Biku Furniture & Homewares Care and Cleaning Instructions

You have made the investment and now you have got your products home and you’re wondering how to get the most out of your products. Well we have put together a simple guide to ensure you get the most out of your products. In this guide we share simple self-help cleaning and maintenance tips and tricks.

Please ensure you follow this guide when caring for your products. If you use other inappropriate methods to care for and maintain your products it may void your warranty. If you are unsure what to do, please email us at hello@biku.com.au

If you have purchased a product from Biku Furniture & Homewares that you need care and maintenance instructions for that is not listed below, please contact us at hello@biku.com.au 

How to Clean and Care for your Timber Furniture

Timber furniture makes some of the most appealing home decors you can find, but only if you care for it properly. Wood is a natural material that is more vulnerable to scratches, chips, cracking if unfinished and other damage than is metal or plastic. A piece of timber furniture requires regular cleaning, dusting, refinishing, and more. Here’s an essential guide to cleaning and caring for your beloved timber furniture, whether that be a wooden tv unit, wooden coffee table, or wooden bed frame.

What Kind of Finish Do You Have?

It’s important before you start any cleaning, find out what finish your furniture has. Some cleaning products react poorly with certain finishes and if used incorrectly will void your warranty.

Wood can be unfinished, and most of Biku’s Wood Furniture is reclaimed and unfinished. Often other wood furniture has a coat of solution to keep out moisture. This coat can be wax, a stain, a chemical sealant, shellac, or lacquer. If you don’t know, find out. Soap and water go a long way toward cleaning most pieces of furniture.

Cleaning Untreated Wood

Step 1: Dust the Wood

Use a smooth, clean duster or cloth that’s slightly damp. The moisture pulls up the dust rather than spreading it around to a different spot. Move the cloth in the direction of the grain to preserve the pattern over time.

Step 2: Clean Soapy Water

After you dust, dip a cloth in mild soapy water. Wipe everywhere on the chair, table sideboard etc. When you clean, apply the water to the fabric and wipe down the wood. Never apply water directly to wood because it can get oversaturated.

Step 3: Dry Quickly

After you finish immediately rinse and dry with a smooth cloth. Never leave water on untreated wood because it can lead to rot.

Keep untreated wood out of the elements as much as you can. Even if you don’t get actual water on it, if you live in a humid environment, it can have the same effect. Water collects from the air onto and inside solid surfaces, and with wood, this is not a good thing at all.

Cleaning Finished Furniture

When it comes to finishes, most finishes respond well to a simple solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water and being wiped down with a rag. The exception here is wax.

You don’t want to use detergent with wax; instead, use soap flakes. You can also find commercial wax cleaners that come ready-made and ready to use.

You should avoid using scented sprays on finished surfaces. The chemicals in aerosol sprays not only are bad for the environment, but they also react badly with certain types of wood finish.

Spray polish tends to leave an unsightly residue on wood that can be difficult to get off. Wiping down with soap and water is the simplest, best solution. If you do use commercial cleaners, always dry the furniture. Water spots can stain delicate wooden furniture.

Polishing vs Waxing

If you polish wood, you’re simply applying a substance that makes the wood shiner. Most of the time, you’re not protecting it, just making it more slippery and less likely to catch onto things that would cause scratches or dents.

When you polish, you can leave a residue that will interfere with any future repainting or refinishing. Also, if you’re using a polish that has a lot of oil, it can smear and make fingerprints more obvious. You’ll have to clean all the more often when this happens.

Waxing, on the other hand, offers an actual hard coat. This coat, when properly applied, can last for years, and only comes off after you apply a solvent. Waxing takes a little longer than polishing, but it provides more protection.

Before doing any cleaning, you should always dust the wood. To apply paste wax, rub it in small circles across the furniture until it’s completely covered. Then, use opposite motions to remove it with a clean cloth. Wax on, wax off.

After you’ve finished, and the wax has dried, go back over the furniture with a feather duster.

