Finding the perfect couch is extremely satisfying. It’s probably the first place where you collapse after a long day, and it does a lot to define the look of your lounge. As such, your couch should be in pristine condition so it can act as the proud centrepiece of your space. Also, buying a couch is an investment; so ideally, you’d want to keep it looking as good as possible for as long as possible. Follow our guide on how to keep your couch looking like new.
1. Once a week
According to Claire Gibson from leading furniture manufacturer, La-Z-Boy, there are a number of small things you can do on a weekly basis that will make a big difference to the longevity of your couch. “Every week, make time to plump your cushions, smooth out the upholstery, tighten the legs, and make sure that it’s standing on an even surface,” says Claire. “You can also remove the lint pilling or bobbing from the upholstery, dust down leather, and gently brush your couch.” Weekly brushing with a soft brush is particularly beneficial. “It stimulates the pile, helping with pressure marks and shading through use. But if you have a leather sofa, don’t brush it, rather whip a clean duster over it weekly,” says Claire.
2. Every Month
Once a month, you need to vacuum your couch thoroughly and rotate the cushions. “To keep your couch looking like new, vacuum using the brush attachment so that you can get into all the nooks and crannies,” says Claire. Clean the cushions, then remove them and vacuum well underneath where dust and dirt collect. “Interestingly, the sofa is often dirtier than the floor because it doesn’t get cleaned as often and people are more in contact with the sofa than the floor. Plus, thanks to human and pet dander, a couch that isn’t vacuumed regularly is a nightmare for allergy sufferers.
Aside from being better for your health, vacuuming also dramatically increases your couch’s lifespan. Weekly vacuuming will protect fabric upholstery from dirt or grime embedding itself between the fibres, which if not removed, will dramatically increase abrasion and wear and tear over time. By removing these, your upholstery will look good and stay strong for longer.
Regardless of the quality of your couch, constant use will eventually take a toll on the cushions. The good news is that the effects can be reduced by plumping your cushions on a monthly basis. Place your cushion on one of its edges and beat the opposite edge inwards with your hand. Repeat this process on all four sides, then shake the cushion to redistribute the filling evenly. Lastly, smooth out the cover.
Over the course of the year, your couch can become dull so it’s recommended that you clean it annually. However, it’s advised that you hire a professional cleaning company for the job. “Never attempt to wash your sofa yourself,” explains Claire. “It causes colours to bleed and if the padding becomes damp, it can lead to staining and interior damage.”
Follow these general rules to keep your couch looking like new:
- Don’t sit on the edge of the seat or on one of the arms. This can cause premature wearing and distortion of the filling.
- A headrest cover will prevent soiling from hair grease on pillows.
- If threads or fibres from the upholstery catch and snag, simply cut it short so that it doesn’t catch on anything else and is less noticeable.
- If the pile on your upholstery becomes flattened in areas, such as armrests, use steam to help raise the crushed pile again.
- Never expose your furniture to direct sunlight as the harmful UV rays will cause the upholstery to fade and leather to crack over time.
- Avoid using chemical cleaners as these may cause the colours to fade and the fabric to degrade. Soak up any excess moisture with a paper towel, and then use a cloth and plain water to address the stain. Dab the area in question, but never wipe.
- If you’re forced to use chemical cleaners, first test it out on a concealed area.
- Use a throw if your pets enjoy sitting on the couch.
- The addition of armrest covers will help protect them from becoming overly soiled and worn.
- Ensure that your sofa is sitting on a level floor, as any rocking will eventually distort the frame.
- Beware of damage that can be caused by sharp objects that you use or are carrying, such as studs, buckles, scissors, knives, combs and toys. All of these have the potential to snag or cut your upholstery.
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst