Furniture Care

Caring for your furniture – A guide to proper furniture cleaning

(Tips and tricks to effectively clean furniture surfaces and maintain its original condition.)

Adding furniture to a space immediately spruces up the atmosphere of a room and enhances its beauty. These components that highlight the look of a place should be worthily tended with the care that they deserve. The easiest and cost-effective method known to do this is through Furniture Preservation.
After much calculated studies, the experts at Furniture Mart put a lot of thought and effort into creating this simple guide to furniture maintenance by tried and tested Furniture preservation methods. Now anyone can clean like a pro.


What is Furniture Preservation?

It is the practice of maintaining the condition of furniture and preventing external factors from affecting its materials. The most common enemies of furniture are
considered to be heat and humidity. Avoid furniture from being exposed to direct sunlight, especially wooden or upholstered, as this may cause fading over time. It is crucial to maintain consistent relative humidity in areas where furniture are kept. High humidity levels can make wood in furniture absorb moisture from the air and expand considerably, degrading the texture of wood. It can even lead to infestation by mold or insects. Furniture made of metal could be subjected to corrosion caused by oxidization. Low humidity levels in a room can make wood shrink and result in splitting and splintering.



Wooden furniture are known for its timeless appeal and strong framework making it the most popular choice. When working on wood, a good rule of thumb is to start with the gentlest cleaning solutions first and work your way up from there. Regular dusting and wiping of furniture is a good start. Use microfiber cloth to retain the wood grain and finish. For deep layers of dust and grime, wipe down your furniture with a barely damp cloth. Avoid water settling into the wood by quickly wiping down with another dry cloth.
In case of sticky residue, add a drop of dishwashing liquid on a microfiber cloth and test out on an inconspicuous spot before wiping down the whole furniture to make sure the finish doesn’t get peeled off. If it doesn’t, work on the sticky area until it’s completely clean. If the gummy stain doesn’t come off after this procedure or on extreme situations, you might need to try mineral spirits to remove the residue. Once again, in a well ventilated area, repeat the product testing on an inconspicuous patch by applying a bit of the mineral spirit onto a cloth and rubbing the area. If this still doesn’t work, you might need to consider refinishing the piece.
To help wood furniture to be protected and keep its shine, apply semi-solid wax (without silicone) using a cheesecloth on its surface. Let the wax sit for a few minutes before buffing it with a clean microfiber cloth. Keep away from polish sprays as they can leave a residue and spoil the wood texture.


Metal furniture adds a touch of modernism and works cohesively with minimalist interior trends. However, these beauties are highly likely to be subjected to the unavoidable phenomenon of rusting and corrosion. Rust damage occurs due to excessive moisture in air, especially during monsoon and winter seasons or if the furniture is set in a building located close to a water body, for instance like the beach or a waterfall.
Effective measures can be taken to prevent this by identifying the amount of rust buildup, tools and methods to tackle the problem. To avoid rusting, wipe moisture off from furniture, if there is any. At the earliest signs of stains, use a mild cleanser with a cloth and rub continuously till the rust turns reddish brown and comes off. In case of existing rust patches, there are various household items that come in handy to eliminate these. Baking soda made into a thin paste with some water or hydrogen peroxide (for intense rust buildup), white vinegar mixed with a bit of salt and Coca Cola are natural cleaning agents that help to get rid of rust. Apply any one of the mixture on to the affected area and leave it on for 10 – 15 minutes. Scrub off the rust particles with a toothbrush, metal dish scrubber or scrunched up aluminium foil. You may also use potatoes cut in half (contains oxalic acid that dissolves rust) or lemons coupled with plenty of salt to rub away rust stains.
Apply a thin coat of paint or paste wax as a water repellant layer for rust-free furniture.


