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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Furniture Tips: Oops!

Just like the rest of life, it’s usually better to prevent a bad thing from happening than it is to fix it afterwards. You made a significant investment in your wood furniture, to keep it beautiful for longer:

• Maintain even humidity in your home since the rise and fall of moisture in the air can lead to the splitting and cracking of the wood.

• Use a pad under your writing paper to avoid bleed through marking or the scratches caused by a pen.

• Keep your furniture out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can fade a finish.

• Toss those rubber-based plastic placemats. The materials in them can discolor furniture.

• Never clean your furniture with glass cleaner. The ammonia base can discolor and dull a finish.

• Use trivets and hot pads. Hot kettles, pots, etc. will damage the finish on furniture.

• Be picky about your coasters. Metal coasters can sweat moisture underneath them and plastic ones can cause a chemical interaction with the finish, marring it. Those with a cork or felt underside are best.

• Wipe up spills immediately. Water marks can cloud a finish.

• Avoid silicone-based furniture polishes. They can bleed into a finish over time. To tell if it’s silicone-based, run your finger over the piece after you’ve polished it. If you can see the line, there’s silicone.

Despite the best of care, accidents happen. When something happens to your wood furniture, you’ve got 2 choices.fix it or hide it. Refinishing is best but it takes a lot of time and some skill, so here’s a bunch of sneaky little tips for hiding what’s wrong.

Water Marks and Rings: Often, rings are in the wax, not the finish. Cover the stain with a clean, thick blotter, press down with a warm iron, and repeat. Or rub with salad oil, mayonnaise or white toothpaste. Wipe dry and wax or polish. Why toothpaste? It has just a little grit in it so it works like a very, very, very fine sanding.

White Marks: Rub with a cloth dipped in a mixture of cigarette ashes and lemon juice or salad oil. Or rub with a cloth dipped in lighter fluid, followed by a mixture of rottenstone and salad oil. Wipe dry and wax or polish.

Milk or Alcohol: Use your fingers to rub liquid or paste wax into the stain. Or rub in a paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone with the grain, substituting pumice for dull finishes. Or rub with ammonia on a dampened cloth. Wipe dry and wax or polish.

Dark Wood or Stain: Fill scratches with shoe polish that matches the lightest shade of the finish, or rub with walnut or Brazil nut meat in the direction of the scratch. A child’s crayon or felt-tipped marker can also be used.

Cherry: Fill the scratches with cordovan or reddish shoe polish that matches the wood, or apply darkened iodine with a cotton swab or thin artist’s brush.

Light Wood or Stain: Fill scratches with a tan or natural shoe polish, or apply darkened iodine diluted 50 percent with denatured alcohol. There’re several commercial products on the market. My favorite is Howard’s Restor-A-Finish which comes in several different colors (golden oak, cherry, mahogany, etc.). It’s basically a wipe-on, wipe-off refinisher. Although I rarely use them, some folks really like the marking pens made to cover scratches. And they come in a variety ofcolors.

Unless the piece of furniture has a really uniform finish that hides the grain of the wood, like a highly lacquered piano or a coat of paint, you can use the variation in the wood grain to your advantage. Imperfections in color or variation in the grain will mostly go unnoticed. It’s the variation in the shine that will be most noticeable. The good news is that this can usually be fixed by applyinga good uniform polish over whatever fixes you’ve made.

If you have questions about any of these articles, or suggestions for future columns, you can always drop me a line at ken@olyfurnitureworks.com.

How to Remove Water Stains From Wooden Furniture

Are sweating glasses or hot cups causing white marks on your coffee table? Did you hold a party and there are watermark rings all over your wood furniture? Or are there are types of liquids that leave marks on your on your lavish wood furniture?

You don’t have to worry about any of these instances because there are some best ways that you can use to get rid of water stains from wooden furniture. I will cover different methods that you can use so that you can try them.

  1. Petroleum jelly or mayonnaise

Apply either of these on the marks and rub in a circular motion. If you notice that the mark I still there, you can apply more of the product and leave it for about two hours or overnight.

  1. Toothpaste

Look for non-whitening or non-gel toothpaste. Apply the toothpaste on the wood. Them remove the toothpaste and shine the surface with a wood polish.

  1. Baking soda

Having hot cups can end up leaving white marks on your coffee table and other wooden furniture in your home. You can remove such marks using baking soda. Make a paste of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of purified water. Do not use too much water. Rub the mixture on the mark on a circular surface until the mark disappears.

  1. Salt

Are you wondering how you will get rid of watermarks on your wooden furniture? You can do that by using salt. Mix a tablespoon of salt with some few drops of fresh water to make a paste. The next thing is to rub the paste on the marks using a sponge or a soft cloth, rub until the mark disappears. This is an effective way to give your wooden furniture its original look.

