Do you have a garage or basement full of old furniture that you plan to throw away or donate? Are you holding on to some pieces because they have sentimental value? Is your shabby, faded couch making you cringe? Most of us have to deal with the nagging question, “What should I do with all this stuff?” You may have a garage full of stained upholstery, scuffed couches, and table tops marred by water rings hidden out of sight but not completely out of mind. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a DIY enthusiast, restoring furniture to its former beauty and functionality has its own rewards. Giving disused furniture a new lease of life adds value and saves money. You can also Revitalize Your Furniture Using Cleaning Services by following some of the tips and tricks used by experts in the field.
Why Do We Throw Away Old Furniture?
If you’ve been spending more time at home over the last couple of years, like most Americans, you probably had to come to terms with living and working in the same space. It’s quite possible that you’ve given lots of thought and energy to transform this space. The idea is to give yourself and your loved ones more comfort and safety, which helps to incorporate this new normal.
Industry watchers have observed a boom in sales of furniture, home improvement supplies, furniture, accessories, and paint that point towards a massive effort to include the WFH culture. The downside of these makeovers is that it obviously generates humongous amounts of furniture waste. Known as F-waste in the industry, this is one of the most difficult of all types of waste. It cannot easily be recycled or repurposed. As a result, it usually gets dumped. Landfills are bursting at the seams with abandoned couches, wardrobes, cabinets, and the like.
The American Environment Protection Agency estimates that more than 12 million tons of furniture waste are generated in this country. Most of it goes into landfills, and only 0.03% is recovered for recycling.
The reasons are not hard to find:
- “Fast Furniture” uses poor quality materials and is considered cheap enough to throw away
- Furniture repairs can be expensive
- Big furniture manufacturers seldom offer repair services
- People want to follow trends and fashions
- Homes have become smaller and less able to accommodate the bulky furniture of yesteryear
- Over-use leads to damage that’s not worth repairing
- Home makeovers where color schemes and themes are drastically changed
- Office furniture has to be replaced periodically
- Some organizations can offset taxes by replacing furniture
What Can You Do With Old Furniture?
You can dismantle the furniture and use creativity and skills (either yours or an expert’s) to make a completely new piece. You can make shelves, cabinets, chairs, tables, or panels with old furniture.
Instead of buying new wood, you can browse second-hand furniture stores or thrift shops in your area or online to add extra wood that you need.
You can do magic with some imagination, the right tools, and equipment.
Seemly shabby furniture needs cleaning, new cushions, upholstery, or minor repairs. Get professional help for these projects. Professionals in this sector have plenty of ideas. They use the right cleaning products and have the skills and experience to do a perfect job.
Revitalize Your Furniture Using Cleaning Services
Take a look at the furniture you want to be cleaned. There could be many reasons why it looks the way it does now, a far cry from the way it looked when you first brought it home.
It may have:
- Scratches, cracks, or scuffs
- Changed color
- Dull finish
- Spots and pits
- Sticky surface even when cleaned
- Water rings caused by wet glasses
- Faded paint or polish
- Fungus or termite attacks
- Torn or faded fabric
- Mildew and stains
- Damaged springs
- Hard cushions
Once you analyze the problem, conveying this to a professional cleaner or restorer is easier.
Professional cleaners always start by cleaning the furniture thoroughly. This helps to identify and locate the problems more accurately. They may use a liquid soap and warm water solution to clean the surface. Cleaners use special brushes and scrubbers for this.
The furniture is completely dried before the next step. Wooden surfaces can be sanded to smooth out paint coating, dents, cracks, stains, or white rings.
Then they can apply the stain or polish of your choice. Wait till the polish or stain dries completely before handling the furniture.
If You’re DIY-ing
For die-hard DIY-ers, here are some tips:
To remove upholstery stains:
- Use an all-natural cleaner rather than a store-bought product. You could damage the fabric with harsh chemicals, especially if it’s an older piece of furniture.
- Mix ¼ cup white vinegar and a tablespoon of liquid dishwash with one cup of warm water.
- Swirl it around in a spray bottle and spritz the stain.
- Let it stay for a minute or two, and then rub it into the fabric with a soft brush.
- Use a damp microfiber cloth to dry the area with gentle mopping.
This method works for most fabrics but may not be effective in the case of silk or leather. Talk to a professional cleaner about the right way to clean these materials.
Rust is a common feature in older metal furniture. Old metal cabinets, chairs, shelves, and tables may have rust spots on them. Mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste on rusty areas and leave it for a while. Scrub it off with a hard brush (an old toothbrush is great) and see the rust vanish.
Moldy and mildewed fabrics and leather can be tackled with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water in equal parts. Scrub the area repeatedly with a sponge dipped in this mixture and rinse out the sponge every time you finish one scrub.
If your old furniture has a musty smell, you can apply dry baking soda generously on the surface. Let it sit for a few hours or even overnight before vacuuming it out. Baking soda absorbs nasty odors. That’s why many people put a bowl of it in the fridge.
A word of caution if you’re buying second-hand furniture and giving it a new lease of life: It’s wise to thoroughly disinfect it before bringing it into the house. Viruses last for a long time on cloth and plastic, so if you’ve just landed a great deal from a thrift store, make sure you sanitize it first.
Another potential problem you could have with used furniture is bedbugs. These pesky little creatures can live in wooden furniture, upholstery, and carpets. Leave the item out in the sun for a few days. Never make the mistake of storing it in your garage or basement. Use a steam cleaner to disinfect and de-bug the furniture before you use it. A professional cleaner best handles this job.
Giving old or damaged furniture a new lease on life is exciting. Rejuvenating can be very rewarding and can become a lucrative hobby if you find that you’re good at it.