Fabric upholstery care guide

APRIL 6, 2018

We speak to Claire Gibson, from leading furniture manufacturer, La-Z-Boy, to find out how to best take are of your fabric upholstery.

There is nothing better than putting your feet up on your sofa or recliner after a hard day’s work for some comfortable in-home R&R – it truly is one of life’s little pleasures. However, the downside is that after a while, it can lead to the upholstery fabric becoming grubby and worn. Claire Gibson explains that with a little bit of love and care, you can keep your fabric-upholstered sofa or recliner looking as good as the day you bought – she shows us how:

Daily care

Just because your high-end lounge suite is a sizeable investment, doesn’t mean that you can’t relax and enjoy it to its fullest, notes Claire: “Your recliner or lounge suite should be a place where you can sit down to unwind and really relax, without worrying about doing any damage. However, in order to keep it in good nick, you need to give it the loving care it deserves. For one, it is always best to keep pets off the couch – if they insist on jumping on, then it is prudent to teach them to sit in one spot consistently – then you can place a hard-wearing throw over this section to protect the upholstery below from pet soiling and sharp claws. The same applies to small children – discourage them from playing with toys that can snag the upholstery, drinking and eating on the sofa, or jumping around on it.”

Weekly care

Claire recommends that you brush your sofa with a soft fabric brush, and vacuum the fabric every week: “The reason why this is important is because dust and dirt particles can cause the fabric to wear quicker, and it is also the ideal substrate for mould and mildew to develop. The recommended method is to set the vacuum on low, and move across the fabric in short, overlapping strokes. Be sure to remove the cushions and vacuum in all the hidden nooks and crannies, and when you put the cushions back, try and swap them around to ensure that they wear evenly.”

Dealing with spills

Even if you have the best intentions, accidents happen – and when they do, the best way to handle them is to remember to take care of them as soon as you can, notes Claire: “Remember that fresh stains are far easier to remove than old ones!” She offers the following advice on what to do when the inevitable occurs:

  • Solid food: Remove any food remains with a spoon, knife or spatula to avoid rubbing the remains further into the fabric. Carefully dab the spillage with a paper towel, and, if required, use a little distilled water to gently clean the stain.
  • Wine and coffee: Whatever you do – don’t scrub! The aim is to gently lift the stain off the fabric without rubbing it in and making it worse. Blot the area using a white paper towel or any other really absorbant material in order to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Then treat the affected area with distilled water. For really stubborn stains, it is wise to use a little fabric cleaning solution. However, it is always advisable to first test it out on a very small section of the sofa in question, in a place that is not very noticable such as the back of the couch, in order to find out if it will damage the fabric in any way.
  • Chocolate: Remove any remaining chocolate off the upholstery by scraping off any pieces, and then the area in question with a clean white cloth or sponge, and gentle fabric cleaning solution, to carefully remove the stain. Once it has been removed, blot the wet upholstery with a white paper towel to dry off as much of the liquid as possible.
  • Mud and soil: Before you can begin, you have to wait for the mud to dry off. Once it is completely dry, then you can use a fabric brush to brush off any particles. If required, use a clean white cloth to sponge the stain with a gentle fabric cleaning solution. To dry, gently blot with a white paper towel.

Prevention is best

Of course, avoiding any stains or soiling is always the best move, which is why Claire says that one of the best things you can do to protect your sofa or lounge suite is to invest in some kind of anti-stain protection for the upholstery: “La-Z-Boy has recently increased its range of stain-repelling iClean fabrics due to the high demand. It is incredibly popular due to the fact that with iClean, you no longer have to worry about spills, stains or soils, as it incorporates safe, sophisticated chemistry to protect and surround each fibre, which repel spills before they can turn into stains.”

iClean fabric creates a barrier of protection from stains associated with children, pets and everyday life. Claire adds, "Parents no longer need to postpone owning that beautiful sofa until the kids grow or move out. For most liquid spills, the fabric can be cleaned by simply blotting the spill with a paper towel. Our tag line is 'Live Life Comfortably' and iClean will help consumers do just that by reducing the fear of stains. This advanced fabric technology gives consumers a better choice for their homes and everyday living." 

Contact Franchisee Darren John
Border contact number 082 783 7457
Border email address darren@homefoodandtravel.co.za