CARING FOR FURNISHINGS
You’re reading this article because you're interested in interior designs, you’ve just invested in some quality pieces of furniture, you’re thinking about purchasing, or you already have good furnishings and want to keep them that way. Taking care of your furniture once you get it home is just as important as the time, energy, and dollars you put into selecting it.
Care literature often accompanies furniture when it’s delivered, but somehow it gets misplaced, thrown out with the wrappings, or just plain ignored. This blog serves as a reminder how important it is to take care of furniture, after all, they are members of your household.
Good quality furniture will last many years, try to keep upholstery and wood away from direct sunlight. For windows that don’t require any covering, I have solar shades installed which I use when the sun shines directly into my living room. Otherwise, leather can dry out and crack, fabric will fade. Keep furniture 2 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces and vents.
Leather: As with all natural products, leather will change in character and appearance over time that are expected and actually enhance the furniture rather than detract. You can expect neck and shoulder wrinkles, stretch marks, grain variations, and random healed scars. Leather is one of the easiest of upholstery fabrics to care for. Most manufacturers recommend Leather Master products. Apply Leather Master Protection Cream to resist stains and prevent overall soiling. For dust, wipe leather with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Use Leather Master Soft Cleaner to completely remove dust particles. Fully clean your furniture with with the Soft Cleaner and re-protect with the Protection Cream every six months. Treat oil-based stains with a professional cleaner such as Leather Master Degreaser.
Upholstered Furniture: Blot stains immediately with a soft, clean cloth. Don’t rub! Rubbing can spread stains and embed them deeper into the fibers. Have furniture professionally cleaned, or dry clean slipcovers.
Wood: Wood will fade if exposed to direct sunlight. Wood also reacts to humidity in your home. Long periods of dry heat can cause splitting and weakening of glued joints. It’s equally important to avoid constant dampness. If you’re away from your home for any length of time, set your thermostat so it will provide a consistent temperature and humidity level. Dust frequently, and condition the wood monthly with a high quality, silicone free furniture polish. Blot spills immediately without rubbing. Apply Guardsman Furniture Polish to hand carved wood a few times a year and buff well. For Mahogany, use Murphy’s Oil Soap and water or any non-silicone furniture polish.
Painted: Do not use any cleansers on fully painted furniture - it may affect the finish. Dust with a clean, dry, soft cloth. With painted decorations on wood furniture, a non-silicone furniture cleaner may be used.
Glass: Clean glass furnishings the same way you clean windows. Use professional glass cleaner for best results or use a formula of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water.
Metal: Dust metal furnishings with a dry, soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives; they’ll scratch the surface and any protective coating. Metal will rust if the finish is scratched or exposed to excessive humidity. For added protection, apply a coat of natural paste wax or automotive wax.
Always follow cleaning package instructions, and make certain that the product you purchase is compatible with your furniture. If you’re in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
Email your questions to robin@robinlechnerdesigns.
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