Buying Guide: Looking after your new sofa

    Buying Guide: Looking after your new sofa

    General sofa care tips

    Proper sofa care and maintenance starts with protecting the area around it - avoid scuffing your floor by using castor cups or felt pads on your sofa's feet. Once you've got that covered, here's our need-to-know sofa care advice.

    Protecting sofas from fading

    Fabrics are affected by sunlight and heat, so we recommend keeping your upholstered or leather sofa away from direct light and heat sources, including radiators. While all fabrics will fade over time – it's part of their natural antiquing process – this will help to minimise excessive appearance changes. It should go without saying, but keep them away from naked flames, too.

    Keeping sofa cushions plump

    Over time, cushions will lose volume – keep them comfy by plumping firmly from the outside edges after use. If your cushions aren't fixed, it's also a good idea to turn and rotate them to avoid uneven wear if you've got a favourite snuggle spot.

    Cleaning up sofa spills

    Accidents are bound to happen. But it's important to attend to them immediately to avoid causing permanent damage to your sofa's surface. Soak up liquids with a dry cloth, then use a hairdryer to avoid water marks. If you've spilled something that might leave a stain, like red wine, it's best to ask a professional for help.

    Cleaning your fabric sofa

    You should vacuum your sofa regularly to avoid dust building up – this can, over time, cause marks to develop on the fabric that can't be reversed. If your sofa's in need of a deeper clean, seek out a local professional to give your sofa a spruce rather than trying to clean it yourself.

    How do I care for my velvet sofa?

    Velvet's known for its pile, which – depending on the way it's moved – can change the appearance of the fabric. As a result, it's not unusual for velvet to appear 'crushed' when new. Don't panic: just brush it with a clothes brush to fluff the pile back up. Because of the way it's woven, velvet pile will naturally crush over time, but this is part of its antiquing process and doesn't affect its durability. More tips for maintaining velvet:

    1. Always brush velvet in the direction of the pile

    2. Turn the cushions regularly, and gently brush or vacuum (with an upholstery attachment or cloth-covered regular nozzle) weekly

    3. Soak up spilled liquids immediately by blotting with a dry cloth – this will help to prevent water marks that can't be removed. Don't rub or put pressure on the affected area – you might push the stain in deeper. Once you've soaked up most of the spillage, use a hairdryer at a distance to make sure the velvet's properly dried. Once dry, go over the area with a velvet brush to prevent matting