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The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Home in Tip-Top Shape Year-Round

You've invested time and money into creating a beautiful home with the help of an interior designer, and now you want to keep it looking its best all year round. But where do you start?


In this ultimate guide, we'll walk you through the steps you can take to maintain your home's beauty and functionality through all the seasons.


From general maintenance tips to specialized care for upholstery, casegoods, rugs, custom window treatments, carpet, natural stone, and plumbing fixtures, we've got you covered! Following our guide will save time and money, keeping your home looking beautiful for years to come. So let's dive in and learn how to care for your home like a pro!


The Ultimate Home Care Guide Asha Maía Design Interior Designer Alexandria Virginia Arlington Virginia

General Care + Maintenance

It's essential to implement general maintenance to keep your home tidy and presentable while preserving your furnishings and finishes, keeping them looking brand-new all year round!


Use these general tips for daily maintenance + care:

  • Always using drink coasters, placemats, and trivets.

  • Wipe any spills immediately.

  • Dust regularly using a damp, lint-free cloth.

  • Use felt pads not only on the bottoms of your chair and table legs but also to cover the bases of all your tabletop accessories.

  • Fluff Pillows

  • Rotate/flip sofa cushions

  • Declutter shelves and transition seasonal décor

  • Water plants and refresh flowers

  • Swap out lightbulbs and candles

  • Open the windows + let the fresh air in!



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Upholstery Care

The Ultimate Home Care Guide Upholstery Care Asha Maía Design Interior Designer Alexandria Virginia Arlington Virginia

In addition to general maintenance tasks, giving extra attention to specific areas in your home is essential in keeping them looking their best. One such area is your upholstered furnishings, such as sofas, chairs, and headboards.


Like many other items in your home, upholstery requires regular maintenance to keep it looking great and to prolong its lifespan. The first step is regularly vacuuming your furniture to remove surface dirt and debris. For stubborn stains, it's essential to treat them immediately with a stain remover that's safe for your fabric type. Every fabric has an associated cleaning code based on the type of fabric. See below for how to care for your upholstery fabric based on its cleaning code.



Cleaning Codes:


W - Spot clean only with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Pretest for color loss and fabric compatibility. Do not overwet. Use professional upholstery cleaning service for overall soiling.

WS/SW - Spot clean with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or mild dry cleaning solvent. Pretest a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not saturate. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning is not a recommended cleaning method. CUSHION COVERS SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED AND DRY CLEANED. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended. When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material. Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of the affected area to prevent circling. Use a professional overall soiled condition has been reached.

S - Spot clean only with a water-free cleaning solvent. Pretest a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not saturate. DO NOT USE WATER. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic, soft bristle brush to restore appearance. CUSHION COVERS SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED AND DRY CLEANED. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, soft bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended. When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material. Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of the affected area to prevent circling. Overall cleaning by a professional furniture cleaning service only is recommended.

X - Cleaning only by vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush. DO NOT USE ANY WATER OR SOLVENT-BASED CLEANER.


The Ultimate Home Care Guide Performance Fabric Care Asha Maía Design Interior Designer Alexandria Virginia Arlington Virginia

If you have performance fabric, follow the care instructions for easy cleaning instructions. We also recommend Fiberseal for your professional upholstery and carpet cleaning needs.


In addition to spot cleaning, deep cleaning your upholstery every six to twelve months is also a good idea. We recommend hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service in order to ensure the preservation of your upholstered furniture.



Wood Maintenance

Wood furnishings, as we like to refer to as casegoods, and hardwood floors can add a touch of elegance to any home, but they do require some upkeep to keep them looking their best. Some of our recommended maintenance tips include:

  • Dust regularly. Avoid abrasive materials, as they can scratch the surface.

  • Periodically buff a wood table with a lint-free cloth to renew its shine.

  • Wipe up spills immediately with a one-to-one solution of distilled water and vinegar: Wood is porous, so cleaning up spills as soon as possible is essential to prevent staining or warping.

  • Use a wood cleaner once a month to remove dirt and grime from your wood surfaces. *Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.

  • Apply a protective wax or sealant layer to your wood furniture or floors to prevent scratches and stains. *Be sure to choose a safe product for your specific type of wood.

  • Once to twice a year, apply a coat of Danish oil - this will create an eco-friendly, water-resistant protective barrier for your wood furnishings. *Be sure to spot-test the surface to ensure the color or finish or the wood won't be affected.

If you have natural wood furniture, we recommend keeping them away from areas with extreme changes in temperature and humidity. Likewise, do not place wood furnishings in direct sunlight, as the sun can damage and discolor the wood. If the room in which your wood furniture will live gets direct sun exposure, invest in sunblocking shades or drapery to lessen the exposure.


Another great trick we learned from a trusted vendor is to apply a UV-blocking window film, linked below. It's clear and virtually invisible, the perfect trick to keeping your wood surfaces looking beautiful for years!



