Sally’s 101 tips on ways to look after delicate home furnishings
Make your home smile from wall to wall by giving your favourite soft furnishings a refresh. Here Sally, Kair’s founder, shares her top tips for looking after and refreshing even your most delicate furnishings, from curtains and upholstery, to rugs and carpets.
Spot-treat stubborn stains or marks by diluting a little liquid detergent in water and working it into the fabric with a clean, damp cloth. Don’t scrub - this will only set the stain into the fibres. Blot dry with another clean cloth. Be sure to use the right detergent for the right material. Curtains and upholstery made from delicate fabrics like silk, or featuring fine embroidery and detailing, should be treated with extra TLC, so use Kair’s specialist Wool, Silk & Delicates Wash. Avoid harsh bleaches and stain removers, especially biological, enzyme-based ones, which are detrimental to fabric integrity, strength, shape and colour.
Bicarbonate of soda works wonders on soft furnishings. It not only absorbs and neutralises unwelcome whiffs, but also gently exfoliates fabrics, helping to lift dirt and debris. Simply sprinkle onto upholstery and carpets, leave to sit for 30 minutes, then spray with warm water and vacuum dry using the brush attachment. To make things easier, and to get an even coverage, decant the bicarbonate of soda into an empty talcum powder bottle first.
Check the care label first to see if your fabrics are washable. For those that are, again, a specialist gentle detergent is key. For curtains, remove all hooks and curtain weights, loosen the heading tape, and shake away dust, and for smaller items (like pillow and cushion covers) use one of our large mesh laundry bags. Pre-soak in cool water, then wash on a low-spin delicates or hand wash cycle, sticking to cool temperatures (> 30ºC) to preserve fabric integrity. If you’re just washing one item, minimise water and energy use by hand washing in a large tub. Thoroughly dissolve the detergent before immersing the item (don’t rub or wring), then rinse and gently squeeze out excess water.
Never, ever tumble dry - the combination of heat and agitation can cause permanent shrinkage and fading. Instead, drape your fabrics over a clothes rack, or line dry outside (for non-white items, avoid direct sunlight). For curtains, iron while still damp, working lengthways, on the wrong side, stretching the fabric gently to stop the seams puckering. Hang them while still slightly damp, too, so they drop to the right length.
Our Signature Finishing Sprays aren’t just for clothes. They’re the ideal earth-friendly fabric freshener and scent-boosting finishing touch. With powerful yet protective plant-based ingredients, they’re non-toxic and suitable for even very delicate and non-washable home furnishings. Plus, like bicarbonate of soda - and unlike mainstream fabric sprays and air fresheners - they lift, neutralise and remove the source of an odour, rather than simply mask it, to refresh and revitalise fabrics without the need for a full wash.
Follow Sally’s top tips, and your delicate home furnishings will stay in tip-top condition. Just remember to check the care label too, especially with embellished items.