PET FRIENDLY FABRICS AND HOUSEHOLD TIPS

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© Tim Trad

Pet owners are the luckiest people in the world. But they also have a life filled with responsibilities, having to care for their furry little companions.

Not only they have to adjust their lifestyle to their pets, they also end up making massive changes to their homes. And ofcourse, we can’t forget about all the extra cleaning and vacuuming.

If you’re getting a new pet, then welcome to the club! And if you want to know more about all these household changes, look no further.

Keep reading to find out how you can be smart with your furniture choices and make cleaning after your pet a much easier process!

Pet Friendly Fabrics

When you have a pet at home, you’ve got to be very selective about the fabric you use for your furniture. There are certain features that you need to look out for like colour, texture and washability.

Fabric Color

Believe it or not, the color of furniture you chose will make a significant difference when you have pets.

Try to match the color of your furniture material to your pet. For example, if your pet has white fur, don’t go for dark colors because white hair will be more visible.

You could also opt for multicolored or patterned materials such as tweed where the hair won’t show up.  I personally think that gray colored fabric and sometimes even cream, with bits of brown and black are quite good at hiding fur.

Fabric Texture

When you have a pet, there are bound to be bathroom accidents and spills. This is why you need a fabric that is easy to clean and nonabsorbent.

Synthetic fabrics like polyesters and nylons are easier to clean. This means that you don’t have live with stains and smells forever. Also, liquids also can’t get through them either.  So, there’s no chances of your couch being pee infused for a long time.

You also definitely don’t want fabric that gets hair and fur easily stuck to it. Certain materials like velvet are actually hair magnets, so stay away from them. Opt for hair repelling fabrics, where fur can simply be vacuumed away.

Examples of Pet Friendly Fabrics

Some fabrics are a lot more suited for pet than others. Here’s a list of fabric you should choose, if you have a pet at home –

●     Microfiber

Synthetic microfiber is a fabric from the heavens if you own a pet.

This material is hard to tear and even scratch. You can also get rid of hair by a simple wiping or running a lint roll. Even stains are easily removable by brushing away with a  mixture of soap and water.

●     Leather

Leather is amazing because fur doesn’t stick to it. You can simply vacuum your leather couch to keep it clean.

Although leather does scratch, it doesn’t look too bad. Infact, the scratches add patina, which is a well sought after look. Aso leather is much easier to wipe than other fabrics.

Although this material is high in the price range, it’s long lifeline makes it worth buying.

●     Denim

Think of how sturdy denim jackets and jeans are. So why not chose the same fabric for your furniture?

Denim is durable and easily cleanable.  Since the fabric is tightly woven, hair doesn’t get stuck to it. So vacuuming daily will get rid of any pet fur.

As for washing, simply a mixture of soap and water or using a baking soda paste will get rid of stains and dirt.

Denim brings in a rugged, casual look to any room. Using this material will definitely make a statement. What’s more it will make your life with a pet much easier as well.

 ●     Outdoor Fabrics

You know the fabric that is used to make outdoor furniture? They’re specially made to be waterproof and resistant to bacteria. Some of them are even made to be stainless and odor free, which is everything you need if you own a pet.

There’s no rule saying you can’t use those fabrics indoors. So go ahead and opt for one of those. If you think they’re too tacky, don’t worry because there’s a wide range available in the markets.

You’ll have a whole variety of patterns and colours to choose from, and match with the rest of your living room.

 Maintenance Tips For Pet Households

When you own a pet, you’ve got to make wise choices with your furniture and its maintenance. Here are a few tips I’ve learnt through years of experience.

Washable and Removable Decor

You should regularly wash any materials that are in contact with your pet. This is necessary to maintain a hygienic environment.

This is why decor has to be picked wisely in a pet household. Make sure any bedding, blankets and covers are easily removable and machine washable.

Also buy pillow and seat covers with zippers. They’re much easier to remove and throw into the laundry machine.

Cover Your Furniture

Covering your furniture makes it last longer and keeps it clean. This is true especially for households with pets.

If you cover your couch, your pets will sit on the covers instead of the actual couch. And then all you have to do is put them in washing machine.

Of course washing a cloth cover is much easier than separate parts of your furniture. And if you think this will ruin the aesthetics of your house, you could also just make separate matching covers with your furniture.

