In most homes, you find both upholstered (fabric and/or leather) and wooden furniture.
Special pieces. Before you instruct your helper to start her work:-
· Identify items that have special cleaning requirements clearly to her.
· Ask if she has those skills to do the job. Invite her to repeat your instructions so that both of you are clear about what she can and cannot clean.
· Tell her you might forget to point out some items which she is not to clean. General Rule – if she is in doubt, don’t clean till she clears with you.
Some basic care points to teach your helper:
- Keep furniture out of direct sunlight. If this cannot be prevented, ensure it is covered with a piece of cloth during the “quiet” hours of the day.
- Place furniture away from heating and air conditioning vents.
- Blot up spills immediately and in a proper manner. She should also inform you immediately so that the stains can be treated correctly.
- Use coasters, place-mats and tablecloths to protect furniture during use.
- when she is cleaning and dusting she should not slide items across furniture surfaces otherwise scratching will result. Instead, she should always lift items up and replace them carefully.
- With your permission, she can rotate accessories on your furniture periodically.
- Dust your furniture regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth (that old T -shirt if it is clean can be cut into smaller pieces for this use. Microfibre cloths are now commonly available at supermarkets and department stores, even sold by itinerant vendors) or vacuum with the correct nozzle. All cushions should be removed. Every part of the sofa and its cushions should also be vacuumed. This removes the dust and other particles.
- The dusting cloth should only be very slightly damp to catch the dust. It is important to bear in mind that neither wood nor leather takes kindly to too much water.
- Leather sofas and other types of furniture can be cleaned with saddle soap but make sure that all soap residue is removed. Allow to dry properly before applying any liquid moisturisers. Both of these are sold commercially. Use sparingly and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Wooden furniture. What products you can use to clean, protect and maintain its shine? The answer is determined not only by the type of wood ( e.g. pine, teak, rosewood, mahogany etc but also the type of material that has been painted over the wood. Was it lacquer, PU spray paint etc). There are soaps and oils, waxes and pastes. Choose a product that does not create wax or silicone build up over time. Fine furniture come with a manufacturer’s advice on cleaning and maintenance.
- Hardened wax on your table? Use a hair dryer to melt the wax, mop it up with some disposal kitchen towel. Then use a cloth dipped in equal parts of vinegar and water to clean that spot. This procedure may have to be repeated to fully clean off the wax. Don’t scrap off the wax with any sharp instrument as the wood can easily be scratched.
- ALWAYS spot test your cleaning products before using on the whole piece of furniture.
- Pet fur and hair. Animal hair tends to invade your furniture. You can restrict areas in the home where pets can frequent. Animals can be trained to sit and rest in specific places in your home. Your helper reinforces these rules. Placing a towel or sheet to cover your animal’s favourite spot and removing cover for cleaning periodically; and grooming your pet regularly alleviates this problem.
- Don’t use regular soap or detergent to clean anything made from leather. It will leave a residue and cause dry patches and cracks.
- Don’t use disposable kitchen towels as they will fray and disintegrate.