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Maintaining Your Furniture: Tips for Longevity

In these financially lean times, finding ways to save money is a constant challenge.  The internet is awash with content claiming to have the catch-all quick-fix for everyone’s cash woes – when actually it’s trying to sell you something.

Well, we don’t agree with that.  We think that one of the quickest ways to save money is to look after the things we already own.  While it is certainly true that buying new things is sometimes necessary, you’d be surprised what a little TLC will do.

Here’s a rub-down of our furniture maintenance top tips… 

General Cleaning: Things to Remember

The particulars of your furniture care routine will largely depend on the materials your pieces are made from.  Some items will be especially susceptible to staining whereas others will scratch more easily.  There are, however, rules of thumb that we should all bear in mind when we’re looking after our prized furnishings.

• Coasters and placemats are your friends.  Metal and wooden items are most susceptible to heat and moisture and most upholstery will stain easily, so a set of coasters or an equivalent is a must.

• Avoid using products containing ammonia or bleach unless absolutely necessary.  Wood, fabrics and metal could be irrevocably damaged from contact with these chemicals.

• Protect wooden and lino floors from marks left by heavy items by using pads under the feet of your furniture.

• Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight wherever possible.


• Clean with a damp cloth and mild soap.

• Remove excess soap with a second damp cloth.

• Wipe over with a dry cloth or soft towel.

• Polish with preferred product, suitable for wood.

• Dust wooden furniture as often as time will allow.

• Where possible, remove from harsh sunlight.

• Use coasters and clean any spillages immediately.

• Protect from pet damage.


• Keep glass dry whenever possible (when you’re not cleaning it, obviously).

• Use soft water to clean glass.  Distilled water is recommended for those with hard tap water.

• Only use cleaning products specifically designed for glass.

• Chamois and micro-fibre cloths work best for cleaning.

• Sheets of newspaper are great for polishing.

• Avoid using sharp or abrasive cloths and tools.

• Do not use abrasive cleaning products on antique glass and mirrors.


• Never use abrasive sponges or cleaning tools with sharp edges.

• Clean and dust as regularly as possible.  Wipe with a soft, damp cloth to remove any marks and residue, then buffer with a dry cloth, which again must be soft.

• Wipe spillages and moisture immediately.

• Never use cleaning products with abrasive ingredients.  Read the label to ensure that it’s suitable for metal.

• Like wood, metal is extremely sensitive to damp conditions.  Aim to position metal furniture way from spots prone to moisture.


• Most fabrics stain easily.  Address spillages and marks immediately.  For extra safety, consider covers and/or throws.

• Vacuum cleaners are the easiest way to remove dust and other detritus from the material’s folds.  A weekly routine should be sufficient.

• Consider your lifestyle.  Different materials will suit different types of people.  Those with pets might want to reconsider their fabric choice or decide to use sofa and chair covers for protection, for example.

• Fluff up and turn cushions regularly.  An age-old technique that ensures your furniture stays comfy and that the stress on the components is evenly distributed.

Pieces of Pride: The Antiques of Tomorrow

It’s no surprise that antiques hold such a strong appeal for so many of us.  There is something special about knowing that a combination of craftsmanship and care has seen a piece last through the years.  With a simple routine and the right methods, who knows how long your furniture might be around for: well worth the effort, we’d say… 

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