Proper upkeep of your furniture from the get-go goes a long way toward maintaining it in the long run. Here are a few tips that will highlight the beauty of your furniture and keep them looking like new for years to come.
Wood has interesting grains and patterns and actually gains character, becoming deeper and richer in color over years. Wood is relatively low-maintenance but still does better with some simple TLC (tender loving care) in regular doses.
Keep your wooden furniture away from direct sunlight or heat. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation has a detrimental effect on wood like it does on our skin. Sunlight has a bleaching effect and may dry wood and wood finishes and even glue out so carefully consider your furniture placement. Certain fine wood care products actually have UV protection, such as the ones by Guardsman, a leader in furniture care since 1915.
The cardinal rule is to use coasters to prevent discoloration and cracking of the wood from heat as well as absorption of moisture. Think of them as necessary investments. Tablecloths are great, too. Wood expands when it absorbs moisture that is left behind and over time, prolonged exposure to humidity will lead to cracks.
Dust as much as you’d vacuum your floor: buildup of dust may scratch the wood’s finish so use a soft, lint-free cloth that won’t scratch the wood and dust away, turning over the cloth often. If you need, barely dampen the cloth with water. Don’t bother with a feather duster; it doesn’t work as well. Also dust in the direction of the grain to protect the distinctive patterns in the wood.
You always hear about polishing your wood. Don’t use a silicone product- it can get in your wood and damage the finish, not to mention product buildup or a film left behind. Don’t use polishes that contain waxes and abrasives either. If you use the right wood care products such as the ones by Guardsman to clean your wooden furniture, fine surface scratches can even be concealed. Your wooden furniture will shine beautifully again after and you can rest easy knowing that they are being protected by the product application.
For your leather-upholstered furniture, also keep them away from direct heat and light sources as well as air pollutants such as cigarette smoke. Leather will get brittle when it dries out too much. Wipe down your leather sofa with a dry microfiber cloth (this can also buff out micro scratches in the leather itself) and use the soft brush attachment when you vacuum it to avoid scratching or scuffing the leather. Regular vacuuming and dusting is highly recommended. Be careful what you place on your leather couch: newsprint, for example, may transfer onto your leather. This is true of certain dark throws as well.
Most leathers have a protective topcoat but this is not meant to be a catch-all. It merely buys you time so you can attend to the spill without it being absorbed right away. Hence, clean up spills promptly before liquid penetrates and stains the leather. For oil-based spills and stains, carefully wipe the leather clean using a dry, clean cloth and leave the stain to dissipate into the leather. Do not use random products (including wipes!) such as household cleaning or car care products on your leather sofas. The wrong kind of product may damage or discolor your leather. This is especially true of oils.
Guardsman’s leather care products are exclusively formulated for them in Italy by Fenice, a global leader in leather finishing technology, and contain no oils. The Guardsman Leather Cleaner Conditioner cleans and rejuvenates your precious leather and the Guardsman Leather Protector prevents stains and keeps your leather easy to clean. Use them once every two months on the parts of your leather furniture that get the most traffic, such as the headrests, seats, armrests and footrests.
Fabric-upholstered furniture is very comfortable and offers many customization options. However, just like your beds, you should have a regular maintenance routine for your fabric furniture to preserve the appearance and condition of your fabric. Picket&Rail’s Italian fabrics used in their exclusive Cavalli Italia line have been pretreated with a protector but you still need to observe the basic rules such as, again, keeping your fabric-upholstered furniture away from direct heat and light sources to prevent fading. Also vacuum your fabric furniture regularly on low suction using an upholstery attachment to remove surface soil before it gets embedded in the fibres and tackle spills immediately with a slightly dampened sponge (blot, don’t rub!). It is crucial that you do not get your fabric sofa too wet so take care with liquids near your sofa.
Try to get your fabric covers professionally dry cleaned often enough. Do not use detergent, shampoo or other random products to spot clean your fabric, only quality specialized upholstery cleaning products such as Guardsman’s Fabric Care Collection, which retains the original look and feel of your fabric.
Whatever your tastes run to—wood, leather or fabric—Picket&Rail has quality furniture, and the professional care solutions from the world’s trusted brand Guardsman, to protect and keep your furniture looking and performing its best all the time.