  1. Car Wax

White rings on your dining table give it a bad look. This mostly happens when someone forgets to use a coaster. To get rid of such marks on your dining table, you can use car wax. Find out the location of the ring and then apply the car wax. Give it time to dry and then buff using a soft cloth. The marks will disappear.

  1. Vinegar

This is another effective way you can use to remove white rings that are left when you use wet glasses on wood furniture. You can do this by mixing equal amounts of olive oil and vinegar. Apply the mixture to the furniture using a soft cloth. You then need to use another clean cloth to shine the surface.

  1. Steel wool

You can visit the nearest hardware and look for the finest steel wool available. You don’t want something that will end up scratching your table. You can use the steel wool gently to rub lemon oil on the furniture. Ensure that you work in the area of the mark because if you go further, you can end up damaging the finish.

  1. Hair dryer

A hair dryer also works well to remove water stains from your wood furniture. Ensure that you put your hair dryer in its lowest setting and direct it at the mark. Move your dryer around to prevent heat from concentrating on a single point.

  1. Iron

If you are handling some light stains, you can use an iron. You just need to apply a gentle heat and pressure using an electric iron and a non-abrasive piece of cloth. Set the iron at its lowest heat level and spread the cloth on the area with stains. The next thing, run the iron on the cloth and ensure you do each pass in the same direction. After a few passes, you can lift the cloth to find out if the mark disappeared.

  1. Commercial products

If you don’t want to use some of the home remedies, you can also remove such marks using over the counter products. You can get different products that you can use on a variety of surfaces like wood, enamel among others.

Final words

The next time you find some water stains on your wooden furniture, now you know some of the best ways you can use to get rid of the marks. Any of the methods I have covered above is effective. However, when using some methods like steel wool, iron, and hairdryer, you need to be careful to ensure that you do not end up causing more damages on your wooden furniture.

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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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Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Teak Furniture with A Power Washer

Teak outside furniture has converted very popularly for its charming and straightforward appearance. This wood, beginning from South Asia, can be highly immune to the ingredients. Its color determination turns to a beautiful color of grey if not handled. But, it has to be washed periodically to maintain its beauty.

Teak is a working wood including an appealing honey color that gives it an attractive stock for outdoor furniture. This usually doesn’t require any extra protection from the segments than its original oils, except continued vulnerability to sunlight, changes its yellowish-brown tone to gray in smaller than a time. That graying is not a mistake; some even consider it a desirable quality. However, you can wash including sand the wood to recover its original color if wanted.

Gentle Cleaning is Advised

Secure to never practice any element cleaning liquid on teak wood. This best idea to retain outdoor teak appointments excellent including clean centres to use warm water also a soft soap liquid such while Murphy Oil Soap during wood roughly even merely liquid soap. Soak the furniture practicing a cloth including soapy water including rub lightly matching the wood grain areas.

Go Easy with Pressure Washing

If this furniture is filthy moreover hard to wash by hand, a light pressure coming from a nozzle of a garden hose is preferable for do the job. Working more than 1200psi pressure washer will occur in injuries to the teak wood. Avoid employing steel wool that damages the wood rather of cleaning brands off.

Hard spots need to be covered longer with more soap including water including rinse with moderate pressure into holes or underneath anywhere dirt banks. Of course, this is best to wash them and often, so it needs less time and reduces the risk of creating damages.

Whether this furniture is wood, synthetic either metal, the first impressions are forever the equivalent. Brush either vacuum off random debris, wash feather surfaces including soapy water including rinse thoroughly. Practice a hose provided with a nozzle, cool a power washer. Admittedly, using high-pressure water strength save you a few minutes of cleaning time, just there’s also much chance of damage.

Bleaching Tannin Stains

Later pressure washing, teak furniture should live in the dry air through at limited 48 hours before thou earth it. While it is exhausting, you may regard some problem spots, which you can get care of ere you sand it. A resolution of wood bleach comprising oxalic acid including water extracts tannin spots left by needles and garden trash. Wipe it on also let it absorb in till the brand is gone. Compensate the bleach by thoroughly washing that off including clear water about a resolution of 1/2-cup baking soda through the gallon of water.

Sanding for the Final Touch

Once this wood is hard, use sandpaper to complete the job of replacing the primary color of this wood. You can do a maximum of the ground by hand among 120-grit sandpaper, though if you prefer to utilize a machine, want any official palm-sized orbital sander. Have in understanding that sanding tools make miniature, circular scar marks, including you, will hold to delete these with hand-sanding between the next most engaging sandpaper, 150-grit. Once this wood has been replaced, it needs about eight either nine months during it to turn old again, so a regularly power-washing including sanding method should hold it seeing its immeasurable.

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