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12 Ways to Take Care of Furnishings

Soft furnishings soften the hard edges of any room, and turn a house into a home. But maintaining them isn’t easy, especially for families with young children and pets. Make the effort for proper care will keep your furnishings looking good for a long time.

1. Clean furniture on a weekly basis, vacuuming both cushions and under them. When vacuuming, check for loose buttons and threads, weak spots in the fabric, or debris that could clog the vacuum. Use the soft brush attachment and keep it clean and free of oily residue. Clean corners with the crevice tools.

2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning upholstery. Only use cleaners that are recommended or you may damage the fabric.

3. Cushion interiors lose up to 25 per cent of their volume in the first six months. Maintain the shape by shaking daily. Fluff and rotate the cushions regularly to prevent upholstery from becoming wrinkled or flattened and to ensure uniform wear.


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4. Keep upholstered items out of direct sunlight whenever possible to avoid fading. If the upholstery is near a window, control the light with shades, blinds or draperies.

5. Upholstery lasts longer if kept away from extreme heat or cold. Heat has a bad effect on fabric and causes it to become brittle and more prone to wear and tear. Extreme humidity or dryness can also harm fabric.

6. Get your upholstered furniture deep-cleaned every six months. DIY works well, but commercial cleaners can get the dirt out really fast. If doing it yourself, remove all soap residue to avoid attracting dirt to the clean upholstery.

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7. Use a cleaning product with a soil retardant to prevent future staining. If in doubt, check label directions or consult a professional cleaner about soil retardants. A professional treatment like Scotchgard also works well, especially in family homes.

8. Never ever rub spills. That sets the stain. Gently blot as quickly you can with a white paper towel or tissue. Colored towels or printed paper towels may transfer dye or ink to the upholstery.

9. Remove slipcovers to spot clean so that the upholstery underneath is not affected. Or else, put a clean folded towel under the slipcover to protect the upholstery as you spot-clean the slipcover.


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10. When guests are over or a party is on, stash paper towels or a small terry towel nearby (may be under the seat cushions) to quickly deal with spills.

11. Keep furniture free of pet hair by using a clothes brush with either a bristle head or napped fabric head. If you’re in a hurry, wrap masking tape around your hand, sticky side out, to pick up loose hair and fuzz.

12. As far as possible, avoid sitting on the arms of sofas and chairs as the upholstery will become distorted. Keep kids away from the arms as well.

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