e all want to keep our furniture looking new and beautiful for as long as possible. There are ways to do this that don’t involve plastic covers or making the new sofa, loveseat, or chair off limits to the kids. No matter how careful we are, there are going to be accidents and a little knowledge can help to make sure that a spill is a minor incident, rather than a major catastrophe.
First, learn a little bit about your fabric. When you purchase your furniture, ask the sales person about it. Upholstery fabrics have cleaning codes and those codes will help you to know the best way to clean your furniture. No one code is better or more desirable than the others; they just tell us the best way to preserve the appearance of the fabric. The four codes are: W, S, WS, and X.
Always make sure to spot test in a small unseen area before cleaning!
The W code stands for water cleanable. Use a soft white cloth that is lint free and a solution of water with a mild, dye free detergent such as ivory dish washing detergent. Many ready made cleaners, such as resolve are also water based…just make sure to check that it is water based before using. Dampen the cloth and squeeze out any excess water. Gently rub the stained area until the stain is removed. If you place a fan near the area you can speed up the drying process.
The S code stands for solvent cleanable. Water based products should not be used on S code fabrics! Instead, use a gentle dry cleaning product that is approved for fabrics. Guardsman solvent based cleaner is a good choice. Once again, use a white, lint free cloth. Dampen the cloth with the cleaner and rub the stain in a circular motion. For large stains keep changing to a clean area of your cloth. You should make sure to use solvent based cleaners in a well ventilated area.
The WS code is exactly what you would guess….either water or solvent based cleaners will work for this fabric using the methods described above.
The X code stands for vacuum only. Clean these fabrics only by lightly brushing or vacuuming the avoid buildup of dirt and dust. Water or solvent based cleaners of any kind could cause staining, distortion of the pile, or shrinking of the fabric.
A good way to prevent spills from becoming a problem is to have your new upholstered furniture treated with fabric protection, such as Guardsman Fabricoate spray. This protection is available in a “do it yourself” spray can, or can be professionally sprayed on before delivery. Pre-delivery professional spraying of our Guardsman product includes a 5 year warranty against many kind of spills, stains, and even rips and tears.
Whatever upholstered furniture you have, if you give it a little care at the right times, it is sure to stay looking clean and new for years to come!