Furniture Care & Maintenance
Furniture Care & Maintenance
Save Those Documents – While your retail store may have copies of your receipts on file, they may be archived and difficult to locate at the exact moment that your marble dulls, your leather scratches, or your light bulb expires. Take this matter into your own hands and save:
- Your LaDiff sales invoice. As proof of purchase, this includes the date of your sale, what you bought, and the method of payment – often required to satisfy manufacturer warranties.
- Assembly instructions – helpful for anything you have to build and an important reference if you need to replace a part later.
- Care instructions – critical information if the product requires a certain cleaning solution.
- Contact numbers – many vendors have websites and/or toll-free numbers for help with care & maintenance. Some even send replacement parts directly.
- Tags with id numbers – this information may be needed to file a warranty claim later and will only be found on the furniture itself (the place of purchase will not have access to this). If you remove any tags, staple to your receipt and file.
- Store literature on the line – want to add more later? Having info on the entire line will help you know what else is available. Remember, furniture is a fashion industry – what you bought today may not be available next year.
File everything listed above in the handy LaDiff envelope provided and you’ll be
prepared when questions arise.
Care & Maintenance
General Cleaning – Under normal usage and conditions regular dusting and vacuuming is all that is necessary to clean your upholstered furniture. Dust frequently by using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. Frequent vacuuming will reduce the abrasion of fibers that cause covers to look worn.
SUNLIGHT: Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. UV light will cause fading and deterioration. Close curtains or blinds during the day, or cover your furniture to prevent fading.
FABRIC PILLING: Fabric ‘pills’ are small balls of fibers that form on the face of fabric, caused by abrasion on the surface; in other words, every time you sit, move, or rub your hand across the fabric, you contribute to pilling. It occurs on upholstered furniture the same way it occurs on your clothes, and, while unsightly, pilling on fabric is completely normal. Pilling can be more noticeable on man-made fibers or blends of natural & man-made fibers, mainly because natural fabrics shed their loose fibers easily while man-made fibers are notoriously strong (which is usually a good thing), so the pills stay anchored to the fabric. Vendors do not consider fabric pilling to be a warranty issue, and pilling does not affect durability or functionality. To remove pilled fabric balls, the quickest and most cost effective approach is a fabric comb or ‘shaver’, manual or electric, available at most sewing or home stores.
ROTATION: Rotate your cushions if possible. By flipping your cushions, you will extend the life and comfort of your furniture as well as reduce noticeable wear. (Note, cushions containing down & feathers may experience some loss of feathers over time. This is not only normal but is a European design feature of down-filled cushions). Most leather cushions are not upholstered on all sides, in order to let the leather breathe and to prevent a build-up of bacteria. Even if you cannot ‘turn’ your cushions, you should fluff them to avoid a breakdown of the foam cushions from repeated use in the same area.
CONTACT: Bear in mind that the natural oils from pets and humans can rub off on your furniture and are very difficult to remove. Also, be cautious of clothing such as blue jeans and printed materials such as newspapers as the dyes and inks can transfer.
WEIGHT LIMITS: Overloading the frame of your upholstered seating may put undue stress on it, resulting in cracks or other damage. Do not jump or fall onto your furniture (Mom was right!). Sudden jolts
can cause damage to the frame. Sit only on seat cushions. The backs and arms of your furniture are not designed as seating, and may not hold up if used this way.
HEAT & A/C: Avoid placing your upholstered furniture close to heating or air conditioning vents. Changes in moisture and temperature may cause your furniture to warp. (A minimum distance of 12″ is recommended).
MOVING FURNITURE: Always use caution when moving your furniture. Never drag or pull, always lift. Remember to tie down sleeper mechanisms. Measure halls and doorways to prevent scrapes and tears.
Fabric Specifics: Cleaning & Maintenance
CLEANING CODES: The home furnishings industry uses codes to identify the recommended cleaning methods for different types of fabrics. Fabric swatches are labeled with this code and/or the fabric content. Knowing the Cleaning Code for the type of fabric you have tells you how to clean your particularly choice appropriately. For all fabric types, react to spills as soon as they happen; you will have more success removing a fresh spill than one that has had a chance to “set in”. Remove new spills by blotting; don’t rub – this will only spread the spill. Blot with a clean absorbent cloth starting from the center and working out
to the edges.