Throw pillows are also a  great way to cover up your furniture as well. Pets can’t be pretty lazy. So, they won’t really move the throw pillows away.

Your cat or dog will most likely settle on top of the pillow. This way your throw pillow will bear the brunt of all the  fur, and your couch won’t have to suffer.

The Floor Matters

Pet households need flooring that is easily cleaned and not too fancy. Hardwood, stones and tiles are the most suitable for this.

Carpets are also a good way to protect floors. However, make sure the carpet is machine washable and doesn’t absorb liquids easily. To make your life easier, there are also some pretty amazing carpet cleaners  that will do wonders with stains and odors.

Consider placing some extra rugs in  key areas where mess is most likely to occur.  I’m talking about places like the front of the bathroom, your pet’s designated area and the entrance from the backyard.

These rugs will catch the extra mud, water and food particles, and help your carpets last longer. What’s more, smaller rugs are easier to wash more frequently as well.

Strategic Furniture Placement and  Purchases

Observe your pet’s behavior and place your furniture accordingly. For example, opt for higher stools that are difficult to get on. Also make sure to hang up any artwork and pictures high  in the wall so your pet can’t reach.

Sometimes pets can be overly smart and pull at dining table covers to get the food to crash. In that case, don’t use table covers at all. Buy sturdy furniture that is pet proof.

Let’s be real, you can’t really have fancy glass furniture all over your house when you’re a pet owner.

Pointy edged furniture might hurt your pet, so it’s best to opt for rounded edges.  Small furniture like baskets and ottomans can also be used as barriers and blockers for certain no pet areas as well.

Designate a Special Pet Space

Giving your pet a specific place of their own can save your furniture a lot of trouble. Invest in a comfortable and nice looking pet bed to place in the living room. Train your pet to stay away from the sofas and use the pet bed instead.

Adding your pet’s favourite toys and soft blanket and bedding will make all the difference. Pets also like to be near their owners so don’t place them too far away from where you’re sitting.

You could also get a scratching post that fits with your decor. Scratching posts are great distractions which will keep your cat’s claws away from your furniture. To make these posts more appealing, add bits of catnip around it.

Final Thoughts

Pets are an absolute delight to have in our lives. But they can also be a nightmare when it comes to cleanliness and prized furniture.

Honestly, it’s best to just  keep minimum furniture with relatively cheap decor, and a clutterless house. Cleaning is much easier that way, and your pet will be able to roam around more freely as well.

Keep your most prized possessions out of reach or in separate rooms where your pet is restricted. And let’s be real, who needs material goods when you have the lifelong love of a pet?

So go on and pet proof your house with all the tips I have shared. And remember to be picky and wise with your choices!

Author Bio:

Shawn is a content writer at FeedFond. A pet enthusiast, he loves all things animals. To read more of his articles, visit FeedFond.com.

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5 Tips to Clean Your Furniture before the Big Move

packing a box

Moving is not an easy task – there are hassles, and not to forget, the workload is just insane. From effective planning to multi-tasking, you have to be an expert in it all. The bottom line is that moving to a new place is a whole process that needs effective planning.

First, you need to find the place that suits your requirements. That being sorted, you then need to pack and de-clutter. Now, this my fellow readers is an art, choosing what to take and what not to take is an art learned by few.

You might just don’t want to go crazy spending money to move the old furniture. If that is the case then you must ensure that you don’t take the old debris and stains with you to your new place. Cleaning furniture can be a challenge, especially when you have already so much to do.

But fret no more. We bring you 5 tips on how to clean your furniture before the big move.

  • Clean your Microfiber sofa set:

Do you have a dark spot on your sofa that you can’t get rid of? Well, microfiber is comfortable and ideally suited for daily use but it absorbs dust and dirt. This absorption over time appears on the surface as “the dark spot.” Knowing the origination of the mark, you would want to swipe your sofa clean (failure to do so would mess up your décor!).

The best way to clean your sofas is to spray alcohol directly on the stain and scrub the spot away. Yes! It is this simple, just spray the alcohol and scrub the sofa with a soft sponge or brush and Voila! Your sofa is squeaky clean and that too without being wet!

  • Get rid of the food stains

Well, the number of times when you have dropped a food item on your fabric upholstery would be uncountable. Even though wiping it out helps remove it, the stain lasts forever. If you want to recover your favorite upholstery, then prepare a simple cleaning mixture.

