Getting new upholstery is the best way to freshen up our space, but we also have to preserve it and make it last long. This can be done in a relatively easy way if we set and follow some rules and routines. We will get the best results if we combine preventative measures with regular cleaning and deal with any stains and spills as soon as possible. Here is what we can do with little or no cost.
Use throws and cushion covers
Covering our upholstered furniture with throw blankets and using cushion covers is the most effective way to preserve and save it for a long time. There are large throws that can cover the entire surface of your couches, sofas and armchairs, and they are the best option. You can find them in many designs and colours and add to your décor. You just need to wash them once a month and everything will be fresh and clean again, even if they are white. In the long run, throws are cheaper than new upholstery.
If you want to preserve your upholstery, you should set some rules. Here are the most important ones: no eating and no pets. There is a reason the dining room and the kitchen exist, so you can feel free to ban food and drink in the living room. If you can’t, at least have a coffee table nearby. Teach your pets they are not allowed on the furniture. If you have small kids, ban all coloring pens, sharpies and arts and crafts supplies anywhere near the upholstery. Set a good example by following these rules yourself.
Vacuum clean it
Before you vacuum your furniture, you can give it a simple brush to decrease the amount of dust. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner and work from left to right and top to bottom. Make short, overlapping strokes. For sneaky areas like creases, fabric folds and tufted areas, you can use the angle-tipped crevice tool. Vacuum once a week or at least once every two weeks. It would also be good to use a steam cleaner once a month, since steam kills dust mites that can cause health problems. If you can’t afford to buy your own machine, there are affordable steam cleaner hire services. Steam cleaners also remove stains.
Use liquid cleaners
You will need to check your furniture tags to see what kind of a cleaner you can use. W stands for a water-based detergent, S for dry cleaning solvents, and WS means you can use either of these. You can get cleaning solvents in a supermarket or online, and in case you should use a water-based detergent, you can make one by yourself: simply find a spray bottle and fill it up with water, add some liquid dishwashing detergent, a capful of vinegar and a pinch of baking soda. Shake it up and try it on an inconspicuous spot, and rub it with a sponge or a damp cloth. You can continue if the colour doesn’t come off.
In case of any spills and stains, it is important to react as soon as possible, so the stains don’t spread. Do not rub, simply use a cloth or paper to blot the stain. Try to absorb as much of the liquid as possible working from the outside of the spot towards the centre. Use a liquid cleaner once it dries.
If you invest time and effort into the maintenance of your upholstery, it can last for decades, so we are sure it is well worth following these simple pieces of advice.
About the author : Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Marie loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on Smooth Decorator. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.