Imagine your perfect living room, with just the right sofas, gleaming wooden end-tables, a good, hard-wearing carpet... it's just how you planned it, each piece perfect.
Of course, there's just one problem – you don't live in a showroom. Your gorgeous furniture, beautiful carpet, all of it's going to get dirty at some point – dust, kids spilling juice, dogs shaking muddy water all over it; that's life and you wouldn't trade it for all the perfect, untouched furniture in the world.
Cleaning furniture, upholstery and carpets shouldn't have to be a monumental task. By taking just a little bit of care and doing some basic, regular maintenance on your furniture, you can keep it looking good for years.
Fabric is the first thing to show signs of wear and dirt, but it's also pretty simple to maintain, as long as you keep a few basic principles in mind.
1 – To clean up a fresh spill, grab a cloth and blot the liquid up as much as possible. Don't scrub at it, as this could damage the fabric. For cleaning sofas, couches and chairs, try to minimize how much liquid gets through to the padding or wood frame. For cleaning carpets, try to minimize how much gets trough to the underlayer or floor, and for cleaning rugs, blot from both sides.
2 – Know which detergent to use. Get guidance from the tag, if you still have one attached. If it isn't, it will help to know what type of fabric it is. The tag system works like this:
W is for water-based cleaners only, like gentle soap suds
S is for waterless cleaners only, like dry products on alcohol-based detergents
WS is for either water-based or waterless cleaners, whichever you have on hand
X is for the professionals to handle!
3 – Regular seasonal maintenance is important. Start by vacuuming your furniture or carpet thoroughly to remove dust, mites, pet hair and all the assorted debris that builds up over time. Follow that up with stain removal using your appropriate detergent – take this gently and use blotting, not rubbing, or soft sweeping motions if using a brush, to work the stain out of the fabric.
Soft as Skin
Leather is one of the toughest, hardest-wearing furniture covers you'll ever have, and also one of the easiest to take care of if you keep these things in mind:
1 – Leather is organic and therefore susceptible to its environment, just like wood. Don't put it too near direct heat sources, or in direct sunlight, or any area where it will get faded and dry. Keeping it good and moisturized with leather treatments will help, but not eliminate this kind of damage, so take care with placement.
2 – Water-based cleaners are perfectly fine for leather, but you'll want something with a little more kick to get rid of oily or sticky build-up. A home-made mix of water and vinegar will do the trick for regular maintenance.
3 – Regular maintenance, again. Follow much the same process as for fabric. Vacuum thoroughly before washing with a damp, not wet, sponge or cloth and make sure it's thoroughly dried before applying your leather treatment.
Cleaning your Amish table and keeping it looking beautiful for the years to come is a reasonably straightforward job. For starters, we have a number of recommended furniture care products to help you do it. But there are some things you'll need to do that just involve a little elbow grease and care.
1 – Dust is not your friend. Dust your wooden furniture regularly with a clean, soft cloth – a duster will just move the dust into the air, from where it's going to settle right back down on your table.
2 – A good wash once a year is enough, unless your Amish dining table is doubling as a bread-kneading table. Use warm, lightly soapy water to thoroughly wash the whole piece, then rinse well and dry it off – don't leave it to dry on its own! With varnished or painted pieces, use as little water as possible, especially if there are cracks or damaged areas in the finish.
3 – Waxing and polishing is really only needed for raw or unfinished wood. Either method is just fine, but whichever one you choose is the one you should stick with, because mixing wax and polish just creates a mess.
If your table has been painted or varnished, you can polish it up to a good shine once a year or so, but it's not necessary. It's more important for these pieces to make sure the varnish or paint is in good condition, as they are protecting the wood beneath.
Keep up the maintenance on your furniture – it's worth the few hours every three or four months to make sure your furniture lasts and stays looking good for life.
There is good range of Furniture care products at Amish Tables store as well.
There's nothing quite like a solid, beautifully made piece of furniture – the kind where you can tell, just by looking at it, that it was made by someone who knows the wood, cares for it, understands it, and loves it. Here is our blog post on Why Choose Hardwoods.