New Fabrics on Old Furniture – Cleaning and Care

There may come a time when you start looking at renovating or reinvigorating old and well-loved furniture to give it a more modern flair. You may have classical pieces that have been in the family for years, generations even, favoured pieces that you want to pass down to your kids and your grandchildren, however, they may be decked out in a slightly outdated style. Even the most popular furniture can look out of place in a contemporary setting, so you want to spruce up your old furnishings with new, more modern fabric designs.

Choosing your fabric for the refurbishment is essential as it needs to meet the requirements of your day to day life. It is no good getting a luxurious yet fragile fabric such as satin or suede for cushions for a table and chair set in a busy kitchen. If your furniture has found its home in a busy part of the house, it needs to be able to stand the test of time.

Make It Practical and Attractive

download (1)Two aspects that must be taken into consideration when choosing your new fabric is how well it has been designed to stand up to general wear and tear, and how it is cleaned. With so many furniture fabrics to choose from, some are more easily cleaned than others and this is important if you want a beautiful piece of furniture that is hard wearing.

For example, leather – while a tad expensive – is easily wiped down and can be accessorised with a throw or blanket. Microfibre sofas are also ideal for families with young children as the densely packed microfibers make vacuuming and wiping off spills easy. Upholstery fabrics are often designed to last a good number of years, but it is always a good idea to do your research on which type of fabric takes your fancy.

Take it to a Professional you have chosen your fabric in a pattern or colour you like, the next step is to take it to a professional furniture upholsterer. You might be thinking of giving it a go yourself, having looked at a couple of DIY links on Google, but if you really value this piece of furniture, you are better off taking it to an experienced professional.

They will give it the care and attention it needs and may even make helpful suggestions towards renovating your furniture piece. Broken leg on a chair? Rusted hinge on a window seat storage box? Protruding springs on a much-loved arm chair? An upholsterer will be able to solve all these problems and more.

However, it is also important to remember that renovating a piece of furniture – especially older pieces – will be done by hand and can take some time. Be patient when waiting for your order, miracles often take some time!


Clean Up Your Act

Now your much-loved furniture has been upholstered and returned home, now you want to set about keeping it looking as new for as long as possible. Here are our top maintenance tips

  • Spot Test New Products – If you have bought a new cleaning product, make sure to always test it on a small spot before applying it in any great quantity. You’ll quickly find out if the fabric doesn’t like the product without having to ruin your new piece.
  • Little and Often – Spills and stains can add up over time. If you clean your furniture regularly, wiping it down or giving it a quick hoover about once a week, you can prevent the build-up of stains. This can be a given in families with young children, but we tend to forget it as we get older and it is just as useful! Give it a quick clean.
  • Professional Cleaning Services – All furniture needs a professional clean from time to time. Every 12 to 18 months is a good rule of thumb, depending on the exact fabric used. Always get in touch with a licenced professional cleaner, as they will be able to offer first-class advice and assistance on ongoing care and maintenance.

Spills and Stains – 3 Steps to Success

We’ve all done it, whether it was a spot of being careless with mud-tracked shoes or getting overzealous about telling a story with a glass of wine in hand. Spills and stains can easily ensue and are often more likely to occur in areas of your home where stains are never tolerated! Getting upset about a spillage doesn’t do anybody involved any favours so take a deep breath, think rationally and follow these three steps.

1. Act Fast

8318883471_f76a519abe_oAlthough we don’t always immediately notice spills after they happen it is important to act fast once you have seen the affected area.

Scrape up or blot up any excess spillage before applying any cleaners and never try to rub or scrub a stain out.

Blotting works wonders and will help you to get most of the spill out before resorting to more drastic measures! Work from the outside of the stain inwards to prevent it from spreading and if you are worried about wet spots, use a hairdryer to speed up the blotting process.

2. Don’t Panic

It is important that you act fast, but also equally important that you act rationally. Panicking leads to making rash decisions and silly mistakes that you will regret later. If you tackle the stain as best you can with the knowledge you have and it is still there, simply get in touch with a professional cleaner and they will be right over.

Trying to desperately remove the stain using extreme chemicals could only serve to worsen the situation, so if you can’t easily get rid of it using your household fabric cleaners, call in a professional cleaner who will be able to help you.

3. Always Read the Label

downloadYou might think this a superfluous point but it sometimes makes all the difference between a ruined sofa and a sofa swiftly saved. Read your labels! Before applying any chemical or natural product to your stain or spill, read the label to see whether or not it could be harmful to you or the material you are using this on.

