Furniture Maintenance

To have the use of an upholstered piece of furniture as long as possible, it should be taken care of appropriately.

What to do:

- hoover upholstery regularly using a vacuum cleaner furniture attachment,
- hoover at a low suction level, paying special attention to trimmings and edges.

What to avoid:

- rubbing violently,
- rubbing with a rough sponge and/or a coarse cloth,
- cleaning with a vacuum cleaner set to the highest suction level.

Stains are dirt which, by using and/or the influence of an environment, got into some less or more limited surface of a textile material. In other words - undesirable matter in an unsuitable place. A type and the composition of stains vary enormously. Stains rarely consist of a homogeneous substance. The most often, it is about a mixture of different components which have to be removed by suitable stain removing agents. Therefore, to remove one stain, a number of different stain removers have to very often be used one after the other. Thus, when starting removing stains from a fabric, it is important to determine earlier a type of substance of which the stain consists as well as from which raw material the material is made. This will enable to use such agents which will remove the stain, and not ruin the fabric.

At the same time it needs to be remembered that:

- strong acids ruin fabrics from plant fibres (cotton and linen),
- lye, even weak and diluted, weaken materials from animal fibres (wool, real silk),
- hot water and caustic soaps ruin wool materials and materials from synthetic fibres,
- oxidising agents (chloride, soda) weaken cotton, linen and ruin wool,
- for getting out stains, we use solvents, bleaches and/or special stain cleaners - in small quantities,
- always get out with a window open and far from fire,
- before getting out, the durability of dyes needs to be checked,
- acetone must not be used for cleaning ware from an acetate fibre because the ware will dissolve,
- chemicals must not be mixed. When a fabric was already cleaned using one chemical agent, it should be dried and rinsed thoroughly first and cleaned using another agent not until then.

Once an agent for getting out a stain is selected, a stain removal technique is determined. In the case of a coloured material, the effect of a stain cleaner on the material dye should be tried out in barely visible places. Stains should be removed as quickly as possible after noticing a stain. A fresh stain is removed far easier than an old one because a staining substance will not have enough time to penetrate into the fibres from which a material is built. Stain removal involves using mechanical actions (e.g. crumbling, scraping off), higher temperature (a hot iron), solvents (e.g. turpentine, petrol), porous substances (e.g. magnesia with petrol) as well as such that decolour a staining substance and/or form easy-to-remove chemical compounds with it. After applying solvents, it is important to remove them thoroughly together with dirt, otherwise a stain mark is created around the place from which the stain was removed. To avoid stain marks, a thick base from a white cotton or linen fabric is put under a stained material and hit stained places using a dressing gauze compress, soaked in a solvent, by pressing it lightly to the stain not until then. After pressing a few times, replace the compress with a clean one. Also the bases should be replaced often. Also wetting the material with water around the stain prevents creating a stain mark. After applying substances causing chemical reactions on a material, a stain cleaner should be removed carefully after getting out a stain (by rinsing in water and/or neutralising using appropriate reagents), otherwise the material will become damaged at once or after some time.

In the end, a few helpful pieces of advice enabling to get out stains off our fabrics easily and effectively.

- Try to get stains out right away when they appear,
- Use an absorbent cloth, by wiping a stain with circular movements from the outside to the inside. Do not rub in,
- In the case of greasy and/or wet stains, first use crepe paper, and then a clean, dampened and soft sponge to absorb the stain quickly. Then, clean with lukewarm water and a neutral cleaning agent for hand washing, by rinsing out soap with clean water. Wipe off with a cloth and let it dry at room temperature,
- In the case of caked stains, remove an excess of a staining substance with a blunt tool, e.g. a spoon, and then follow the instructions included under point 3,
- Do not stretch or yank fabric,
- When using a solvent, do not apply it directly to a stain, use a clean cloth and/or at first apply to an invisible part of a couch,
- When using a stain remover, remove any residue with a clean cloth and a soft brush, by always brushing with the grain,
- Never sit on a upholstered piece of furniture until it is completely dry,
- After drying, clean a piece of furniture at the lowest suction level of a vacuum cleaner using a furniture cleaning attachment.

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