Caring for your Sofa

You’ve chosen your sofa, and it’s looking right at home in your living room. Now we want to make sure that it’s there for all of life’s moments. Daily life can expose your sofa to many things, but there are a sofa care tips you can follow to ensure your sofa remains looking like new.

Fabric Sofa Care Guide

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery fabric generally cannot be cleaned in the washing machine (with the exception of loose covers). However, by vacuuming or brushing your furniture frequently, it minimises the chance of dust particles settling and affecting the durability and colour of the fabric. To keep your sofa in the very best condition, we recommend an in-situ professional upholstery cleaning every 18 months. With emergencies, such as drink or food stains, a local specialist cleaning company should be contacted for advice on how to proceed.

Young Children & Pets

With sticky fingers and biscuit crumbs likely, investing in an easy-to-clean sofa with versatile and hardwearing fabric is a must. Regular spot cleaning is important to remove stains before they sink in. Use a lightly damp, clean cloth to lift any spills as quickly as possible. Although our furry friends are integral to the family, they can affect the appearance of a sofa with their fur, claws and mucky paws. A durable fabric is important in this instance where fur can be easily brushed off with a furniture brush, and any dirt can quickly be wiped clean. We would recommend X X fabric for family homes with young children and pets. Small fabric pulls made by claws and paws can be repaired if your sofa is covered by Staingard – contact Staingard for more information.

Washing Loose Cover Sofas

Harriet loose cover sofa

We always recommend professionally dry-cleaning loose covers. However, some of our loose covers can be machine washed depending on the type of fabric. Follow the washing instruction that are attached to your cover for the best results. If you do decide to machine wash your covers, be sure to put them back onto the sofa when they are slightly damp in order to retain their shape. Covers should be washed on a cool, thirty degree, gentle cycle. Be sure to wash all the pieces together to avoid ending up with slight colour variations. If your cover has been protected with Staingard, it cannot be washed in the machine as this will remove the protective coating. If you have a clothes steamer, you can gently steam the covers once they are back on the sofa to help remove any larger creases.

Looking after Leather

Holmes leather snuggler chair

It is crucial to protect your leather sofa if you want it to stand the test of time. Wipe up spills when they happen using a clean, absorbent cloth. With a soft, dry cloth, dust your furniture regularly and ensure you use a vacuum cleaner to prevent a build-up of dirt. Position sofas away from direct sunlight since the leather can fade when exposed to too much sun. For minor scratches, use a soft cloth or clean fingers to buff away the mark gently. Refrain from using cleaning solvents, furniture polish, oils, varnish, abrasive cleaners, detergent soaps or ammonia water to clean the leather. If the stain persists, we recommend using a professional cleaning specialist to prevent long-term damage, and we also suggest you use a good leather conditioner every 6-12 months. For larger splits or tears, see our blog: How to repair a leather sofa.

Looking after a Velvet Sofa

Velvet is beautiful but can be very delicate. The fabric is not particularly family or pet-friendly since getting it wet can permanently damage the appearance of the sofa and stains are also difficult to remove. This is worth bearing in mind if families have young children or pets and we would advise taking extra care if velvet is your choice.

Caring for a Wool Sofa

Earnshaw compact sofa

Wool is a natural fibre fabric that is strong and durable. It is naturally fire resistant and hypoallergenic. To care for wool, always use a cold, damp cloth to wipe up spills. Vacuum the sofa regularly to avoid crumbs from being ground into the fabric. Wool can bubble, and some piling can be expected over time (like a wool jumper).

Looking after Linen

Jackson loose cover sofa

Linen is a lightweight, natural fabric that will crease and stretch over time adding to its charm and character. Like all sofas, you should vacuum dust and crumbs regularly to prevent further damage and keep the fabric clean. Linen is a highly absorbent, natural fibre, so for most spills, we would recommend calling an upholstery cleaning specialist to your home to avoid further damage. Like leather, don’t keep heavily-dyed linen furniture in direct sunlight as the sun can lighten it. We recommend choosing linen for slouchy, relaxed style sofas as the sagging of the fabric will contribute to the relaxed look and be less noticeable in comparison to a sleek, firm sofa shape.

Creasing & Fading

Velvet and chenille fabrics can naturally flatten and fade over time. Such effects won’t cause too much harm to the wear of the fabric and can be reduced by brushing against the pile. There is a chance that our linen fabrics may crease. This is a natural outcome as a result of the fabric’s composition and won’t cause any long-term damage. It’s important to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight where possible to prevent colour fading and sun-bleaching. Some dyes can transfer from the fabric to your clothes, so try to avoid wearing light colours on heavily dyed, dark fabrics where possible.

Top Tip

Our Staingard cover provides an at-home professional cleaning service, and a genuine, clean, repair and replace policy.

Sofa Care Tips

  • Avoid sitting on the edge of your seat as it can weaken the front spring unit.
  • The arms of your sofa are not designed to carry an adult’s body weight so avoid sitting on them – only use them to rest your arms, legs and heads.
  • Be careful of your clothing as belt buckles, studs and jewellery can all cause wear and tear to the fabric.
  • Avoid putting your sofa too close to an open fire or radiator as too much heat can damage the fabric.
  • It is important to lift the sofa instead of dragging it as this protects your flooring and carpets as well as prolonging the life of your legs and castors.
  • Keep furniture away from direct sunlight to avoid colour fading and sun-bleaching.
  • Regularly plumping cushions will help them keep their shape, as, over time, feathers can migrate to the corners or start coming through the covers (like a duvet).
  • Avoid heavy spot cleaning – most fabrics are heavily dyed, and spot cleaning may rub the dye off.

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