A house and car are the largest investments you will make, and furnishing that home is the third-largest expense. With any property, it's important to care and maintain quality. For this reason, we would like to share how to sustain the excellent condition of your home furniture through adequate cleaning.
Maintaining Leather Upholstery:
- Position leather furniture out of direct sunlight and at least two feet from heat sources to avoid fading and cracking.
- Weekly: Dust with a dry microfiber cloth and use a vacuum crevice tool to remove surface debris along the seams before wiping gently with the damp cloth or a sponge (Don't rub; use distilled water).
- Before using any gentle leather cleansers and conditioners, test in an obscure area of the furniture. Conditioners can nourish the leather and create a barrier against stains.
- Do not place newspapers or magazines on leather furniture, because the ink may leak onto the surface. Leather is extremely permeable, which is why you should also avoid leather cleaners containing any oils.
- Evade using brushes, harsh chemicals, or common household cleaners. (Saddle soap is aggressive and dehydrates leather, which can cause cracking)
Cleaning Stained Leather:
- A water stain can be removed by wiping the entire area seam to seam with a damp cloth or sponge. Start at the stain and move toward the edges of the cushion so there is no “demarcation point” on the leather and the leather can dry uniformly (Again, don't rub).
- Small oil stains must be lifted quickly. With your fingers, briskly rub corn starch into the stain. The heat from this friction desaturates the oil and allows the corn starch to absorb it before reaching the back of the hide. Vacuum the powder off (repeat if necessary).
Maintaining Wood Furniture:
- Position wood furniture away from heating and air conditioning sources to prevent loss of moisture, and evade direct sunlight to limit discoloration of the wood.
- Weekly: use a lint-free cloth to dust and polish wood.
- Avoid scratches, water rings, and cloudiness by using placemats, coasters, and hot pads for serving dishes.
Cleaning Spots and Stains on Wood:
- To remove white haze (heat stain): combine one tablespoon of vinegar and one quart of water to create a solution. Dampen a cloth in the solution and rub the affected surface with the grain until it is dry. Accompany this with furniture oil or polish.
- To eliminate water rings, rub with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and cooking oil in the same direction of the grain.
Maintaining Glass Furniture:
- Gently remove dust and debris before cleaning with a non-abrasive glass cleaner, so as not to scratch the surface. Promptly dry with a second microfiber cloth to prevent streaks.
- Do not slide any objects across glass; this can scratch the surface. Instead, accessorize glass furniture with felt-based decor items.
Maintaining Metal Furniture:
- There is no need to use harsh cleansers on indoor metal furniture; simply dust with a dry cloth.
Cleaning Rusted Metal Patio Furniture:
- If a resistant coat wears away over time and rust is detected, use steel wool to remove oxidation.
- Alkaline cleaners induce oxidation and rust, so bypass chemicals like ammonia (found in Windex), and TSP. An acidic solution of equal parts white vinegar and water will better prevent oxidation from building up on the furniture. Be sure to rinse cleanser residue and fully (towel and air) dry off water from every inch including weld joints.
- Finish with a water displacement spray or one-step car wax (that doesn't contain a compound and doesn't require buffing)
- Saltwater and salty air (beach or coastal residence) will erode even powder coated patio furniture. Wax and covers will protect against these elements.
- Regions that experience extreme winter conditions require you to use a protective wax and store furniture in a shed. If using covers, use water/weatherproof, because water/weather resistant does not protect against freeze damage.
Maintaining Marble Furniture:
- Wipe off dust and debris before cleaning. Dampen a sponge or clean cloth with a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Wipe and dry the surface.
- Monthly: Use a spray sealant to provide a barrier that will buy you time to clean spills before stains with reactive acid (i.e. something as simple as spaghetti sauce) have time to eat away and penetrate the calcium carbonate in the stone.
- Avoid scratches by using placemats, coasters, and trivets for serving dishes.
- Do not use vinegar, lemon, and general-purpose cleaners that contain hydrofluoric acid (i.e. bathroom or tile cleaners) or alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for natural stone.
Cleaning Spills on Marble:
- First, blot with a clean, dry, white cloth; turning the cloth frequently (Don't wipe, it will spread the spill).
- Oil-based (grease, cooking oil, or milk): The darkened stone stain can be gently wiped by a soft, cloth with a household detergent, mineral spirits, or acetone.
- Organic (coffee, tea, wine, fruit, food): A pinkish-brown stain may be removed with 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.
- For Water Spots and Rings, buff with dry 0000 steel wool.
Marble is prized for its intricate vein-like fissures naturally formed through the combination of heat and pressure. This impression moves a room but is also a porous surface susceptible to etching and staining. Proper maintenance will make the natural stone more stain resistant. Leather similarly takes pride in offering a durable yet unique upholstery. The natural variations in color and grain pattern are beautiful imperfections that pique the interest of many homeowners. It's important, when cleaning hide, to avoid dehydrating the leather, as it can crack and lead to faster wear and tear. Wood is also permeable and is easily stained with white haze when moisture is trapped in the finish by way of cold and hot cups and plates that sit on the surface. Oxidation also affects metal with rust. Though seemingly strong and durable, different materials and surfaces require particular cleaning treatments that are simple, yet crucial to ensuring long-lasting use of your furniture.