How to Protect & Maintain Your Dining Chairs

protecting-maintaining-dining-chairs

There are a few basic guidelines to follow to keep your dining chairs lasting as long as a game of Monopoly. These guidelines are easy to follow and will prolong the life of your chairs. Your chairs will support you as long as you support them. 

The protection and cleaning of different materials warrant different techniques. Whether your chairs are timber, fabric, leather, or some combination of the three, we've got you covered.

Care for All Materials

Keep all chairs out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause materials to fade over time. It can also cause warping or cracking if the temperature gets hot enough. This brings us to our next rule.

Keep chairs away from heat sources. The sun is the biggest heat source you'll have to deal with, but there are heat sources inside your house you need to be aware of. Fireplaces, heaters, and the like can all damage your precious chairs. Keep at least 50 centimetres between your chairs and all heat sources to be safe.

Now we'll cover material-specific protection. Preventing spills and damage is always the best way to keep your chairs looking great for a long time. But sometimes you just can't prevent your messy relative(s) from getting everything everywhere.

Caring for Timber Chairs

If a spill has occurred, soak up what liquid you can with an absorbent cloth. 

Don't use any "all-purpose" cleaners. Doing so can actually do more harm than good sometimes. 

What you should do is use a damp cloth to clean up any spots you couldn't pick up with a dry cloth. After doing this, dry the spot with a dry cloth. Be sure not to let the water soak into the wood. This could damage the timber. If there have been multiple spills, clean and dry the spills one at a time to avoid letting the water soak into the timber. 

Soap — a mild dish detergent — can be used to achieve a deeper clean. Once again, use a damp cloth, but this time with a little bit of soap, to clean up the mess. Then go ahead and use a different damp cloth — with just water — to rinse the soap from the timber. Dry the water with a dry cloth as before. 

Sometimes crumbs and dust unavoidably make their way into in a chair's crevices. A vacuum set to low-suction can be used to get this out and make your chairs as good as new.

Fabric Dining Chair Cleaning Tips

Slip covers can provide an extra layer of protection between your meals and your chairs. We currently offer slip covers for our Grace dining chairs in a variety of colours. These can be easily washed in case of an emergency. Slip covers also make it easy to swap colours and mix up your furniture arrangement.

Spills can be cleaned using a warm, damp cloth. Gently press the cloth into the chair's fabric, blotting gently. Do not rub the spot. This can make it worse by causing the stain to go deeper into the fabric.

If water alone doesn't do the trick, use mild dish soap and warm water to clean the spot. Rinse with a damp cloth and then let the spot dry. 

A vacuum on low-suction can be used to clean out a chair's crevices.

Velvet

Protecting velvet is a bit trickier than cleaning other kinds of fabric. Habitual brushing with a soft-bristled brush can keep your velvet looking velvety for a long time. Simply brush in a single direction to remove dust.

In the case of a spill, a vacuum set to low-suction with a brush attachment can sometimes do the trick. Vacuum along the nap — the fuzzy surface — for best results. 

If further cleaning is necessary, mix a small amount of dish detergent with water and stir the mixture well. The goal is to create a lot of suds on top of the mixture. Once you've done this, use a soft cloth to clean the spot using only the suds. Blot the spot to get it out. Brush the nap so that it is facing upward, and then allow the spot to dry.

A vacuum on low-suction can be used in the crevices just like with other fabrics.

Leather

Use a clean cloth to clean spills on leather. A highly absorbent cloth works best. No dish soap should be used. If you must use soap, there are leather-specific soaps available that can be used.

Regularly dusting your leather chairs can keep them feeling and looking just dazzling. A dry cloth works for this task. You can also vacuum crevices on low-suction if needed.

For tougher spots or just general stickiness, a small amount of water and a cloth can be used to clean the spot. Dry the spot once it's clean.

For scratches, a clean finger can sometimes be used to buff them out by gently rubbing the scratch in a slow motion.

Leather protection products exist that can keep your leather chairs protected against stains and feeling new. These products are usually meant to be used every few months or so.