CLEANING SOLUTIONS: Read and follow the directions of any cleaning agent you use to prevent damage to your fabric. Do not use pre-soaked wipes (i.e. baby wipes); alcohol in these products may lift dyes from your fabric. If using water to clean the spill, distilled water is preferable. (Tap water may have chemicals that will leave water spots in your fabric.) Always pretest your cleaning method on a hidden area to insure color fastness. If any color comes off of the fabric, stop and contact a professional cleaning service. Dry a clean spot quickly by using a small fan or hair dryer on a low setting.
Specifics By Cleaning Code
W (Water based cleaner): Spot clean using foam only from a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or non-solvent upholstery shampoo. Apply with a soft rag or brush in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.
S (solvent or dry cleaning products): Spot clean using a mild water-free solvent or dry cleaning product. Clean in a well ventilated room and avoid any product obtaining Carbon Tetrachloride which is highly toxic.
W-S (solvent and or dry cleaning products): Spot clean with a mild solvent, upholstery shampoo or the foam from a mild detergent. When using a solvent or dry cleaning product, follow the instructions carefully and use in a well-ventilated room.
X (vacuum or brush only): Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent accumulation of dust and grime. Water based foam cleaners or solvent based cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, staining or distortion of the surface pile and therefore should not be used.
PW (pre-washed): Usually pertains to removable slipcovers. Clean this fabric with a mild detergent in cold or warm water. Wash on the gentle cycle of a large commercial washer. Remove promptly and dry in a dryer at 120 degrees or less. Hanging to dry is not recommended as fabrics may stretch.
Microfiber: Microfibers are man-made materials that are created much differently from traditional woven fabrics. These fabrics are often very easy to clean, but should be cared for according to the specific instructions given by the manufacturer of your microfiber, as the quality, thickness, and clean ability will vary.
Leather Specifics: Cleaning & Maintenance
A natural product, leather is available in a variety of grades, thicknesses, graining, and finishes. The care requirements for each type can be slightly different. Leather can and will look newer longer than general fabric upholstery, simply because of its durability.
Real leather hides have individual characteristics that make each unique. Character marks caused by insect bites, scratches, growth marks, fat lines and areas of differing fiber density give leather its look and add to its quality. The tanning process that has been used to finish the product will often determine the best way to clean & maintain your leather. The manufacturer’s information included with your purchase will tell you what type you have and will suggest cleaning methods. Our suggestions are intended to supplement those instructions.
The use of a good leather conditioner is recommended every 6-12 months. Always test any cleaning method in a hidden area first to convince yourself of the results. For minor spots and spills, wipe up any excess liquid immediately with a clean absorbent cloth or sponge. If necessary, use a lightly moistened soft cloth with clean lukewarm water and let air-dry naturally. If water is used, clean the entire area where the spot occurred. For butter, oil, or grease wipe off excess with a clean dry cloth, and then leave alone as the spot should dissipate into the leather after a short period of time.
SOAPS & CLEANERS: Do not use soap or soak the stain heavily with water. This may cause more damage than the stain itself. If the stain persists, it is recommended that a professional leather specialist clean the piece to avoid any potential damage. Do not use saddle soap, cleaning solvents, furniture polish, oils, varnish, abrasive cleaners, detergent soaps or ammonia water. These can remove color, break down any natural or manmade protection the leather may have and will stain rather than clean the hide.
SCRATCHES: Gently buff a minor surface scratch with a chamois or clean fingers. If needed, moisten lightly with distilled water to out work scratches.
STORAGE: Because leather is a natural material, you should never store wrapped in plastic because it encourages mildew and bacteria growth that will ruin the hide. Always store leather in a cool, dry place away from heat.
