AU Edit | Care and Attention

This weeks AU Edit centres on how to best look after marble, travertine, glass, linen, onyx and sheepskin. Treat investment pieces correctly and they will grow more beautiful with age and last for years to come.

Caring for marble and travertine

Marble and travertine are natural stones, able to maintain their beauty easily.  Though they withstand a lot of wear and tear, cleaning needs to be done sensitively.

Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible with a warm, damp cloth.  With an additional cloth, ensure the surface is completely dry. Avoid surface rings by using coasters and placemats.

Marble and travertine can be damaged by anything acidic so never use household cleaners containing vinegar or ammonia.  Avoid products containing oranges and lemons.  Neutral dish soap is harmless, but it will dull surfaces over time. Although specialist stone cleaners are available, marble and travertine can be kept in the best condition by using a simple sponge or a soft cloth dampened with hot water.

Caring for glass

Glass, though practical and easy to care for, should never be cleaned with anything abrasive or containing ammonia.  Spray with a solution made of one-part white vinegar to two-parts water and use crumpled up newspaper to buff.

Use coasters and placements and, of course, avoid throwing anything sharp or heavy onto a glass surface.

Caring for onyx

Onyx is not a difficult taskmaster - all it requires is a soft cloth or brush to wipe any dust of its surface.  Dusting might be easier with a damp cloth, but remember never to wet the stone or soak it in water - onyx is porous so it will absorb liquid quickly.  Like both marble and travertine, abrasive cleaners will damage onyx.

Caring for sheepskin

Brush sheepskin regularly with a specialist sheepskin brush and keep it out of the sun to prevent yellowing.  Though hardwearing and low maintenance, sheepskin needs to be handled gently when cleaned.

Spot cleaning is the best approach: use luke-warm water and a clean cloth.  If removing something like mud or food, wait until the stain is dry.  Unfortunately, acidic stains like wine or tomato sauce are harder to deal with as they penetrate wool quickly so keep a specialist wool shampoo in your cupboard.  Alternatively, dampen the area with a clean, wet cloth, sprinkle with corn flour to absorb oil and grease and once dry, vacuum.  Avoid biological washing power, soap based products, conditioners or any detergent using enzymes.

Steam cleaning sheepskin is an option; it will drive out a lot of dust and dirt whilst being gentle on the wool.

Caring for linen

Vacuum linen cushions regularly.  Should you the linen get marked, don’t rub at or scrub the stain, but dab it gently with lukewarm water.  If it’s a tea or coffee spill, blotting it gently with glycerine might be successful in removing it.  Alternatively, sprinkle over baking powder, add a few drops of vinegar and then press with a paper towel.

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