Stains, stains go away, come again another day. Or better yet, come again never.
With cricket season just around the corner and the World Cup less than a year away we’re gearing up to spend a lot of time on the couch with our feet up, a drink in one hand and the remote in the other. To help maximise your viewing and relaxation time, check out our top tips for choosing furniture that’s easy to clean.
The amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to cleaning each piece of furniture in your home will come down to finishes, upholstery and building materials. Let’s get into it. But first thing’s first…
Upholstery: ‘Durable’ and ‘stain-resistant’ are the buzz words we’re looking for when picking the perfect upholstery.
Leather is king because it’s easy to wipe clean and will withstand most stains. However, this stain-resistance isn’t always the case with white, cream or ivory-hued leather. Ideal for fella’s with kids or messy mates, we love charcoal, black and chocolate coloured hides.
As well as being easy to clean, a leather upholstered piece of furniture will last a lifetime if cared for correctly. In fact, most leather – i.e a leather couch – becomes softer and more comfortable with age and use, so take care and you’ll never have to buy a couch again.
Vinyl used to be a dirty word, but these days, faux leather, as it prefers to be known, is making a comeback, and it’s a whole lot different to the daggy, plastic-looking nightmares that loiter in our childhood memories.
As well as imitating leather, vinyl upholstery can now impersonate different fabrics and textures, and of course, vinyl is super-simple to clean. A quick wipe down is all it needs to get it looking its best.
If you prefer the feel of fabric to leather, select contract-grade fabric that has received stain-repellent treatment. Velvet is also on the cards, which is lucky, because velvet seems to be the hottest interior design trend in recent years.
With the right treatment, liquid will run right off the fabric and stains will find it almost impossible to stick. We suggest bypassing fragile fabrics like wool and silk.
Microfiber is a synthetic fabric that boasts longevity and low maintenance. Like leather, microfiber ages better than most upholstery options, but is a much cheaper alternative. Plus, it has the added advantage of being claw-resistant. Even the sharpest cat claws will struggle to puncture or get caught in microfiber because of the material’s lack of loops found in traditionally weaved fabrics. Stains are no match for microfiber’s magic, and cleaning is as painless as blotting with a damp towel and a touch of soapy water.
It isn’t just furniture that needs cleaning; the floor space surrounding any given piece also needs to be tended to. Put dining tables, coffee tables, or any big heavy items on wheels and watch your cleaning time reduce significantly. This option allows for easy cleaning in those usually awkward spaces underneath the table and in between table legs. Buy lockable casters to avoid runaway tables.
Leaders from the Bureau of Obvious Shit tell us that lighter coloured furniture is harder to clean. So, for the guy who wants his pad looking schmick at all times, turn up your nose to white furniture because the cleaning will never stop. Even the shadow of a spec of dust will show up, so do yourself a favour and enter the dark side.
Any wooden piece of furniture with a lacquered finish will require special cleaning. Unsealed or light stained wood have masculine appeal but are not easy to clean. A damp dust with a microfiber towel (dusting in the direction of the grain) is all you can do in this case.
Varnished items can be cleaned with soapy water and a sponge, but care needs to be taken to stop the varnish absorbing too much liquid. Wax finishes require similar care, but demand soap flakes in water rather than detergent (which will dull the wax) for a lustrous finish.
Whatever finish you end up with, resist the urge to use spray polishes. They might be quick and easy and smell great, but your wood will suffer in the long run.
A Professional’s Tip…
In the bedroom, forgo a bed head. Always remember that the fewer flat surfaces you have, the less cleaning you’ll need to do.
Therefore, it’s in a wise guy’s best interests to skip those convoluted bedroom packages that come with a frame and a bed head and other bits and bobs. Go frameless and headless and all you’ll have to worry about is cleaning the sheets every now and then.