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Furniture Care

Caring for Wood Furniture

Each piece of wood furniture is unique and there are variations in grain appearance and stain coloration. Random distressing is often applied which adds an aged look on some of the pieces. Distressing is common and adds character, providing a “one of a kind” piece to each customer. To some distressing may appear as a defect, however, it enhances the piece providing a unique look. Proper care of your wood furniture will keep it looking great for years to come.
  • The care of wood furniture varies according to the wood type, finish and function of the piece.
  • Remember that wood is a natural material that is susceptible to climate changes and the elements such as changes in temperature or humidity levels in your home. Wood breathes, which causes expansion and contraction of joints and seams based on climate changes. Air conditioning in the spring and summer, and humidifiers in fall and winter are recommended to help maintain wood furniture.
  • Use felt pads on any surface that comes in direct contact with the wood furniture. Table pads, fabric place mats, fabric tablecloths, and trivets are recommended to prevent heat transfer or water damage on tables. Avoid certain materials like rubber or plastic, which might react with your finish. Color from plastic tablecloths, appliance covers, plastic place mats and toys can leach into the wood over time. Plastic may stick to a wood surface, damaging the wood finish when it is pulled up.
  • Never use harsh chemicals or abrasives on any finish. Keep solvents such as nail polish remover and alcohol away from wood furniture.
  • Store table leaves in a horizontal position to avoid warping. Opening and closing of tables to insert or remove leaves requires two people to avoid damage to table legs.
  • Always use coasters under beverages or potted plants.
  • Do not allow spills to dry on the finish.
  • Avoid placement in direct sunlight, in front of radiators, air ducts, or fireplaces.
  • Dust with a dry, soft cloth.
  • Polish regularly with a good quality alcohol and silicone free polish. Belfort offers a variety of fine wood care products.
  • Some furniture pieces have built in leveling mechanisms. Periodically, wood furniture will need to have the leveling adjusted to ensure smooth operation of doors and drawers. Wood wedges can be used for leveling as needed.
  • Treat drawer glides with candle wax or Vaseline for smooth operation.

Caring for Upholstered Furniture:

  • To prevent fading, avoid placing furniture in direct sunlight.
  • Rotate cushions and pillows weekly to distribute fabric wear evenly.
  • Vacuum all upholstery weekly to prevent permanent soiling and abrasion from dust, crumbs, etc. Use a brush attachment to avoid damage to fabrics. Do not vacuum Down Cushions, instead use a whisk broom or soft brush to clean fabric.
  • Periodically use professional upholstery cleaning. The wear and use of your furniture will largely determine the frequency of cleaning.
  • Prevent “bleeding” ink; do not leave newspapers or other printed materials on upholstery.
  • Clean up spills immediately following the suggested spot cleaning method for your fabric. Before trying to remove a stain determine the fabric type typically found on the manufacturer’s label. The following codes are standard from manufacturer’s:
    • WS – Clean with water-based cleaning agents and foams, as well as with many water-free dry cleaning solvents.
    • W – Use water based cleaning agents or foams only.
    • S – Use only mild, water-free dry cleaning solvents.
    • X – Do not use foam or liquid agents on this fabric. Vacuum or brush lightly to remove soil.

    Prior to spot cleaning, pretest all cleaning agents in an inconspicuous area with a clean white cloth.

    In some cases spot cleaning can cause a ring or fading. It’s best to have the entire piece cleaned by a professional upholstery cleaner to ensure uniform color.

    Caring for Leather Upholstery:

    Leather is the most durable and easily maintained of all upholstery materials, but like any other investment leather furniture requires the proper care and attention. Variations in color, texture, and feel of leather are common since each hide has matured under different growing conditions. Scarring due to bug bites, cuts and abrasions, and brands are common and enhance the beauty of the furniture. There are four basic types of leathers used for leather furniture. They include Pure Aniline Dyed, Protected Leather, Wax Oil/Pull-up Leather, and Nubuck Leather. Each type of leather requires different maintenance.