Wood Care & Maintenance
The warmth that wood furniture provides is due in part to the variety found in different species, different cuts, and different grains. Because every tree is different, each piece of wood is different in depth of color, richness of texture, and pattern of the grain. If properly cared for, wood develops its own patina and mellowness to increase in value with age.
Technology has radically changed the quality of finishes used on wood furniture. Nowadays the majority of commercially manufactured furniture is treated with a catalyzed lacquer or varnish finish. This tough finish resists stains, moisture rings, scratches and abrasions. However, as with any quality possession, care should be taken to maintain your furniture. Along with your manufacturer’s instructions, we suggest:
DUSTING: Household dust particles act as a micro abrasive. Regular dusting with a soft cloth, following the grain, removes the abrasive particles (rubbing against the grain can cause dust particles to scratch the surface). As a cleaning rag, using an old soft T-shirt, or baby diaper moistened lightly with water picks up dust better than a dry cloth, and doesn’t leave behind a static electric charge that would attract more dust in the long run.
SURFACE CLEANING: As part of routine care, clean surfaces with a soft cloth lightly dampened with a mild non-alkaline soap & water solution. Do not over-wet the wood. Pretest the solution on an out-of-sight-section to ensure no damage to the finish. Dry immediately with a soft cloth and buff lightly, following along the grain.
SUNLIGHT: Keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet rays cause some wood species to darken (some more rapidly than others, like cherry & maple) or bleach out (American walnut). Be especially careful with natural cherry when first used. If your wood furniture is in a sunny room, move any top objects around regularly (lamps, photos etc). This will prevent a visible difference in coloration from developing. Depending on the intensity of sunlight most woods find their natural patina within a few months.
HUMIDITY: About half the weight of fresh wood is water. Wood used in furniture must be carefully kiln dried to the proper moisture content (between 8 and 12%) to avoid excessive expansion and contraction once assembled into furniture. During the life of the furniture, the moisture content of the wood will vary depending upon the environment. It is suggested to keep furniture away from direct sources of excessive heat or cold. The ideal humidity range for wood furniture is about 25 to 50 percent, pretty much the same as your normal comfort level.
SURFACE PROTECTION: Using coasters, hot pads or placemats under hot or cold servings protects the wood from moisture damage as well as the temperature extremes and abrasions. For dining tables, use a natural felt backing or pads to protect the wood surface from scratching and to minimize contact with rubber, plastics or synthetic materials that may interact with the chemicals in the wood finish. For desks, a desk pad or blotter prevents your written word from making a lasting impression on the wood beneath.
STAINS, SCRATCHES & MARKS: The ink used on many magazines or newspapers never fully dries and can transfer to wood surfaces bleeding into the finish and damaging the furniture. Moisture can exacerbate the effect. To avoid scratching the finish when dusting, always lift lamps and other objects – don’t slide them across the furniture’s surface.
MOVING: Never drag a piece of furniture. The engineering and joinery are not designed for the stress applied. Dragging could easily result in fractures or structural damage. Always lift and carry to move.
Solid and Wood Veneered Surfaces
SOLID WOOD: Solid wood furniture has a certain cachet. The depth of the wood allows for a beautiful aging process. It is easier to remove deep scratches from solid surfaces. That said, solid wood furniture must be superbly constructed & glued-up to allow for movement to prevent warping or splitting. If solid furniture cracks, it is usually in the wood itself, not the joint.
WOOD VENEER SURFACES: Veneer surfaces have been used for hundreds of years. A veneer is merely a thinner surface treatment on top of a substrate, the quality of the substrate affecting the quality of the furniture as much as the veneer itself. Benefits include repeat patterns, complexity of design, stable surfaces unlikely to warp or separate. Modern construction techniques have dramatically changed veneering technology and veneers can now be cut to extremely fine thicknesses. Use care when removing scratches or indentations to prevent penetrating the veneer and exposing the substrate.
HIGH GLOSS WOOD: High gloss wood has a high-polish polyester finish, which is harder and more scratch resistant than lacquer. It is best maintained by simple dusting. Using glass cleaners and spray polishes on a polyester finish can actually dull the surface and make it look cloudy. To keep your furniture looking pristine, wipe up spills as soon as they happen with a clean soft cloth. 100 percent cotton or linen cloths are best for cleaning. Be careful not to drag anything across the surface of your furniture. If damage does occur, the good news is, in most cases, the surface can be restored with professional buffing.