Fixing a Scratch

When you have to move wood furniture like a sideboard, carefully measure the dimensions of each doorway you’ll pass through. Trying to go through too small a doorway can cause you to scratch your furniture, and it can be difficult to erase the signs of a scratch.

Another thing you can do to prevent damage to your furniture is to place several layers of paper towels or a blanket around the edges. It will act as a buffer between the furniture and anything like a doorway.

The dreaded has happened. You miscalculated when moving that sideboard or bedside tables and now there’s a nick in the wood.

Luckily, there are ways you can deal with them. Scratches might just take the finish off the wood, or if they’re deep, they can go down into the wood itself. It’s far easier to apply finish than it is to refill a scratch, but we’ll briefly explain how to do both.

To remove light scratches, apply a diluted mixture of water and rubbing alcohol with a damp rag, then apply commercial scratch remover. You may also want to apply pigmented polish to make your furniture look like the scratch never happened.

For deeper scratches, you can use wax to fill it in. You can also use wood filler, but that requires glue, and wax takes the form of the scratch more easily.

First, use 600-grit or finer sandpaper to smooth out the edge. Then, gently run the wax stick into the scratch until it fills in the gap. Use a putty knife or something similar to scrape the excess wax away, then apply the polish of your choice. Two coats of polish should work nicely.

Keeping timber furniture clean and cared for doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you perform regular cleaning and maintenance, keep your furniture away from water, and avoid getting it scratched, you can keep your wooden furniture looking great for years and decades to come.

If you find yourself needing timber care and touch up products. You can email us at hello@biku.com.au speak with one of our specialists.

How to Clean and Care for Upholstered Furniture

Having Upholstered furniture can really give you a great look and feel for any furniture piece. There are many different types of fabrics which all require regular care.  Most fabrics are a combination of natural fibres and synthetics, but this is not always the case. Its important you find out what type of fabric you have and check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Here are some things you can do to extend the life of your upholstered products. Protect your upholstered furniture from direct sunlight, rotate reversible cushions regularly. Fabrics will fade if exposed to direct sunlight. Do not let dust accumulate, regularly vacuum using low suction. Take care of food and rink spills immediately, so they don’t stain the fabric.

Types of Fabrics

Usually but not always, upholstered furniture isn’t made entirely of natural fibres, they’re mostly blends. They’re also often a bit pricier, and they require a bit of special attention. Some popular natural textiles include Linen, Cotton, Wool, Leather, Silk.

Before proceeding with the cleaning, it’s essential to know what textile you’re dealing with as some synthetic materials have very specific instructions for cleaning. Here are some examples of types of synthetic textiles your furniture can be made out of: Polyester, Velvet, Microfibre, Polyacrylic, Rayon, Viscose

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always follow the manufacturers and read the instructions located on the label. Incorrect usage or maintenance will your rights to our quality guarantee.

You may have removable machine washable fabric covers, so its super import to read the instructions first. If you are not sure what type of fabrics you have, or you’re not sure if the removable covers can be machine washed or there are no instructions, before cleaning please email hello@biku.com.au

Deodorize and Clean Your Upholstery with Baking Soda

It wouldn’t be a cleaning tutorial if we didn’t mention baking soda. As many of you already know, baking soda is a key ingredient in all kinds of DIY cleaners. It’s easily accessible and generally safe to use on various surfaces, and that includes your upholstery. Needless to say, always test on an unnoticeable area first.

How to Clean Upholstery with Baking Soda

Coat the surface of the couch with a little bit of baking soda and let it sit for about half an hour. Don’t overdo it with the amount of baking soda, you only need light coverage. After that, use the brush attachment to vacuum it away. Voila! What you’re left with is a deodorized and gently cleaned couch. Repeat whenever you feel the need to freshen up your upholstered furniture. And if you’d like to do a deep clean, its recommended to use a upholstery shampoo or get a professional clean.

Remove Stubborn Stains and Deep Cleaning Your Sofa

Even after all the work you just did, you might be left with a couple of persistent stains and ambiguous-looking spots.

