Today’s article continues our 3-part series on the
care and cleaning of your wood, fabric and leather furniture.


Look around your house, and it’s likely you’ll find many pieces that contain fabric. Whether it’s your couch, chairs, curtains or other items, fabric requires frequent care in order to retain its level of quality and allure. Below are general care tips as well as cleaning hints that we highly recommend you follow in order to get the most out of the fabrics in your home.

TIPS

  • Always vacuum upholstered furniture when you dust.
  • Beat cushions frequently to loosen dirt, then vacuum to remove it. Rotate and turn cushions after vacuuming to distribute wear evenly and prevent soiling.
  • Body oil will accumulate on the arms and headrests of chairs. Damp dust these areas with a cleaning solution in order to rid of this buildup.
  • A periodic professional cleaning will extend the life and beauty of your upholstery.
  • Avoid placing newspaper on fabric, as the ink is easily transferred onto cloth and difficult to remove.
  • Never cover your furniture with dark colored fabrics, such as blankets or sheets.  The dyes can easily rub off onto the fabric or bleed when wet.
  • Avoid using paints, inks, nail polishes, dyes or mercurochrome around your furniture, as they are designed to alter color and will quickly stain fabrics if spilled.
  • Never remove cushion covers for dry cleaning or machine-washing even if they have zippers, as this can alter colors or shrink cushion covers.
  • Keep furniture out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.
  • Be prepared for accidents. They are bound to happen eventually!  Keep a supply of white paper towels handy for quick blotting of spills, and remember that promptness is the most important step in preventing stains.

CLEANING

  • Always apply a small amount of the cleaning agent of your choice to a hidden area of the upholstered piece you’re cleaning before using it externally. Allow the area to dry completely, then check the results to make sure it doesn’t have a negative reaction on the fabric.
  • Try to prevent spills from spreading or drying. For liquid spills, quickly but lightly blot with a dry paper towel. Increase pressure and use a fresh paper towel until no more liquid can be absorbed. Remember to never rub – always blot! Rubbing fabric can damage the nap, change the color or spread stains further.
  • Take your time when cleaning with water or an agent. Apply it slowly to prevent a ring of stain that can easily develop. Apply several times, blotting firmly with a dry paper towel to soak up liquid after each application.
  • To prevent water spotting, use a fan or blow dryer on a cool setting to accelerate drying.  Dry from the outer edge towards the center of the affected area in order to prevent damage.
  • When cleaning velvet, brush it gently before it dries to restore the nap.

Stay tuned for our next article on the care and cleaning of leather. Did you miss our previous article on wood furniture? Read it here.

[Photos by Bernhardt Furniture, Cabot House and AHT Interiors]