From your favourite leather loveseat to your fabric three-seater sofa, your furniture will look and feel it’s best for far longer when you invest a little bit of your time into taking care of it.
From creased fabric and sagging cushions to stains, faded fabric and cracked leather, many of the obvious signs of an aging sofa can be avoided with a combination of the right products and a good sofa care routine.
In this blog post, we’ll share 10 simple tips that you can use to keep your leather or fabric sofa looking and feeling great for far longer, preventing you from ever having to get it repaired or reupholstered.
PROTECT YOUR SOFA FROM THE SUN
Direct sunlight can dry out your sofa’s leather upholstery and cause it to rip and crack over time. It can also damage fabric upholstery by weakening the fibres and causing the dyes used to colour your sofa to fade.
Keep your sofa away from sources of direct sunlight and, if possible, away from heat sources such as radiators. A small amount of sunlight daily will kill bacteria, but too much can significantly shorten your sofa’s lifespan.
FILL SAGGY CUSHIONS WITH NEW FOAM
If your sofa has foam cushions, it’s highly likely that these will soften and ‘settle in’ over the first few months of ownership. This is completely normal and can largely be prevented by rotating your cushions and sitting on them both evenly.
Over several years, however, foam cushions can begin to sag and become far less supportive. If your cushions aren’t as comfortable as they once were, refill them with new foam for a more comfortable, longer lasting sofa.
DON’T SIT ON THE BACK OR ARMRESTS
Do you occasionally sit on your sofa’s armrests? If so, stop! The armrests and back of your sofa aren’t designed to support a human’s bodyweight and will quickly begin to sag if you make a habit out of sitting on them.
As well as not sitting on your sofa’s back or armrests, try not to sit too far forward on your sofa’s bottom cushions. Sit back and distribute your weight evenly to stop creases from forming in the leather or fabric upholstery.
CLEAN STAINS BEFORE THEY SETTLE IN
From red wine to Coca-Cola, it’s essential that you clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent them from staining your sofa. Even ‘harmless’ liquids like water can lead to nasty stains that are difficult to remove from your sofa if you leave them alone.
If you spill a drink on your sofa, take action and clean it up immediately. Make sure you dab your sofa gently when cleaning up a spillage; rubbing hard on the fabric or leather can wear it down and weaken the fibres and colour.
DUST YOUR SOFA CUSHIONS FREQUENTLY
Nothing looks worse than a neglected sofa. As well as ruining your sofa’s looks, dust can be a magnet for mites and other pests. Pick up your sofa cushions frequently to brush away dust and you’ll significantly extend your sofa’s lifespan.
A great way to keep your sofa dust-free is by vacuuming between cushions once per week. Turn down your vacuum’s power setting and make sure there are no delicate objects that could get sucked up, then gently vacuum between your sofa’s cushions.
PLUMP AND REVERSE CUSHIONS DAILY
Plumbing and reversing your cushions will prevent them from becoming unevenly worn. At the end of each day, plump your cushions to prevent creases, wrinkles and other unsightly annoyances from forming.
Whether your sofa uses foam or fibre cushions, it’s worth rotating your cushions to prevent uneven wear. Rotate your cushions and flip them every few days to prevent them from becoming flattened or sunken.
WASH AND REFIT LOOSE COVERS OFTEN
Does your sofa have a loose cover? If so, you can keep it looking fresh and new by washing and refitting its cover frequently. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to prevent your covers from shrinking during cleaning.
Once you’ve refitted your loose covers, you may need to iron them to remove any creases and wrinkles. Iron your sofa covers through another piece of fabric using a low heat setting to make sure you don’t cause any damage to the sofa’s upholstery.
SIT BACK SLOWLY AND DELIBERATELY
No matter how light you might be, when you throw your weight onto your sofa you could end up damaging its frame. Sit back on your sofa slowly and carefully to keep your weight distribution even and avoid causing any damage.
If your sofa back reclines, it’s important to recline slowly and gradually. Don’t throw your weight into your sofa when you sit down or lean back; instead, sit back slowly and smoothly to keep the reclining mechanism in good condition for longer.
DON’T LET JEWELLERY CAUSE SNAGS
Rings, key chains, bracelets and other jewellery can catch on your sofa’s upholstery and cause snags. If you wear jewellery that could result in damage to your sofa, be careful when sitting down or moving to prevent it catching on the fabric.
If a snag does occur, cut off the loose thread carefully using a pair of scissors. Never pull on any loose threads that pop out from your sofa’s cushions, as you could end up unravelling an important thread used in your cushion’s construction.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR LEATHER SOFA
Leather sofas require maintenance in order to look their best, and doing nothing to your leather sofa could end up shortening its lifespan. Clean your leather sofa often using a microfiber cloth to keep dust, dirt and other annoyances at bay.
It’s also important to protect your leather sofa from sunlight and moisture when you aren’t at home. Cover your leather sofa with a fabric slipcover before holidays so it’s protected from the sun and unlikely to crack or fade.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CARING FOR YOUR FURNITURE
From leather sofas to wooden dining sets, caring for your furniture will extend its lifespan and keep it looking, feeling and working at its best for longer. Many of the best ways to extend your furniture’s lifespan are surprisingly quick and easy.
Would you like to learn more about caring for your living room, dining room and bedroom furniture? Read our Furniture Care Guide to learn how to increase your furniture’s lifespan and enjoy the best in looks and comfort for decades.