Furniture + Mattress Care Guide - Chervin Furniture & Design

Furniture + Mattress Care Guide

Proper furniture and mattress care are essential to prolonging the beauty of your upholstered furniture. Here are a few tips to get you started.

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Upholstery Furniture Care


Effects of sunlight.

Sunlight can damage fibres and cause fabrics to fade. Position your furniture away from direct sunlight. Use lined draperies, window shades, or blinds can prevent sun damage.

Climate control.

Extreme temperature variations can be harmful to upholstered furniture. Hot radiators or heating ducts can dry fabric fibres and fade colours. Cold, dry air from air conditioning outlets can affect both the fabric and the frame. Arrange furniture so it is at least 20 inches away from air conditioning or heating outlets. Do not store upholstery in a damp basement or a hot attic. The dimensional stability of certain fabrics, particularly those made of natural fibres, can be affected by climate changes in the home. When humidity is high, the fabric may lengthen as it absorbs moisture. This results in a less taut appearance in the upholstery.

Fume fading.

Fume fading occurs when gases and fumes from furnaces, cooktops, chimneys, and cars mix with oxygen and humidity to form an acid. This mild acid reacts with fabric fibres and causes it to deteriorate and become discoloured; some colours are affected more than others. Always use exhaust fans in the kitchen to help reduce the accumulation of cooking fumes. Be aware that tobacco smoke, heating systems, and auto exhausts may also leave a greasy residue. This type of soiling can be found near heating and air-conditioning vents and windows. To prolong the beauty of your fabrics, arrange furniture away from vents and clean it regularly.


Muddy paws, snagging claws, and shedding are a natural part of pet ownership. Extra maintenance may be required for homes with pets. If you can’t resist pampering a pet, protect your upholstery and be sure to vacuum it often.

Perspiration and body oils.

Upholstery fabrics and leather can absorb perspiration and oil from skin, hair, soiled hands, and clothing. Protect your furniture by placing cloths where heads rest and using arm caps when provided.


Avoid placing newspapers on upholstered items. The newsprint can rub off on the fabric or leather, dulling the colour and contributing to overall soiling.

Standard Care Procedures

Rotate seat cushions.

Turn, fluff, and rotate seat cushions and back pillows weekly – regardless of how much the seating was used to minimize premature wear of the cushion core, control welt slippage, and maintain even fabric colour.

Vacuum regularly to remove dust.

Although you won’t see it as you do on a tabletop, dust settles on your upholstery and can soil and abrade it if it isn’t removed regularly. We recommend weekly vacuuming with an appropriate vacuum cleaner attachment. Vacuuming can help, but improper vacuuming can result in fabric wear and piling. Do not use a commercial vacuum or a rolling brush attachment; use a residential vacuum cleaner fitted with an upholstery tool attachment.

Clean spills immediately.

Blot (do not rub) all spills immediately with a clean, dry white cloth. Spot clean according to the instructions on the label located on or under the seating deck.

Do not clean cushion covers separately.

Even though they have zippers, the cushion covers are designed to be cleaned in the manner as the rest of the upholstery.

Stain and Spot Removal

Treat spills and accidents immediately. Quick action is essential to prevent permanent damage. Spots and stains from liquid spills can be prevented if immediate steps are taken to absorb the staining materials.

Standard cleaning codes. These standard cleaning codes for upholstery have been part of the furniture industry since 1969. Some brands will include these on a permanent label on the piece of furniture to provide direction in cleaning.

  • S=Solvent cleaner only. Spot clean using a mild, water-free solvent and dry-cleaning product. Clean only in a well-ventilated room and avoid any product containing carbon tetrachloride or any other toxic material.
  • WS=Water-based or solvent cleaner. Spot clean with a mild solvent, an upholstery shampoo, or foam from a mild detergent. When using a solvent or dry-cleaning product, follow instructions carefully and clean only in a well-ventilated room.
  • W=Water-based cleaner. Spot clean using the foam only from a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or nonsolvent upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam with a soft brush in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.
  • X=No cleaning agents. Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent the accumulation of dust or grime. Water-based foam cleaners are solvent-based cleaning agents of any kind that may cause excessive shrinking, staining, or distortion of the surface pile, and therefore should not be used.

