Cleaning Tips and Tricks

The best place to start when looking for cleaning instructions for your furniture is always with the manufacturer. Always save the cleaning information that comes with your furniture for future use. If the manufacturer did not provide cleaning instructions always start with the gentlest method possible first, testing in a small, inconspicuous area. If you purchased your furniture from American Home and are unsure where to start with cleaning or have repair questions, contact our customer service team.

Wood | Upholstery | Leather | Mattresses | Rugs | Cleaning Codes

Wood Furniture

- Dust your furniture frequently. A build-up of dust can cause allergen issues as well as create more scratches when items are placed on its surface.

- To clean, use warm water and mild soap. Make sure to wipe off all excess moisture to avoid it soaking in, which can warp the wood and may cause discoloration. Dry with a soft cloth.

- Our dry climate can be rough on wood furniture so to avoid cracking and splitting be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight. In the drier winter months try running a humidifier in the room every few weeks.

- Oil polishes and furniture oils add a luster and sheen to your wooden surfaces, but they do not offer a hard protective layer.

Upholstery

- Vacuuming your furniture weekly helps prevent dirt and grime from setting into the fibers. Use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum.

- If you have reversible cushions, make sure to turn them every so often and even switch them from one side of the sofa to the other if possible. Some seats will get more use than others and changing things around give you a more even wear to the upholstery as well as the foam inside of them.

- Keep out of direct sunlight! Make sure to utilize shades and drapes or simply place upholstered furniture in a location where it will get little to no direct sunlight as possible. This helps prevent fading of colors as well as the breakdown of both the fabric fibers and the foam inside most cushions.

Leather

- Grease and oil stains: Do not clean with water!! Use a soft, dry cloth to blot out as much of the offending oil as possible. Repeat until no more is coming up on the cloth. Sprinkle the spot with talcum powder or cornstarch and after allowing to sit for a while, brush away gently with a soft bristle brush. Make sure not to rub during this whole process because you will simply spread the stain or grind it in further.

- Water stains: Blot with a soft, dry cloth as soon as possible. If the water has already dried use a soft, damp cloth and wipe outwards towards the edges of the surface in all directions, making sure not the scrub but instead gently wipe.

- Ink stains: These stains can be very tricky to get out and often spread easily. The best course of action is to contact a professional immediately for the best chance of removal.

Mattresses

- Use a high-quality mattress cover that allows your mattress to breath while still providing a waterproof and hypoallergenic barrier. Be sure to remove and wash your cover frequently, per the manufacturer's specifications.

- Flipping your mattress is a thing of the past, but it's always a good idea to rotate your mattress (keeping the same side up, but rotating so that then when which was at the head of your bed is now at the foot of your bed). This will give you a more even wear on your mattress and allow it to last longer without developing a divot. This is recommended for innerspring, memory foam and hybrids alike.

- Harsh cleaning chemicals can break down your mattress from the inside out. Clean stains with a mild detergent or soap and blot with a clean, soft cloth that is slightly damp with cold water.

Rugs

- Hand-knotted rugs: Vacuum regularly. Dirt and grime that is left for long periods of time can break down the weave and fade colors. Spot clean using a mixture of cold water and mild detergent on a soft cloth, dabbing throughout affected area. If possible you can turn over that section of the rug and use the same treatment of the back side. Let air dry. Over time some hand-knotted rugs will 'sprout', showing a few fibers sticking up higher than others. This is due to the manual construction of the rug and is not considered a major defect. Simply use scissors to clip protruding fibers down to the level of the rest of the rug.

- Tufted rugs: Vacuum regularly. Dirt and grime that is left for long periods of time can break down the weave and fade colors. Tufted rugs will shed the first few times when vacuumed, this is normal. Spot clean using a mixture of cold water and mild detergent on a soft cloth, dabbing throughout affected area. Let air dry. The backing of the rug may get damp but avoid getting it truly wet. This will dissolve the glue used on the back side which holds the rug together and can cause the rug to fall apart. 

- Machine-made rugs: Vacuum regularly. Dirt and grime that is left for long periods of time can break down the weave and fade colors. Machine-made rugs can be cleaned either with spot cleaning or with the use of a carpet cleaning machine. When spot cleaning, use a mixture of cold water and mild detergent on a soft cloth, dabbing throughout affected area. If possible you can turn over that section of the rug and use the same spot treatment of the back side. Let air dry.

- Viscose and silk rugs: These rugs are very delicate and we recommend obtaining professional care for these rugs to ensure proper treatment and to maintain the integrity of your rug.

Cleaning Codes

Manufacturers use a series of cleaning codes as a short hand to advise you on how to best care for your furniture. Here is a list of the most common cleaning codes and their meanings.

- Code "W": Used on fabrics that should be cleaned with water-based cleaning agents only. The best method is to spot clean using foam from only water-based cleaners or non-solvent cleaning products. When you clean, it is best to apply foam with a soft brush (so as not to damage the fabric) in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.

- Code "S": On these fabrics try to use a mild water-free cleaning solvent or dry cleaning product. If this is the case, make sure that your room is well ventilated and there are no open flames, such as from a fireplace, candles, or cigarette lighters. If you have concerns about the safety of these cleaning chemicals consult a professional for cleaning assistance.

- Code "W-S": These fabrics can be cleaned with either water or solvent-based products. Use a mild solvent, an upholstery shampoo, or the foam from a mild detergent.

- Code "X": These fabrics should only be cleaned by vacuuming or gently brushing. These fabrics should never be cleaned with cleaning agents of any kind. Any cleaning product, whether water- or solvent-based, may cause staining, shrinkage, or distortion of the fabric surface pile.