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Furniture Care for Fabrics
Keep your furniture and soft furnishings in great condition with our fabric care tips for spot cleaning and maintenance.

Tips for taking care of your fabric furnishings

Based on our years of experience we have put together some information about caring for your fabrics - however please always refer to your appropriate care label prior to any care and cleaning. 

General care to keep your sofa in great shape 

Protect from direct sunlight, rotate reversible cushions regularly, vacuum regularly using low suction and soft brush accessories.

Spot cleaning for those unfortunate spills and stains

Treat spills and stains as soon as possible. Test on hidden area to ensure fabric and colour are not removed. Gently scrape any soil or mop any liquid from the surface of the fabric. Use of soap or detergent with water should be approached with caution since overzealous rinsing to remove soap residue may result in over-wetting, water marking and possible wetting of substructure (this may create other stains or damage product

1.  For non-oil-based stains

Use warm water and non-toilet soaps which do not contain optical brighteners (consider Velvet soap, Lux Flakes, Softly). Mix a small amount of soap and warm water solution and apply to the stain, rubbing gently. Blot dry with a clean towel. Apply cool water (preferably filtered or distilled water) and blot dry again. Then with a hair dryer, working out from the centre of the stain, dry quickly to prevent rings forming. It is generally preferable to clean whole panels of fabric in this way rather than trying to spot clean specific areas.

2.  For oil-based stains

Following the same basic guidelines as above, apply a proprietary brand solvent based cleaner and try to clean generally in panels rather than spot cleaning specific areas. A helpful industry ‘secret’ for spot removal of oil based biro marks is by the application of conventional hair spray. To further enhance spot cleaning results, Warwick have introduced the Halo Fabric Care Kit which includes Halo spot cleaner for most household stains, Halo fabric deodoriser to help neutralise pet and general odours and Halo fabric protector to restore liquid repellency on fabric sections that have been spot cleaned.

The A-Z of stain removal tips and tricks

Alcoholic beverages After the moisture has been blotted up, dab at the stain with a clean cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. Then blot repeatedly with liquid detergent mixed with cool water. Blot dry with a towel. Dab again with clear cool water and blot dry.

Blood After the moisture has been blotted up, dab at the stain with a clean cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. Then blot repeatedly with liquid detergent mixed with cool water. Blot dry with a towel. Dab again with clear cool water and blot dry.

Chewing gum Rub an ice cube over the gum to harden it, then scrape off the excess with a dull knife. To remove what’s left, use dry cleaning fluid.

Chocolate (and other soft candy) This is a combination greasy/non-greasy stain. Scrape excess away, then go over the spot with cool water mixed with a liquid detergent. Blot thoroughly and then clean with dry cleaning fluid. 

Coffee and tea Sponge with warm water. Apply warm glycerine. Leave for 30 minutes. Flush out with water and dry quickly.

Cosmetics Sponge with warm water. Apply warm glycerine. Leave for 30 minutes. Flush out with water and dry quickly.

Fruit and fruit juices After excess is blotted up or scraped away, blot the spot with cool water. If a stain remains, add liquid detergent and a drop of vinegar to the water. Dab the spot with this mixture and blot until there’s no trace of a stain. Then go over the area lightly with clear water to remove traces of vinegar.

Grease (including hair grease and oil) Scrape away excess if necessary and then dab repeatedly at the stain with dry cleaning fluid. If any stain remains, go over the area with a lukewarm mixture of liquid detergent and water. Always make sure you use a clean portion so you don’t put the stain back in the fabric. Last, go over the area with a clean cloth moistened with cool clear water.

Ice cream Scrape away excess and apply cool water mixed with liquid detergent, blotting frequently with a dry cloth so as not to saturate the fabric. Let dry and then go over any remaining stain with dry cleaning fluid. Blot dry.

Ink Moisten with warm glycerine. Leave for 10 minutes. Apply liquid detergent and brush lightly. Flush out with water and dry quickly.

Iodine Rub with cut lemon before sponging with warm water. Apply small quantity of detergent with clean cloth. Blot stain then remove soapy residue with cloth wrung out in warm water and white vinegar solution (1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water).
Milk and vomit Blot or scrape away the excess, then take a clean soft cloth and blot. Apply clear cool water to the area, blotting frequently. Then blot with a detergent solution to which you’ve added a small amount of ammonia. Blot dry and wait a few minutes. Go over the area with dry cleaning fluid, blot dry. Finally, blot the area lightly with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.

Soft drinks, sweets and syrups Sponge with water, add warm glycerine and work into stain. Flush out with water and dry.

Shoe polish Apply liquid paraffin to loosen the stain, then sponge with dry cleaning fluid.

Urine It is especially important to treat this stain right away, before the urine dries. Otherwise, the urine may react with the fabric dyes and cause permanent discolouration. First, dab at the stain with a solution of white vinegar and water and blot dry. Then apply a mixture of liquid detergent and cool water, blotting frequently and with a dry cloth to avoid saturating the fabric. Finally, dab the spot with clear cool water and blot thoroughly.

Water spots Blot thoroughly and then dampen the entire spot with clear white vinegar. Wait a few minutes. When the area is dry, moisten it again with clear water, blotting with a dry cloth after every application of the damp cloth. If the fabric has a pile, brush in the direction of the pile when it is dry.

At Oliver Birch we use quality Warwick fabrics and Profile fabrics for our furniture products. All Warwick fabrics comply with relevant industry standards and are rigorously tested for abrasion resistance, seam slippage, pilling, colour-fastness, the absence of free formaldehyde and pile retention for velvets.

The above advice is given in good faith and should not be considered a guarantee. If in any doubt, always consult a professional upholstery cleaning company.

Wed, Dec 04, 19