Acquiring new, high end furniture can be an exhilarating time for homeowners. Creating a uniquely personal and inviting environment requires time and attention to detail. Once the furniture has settled, however, the dust might have also settled in as well. With busy schedules, it’s easy to overlook the importance of maintenance and care of your furniture over time. However, it only takes a minimal amount of effort and little-to-no-cost to keep your investments in top shape. With just a few simple and quick techniques, your furniture will look and feel as fresh and invigorating as the day it arrived.
An important point to consider when approaching care or protection of luxury furniture is the kind of material involved. Certain wood finishes or types of textiles used on furniture may need specific care and it’s best to ask for guidelines if you’re unsure about how to begin. The following are general tips you can use for furniture that doesn’t require any special consideration:
For furniture, dust may seem relatively harmless on the surface, but in reality, build-up of dust can make it more difficult to clean and create more problems later on. A filmy layer of dust can create scratches on wood surfaces. It is recommended to dust at least twice a month using a feather duster, a clean, dry towel, or non-scratching cloths. Lightly dampen the material to avoid dust particles from scattering into the air. For unattended upholstered furniture, regular dusting or vacuuming can also help keep its new appearance and prolong the life of the fabric.
As with dusting, use clean, non-scratching cloths when treating wood for spots or stains. In general, it’s best to avoid all-purpose cleaning products. It’s also best to avoid cleaning wood with excess water, unless the spot is sticky – plain soap and a small amount of water will do, and wiping the surface dry immediately afterward is recommended. For white water rings, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of water, and using a soft cloth, gently rub the mixture along the direction of the wood grain. Another method is to use non-gel toothpaste instead of baking soda and water. After removing the debris, immediately wipe clean with a damp cloth and dry. Again, do check the type of finish of each wood prior to trying any new cleaning methods. Certain antique finishes such as shellac or varnish may require a restoration specialist.
Solid hardwood tables and dressers can especially be susceptible to minor scuffing and scratches after years of extensive use. Deeper scratches or cracks may require a professional to patch it up. However, surface scratches and minor blemishes are easily remedied with just a few tools. The Tibet Almond Stick for example, provides a quick and simple solution to annoying scratches. One stick costs less than $5.00 and can last for many years. Simply rub the formula onto the affected surface and scratches should noticeably diminish. This works especially well with lighter wood finishes. For darker wood, you may have to purchase a stain marker in the color matching your furniture. These can be found at your local hardware store. After coloring in the scratches, apply the Almond Stick on top of the stain, and like magic, the defects instantly fade away.
Even high quality fabric on furniture can be tricky to repair once the damage is done. However, most who do own furniture know it’s inevitable that accidents will happen, especially when you add kids and pets into the mix. The recommended approach to keep your upholstered sofas and chairs in good condition is to take some preventive measures beforehand. Stain-proofing is a method that can help extend the life of most fabrics. Using a stain-resistant product can help buy you more time to wipe away spills from coffee, wine, and grease stains before they have the chance to permanently settle into the material. Vectra Spray is a non-toxic, environmentally safe alternative to Scotchgard. It works well on silk, leather, suede, and prevents fading without altering the texture or color of the fabric. It can also serve as a barrier from odors such as from pets. Just spray along any exposed or vulnerable fabric and have the peace of mind that your furniture is armed against possible stains. While it won’t prevent accidents from occurring, you’ll find that the cleaning process is easier, and results more positive.
A little TLC does go a long way – give your furniture a little attention each month and you’ll be enjoying your investments for years, perhaps generations, to come.