Note: Due to the varied nature of stains and fabrics, there is no guarantee that the results of these household solutions will be positive. You may need to contact a professional cleaning specialist to purchase a solvent or dry-cleaning product for fabrics with “S” or “WS” cleaning codes.

Appearance Changes

Once you begin using an upholstered item, you can expect its appearance to change over time. These changes are considered normal wear. Here’s what to expect:

Wear and pilling.

Over time, most upholstery fabrics will show wear due to friction. Pilling—the formation of little balls of fuzz on the surface of a fabric—may occur with normal use. The occurrence of pilling in a given fabric depends on several factors, including the fabric’s weave, its fibre content, and the way the furniture has been used.

Comfort wrinkles and compression.

To get the relaxed look and feel of some of our upholstery styles, some fabrics have “give.” Comfort wrinkles and creases are natural occurrences in these relaxed upholstery styles. Even in traditional, tailored styles, some comfort wrinkles can be expected as the upholstered item is used and adjusts to its normal wear.

Wood Furniture Care

The Ideal Environment

Wood furniture is best maintained at temperatures between 65° and 75° Fahrenheit. Avoid prolonged exposure to heating and cooling outlets, as exposure to extreme temperature variations can damage any fine wood piece. Do not expose furniture to continuous direct sunlight. With extended exposure, ultraviolet rays can create hairline cracks in the finish or cause fading, yellowing, or darkening. (Note: Some wood species simply darken naturally with age; this effect is particularly noticeable on light and painted finishes.)

Wood is porous. It responds to extremely dry air by losing moisture and shrinking. It responds to humid air by absorbing moisture and expanding. In dry environments, the halves of an extension table may part slightly, especially at the edges. This will correct itself as the relative humidity rises and the wood absorbs enough moisture to expand. During humid weather, wood drawer fronts may swell and become difficult to open and close. These natural changes do not affect the furniture’s overall quality or durability.


Do not store furniture in damp or hot conditions. Allow plenty of air movement around the furniture, and do not stack or store other objects on it. To prevent table leaves from warping, lay them flat.


  • Don’t lean back in chairs.
  • Don’t stand on woven seats.
  • Avoid using chair stretchers or table pedestals as footrests.
  • Don’t put anything hot directly on surfaces. Use coasters under hot (and cold) beverages.
  • Let it breathe. Rotate accessories and other items placed on the furniture. Do not leave plastic tablecloths or placemats on dining tables for extended periods of time, as chemical components of plastic will migrate into the finish, causing indentations, softening, discoloration, and damage. Do not store leather goods on furniture for extended periods of time. Don’t cover furniture for extended periods of time; finishes need to “breathe” to maintain appearance and durability.
  • Use felt discs. Place felt pads under lamps and accessories.
  • Prevent damage during use: Protect dining tabletops with non-plastic mats or pads. Protect work surfaces when using items that could stain, imprint, or damage the wood such as ballpoint pens, crayons, markers, and glue. Note: Potpourri and scented accessories may contain oils that can damage finishes. Avoid friction. Lift objects instead of dragging them across wood surfaces. Avoid rubbing on matte or low-sheen finishes, as even through normal use, the sheen of matte and low-sheen finishes tends to increase.

Standard Care:

To prolong the beauty of your wood furniture, please follow these simple care procedures.

Dust regularly. Dust using a soft, clean, slightly damp white cloth such as a white cotton T-shirt or cotton diaper. Use a dry (preferably cotton) cloth, if necessary, to remove any moisture from the surface. When cleaning tops with scored surfaces, be sure to carefully remove all moisture from the grooves to prevent possible damage to the finish.


