It is the festive season now so firstly season’s greetings to all of you visiting this blog! Festivities all around the world are all about celebrating with family and loved ones, food, sweets, exchange of gifts and the least favourite, lots and lots of cleaning!! Growing up in a Punjabi joint family, I remember that Diwali was a lot about my mother putting my sister, cousins and I to work for Diwali-time cleaning. Cleaning spanned from attics to suit cases to all those nooks and corners of the house that you didn’t even know existed or somehow always magically appeared during this season. Well the benefit of a joint family is those extra pairs of hands to finish the cleaning.
As time passed and families became smaller and more urban, it was automatically less of a hassle. We are always on the look-out for easy to do and easy to maintain things that obviously look good. Also we are blessed in our times with on-call services to help us with practically everything.
Upholstery cleaning is always quite tedious especially if you have heavy fabric curtains, blinds, or sofas. Different materials come with different challenges in cleaning the furniture.
What you should look out for before even attempting to clean the upholstery fabric is –
- What is the material of the sofa, cushion cover or curtains?
- If you are self-cleaning it, then what are you going to use to clean it?
- Does your upholstery have embroidery or trims and stitches that need extra care?
If you like your own cleaning standards, like my mother does, then you may follow these tips to take proper care of fabric sofas, cushion covers, table linen, rugs and mats and curtains.
- Clean regularly – fabrics having thick slubs or loosely woven fabrics that are used mainly for cushion covers invite several dust particles. Ensure you vacuum clean it regularly and if not regularly then at least twice a week.
2. Watch out for the sun – if you are using dyed fabrics, it will be advisable to keep that upholstered furniture away from sunlight as it may result in fading or bleaching of the fabric. Long exposure to sunlight reduces the shelf life of dyed fabrics.
3. Get rid of the stains immediately – if you are using velvet or suede fabrics for upholstery then get rid of those food stains immediately to avoid a permanent mark. Those fabrics require extra care. While getting rid of stains on any type of fabric, it is advisable to use natural ingredients like vinegar or baking soda mixed with water to clean the stains. Chemical detergents corrode the fabric and also give it a faded look. Imagine having one faded patch!
4. Dry clean, if necessary – curtains especially may require to be sent to a dry cleaner. If these are heavy fabrics or have embroidery on them, it is better not to machine wash. Let the experts take care of those linens.
5. Hand wash cushion covers and table linen with trims, stitches, buttons, etc – avoid using a hard brush on these. These can be simply hand washed mildly with just soap and water. This will ensure your upholstery looks fresh, clean and new without disturbing the beautiful look of the stitched fabrics.
6. Coarse rugs with coarse brush – do not wet jute or hemp/jute rugs. Use a hard brush to clean the dust. If it gets wet, ensure you give it enough sunlight to dry naturally or else getting rid of the smell will be another task for you. It is easier with hemp rugs but tough with jute ones.
While all the points mentioned above aren’t really rocket science, these are just gentle reminders before getting into the cleaning frenzy. Some of you may also impress your mothers by flaunting some knowledge on the same.
You may also pick following fabrics for your upholstery if you are revamping it. These are low maintenance and look good too –
- Yarn dyed Cotton and polyester blended fabrics. Yarn dyed fabrics perform well in colour fastness so no worry of fading and bleaching.
2. Natural Linen and linen blended fabrics as you cannot beat the beauty of earthen tones in natural fibre fabrics. Simply rich and classic and low on maintenance. Remember that linen has antibacterial properties too!
3. Pure cotton fabrics in unique dobbies and linen-look. Easy to clean, wash and maintain and different dobbies, prints or the classic linen slub look doesn’t fade away easily.
Also check out our blog on Fabric trends for your upholstery to learn more in case you plan to do up your upholstery altogether.