8 Ways That You May Be Ruining Furniture

Two hands cleaning a stain on a couch using a brush and spray cleaner

People often unknowingly ruin their furniture due to a lack of awareness about proper care and maintenance. Here are some common ways that people might be ruining furniture:

1. Direct Sunlight Exposure

A living room furniture set with sunlight beating down on the couch

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade and damage furniture finishes, fabrics, and materials. Use curtains or blinds to protect your furniture from harsh sunlight.

Window coverings and blinds might not protect against fabric fading and discoloration. Rotate your furniture and flip cushions regularly to ensure even exposure to sunlight on all sides.

2. Spills and Stains

A glass of red wine is spilled onto the white fabric of a sfoa

Neglecting spills and stains can lead to permanent damage. Liquids like coffee, wine, and acidic substances can stain and weaken furniture surfaces.

For tips on stain removal, check out this article from HGTV. Promptly cleaning up spills will help to avoid ruining furniture.

3. Not Using Coasters

A cup of coffee on a saucer with a spoon and old coffee stains on the surface

Placing hot or cold beverages directly on wooden surfaces can leave rings and marks. Always use coasters to protect furniture from moisture and temperature changes.

Additionally, certain beverages are notorious for spills like coffee, tea, and anything else in an open glass or mug. Be aware of the need for added caution to protect your furniture over time when these beverages are present.

4. Excessive Humidity or Dryness

An in-room humidifier expelling steam into the air

Fluctuations in humidity levels can cause wood to expand or contract, leading to cracks and warping. Maintain a stable indoor humidity level. Consider using a humidifier to maintain proper humidity in your home.

Ensure that you regularly dust and apply wax to your wood to prevent warping and cracking. Don’t forget to inspect your door and window seals as well. Homes with drafts are prone to experiencing noticeable fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

5. Excessive Cleaning

A gloved hand wiping down a wood table with a cloth

Excessively cleaning furniture can be detrimental as it may strip away protective finishes, accelerate wear and tear, and compromise the integrity of the materials. Overzealous cleaning can lead to fading, discoloration, or even surface damage, particularly for delicate surfaces or fabrics. Additionally, using harsh cleaning agents or abrasive tools in an attempt to clean too frequently can result in unintended harm to the furniture’s appearance and longevity.

6. Pet Damage

A gray cat and a husky dog sitting on a white couch with gray pillows

Pets’ claws can scratch and damage furniture upholstery and surfaces. Using protective covers or training pets to avoid furniture can help prevent this. Alternatively, provide them with their own textiles to lay on if you still want them up on the furniture with you.

Pet hair, over time, can also ruin furniture due to the added need to vacuum and wipe down furniture to clean it up. Consider regular grooming for your pet to avoid this.

7. Kids

A child's arms creating art with moulding putty, crayons, and markers

Kids can inadvertently cause various types of damage to furniture due to their natural curiosity and active behavior. They might scratch or dent surfaces using furniture as a canvas for drawing or playing with toys. Spills, stains, and accidents are common, which can lead to permanent marks. Jumping or roughhousing on furniture can result in structural damage, leading to loosened joints or even breakage. Upholstery may suffer tears or stains from spills or sharp objects. Without proper supervision and guidance, children can unintentionally cause a range of harm to furniture.

8. Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Hand applying oil and wax on a old wood furniture

Loose or broken hardware like handles, knobs, and hinges should be fixed promptly to avoid further damage. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate over time, causing abrasion and deterioration of furniture surfaces. Regularly dust and clean furniture to prevent buildup.

Regular maintenance can mean the difference between a piece of furniture lasting only a few and lasting for a lifetime!

To avoid unknowingly ruining furniture, it’s essential to be mindful of how you use, clean, and maintain your pieces. Following manufacturer recommendations and practicing proper care will help prolong the lifespan and aesthetics of your furniture.

Need More Help?

You can contact one of Gardner White’s experts at (248) 481-2208, chat with one online, or visit one of our local Michigan stores.

Dave has been in the furniture industry in one capacity or another for the last decade. When not writing about furniture he enjoys cooking for his family, guitar playing, oil painting, the Detroit Tigers, and the comedic antics of English Bulldogs.