When you buy a sofa, or other furniture, you make a decision between leather or cloth upholstery. People have their own reasons for their choices, and there is no right or wrong choice. They both have advantages and shortcomings regarding their comfort, strength and appearance.

To start with, there are some suggestions to help you keep your sofa looking good. Don’t place your sofa where it would receive direct sunlight. This will cause it to fade more quickly. Don’t place it close to a heat source. Don’t sit on the backrest or armrest. They are not made for sitting upon. Move the cushions around so that they will wear evenly, and give them a “plump up” every so often so that the padding does not settle.

A brand new sofa may feel firmer, and different to the sofa you tested in the store. The store sofa would have had many people sitting on it. The new sofa will need time to adapt to your family life.

Whichever type of sofa you choose, cloth or leather, remember that they are quite different when it comes to cleaning them. Cloth sofas require cleaning regularly to keep them looking good. They are resistant to scratches, which may affect leather sofas, but they show wear after time, and natural materials, such as cotton, deteriorate easily. Also they stain more easily. Stains must be washed out immediately. And it is recommended that your sofas should be cleaned 3 or 4 times a year to counteract the sweat, oils, and bodily secretions from humans and pets.

For general cleaning of cloth upholstery, make a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts warm water, with a teaspoonful of dishwash detergent, in a spray bottle. Always shake before use, then spray on stains or spots, saturating them. Dab the area with a damp cloth – microfibre is best – and towel dry. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will be on a tag attached to the sofa.

A cleaning solution for a cloth sofa should NOT be used on a leather sofa. Leather needs more regular maintenance, as it can crack over time. A recommended regime would be to wipe the leather often with a slightly damp, clean cloth, or at least monthly, which will help maintain its flexibility. Don’t let the leather become wet. Use a dry cloth to dust the sofa on a weekly basis. Spills should be dealt with quickly. Dab with paper towel or absorbent cloth.

As with the cloth sofa, leather can be affected by high levels of sweat and bodily secretions, especially from people who are using some medications. The best way to deal with that is frequent cleaning with leather cleaner, followed by a leather protector. These can be purchased at the supermarket.

However, the safest way to keep your furniture in tip top condition, is to use a professional sofa and couch cleaning service. Knowing all the details of the users, the expert can use the correct methods to ensure that your sofa is properly cleaned.