Leather furniture are the go-to option for anyone wanting to give their interior a luxurious look. It is the most versatile of all materials used in furniture upholstery. Owing to this fact, it is very easy to clean and maintain leather furniture. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and cleaning if the furniture piece comes with any, as different types of leather may call for different cleaning techniques.
Vacuum the furniture during general cleaning to remove food particles and dirt. To wipe down the leather, always use a white, soft, damp cloth to ensure that you don’t transfer any dye from the cloth on to the leather by mistake. Avoid using alcohol, harsh cleaning agents and abrasive methods to clean the leather as this may result in irreparable damage. Use mild soap to clean by testing it on an inconspicuous spot to make sure that the soap doesn’t damage or discolour the leather. After the patch test, wipe down using the soapy cloth in gentle circular motions. It is best not to rinse the soap away, as the soap helps to condition the leather. Use another dry cloth to remove the moisture and buff the surface.
In case of grease stains, avoid using a damp cleaning cloth as this may spread the stain. Instead, use a dry cloth to blot the grease up from the surface as much as possible. Sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch on the stain and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the powder using a soft bristle brush. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process as many times as needed. This method may also be used for ink stains. As this is the toughest of stains, it is possible you might not be able to remove the stain completely after this process. In such circumstances, you may need to have your furniture piece treated by a leather restoration professional.


Upholstered furniture creates a sense of comfort and spruces up the space with ‘feel good’ vibes. We love to unfurl on comfy, upholstered furniture and let it enfold us within its cushiony comfort but the same cannot be true when the furniture is dirty and not cared for. Here’s how you can clean upholstered furniture the right way.
Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dirt and debris from the surface. A lint roller can be used to remove pet hair and lint that stubbornly cling even after vacuuming. Determine the type of fabric used in the upholstery. Read the instruction label that comes with the furniture for appropriate cleaning methods. Some of the codes that may be spotted on a label are as follows:
WS: A mild detergent and a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent can be used.
S: Only dry-cleaning detergent can be used.
X: Only a vacuum can be used. No water.
W: Water can be used.

To lift stains off of upholstered furniture, commercial cleansers may be used or you can make your own homemade cleaners right from the ingredients available in your kitchen. For fabric upholstery, use a spray bottle filled with ¼ cup of vinegar, ¾ cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon of dishwash soap and mist the stained area. Scrub with a soft cloth until the stain is removed and use a second damp cloth to clear away the soap. Dry the area with a towel. For synthetic upholstery implement the same method by only tweaking the ingredients in the sprayer to ½ cup of vinegar, 1 cup of warm water and ½ tablespoon of dishwash soap. Let the furniture air dry. For speed drying during humid weather, you may have to set up a fan pointed at the furniture to avoid mildew growing on the cushions and fabric.


Eco-friendly interiors and architecture include wicker furniture to complement the natural and organic aesthetics of the space. The light and airy feel of wicker furniture makes it easy to move them around and easier still to clean. Wicker furniture are usually made of reed, cane, bamboo and rattan to name a few.
The natural fibers present in wicker tend to dry out, so it is crucial to keep these furniture away from direct sun and heat sources. Dust your wicker furniture regularly to prevent accumulation of dust and allergens. Use clear furniture polish to repel dust and grime for days.
To restore the pliable nature and moisture of wicker, place the furniture piece in a tub filled with warm water or spray it with a hose. This will help to retard the splitting of fibers and lengthen the life of your furniture. Split fibers of wicker make the edges of the furniture rough and may cause accidents. To prevent this, use sandpaper to sand out the sharp edges. Apply a layer of lacquer on your wicker furniture once a year or once in two years to ensure quality and retain the strength of the materials.


The glossy texture of vinyl and laminate furniture make it very easy to clean and maintain. Using an oil-free furniture spray or a clean damp cloth with mild liquid soap can keep dirt at bay. Make sure you dry off the surface completely to avoid soap residue. Stubborn stains can be removed by applying a paste made using baking soda and warm water on the soiled area. After leaving it on for 10 minutes, gently rub with a toothbrush until the stain is lifted. Rinse the area and wipe off with a dry cloth.
The steps to cleaning vinyl furniture is roughly the same as cleaning leather furniture.

With consistent cleaning and careful treatment you can take care of your furniture, making it look great and last for years. Try out these proven methods as they are sure to help you. However, if all else fails and you are unsure how to proceed, do not feel disheartened. Call a local furniture repair company and see if they can offer a consultation.

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