The sun is shining, your kids are playing, your pets are frolicking indoors and you are sweating bullets. All you can think about is what will happen when your dog or your baby daughter has an accident on the couch, or what you’ll do if your cat treats your ottoman as a scratching post or how to salvage your favorite leather chair from being worn out by that brilliant sunshine streaming in through the windows.
Sunlight, pets and children: Three things that make life grand! They’re also three things that will annihilate your upholstery if you’re not careful. At Dr. Chem-Dry Carpet & Tile Cleaning we know how to take care of any problems these little wonders and terrors can do to your fine furnishings. If you want to know how to protect your upholstery from your pets, your family or the sun, just follow these steps.
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Kids can wreck havoc on your furniture! Maintain your upholstery by rotating the cushions regularly, fluff out any wrinkles that form and vacuum it at least once a week. Pick fabrics that have higher thread counts and tighter weaves: These will be more durable and able to resist the damage that kids can easily dish out. Try to avoid highly textured fabrics, as these can get frayed and worn out quickly. And take color into consideration: Light colors spotlight soil while darker colors show off dirt and debris. Opt for medium patterned colors: Those are great for hiding all kinds of stains!
Consider purchasing stain protection when getting new pieces of furniture, or at the very least think about getting a slipcover. When you have kids in your home, the question is not if but WHEN they’ll make a mess on your upholstery. The trick to success is preparing for the worst: With a slipcover or stain protection, your upholstery will be ready to handle whatever your kids hurl at it. Even if it’s their lunch. At Dr. Chem-Dry we can apply Chem-Dry’s exclusive upholstery protectant after we clean or even your brand new upholstery.
Dogs love to run around and jump up on your furniture. A good way to protect your upholstery is to use the right kinds of fabrics. Patterned fabrics are a good choice because they hide the presence of shed hair and stains. Avoid getting tweedy fabrics because pet hair can get edged in the fibers and become hard to remove. Leather is a great choice due to its odor resistance and hair doesn’t cling easily to it. And if you get distressed leather, it will camouflage any scuffs or scratches they make in the leather.
You can also keep dog hair and slobber off your upholstery with blankets. Get a durable throw blanket to put on their favorite spot on your furniture. The blankets will be much easier and cheaper to clean than your upholstery! And if you need something with better coverage than a blanket, think about investing in protective slipcovers for your furniture.
Consider getting a dog bed. Give your dog a safe, comfortable place that they can sprawl out in to tempt them away from your furniture. Reward them for spending time in their dog bed with treats so they can be trained away from your furniture. If your dog likes to chew on things, avoid getting furniture with exposed wooden parts because they will go to town on it.
Cats love to scratch, so the key to protecting your upholstery is giving them something they can use to scratch their instinctive itch. Consider getting velvet for your upholstery fabric. Unlike most other upholstery fabrics, velvet isn’t a looped thread. It’s cut at the end like it was hair. This gives your cat’s claws little room to hook into to pull. Unable to unwind your velvet fabric, they’ll turn their attention elsewhere.
You can also get scratching posts made out of your upholstery fabric. Festoon the post with toys and jangling objects to draw their attention to it. You can also try wrapping sisal rope around table legs or pipes in your home. Not only does it add a nice aesthetic touch to your home but it gives something for your cat to scratch into pieces! Just be sure to replace the rope once it gets too frayed.
If neither of these options work for your cat, you could try capping their claws with tiny rubber nail caps. These are put on with a sticky nail-polish-like glue, and are small enough that your cat will still be able to retract their claws normally. They fall off naturally over time so you’ll have to reattach them as you go. They’re a much more humane and reasonable alternative to declawing your cat, which is an extremely painful and irreversible procedure for your feline friend.
Here comes the Sun and it’s not alright for your furniture! Direct sunlight can age and wear out your fabric quickly. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are just as destructive as a scratch-happy cat or a kindergartener with a fist full of finger paints.
To protect your upholstery from sun damage, the key is to limit its exposure to sunlight. Invest in window treatments that can restrict and dim the light flowing into your home. Position your furniture away from your windows so they don’t get the full brunt of the sun’s shine. Get slipcovers to throw over the furniture to protect it from direct contact with the light.
Most important of all: Clean your upholstery regularly! Dusty or soiled fabrics and sunlight together accelerate the destructive process. You should be cleaning and treating your furniture frequently to keep dust from settling in. Rejuvenating your furniture also has the added benefit of helping to fight and sustain any sun damage that’s already been inflicted upon your upholstery.
Related: Can an old stain still be removed years later?
Need help protecting your upholstery from your friends, your animals and the elements? Give Dr. Chem-Dry Carpet & Tile Cleaning a call at 602-243-6379.