It is important that furniture be well cared for and kept in top condition for as long as possible. Good furniture is expensive and should be thought of as an investment that deserves attention and protection. Well cared for furniture is more likely to retain its lustre, look better and last longer than furniture that is neglected. Devoting a little time and spending a minimal amount of money can make a huge improvement to the life of all furniture – from leather armchairs to wooden cabinets to glass-topped coffee tables.
Keeping items of furniture clean is one of the easiest ways to prolong their life. Furniture should be regularly vacuumed to remove dust and other particles that could build up and cause abrasions or surface damage. Gentle vacuum cleaning also helps to remove allergens such as dust and pollen, which can stain the furniture if left unchecked for too long. Once particles of dust and dirt have been removed, the furniture should be cleaned gently using a suitable product. In some cases water is an adequate cleaner; in other cases specially designed treatments should be used, such as cleaning solutions for leather sofas.
Using specific cleaners will help to keep furniture looking newer for longer, if used regularly and correctly. Sometimes water may cause smearing or loosening of adhesive, for example on wooden furniture. To avoid unintentional damage, some research should be conducted on the requirements of a particular furniture item before it is cleaned with any potentially harmful solutions.
One of the best ways to keep furniture in good condition is to protect it with a suitable covering, such as a tablecloth or a fabric throw. The covering can easily be cleaned and the actual surface of the furniture will not come into contact with dust, light or other factors which may contribute to ageing. Covering is an especially easy and inexpensive way to keep furniture in top condition, and can also help to add atmosphere to a room – for example, a fitted sheet of glass on top of a dining room table will help protect the surface from scratches, and enhance the sheen of the timber.
Some furniture can be treated with special substances that provide a protective coating to the surface and help it last longer. Examples include waxes or polishes for wood, and lotions for leather. Waxes and polishes make wooden furniture more resistant to light scratches and the accumulation of dust. In the case of leather – which is a porous material – protective lotions help to prevent it being damaged by moisture, light and dust. People wishing to treat their furniture should always ensure that the substance is suitable for the specific furniture item, and should follow the correct process in accordance with instructions, in order to prevent unwelcome damage.
Keeping the home tidy doesn’t cost anything, yet it can be a factor in prolonging the life of furniture. For example, a dining table that is kept clean and only used as a dining table, is likely to last longer (and look better) than one that is loaded with piles of paperwork, magazines and other debris.