Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to Clean and Protect Your Upholstered Furniture

e all want to keep our furniture looking new and beautiful for as long as possible.  There are ways to do this that don’t involve plastic covers or making the new sofa, loveseat, or chair off limits to the kids.  No matter how careful we are, there are going to be accidents and a little knowledge can help to make sure that a spill is a minor incident, rather than a major catastrophe.


First, learn a little bit about your fabric.  When you purchase your furniture, ask the sales person about it.  Upholstery fabrics have cleaning codes and those codes will help you to know the best way to clean your furniture.  No one code is better or more desirable than the others; they just tell us the best way to preserve the appearance of the fabric.  The four codes are: W, S, WS, and X.

Always make sure to spot test in a small unseen area before cleaning!

The W code stands for water cleanable.  Use a soft white cloth that is lint free and a solution of water with a mild, dye free detergent such as ivory dish washing detergent.  Many ready made cleaners, such as resolve are also water based…just make sure to check that it is water based before using.  Dampen the cloth and squeeze out any excess water.  Gently rub the stained area until the stain is removed.  If you place a fan near the area you can speed up the drying process.

The S code stands for solvent cleanable.  Water based products should not be used on S code fabrics!  Instead, use a gentle dry cleaning product that is approved for fabrics.  Guardsman solvent based cleaner is a good choice.  Once again, use a white, lint free cloth.  Dampen the cloth with the cleaner and rub the stain in a circular motion.  For large stains keep changing to a clean area of your cloth.  You should make sure to use solvent based cleaners in a well ventilated area.

The WS code is exactly what you would guess….either water or solvent based cleaners will work for this fabric using the methods described above.
The X code stands for vacuum only.  Clean these fabrics only by lightly brushing or vacuuming the avoid buildup of dirt and dust.  Water or solvent based cleaners of any kind could cause staining, distortion of the pile, or shrinking of the fabric.

A good way to prevent spills from becoming a problem is to have your new upholstered furniture treated with fabric protection, such as Guardsman Fabricoate spray.  This protection is available in a “do it yourself” spray can, or can be professionally sprayed on before delivery.  Pre-delivery professional spraying of our Guardsman product includes a 5 year warranty against many kind of spills, stains, and even rips and tears.
Whatever upholstered furniture you have, if you give it a little care at the right times, it is sure to stay looking clean and new for years to come!

Monday, September 16, 2013

What is your Focal Point?


here does your eye go when you enter your room?  One of the best ways to turn an ordinary room into something special is to create a focal point.  There are many different things that can be done to draw people’s eyes to a certain spot in a room.  Where you make your focal point depends upon the shape and size of the room itself, what it is that you want to showcase, and your own creativity and personality.    

It can be a bedroom, kitchen, living room, family room, dining room, or some other room in your house.  No matter what the room, start by standing at the entrance.  Look around at the natural flow of the room.  What catches your eye?  Is this the first thing you want people to see when they walk in the room?  If not, the fix may be as simple as hanging a large, framed mirror over a sofa, or putting down an area rug that is vibrantly colored or in an interesting shape. 
A wall painted a different color than the others in the room, or a painting hung over a fireplace can go far in helping create your focal point. You can even try rearranging the furniture to make things pop.  If you have a bigger budget, you can even use track lighting over an area that you want to highlight, or buy a new sofa, chair, coffee table, or ottoman to bring a certain area into focus.

Is there an item in the room that isn’t getting as much attention as you would like it to?  Try placing it in different areas of the room to create the eye catching look that it deserves. Experiment with throw pillows, blankets and other accessories to make it more noticeable.  Take your time to move things around in the room until the first thing you see when you walk in is what you WANT people to see.