We’ll be the first to admit that furniture maintenance isn’t the most exciting topic in the world… but it is important! If you are buying high quality furniture that will last you years to come (which is what we recommend) you will want to make sure that you are taking care of your investment. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
Rugs and Carpets
First of all, we always recommend pairing an area rug with a rug pad. Rug pads not only help keep your rug in place, but they also help to extend the life of your rug.
It’s usually recommended that you vacuum your carpet in the direction of the pile around once a week; twice as much in high-traffic areas. If there’s a spill, the important thing is to act as quickly as possible. For wool rugs, dilute the area with water and use a clean cloth to firmly press down. Blot the area until the stain is removed. Do not rub, and if the stain is not gone, hire a professional.
For rugs that take special care (silk, viscose, linen, and even some wool rugs), do not vacuum with a beater bar and do not apply stain repellent treatments. Also, in the case of a spill on one of these rugs… don’t. BUT, if it happens, hire a professional to clean.
Bedding and Linens
Bedding should be washed in warm water with half the amount of gentle laundry detergent recommended. Wash with like colors and dry on a low heat setting.
Expect linens to shrink with each wash, especially linens made of natural fibers. Generally, very large pieces of fabric or very high thread count linens are not pre-shrunk, and are likely to shrink 4-10 percent depending on the fiber. It’s best to dry linens on a line, but using a dryer on the proper settings will be fine. Do not dry linens on too hot of a setting, and remove them from the dryer promptly to reduce wrinkling.
Washing and drying your linens properly should eliminate wrinkles. However, linens made of natural fibers might need to be hit with a steam iron. You will notice that as fine linens age, they become softer and wrinkle less!
Spills should be blotted immediately with a clean, dry cloth. If a stain occurs, test out a mild soap somewhere hard-to-see on the piece of furniture to make sure it doesn’t discolor or shrink the upholstery fabric. Then, attempt to remove the stain. If the stain remains, hire a professional.
Upholstered furniture needs to be vacuumed on a regular basis with special attention on the arms and seats, and cushions should be flipped and rotated regularly if possible. Cushion covers and arm caps should not be machine washed, because it will destroy the backing. Bring them to a professional upholstery cleaner if it is needed.
Clean stainless steel regularly with water and soft soap. Never use any corrosive products, solvents, or aggressive abrasives, solutions containing chloride, or metal brushes to clean. Instead use a clean, soft cloth. A Scotch Brite Stainless Steel Cleaner is also appropriate to use, except on polished stainless steel.
Copper only needs to be washed with soapy, lukewarm water. If there’s a protective coating on it, don’t use a polish on it. If there’s no protective coating, it can be polished or be left to patina.
Polished Chrome is very durable, but needs to have water wiped off of it with a clean, soft cloth to prevent water spots. Mild dishwashing soap or a chrome polish can be used to clean, but never use scouring pads or abrasive cleaners.
Polished and satin nickel are best cleaned with water or mild dishwashing soap and dried with a soft cloth. Chrome polish can also be used and rubbed with the grain of a brushed or satin finish. Never use scouring pads or abrasive cleaners.
Brass and bronze pieces are often given an aged look, or age naturally. To clean, use a mild liquid detergent and a soft cloth. Heavy, periodic cleaning can remove the natural aging or change the character of the finish. Do not use metal polishes, bleach, vinegar, WD-40, solvents or any other chemical or abrasive cleaning agents. To darken oil-rubbed bronze, apply ‘Renaissance Wax’. Test a small, unseen area before proceeding to treat the entire item.
Gold-plated items scratch easily. Clean with warm water and dry with a chamois. Gold can be discolored by perfumes in soaps and lotions and if that happens, clean with a soft brush and rinse with warm water.
Aluminum can be cleaned with a soft soap, but avoid using an abrasive or aggressive product or sponge.
Keeping wood furniture looking pristine is not an easy task. Humidity, temperature changes, knocks and scratches can happen daily. To avoid damage, don’t place furniture in damp areas, which can encourage rot, pests or harm the finish and glues. It’s also important to keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight. Not only can it affect the finish, but it also chemically degrades the wood. Dust and aerosol sprays are also harmful.
If your wood furniture becomes stained by grease or food, do not polish over the stain! Use a little diluted vinegar to wet the surface and rub vigorously with a cotton cloth until the grime is gone. Dry quickly with a clean cloth.
There are certain ways of moving furniture to ensure they do not become damaged in the move. Move tables by the apron or legs instead of the top. Chairs should be lifted by the seat rail, not the arms or crest rail. Lift large pieces of furniture instead of dragging them.
Use mild, soapy water to clean painted surfaces and dry immediately with a clean soft towel. For eggshell sheen lacquers, avoid waxes or polishes.
If your wood furniture becomes damaged, consult a professional about how to fix it. In most cases, it can be fixed!
Quartz never needs to be sealed and is cleaned with water and a mild detergent. Granite should be sealed every 2 years to prevent staining, and cleaned with water or a cleanser made for natural stone. Marble is easier to stain or scratch and should be sealed annually, and cleaned with water or a cleanser made for natural stone. Slate can be cleaned with water, and most suppliers recommend the use of a protector. Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners, bleach, or acidic products on any stone materials.
We hope this is helpful! Let us know if there is anything specific you have questions on that we did not address.