RECLAIMED WOOD (TEAK, MAPLE, CEDAR): Reclaimed woods are to be cleaned just like solid wood. Avoid using oil – based soaps, and wax – based solutions. As always with wood, do not use excessive amounts of water. Use a damp cloth to quickly wipe up spills.
Wood Species Commonly Used for Furniture
There are numerous furniture grade woods available. Some of the most popular include:
Cherry: A beautiful hardwood that has superb woodworking characteristics. Softer than many counterparts, it should be treated with respect. The subtle grain takes finishes well. Both natural and stained cherrywoods darken to deep, reddish brown over time, especially when regularly exposed to sunlight.
Maple: The best variety of maple for furniture is hard – or rock – maple, also known as sugar maple. A dense wood resistant to abrasion and indentations, naturally finished maple ages to a warm yellow.
American Black Walnut: Black walnut is regaining its position as a prime furniture wood.
An exceptional wood to work with, its color can vary from grayish to dark purplish brown, patinating beautifully with age.
Oak – White VS Red: Red oak is still used in widely in traditional furniture. White oak is becoming more popular in modern design. An extremely dense wood, oak is very resistant to abrasion and indentation. White oak can be finished in many ways including a clear oil finish for a modern touch.
Furniture Assembly Tips
RTA (Ready to Assemble) furniture can be a great value: it ships flat packed, more fits on a truck, so it costs less. Flat packed goods are more easily carried with you on the day of the purchase – satisfying the instant-gratification needs of many consumers. This ‘cash & carry’ aspect can outweigh the possibility of “assembly intimidation”. Most RTA items have been designed with the “Average Joe” (or Jill) in mind, assembling at home with basic tools. If you are handy with a screwdriver and can follow directions, you should not have a problem.
Transportation: Make sure all boxes will fit in your car or truck before you buy intending to ‘take’. Secure all items for the trip home to prevent damage to your car or to the furniture itself.
D.I.Y: Do-it-yourself does not have to mean do-it-alone. Enlist help unloading, following directions, and moving items during the assembly. If you must (or prefer to) work alone, don’t carry a box that is too heavy. Open it in the car, and take one panel at a time to your work area.
Assemble in place: If possible, assemble the piece in the room where it will stay. Moving bulky fully assembled items risks damage to your walls and the piece on the way to its new location.
Open one box at a time and take inventory: To prevent losing or mixing up parts, assemble one item at a time then clean up the workspace before starting the next item. Match up the parts in the box with what the instructions say you need. Separate smaller parts into areas, or even bins. Unless you’re great at puzzles, never dump all of the parts into one big pile.
Read the directions: DON’T SKIP THIS STEP, no matter how much building experience you have. Reading the instructions will give you a clear understanding and anticipation of the entire process. Keep those directions even when you are done. If you need a replacement part it will be much easier to identify it from the parts list or the drawings.
Glue: If the instructions call for using glue in joints or on dowels, use it. Glue strengthens the finished piece. Keep a damp rag on hand to clean up excess glue before it dries. Once a piece is assembled using glue, do not disassemble it. Even with dowels & screws, each disassembly and reassembly lessens the integrity of the furniture and risks damage & instability.
Tools: Use the proper tools recommended for the job. If the instructions state that you should not use power tools, heed this advice. You could strip a screw or break a component needed to finish the project. Even if you use a power screwdriver, do the final tightening by hand.
Relief: If you just can’t finish the job, call your LaDIFF salesperson. For a service fee, a LaDiff technician can finish the job for you, either at the store or at your home (delivery fee may also apply). All parts and pieces must be available and intact for completion.
A few of our “Tricks of the trade”
- If using wooden dowels, insert them into the end panels first and tap gently into position. You minimize damage to the side panels.
- Wait to tighten bolts and screws completely when the entire unit is put together. Go back over each to make sure it is appropriately tightened.