Fabrics, especially natural ones, are prone to stain easily, so working fast is key. The more time has passed, the harder it is to get rid of them. And since all mishaps happen suddenly, you often need to DIY your cleaning products. And as always – spot-test on a hidden area first, please!

Deep cleaning your sofa on your own might seem like an impossible task. So here are a few methods to do that.

Ensure you do not use dishwashing or laundry detergents and do not wet fillings.

Mix baking powder and just enough water to make a paste and you have a two-ingredient homemade solution to remove stubborn and greasy stains. Put a little bit of it on the stain and with the tip of your finger or a clean cloth gently rub it in with circular motions. No scrubbing, as it will push the dirt deeper into the textile making it a bigger problem than it should be. Leave the paste on for about 15 minutes. Check if the soda has absorbed the grease and once it has, brush it off or vacuum it with the bristle brush attachment.

Cleaning with Upholstery Detergent

If you happen to have at home an upholstery or a carpet cleaning product (that you actually bought from the store) the first thing you need to check is if it’s a water-based cleaner or solvent and whether it’s suitable for your furniture piece. Remember if you don’t know what type of fabric you have contact us at hello@biku.com.au. Spot-treat on an inconspicuous area and if there’s no discolouration or other problems, proceed with the cleaning by following the instructions on the label. After treating, you can soak up any residual moisture with a towel, then let the piece to air-dry.

Another option is that you just call cleaners to professionally deep clean your upholstered furniture while you sit back and relax. This way you don’t have to do all the hard work and there is no chance of damaging your furniture.

Drying After Cleaning

Always let your fabrics dry in the shade away from direct sunlight.

Fabric Protection Options

Some fabrics may benefit from a fibre protection application that helps minimise absorbency and protects your fabrics from stains, mould, and sun fade. Contact us at hello@biku.com.au for more details.

How to Clean and Care for Leather Furniture

Leather is a natural, imperfect product; a raw material that has come from an animal. During its life permanent marks, ie scratches, insect bites, scars, stains & folds, are caused by different factors. However, it is these imperfections that make it beautiful and differentiate it from synthetic imitations. Every piece of leather is unique, and rather than wearing out, it becomes more beautiful over time if properly cared for. Each hide has a unique appearance, and as pieces of furniture are produced using several hides, colour and texture differences are inevitable. Here's how get the most out of your leather investment.

Regular Maintenance is Key

Although dust may not be an obvious source of damage, dirt can work its way into creases and dry out your leather causing it to become cracked and damaged over time. Avoid this with a weekly dust and vacuum, then clean with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.

Every six to twelve months, condition your leather couch to protect it against water and other types of damage.

There are a number of different preparations available commercially, or you can ask a professional for a recommendation or contact us at hello@biku.com.au  — don't forget to spot test any new product first.

Use the Right Cleaners

Avoid using solvents or commercial cleaners to clean your leather lounge (and that baby wipe trick that does the rounds for stain removal is a big no-no) – they can be too harsh and damage the leather. If you must use a detergent, choose a commercial purpose-designed leather cleaner which is suitable for your type of leather couch.

Clean Up Spill Quickly

Although leather doesn't stain as easily as upholstery furniture, it's still important to clean up spills and stains immediately with a soft, dry cloth by dabbing the leather very slightly and left to dry in its own time. If the leather has been damaged by moisture or discoloured, hides can be treated with a wax product specifically made to repair this type of damage. This treatment gives your piece of furniture a very deep colour and adds a protective coating.

Keep Leather Out of Direct Sunlight

Avoid positioning your leather sofa in direct sunlight as long-term exposure to light can cause it to fade. Too much sunlight may also dry out the leather over time and lead to cracks and other damage.

Remove Small Scratches with a Microfibre Cloth

Minor scratches and damage can be removed by buffing the leather lounge with a soft dry cloth or even with your fingers if they are clean. Getting rid of little scratches as quickly as possible can prevent them turning into bigger ones which then become cracks. To remove a minor scratch, you can just rub gently with a soft cloth until it goes away.

