Caring for Your Furnishings: A Quick Guide

Different fabrics, upholstery and flooring carry different rules – particularly if you want to keep them looking their best. From leather to faux suede, there are specific things to keep in mind when it comes to maintenance, so we have put together a few tips and guidelines below to make it a little easier. 

 

 

Suede

Suede is coveted for its luxuriously soft feel and texture, however it’s this exact feature that makes it difficult to maintain, as it tends to gather dust and soak up spills very quickly, but there are steps to deal with this…

  • It’s all about texture when it comes to suede. Working a suede brush over the surface every once in a  while will help prevent dirt from getting lodged in the fibres – keeping it cleaner for longer.
  • Don’t allow a stain to set. As soon as a spill occurs, get in there with a cloth or kitchen towel.
  • Suede requires its own cleaner – one designed specifically for the fabric. Purchase a suede cloth or suede cleaning solution to have to hand when needed. Don’t just go in there with water or a generic household soap.
  • To prevent as much damage as you can, consider spraying the exterior with a protective spray.
  • Remember: suede is not water-resistant, so keep liquids – particularly soft drinks, coffee and red wine – away, as this is often where the trouble starts.

 

 

Faux Suede

Faux suede is close to real thing in terms of feel, but it’s a lot more durable and less susceptible to staining. Even so, there are certain things to keep in mind when it comes to its care.

  • Although less prone to water damage, faux suede should still be treated with much the same caution as the real thing. Pick up a cleaning product tailored to suede.
  • Clean the exterior in small sections, to avoid spreading the stain, allowing it to dry as you go.
  • Faux suede can become hard after cleaning, so when dry, give it a gentle brush down to loosen and soften the fabric.

 

 

Real Leather

High-grade, genuine leather is certainly an investment. It looks beautiful, is touchably smooth and (when cared for) can outlast many other textiles – even maturing and growing more visually pleasing as it ages. However, it’s also a commitment, as it requires more specialised care and attention than man-made alternatives. It can also be susceptible to damage, cracking or marking, depending on the wear and conditions it’s placed in. But with care and attention, real leather is a stunning, long-lasting choice. See our tips below.

  • Keep it away from extreme heat. No fireplaces, radiators or other warm surfaces should be near your leather, as the surface can crack or pucker if exposed to high temperatures.
  • Keep the surface clean with regular dusting and a gentle wipe with a damp cloth if necessary.
  • Consider a leather protector and cleaner. Products like those found in the Guardsman Leather Care Kit can be used on the exterior, keeping it free of dirt.  But keep any harsh products or soaps away from it, as they may strip the colour from the material.
  • Ban any objects that could scratch or mark the surface from coming into contact with it. Buckles in particular are the enemy of a good leather sofa.
  • The occasional use of leather conditioner will help prevent cracks, maintaining the soft, smooth feel..

 

 

PU Leather Fabric

While it may not have the rich feel of genuine leather, PU has its own perks – namely an easy-clean surface – so looking after it is relatively easy!

  • A simple wipe with a damp cloth will remove the majority of marks or stains.
  • PU is able to take mild detergents, so you may wash down the exterior with a soft sponge and soap. Always use warm water – never hot – and make sure to rinse away any residue, as this in itself will mark the fabric.

 

Aquaclean Fabric

Many of our sofas carry the option of Aquaclean fabric and if you’re purchasing a piece for a busy household, it may be worth considering (ask in-store for our Aquaclean options).  This fabric is treated, allowing it to be cleaned with water alone for quicker and easier maintenance. Specifically designed to target household stains, it prevents the dirt from being absorbed by the fabric. Clean the fabric in three simple steps, as shown on the Aquaclean website…

  • Remove any excess residue on the upholstery.
  • Apply water over the stain, either directly or using a damp cloth. Wait a few seconds.
  • Press down over the stain with a damp cloth and rub gently over the fabric in circular movements. If the stain does not come off completely, repeat the process as required.

 

 

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are a dream. They look incredible, full of natural detail and earthy tones. However, they are notorious for marking, scraping and general wear and tear from everyday footfall. While much of this is unavoidable, there are some guidelines that will help to keep your floors in shape.

  • Footfall is the main problem, so ensure said footfall is light and stiletto-free. Pointed heels will grind down into the wood, leaving dents behind that become noticeable over time; so ditch the high-heels indoors.
  • Invest in some floor mats. These will protect the beautiful wood beneath, as well as provide a cosy feel.
  • Go easy on the heat. Extreme temperatures, as well as a constant fluctuation in temperature causes wood to shrink and expand – which could lead to warping. Try and maintain a regular, consistent temperature where possible.
  • Regular dusting to avoid a build-up of dirt is essential, to keep them looking clear and new.

 

 

Carpets

Keeping your carpet looking as fresh and new as possible can be tricky. However, regular maintenance will more than likely do the trick.

  • Regular hoovering to prevent dust build-up is important when it comes to keeping your carpet looking new.
  • Every month or so, it may be helpful to wash the surface with an appropriately mild carpet cleaner.
  • If the carpet is intended for an area prone to spills, stains or busy footfall, it might be worth considering stain-free carpet like Abingdon’s Hidden Depths – see link here.

 

 

 

Vinyl

A hardy, durable surface, Vinyl cleans like a dream – but you still need regular cleaning to keep the design looking its best.

  • Regular sweeping with a household brush, with a follow-up mopping with warm water is essential to retain a clear surface.
  • As durable as vinyl is, it’s best to clean up spills as soon as possible – as too much moisture can move under the flooring and disturb the adhesive.