockroaches. If food debris is not cleared, your couch may be infested.
Another problem with fabric is accumulation of pet hair. If you have pets who stay indoors, pet hair could pose as potential health hazards especially for those with asthma. If vacuuming is not sufficient to get rid of pet hair, use pet hair remover which is available in most pet stores.
2. Read the tag
All fabric upholstery comes with a tag with a symbol to inform you how to clean and maintain it. The symbols are as follows:
- “W”- Water. It means you can use water- soluble cleaners to clean the fabric.
- “S”- Solvent. You should only use solvent or a water- free product such as a dry- cleaning solvent. Using a water- based product could cause the material to fade.
- “WS” or “SW”- This means you can use either a water- soluble product or dry- cleaning product. This opens up your options in cleaning the fabric but at the same time could pose problems in the future. When you see this symbol, it may be best to call in the professionals.
- “X”- Neither water- soluble nor dry- cleaning products can be used. Fabric with this tag is best left to the professionals to handle.
3. Use a home- made solution
You can make a safe fabric cleaner by mixing one cup of warm water and ¼ cup mild dish washing liquid. Use an electric mixer to mix the solution until it becomes thick.
4. Apply the solution
Once you’re done vacuuming, apply the solution using a soft-bristled brush then rub unto the fabric until it builds into thick foam. Use a spatula to remove the foam. If there are suds remaining, use a dry cloth to wipe them away.
5. Dry completely
Using too much water may cause stains and lead to fabric shrinkage. It is very important to make sure the fabric is dried quickly but properly. Moisture creates the ideal conditions for molds and mildew to grow.
The most important thing to remember with fabric upholstery is to remove stains immediately. If you see fresh stain, blot it right away with paper towels or dry cloth. Then apply the same cleaning solution of warm water mixed with mild dish washing liquid. Blot out excess solution then allow the fabric to dry properly.
Do- it- Yourself techniques are good as quick fix solutions for your upholstery concerns. But it’s always a good option to ask the help of professionals to make sure your upholstery is properly taken care of.
Are you interested using upholstery cleaning services in Gold Coast? Get your free quote now.