Knowing how to clean and care for your sofa is the key to an elegant living space. We all have homes that have to cater for young children, pets and general day to day spillages but these inevitabilities needn't be the end of the world. In this blog we offer a cleaning and care guide that will help you to take sofa spillages, smells and stains in your stride.
Taking preventative measures
The first step in caring for your sofa is taking preventative measures. Our top tip when pairing family-life, pets and general wear and tear with sofas is shopping for fabrics that are hydrophobic. By this, we mean leather and manmade fibres such as polyesters and Omega velvet that won't absorb grease or oil. These fabrics are ideal for avoiding the consequences of spillages and pet-accidents. Any spillages will simply sit upon the yarn and be easy to clean. On the other hand, there are hydrophilic fabrics such as cotton and linen which are more complex as their yarn is absorbent.
How to get rid of smells from your sofa
If you're dealing with a fabric that is hydrophilic and therefore absorbs smells and stains due to a natural yarn, you will need to remove the cases on your sofa cushions and either send them off for dry cleaning or wash them yourself on a very low temperature and then leave them to dry naturally and stretch them out to their original shape when they are damp. We recommend cleaning all cushions and seats at the same time in order to keep a uniform pigment.
What about stain guards?
At Raft, we sell a lot of stain guarded products so that you're protected from the outset. However, if you're looking to insure another fabric, we offer an insurance policy on all of our furniture at an incredibly low price of £40 a seat for 5 years.
When it comes to buying a Raft sofa we don't recommend add-ons. Therefore, if you do choose to use a stain guard on your sofa, do so with consideration of the fact that it may alter the makeup of your fabric. We recommend checking who manufactured your fabric and contacting the fabric house independently to get advice that is unique to your fabric.
Cleaning codes on fabric furniture
The four most common: W (wet), S (solvent), WS (wet/solvent), and X (vacuum only).
Water based solutions are suitable for these types of fabric. However, use just a damp towel, do not soak your sofa exteriors. Do not use cleaning products with harsh chemicals in them, such as rubbing alcohol; they will break down your fabric’s exterior and cause damage.
Only use water-free solvents on these kinds of textiles. This means that rubbing alcohol, clear alcohols, and dry-cleaning solvents are ideal for this type of fabric.
Wet cleaning and solvent cleaning (WS)
This hybrid instruction means you can use both dry solvents and wet cleaning products on these types of fabrics. So, either of the above. Again, remember that it is inadvisable to saturate the fabric with liquid during cleaning, as this will cause permanent damage.
Vacuum only (X)
Clean these types of fabric with a vacuum or a brush. Beyond this, any stains or spills must be addressed by a visit to the dry cleaners as they require the care of specialist equipment.
We definitely recommend dry cleaning as the superior method for tackling smells and stains (especially those that are pet-related). It's the most effective and damage-proof method and will actually allow the makeup of the fabric to keep its natural stain guard.
However, if you're dealing with pets that are constantly up on the sofa, perhaps it's a case of consistently masking smells rather than a deep clean. In that case, products such as Febreze will neutralise the smell (although don't spray too close as it can get in between the fibres and make a fabric patchy). Also, we'd steer clear of brush products as they essentially sandpaper the yarn.
You should never vacuum the front border of the cushions of your sofa if they have feathers in them. The reason for this is that it will pull the feather through the cambric. Yes, the frame can be gently vacuumed if necessary but when it comes to the cushions, it's a different story. If a sofa is only feather and down and it doesn't have a foam core up to the front edge of the sofa, never run a powerful vacuum cleaner over it. Make sure your vacuum has a very low setting or you can vacuum by pulling the pretty case away from the interior feathers or avoid it altogether.