    Pure Aniline Dyed Leather:

    Aniline dyed leather has varied shades giving a natural look. They are soft to touch and will show all natural scarring.
    • Vacuum with a brush attachment for regular cleaning and maintenance.
    • Routinely wipe with a damp sponge or cloth.
    • To prevent fading, avoid exposure to direct sunlight or heat.
    • Blot liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth
    • Remove food spills with a damp sponge or cloth
    • Stubborn stains can be cleaned with a mild solution of non-perfumed, non-colored soap and clean, lukewarm water. Rinse and wipe thoroughly. Air dry.

    Protected Leather:

    Protected leathers have a protective lacquer coating, sealing all pores to aid in preventing stains. This type of leather is an excellent choice for families. They are available in many colors and will show some natural characteristics such as scarring.
    • Vacuum with a brush attachment for regular cleaning and maintenance.
    • Routinely wipe with a damp sponge or cloth.
    • To prevent fading, avoid exposure to direct sunlight or heat.
    • Blot liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth
    • Remove food spills with a damp sponge or cloth
    • Stubborn stains can be cleaned with a mild solution of non-perfumed, non-colored soap and clean, lukewarm water. Rinse and wipe thoroughly. Air dry.
    • Over the counter leather cleaners and conditioners can be used, see store for details. Always test leather cleaners in an inconspicuous area before use.

    Wax Oil/Pull-up Leather:

    Natural leather hides that are coated with wax. The wax provides a finish that enhances scarring and gives a crackled, aged look. Over time, this type of leather has a deep, rich beauty with varied shading to increase each piece’s character.
    • Vacuum with a brush attachment for regular cleaning and maintenance.
    • Routinely wipe with a damp sponge or cloth.
    • To prevent fading, avoid exposure to direct sunlight or heat.
    • Blot liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth
    • Remove food spills with a damp sponge or cloth
    • Stubborn stains can be cleaned with a mild solution of non-perfumed, non-colored soap and clean, lukewarm water. Rinse and wipe thoroughly. Air dry.
    • Over the counter leather cleaners and conditioners can be used, see store for details. Always test leather cleaners in an inconspicuous area before use.

    Nubuck Leather:

    The most natural leather type is soft, often feeling like a fabric. All natural characteristics such as scarring, bites, and grain variations are visible. Nubuck leathers have no protection and oil based stains can be difficult to clean.
    • Vacuum with a brush attachment weekly for regular cleaning and maintenance.
    • Avoid direct sunlight to resist fading. This type of leather has no fade resistance.
    • Blot liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth, and let the piece air-dry.
    • Nubuck protection may be available, see store for details.

    Caring for Mattress Sets:

    New sleep sets have advanced sleep technology that provide excellent support. Adjusting to a new mattress may take up to 90 days, depending on each person’s health and lifestyle. Proper care of the mattress investment is vital to provide years of comfort and support.
    • Use a matching mattress and box spring to ensure long service and lasting comfort.
    • Many mattress sets have residual odors from the manufacturing process initially. They are not harmful and will dissipate over time.
    • Mattresses must be protected from stains to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. Use a high quality mattress pad to ensure the mattress is kept clean and stain free.
    • Due to the improvements in comfort, mattress sets have many layers of different foams. Over time, body impressions may form. This is normal and not considered a warranty issue unless the impression is over 2 inches deep.
    • Rotate the mattress end to end once a month for the first year and then quarterly thereafter.
    • For two-sided mattresses, flip them according to the manufacturer’s warranty to minimize body impressions.
    • Use mattress handles only for positioning the mattress – they are not designed to carry the weight of the mattress and will tear if misused.
    • King and Queen mattress sets need proper center support to prevent sagging. Center support is required by the manufacturer for warranty purposes.
    • Do not bend or fold the mattress. This will compromise the border wire and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

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