Buying a new sofa is a sizeable investment, and you will want to keep it looking as good as possible for as long as possible. Claire Gibson from leading furniture manufacturer, La-Z-Boy, offers her top sofa care tips to keep your sofa looking in pristine condition.Nothing can be quite as satisfying as finding the perfect sofa for your home – one that is super comfortable and that effortlessly complements your décor. Not only will it offer hours of comfy support for you and your family, but it will also stand proud as the centrepiece of your living room. We speak to Claire Gibson from leading furniture manufacturer, La-Z-Boy, about the tasks that you should carry over a 12-month period in order to ensure that your sofa remains looking as good as the day you bought it.
There are a number of little things you can do on a weekly basis that will make a big difference to the longevity of your sofa’s good looks, says Claire: “Every week, you ought to make time to plump your cushions, smooth out your sofa’s upholstery, tighten the legs on your sofa and make sure that it is standing on an even surface, remove the lint pilling or bobbing from the upholstery, dust down any leather upholstery, and gently brush your sofa.”
She notes that weekly brushing with a soft brush is especially beneficial: “Gentle brushing is a must for all upholstered sofas – it stimulates the pile, helping with pressure marks and shading through use. If you have a leather sofa, don’t brush it, rather whip a clean duster over it weekly.”
Every month, Claire says that you need to vacuum your sofa thoroughly and rotate the cushions: “It is advisable to vacuum your sofa once a month. Don’t use an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner, but rather use your domestic vacuum cleaner, turn it down to its lowest setting and use the brush attachment so that you can get into all the nooks and crannies. Vacuum the cushions, and then be sure to remove them and vacuum well underneath.
“You will be amazed at how much dust and dirt collects underneath the cushions – interestingly, the sofa is often dirtier than the floor because people don’t clean them as much and people are more in contact with the sofa compared to the floor. And let’s not forget human and pet dander and hair, mites, and so on – a sofa that is not vacuumed regularly is a virtual nightmare for your health, especially for allergy sufferers,” explains Claire.
She says that vacuuming is not only helpful from a hygiene perspective, but it will also dramatically increase your sofa’s lifespan as well: “Weekly vacuuming will protect fabric upholstery from dirt or grime embedding itself between the fibres of the upholstery, which if not removed, will dramatically increase abrasion and wear and tear over time. By removing these, your upholstery will look good and remain strong for longer.”
Regardless of the quality of your sofa, constant use will eventually take its toll on its cushions. Claire says that this can be dramatically reduced by plumping your cushions on a monthly basis: “Plumping your cushions is best done by placing it on one if its edges and then beting the opposite edge inwards with your hand. Repeat the proces on all four sides of the cushion, then complete the task by shaking the cushion to redistribute the filling evenly, and smoothing out the cover.”
Over the course of the year, your sofa can become dull, and it is recommended that you clean it annually, notes Claire: “I recommend getting your sofa cleaned annually by a professional cleaning company. Never attempt to wash your sofa yourself – this can cause colours to bleed and if the padding becomes damp, stainng and interior damage can result.”
General care tips
Here are some other handy hints that you can follow in order to ensure that your sofa holds up against the rigours of everyday life:
- Avoid sitting on the edge of the seat or the sofa’s arms, as this can cause premature wearing and distortion of the filling.
- Head pillows can suffer from soiling from hair grease or products. You can prevent this by using a headrest cover if necessary.
- Zips are fitted on many cushions mainly to aid the manufacturer. They are not there so that you can remove the cushion covers – the cushion covers on most sofas are not designed to be removed, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer.
- If any of the yarns on your sofa’s upholstery catches and snags, then you can simply cut it short so that it doesn’t catch on anything else and it is less noticeable.
- If the pile on your upholstery becomes flattened in areas, such as armrests for example, then you can use steam to help raise the crushed pile again.
- Never expose your furniture to direct sunlight, as the harmful UV rays will cause the upholstery to fade and leather to crack over time.
- Try and avoid using chemical cleaners as these may cause the colours to fade and the fabric to degrade. Soak up any excess moisture with a paper towel, and then use a cloth and plain water to address the stain. Dab the area in question, never wipe, as this will just make matters worse.
- If you are forced to use chemical cleaners, first test it out on a concealed area instead.
- You can remove pilling with a battery-operated pilling-remover.
- Use a throw if your pets enjoy sitting on the sofa.
- The addition of armrest covers will help protect them from becoming overly soiled and worn.
- Ensure that your sofa is sitting on a level floor, as any rocking will eventually distort the frame.
- Beware of damage that can be caused by sharp objects that you use or are carrying on your person, such as studs, buckles, scissors, knives, combs and toys. All of these have the potential to snag or cut into your upholstery.