Cleaning Spills on Vintage Reproduction Furniture
If you have small children or grandchildren, you know that messes happen, especially when there are liquids involved; however, accidents happen to adults too, no matter how careful we try to be. It's important to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to safely and carefully clean spills from your antique reproduction furniture. After all, messes can happen to any of us at any time.
The two most important factors to take into consideration are the kinds of liquid that have been spilled and the material that the furniture is made from. Simply put, different liquids on different surfaces will require different tools. We'll do our best to outline all the possibilities thoroughly, but if you're having trouble with these methods, or if they don't seem to be working on your particular piece of furniture, you should contact your vintage reproduction manufacturer as soon as possible for further assistance.
No matter what kind of liquid has been spilled onto wood furniture, it's important to get it dried up IMMEDIATELY. Don't fret about the house wondering what you should do after a mess has been made; instead, run to your kitchen or linen closet, grab a soft, absorbent cloth, and wipe the mess up as quickly as possible. As for any impending damages, make sure you know what kind of liquid was spilled. All wood is susceptible to water stains, but coffee will stain wood very quickly, and alcohol will cause serious damage to the furniture piece's surface, especially if it's made of mahogany.
If you've wiped the liquid up quickly enough, you may not have to deal with any stains at all, but if you do see a little damage, don't panic. There are plenty of ways to get rid of water stains on wood furniture. One method is to put a small amount of non-gel toothpaste onto the stain and rub it with a soft cloth. For more stubborn stains, mix one-part toothpaste, one part baking soda.
Drinks aren't the only things that get spilled on wood furniture, especially if you're guilty of eating dinner on the couch while your favorite show is on. Remember this general rule: the longer any mess sits, the harder it is to clean up. If you've spilled food on your wooden reproductions, get it off as quickly as possible with cloths and paper towels. After the bulk of it is gone, dampen a cloth (though not so much that it's soaking wet), and carefully wipe the residue and grime from the wood. Follow up immediately with a dry cloth to prevent any further stains.
Furniture with Upholstery
Upholstered furniture is a little tricky because there are so many types of fabrics out there, and different fabrics require different kinds of care. For this reason, we're going to break down instructions by fabric type, starting with chenille and ending with velvet.
Because Chenille is delicate and prone to shrinking, it's important to clean spills immediately with spot treatments. Use a cotton towel to blot liquid before it has time to settle into the cushion. Remember: do not rub the stain, as doing so will only cause the stain to spread. Dab with the towel instead. Then, use a small amount of solvent-based cleaner (that doesn't contain water), spray the spot with the stain, and then dab the spot gently with a clean rag.
The way to remove spills from cotton upholstery is similar to the chenille method, but instead of bothering yourself with a solvent-based cleaner, you can just mix a little water with some mild dish soap, grab a non-dyed cloth (to prevent color from transferring from the cloth to the sofa), and then dab until the stain is no longer visible. Then, you can blot the area dry with paper towels or another cloth.
Before you try to remove a stain from jute upholstery, you should vacuum the area so that it's free from dust and dirt. If you don't, you may end up with streaks that are even harder to remove. Once the spillage area is dust-free, dip a sponge into cold water mixed with ammonia and blot out the stain.
To clean leather upholstery, you'll need warm water, a soft-bristle horsehair brush, and high-quality leather cleaner. Use the brush to apply a small amount of cleaner to the stained area. Then, wet the brush with the tiniest bit of warm water and scrub the stain in a circular motion. Once the stain is gone and the fabric has dried, it's a good idea to apply leather oil to the spot you've just cleaned; this will prevent the leather from becoming less durable and less waterproof.
It's recommended that you vacuum linen upholstery before trying to remove spills or stains. After you've vacuumed, though, all you need is a dye-free or light-colored cloth and some water. Remember not to rub the stain, since that could cause it to spread. Dab or blot instead until the stain is gone.
Silk is one of the prettiest and most delicate fabrics in the world, so the tools you'll need to clean silk upholstery will depend largely on what liquid has been spilled. If it's oil, sprinkle cornstarch onto the stain, let it sit for 5-10 minutes (long enough for it to absorb the oil), and then sweep away the cornstarch with a soft-bristled brush. Vacuum any excess. If water has been spilled, you'll need to make a mixture that's one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and eight tablespoons of water. Dampen a soft cloth in the mixture and then blot out the water stain. Use a dry cloth afterward to absorb any excess water/mixture from the fabric. For coffee and tea spills, dampen a sponge with warm water and gently dab the stain. Then, take a small amount of glycerine between your fingers and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then use your sponge to remove it.
One of the most important parts about removing stains from velvet upholstery is to make sure that the velvet dries quickly after it's become wet. After you've taken a damp cloth and gently blotted out the stain using a small amount of dish soap and water, use a hairdryer to speed up the fabric's drying process.
We hope that these instructions will be useful no matter what kind of mess you're cleaning. After all, accidents happen all the time. Try to be careful with your vintage reproduction furniture, but if you mess up, or if something happens that's out of your control, at least now you'll know what to do.
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