Furniture Care Buying Guide
Essentials of Furniture Care
The level and kind of care that a piece of furniture requires depends on what it is made from. However, there are a few general rules that are almost universally applicable.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Acting outside of these could cause lasting damage and invalidate your warranty.
- If you plan to use a specialist cleaning product, be sure to test it on a hidden area of the furniture before you use it on the whole piece.
- It is important to dust furniture on a regular basis. Frequent dusting prevents the build-up of airborne deposits that can scratch the furniture’s surface.
- Always lift furniture by the frame. Avoid lifting a table by its top, pulling a sofa by its arms and carrying extendable furniture by the leaves.
Caring for Your Furniture
Fabric upholstery looks and feels great in any and every season. However, it can be susceptible to scuffs, marks and stains so be sure to do the following:
- Keep your fabric looking fresh by vacuuming it on a weekly basis. Use an upholstery attachment where available. Avoid brushing the fabric as this can damage the pile.
- If your furniture comes with removable covers, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for washing.
- Spills must be treated immediately. Blot up the excess liquid and avoid scrubbing the fabric with detergents as this can cause lasting damage and increase the size of the stain.
Wood & Veneer
Wood and veneer only really need close attention once or twice a year. When performed alongside regular maintenance, these simple chores ensure that your wooden furniture ages beautifully.
- Wipe your furniture down with a damp cloth on a regular basis. Apply a thin, even layer of good-quality wax polish every 6-12 months.
- Avoid using sprays and polishes, especially if they contain silicone as this can cause a dust-gathering and generally unpleasant sticky layer to form on top of the surface.
- Wood can be damaged by liquids (warping, discoloration) so spillages should be cleared immediately. Never scrub at your furniture to remove stains as this will cause more damage.
Metal furniture is hardy, durable and long-lasting. However, with improper care it can become susceptible to oxidisation and consequently degradation.
- Always clean metal furniture with a damp cloth or sponge. For tougher stains and marks, use non-detergent soap but always be sure to wipe down surfaces after you have finished.
- Never use abrasive scrubbers as they can scratch the surface and increase the chance of rust and oxidisation. Cover scratches and nicks with touch up paint or another appropriate substance.
- Regularly check furniture joints for signs of oxidisation and treat damage immediately. Oxidisation on aluminium furniture should be treated with a mixture of white vinegar and water.
Outdoor furniture is designed to be resilient and to cope with practically any environmental extremity. However, there are still some steps that you can take to ensure your furniture lasts as long as you need it to.
- When not in use, consider storing your furniture indoors or covering it with a tarpaulin. This will extend its lifespan and make it easier to clean.
- Avoid covering metal furniture with a plastic tablecloth as this can trap water and humidity and increase the chances of oxidisation.
- If you wish to preserve the silver patina of your wooden outdoor furniture, consider applying 2 coats of an appropriate oil. Eucalyptus furniture, for example, works best with clear hardwood oil.
Furniture Care Essentials
Keep fabric upholstery clean with a new vacuum. Look out for models with a specific upholstery attachment; if you have pets, consider a vacuum with a pet hair attachment.
Cleaning & Polishing Cloths
Mop up spills, find specialised pads and keep your furniture looking like new with cleaning and polishing cloths. Choose from a wide range of styles and colours to suit your preference.
If you have a stubborn stain that water simply won’t move then consider opting for a spot cleaner or specialist cleaning product. Always be sure to read the label before applying to your furniture.