If you find you need professional help, you can contact us at hello@biku.com.au

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Leather Protection Options

Some leathers may benefit from a fibre protection application that helps minimise absorbency and protects your leather from stains, mould, and sun fade. Contact us at hello@biku.com.au for more details.

How to Clean and Care for Concrete Furniture

It’s important to understand that concrete is concrete; it is porous and organic looking, and as it is used day to day, it will take on a perfectly imperfect look. It is this aging and character that offers such a unique and longstanding impact for those who enjoy the look of concrete. Concrete is a natural product and will behave like one, please remember this and follow care instructions to extend the life of your gorgeous concrete furniture.

General Day to Day Cleaning

We recommend the use of a warm damp cloth. You can also use mild detergent if you prefer, but it isn't necessary. Always avoid cleaning with overly harsh chemical cleaners or with anything abrasive which can dull the surface and do more damage than good. We also recommend against any vigorous scrubbing, as to do so could compromise the sealant.

Liquid Spills, Including Red Wine, Vinegar, or anything acidic

All of our Lava stone and Concrete composite tables are sealed, which is food-grade safe upon curing and acts as a barrier against spills. Having said that, we do recommend that anything acidic, particularly vinegar and lemon juice is wiped up within a reasonable timeframe otherwise it may etch through the sealant and leave a mark. If this does happen, we are always available to talk and help you address this – contact us at hello@biku.com.au

Concrete Furniture Used for Outdoors

A concrete table or bbq bench is the perfect choice for your outdoor dining space as it will certainly withstand the elements. We do however recommend not leaving any items like vases, candles, or plant pots on the table for extended periods of time during heavy rain conditions. Rainwater can pool underneath and leave a temporary mark. Provided it does not get contaminated with anything acidic it should fade over time (this can take up to 4 weeks). 

Heavy items, vases, direct sunlight and centrepieces

We recommend the use of felt pads, table runners or mats to sit under vases or other centrepiece arrangements to protect your concrete surface from both scratches and mild colour change that may occur over an extended period of time if exposed to direct sunlight. Nobody ever intends on it but it’s best to avoid the risk of scratching the concrete if a heavy item does get dragged across your concrete surface and we suggest rotating your objects occasionally if exposed to direct sunlight.

Cracks and chips along the edges

Sure concrete is tough, but don’t sit or dance on your concrete surface if you want to prolong its life. Also avoid any vigorous knocks with hard items as the edges of the table may chip. It’s also wise to avoid dragging sharp or rough objects across your concrete surface to avoid scratching. There also Concrete repair kits available, you can contact us at hello@biku.com.au

How to Clean and Care for Rugs

With proper care and maintenance, our Rugs should last for years. These cleaning and maintenance guidelines to keeping the floor covering looking its best.

No warranty is expressed or implied.

We recommend that you vacuum or sweep your rug regularly to keep it clean and to prevent the pile of the rug from flattening from being walked on. If you have purchased a shaggy rug, we would recommend that you shake the rug or vacuum it using a nozzle attachment due to the longer pile of these rugs. If you have a powerful vacuum cleaner with strong suction, we recommend that you do not use it on full power on wool and shaggy rugs as it may loosen the yarn. Most light dirty marks can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Do not machine wash steam clean your rug (unless the label on the back of the rug instructs that you can do so).

We recommend that Professional cleaners be consulted for the best cleaning method for your rug. If you are still unsure - do not hesitate to contact us at hello@biku.com.au

Care and Maintenance

Vacuuming

For Shag Rugs and Wool Rugs, you should vacuum your carpet regularly using an upright vacuum cleaner (but no teeth or combs). For everyday cleaning, simply shake the rug to remove loose dirt and fluff pile. We advise against use aggressive vacuum cleaners with rotating brush heads, as this will overly stimulate the loose yarn.

Rug Rotation

Periodically rotate your rug every six months to alter the traffic pattern on your rug's surface. This will also help with preventing timber floors from having uneven discolouration.

