If you’ve recently had your sofa reupholstered, you will want to make sure it stays looking good for years to come. But this can be easier said than done when mucky hands and pets are thrown into the mix.
Luckily, there are ways to protect your furniture against these inevitabilities. To see how you can maintain reupholstered furniture against stains, odours and discolouration, read on.
1. Keep an eye on stains
If you choose Plumbs to reupholster your furniture, you can expect dirt, water and mildew repellents to be used on your fabric. However, while this does offer protection in the interim, it won’t last forever.
To ensure your furniture stays protected during its lifetime, you should make sure any spills or stains are dealt with promptly. Before you do any cleaning, however, you should double and triple-check the cleaning code on your upholstery (these are usually found on the underside of your sofa cushions).
Here is what each cleaning code means:
- "W": means it can be cleaned with water. Effective water-based cleaning solutions include gentle soap, washing up liquid, carpet cleaner and upholstery shampoo.
- "S": means it shouldn't be treated with water. If your sofa is marked with an “S”, clean it with water-free solvents, such as rubbing alcohol, clear alcohols, dry-cleaning solvent and baby wipes.
- "S-W": means you can use either a solvent or water.
- “X”: means you can only clean it with a vacuum. To deep clean these types of fabric you will need to visit a dry cleaner.
Once you’re sure you can clean your sofa yourself, the next step is to get the right equipment for the job. To see how to do this, take a look at our post on how to clean sofa upholstery at home.
2. Turn and fluff the cushions
While cleaning equipment does come in handy for maintaining upholstery, there are plenty of cheaper – and more efficient - ways to keep your upholstery looking fresh.
One way to do this is by turning your seat cushions regularly. It really is as simple as that. Just flip your seat cushions over and move them into different spots every few weeks to allow for an even distribution of wear throughout your sofa.
Remember to pay special attention to the seat filling as you flip your cushions. If the filling in your favourite spot feels flat, plump the cushion by hand or swap it with a firmer cushion. If that doesn’t do the job, you may want to consider restuffing your sofa cushions.
TOP TIP: Don’t forget to plump up your seat cushions after every clean. This will help to give them shape for longer.
TOP TIP: Remember, not all sofa fillings are made the same: super soft ones have a much looser filling than firmer ones and, as a result, they require more fluffing.
3. Avoid sunlight
While natural light is a huge plus for otherwise dark and dingy rooms, there is one drawback: it can damage your sofa’s fabric.
When your sofa is exposed to too much sunlight, discolouration, fading and fraying can occur (this can be especially troublesome for brightly-coloured upholstery). And it’s not only bright sunshine that can cause problems – even on cloudy days, sunlight can still damage your sofa’s fibres.
To protect your sofa against natural light, we advise positioning it away from any windows. This is important when dealing with delicate fabrics, such as silks or velvets, as they are more likely to fray as a result of too much sunlight.
TOP TIP: Also be careful when exposing your sofa to fumes. For instance, cooking fumes can cause fabric to discolour and absorb odours over time, so try to ventilate your space as much as possible.
4. Vacuum regularly
If you avoid vacumming your reupholstered furniture for long periods, you run the risk of damaging its fabric.
Even seemingly harmless grime, such as dust, builds up over time, gradually pushing itself deeper into your sofa’s fibres. As time goes on, soft dust becomes abrasive, scraping your fabric (albeit on a microscopic level) and wearing it out a lot faster than if it were regularly vacuumed.
To keep grime at bay, we advise vacuuming upholstered furniture at least once a week. You can learn how to do this correctly by reading our blog post on cleaning a fabric sofa.
5. Hire a professional
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there are stains, odours and spillages which simply won’t budge. It is times like this that you should call in the professionals.
Luckily, professional dry cleaners can rid your furniture of the most stubborn marks using high-tech cleaning equipment. Most importantly, your sofa’s fabric isn't damaged in the process.
Once you get your furniture back, you’ll receive a better smelling, cleaner sofa which looks just as good as the day you bought it.
Alternatively, if you have left it too long and can't seem to repair the damage, you could enlist the help of a professional upholsterer from Plumbs. Our experts will make sure your suite gets a fresh new look, without costing you the earth.
TOP TIP: Don’t wait until your upholstery is visibly dirty before calling in the cleaning professionals. Try to make it a regular occurrence if you want to extend the life of your furniture (around once a year is recommended).