Mix water and detergent in 2:1 ratio and store it in a bottle. Using a white cloth dab the mixture on to the stain, make sure you only dab and not rub or else you will spread the whole stain!

Even though this solution helps you get rid of stains on your upholstery it is advised to do this as soon as you drop the food item.

  • Leather Furniture and the Cleaning Spree

Leather furniture gives your place a touch of elegance, however, it is a high maintenance furniture item. Moisturizing is the key. Make sure you keep your leather furniture clean and moisturize it to avoid any form of cracking. The best way to do this is to use a moisturizing soap. Never wet the leather though, just rub the lather and then buff dry using a clean piece of cloth.

  • Mystery Stains:

Often, you are unsure of where the stain came from, and you can’t Google the solution to it. If that’s the case then try applying the foam of shaving creams. Take a damp cloth and dab the cream, let it stay for two minutes. Blot the cream away with a clean damp cloth till the stain goes away.

  • Ink Stains:

Who doesn’t have these?! Ink stains, common as they may be, they are often the toughest ones of all. If your furniture has ink stains, then white vinegar is your lifeguard! Apply white vinegar using a damp cloth. If this doesn’t work, then mix vinegar and cornstarch in 2:3 ratio. Apply this paste to the stain and let it dry. Vacuum it out after a few minutes and the stain will come off.

It is essential that you have your mess sorted before you go to a new place. This means you need to keep a moving checklist handy. So what are you waiting for? Start of your cleaning spree today and get ready for the big move.

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Author Bio:

JennyJenny Harrison is a passionate technology and lifestyle blogger. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for home, lifestyle and tech related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Follow her on twitter @MJennyHarrison for more updates.

Tips on keeping your upholstered furniture clean

Remember when you bought your sofa? How nice, clean and new it looked? You swore that you were going to treat this one right. The kids would not be allowed to eat or drink on it and the pets would not be allowed to sleep on it. Then by the end of that first week, it has had a bowl of Lucky Charms dumped on it and the cat has taken up permanent residence on the left arm of the sofa!

Well, today I am sharing with you some tips on how you can keep your upholstered furniture clean. The cushions, the pillows, and the whole area, in general, will stay looking good and also feel good for many, many years as long as you treat it just right. Best of all it is not hard or very time consuming at all!

Vacuum On A Regular Basis

I cannot stress this one enough and if you do this, you will extend the life of your upholstered furniture for many years. I am not talking about just picking up the vacuum and running it along the sofa, I am talking a real cleaning here. Use the wand/hose that your vacuum has and clean each cushion, get in the crevices and take as much care cleaning the area as you would the floor. Many people have issues with their upholstered furniture because they do not clean them enough. If you have kids this is especially true as they have a habit of spilling stuff and just leaving it. Or even worse they ram it down the sides of the sofa!

Get A New Vacuum

If the vacuum cleaner you have is not cutting the mustard when it comes to getting rid of things like pet hair, consider getting a new vacuum. One that has various attachments like a pet tool and a crevice tool is ideal. I found that when we got a new vacuum and it had all these little attachments, it made cleaning the upholstery so much easier and it also actually made sure the whole area got a real good cleaning. A cordless vacuum will usually give you more flexibility as opposed to being tied to a cord.

Put Pillows In The Dryer

Now, before you do this make sure that the throw pillows you have are able to go in the dryer, chances are that they will be able to. What this does is, first of all, it will get rid of any dust and dirt that is on them. It is also going to give them a real good fluffing and make sure that they are nice and soft for you when you are kicking back watching Netflix. I used to make the mistake of ignoring the pillows, tossing them on the floor while I vacuumed the sofa! Do not make that mistake, show your pillows some love.

Protect Your Upholstery

You may have visions of the awful plastic sofa protector that your grandma used to have. You know the type? It is see-through, it feels hot and sweaty in the summer and cold as ice in the winter. Well thankfully, upholstery protectors have come a long way over the years. You can get some very nice ones for the arms of your sofa that will keep them clean when the kids wipe their face, hands and yes even their nose on them. Plus they are great if the cat likes to sleep there as you can throw them in the washer when they are dirty. I know that this is not for everyone, but if you really want to make sure you get many years of use out of your sofa, protection may be something to consider.