- The back panel is a fundamental part of the structure. Make sure that this flat panel is square to the corners before securing with all nails or screws provided. Hammer straight so that nails go directly into the side panels. A square, securely fastened back panel provides easier installation of any doors & drawers.
Marble and Stone
Care & Maintenance
Formed from intensely compacted calcium and magnesium carbonate compressed with other materials, travertine and marble are naturally occurring stones generally found polished for use in furniture, decorative art, and construction. With Travertine the other materials can include sedimentary sand and fossilized seashells. With Marble, the other elements are what give that particular marbles their special colorations: black by coal, red by iron, green by copper, etc.
Impervious? Marble and Travertine require routine care to stay in prime condition. It is commonly believed that stone surfaces are impervious to stains or scratches. While strong, the microscopic surfaces are porous enough to make them susceptible to staining by food, spilled liquids and other household materials, especially if the spill is left standing for some time. Substances with even a mildly acidic content can discolor or damage polished marble surfaces.
Care, Cleaning, & Protection: As with any table surface, to avoid moisture rings and protect the top, use coasters, mats,& trivets under glasses, plates, and hot foods. Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining. Occasionally wash marble surfaces with lukewarm water and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Once or twice a year, wash with a mild detergent solution (hand dish-washing detergent and warm water), rinse and wipe dry. A light coat of clear paste wax will protect the surface but is not essential. Make sure to use a colorless wax to avoid changing the look of your marble surface. Waxing pure white marble is not suggested due to the possibility of yellowing.
Special Cleaning: Using a commercial marble cleaner and polish can liven up marble surfaces that have become dull over time. Marble care kits generally include imported polish-cleaners, which are designed for softer imported marbles and are hence safe for harder U.S. marbles. Severely damaged surfaces that are scratched or etched, can be re-polished by businesses specializing in this service (tombstone fabricators or kitchen counter companies are a good place to start).
Stain Removal: For common stains listed below, make a poultice from white absorbent material such as paper towel or facial tissue, dampened with the chemical recommended. Leave the poultice on the stain from 1 to 48 hours, depending on the age and depth of the stain. A cover of plastic wrap held in place by masking tape secured to the bottom of the table will keep the poultice damp.
Organic Stains: Tea, coffee, colors bleached from paper, textiles or soft drinks. Make poultice soaked with 20% peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.
Oil Stains: Oil stains include butter, hand creams & lotion. As soon as possible, toss an absorbent fine powder such as cornstarch on the surface. Gently rub into the surface of the stain. After short time, remove and reapply more powder. Let stand 24 hours. To remove: wash with hot, sudsy detergent solution. Then rinse and wipe dry. If alkaline solutions don’t remove all the oil residue, try a solvent: a poultice dampened with acetone or amyl acetate (available at drug stores), or with home dry cleaning fluid (Trichloroethylene). If you use solvents, take care to ventilate the room well and never use near an open spark or flame.
Rust Stains: Commercial rust stain removers work well but must be used sparingly due to acids that may etch (remove the shine from) the surface. Follow directions exactly and do not leave on surface very long.
Acids: Fruit based liquids, carbonated beverages and other acids will etch (dull the surface) if allowed to remain on marble. Wipe up acidic spills immediately and wipe surface with wet cloth. An etched surface may require waxing or professional polishing.
NATURAL STONE: Keeping stone free of dust and dry, sandy soil will minimize the scratches and wear-patterns that can develop from everyday use of natural stone, including marble, limestone and sandstone. Sweep or dust all natural stone surfaces regularly to remove loose soil and dust. Clean natural stone on a regular basis with warm water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth, sponge or mop. In addition, using a neutral cleaner specially formulated for natural stone will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind.
A few Natural Stone tips: Do not use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners. Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners. Finally, do not use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers, soft cleansers or alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for natural stone.
