Furniture is a great investment and adds function and design to a home. However, furnishings are also susceptible to damage — such as rips, tears, stains and more — from daily wear and tear, pets, and children. Fortunately, there are ways you can preserve and maintain your furniture so that it lasts for many years. Here are five tips to keep your furniture clean and protected.

1. Avoid Sun Exposure

Furniture that is exposed to regular sunlight can cause it to fade overtime. This is especially true for wooden pieces. For this reason, consider keeping your furnishings out of the sun. Avoid placing them directly under windows. Alternatively, you can rotate your furniture often to limit fading or draw your curtains. You can also try placing a protective film on your windows to keep out the sun’s damaging rays. This option still allows natural light into your space.

2. Clean Regularly

Cleaning your furniture often can help limit dirt, dust and grime buildup. These substances can deteriorate the materials of your furnishings over time. For instance, they can eat away at it or cause staining. Wipe all surfaces of your furniture, including the legs of tables and chairs, and vacuum upholstered furniture, including couches. For leather pieces, you can dust the surface and then wipe it down with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Use a damp cloth instead of a wet one.

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If you’re not sure how to clean a certain piece, refer to the care label. Reading this information can provide you with specific care instructions on how to clean it properly without damaging it. For example, certain fabrics typically require specific care.

Additionally, it’s important to clean any spills immediately. This helps prevent staining. To clean a spill, consider using a store-bought cleaner. Alternatively, you can make a homemade natural solution. If the stain won’t budge, you may need to invest in professional cleaning.

3. Select Resilient Fabrics

To limit damage and stains in the first place, consider buying furniture that is made with resilient fabrics. These may include polyester, rayon, acrylic, microfiber, canvas and more. These durable materials are perfect for pieces that get a lot of wear and tear, such as couches, chair seats and even pillows. Many living room furniture shops sell furniture with resilient fabrics.

What’s more, if your current fabrics are thin, worn or ripped, you can easily change the upholstery. This can help extend the life of your furniture and make it look new. It also gives you the opportunity to change the style and feel of the room. Moreover, new fabric is often more comfortable to sit on than old, matted material.

4. Eat Stain-Free Foods Near Furniture

We all love to get comfortable while we eat, but messy grub such as spaghetti, chili, ribs, ice cream, etc., can stain chair cushions and couches. It’s a good idea to avoid eating near these furniture pieces. Consider eating stain-free foods to limit damage to your furnishings.

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5. Invest in Professional Help

Professional cleaning can keep your furniture in top condition. It’s especially helpful for stains and splotches that you can’t remove yourself. Professional upholstery cleaning can also extend the life of your furniture and enhance the indoor air quality of your house. What’s more, it can eliminate odors caused by cooking, pets, etc., and make your pieces look like new.

Keeping your furniture in good condition takes a bit of time and energy. However, regular care is essential for protecting your curated pieces. Follow these helpful tips to make your furniture last for years to come.

Author bio: Troy Simmons is General Manager at Bel Furniture, a leading furniture and mattress retailer. Simmons is a local Texan who has over 20 years of experience in the furniture business.