‘How do I clean my sofa at home without doing any damage?’ This is a very common question as it isn’t always clear how one should remove stains and dust without damaging or wearing out the covers. Moreover, the methods for cleaning our favourite piece of furniture (the absolute star of our living room and temple of home relaxation) can change a lot depending on the type of covering it has. For instance, the tricks for cleaning a fabric sofa are different from the techniques used with a leather or velvet sofa. If you are wondering what precautions to take to ensure that your sofa always looks brand new, below you will find the advice to follow for each type of sofa.
To prevent a fabric sofa from wearing out and discolouring, it is important not to expose the covering to direct sunlight, as well as to keep the windows open in case of fumes from the kitchen.
If the sofa has a removable cover, you can clean it by simply putting it in the washing machine – make sure you check the label for the right washing method. Then you can dry it outdoors, although not in direct sunlight. The Calia Italia collections have many models with both removable and non-removable covers. One example is the modular sofa Giò. If the label recommends dry cleaning, you should definitely resist from trying to do it yourself and instead following the instructions and take the cover to the laundry. In case of stains, the advice is to remove them immediately using a damp cloth.
If your fabric sofa does not have a removable cover, you should periodically wipe it gently using a damp cloth. An example of a sofa with a non-removable cover (also available with a removable version) is the Toby Wing model by Calia Italia.
To eliminate mites, you can use a hoover or even a handheld vacuum cleaner to get between the cushions and into the crevices. Then, if the fabric allows for it (always read the label), you can use a solution made up of one litre of hot water, a glass of vinegar and an essential oil (such as eucalyptus or lavender) to wipe the sofa with a soaked and well-wrung cloth. In the case of stains, again if the fabric allows for it, you can use Marseille soap. In this instance, simply moisten the stain with a cloth, rub the soap onto the moistened stain and leave it to act before rinsing with a damp cloth.
Microfibre and alcantara are two soft and resistant fabrics that can generally be machine washed (if the cover is removable) at 30 degrees. Just make sure you avoid using fabric softener. The covering should then be left to dry in the open air. An alternative way to keep this type of sofa clean and hygienic is to use white vinegar. Simply mix up one litre of hot water and one litre of vinegar and apply the solution to the sofa with a wrung-out sponge.
With these two fabrics you can easily use the hoover to remove any crumbs and dust (it works even better if you use the appropriate nozzle).
As previously mentioned, Marseille soap can be used to get rid of the most stubborn stains. However, a much-used alternative is bicarbonate. Just add a tablespoon of bicarbonate (which removes stains) and half a glass of apple vinegar (which sanitises) to a litre of hot water and use a soaked sponge to clean the sofa. If baking soda is not effective, you can try a solution of one litre of water and two tablespoons of ammonia, then rinse with a sponge soaked in water. Another simple remedy against stains and mites is steam. Before you run the steam cleaner over your sofa, you just have to make sure that you’ve removed any dust and crumbs with a hoover.
Keeping a leather sofa clean is really quite simple. The important thing to remember is that you should avoid rubbing it vigorously or too often to avoid scratching or damaging it. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to keep the covering away from heat sources.
For routine cleaning of elegant and contemporary leather sofas, such as Calia Italia’s Elisir and Modern_o models, simply dust the upholstery with a soft, dry cloth.
Stains, which are much more difficult to remove from a leather sofa, are another thing all together. In fact, it is often necessary to get specialised help in this case. As far as do-it-yourself remedies are concerned though, a cloth and some absorbent paper are the best solutions in the case of stains from coffee, tea, wine, beer, cosmetics and oily substances.
Velvet sofas are certainly very elegant, but cleaning them is not always the easiest thing. The covering, for instance, cannot be put in the washing machine (in fact, such models don’t even have removable covers) and you must be very careful when rubbing it because it can be easily ruined. So what should you do? First of all, you have to remove any crumbs and dust using a soft brush that must be passed in both directions across the thread of the velvet. Next, you can wet a soft brush with a solution of water and white vinegar and then pass it over the velvet in the direction of the thread. Finally, for stains, a solution of lukewarm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid can be used.