Glass Care & Maintenance
From dining tables, to shelves, to lampshades, glass is used in many facets of modern design. It can be clear, frosted, colored, bent, and blown, and, though breakable, it will last for years if properly maintained. The plain, simple truth: GLASS SCRATCHES. As with any surface, use placemats, coasters, trivets, desk pads, etc. before placing anything sharp, rough, or extremely hot on your glass top. Never drag items across your table. A professional glass house can buff some scratches out.
Glass also chips, breaks, and cracks. Avoid ‘heavy landings’ with dishes, utensils, books, etc., and take care when moving heavy and/or dense items around your glass surfaces. Extreme heat can also cause glass tables to crack.
Clean your glass with a cleaner specifically designed for glass or use rubbing alcohol applied with a soft lint free cloth. (It sounds unusual, but newsprint works great and leaves no lint behind.)
For frosted glass, clean the top(the smoother side) the same way you would clear glass. Frosted glass is textured on the underside and can sometimes pose a problem with fingerprints. The oils in your skin get into the texture making the prints more noticeable. The best way to remove them is to wet a lint free cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub the textured side of the glass. Because of the texture, you may notice some lint left behind. When completely dry, brush the remaining lint off the underside with a soft clean brush.
For colored glass, it is best to clean only the top slick surface of colored glass. Extreme care should be used if the colored portion needs to be cleaned. Use water only on a soft cloth and rub very gently. If you see the color start to come off, stop and contact the retailer or manufacturer for recommendations.
Lighting Assembly &
ASSEMBLY: Open the box and do a quick inventory. Match up the parts with what the instructions say you need. Often suppliers secure smaller parts inside larger ones. Do not throw any packaging away until you are sure you have everything. Read the directions completely before building. Regardless of how obvious the assembly seems, don’t skip this step! The instructions will give you a clear understanding of the entire process and the tools required. You will also learn how to replace the bulb or disassemble the lamp at a future date. File this information for future reference.
REPLACING THE BULB: Take note of what kind of bulb your lamp uses for later preparation. If not visible on the bulb, this information should be with the instructions. If possible, buy an extra bulb when you buy the lamp, label it, and store in your supply closet.
Incandescent: Produced when an electric current is passed through a filament causing it to heat up and glow, soft & warm incandescent lighting is the most common type for residential use. The initial cost is relatively low and the bulbs are easier to find; however it can be the least energy efficient.
Halogen: The closest to natural sunlight, illuminated halogen gases produce bright white light, with longer-lasting bulbs and more illumination per watt than incandescent. The most common bulbs are readily available at home stores. You can purchase more unusual (and inevitably more expensive) bulbs through the lamp vendor, but you won’t need to change them as often.
Fluorescent: Fluorescent light is produced when an electrical charge passes through a gas filled tube and excites the gas, causing it to emit invisible radiation, which in turn reacts with a phosphor coating inside the tube to cause a glow. Generally cool and casting a bluish glow, its light value is not ideal for task work (or applying make-up!), but the bulbs burn less energy and last longer than halogen or incandescent.
Safety & Maintenance
To maintain a well-working lamp or light fixture, we recommend:
- Wipe the dust from fixtures, lamps and bulbs as needed. Do not clean bulbs while the lamp is on or the bulb is still warm, as the water’s cooling effect may cause the bulb to shatter.
- Never install a higher wattage bulb than recommended.
- Never change light bulbs when your hands are wet.
- Never handle a halogen bulb with your bare hands. The oils from your skin can affect the quartz capsule and cause the enclosed gases to burn out faster. (If your halogen bulb burns out in as few as 30 days, this is the most likely reason.) Use a tissue, and be sure the lamp is OFF at the time of installation.
- Never pull a lamp by the cord; handle the plug directly when removing from an outlet.
- Do not place lamps close to flammable materials such as paper, fabric, or wood.
- To assure a safe installation, La Difference recommends employment of a licensed electrician to install electrical fixtures & fans.
Rugs Care & Maintenance Tips
One of the most used piece of home furnishings is the area rug: feet tread & animals shed. Some easy, regular maintenance will help your rugs look better and last longer.
Care Information: Check your rug for care information. If it’s on the back, remove tags or copy onto paper and file them. Take note of phone numbers or website addresses too. Now you don’t have to move your furniture and/or rug to find this information later.
