Care & Maintenance
We have put together this resource to help you keep your furniture looking great for as long as possible.
GOOD CARE MEANS YOUR FURNITURE WILL LOOK BETTER AND LAST LONGER.
The following information provides useful guidelines and suggestions for the care of fabric, leather, & wood furniture.
To outline our advice; please DO NOT
- Put Very Hot serving dishes directly onto table or credenza tops – always use a protector. Commercial lacquers will withstand heat from coffee cups and tea cups and alcohol spills but not metal pots from the burner
- Allow liquid and food spills to wait overnight on upholstery for the cleaners the next morning. Even if fabrics are stain treated, they will not be able to withstand long term spillage.
- Drop wooden chairs hard onto one leg when stacking or moving around. Wood is a natural material and can split in the grain if dropped on a corner
- Bang table edges together when moving tables together. This applies especially to glass tops but equally to wooden or granite.
- Allow liquids to remain on wooden tabletops for some time. They must be wiped and polished off so that seepage does not occur into joints
- Clean surfaces with wax polishes and spray. Instead cleaning should be carried out using a damp cloth (not soaked) and then buff dry immediately.
This information has been obtained from professional furniture cleaning specialists, dry cleaning experts, home economists and furniture manufacturers. It is hoped the suggestions for care and cleaning of your furniture will provide a guide to assist you in obtaining longer wear and greater pleasure from your furniture.
Please review all of the information that relates to your situation before you decide on any cleaning method. Regarding upholstered furniture, because of the wide variety of fabrics and fibre combinations, there can be no guarantee that results will always be completely successful. Users of any of the suggested methods do so on their own responsibility.
General Care Tips
For years they’ve been making this little attachment for vacuum cleaners called an upholstery brush. It works great on the car seats, so why not try it in your hotel. Your vacuum cleaner also has an attachment used for dusting drapes and furniture. It has longer bristles and is less abrasive to your upholstery fabric. You might want to use this brush versus the upholstery brush if your fabric deserves a softer brushing.
Professional cleaning is the best way to make a slightly soiled sofa look new again, but once a week vacuuming will make professional cleaning a less frequent event. Be sure to dust vacuum the top surfaces as often as possible (i.e. seat cushions, the tops of the arms, the top of the back, etc.)
- If the cushions are reversible, reverse them each week after vacuuming.
- Vacuum often (once a week) to remove grit that can cause abrasion. Never brush any fabric with a stiff fibre or metal brush, since each is destructive to the fibres.
- Cushions and pillows filled with down, or similar cushioning material, should be hand-fluffed and reversed regularly to retain original softness and resiliency.
- Protect fabrics from the sun…. direct sunlight will fade any fabric. Fabrics should not be placed in direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light (sunlight) will cause fibre degeneration and colour-fade. Occasionally, dyes can fade from impurities within the air.
- Hot surfaces should not be placed directly in contact with the furniture. Always use an insulated mat
- Keep pets off the furniture. Pet urine and pet body oil can be difficult to remove.
- Use proper care with structural weave fabrics (design created by the weave) to protect against snags.
- Rearrange the furniture occasionally to ensure even use of the cushions and wear areas.
- Caution those wearing clothing with transferable dyes, such as blue jeans, etc., that the dye could transfer onto light-colour furniture.
As a general rule, when a spill occurs, it is important to clean the fabric immediately. The longer a spot remains, the harder it is to remove; it may even become permanent. This also applies to laminate furniture as well
Blot! Don’t rub.
If the spill is still “fresh”, use a clean, dry and very absorbent 100% cotton cloth. Should you have to use paper towels to blot out spills be sure the paper towel (or cloth) is white as colours in the towel may, when applied to a wet surface, fade onto the upholstery. Colour from one fabric can rub off onto another fabric, even when dry, a process known in the industry as “crocking”. If blotting with a dry cloth doesn’t quite finish the job.
