My house is starting to take a beating….
There is a smear of chocolate cake batter on my linen curtains, Some butternut-blueberry-concoction stamped into my dining room rug, and just last week a box of All Bran Flakes was scattered all over my lounge rug and tipped into my brass vessels on my coffee table (the last ones standing as all the others have been put away!) Guess that is life with a 10 month old and nearly 3 year old ;)
As a childless Interior Designer I will be honest and say that I was more focused on the aesthetics of finishes and fabrics, but since becoming a mom, and having had ALL kinds of things to clean up, it has made me much more aware of durability and ease to clean. So I thought I would share some practical advice and a few tips with you on how to look after some of your home décor items.
Rugs are a deal breaker in an interior as far as I am concerned. I have written a lot about rugs since I started this blog (read here ), and I really feel that they are essential to an interior. Rugs obviously take a bit of a beating as they receive the most foot traffic in an interior, and are most susceptible to spills and stains. (Don’t I know!)
There are so many different types of rugs out there – from more traditional Persians, to Kelims, Moroccan Beni Ourains, Natural fibre rugs and then machine-made Viscose or Polypropylene rugs. Each type has a recommended cleaning process (Almost always professional) so always take note of this, but here are a few general rug care tips:
- For solid messes (food items):Take a spoon or butter knife and remove as much of the spilled item from the carpet, being careful to move in the direction of the carpet’s pile.
- For liquids:Take some kitchen towel or tissues, and dab softly in the area of the spill. Continue this process to the point where you can see that all the moisture has been absorbed.
- Cleaning a spot:If you need to clean a particular spot, then spot clean using water and a clean white cloth. Do not use cloths with colours in them, as the dyes may transfer to the carpeting when you are trying to absorb the staining material. Always work from the outside of the stained area towards the middle of the stain. This will ensure that you do not spread the staining material any further.
- NEVER rub a carpet or rug to try and clean it. This often results in more damage being done. Rather always dab. Once dry, fluff the carpet by hand to remove any flattening of the fibres.
- Do not brush the fringes of your carpet/rug.
- When vacuuming your rug, do not use the brush attachment
Upholstery cleaning and protecting
If you have kids or pets, it is always a good idea to Scotch Guard your upholstered furniture. It just offers a level of protection against spills and stains. I also always recommend scotch guarding with lighter coloured fabrics.
If you are working with a designer or decorator, ask them for a list of maintenance for the fabrics specified in the interior. Some fabrics can be washed in a washing machine whilst others need to be professionally cleaned. Some fabrics are a lot more delicate than others and might need special care. If you are buying from a retailer, always check the recommended cleaning method for the fabric and guarantee.
If you are looking for a fabric to be used in an outdoor area or area receiving direct sunlight, then you need to make sure to use a fabric that is UV treated. There are also fabrics that are water repellent, anti- fungal, anti-mildew and stain resistant. They are a bit pricier but definitely worth it as they hold up against the elements and have better longevity. Mavromac and Hertex Fabrics have some great designs in their outdoor ranges. (see here and here)
An outdoor collection from Hertex Fabrics
Home Fabrics carries a brand of fabrics called FibreGuard. These fabrics have a built in FibreGuard Stain Free technology so household stains can be very easily removed without damaging your fabric. Again , you may pay a little more for this kind of fabric but if you want your furniture to stay fresh for longer, it is totally worth it! (check out the website here)
If you have leather, it is recommended to purchase a leather conditioner and apply it every 6 months or so.
For those that are based in East London, I can highly recommend Chemdry for professional carpet cleaning and scotch guarding. Carly is extremely knowledgeable on carpet cleaning, and the service is excellent
Carly 080 243 6379