Gently vacuum rush seats, rattan, and woven surfaces with a soft-bristle brush attachment.


Use a soft white cloth that has been dampened with a solution of mild soap and water. Wipe the surface again with a soft cloth dampened only with water to remove all soap residue, and use a soft, dry cotton cloth to completely remove all moisture.

Glass tabletops:

Handle glass tabletops with care. Do not step on or sit on them, as serious injury may result. A scratched surface or damaged edge may cause the glass to crack suddenly. Do not expose the glass to sudden temperature changes. Clean with a damp cloth or glass cleaner. Do not use an abrasive cloth or sponge, and do not allow glass cleaner overspray to come in contact with wood surfaces.

Metal tabletops:

Dust with a clean cloth that has been moistened with water. We do not recommend the use of any commercial metal cleaners for the care and maintenance of furniture styles with metal accents.

Stone tabletops:

Dust with a clean cloth that has been moistened with water. We do not recommend the use of any commercial stone or granite cleaners for the care and maintenance of furniture styles with stone accents.

Mattress Care

Within the first few weeks of use, you will notice minor indentations in the mattress. Body impressions of up to 1½ inches deep are normal in any top-quality mattress.

General Use, Care, and Safety:

  • Let your new sleep set “air” upon removal of its packaging. Rotate your mattress periodically to promote even wear (every 3 months is recommended).
  • Do not use cleaning fluids or any type of fabric protection application on your mattress; it may damage some of the materials.

Use a liquid-resistant mattress protector.

Spills and stains can impact the integrity of the mattress fabric and foams. Severe spills can also cause the foams to collapse, making them prone to impressions which can cause discomfort. A liquid-resistant mattress protector will help keep your mattress clean and healthy over time. Look for one made from breathable materials.

Ensure proper support.

Use a bed frame and foundation with enough support for your mattress to ensure proper support and prevent sagging. Use a supportive, rigid, non-yielding foundation to support your mattress, preferably by purchasing the matching foundation. An old foundation unit may not provide sufficient support. If used with a foundation, use a frame that provides rigid center support as well as support for the head, foot and sides. For any queen or king frame that does not have a metal center support, you must use at least 5 hardwood or metal slats and add legs to the 3 center slats. By not providing a sufficient supportive frame, damage can occur to the product which will void your warranty. If used without a foundation (ex. Platform bed), add a solid platform on top of any open-slatted mattress support system in which the slats are greater than 2”. Use an open-slatted mattress support system in which the spaces between the slats are greater than 2”, without the addition of a solid platform, will damage your mattress and void your warranty. If using an adjustable motion base, please refer to the manufacturer owner’s manual for use and care instructions.

Transport properly.

Do not bend or fold the mattress more than 30 degrees. Carry the mattress flat on its side to avoid damage. If applicable, do not use the handles to move the mattress. They are designed for positioning only and may pull out if used to support the full weight of the mattress.

Use sheets of proper size and depth.

Using sheets that are too small can bend the corners of the mattress.

Avoid open flame.

Do not place your sleep set near heaters or open flames; do not smoke in bed.
Cut packaging carefully as any cuts to the product will void the warranty.

Clean your mattress regularly.

Knowing how to clean a mattress can help you reduce dust and allergen buildup. Regular vacuuming of the mattress using a handheld attachment during your regular cleaning cycles at home is an easy way to clean your mattress.
Take caution when considering how to wash the mattress in the event of accidental spills or stains. Saturating the foams and fibres with liquid cleaners and water can damage the foam. When needed, you can spot clean stains using warm water and mild detergent. Then, let the surface dry completely before putting your sheets back on.

Do you have more furniture care + maintenance questions?

Our team of furniture experts in Elmira, Ontario, is always willing to help answer your questions about furniture and mattress care to help prolong the life of your purchase.

contact our team