Upholstery Tips from Nick

Upholstery Tips from Mary Interior Decorator

With over 45 years’ experience in the decorating industry, the team from Mary Interior Decorators have seen it all – from dog damage to red wine stains and everything in between. In this blog Nick Prokas, who currently runs the family business shares some useful tips on what you should and should not be doing to your favourite sofa…

DO Act Quickly

When it comes to stains, speed of response is everything.  This can prevent it from being absorbed by the upholstery fibres or seeping through to the underlying padding.  The quicker the reaction time, the greater the chance of removing the stain completely.

DO Test Your Cleaning Solution

If you accidentally choose the wrong cleaning solution or stain remover, you will make the stain worse, or damage the upholstery even more.  Test the stain remover in an inconspicuous area of the furniture.

Do Read the Instructions

Stain removers often require special application methods, drying time, or have cautions for use.  Read the labels of any cleaning solutions you plan to use. Also read the labels of the furniture itself to look for notes or instructions for care and cleaning.

Don’t Start in the Centre

It’s tempting to start blotting the stain in the very centre, however this is where the stain is most concentrated and by starting in the centre, you’ll make the stain spread even more.  When attacking a stain, wipe or blot from the outer stain edges and work toward the centre.

Don’t Rub or Scrub

Rubbing or vigorous scrubbing forces the stain further into the upholstery fibres and can even result in wearing away the material. If you rub or scrub hard enough, it can sometimes create heat which will result in the stain chemically bonding to the material. Scrubbing can also cause the pile to become distorted.  Instead of rubbing or scrubbing when cleaning upholstery, scrape up what you can with a spoon and then blot the stain with a clean towel.

Don’t Use Bleach

Think twice before using bleach or bleach products on the stain.  Bleach can often make the stain worse and the affected area larger.

Don’t Use Heat

Hot water can change the chemical structure of the stain, causing it to bond to the upholstery surface.  Food, blood, and other protein stains are particularly susceptible to heat.  Vinegar and other acids will also act as heating agents, promoting chemical alterations.  Always use water that is cool or only warm.

Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals and cleaning solutions can irreparably damage upholstery.  Simple mild detergents combined with water will often remove a stain, especially when used immediately.

Probably our most important tip for upholstery cleaning is this: DON’T try to take on an upholstery cleaning project if you’re unsure of how to handle it, rather seek advice from a professional!

Mary Interior Decorators has extensive experience with bespoke furnishings, upholstery and curtaining. With 45 years in the business, we are confident that we can offer you the best quality products and services.

Contact us by calling 011 268 0329 or emailing us on nikos@marysinteriors.co.za.

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