One of the easiest ways to make a room feel fresh and airy is to bring in light colored furniture. It not only looks great in any space, but can serve as a blank canvas to any colour scheme you may choose.
However the potential downside – and the reason many shy away from light furniture – is that it does take a little more effort to keep clean, especially when you have small children or pets.
There’s no denying little peanut butter fingerprints or muddy paw prints will eventually make their way onto your furniture, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to banning your children and pets from that room. There are ways you can clean and minimize stains to keep your light furniture looking great for years to come.
1. Invest in Stain-Resistant Finishes
Leon’s offers several stain protection plans through their Platinum service. You can also purchase fabric protection sprays which minimize potential stains, but it’s always wise to do a colourfast test in an inconspicuous area of your furniture before applying everywhere to ensure no discolouration will occur.
2. Regular (daily) Vacuuming
If left unattended, dust build up will turn into dirt and grime on the the areas that come into contact with skin, such as the arms of couches and seat cushions. These dust particles can get pushed into the fibres every time someone sits or uses the furniture, eventually taking the appearance of a stain. Practicing regular vacuuming of your furniture as part of your cleaning routine will minimize all of those loose particles of dust from settling into the fabric. This is especially helpful when you have furry babies that like to jump onto the furniture, but regular vacuuming of your furniture will make it appear brighter and keep pet hair from penetrating the fabric.
3. Spot Cleaning Stains
It’s important to spot clean a stain as soon as possible, ensuring you blot a spot rather than scrub as scrubbing too harshly can make the weave of the fabric become loose. Work in a circular motion and use a cotton rag, and here’s a little secret – use reverse osmosis water to treat any common stains. Just place some water onto a clean cotton rag and rub it around the stains. Carbonated water also works great to loosen the particles so they’re easier to remove. For heavier stains such as wine, tomato sauce or lipstick, you may need to use a fabric cleaner and the entire surface may need to be cleaned as opposed to the single spot where the stain occurred.
4. Spot Cleaning Stains Exception
Contrary to Tip #3, there are instances when it may be appropriate to wait before addressing a stain. When you have a dog like ours who asks to go out to the backyard (rings a bell we hang by the door) – because he needs to use the washroom, is hot, sees a rabbit, is bored, thinks I’m comfortable, or feels the 5 minutes that has passed since he last went out is far too long – there are times when he’ll come back in and sneak past me and onto his favourite chair before I’m able to clean his paws. This can sometimes leave muddy prints on the furniture and in these instances, I find that by allowing the dirt to dry prior to treating it, you can easily vacuum the dried mud and then spot clean any remaining debris, versus trying to clean it right away, which tends to push everything around and makes it worse.
Remember that a home is about life happening and lets face it, sometimes life can be messy. It’s what makes it interesting and those little fingerprints over your furniture won’t last forever, so embrace them. And if that doesn’t work for you, you could always just flip your cushion over 🙂