Whether you’ve stored your furniture in a proper storage unit, up in your loft or down in your cellar, you’ll likely want to give them a good clean when you retrieve them.
But where do you start?
Different materials require different cleaning approaches. Keep reading to find out how to clean a fabric sofa when you take it out of storage, and how to get rid of any mildew that has formed on your wooden furniture – without the need for cleaning services.
Things you’ll need
We’re not saying you’ll need all of the items on this list, but it’s a good place to start. You might find you already have a few of them in your cupboard, so go ahead and check!
- Microfiber cloths
- Mild dish soap
- Furniture polish/wax
- Soft cleaning brush
- Hard cleaning brush
- Spray bottle
- Rubbing alcohol
- White vinegar
Tips to help you clean furniture that has been in storage
So you’ve got your items back from storage and they look a little worse for wear.
Before we dive into how to clean your wood furniture and sofa, we thought it’d be worth explaining how to prepare your furniture for storage in the first place.
After all, prevention is better than cure!
1. Safeguard against damage
If you’re yet to put your furniture in storage, we’ve caught you at the right moment.
Before you book your storage unit or put things into the loft, be sure to give your furniture a thorough clean. If your furniture is dirty when it goes into storage it is much more likely to become a breeding ground for mould and mildew. For example, steam cleaning a couch that’s been in storage is much tougher than protecting it beforehand.
Here’s what to do:
- Remove dust with a dry cloth
- Clean wood with a special wood cleaning product before adding furniture polish
- Hoover and clean the dirt off your sofa
- Clean leather sofas with leather cleaner
- Polish metal parts
- Ensure everything is completely dry before you pack it
2. Remove dust and grime from wood
If your furniture has accumulated dust in storage, the best way to get rid of it is with a dry, clean microfibre cloth, making sure to wipe over all surfaces, corners and crevices.
For grimy surfaces, dampen the cloth slightly, wipe it down, and then go over it again with a dry one. Never leave your wooden furniture damp as this could lead to mildew.
For surfaces with sticky residue, add a dash of liquid soap to the cloth and test a small patch to ensure that it doesn’t remove the finish. After cleaning with soap, don’t forget to dry with a microfibre cloth. Adding wax after cleaning can help your furniture retain its shine.
3. Remove mildew from wood furniture
You might find that your wood furniture has accumulated some mildew during its time in storage. Mould (which produces mildew) loves moist, unventilated environments, and wood absorbs moisture. That’s why you should always store your furniture in a cool, dry place, such as a professional temperature controlled storage unit.
The good news is, there are lots of cleaning solutions out there today that can get rid of mould and mildew. There are also some home remedies that you could try if the mould hasn’t penetrated the wood. Here’s how to clean furniture that’s been in storage:
- Pop a teaspoon of soap into a spray bottle filled with water. Shake.
- Spray the mould-infested area
- Use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub away the mould
- Use a sponge to soak up any excess liquid
- Dry the surface with a dry cloth
- Fill your spray bottle with 50% warm water, 50% vinegar
- Spritz the mould
- Leave the solution to dry for an hour
- Wipe the surface with a moist, clean cloth, then a dry one
4. Disinfect upholstery
Like wood, the fabric of your sofa can also absorb moisture while in storage, and it too can become a hotbed of mould and mildew. If your sofa’s a little mouldy, here’s how to go about removing stains and deep cleaning your couch:
- Put newspaper down around the sofa
- Use a hard brush to brush off the surface mould onto the newspaper
- Scrunch up the newspaper and throw it away
- Add 1-2 tsp of liquid soap to 100 ml of warm water and mix
- Dip a sponge into the solution and use it to clean the mould off
- Allow sofa to air dry
- Pour a small portion of alcohol onto the mould
- Allow it to settle
- Scrub the mould off using a brush
- Wipe away remaining mould with a wet cloth
- Allow sofa to air dry
- Pour a small potion of white vinegar onto the mould
- Allow it to settle
- Create a paste of baking soda and water
- Apply the paste to the vinegar
5. Pressure wash outdoor furniture
If you’ve been storing outdoor furniture outdoors, you may have to pressure wash it to remove dirt. You can do this by hand using water, washing up liquid, and a bristled brush.
Store your furniture with Storage X
At Storage X, we’re experts in storing furniture.
We’ll store your bulky belongings in one of our purpose-built, stackable storage units that are sealed shut for security. Simply book your unit and we’ll pick up your items for you.
Our storage contracts are flexible, so you can store your things for as long as you need to. We’ll even return them to any UK address when you need them back.