As a nation we spend an awful lot of time parked on our sofas and in our armchairs in our homes in Westminster. Our upholstery plays an important life in aiding our relaxation time, providing a platform from which to dine, and even keeping us comfortable while we drive ourselves from A to B. But when it comes to looking after it, most of us are a little clueless and see it as opening up a whole can of worms.
As with anything, continual use of our furniture, seats and supports brings with it issues about wear-and-tear and degradation. Over time even the toughest of armchairs will begin to look past their best – how many times have you seen uncared-for armchairs with thick black wear on the front of the arms?
A new three-piece suite isn’t cheap, so it makes sense to try and preserve the ones we have as long as possible. For most though, it just isn’t that simple. Our chairs and sofas in our homes in Westminster, SW1 come with all sorts of different material coverings, not to mention the different stuffing-types that can be badly affected by the wrong choice of cleaners. So quite often we choose to ignore it – a wet cloth every now and then will do, which it won’t, and just accept the dulling down and dirtying over time. But there are options, so here is how to go about keeping your upholstery clean and tidy:
1. Read the label. You wouldn’t clean your clothes without checking the label for temperature and setting would you? Exactly, so don’t think you can with your sofas.
2. Hoover them. Why not? They are pretty well made things, so every week go over with your domestic vacuum to clear up any loose debris that could work itself into the fabric – use the appropriate tools to get right into all the nooks and crannies (that’s what they are for!).
3. If you have loose fabric covers and they are washable, wash them! Check the label – some might be dry-clean only, but if you can machine wash them then they can usually also be treated with domestic stain remover and other products to achieve a good finish.
4. If the fabric covers aren’t loose, then you will need to use a bit of elbow grease. Mix up a bowl of washing-up liquid, laundry detergent and warm water and test an inconspicuous area to make sure it has no adverse effects. If it doesn’t, set to work on any grubby marks or stains, making sure not to get the fabric unnecessarily wet (this could damage the stuffing). If your solution isn’t strong enough dap on a bit of white wine vinegar before your made-up solution.
5. If you have leather furniture, it is usually pretty robust. Regular hovering will maintain them at their best for longer than an ordinary fabric sofa, however we all know accidents do happen and our lifestyles do tend to take their tolls even on the most hardy of furniture items. Always make sure you give leather items a quick wipe with a slightly damp cloth to remove any surface marks. If you want to give it a quick polish, a two-to-one mix of linseed oil and vinegar will usually do the trick but always test an area first! If this doesn’t produce the right result for you then you will need to shop around in the W1 area for the right specialist cleaning product that will come with its very own set of instructions.
As with everything though, it is worth taking the time to maintain your upholstery. It will make it look better for longer, and while professional services are available in Westminster most issues can be contained with a quick bit of attentive home cleaning.