Outfitting your home with the right furnishings and décor can be quite the task, but with a little know-how and elbow grease, each piece of furniture can retain its original beauty for years to come. Here are some ways to preserve your indoor furniture:
Wood is a common material, bringing warmth and a timeless look to any room. Ideally, you want to dust wood frequently, using either a lambswool duster or microfiber cloth lightly sprayed with wood polish or a dusting agent. As you clean, work with the grain of the wood to prevent cross-grain scratches. Avoid scratch-inducing tools like dry cloths and feather dusters, both of which can nick the delicate finish.
Pool & Billiard Tables
The felt on Pool and Billiard Tables can collect dust over time, so to keep a clear playing field, some regular upkeep is required. Clean the wood according to the above steps. To tackle the felt, use a handheld vacuum or extension to suck up any debris and sweep residual crumbs into the pockets with a pool table brush. The vacuum extension can remove any debris left in the pockets, and a dry microfiber cloth will erase chalk marks and buff the top rails. Finish with one more pass of the vacuum to finish the job.
Glass, whether as a table top, shelf, or lamp base, can be cleaned with a dry, lint-free cloth. Make sure to clean the underside as well for a spot-free finish. For larger jobs, wash both sides with warm water and a damp, lint-free cloth. Need more cleaning power? Add a squirt of dish detergent to the water. To prevent water stains, dry both sides with a clean, lint-free towel.
When cleaning leather furniture, it’s best to avoid silicone-, ammonia-, or bleach-based products. Leather is durable yet porous, so these cleansers will degrade the material over time.
To clean, start with a vacuum and a soft brush attachment. Remove detachable cushions and vacuum debris. If removal isn’t an option, make sure to get the attachment into all of the crevices. Wipe down the surface with a cotton or microfiber cloth to clear any remaining dust.
You can buy cleaner made specifically for leather furniture or make your own at home. Just mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a bucket and wet a microfiber cloth in the solution. Make sure to wring out the cloth so it’s damp but not wet. Starting at the top and working your way down, wipe the areas that need cleaning, re-wetting and wringing as necessary. Dry the treated areas with a clean towel to ensure residual moisture is absorbed, then let it air dry. Do not use fans or hair dryers, which may dehydrate the leather.
Once the leather has dried completely, you can condition it with a homemade mixture of one part white vinegar with two parts linseed or flaxseed oil. Wet and wring a clean microfiber towel with the solution and apply in broad, circular motions, leaving overnight. In the morning, buff with a clean rag to restore shine.
For general maintenance, you can clean fabric with just a vacuum and its upholstery attachment. It’s best to start at the top and move your way down, using short, overlapping strokes. Some fabric, such as chenille, suede, velvet, and corduroy, have more texture to their surface, so moving left to right also helps get into those extra layers where debris can hide. Your weekly routine is also a good time to remove cushions for a thorough vacuuming and also flip and rotate them for more even wear.
For spills or those times when a deeper clean is needed, follow the vacuuming step with a light wash. Remember to consult your furniture tags or manufacturer’s guide for any care recommendations first. If your furniture can be cleaned with water, take a small amount of clear dish soap and add it to a bowl of water. Whisk the mixture. The goal is to get a really nice foam, which will be used as the cleaner. Too much water can result in water spots once the fabric dries, so just scoop out enough bubbles to spread evenly over the entire surface, leaving the water in the container.
Work a medium or soft bristle brush over the spot using light strokes to gently lift debris. Once covered, dampen an absorbent cloth with water and wipe down the entire surface from one side to the other, being careful not to scrub, which will work the dirt deeper into the fabric. It’s best to dry upholstery quickly, so opt for a standard room fan. Just point it directly at the piece until it’s completely dry.
Electric and Gas Fireplaces
Even though these types of fireplaces operate more cleanly than traditional fireplaces, we recommend cleaning your gas or electric fireplace annually. Before starting, make sure to unplug it from the power supply and let it cool completely before starting any cleaning. While it’s cooling, look over wires and plugs for wear and tear, and if there’s any fraying, make sure to address that with a professional.
Take a clean, dry cloth and wipe down the exterior surface. To dust outlets, attach a soft bristle brush to the end of a vacuum and gently remove dirt and debris. The glass front will need to be removed to tidy up the interior, so make sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions to complete. Once removed, dust any interior accessories like logs or lava rocks with another clean, dry cloth; alternatively, you can remove them and gently clean with a soft paint brush. Replace doors per manual’s instructions.
Standard glass cleaner and other abrasive cleansers contain flammable chemicals that can react with gas and electric and shorten its lifespan. If you need a little more elbow grease on stubborn build-up, look for cleaners made especially for these types of heat sources. Just remember to apply to designated areas only. Brass, gold, marble, and other decorative fixtures are best cleaned with a cloth and water. Finally, a soft, dry cloth is always preferable to paper towels, so stock up on lint-free options.
As always, consult the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning. They may have additional suggestions you can incorporate into the cleaning routine.
If that doesn’t do the trick, get in touch with a Scioto Valley indoor furniture expert. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding the care for and cleaning of your indoor furniture.