The Sales Pitch
The salesperson assured you that this fabric could withstand anything. Don’t take it on faith. Do some research, especially when buying leather goods. If you have small children, consider durable materials like microfiber. Read the furniture tags and follow care instructions.
Blinds and window coverings may not completely protect your fabric from fading and discoloration. Make sure you rotate your furniture and flip cushions to ensure all sides are equally exposed to sunlight. Consider installing UV (ultraviolet) window film, which can minimize sun damage to your furniture, while reducing energy bills and protecting your skin.
The Ambient Conditions
Humidity, dryness, and excessive heat and cold all take their toll on wood furniture. Keep indoor temps moderate, consider a dehumidifier, and make sure your wood is dusted and waxed to prevent warping and cracking. Check your door and window seals, too: Drafty homes are more likely to suffer from measurable changes in temperatures and humidity.
Not all cleaners are created equal—and some may actually ruin your furniture. Even fabric sprays may damage your upholstery. When applying a cleaning product to a new material, always spot check in a inconspicuous before scrubbing. Be gentle and try natural solutions before resorting the chemicals—such as salt to remove new stains on fabric, wood or carpeting.
The Friends and Relatives
Parties are risky business for your furnishings. Place coasters or doilies on wood surfaces. Keep messier hor d’oeuvres and beverages in the kitchen, dining room, or patio. Bring a tray with sparkling water and non-staining foods into the living room. In the event of a spill, sparkling water can double as a cleaning agent.
The Good Intentions
Regular cleaning is good. Over-cleaning is a problem, speeding up normal wear and tear. If you tend to worry about messes, cover your couch and armchairs with nice throws or slip covers. When cleaning antiques, don’t mess with the finish. Refrain from excess scrubbing, even when a stain or scratch won’t budge.
The Bad Habit
Always sit in the same spot on your sofa? Always put your feet up on that coffee table? Extend the life and vibrancy of your furniture by mixing up where and how you use it. Train your pets to keep off furniture by re-conditioning their behavior and giving them playful and cozy alternatives.
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