Caring for Furniture: ercol’s Essential Guide
By ercol on 9 July 2018
You’ve spent weeks picking your furniture. It’s immaculate, beautifully arranged to function perfectly and help your home shine. The question is – how are you going to keep your furniture in great shape for years to come?
Fortunately, it’s easier than you think. By following a few careful steps, you can continue to keep your dining table, sofa and cabinets looking good for longer.
Read our essential guide to caring for your furniture...
Caring for materials
The key to good care is treating each material individually. The unique qualities of leather and fabric or even different kinds of wood mean that they all have to be cared for differently:
Wood is a natural material. Even when it’s been crafted into beautiful cabinets or tables, it’s still a living, breathing organism. As a result, it will respond to heat, cold temperatures and moisture.
You can protect your furniture from direct heat by using table mats. If there are any spillages, clear them up quickly to prevent the wood staining or even the grain lifting.
Wood can react to sunlight too and can change colour over time because of exposure to light. This is completely natural and is one of the wonderful reasons why wooden furniture is so beautiful, but you can manage this process. If you have a table with internal leaves, keep it open every so often to help the colours stay consistent.
Care for your wooden furniture depends on whether it has a lacquered finish, as we finish our furniture here at ercol. This provides a layer of protection on the timber and allows its beauty to show through. With a little upkeep, you can ensure the wood continues to shine. Simply polish twice a year using a natural bees wax.
You can care for matt or painted furniture by wiping occasionally with a soft, slightly damp cloth and using a mild, diluted detergent followed with thorough drying with a lint cloth.
Here are some other useful tips for keeping your timber in an excellent condition:
- Silicone-based sprays – silicone can build up on the surface of your wood furniture over time, so it’s best to avoid these if possible
- Abrasive cleaning materials – if your wood furniture has a protective lacquer, abrasive cleaners like scourers will actually expose the surface to more damage over time
- Sharp or unfinished edges – beware of fruit bowls or vases etc. they can easily scratch your timber
- Check for leaks – if vases aren’t water tight they can leak onto your furniture and stain the surface
- Dust regularly – dust can dull the timber, scratch the surface and attract moisture, so be sure to dust your furniture regularly
Rule one of fabrics: they should be chosen based on your lifestyle. How often will furniture be used? If you and your family live life to the full, a durable fabric with a high thread count might work better for you.
Do you have pets? What about children? Mixed colours or patterned fabrics are useful for cushions or fabric covering if you’re expecting a few spills. Cushions on the Windsor Penn Classic Dining Armchair, for instance, have a selection of patterned fabrics as well as solid colours from the ercol collection, new ones can also be ordered over time if required.
Once you have chosen the fabric for your furniture, keep it in the best condition by avoiding direct sunlight and preventing sharp objects, like keys, damaging the fabric when they are left in pockets. You may need to be extra careful in new jeans as these can also transfer dye onto upholstery.
If you’re looking for a more durable and low maintenance option, try leather. It’s more spill-resistant than fabric. Chairs in the Romana dining collection, for instance, are available with leather, while Enna sofas are also offered in both fabric and leather.
To care for leather, a regular dust and a wipe down with a slightly damp cloth twice a year will do the trick.
As well as fabric, leather and wood, some furniture features glass components. Glass is incredibly easy to clean and care for:
- Clean with a damp cloth or specially made window cleaner
- Don’t use washing powders or products with abrasive substances
- Use table mats to protect glass from direct contact with hot or cold items
- Never stand or sit on glass
Caring for your ercol furniture
At ercol, we want your furniture to stay beautiful long into the future. That’s why we provide customer care cards with all of our furniture. We also provide samples of wood and fabric which can be ordered on our website, to make sure you’re getting the right material for your lifestyle.
If you have any more questions about caring for your furniture, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.