Jute Rug Cleaning and Care

Jute is a soft, flexible and hard-wearing fibre that is extremely strong yet has a surprisingly silky, soft feel. Jute is an eco-friendly material that grows quickly and is 100% biodegradable and recyclable.

Indoor Use

The Rug Establishment's jute rugs are for dry indoor use only because natural fibres are absorbent and will shrink and expand with humidity changes. Jute rugs are best suited to dry, well ventilated or climate-controlled environments. They should never be used in moist areas like bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or other damp and humid environments as they can shrink or pucker.

Sunlight

Rotate your jute rug regularly if it is placed in a sunny location because all fibres, dyed and undyed, will change over time, especially when placed in direct sunlight for several hours a day.

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuum your jute rug once or twice weekly to help remove the fine dirt particles lodged between the fibres that cause additional wear. Do not use a vacuum cleaner with a beater brush. Do not steam clean or wet shampoo your jute rug. We recommend using a dry extraction carpet cleaning system, like Host or Capture, to clean all natural fibre rugs. These are available at hardware stores and home improvement centres.

Sprouting

Natural fibre rugs like jute may commonly experience "sprouting" which is when small fibres start sticking up. Jute fibres are short and have a natural tendency to pop out because they are woven from hand spun jute yarn. This simply requires clipping down the fibres that have popped up with scissors. Similar to the initial shedding of a wool or synthetic fibre rug, sprouting reduces over time.

Mould, Moss & Mildew on Outdoor Rugs

Vacuum to remove any mould, moss, or mildew. Scrub the area with a combination of one part bleach and two parts water.

Place the rug outside on a sunny day in the sunshine, and the sunlight will take care of a slight mould or mildew problem.

Rug Protection Options

Some rugs may benefit from a fibre protection application that helps minimise absorbency and protects your rug from stains, mould and sun fade. Contact us at hello@biku.com.au for more details.

How to Clean and Care for Artificial Plants

The beauty of having an artificial green wall over a living wall is that its low maintenance. In fact, it’s so close to not needing any help, that we often refer to the range as zero maintenance. Your artificial greenery will not need sunlight, soil, fertiliser or even trimming. Regular care will be a thing of the past.

Did you know that most of our Artificial Trees are made with REAL tree strems/trunks. That’s right! That is why they are the best & most real looking “unreal” trees in the marketplace. Only the foliage is artificial. Artificial foliage is expertly crafted onto real, natural tree stems/Trunks.

What type of Artificial Plants do you have?

There are two main types of materials when it comes to an artificial green wall. There are silk and plastic plants. Biku Furniture & Homewares mostly has Plastic Artificial Plants and Real Stems/Trunks.

For silk plants (Flower Petals can be made from silk), you are not advised to get them wet as this will damage them. So, if you have a fake plant or green wall of this variety, be sure not to put liquids on them. You can, however, use a duster or dry cloth to wipe them down.

If you’re not sure what type of Artificial plants you have, you can contact us at hello@biku.com.au

How to clean your Artificial Plants?

Step 1: Dust your plants

Alike real plants, artificial green walls can collect dust. Depending on where your plant lives, the volume of dust will vary. Often if a plant is inside or near sunlight, it will collect more dust than usual.

Using the feather duster, lightly dust your green wall leaves and stems. Be careful not to break the plastic stems on your artificial wall.

Step 2: Spray your plants with a Non abrasive cleaner or a multi-purpose spray

After you’ve used the feather duster, spray the plants and green wall with a non-abrasive window cleaner or multi-purpose spray. You can also just have a bucket of warm soapy water and a damp cloth to wipe down the plants. You can use a general detergent and you won’t need a lot of it.

Step 3: Wash your Artificial Plants with Water 

After 10-15 minutes you can rinse your plants with fresh water and a damp cloth to remove the cleaning product used if any.

Step 4: Wipe your Plants with a Dry Cloth 

After rinsing out the cleaning product from your artificial plants, finalise your cleaning by grabbing a dry cloth and wiping over the stems and leaves. After this, your plant or green wall will be as good as new.