The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Furniture

August 30, 2019

It’s almost September. You know what that means. Back-to-school. The beginning of autumn. Before you know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be right around the corner. And with the holidays comes preparation, including cleaning your furniture in time for the arrival of your guests.

Luckily, we’ve put together the ultimate furniture cleaning guide to prepare you! Read our following care guide carefully, so that your Moe’s furniture looks brand new every day. 

General Care Tips & Tricks

Vacuums are your best friend – Vacuum fabric regularly using the upholstery attachment and crevice tool of your vacuum. Not only will this keep the fabric clean, but it will make it last longer because dust and dirt cause quicker wear. 

On rotation – While flipping a cushion won’t make a stain disappear, regularly flipping and rotating seat cushions and back pillows distributes wear and increases the lifetime of your piece.

Fluff it – Fluff feather and down cushions frequently to keep their fluffy cloud appearance. To prevent the annoying sensation of feathers poking through the fabric, unzip the cushion cover and vacuum in between the cover and cushion using an upholstery attachment. 

Smooth it Some attached cushions may stretch or wrinkle over time with use. Recover their appearance by smoothing the fabric down and tucking it into the sides or back of the seat–just like new! 

Leave it for the professionals – DIY is great, but sometimes some fabrics require a little extra TLC. Getting furniture cleaned by a professional upholstery cleaning service periodically is well worth the money.

Protection & Warnings

Use chemicals with caution – Be careful when using household cleaning products around your furniture, including fabric fresheners, as some chemicals may stain and damage natural fibers and fabrics.

Keep away completely – Keep sharp objects away from furniture if you want to avoid permanent scratches. Watch out for Velcro as well, as it can cause pulling in fabrics.  

Keep it shaded – Sunbeams are great for catnaps but don’t place furniture in direct sunlight. UV rays will fade and damage fabric, leather, and wood furniture. 

Nobody likes a sunburn, and that includes the Messina Leather Sofa. Place it away from direct sunlight.

Spills & Spot Cleaning

Blot – If a spill occurs, immediately blot the fabric with a clean, absorbent towel. Blot from the outside to the middle of the affected area to avoid moisture rings. 

Leave it for the professionals – For best results, have stains professionally taken care of by an upholstery cleaning service.

Spot test – If you decide to spot clean on your own, please test any cleaning agents on a small inconspicuous area of the fabric first. 

clay sectional

No need to worry about spills or spots with the Clay Sectional, which offers total barrier protection.  

Pilling 

Pilling got you down? Don’t worry, pilling does not necessarily mean your fabric is falling apart. Pilling simply happens as a result of natural friction on a fabric surface, causing the fabric’s fibers to loosen and tangle. 

The best way to beat pilling is by regularly shaving the fabric with a furniture or sweater shaver to restore the look. Over time, pilling will decrease and eventually stop completely–hurrah!

Leather Care

Leather is a popular fabric for furniture due to its high-quality and durability. Who doesn’t want a piece that will last a lifetime? 

Wipe leather furniture down regularly with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. For stubborn patches of dust, dampen the cloth with a small amount of water. Do not let water soak into the leather. Keep a leather-specific cleaner on hand for emergency spills.

Helpful tip #1 – If a spill occurs, do not apply water or try to wash a grease spot. Over time, the grease spot should begin to blend into the leather.

Helpful tip #2 – Use a chamois or clean finger to gently buff scratches. The friction and heat from rubbing, in addition to the natural oils in your hands, will help redistribute the finish in the surrounding areas to cover the scratch. 

Top-grain leather will wear with a unique worn patina over time, making the Ramsay Leather Chaise a one-of-a-kind piece for your home. 

Fabric Care

When discussing fabric care, the category includes the following upholstery fabrics: 

  1. Wool
  2. Viscose
  3. Cotton
  4. Polyester 

The best way to care for fabric is to develop a regular vacuuming routine using an upholstery attachment to get in between the crevices. You know the strange vacuum attachment that no one ever uses? Cleaning fabric furniture is what this piece is designed for–so use it!  

As for spills, avoid the urge to scrub at all costs. Instead, simply place a soft, absorbent cloth or paper towel over the spill and allow it to work its magic. After the spill has dried, assess the stain again. If needed, mix a small dollop of dishwashing detergent with water and apply to the stain. Gently blot the area and air dry. 

Time is of the essence when cleaning up a fabric spill, such as on the Evora Arm Chair. 

Velvet Care

Velvet is a popular fabric known for its smooth good looks. Like other fabrics, it should be vacuumed regularly using the fabric attachment on a vacuum. Vacuuming is especially important for velvet because it keeps it looking tidy and the fibers standing up. 

One common complaint with velvet are “crush marks,” long silvery lines that run through the fabric. You’ll often notice these when a velvet piece first arrives in its packaging, a heavy item has been stacked on top of velvet, or after a long TV marathon (hey, no shame). Don’t worry, these crush marks are easy to combat. Crush marks can be removed using a steamer to gently lift the pile back up and eliminate the creases. Steam regularly to keep your velvet looking fresh as heck. 

