We spend a lot of money on our home furnishings, so it makes sense to treat them with the care they need to stay looking new and clean. If you are still on the fence, consider these three arguments in favor of Fabric Protection for your upholstery, rugs and carpet.
Choose Fabric Protection for Peace of Mind
In this age of “performance fabrics,” it is not always clear to buyers how stain-proof our new sofa actually is. Even the rug market can be hard for us to navigate. Wool rugs may be timeless and luxurious – think Oriental and Turkish varieties – but they are still vulnerable to stains and fiber damage. And don’t get us started on carpet. At the end of the day, you have to be able to live in your living room – and all the rooms of your home. Fabric Protection can be the key to worry-free livability but there are a lot of misunderstandings about protection products. Consider these reasons and make the decision that best fits your lifestyle.
It is common for buyers to ask how fabric protection works. Protection should shield against oil and water-based stains. It should encapsulate fibers rather than remaining on the surface. Fabric Protection should make professional upholstery cleanings much more successful and make soil lift easily from carpet fibers. A quality protectant should have a good track record with multiple categories of fiber and finish. From sisal to velvet to wool, protection is meant to delay staining from spots and spills, buying the homeowner the time to blot up liquids or gently remove solids.
With effective protection, even the scary stuff – coffee and wine, for example – can be lifted from your sectional or imported rug with a quick response and a white cloth or paper towel. For people who entertain family and friends, who have a busy household with children and pets, or who enjoy a glass of cabernet every once in a while, it is a relief to know that a spill does not need to ruin your week. Fabric protection is an investment just like your new or newly cleaned furnishing is. Ultimately, it is an investment for your peace of mind.
Choose Fabric Protection for Long-term Value
When you buy a sofa, sectional, area rug, or any major home purchase, you are looking for those items to last. You expect the warranty on the furnishing to cover anything that happens to that purchase. Did you know that the standard warranty for upholstered furniture does not cover performance of the fabric it is upholstered in? Nope, the warranty is meant to repair structural elements that break unexpectedly, or replace internal components like cushion foam that flattens prematurely. But those product degradations are far less common than the everyday stain.
Moreover, if you have a sofa upholstered in a performance fabric, make sure to research that fabric. It may be a protection mixed in with the fibers at the time of manufacturing and that is an effective, long-term choice. But some “performance” fabrics are simply regular fabrics oversprayed with protectant, which will wear away or be removed by deep cleanings over time. Like all textiles, that fabric can be re-protected. A few deep cleanings will wear away a protective coating over time so fabric protection is not a one-time service. Over time, the best cleaning results will be achieved if the protection is kept up to date.
To get the most out of your purchases, you want to know that the everyday spots and spills don’t have to turn into long-term stains. You also want to extend the life of your furnishings and delay their replacement. Fabric Protection can actually reduce the effects of soil and of wear and tear, keeping furnishings looking new longer. What’s more, fibers that have been protected can be cleaned more easily – making those periodic professional cleanings more effective and retaining the like-new appearance of your purchases. And many protection products last for between 1-3 years. If you can make a 7-year sofa last 10 years, you are delaying a new purchase and you are enjoying the true value of your original purchase. The frame, springs and cushion filling of that item should perform as promised. By getting the fabric protected too, you can enjoy long-term use and satisfaction.
Choose Fabric Protection for a Healthier Home – and a Healthier Planet
If you are going to protect your furnishings, you want to understand the difference between one product and another. Keep in mind that not all fabric protectors are created equal. Some protectants are made from silicone-based chemicals which can yellow over time. That makes it a risky choice for homeowners who choose light or white upholstery and flooring. Other stain treatments are fluorochemicals that can hurt the environment and compromise the health of your home. Another discrepancy is the difference between a surface-spray and a nano-tech application where the protectant encapsulates the fibers of the furnishing and provides more than a superficial seal.
It pays to do a little research. And take it with a grain of salt when protectants say they are chemical-free. Even basic detergent has a chemical profile. Water-based protectants are available on the market and these can be as effective as solvent-based products, though they may slow the drying time of the items protected. Read online profiles and consider the information shared on a product’s website, as well as the information that is withheld. Any treatment that is applied in the home should be deeply vetted. Let your service company explain the reasons they stand behind their choice of protection product – and ask what you can expect in terms of longevity and follow up.
Look for a fabric protector that keeps allergens and bacteria from embedding in carpet, rugs and upholstery. This is a real advantage if you have a family member with allergies or illness. Make sure that the ingredient list says that the product is PFOA, PFOS and Fluorocarbon-free. Keeping these substances out of the home and the larger environment is important. And speaking of the environment, remember that the longer the lifetime of your furnishings, the fewer of them will end up in the landfiill. In fact, a protected and professionally cleaned sofa makes a great hand-me-down for kids going off to college or moving into their first home or apartment. Protect because it is safe and sustainable.
Are You Ready for Fabric Protection?
Our home is where life happens. Also it is where accidents happen. Puppy puddles, leaky sippy cups, mustard on game day hot dogs, Saturday coffee snuggles and red wine anniversary toasts – every one has the potential to cause long-term damage to your favorite furnishings. Protection insures better cleaning outcomes. It helps vacuums get more soil and contaminants out of carpet and rugs. It allows us to keep our cool when that spot or spill happens.
Wall-to-wall carpet, designer rugs and large upholstery pieces are among the most expensive additions to your household. Getting more years out of these items gives you more bang for your buck. A good fabric protection will keep your furnishings looking new longer. It will reduce wear and tear on even the most-loved furnishings. The expense of a protection application every few years will more than offset the cost of replacing an item that suffers a one-time staining event or that is subject to everyday use and abuse. If you want to prolong the life of your home’s furnishings, investing in fabric protection is a no-brainer.
Finally, any home – any place exposed to people – is a dirt and germ magnet. When you use a quality protection, one with no PFC’s, you can make your home a safer place to live. Having furniture that does not encourage bacteria growth or the spread of allergens is a plus. Having rugs and carpets protected helps to offset the contaminants that walk through the door on the soles of our shoes. And maintaining your home’s furnishings with regular cleaning (and periodic re-application of fabric protection) will slow down wear and tear and will keep those furnishings out of the landfill longer.
Protect Your Investments
We spend a lot of money on our home furnishings, so it makes sense to treat them with the care they need to stay looking new and clean. Invest in your investments. Choose fabric protection. How? Find a local company that applies a well-vetted fabric protection product. Have them price out the job, then compare that pricing to the cost of replacing the furnishing altogether. Given all the advantages of fabric protection, its kind of a no-brainer. And if you have a sofa in a performance fabric, make sure to research that fabric. It may be a protection mixed in with the fibers at the time of manufacturing and that is an effective, long-term choice. But some “performance” fabrics are simply regular fabrics oversprayed with protectant, which will wear away or be removed by deep cleanings over time.
If you think that fabric protection is a match to your lifestyle, consider these pointers to prepare for a protection appointment.