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The Top 10 Misconceptions About Cleaning & Caring for High End Furniture

Caring for Furntiture | 09.30.23 | Derek Brewster

The Top 10 Misconceptions About Cleaning & Caring for High-End Furniture

High-end furniture often comes with a hefty price tag, and it’s essential to take proper care of it to ensure longevity. However, several common misconceptions about the cleaning and upkeep of high-end furniture could lead to damage if followed. Don’t let misinformation lead to unintentional damage. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people making when cleaning high-end furniture:

1. All furniture cleaners are the same:

Different types of luxury furniture require different types of cleaners. For instance, a leather cleaner may not be suitable for a silk-upholstered sofa. Always check the furniture’s care instructions and use recommended products.

2. Not testing cleaning products:

Just because the bottle says it’s for “cleaning wood” doesn’t automatically make it safe. Different chemicals can react to the various top coats and finishes of different wood pieces differently. Before using a cleaning product on a visible part of your furniture, it’s a good idea to test it on an inconspicuous area first. This can prevent unexpected reactions like discoloration. Be smart about using store-bought products to clean your high-end furniture. One mistake could result in irreparable damage!

3. Frequent deep cleaning is necessary:

While it’s essential to keep luxury furniture clean, too much cleaning, intense cleaning, can sometimes cause damage. Overwashing can lead to color fade, shrinkage, or other forms of damage. Regular light cleaning is usually sufficient for most luxury furniture.

4. Water and soap are always safe:

Water can damage certain types of furniture, especially wood. In excess, it can cause wood to warp or crack or leave water stains on the fabric. Soap can also leave a residue, making surfaces look dull or attracting more dust. Using a simple, dry cloth is a more thoughtful way to clean your high-end furniture. Dusting with a dry cloth has the same result as using soap and water without the risks!

5. Not protecting furniture:

Here this. There is NO SUCH THING as waterproof furniture. The best protective top coating on the market can be used, and it’s still not invincible. Not using coasters, placemats, or other forms of protection can lead to scratches, rings, or different types of damage. Even high-quality furniture needs to be protected from daily wear and tear.

6. Sunlight won’t harm furniture:

Keeping luxury furniture out of direct sunlight whenever possible is generally a good idea. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the fabric to fade and the leather to dry and crack. Even wood can be affected, as direct sunlight can cause certain types of wood to darken over time.

7. Vacuuming can’t damage furniture:

While vacuuming is generally safe for cleaning your high-end furniture, when it comes to delicate fabrics, it can sometimes damage luxury furniture if not done correctly. For example, if the vacuum’s suction is too strong, it could pull and stretch the fabric. Always use the appropriate attachment and setting when vacuuming furniture. Using a textured rubber glove or a shower squeegee is incredibly effective at pulling away dust and pet fur away from delicate upholstery

8. All stains should be scrubbed vigorously:

Scrubbing a stain, particularly on a delicate material like silk or velvet, can cause the stain to spread or can damage the fibers. Instead, it’s often better to blot the stain gently.

9. Wood furniture doesn’t need moisturizing:

Just like your skin, wood can get dry and need moisturizing. This is especially true for solid wood furniture. Use a good quality wood conditioner occasionally to keep it looking its best.

10. Leather furniture doesn’t need conditioning:

Leather, just like wood, can dry out and crack over time. To prevent this, it’s essential to condition leather furniture periodically.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult the care instructions for your specific piece of high-end furniture. What works for one piece may not work for another, and what’s harmless to one material could damage another.

More About Properly Caring for Furniture

High-end furniture is a worthy investment that adds charm and elegance to your living spaces. However, maintaining the look and extending the life of these pieces require a certain degree of care. Unfortunately, several common misconceptions and mistakes about furniture care can lead to unintentional damage. This blog post aims to provide accurate information on properly cleaning and caring for your luxury furniture, ensuring it continues to grace your home for years to come.

Understanding the Material:

Before diving into cleaning and care, it’s crucial to understand the material of your furniture. Whether leather, silk, wood or another fabric, each requires specific cleaning products and methods. Remember, using the wrong product can lead to discoloration, staining, or irreparable damage.

The Golden Rule – Reading the Care Instructions:

The golden rule for cleaning high-end furniture is to read and follow the care instructions with the piece. These guidelines are created by the manufacturers, who know the best way to care for their products. Ignoring these instructions is a common mistake that can lead to unexpected damage.

Less is More – Avoid Overcleaning:

While cleanliness is crucial, overcleaning your luxury furniture can cause unnecessary wear and tear. Regular, light cleaning is often enough to keep your furniture looking pristine. A soft cloth for dusting and a gentle vacuum with the appropriate attachment is usually all you need for regular maintenance.

The Danger of Water and Direct Sunlight:

Water and direct sunlight are two elements that can unexpectedly damage your furniture. Too much water can cause wooden pieces to warp or crack and leave unsightly stains on the fabric. Direct sunlight, on the other hand, can cause fabric fading and leather cracking. Always try to blot rather than scrub spills, and consider furniture placement to avoid prolonged sun exposure.

Stains – The Need for Speed:

Always clean spills and stains off your high-end furniture as quickly as possible to prevent them from setting. The longer a stain sits, the more stubborn it becomes. However, avoid scrubbing vigorously as it can spread the stain or damage delicate fabrics.

The Importance of Protection:

Protecting your furniture from day-to-day wear and tear is another crucial aspect of care. Even the most robust, high-quality furniture needs protection from the rigors of daily life. Using coasters and placemats can prevent scratches and heat or moisture damage. Using cover and protection when your furniture is in use is the most thoughtful way to save from having to clean your high-end furniture.

Periodic Conditioning:

Just like your skin, materials like wood and leather need periodic conditioning to prevent them from drying out. Consider using a high-quality wood or leather conditioner periodically, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Testing Before Application:

Before applying any cleaning product to a visible part of your furniture, always test it on a hidden area first. This can prevent unexpected and undesirable reactions such as discoloration or staining.

Professional Help:

When in doubt, seek professional help. Professionals have the right tools and knowledge to clean and maintain luxury furniture without causing damage. It might seem like an added expense, but it could save you a lot in the long run.

Investing in luxury furniture is just the first step. To ensure that your furniture continues bringing beauty to your home, you must clean your high-end furniture properly. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to preserving the life of your luxury pieces, keeping them as stunning as the day you bought them.

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