Rug Care

As with most things, the best method in keeping your rugs looking their best is with prevention. Whenever possible, make rugs a shoes-off zone to limit the amount of dirt that reaches them from the start. Vacuum regularly, but ensure

that when vacuuming any type of rug, the beater bar setting is turned off.

The Ultimate Home Care Guide Rug Care Asha Maía Design Interior Designer Alexandria Virginia Arlington Virginia

The beater bar can actually be harmful to rugs over time, and it's best to vacuum without this. If your vacuum doesn't allow the beater bar to be turned off, then raise the vacuum to the highest setting. As a rule, natural fibers will need a gentler touch than synthetics. Dab up spills with a cloth as soon as possible; it's best to tackle spills when they are still wet. Dab or blot, do not scrub or rub.




Rotate Your Rugs

Rugs can truly last years and years with proper care. Another way to extend the life of your rug is by rotating them. By doing this, you can even out the wear of the rug. Certain parts of the rug may experience higher traffic, and rotating it periodically allows the rug to have a break from the heavy traffic flow.

Although we recommend regular cleaning, deep cleaning, and spot cleaning of your rugs to be done by a professional, here are some things to keep in mind based on the type of rug you have:

  • Wool: Use a cleaning solution specific to wool when having a wool rug cleaned.

  • Cotton & Synthetic: This applies to cotton rugs as well as polyester and polypropylene. These rugs can be cleaned with rug shampoo or simply with dish soap and water.

  • Jute & Sisal: Only spot-clean rugs made from natural fibers. This type of rug typically cleans easily—think of them as a wipeable surface rather than a washable fabric.

  • Viscose, Antique, Oriental, Persian, & other delicate rug types: Take them to a professional, or hire a professional to do a home cleaning. Professional cleaners will have more gentle cleaning and drying tools that will help preserve your rug.

In addition to regular cleaning, it's essential to give your rugs a deep clean every one to two years. A worry-free way to do this is by hiring a professional cleaning service for the job. Professional cleaners will have the expertise and tools to make the cleaning job seamless and efficient. A professional cleaning will help remove deep-seated dirt and stains and prolong the overall life of your carpet.


Carpet Care

Regular carpet care is essential for keeping your home clean and cozy. Start by vacuuming your carpet at least once a week to eliminate dirt, dust, and loose hair.


For spills and stains, act quickly by blotting up the liquid with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, which can push the liquid deeper into the carpet fibers. Instead, our carpet specialist has recommended using Capture to clean up any spots on your carpet if the carpet care instructions permit.


In addition to regular cleaning, it's essential to give your carpet a deep clean every six months to a year. A worry-free way to do this is by hiring a professional cleaning service for the job. Professional cleaners will have the expertise and tools to make the cleaning job seamless and efficient. A professional cleaning will help remove deep-seated dirt and stains and prolong the overall life of your carpet.


The Ultimate Home Care Guide Custom Window Treatments Curtains Care Asha Maía Design Interior Designer Alexandria Virginia Arlington Virginia

Custom Window Treatments

Custom curtain panels and drapery can add so much to a space, and they are relatively easy to keep looking their best. When you open the shades each morning, give your curtain panels a quick shake to dispel any dust or dirt. Then, once or twice a month, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment on the lowest setting to remove any remaining debris. This applies to any fabric window treatment such as curtain panels, drapery, roman shades, valences, etc.


For a deeper clean, we recommend having your custom window treatments professionally cleaned every two to three years or every year for window treatments constructed of sheer fabrics.



Natural Stone Care

Whether you have marble, quartzite, or granite, proper care not only helps to extend the life of your countertops but can also preserve the beauty and longevity of your home overall. Much like your skin needs sun protection, so do your natural stone surfaces. Investing in a suitable sealant can keep your natural stone surfaces looking new for longer. It can also add years to the life of the stone, saving you money over its lifespan.


The Ultimate Home Care Guide Natural Stone Care Asha Maía Design Interior Designer Alexandria Virginia Arlington Virginia

First, it's key to understand the type(s) of stone used in your home and the potential issues that stone can encounter. For example, marble is particularly vulnerable to acidic liquids (i.e., lemon juice, tomato sauce) and should be cleaned with pH-balanced products and wiped off with a cloth almost immediately. On the other hand, granite is more resilient but still requires regular sealing to maintain a glossy finish and protect it from etching and staining.



If you want to ensure that your natural stone surfaces are cared for and protected correctly, it's essential to educate yourself on the unique needs of your specific stone and invest in annual professional services and quality, pH-balanced products for the best results. By incorporating these stone care tips into your routine, you'll be able to enjoy beautiful, long-lasting countertops with minimal effort.

Care by Type of Stone:


Marble

Cleaning:

  • Use a mix of warm water and mild dish soap for everyday cleaning.

  • Follow up by buffing with a microfiber towel to shine up the stone.

  • Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can strip the sealer and etch the stone.