- Pre-test the cleaner you intend to use in a hidden area for colour loss and fabric compatibility. Look for faded colours, shrinkage or dark rings; these are signs of incompatibility. If possible, place a clean white cloth under the area to be cleaned, such as the inside of a seat cushion. It will absorb the soil and produce better results
- Apply a small amount of cleaner to a soft, clean white cloth. Begin at the edge of the stain and work toward the centre, turning the cloth often. Blot—don’t rub—the stain as rubbing can roughen the delicate fibres and leave the fabric looking worn and faded. Apply the solution to the surface of the stain or spill and allow it to slightly saturate the fabric. Water based solutions should be mixed with distilled water to eliminate possible fading due to bleach in the water or discoloration’s or “rings” caused by excess minerals found in tap water. Be careful not to allow the solution to penetrate and saturate the inner seat cushion or back pillows. The fabric should be generously moist, but not to the point that the fillers used under the fabric become saturated. Use a clean, soft, absorbent, and colourless towel to blot the spill. This wicking action will further lift the spill from the interior fibres. Also, remember to use cool or cold solutions. Never use HOT solutions or HOT water that could cause fading or fabric shrinking.
- After cleaning, “feather” the edges of the spot by brushing gently back and forth with a dry cloth. Dry quickly with a fan. This will help prevent ringing.
- Keep a small stain small! A cotton swab, dipped into the proper cleaning solution and squeezed out, will pick up the dissolved stain, stopping it from spreading (this is a good fix for small ballpoint ink marks).
- If your first attempt does not remove the spot, you may want to repeat steps three through five a second time.
Stain Removal Guide
Some stubborn spots may not respond well to the blotting technique described above. The following hints may help. As noted earlier, you should follow the furniture manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines where applicable. Always pre-test the cleaner in a hidden area.
Fabric Stain Removal Chart:
Ketchup, Chocolate, Cream/Milk, Earth, Blood, Excrement, Ice Cream, Mayonnaise, Mucus/Drool, Cheese, Egg, Soy Sauce, White Glue:
Use a solution of bleach free liquid enzyme cleaner (laundry detergents), 1 part to 20 parts distilled water, rinse by blotting with distilled water, blot to remove excess water, then dry quickly with a fan.
Berries, Coffee, fruit Juice, Jam/Jelly, Soft drinks, Candy, Tea, Mixed Drinks, Wine,Urine: Use a solution of mild, bleach-free detergent, 1 part to 30 parts distilled water. If some of the stain remains, use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts distilled water. Blot to remove excess moisture, then dry quickly with a fan.
Crayon, Asphalt, Body Oil, Butter, Oil, Lipstick, Makeup, Gravy, Hair Oil, Mascara, Shoe Polish, Shortening, Tar, Felt-Tip Pen Ink, Vaseline: Use a water-free, dry cleaning solvent. You may have to repeat the procedure until stain is gone. Dry quickly with a fan when the stain is removed.
Fine leather is soft and luxurious, making it an ideal choice for furniture. Leather is a natural wonder; it breathes, won’t stretch out of shape and needs little care during normal use. Natural marks and scars are proudly exhibited as normal characteristics of genuine leather. With the right care leather improves with age providing many years of enjoyable use. However even the best leather is subject to damage; different types of leather will require different types of care and the use of different types of products in order to maintain the natural look of the leather. If you’re uncertain about the type of leather to be treated, then check with your supplier. Note: A general rule of thumb is to pre-test the product in a discrete area to make sure it is compatible with the leather.
- Avoid using or placing sharp objects on leather goods.
- Place your furniture a minimum distance of two feet from radiators and other heat sources.
- Protect your leather furniture from direct and indirect sunlight. Some leathers such as full and semi-aniline will fade over time.
- Avoid air pollution such as cigar, cigarette smoke and cooking fumes which can cause leather to fade or change colour.
- Keep leather free from dust by dusting with a cloth, preferably once a week. Use a soft, dry cloth to prevent any build up of dirt, dust, crumbs, etc. For routine cleaning apply a solution of mild soap water to a clean cloth then moisten the entire surface evenly and lightly.
