How to prevent stains on delicate upholstery
It’s unavoidable: the dinner party guest who sloshes a little red wine on the sofa, the three-year-old who takes a marker to the ottoman, the soy sauce you dripped on the armchair while eating dinner in front of the TV. Your upholstery is going to take some abuse, so here are a few strategies for preventing stains on your upholstery:
Purchase furniture with stain-repellent finishes
Some furniture manufacturers use fabrics treated the fluorochemical finishes that repel stains, and these commercially applied treatments retain their stain repelling properties better than stain repellants that are applied aftermarket. This is because the treatments more deeply penetrate the fibers of the fabric, and therefore last longer. Check the manufacturer's specifications for the product or their website to find out if their products are stain-repellant.
Apply stain-repellants yourself
There are numerous widely available stain prevention treatments available to consumers for a variety of upholstery types. These products can be purchased online, from furniture retailers, home improvement stores, and even your local grocery store, and include instructions on how to apply the product to your upholstery. While not the most lasting or effective of the stain-resistant finishes available, they are a relatively effective, low-cost option for protecting your furniture.
Have stain-repellants professionally applied
For a step above ScotchGard (TM), you can have a stain-resistant finish professionally applied to your upholstery. These products generally last longer than self-applied finishes and are somewhat more effective, but still require reapplication every few years.
Get upholstery professionally cleaned
While stain-repellants protect furniture from certain types of stains, wine, water, etc., they don’t prevent stains from environmental pollutants, like smoke, or from skin oils, which can build up on upholstered surfaces. The way to remove these stains is through regular professional upholstery cleanings. Be warned though that cleaning upholstery may reduce the efficacy of any stain-resistant finishes that have been applied, and that after a cleaning, the finish should be reapplied. In fact, before every reapplication of a stain-resistant finish, the upholstery should be professionally cleaned--this will prevent dirt or other contaminants to be trapped beneath the finish.
Preventing stains on your upholstery can seem impossible (especially if you have kids or your upholstery is white--or both!), but there are some steps you can take to minimize staining and keep your furniture looking new for longer. Buying and applying stain-resistant finishes and regular professional cleanings can keep your delicate upholstery in top condition, and keep your home looking beautiful/
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