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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Protecting your Investment

The design and purchasing processes are the first steps in any room or home improvement. One step that many consumers neglect is the protection step. I know, it is another expense after you've just spent a hefty amount on a room full or new furniture but imagine how distraught you'll be when a dinner guest dumps a glass of red wine on that new sofa and the stain doesn't come out! There are a few different ways to protect your investments. Usually just doing one or two things will enhance protection but if you want to dot your i's and cross your t's then take care of all of the following items and your furniture will stay in like-new shape for years to come!

1) Fabric protection: You don't have to use Scotch Guard anymore, there are other options as well but be sure that your fabric has been protected from stains in some way. Also be sure you know the limitations of that product. If it needs to be reapplied every 2 years then be sure to do that or you will no longer have the same level of protection!

2) Anti-Fading: The only way to protect your fabric from the sun is to have your windows covered with a special film OR to keep your window treatments drawn during the day when the sun is strong. Window films have come a long way; they no longer appear dark or "black" on windows the way they used to. With professional installation you won't even notice a change with your windows but your fabrics, floors, and art will be safe from the sun.

3) Disaster Ready: Before your new furniture is delivered ensure that you have a proper cleaning kit for emergencies and that it is stocked well. For a well-rounded cleaning kit have these products on hand in an organized container: baking soda, clear all-purpose cleaner, clear dish soap, ammonia, guardsman (dry cleaning solvent), table salt, and soft white cloths.

About your kit:
For tricky stains seek out a professional to help you before you attempt to clean it and then possibly make the problem worse. For red wine stains on fabric dump table salt on the spill and let is sit until the salt wicks up the wine. Clean any remaining spot with mild dish soap and a soft cloth. This technique works on carpet and rugs as well.
Always be sure to spot check a fabric if you're trying to clean it! I have learned my lesson after a rug in our house became discolored after I cleaned a small spot with a strong cleaner. Always test in an inconspicuous spot!

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