- Blot spills up immediately. Most liquids will initially be repelled by the surface of the leather but if left to stand for a period will be absorbed by the leather and might cause discolouration.
Spot and Spillage Stain Removal Tips:
Spots and Spillages – Blot excess liquid up immediately with a clean absorbent cloth or sponge. If necessary, use clear lukewarm water and gently clean the entire area where the spillage occurred. Dry with a clean towel and allow to air dry. Never use heat or a hair dryer to dry leather.
Stubborn Spots and Stains: – Use a mild solution of Ivory soap and clear lukewarm water. Apply the soap to a clean wet sponge and wash, then rinse well and let the leather air dry naturally. Always try the cleaning method in a discrete area first to be sure it’s colourfast.
Butter, Oil or Grease: – Wipe excess off the leather with a clean dry cloth then leave to dry. The spot should dissipate into the leather overtime. Do not use soapy water or a leather cleaner to remove butter, oil or greasy stains from leather.
Never Use: Saddle soaps, oils, all purpose cleaners, furniture polish, varnish, ammonia water, or solvents on leather. The use of these products could damage the surface of the leather; modern tanning techniques do not require such products. Most spillages can be removed easily with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Furniture made from wood represents a significant investment, so to maintain its beauty and longevity wooden furniture needs regular and proper maintenance. Most wooden furniture is finished with a fine lacquer or varnish which has a satin sheen or gloss finish. The finish adds to the beauty of the wood and provides protection too. No finish is totally indestructible, but with regular care your furniture will last much longer and provide years of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Care of Furniture: – Avoid the following to prevent damage to your furniture.
- Never drag furniture across the floor, always lift and place.
- Drop wooden chairs hard onto one leg when stacking or moving around. Wood is a natural material and can split in the direction of the grain if dropped on a corner.
- Put very hot serving dishes directly onto table or credenza tops, always use a protector. Commercial lacquers will withstand heat from coffee & teacups and alcoholic spills but not metal pots from a burner.
- Bang tabletop edges together when positioning tables. This applies especially to glass, wooden, stone, granite and marble tops.
- Allow liquids to remain on wooden surfaces for a long period of time. Spills should be wiped up immediately to avoid damage to the wood.
- Always clean up spills immediately to avoid damage to the furniture. Use a blotting action rather than a wiping action to avoid spreading the liquid over the surface of the furniture.
- Dust furniture frequently to remove dust and everyday abrasive particles from the surface of the wood. Use a clean, soft, lint-free cloth, such as an old white t-shirt.
- Expose furniture to direct sunlight; too much exposure to ultraviolet rays can create hairline crack, cause fading, bleaching or darkening of the timber. We recommend positioning your furniture away from direct sunlight and if this is not practical then the use of window treatments e.g. sunscreens, drapes, net curtains or blinds should be considered.
- Avoid extreme variances in room humidity as too high or low can cause the wood to warp or the joints to fail.
- Avoid extreme changes in room temperature and position furniture away from radiators and air-conditioning units.
- Avoid leaving plastic placemats on a wood surface for extended periods of time. Chemical components in the plastic can damage the surface of the wood. Felt pads should be placed on the contact points of office equipment to avoid denting the surface of the timber. The chemicals in plastic, rubber and nylon feet can often react with the finishing and cause softening and discoloration of the wood.
- Rotate accessories on furniture to enable the wood to breathe; this will help to maintain its appearance and durability.
- Use cloth or felt pads to protect the surface of the furniture from hotplates, beverages, flowerpots, vases etc.
- Use a protective mat or pad when writing with a ballpoint pen or using marker pens, crayons or glue as these items can permanently stain or damage the surface of the wood.
Cleaning Instructions: Furniture care means knowing the best products and the simplest ways to keep your furniture looking good.
- Dust often to remove everyday abrasive particles from wooden surfaces.
- Use a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. (Remember to go with the grain of the timber!)
- Moisten the cloth slightly with water, since a damp cloth cuts down on friction, avoids scratches and holds dust. It also helps reduce static electricity which attracts dust. Do not let any moisture remain on the wood surface.
