Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Furniture

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Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Furniture

Studies show that when individuals complete household chores, women do so for just over two and a half hours while men only work for two hours. During this time, homeowners will vacuum, do laundry, and straighten up their things.

However, there is another important cleaning aspect that often goes overlooked. Whether you’re preparing your home for game day or simply want to keep everything neat, it’s important to devote some of this attention to your furniture as well. Use these everyday tips for cleaning and maintaining your furniture surfaces.

Painted Surfaces

Painted furniture pieces make up a large portion of what we keep in our homes. From bookcases and chairs to dressers and tables, painting these pieces allows us to customize them to fit our personal style and design. To care for painted furniture around your home, it’s important that you regularly wipe off any dust with a damp cloth. While you may want to use soap, doing so can damage the paint and create permanent water streaks that ruin the piece. Further, be careful about leaving behind any water spots as they can dry to the paint and become a permanent mark.

As these pieces age, you might find that they need a bit more than the occasional wipe-down. Damages may appear in the form of stains, nicks, or heavy scratches. In this instance, it’s important to first fix this damage before you worry about cleaning the item. After performing the necessary repairs, consider repainting the piece with a similar-colored paint to revive its appearance.

Leather

Leather is a very popular material as it’s easy to clean. In most situations, you can clean your leather furniture by simply wiping the dirt off with a damp cloth. Take special care not to use too much water as the leather can quickly absorb it and ruin the texture. It’s also important that you position the piece away from areas with a lot of direct sunlight and heat. Prolonged exposure to the sun can dry out the leather and cause it to crack, destroying its deep color.

Even with regular cleanings, however, leather can still lose its luster over time. When you begin to notice this deterioration, you can mitigate it by applying a bit of leather conditioner to the surface. This conditioner softens the material and revitalizes the natural oils that repel dirt and stains, protecting the piece from damage. Conditioning your leather surfaces in this manner two to three times a year will keep them from drying out. As a result, you can ensure that they’ll last for several years to come.

Wood and Veneer

Before you go about cleaning your wooden or veneer furniture, it’s important that you identify what kind of finish each piece has. Neglecting to do so can result in you accidentally damaging the finish, removing the protective varnish in the process. Once you determine the finish, take time to research the different cleaners that won’t harm it. When using these cleaners and polishes, be sure to wipe in the direction of the wood’s grain to ensure that it reaches all the piece’s nooks and crannies.

For general cleaning, it’s usually safe to use a dry cloth to remove any dust from the surface. Microfiber cloths are best for this process as they trap and hold onto the dust it collects. If you decide to use water to remove a stain or spill, it’s crucial that you use a very little amount. Veneer finishes, in particular, are very thin and can damage if they’re exposed to too much moisture.

Carpeting

Along with tips for cleaning and maintaining your furniture, it’s important that you’re aware of a few tricks to care for your carpeting.

Indoor

Though your indoor rugs don’t have to stand up to outdoor conditions, they still have to deal with their fair share of dirt and spills. Depending on how much traffic the rug sees in an average week, you should be vacuuming regularly to keep them from getting too dirty. When vacuuming these rugs, it’s recommended that you do so with the beater bar on your machine turned off. This will help protect your soft, plush rugs and prevent any flattening that may ensue via routine cleanings.

If any spills occur, it’s crucial that you immediately soak it up with a clean, dry towel before it can become a stain. As you do this, be sure that you’re gently dabbing at the spill rather than scrubbing or rubbing at it. By rubbing at the stain, you can potentially smear it deeper into the carpet and ultimately make it more difficult to remove. While you can remove most persistent stains with a mixture of mild soap and water, you might also have to use a carpet cleaner to erase older and deeper stains.

Outdoor

Since your outdoor rugs come in contact with a lot of dirt and grime, they’re made to withstand harsh conditions. You can generally clean these rugs by vacuuming them or spraying them down with a garden hose. Like indoor rugs, you can use mild soap and water to fight the occasional stain. However, most of your cleanings will consist of spraying the rug down and hanging it up to dry.

Glass and Metal

Glass and metal are other common materials found in family homes. Whether it’s a bedroom mirror or a coffee table, these surfaces can enhance any home’s design. Unfortunately, glass and metal surfaces tend to quickly collect dust as well as show any fingerprints, smears, and smudges. It’s for this reason that regularly cleaning them is key to maintaining their reflective appearances and keeping them a functional part of your home’s interior design.

For cleaning your glass surfaces, it’s most effective to use a select glass cleaner. Spraying a bit of the solution on the surface and wiping it away with a microfiber cloth will effectively remove any dust and debris while stripping it of the oils that cause fingerprints. Cleaning metals works in a similar way. Though you should regularly dust them, you can also use similar cleaners to remove any existing smudges.

Upholstery

A variety of things can damage upholstered furniture. From dirt and spills to direct sunlight, these things can cause your fabrics to decay quicker and make the piece less functional. Be sure to keep these fabrics away from windows, or areas of the house that get a lot of direct sunlight. It’s also important that you vacuum them on a weekly basis to prevent dust and dirt build-up. To ensure that your upholstery receives even wear, you can also periodically flip your couch’s cushions and pillows so both sides see equal use.

If you’re looking for more information on these different materials, the Bi-Rite Furniture team has the knowledge needed to assist you. Our affordable furniture in Houston come in a variety of designs and are made with a series of sought-after materials.

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Furniture infographic

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