March 2, 2020 Furniture, How To
How to Prevent Damage to Your Sofa
Buying furniture is an exciting process. First, there are the trips to the showrooms to decide which furniture pieces you want to buy, then trying out all your favourite pieces and imagining them in your home. Finally, you get to bring home your new furniture.
Like most people, you want to keep your new pieces in that fresh-out-the-box, brand new state forever. The pets are banished, no-one is allowed near it with food or drink, in fact, you don’t want anyone even sitting on it.
This, however, doesn’t last long and inevitably your new piece of furniture starts to get well-used and, despite your best efforts, one day it will get its first stain. Don’t panic, we’ve covered How To Clean a Couch - the Right Way in another post, but here we want to talk about avoiding those pesky stains in the first place.
These tips will help prevent damage and staining, without having to resort to keeping your couch bubble-wrapped - figuratively, and literally - as the whole purpose of a family or living room couch is to bring people together, whether that’s enjoying a family movie night or wine and cheese with friends.
Prevention is Better Than a Cure
- Keep your couch snacks contained. Nothing says “imminent spill” like loose food. Alternatively, eat only “sofa-safe” foods on the couch, such as popcorn, chips and easy-to-eat, and easy-to-clean foods. Anything that can drip belongs at the kitchen table. Also consider sticky hands - young children may not spill their food, but may use your beautiful sofa as a hand towel!
- Avoid placing your couch in direct sunlight as this can damage the material. This is especially important with leather couches as direct heat will dry out and stiffen the material, as well as cause it to fade and discolour. Baseboard heaters, radiators, fireplaces and lamps that are placed too close to the leather can have the same effect as direct sunlight. If your leather couch is already a victim of heat or light, throw a stylish blanket over the affected area, or use colourful cushions to hide damaged spots.
- If you’ve got furry family members, protect your investment by keeping your pets’ nails trimmed, especially if you have a leather couch. Even the smallest of claw marks are highly visible. Train your pet that while your couch may look and feel like a scratching post, it isn’t! Fabric sofas are not immune to pet damage either, however small claw marks are not as visible as they can be on leather sofas.
- On the subject of pets, keep their coats short to help minimize shedding on your sofas. Leather sofas don’t hold pet hair and it can be easily vacuumed, however, fabric couches are a different beast. Pet hair can stick to fabric sofas and be particularly difficult to remove entirely. Vigourous, regular vacuuming can often do the trick, but ultimately, if you have pets that shed (and they can’t be kept off your couch), it’s probably best to get used to the idea of a little pet hair in your life.
- If you have young kids, there might be an expectation that your house—and furniture—is unlikely to be show-home worthy. If you have, or plan to have children, it’s worth investing in a sofa made with material specially designed to withstand family life, with a focus on durability, cleanability and beauty. Kid-Proof by Rowe Fabrics—available at Bondars—resists virtually all stains and spills, and some of the fabrics are also designed to repel liquids and inhibit odor-causing bacteria making them ideal for homes where sticky fingers and juice spills can be a regular occurrence.
- Some fabric couches can pill just like your favourite sweater. Pilling is when loose fibres and threads form small balls, and occurs when a fabric surface undergoes repeated friction. While it is largely unavoidable, you can limit pilling by choosing a high-quality couch. When it starts to happen, buy a depiller—an inexpensive, handy little tool that can defuzz your couch in no time.
Spills and stains on furniture are an inevitable part of home life, no matter how hard you try to prevent them. However, with a few family rules, regular pet management, and a little TLC, you can minimize the damage, and prolong the life of your new furniture piece!