How Do I Care for a Vintage Couch?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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Most vintage furniture will have special care requirements. In general, proper care for a vintage couch will depend upon the fabric it is made of. You may also need to protect a vintage sofa from dirt and dust slipcovers or a protective spray to guard against stains. Avoid placing your antique or vintage furniture in a humid location, as humidity can damage upholstery and wood. Moths can eat away at the fibers of your vintage furniture, so using some type of moth protection is another good idea.

For most fabrics other than leather, you may be able to use a vacuum cleaner attachment to safely remove dust and dander from your couch. A vintage couch should not be vacuumed with a hand-held cleaner that has a rotary brush, however, as this might damage the fabric. For stains on your vintage couch, you might need to have the fabric dry cleaned.

If your vintage couch has any wood parts, you should be able to wipe these with a soft cloth. If you must use a wood polish or cleaner, read the label carefully and use these products a well-ventilated area. If in doubt, it's best to consult with a professional. If your vintage couch has deep scratches on any part of the wood surface, it's best not to use any harsh chemicals to hide the marks. You might need to have your vintage couch professionally restored.


For a leather vintage couch, daily dusting should keep it looking good. If your couch gets dirty, a damp cloth that has been dipped in a mild solution of dish washing soap should clean it. Additionally, you may purchase special cleaners formulated for leather products, but these products can be expensive.

Your vintage leather couch should also be conditioned occasionally to maintain a soft appearance. Choose a special leather conditioner that is formulated for delicate vintage furniture. Use the recommended amount of conditioner. Do not sit on the couch until it is completely dry, as the conditioning solution might stain clothing.

Where you decide to place your vintage couch is also important. A vintage piece of furniture that sits in direct sunlight for a long period of time will eventually become deteriorated. The fabric might begin to discolor over time when exposed to the sun's damaging rays, so be sure to shield your vintage furniture from sunlight with window treatments.

If your vintage furniture needs to be relocated, it's best to cover it with a sturdy piece of material during transportation. Always protect your valuable vintage furniture with some type of covering when doing nearby repair work, remodeling, or painting. Preventative care can keep your vintage pieces looking good. Prevent accidents that could damage your vintage furniture by not allowing small children and pets on the couch.


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