How to repair your stained or scratched furniture – and what not to do
My husband and I ate many meals with plates propped on our laps while watching Netflix.
A lump of something I dropped on our new leather chair went undetected for a few days.
Then, when it couldn’t be easily wiped off, my hardworking husband took the abrasive side of a sponge and left scratches that looked like a bear dragged its claws across the surface. More on that later.
A mysterious stain on our new leather armchair remained undiscovered for days.
The extra time stuck inside during this pandemic has shaped not only our finances and waists, but our home furnishings as well. Whether it’s carpets with spilled coffee or wooden tables scraped off laptops, Lego, and game consoles, many household items need to be looked after and repaired. (Aren’t we all?)
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We’ve rounded up five main areas of damage and consulted experts (and TikTok) to find out how best to fix them.
Revitalization of wooden surfaces
If you’ve used disinfectant wipes to sanitize your wooden tables, stop now: you can soften the finish.
Use a soft, damp cloth with a touch of soap to clean your table top, then wipe it with a dry cloth.
Leave minor scratches alone. Over time, they merge with the patina.
Leave small scratches alone; They will blend into the patina over time.
For a severe, deep scratch, a permanent marker that matches the color of your wood will do. Simply stain the scratch and quickly wipe off any excess material with a cloth. The next day, rub a little vegetable oil (not olive oil) into the crack to protect it from spillage and moisture.
Remove stains from carpets
Experts say you should remove stains from a carpet or rug as soon as possible. But if you don’t get it right away, you still have options.
First, consult your rug’s label or manufacturer’s instructions for the best cleaning methods.
If the stain is new, says David Weidkamp, sales manager at carpet manufacturer Tufenkian, “dab the excess liquid on as quickly as possible, then use a cleaning solution and dab again.”
Whenever possible, you should remove stains from a carpet or rug immediately.
You don’t need a fancy, specific carpet cleaning product, he says; Dish soap is a good, basic solution. He suggests a few drops of mild dish detergent mixed into a cup of water.
Once the cleaning and rinsing is complete, blot the area with a dry towel. Use a portable fan or hair dryer set to cool – never hot.
A wet and dry vacuum is also useful for instantly removing spills and stains, and for vacuuming up cleaning fluids before drying.
Use the same method several times on old stains. When it dries, scrape or remove what you can first, then clean, blot, and rinse. If you don’t see success after three to four cycles, contact a professional.
Clean outer fabrics
To clean cushions or pillows outdoors, remove the inserts and hand-wash the fabric in a mixture of bowl or mild soap and water using a soft-bristled brush or sponge to work on stains.
A cup of bleach and a quarter cup of mild detergent mixed in four liters of water will quickly remove mold stains.
After you’ve checked the washing instructions for your fabric or pillow, you can throw the covers in a washing machine. (Close the zippers first.) Wash on gentle cycle in cold water and then air dry.
If the pillows or pillows are not removable, prepare a solution of 1/4 cup of mild dish soap to four liters of water and clean them seamlessly with a soft-bristled brush. Then rinse thoroughly; You can use a hose.
For mold stains, mix a cup of bleach and a quarter cup of mild detergent in four liters of water.
Bring the upholstery back to its former glory
When couches and comfy chairs were brought to their knees last year, watching people clean them became a new form of entertainment. For example, Bissell’s Little Green portable deep cleaner went viral on TikTok.
Laundry stain cleaners can also work on upholstery.
If you stick to stain cleaning, Patric Richardson, author of Laundry Love, says you should use a laundry stain treatment. Remove the treatment with a warm, damp towel.
Richardson’s trick to not getting a ring after drying is to feather the edges. “Pull a dry towel from the center of the damp area into the dry one,” he says. Go around the entire patch, “as if you were following the numbers on a clock.”
For my own black leather scratch, I ordered a leather balm to recolor.
The kit I picked came with a jar of black shoe polish, a spongy applicator, and a buffer. Apply the tinted balm, wipe off the excess and buff it off. It worked like a charm (to my husband’s relief).
Some leather manufacturers offer consumer goods to help with maintenance and repairs.
Timothy L Brock
Leather can be damaged by alcohol-based products.
Generally, if you want to give your leather a color, test it in a hidden spot first. Then use a cotton swab or cotton ball to saturate the damaged area with the paint.
If you have severe scratches or damage such as ink stains, you will need a professional repair service.
Leather can be damaged by alcohol-based products. So don’t use disinfectant wipes to clean it and be careful not to put your hands on the arms of your leather furniture after using the disinfectant. It could break the top coat.