How to maintain your sofa so it looks beautiful for years

Chesterfield 3-seater settee

Chesterfield 3-seater settee - Credit: Archant

Promotional feature: DesignerSofas4U, the UK’s largest manufacturer of Chesterfield sofas & Leather sofas, offer expert tips to maintain your sofa so its looks beautiful for years.

Leather chesterfield sofa

Leather chesterfield sofa - Credit: Archant

A new designer sofa is a wonder to behold - crisp colours matched against seamless fabrics and a cool and fashionable design makes this item of furniture a treat for the eyes as well as for the body.

Nonetheless, after a few years, your sofa may lose some of this vibrancy and begin to become shabby-looking. But with the right care and maintenance, you can keep a sofa looking almost as good as new for decades!


Sofas can become damaged or frayed when people sit on the armrests, perch themselves on the edge of cushions, or sleep on them overnight. Certain items of clothing and jewellery can also damage sofas - if the clothing has a sharp edge, such as a button or a zip, it could damage the fabric.

Children and animals can also wreak havoc on designer sofas, so keep a watchful eye open!

If you notice any snags, frays or loose threads on your sofa, don’t pull at them. All loose threads should be cut off with scissors.

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Even with the most careful use, regular wear-and-tear will cause fabrics to weaken and eventually fade. To increase your sofa’s life expectancy further, consider using sofa protectors or sofa covers.

Chesterfield 1930s 3-seater settee

Chesterfield 1930s 3-seater settee - Credit: Archant


The wide fluctuations in temperature radiators lead to can cause furniture to become damaged - this is especially true for leather sofas. Sunlight and heat may also cause colours to fade over time. Think about where you can position your sofa so it can avoid these temperature changes.


You will need to regularly clean your sofa if you are to make sure it looks pristine. Don’t use any harsh chemicals or cleaning materials whilst cleaning, or you might do more harm than good.

Every different fabric has its own unique cleaning requirements, and it would be almost impossible to go into full detail in this article. What is good for a leather sofa could be harmful for cotton upholstery!

In order to avoid causing damage to your sofa while cleaning it, it is important to get into the habit of regularly clearing away any mess and to deal with spillages and other marks when they happen. Otherwise, the damage may become engrained and embedded, making it very difficult to get rid of.

• Vacuuming

Every type of sofa material can cope with light vacuuming, however. Follow these tips to vacuum your sofa without damaging it.

• With a soft brush, clean the surface of the sofa and the sofa cushions.

• Use a brush adaptor to ensure that the sharp edges of your vacuum cleaner do not scratch the fabric.

• Do a thorough job - take the sofa cushions off and clean every inch!

Cleaning a leather sofa

When it comes to leather sofas, a careful approach to cleaning is vital, and limiting the amount of moisture and cleaning chemicals the material encounters is essential.

• Wipe down the sofa with a dry cloth.

• Lightly hoover the sofa.

• Use a damp cloth to wipe clean areas.

• Use a slightly wet (but not soaking!) cloth to clean slightly soiled areas. Use a natural soap or a specialist leather sofa cleaner, and do a spot test on a hidden area to make sure the sofa can handle the chemicals. Once you have cleaned the dirty area, dry it with kitchen roll or a towel.

• Use leather cleaner when the sofa is particularly dirty. Other cleaning materials can damage the leather, causing it to warp, become wrinkled or even crack. Again, do a spot test to make sure you don’t damage the material - every leather is slightly different and can handle slightly different cleaning chemicals. Follow the instructions on the leather cleaner - typically, you will need to use a damp cloth and dry the damp area afterwards.

• Use leather preservative about once a year to condition the leather.

Furniture dressing

A little bit of effort can make a big difference to the appearance of your sofa!

• Flip your sofa cushions once every week or so. Doing so will essentially double the life expectancy of the cushion!

• Plump up your seat and back cushions to keep them springy and comfortable and to keep the upholstery in good shape.

• Check the instructions on the washing labels of your sofa. If you choose a sofa with machine-washable seat covers, then wash them on the lowest setting, and avoid fast spins if possible. Dry them on a clothes horse or on the clothesline rather than in a tumble dryer.


For more about DesignerSofas4U, visit their website.