Treat Any Spills Right Away

If you spill your morning tea or your late night white wine, clean that mess up right away and clean it properly. Far too many nice cushions have been lost and have had to be turned over forever because of a spill. The hardest part of this is the kids and pets. There is not really anything you can do about the pets. When it comes to the kids, you really need to make sure they let you know right away if they spill anything on the sofa and that they know not to just leave it or even worse, try and hide the evidence somewhere else on the sofa!

Try And Keep It Out Of Sunlight

We are not talking about protecting a Mogwai here! We used to have a very nice sofa in the backroom. Now, this was not the most expensive sofa in the world, but it was comfortable and I loved the design it had. Unfortunately, we decided to make the backroom a “sun room” for the summer months and took down the large curtains. The sofa being in constant sunlight resulted in nearly ¾ of it becoming really faded and dull looking. I swear it was not as comfortable either, but my other half says that was my mind playing tricks. The point I am making is, think about where you are placing your sofa and try to not allow the sun to beat on it all day as it will start to fade.

Call In Someone Who Knows What They Are Doing

In all honesty, as long as you vacuum the sofa regularly, you will find that keeping your upholstered furniture clean is not hard at all. While I think that a vacuum cleaner with a range of attachments is the way to go. If you find that cleaning the upholstery is the last thing on Earth you want to do, a last resort can be calling in a professional to make sure it is cleaned. They will know exactly what they are doing and have it as clean as possible. This, of course, will not be cheap, but it is always an option if you do not feel you can get it as clean as you would like.

There you have it! See I told you that keeping the upholstery was not that hard. Keeping on top of the cleaning and making sure you deal with any “accidents” as soon as possible are the man ways to keep your upholstered furniture looking awesome.

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How to Clean and Care for Leather Furniture

Do you have any leather furniture, or are you considering to buy some? Although that type of furniture needs a little more attention when it comes to maintenance, generally it’s a really good investment. If you tend to do it properly, it will age wonderfully and look better with each year. Caring for it is relatively simple – after you purchase leather furniture, check the tag for any special information and then stick to these tips, and you’ll always have a top-notch leather sofa or couch.

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Clean spills fast

Small spills can’t hurt your leather much, you only need to act quickly to prevent discoloration. Don’t use any detergents, just a simple soft cloth or paper towels will do. Wipe it off and leave it to air dry, and it will be like nothing happened.

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 Oily stains

If dry blotting isn’t enough, you can always try with a wet cloth, but never use a wet cloth on grease or any oily stains because it can make it worse. Oil soaps stain darken the leather so they’re out of the question. They can clean the leather, but it will eventually make the furniture brittle, dry and damaged.

Keep away from sunlight

Avoid putting your leather furniture in direct sunlight, as it can accelerate the natural ongoing discoloration process. Like any upholstery material, leather can fade to some degree if exposed to the sun. Also, extreme temperatures can cause the leather to dry and crack. Whether it’s too cold or too hot, it doesn’t matter – if it bothers you it probably bothers your sofa, too. Therefore, don’t place leather next to air conditioners or radiators.

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 Stretched leather

Leather stretches, after all. To avoid disfiguration you need to turn reversible seats and back cushions weekly, and seats, arm and back cushions should be regularly plumped up to maintain the shape of your suite. If your leather got stretched beyond plumping or turning it around try this simple trick – a hairdryer. Slowly heat the stretched out area with a hairdryer set on the highest setting and then just leave it be. As the leather cools, it will shrink back to its original size and shape.

Scratches

It is almost inevitable to have a few scratches on your leather furniture. You can’t keep pets and children away from it forever, can you? It’s made to be sat on, after all. Small scratches can fade away by just rubbing them with the tips of your fingers. The oil on your fingertips will blend with the natural oils on the couch, filling in the scratch like it was never there. However if the scratches are a bit deeper, a shoe polish that matches your leather can fill in the scratches and blend it with the rest.

Check which products you can use

The leather in furniture can vary a lot, so not all leather cleaning products are good to use. Even formulas that claim that are appropriate for any kind of leather can have a different effect.

Domu designer furniture Australia experts advise to always test any new cleaners or conditioners before applying them. You can do this by dabbing a small amount of the product on the leather, in a spot that is normally hidden from view. A small corner on the back of a piece is a good place for a spot test, and you will see the effects without ruining your furniture.

