If you’ve rented a great looking piece of furniture, you’ve probably made that decision in part to save money; that’s why you didn’t buy it outright. However, if you don’t take care of that furniture, you can find yourself keeping it anyway—and not in the wonderful condition you got it! Keeping your rental furniture looking amazing has to be a high priority, and with a little care, you can easily make it happen.. Here are our best tips for keeping your rental furniture in tip-top shape.
Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly
Experts don’t always agree about how often you should vacuum your upholstered furniture, but they all agree that it needs to be done. A standard rule of thumb is once every one to three months. Always use the vacuum’s brush or upholstery attachment, or cover the hose with a soft cloth if you don’t have the attachment—this prevents any damage to the fabric.
Fluff and flip
Beyond vacuuming, upholstered furniture with cushions needs fluffing and flipping. To maintain their comfort and shape, fluff the cushions just like you would a bed pillow, and do this about once a week. Then, about every other week you should flip your cushions. This allows them to maintain their shape and wear evenly.
Read the tags
You’ve probably heard the saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”; remember that you need to read your furniture tags because one sofa’s cleaning solution is another sofa’s damaging chemical. Not all upholstery cleaners are safe on all fabrics! The tag will tell you what’s safe to use.
W = it’s safe to use foaming or water-based cleaning agents.
S = water and water-based products are NOT safe to use and may damage the fabric; use water-free cleaning solvents or dry clean.
SW = use foaming or water-based cleaning agents, or mild water-free cleaning solvents, but only one at a time.
furnX = vacuuming only.
If you’ve never used a cleaner on a fabric or you don’t have tags to check, test a small area on the back or near the bottom of the piece—somewhere that isn’t noticeable—in case there is damage.
Avoid bright sunlight, intense heat, and high humidity
Bright sunlight can fade both fabrics and wood furniture. High heat can dry out and eventually crack leather and wood. Extreme humidity can cause mildew and warping. Keep furniture arranged out of direct sunlight if possible, and control the climate.
Keep food and drinks away from furniture
We all know not to spill things on the sofa, yet we all love to eat there in front of the television. However, this is one of the serious danger zones for your furniture, and the danger grows exponentially if you have children or guests drinking wine or other alcohol. Play it safe: keep the food and drinks away from your upholstered furniture.
Respond to spills immediately
However, when you don’t keep the food and drinks away, and disaster strikes, don’t let it sit! Blot spills gently and right away. Then clean as directed for the surface.
Use a stain protecting spray
If your rental contract allows it, invest in a stain protecting spray that can keep spills from being absorbed into the upholstery. These buy you time to clean up quickly; they do not render your furniture impervious to damage.
Stick to a schedule
If you know you need to vacuum upholstery every three months, set it on your schedule. Likewise, if you’re on a schedule for fluffing and flipping cushions, or any other maintenance, make it part of cleaning your routine.
Invest in professional cleaning
Even the most fastidious housekeeper should consider investing in professional upholstery cleaning about once a year so that whatever grime and dirt gets on your furniture never sets in. When you provide regular upkeep and an annual cleaning from a pro, your upholstery will stay beautiful.
If you have furniture that gets used less often, consider covering it with slipcovers—or just a clean sheet if you’re just looking to keep things clean on a budget. This stops dust from collecting on the surface and then being ground into the fabric when someone sits down, and it can also guard against a pet hair takeover.
Protect your tabletops with coasters, glass coverings, placemats, runners, or tablecloths, especially if you have young artists in the house.
The bottom line
Keeping furniture showroom new isn’t always possible, but you can definitely keep it looking fantastic with some simple preventative maintenance. Remember these tips for keeping your rental furniture clean, and you’ll never need any tips for cleaning furniture! You’ll also be protecting your money-saving investment.