Furniture Care Tips | The Furniture Mart

Furniture Care Tips

Your new furniture will be a part of your everyday life. Whether utilitarian or aesthetic—whatever the purpose, your new furniture deserves the best care you can provide.

This information is not about restoring or repairing furniture; it is about caring for and preventing damage. Understanding and dealing with the causes of damage will protect your investment and increase the longevity of your furniture. These tips will help minimize preventable damage to your furniture.

Homeowners invest a significant amount into the furniture placed in a home, and proper care and treatment will make that investment last for years to come. The general tips that follow will help extend the life of any type of furniture.
  • Ensure furniture is not in direct sunlight for extended periods
  • Keep your furniture dust-free
  • Polish or use a cleaner on your furniture every 4-6 months
  • If a spill occurs, clean it up as soon as possible to prevent stains or warp in the furniture
  • Keep furniture away from air conditioning and heating events
  • Use coasters and/or placemats to protect furniture from scratches and condensation
Leather furniture looks elegant in any home, and is easy to maintain. In order to keep your furniture in good shape for years to come as well as keeps its value, some simple steps should be taken.

Please note that the following information are guidelines to help you care for your furniture. No matter the amount of cleaning performed on your furniture, it will not be impervious to stains that cannot be removed or normal wear.

Analine Leather

Analine leather looks natural, and because of the nature scars or other ‘defects’ may appear in the furniture. Keep in mind that these marks do not mean that the furniture has a manufacturing defect. Just like humans, when scratched an animal may scar and this may be reflected in the furniture. Analine leather may show these defects more prominently. This leather type is easy to care for; simply cleaning with a soft cloth and a cleaning solution will preserve the leather. It may also be vacuumed using a soft brush extension.

Aniline Plus Leather

Another form of leather, as well as the most common seen in the furniture industry, Aniline Plus leather is treated such that the color is smoother and fewer marks in the leather will be noticeable. An added benefit of Aniline Plus leather is that it has been treated to prevent staining. Care for this type of leather is simple as well. Occasionally use a soft cloth and cleaning solution, and vacuum using a soft brush extension to keep the leather looking new.

Nubuck Leather

This type of leather undergoes further treatment and will feel like suede or velvet. Nubuck leather is more prone to staining and fading, and marks in the leather can be more noticeable. Using a cleaner specially made for Nubuck leather will not only clean the leather but protect it from staining. Of the three types of leather, it is the most difficult to maintain.
Keeping the upholstery on your furniture looking good improves the look and feel of your home décor. It is important to understand how to care for your upholstery.

Most furniture vendors utilize standard codes to help identify what the best methods are to care for your upholstery. If no codes are available or you have questions in general, contact the service department first. Using the wrong product or procedure to treat your upholstery can cause severe (and potentially expensive) damage!

The following care codes for upholstery are common:

  • S: Sparingly clean the fabric using a water-free dry cleaning solvent.
  • W: Use a water-based solution such as a mild detergent-water mixture or a foaming upholstery cleaner. Use only as much cleaner as necessary; do not soak the furniture!
  • WS: Treatment of stains with this classification of upholstery will vary on the stain. In general, use a water-based solution, dry cleaning solvent, or upholstery shampoo.
  • X: This type of fabric should be cleaned professionally. Vacuuming lightly or using a brush to remove any dirt or dust is appropriate, but using cleaning solvents or water-based solutions can damage the fabric.
When cleaning upholstery with any type of cleaner or solvent, test in a small, inconspicuous area. Some cleaners react differently with the dye and other chemicals used to treat the upholstery and may cause discoloration or other damage.

In addition to cleaning, deodorizing of the upholstery should be performed on a regular schedule. Some odors can be tough to remove, however many deodorizers use specialized enzymes to destroy the cause of the odors. As example, pet deodorizers exist on the market formulated specifically to remove pet scents.
Wood furniture makes any room look elegant, however it is important to properly care for the wood to keep it beautiful and prevent damage. The following tips should be considered to ensure your furniture will last several lifetimes!

Sunlight can be damaging to the finish of wood furniture, so keep it out of direct sunlight. All wood furniture will change color over time, regardless if it is in direct or indirect sunlight. Items on the furniture should be rotated periodically to ensure the color change is evenly distributed, preventing light or dark spots.

Use coasters to prevent damage from condensation or scratches. Be cautious of any chemicals that are placed on solid wood furniture; a leaky solvent bottle could damage the finish. For picture frames or other items that will be placed on the furniture, use felt or other cloth as a separator between the item and the furniture. Avoid plastic or rubber exposure to wood furniture as a reaction may occur damaging the finish.

Humidity levels in a home can be damaging to solid wood furniture, especially if too high or low over an extended period of time. Use air conditioning equipment (air conditioner, humidifier, and dehumidifier) to keep the relative humidity in the home between 25 and 35 percent. Keep furniture away from heat or air conditioning vents or any other sources of heat to keep humidity consistent around the furniture.

Periodically ensure the furniture is level. Homes settle and flooring will shift over time, causing furniture to require leveling. The furniture may have levelers, feet that raise and lower, to help with the process. Other furniture may require shims for leveling. When doors do not seem to open or close without friction or drawers no longer slide evenly, it is a sign that leveling should be performed.

Wiping down wood furniture with a damp cloth weekly will help it keep its luster. Do not let water pool on the wood, however. Wipe with the grain. Using furniture polish periodically will help protect the wood from drying and cracking. Each polish is different, so refer to the polish directions before using any product. Polishes that contain wax will require old wax to be completely removed to prevent buildup. Condition your dining set 4-6 times per year using wood oil that does not contain silicone.