Regular care

To keep your leather furniture looking sharp, you need to dust it and vacuum it regularly. By dusting you will prevent any dirt being worked into creases, and a vacuum cleaner can reach crumbs and other debris hidden in tiny crevices. You can do that any time you’re vacuuming your house, so it becomes a habit, and then you’ll never forget to take care of your furniture. You can do that especially before it’s time to clean and condition the leather.

Conclusion

These are the tips on how to care for your leather furniture. If you follow them, you will probably have no problems keeping it in top-notch for years to come. However, accidents happen sometimes, so if you’re not sure how to deal with it, it’s best to leave some things to the professionals.

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Revitalizing Your Furniture to its Former Shine

It’s a simple fact of life that, unless you cover your furniture with plastic covers, wear and tear will eventually make it look shabby and worn. With apologies to all of our dear aunts who still think that plastic-covered furniture is fine, you can use a few techniques to bring back the look of some furniture without the expense of restoration or the bigger expense of replacement.

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Of course, there are times that no matter what you do, a piece of furniture needs professional help, but until it reaches that point there are plenty of things that you can do to fix the small problems that make your furniture look shabby.

Alternatives to expensive restoration for wood furniture

When it comes to refurbishing furniture on your own, the first step is to clean the piece. No matter how small the problem is if it is not clean there is nothing you can do to make it look better. For wood furniture that means washing it with a non-abrasive cleanser and lightly going over it with very fine steel wool.

Once it is clean, check the piece over for nicks, scratches and stains. There are a few tricks to take care of those:

  • Stains can be taken out of wood with a mixture of canola oil and vinegar. Mix ¾ of a cup of vinegar to ¼ cup of canola oil and rub it into the wood with a cotton cloth. The mixture will lift the stains out of the wood and begin restoring its natural luster.
  • Scratches on wood can be covered by applying a layer of coffee grounds – for dark furniture – or by rubbing it with a walnut – for light wood – and then wiping it off after letting it set for a few minutes.
  • Water rings, caused by glasses left sitting on a table, can be removed with mayonnaise. All you have to do is spread a thin layer on the damaged surface and let is sit for a half an hour. All you have to do is wipe them mayo up and the ring goes with it.
  • If you have a dent in your wooden furniture you can pour water on it then place a towel or shirt over the water and set a hot iron on the cloth. The heat from the iron will cause the water to be absorbed by the wood and within a few minutes the dent should be gone. If it doesn’t disappear after a couple minutes, set the iron back down on it and continue until it has.

You can stop there, but on advice from the experts at Eastern Suburb antique restoration once you have cleaned the piece, give it a light rub of furniture oil – it doesn’t matter which brand – and let it soak in. You might have to repeat this step a couple of times to see a difference, but once the oil soaks in it will really bring out the pattern in the wood. Go over the piece again with fine steel wool and then seal it with Tung oil. Once the Tung oil has dried, give it a light coat of wax and polish it.

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Different materials require different solutions

What works with hardwoods, won’t work with other materials. Damage to plywood and veneers can be a lot more difficult than hard woods while damage to plastic furniture can be quickly and easily fixed. When it comes to plastics, for example, the best way to clean any piece is with bleach. If you can’t get it clean using a mix of ¼ cup bleach to a gallon of hot water, it probably won’t get clean. Bleach is a very caustic chemical and gloves should be worn when cleaning with it. After it has been cleaned remember to wipe the entire piece with a dry, white cloth to get all of the bleach off. From there, the new plastic-formulated paints make it easy to give plastic furniture a brand-new look.

Every material has its own peculiarities and there are plenty of places that will show you the best ways to clean and refurbish any material. The most important thing to remember is that you like the piece of furniture – for whatever reason – and if you want to restore it, have a ball.

How to know if something is worth saving

Knowing when you need help is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. Some furniture restoration projects need more than just cleaning and a fresh coat of oil or paint. Sometimes a piece needs expert care or at least expert advice on fixing a problem.

Modern technology is bringing that expert advice into your home in a very personalized manner. More and more restoration companies are willing to work off of photos or streamed video to give potential customers an idea of the scope of projects and whether it can be done at home or if professional help is needed. The best part of that is you don’t have to wait for your local shop to get the time.

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