Whether you have purchased that gorgeous piece of furniture for your own home, for a home staging project or for interior decorating, keeping your fabric furniture looking great is a high priority. As a furniture rental company, we understand how important this is. But you may be surprised to know that expensive upholstery cleaning services are not necessarily required to accomplish this goal. With a little care, you can keep your rental furniture looking fabulous for as long as you have it.
While opinions on the subject vary, most experts agree that vacuuming your furniture is advised about once a month to once every three months, depending on the fabric. When you vacuum, be sure to use the upholstery or brush attachment, or cover the vacuum with a soft cloth to prevent accidental ripping or snagging. Regular vacuuming should keep the surfaces looking and smelling fresh and new. However, even with regular vacuuming, the fabric can sometimes accumulate dirt or stains. Of course, stains should be spot cleaned as soon as they are noticed. It’s also important to occasionally clean the fabric to prevent permanent discoloration.
While this may not qualify as breaking furniture news, it’s important to note that cleaning fabric furniture with the wrong method for your surface can easily damage it. For that reason, upholstery manufacturers normally attach tags to the furniture that include an industry-standard cleaning code. Furniture aquired through purchase or furniture rental should still have these tags. Before attempting to clean your furniture, look carefully at the code to ensure that you are using the correct method. Below is an explanation of each code.
W – A “W” indicates that water-based or foam cleaning agents are appropriate for this surface. By water, we are referring to distilled water, as tap water may leave stains from the minerals in the water.
S – An “S” on the fabric means that water and water-based products could damage the material and should NOT be used. For this types of fabric, use mild, water-free cleaning solvents or dry clean. If you do decide to dry clean, be sure to have the entire piece cleaned. Cleaning the piece in parts can lead to uneven wear over time. (This method also applies to “pre-washed” fabric.)
SW – This is the most versatile fabric. You can safely use foam and water-based cleaners, distilled water, or mild water-free cleaning solvents. (Use only one method at a time.)
furnX – On this type of material, vacuuming only is advised. Again, be sure to use a brush attachment or cover the vacuum with a soft cloth. Do not use any water, foam, or liquid cleaners.
If the tag has been removed from your furniture, you may still be able to determine what type of fabric you are dealing with, if you can identify the manufacturer or the fabric type. Whatever method you do chose, you should always start by testing a small area in an unnoticeable part of the piece. With regular maintenance and occasional proper cleaning, you can easily extend the life and beauty of your furniture. In next week’s furniture blog, we’ll cover how to care for your wood furniture.