- When dusting always pick up your accessories and replace them gently.
- Do not use a sponge or dishcloth on your fine piece of furniture or a feather duster as this will only scatter the dust particles into the air which will resettle back on your furniture.
Note: We do not recommend polishes but if you must use them, be sure to avoid those that contain silicone. Silicone oil is an ingredient used by many furniture polish makers in polishes to create a high degree of sheen. Silicone seeps into lacquered finishes making it difficult to remove. Most furniture manufacturers recommend using a polish that doesn’t contain silicone. Most of today’s fine lacquer finishes do not benefit from waxing. Regular use of wax-type polishes may result in a build-up of wax film on the surface of the furniture which will attracts dirt, smoke and other pollutants in the air resulting in smudges and streaks. Used over a period of time the wax will build-up and harden making it difficult to remove. Make minor repairs while they are still small and seek professional help where necessary.
Preventing Heat and Other Damage.
Although Corian® is quite resistant to heat you should always use a trivet with rubber feet to protect the surface of the Corian®. Hot pans as well as some heat generating appliances can damage the surface of the Corian if a trivet or similar is not used.
In most cases, Corian® can be repaired if it is accidentally damaged. However, be sure to follow these guidelines to prevent any permanent damage to the surface of the Corian®.
- Avoid exposing Corian® to strong chemicals such as paint removers, oven cleaners, etc. If contact occurs quickly rinse the surface with water.
- Remove nail polish with a non-acetone-based polish remover and rinse with water.
- Do not cut directly on to Corian® countertops always use a cutting board or similar.
Removing Stains, Fixing Scratches and Burns:
Nicks and scratches are inevitable with any product that is in constant use, including Corian®; but because Corian® is solid all the way through it is easy to renew back to its original appearance as described below.
Minor scratches, chemical stains, scorches, burns and minor impact marks can be repaired on-site with a light abrasive cleanser like Scotch Brita pad. If the Corian® surface is damage the following steps should be followed:
- Identify the extent of the damage and ascertain whether a minor repair will solve the problem. If not consult with your Corian® supplier.
- If the damage is minor such as a scratch, try and repair it a light abrasive cleanser or a product such as a Scotch Brita pad.
- For sever scratches hand sand with a 400-grit wet and dry sandpaper. To minimize dust wet the surface before starting. If this is unsuccessful use an electric sander and a heavier grade grit sandpaper. Please keep work area ventilated or consider the use of a dust extractor. Note: Always make provisions to control dust.
- If any of the methods mentioned above are unsuccessful consult with your Corian® supplier.
To minimize wear, always use coasters, trivets and felt pads. However, over time your marble surface will develop a rich patina, with variations in colour and tone. This is part of marble’s inherent beauty.
Cleaning Instructions: Clean regularly with a warm damp cloth and wipe dry. For additional cleaning, use a mix of water and mild dish soap and wipe dry. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, chemical solvents, strong detergents and furniture polish. DO NOT use vinegar, lemon juice or cleaners containing acids.
ACIDIC LIQUIDS WILL CORRODE THE MARBLE
On the surface has been applied a sealant which should resist most common liquids but avoid spilling if possible and when it occurs clean immediately.
Stainless steel furniture is primarily popular for its elegant lustre and low maintenance but if you want to keep it beautiful and shiny, you are highly recommended to avoid putting anything on the furniture that might mark it and to clean your stainless steel furniture properly and regularly.
To prevent staining, clean your stainless steel furniture on a daily basis with a damp cloth and wipe dry with soft cloth. To remove burned food, grease, oil and other stubborn grimes, use warm water and few drops of liquid dish soap which is strong enough to remove the grime but gentle enough not to damage the surface of your stainless steel furniture.
Stainless steel also does not require any harsh chemicals nor any special products to keep it beautiful. In fact, harsh chemicals, abrasive cleansers and scrubbing sponges can damage the surface of your stainless steel furniture and for that reason you should use a soft cloth and mild detergent only no matter how stubborn the grime.