Stain Removal:

  • Clean with a paste of baking soda and water for oil-based stains or hydrogen peroxide for water-based stains.

  • Repeat the process if the stain is stubborn.

  • Be sure to spot-test the surface to ensure the color or finish of the stone won't be affected.

Protection

  • Natural stone, like marble, needs to be sealed regularly to protect its porous surface from scratches and stains.

  • Marble should be resealed every 3 - 6 months.


Quartzite

Cleaning:

  • Use a mix of warm water and mild dish soap for everyday cleaning.

  • Follow up by buffing with a microfiber towel to shine up the stone.

  • Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can strip the sealer and etch the stone.

Stain Removal:

  • Clean with a paste of baking soda and water for oil-based stains or hydrogen peroxide for water-based stains.

  • Repeat the process if the stain is stubborn.

  • Be sure to spot-test the surface to ensure the color or finish of the stone won't be affected.

Protection

  • Natural stone, like quartzite, needs to be sealed regularly to protect its porous surface from scratches and stains.

  • Quartzite should be resealed every 12 months.


Granite

Cleaning:

  • Use a mix of warm water and mild dish soap for everyday cleaning.

  • Follow up by buffing with a microfiber towel to shine up the stone.

  • Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can strip the sealer and etch the stone.

Stain Removal:

  • Clean with a paste of baking soda and water for oil-based stains or hydrogen peroxide for water-based stains.

  • Repeat the process if the stain is stubborn.

  • Be sure to spot-test the surface to ensure the color or finish of the stone won't be affected.

Protection

  • Natural stone, like granite, needs to be sealed regularly to protect its porous surface from scratches and stains.

  • Granite should be resealed every 12 - 18 months.


Quartz

Although quartz is not a natural stone and is typically much easier to care for, here are some tips to help in the care of your quartz countertops:

Cleaning:

  • Use a mix of warm water and mild dish soap for everyday cleaning.

  • Follow up by buffing with a microfiber towel to shine up the stone.

  • Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can dull the finish of the stone.

Stain Removal:

  • Quartz is essentially stain resistant, but for stubborn messes, tackle it using a glass cleaner and a nonabrasive sponge.

Protection

  • Quartz, being an engineered stone, does not need to be sealed to protect it.


A few rules to always apply, no matter your countertop material: always blot up spills immediately; use a soft cloth or sponge to clean; and make good use of coasters, hot pads, and trivets. In addition, use a high-quality, natural stone-specific cleaner weekly, and do not store liquids or toiletries directly on your countertops.


Plumbing Fixture Maintenance

A daunting task when preserving the cleanliness of your home is keeping your plumbing fixtures shining as well as fingerprint and smudge-free. Working with one of our trusted vendors, we learned that using an easy-use plumbing care polish like Flitz products can keep your sink and other plumbing fixtures beautiful and shimmering longer!


You may also have a console sink with exposed plumbing in your powder bath, knobs, and handles used daily in the kitchen, or you might just be OCD about fingerprints and smudges on your faucets. We get it! This product is the perfect finish to keep them looking brand-new, avoid rusting, and increase the longevity of the plumbing fixtures all year round. This trick can be applied to cabinet hardware as well.


Specialty-Glass + Daily Glass Care

While it's easy to overlook, maintaining the glass surfaces in your home can make a big difference in your space's overall appearance. To keep your mirrors and windows crystal clear, start by using a microfiber cloth to wipe away any dust or fingerprints. Avoid using paper towels or other rough materials that can leave behind scratches or streaks.


For tougher stains or grime buildup, combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the glass and use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe away the grime. Finish off with a quick buff using a dry microfiber cloth for that extra shine.

However, for glass surfaces on dining room tables, painted glass, stained glass, antique mirrors, and bronze mirrors, our glass specialist recommends only using Sprayaway Glass Cleaner. The key is to avoid ammonia on these surfaces to preserve the glass.

We also love to use Norwex Enviro cloths. These lint-free, microfiber cloths can keep your glass surface sparkling with nothing other than water. These are great for those that are environmentally conscious and love eco-friendly/green products.

From years of industry experience, we've compiled these tips from our trusted trades and vendors into the Ultimate Home Maintenance Guide. By implementing the recommendations outlined in this article, you can keep your home looking its best with minimal effort. From general maintenance to specialty care for upholstery, casegoods, rugs, natural stone, plumbing fixtures, glass, and carpet, these strategies will help your space shine for many years to come.

Whether you're a busy professional or a parent juggling multiple responsibilities, a clean home can reduce stress and improve your quality of life. Remember: with some planning and effort, your home can be a welcoming and inviting space you're proud to show off. So, take action today and start implementing these simple yet effective tips. The old saying goes, "A clean home is a happy home."




Interior Designer Serving Alexandria, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Chevy Chase, Maryland; Bethesda, Maryland; Potomac, Maryland; North Arlington, Virginia; Mclean, Virginia; Washington, DC; Falls Church, Virginia; Great Falls, Virginia; Vienna, Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia




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