Aside from regular cleaning, the simplest way to maintain the furniture in your home in its most presentable and serviceable condition is to use them with as much care as possible.
In households that have young children and pets, this can be a very challenging task. Chairs, couches and sofas are meant to be sat on – not stood on or jumped on. It is not a venue for rough housing with the family dog. Nor is it for wiping popcorn buttered hands on. But unless you’re maintaining a spinster lifestyle, inevitable mishaps like stains and spillages cannot be avoided.
To maintain furniture upholstered in fabric, it is best to do spot-cleaning as soon as an “accident” happens. Just spray on and scrub in a cleaning solvent on the stain and wipe off with a dry cloth or paper towel. For dust and grime that seem to settle in the fabric from normal daily use, home shampooing on a regular basis is recommended.
Leather and vinyl only need to be wiped clean with a sponge dipped in a soapy solution. Use a soft bristled brush to get stubborn grime off if necessary. Wipe off with a soft dry cloth. Leather needs to be moisturized to retain its sheen. In lieu of commercially available leather moisturizers, colorless shoe polish may be used. Apply the polish evenly, then buff and polish thoroughly. On the other hand, oil-based products should never be used on vinyl as these may cause the material to become brittle.
To avoid nicks, scratches and snags, make sure the furniture have ample space around them. Do not place them flush against the wall or other furniture unless they were designed to do so. Maintain a fair distance from heating vents and direct sunlight. Try not to eat messy, dripping food around upholstered furnishings. Otherwise, be prepared to soot-clean right after your meal.
Of course, hiring a professional cleaning service is always the best choice. Most services have a pick-up and delivery option. Some services will clean your furniture right in your home. If the cleaning required is a hefty task, like a major spill on light-colored upholstery, these are the people to call. They’ll know what cleaning agents or solvents to use that won’t damage the fabric’s design and color. But still, unless your home furnishings are the expensive heirloom type or made by a known designer, these services may also cost a paltry sum.