Door mats: The simple act of wiping your feet when you enter the house saves your rug from the extra wear & tear tracking in outside dirt can cause.
Vacuum regularly: Especially on areas that endure high traffic, you need to vacuum regularly. Some higher-nap carpets (i.e. truly deep shags) recommend vacuuming without the beater bar in use – see vendors specific guidelines for precise advice. The more regularly you vacuum, the more likely you will remove the dirt that wedges between the fibers causing the rug to lose its color and shape more quickly.
Rug pads: If the rug is lighter weight and prone to sliding, rug pads help prevent accidents when walking through the house. They will also prevent dyes, fibers, impressions, etc. from working their way into the floor beneath. Pink stains from a red wool rug are difficult to remove from heart pine floors. A pad also works in reverse, preventing colors and elements on the floor (carpet tacks, nails, etc.) from working their way into the rug.
Sunlight: Some colors, dyes, and fibers are more susceptible to fading than others. Close drapes or blinds during the day when the sun is brightest to prolong your rug’s colors. Pilling is normal: The pilling of rug fibers is completely normal, especially on natural fiber rugs, and especially during the first 6-12 months of use. It is quite similar to pilling on a sweater. Simply vacuum them up, and move on.
Materials: Wool is cleaned differently from nylon. Sisals and jutes are more delicate. You will need to know the content of your rug fibers before applying any kind of cleaning solution. Respond quickly to spills: The best solution to spills is a quick response. Blot, don’t rub… that will press the stain in further. For food spills, scrape away as much as possible first. Many rug suppliers include specific care information. When in doubt, do a web search for your carpet fiber type and care information to get thorough instructions.
Concrete Care & Maintenance
Fiber Reinforced Natural Concrete (FRC)
Our concrete products are comprised of natural materials, granite stone powder, Portland cement, nylon net and water. Much like any natural material such as wood or stone, concrete is a porous material. Our concrete is sealed with a wax sealer that will provide active protection against staining. To ensure the lasting beauty of our concrete surfaces we recommend reviewing and practicing the following care and maintenance.
Cleaning Your Product
Clean your FRC product using mild soap (such as dish soap) and water. Do not use heavy abrasive, bleach-based, or ammoniated cleansers. Use of such cleansers will wear down any wax protection and result in less stain resistance. We do not recommend use of most natural cleansers (which are often citrus based), as the cleaning agent is typically highly acidic and can damage natural material.
Re-wax periodically. Waxing your product regularly is a quick and easy process that will provide additional protection against staining. Wax once within 2 months of installation of your product and every 3 to 6 months thereafter, depending on use and location. If the product is placed outside, wax it well before winter. Cover and raise off of the ground.
Regular food preparation will not stain the concrete as the sealer and wax serve as active barriers. In the event that the coating is knowingly cut, scraped, or damaged, new wax should be reapplied. Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. While the waxing performs well against stains from oils and acidic materials, prolonged exposure may cause penetration of the sealer and possible discoloration.
Expect occasional rings to appear from unknown liquids. Oils in particular can penetrate the surface if forced in from the weight of a glass jar. Wiping up oil spills can minimize staining.
Please note that bath oils in particular should not be used as they will cause staining from being left in contact with the surface of the concrete for too long. The first stain is always the worst.
Expect the wear of your product to contribute to its uniqueness. Using felt or rubber feet pads is recommended for the bottom surfaces of all objects left to remain on the surface of your product indefinitely, especially unglazed ceramics such as terracotta pots. Unglazed ceramics compete for residual moisture in the concrete and may cause discoloration. Do not place hot objects on the surface as they may cause discoloration. Using a trivet is recommended. At any point, refrain from putting blue painter’s tape or other adhesives directly on the product.
Although not considered a defect, non-structural hairline cracks are possible and may result from shrinkage and the natural curing process. If hairline cracks do appear, immediately apply a thick coat of wax and rub in well to prevent moisture from seeping into the cracks and causing discoloration. Re-wax the area and surrounding surfaces periodically as detailed above.