Part 2. Hotel Upholstery Care: Cleaning Fabrics, Wood & Velvet

Part 2. Hotel Upholstery Care: Cleaning Fabrics, Wood & Velvet

After redesigning your hotel, bar or restaurant, you’ll want to ensure that your new furniture is cleaned and maintained properly. As experts in the hospitality furniture industry, we’ve provided our advice on the care and maintenance of furniture, including cleaning fabrics, wood and velvet materials.

Wood furniture care for hospitality establishments

Wood Furniture Care

Timber framed furniture is built to last, which is why it remains a popular choice in the world of hospitality. Whilst most wood furniture care is the same, the type of finish will determine the specific care and maintenance that is needed.

The majority of wooden contract furniture is either lacquered or sealed. While both are designed to protect the wood, the appearance will differ depending on which is chosen:

  • Sealer is traditionally thinned white shellac, which sinks into the wood and provides a more matte finish.
  • Lacquer is a polyurethane layer that forms a hard barrier against dirt and moisture. Lacquered wood typically provides a glossier finish and is the most robust wood finish available.

When it comes to hospitality furniture there are a whole host of reasons why the wooden frames of chairs and tables may become worn – whether it is heat damage from hot liquid items, discolouration from excessive exposure to sunlight or the use of harsh cleaning chemical products.

Natural wood will be prone to scratches and scuffs over time from watches, rings, bracelets and cufflinks, along with impact from bags and hoovers.

Ideally, re-sanding and re-varnishing the whole frame would be preferable, but this is a lengthy process that may not be easily achieved in a fast paced hospitality environment. The most common and simplest solution for dealing with imperfections on your furniture frames is to use a polish touch-up pen, available in a range of wood finish colours to match existing décor. These are easily purchased online.

Woven fabric furniture care

Woven Fabric Furniture Care

Fabric furniture can make a stylish and comfortable statement in your hotel, bar or restaurant, and with the right fabric upholstery care it can be kept in top condition. Depending on the type of fabric furniture you are dealing with there are a range of maintenance tips that can prevent unwanted dirt particles from building up in your upholstery:


  • Wool furniture should be vacuumed weekly in order to remove dust/dirt particles and prevent them from becoming embedded into the upholstery.
  • Because wool is a thick material, spills and stains can be more difficult to remove. To remove stubborn stains, use warm water with detergent and rub vigorously.
  • Around two to three times a year, you should contact professional upholstery cleaners in order to deeply clean wool furniture and remove any deep-seated stains.


  • Cotton fabric furniture should be vacuumed on a regular basis to remove any unwanted debris. If the furniture has removable cushions, remove them and use an upholstery brush attachment to clean both the cushions and the area underneath them.
  • For light stains or spills use warm water and detergent. There is also a range of specific cotton stain removers available, but product instructions should be followed and tested before use.
  • Cotton is an absorbent material, so it needs to be treated with protectants. Using cotton fabric protectors (stainguards) will also make your upholstery less prone to staining and prolong its quality. Many contract fabrics is supplied as standard with a stainguard already applied.

Polyester or Microfibre

  • Polyester and microfibre fabrics are typically more robust, so stains and spillages can be scrubbed without causing further damage. For stubborn stains, a mixture of water with diluted methylated spirit can be used, followed by warm water and detergent.
  • Although polyester and microfiber fabric furniture is known for its durability and sturdiness, it should be professionally cleaned every 6-12 months to keep it in top-notch condition.

Tips for how to care for velvet furniture

Velvet Furniture Care

With its rich texture and colour, velvet furniture makes a luxurious addition to any hospitality establishment. Velvet is a silken material with a short, dense pile, and can be made from either synthetic or natural fibres.

Because velvet has a short pile, its characteristics differ from those of other materials. The shade of velvet changes depending on the direction that you brush or vacuum it, so it's important to make sure the lay of the pile remains even. Velvet can also ‘bruise’ or ‘crush’ if the pile ruffles up, leaving unsightly marks that are particularly obvious on items that are plain in design.

Knowing how to care for velvet furniture may seem tricky, but there are a few simple things you can do to keep your furniture looking its best:

  • If you find your velvet is ‘bruised’, gently brush it to remove any obvious marks. You can also carefully vacuum the velvet, but be sure to use the lightest setting (or a specific upholstery setting).
  • When brushing velvet, make sure you use a brush made from appropriate material. Due to its dense pile, a suede brush is a good option.
  • If your velvet furniture has removable cushions, ensure you are shaking and plumping them regularly. This will not only prevent unattractive creasing but also help them to keep their shape and retain definition.
  • If you find light spills or marks on your velvet furniture, mix soap with water and use a damp cloth to wipe them away. If you catch the spill straight away, use a dry cloth to blot it first.
  • If marks or stains are more stubborn, you can lightly steam velvet to remove them.
  • You can also use a specialised upholstery cleaner, but you should test the product on a discreet area of the furniture before tackling more visible areas to avoid discolouration.

Get in Touch

If you would like to find out more about our custom or bespoke hospitality furniture options, get in touch with our customer services team today.

Need help choosing the right seating and fabrics for your hospitality project?

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