For spills, follow the same care instructions as for fabric above. Make sure to work as quickly as possible and to avoid scrubbing. For any major accidents, consult with an upholstery cleaning company. 

Wood Care

Wood is a natural material that brings charm and warmth to any space. When you look at wooden furniture you think: classic and sturdy. Treat your wooden furniture right and it’ll be good back to you. 

Wipe wooden furniture down regularly with a clean, dry cloth to remove dust. Use warm water and mild soap to clean. Be careful not to soak the surface for long periods of time. Wipe away any remaining moisture with a dry cloth. 

Hardwood surfaces such as on the Florence Rectangular Dining Table and Deco Dining Chair just need a good wipe down. 

Keep wooden furniture away from prolonged direct sunlight as this can result in “spotting.” Helpful tip #3 – To reduce this effect, you can place a tablecloth over the surface to shield it from the sun.

Don’t place extremely hot or cold items on wooden furniture either, as they may warp the original surface. 

Add a layer of protective wax to your wooden furniture every season to keep it preserved, shiny, and happy. 

Lastly, be mindful of the fact that our beloved wooden furniture will age over time, just like us! Wood may lighten or darken and acquire new characteristics.

Vinyl/Polyurethane Care

Vinyl or polyurethane fabric is a durable, lightweight, and waterproof fabric that looks like a cross between plastic and leather. 

Clean vinyl fabric on a monthly basis to remove any build up of dust, dirt, food, or oils that may damage the fabric over time. Use a mild soap mixed in a very low concentration with water as a cleaning solution for vinyl fabric.

If you want to take it to the next level, you can use a vinyl conditioner monthly. Vinyl is a semi-porous material and a conditioner will help moisturize the fabric, as well as create a protective barrier. Helpful tip #4 – Using a humidifier in your home will protect vinyl fabric from drying out!

Marble Care

Marble is a natural material that is heavy, cool-to-the-touch, and oh-so-elegant. Unfortunately, marble is also very porous and sensitive. This means avoiding spills at all costs, but if they do occur, wiping them up immediately with a soft cloth. 

Avoid cleaning products around marble, especially all-natural ones made with lemon or vinegar, as marble is particularly sensitive to acid. 

Enjoy the Coasters are mandatory with marble tabletops like the Jinxx Dining Table. 

Concrete Care

We love concrete because it’s so low-maintenance! Any cleaning pro would agree that a lot of things just require a bit of elbow grease.  

Wipe concrete down regularly with water and a mild cleaning detergent. For a deeper clean, create a household spray of one part bleach and two parts water. Leave the spray on for 5 minutes and then wipe down with water again.

Avoid using traditional heavy acid cleaners which are designed for commercial use and are too corrosive for concrete furniture.

The best things in life require minimal cleaning–like the Pillar Cement Stool. 

Metal Care

Metal is another material that falls into the low-maintenance category. Due to its smooth, tough surface, all you really need is soapy water and a rag. 

The main worry with metal furniture is if it chips or scratches because then you may have to deal with rust or corrosion. If rusting occurs, clean the affected area with a wire brush or steel wool. Recoat the repaired area with an appropriate finish for metal surfaces to stop deterioration. 

Glass Care

Glass pieces tend to have a polished look (pun intended). Luckily, cleaning them is a breeze. Simply grab some Windex and paper towel or cloth, spray, wipe, and repeat! 

Wool Rug Care

Wool rugs will please eyes and feet alike. Like cushions and pillows, rugs should be rotated periodically to reduce potential fading, as well as uneven wear. 

For the first 2-3 months, wool rugs benefit from frequent vacuuming to help reduce the amount of shedding that occurs. This is especially true for rugs with short napped tufts.

The wool Calypso Rug is soft on the feet and durable enough to stand up to an active home.

For spills, blot immediately with a dry white cloth. Do not scrub or rub as this can break down the fibers and damage the pile. Continue blotting until all the liquid is absorbed. Blot again with a rag dampened with cold water or a cleaning product specifically designed for wool. Place another dry cloth over the spot and apply pressure, repeating until all moisture has been absorbed. 

Sheepskin Care

Cozy sheepskin is a popular fabric for rugs, throws, and pillows alike. But let’s be honest, those fluffy white tendrils look a little intimidating to deal with once a spill happens (which it will). 

Give your sheepskin some love by regularly brushing it to restore its silky appearance. Minor stains can be blotted with a damp cloth. Give your sheepskin a deep clean by taking it to the dry cleaner when it’s time (and you’ll know when it’s time). 

The Hunter Wool Pillow is softer than a cloud–just make sure to show it care. 

Cleaning your furniture is often one of those tasks that fall at the bottom of a to-do list, but given that furniture is such a focal point in a home, we should be cleaning it a bit more regularly. Give your pieces a bit of TLC, and they’ll be glowing this fall. 

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