Throughout December, Design 101 has been all about sofas! Buying a sofa can be a big expense, so learning how to care for one can help you make the most out of your investment. Below are our tips and tricks for keeping your sofa comfy and looking great!
Earlier this month we discussed sofa construction and fabric, both of which are are factors in the life expectancy of your sofa. The average lifespan of a sofa is typically 10-15 years. If you have purchased a sofa with a high quality frame and spring system, your sofa may last longer even if the fabric looks a little worse for wear. If you notice the fabric is wearing out, but the frame is still in good condition, it might make sense economically to add new life to the sofa by having it reupholstered. However, if the frame or springs are shot, repairing the sofa may be more expensive than replacing it.
It's inevitable - you will spill pinot noir on your sofa, you'll find cereal smashed under the seat cushions, and your dog will jump up for an afternoon snooze. A great way to keep your sofa looking it's best is to apply a stain resistance finish. We get a lot of questions about whether or not applying a stain resistant finish will change the quality of fabric. As long as you select a reputable product, your sofa fabric will maintain it's look and feel. We like Guardsman Fabric and Leather Protectors or Scotch Guard, as they're easy to apply and work on a variety of materials.
If you're still skeptical about applying a stain resistant finish, you may want to consider fabrics that are inheritly stain resistant. When we discussed fabric options for your sofa, we talked about textiles such as mohair, microsuede, and outdoor acrylics.
Suddenly you find a mystery stain on your sofa. We've all been there. There are a few simple ways you can rid your sofa of stains through spot cleaning:
- When you're vacuuming your rug, don't be afraid to turn the nozzle towards your sofa. Regular vacuuming will prevent dust buildup, which can attract other grime.
- Clean stains with a damp cloth first. It could be that you just need a bit of water!
- For more persistent stains, try an oxy cleaner that is labeled fabric safe. Before applying a cleanser to the stain, test it on the bottom of the sofa to make sure it doesn't discolor your fabric or leave any residue.
- Wine stains can often be lifted by applying white wine vinegar to the stain before cleaning with water or cleanser.
- If you have a white sofa, try keeping a Clorox bleach pen handy. It works!
- Leather sofas respond well to cleaning with gentle soap and water. You can also apply a leather protector to keep the hide in good condition.
- Microsuede is stain repellant, so its important to dab stains quickly with soap and water before they have a chance to settle into the fabric.
Image courtesy of Spearmint Baby
If you find yourself with a sofa stain that won't respond to any spot cleaning, we recommend taking your cushion covers to a local dry cleaner. They can typically remove stains on textiles such as cotton and linen without shrinking or damaging the fabric.
For more luxurious fabrics such as silk or wool, we recommend hiring a local professional to give your sofa a more thorough cleaning. They can also apply a stain resistant finish to prevent future staining.
Leather and microsuede sofas often come with cleaning instructions. These will include the type of products that can be used on the material. Typical fabric cleaning symbols include:
If in doubt, reach out to the shop where you bought your sofa. Stores will often keep instructions handy, as well as contact information for local cleaning professionals.
Believe it or not, turning and plumping your cushions can add to the life of your sofa. The feathers in your cushions will eventually settle, so a little fluffing can help redistribute the stuffing evenly. This doesn't mean you have to walk around karate chopping your pillows - a simple turn and pat will do.
If your cushions are starting to look sad, you may want to consider asking a local upholstery workroom to refill them. New stuffing can add new life to your sofa and make it a lot more comfortable.
Up next month: Furniture Layouts! Be in the know, sign up for our newsletter!