Homeowners are starting to think about spring cleaning rituals. We organize, shuffle, wash, vacuum and even dust in corners that are normally forgotten or overlooked. We conquer our bathrooms, kitchens, dark closets and are brave enough to look under the bed. What about the furniture? More than likely, it hasn’t been cleaned, or cleaned properly, in a long time, if ever. So, it’s time for spring-cleaners to tackle their deep, dark furniture-cleaning fears. With some simple, ongoing TLC, you can extend the life of your furniture and stave off the need to buy new furniture. Just make sure you’re doing it correctly and not making things worse.
Fibrenew restoration specialists have seen people make every mistake in the book, such as using household cleaning products like baby wipes, with their leather, fabric, vinyl and plastic furniture.
DOs and DON’Ts of extending your
• Discoloration and fading.
DON’T use markers to treat spots or areas of discoloration. Many old wives tales state that you can use markers to repair discolored leather. That is NOT true. Markers cannot match the exact appearance of the leather, as it is not made for this purpose, so never use a marker to quickly remove the discoloration. You will only end up creating an irregular look.
DO regularly apply leather cleaner and try to keep furniture out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
• Drying up.
DON’T ever treat your leather with olive oil, petroleum or any other type of oil. A lot of people try to prevent drying, but the oil you use will get soaked up just like any other oil, resulting in spots and discoloration. Olive oil and all other oils actually speed up the deterioration process for leather. As leather is porous it will absorb the oil and over time the absorbed oil will lead to discoloration.
DO apply protection cream regularly.
• Sweating and sunscreen.
DON’T use household cleaners or baby wipes. They are the worst things you can use, as they will destroy the finish on your leather. Using household products may appear to work but, in the long run, will deteriorate the leather finish quicker and it may then be impossible to restore.
DO clean furniture regularly, especially after trips to the beach or other outdoor excursions.
• Rex Altree is with Fibrenew in Scottsdale. For more information, visit Fibrenew.com.