Typically, a sofa lasts more than 10 years, but between takeaways, muddy feet and moulting pets, they regularly bear much of the brunt of family life.
If your sofa needs a bit of a spruce up to restore it back to life, here’s how to keep your sofa looking new.
Give it a weekly vacuum
This is just what brush and crevice tools were made for, and very satisfying it is, too, to suck up the debris from the side of the sofa! Check for any coins first – you’d be surprised at how many can be lurking down there! Avoid vacuuming with the main head, as crumbs and other nasty bits and pieces can rub up against the fabric where you sit, which can gradually wear away the weave and pile.
Plump up the cushions
Pull them back into shape at the end of an evening’s sitting – that way, they’re more likely to stay in shape for longer.
Use throws and blankets to protect the sofa – and keep everyone warm. Consider using arm covers to protect upholstery from perspiration and other fluids, which can affect the long-term durability of fabric. You can buy ready-made covers over the internet or get some made up to match your upholstery.
If you have a pet, it’s well worth using throws – make sure they are ones that can be washed frequently in the washing machine.
If throws aren’t an option, remove pet hairs with a lint roller or by wearing rubber gloves and running your hands over the upholstery, before plunging your gloved hands into hot water and watching the hairs float off.
Be a stain-buster
The most common stains are tea and coffee, chocolate, wine and juice. Throws and cushions are a great cover-up as a last resort, but if you tackle them quickly, you should be able to remove most marks.
If you spill something, act fast for the best chance of avoiding a permanent stain. Blot up as much as possible using white kitchen paper and then, working from the outside in, gently clean with warm water. Check a hidden area first for colorfastness. If the stain persists, try a stain remover. Wash or dry-clean loose covers according to the fabric type.
If covers cannot be removed, have them cleaned professionally. Use a dry cleaner that is a member of the Textile Services Association.
Love the leather
If you have a leather sofa, remove all-over grime by wiping it with a soft, damp cloth. Occasionally, apply leather hide food or saddle soap to prevent the leather from drying out and to protect against stains.