Obviously, we rarely have time to do this in the heat of the moment, so read your labels beforehand so that you know exactly what you need when the time comes.
If your sofa or your recliner has a label detailing fabric care and maintenance guides, this might also be a useful source of information.

Some fabrics are dry clean only, whereas others react badly to particular chemicals. Getting an idea of what works and what doesn’t on your home furniture is really useful, especially when tackling a spill in good time.

Watermarks on Upholstery

wine stainIt can be upsetting to find a stain on your upholstery, particularly if you take good care of your furniture. But accidents will happen and not all guests are careful with other people’s possessions. If you find a new stain or watermark on your sofa, armchair or other upholstered item, there are steps you can take to quickly reduce its severity or even remove it altogether.

Apple Clean offer professional carpet and upholstery cleaning services designed to keep your home clean and clear. If you find a watermark or stain on your sofa or three-piece suite that you are unable to remove, give us a call. We’re an experienced and friendly team of cleaners with everything you need to get your upholstery looking as good as new again.

Here’s our advice on getting a watermark off you armchair or sofa.

Sanitise the Area Beforehand

Even the cleanest piece of furniture has wear and tear. This can mean deposits of dust and food particles, or dry skin residue. You’ll need to thoroughly sanitise the area before attempting to clean any part of it, particularly if you have young children prone to sticky fingers or pets.

Vacuum the area first to remove dust or crumbs; you can also try a lint roller over the area just to make sure you’ve completely cleared it. Check to make sure that your fabric is suitable for vacuuming, as some fabrics may be too delicate, so caution is needed.



Gently Does It

Dampen a cloth with cold water and then use it to rub at and dab away at the stained part of the upholstery. Work with care according to the fabric requirements; some fabrics are more hardwearing than others.

Make sure you’re not too vigorous with your rubbing – that goes for every type of fabric, and particularly for water marks.


Work from the Outside In

By gently rubbing at the stain in a circling motion from the outside towards the centre, you help to prevent the spread of the stain as you will be focusing your cleaning action in and around the original water mark area. Depending on the type of fabric – hard-wearing cotton, natural fibres, man-made synthetics – you may need to use a specialist cleaning agent to get the best results.

However if you are not cleaning up a ‘stain’ and instead are trying to tackle a watermark left over from clearing a previous stain, then you may not need a cleaning product at all.

Dry off the Mark

Fold a few paper towels into a stack and place on top of the stained upholstery, then put something heavy on top of it to apply pressure, or press down firmly using your hands. You will also need a hair dryer set to the ‘cool’ setting or a fan that you can aim at the stained area. The force of the air will help the towels to absorb the moisture.

If the watermark is still visible, you will need to remoisten the area and repeat the process.  It may be a repetitive process but, if done with patience and care, it is a great way to successfully tackle water marks on your upholstery.

It’s not just the bed bugs that bite…

Dust mite

dust mites can wreak havoc, too! Beds aren’t the only thing in your house that attract mites – carpets and upholstery do as well. And if you don’t take them in hand, the results can be pretty unpleasant – itches, rashes, respiratory problems among them.

Adult female dust mites are why you may end up needing to call a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner. Each busy lady mite lays up to 80 eggs in her lifetime, from which six-legged larva emerge. One month later these turn into eight-legged adults, all ready to starting doing some damage. Clinging to fur, feathers or other materials, they then spread themselves around and hide wherever they can.
You can’t see these pesky mites (they’re just 250 to 300 microns in length – you need at least 10x magnification to get an idea of what they look like), but they’re no good for your home or you! Among other things, dust mites are bad news for allergy and asthma sufferers.

But enough with the horrible details: the good news is that you can protect your carpets and upholstery from these little critters. Regular cleaning helps, as does keeping rooms below 21°C and humidity below 50%. However, most domestic vacuum cleaners, shampooers and steamers, even the ones that boast lots of extra power, haven’t got what it takes to properly take on dust mites and all but neutralise their existence. And, controlling the temperature in your house is far from cheap.

To successfully bring dust mites to their knees (if they had them!), a specialist carpet and upholstery cleaner is a must. Their specialist cleaning equipment, along with their training and experience, is what makes the difference. And, it is a real difference.

Summer is a great time to invest in some expert carpet and upholstery cleaning. Take advantage of the warmer, drier weather and start evicting dust mites from your home!

For more information on our carpet, upholstery and curtain cleaning services, contact the Apple Clean team on 0800 587 4571.

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