Cleaning your upholstery fabric can be tricky. It is important to know what kind of fabric is your upholstery made out of: natural fabric or synthetic? Furthermore, you need to know how the upholstery fabric has been treated. Check the tag and you’ll find all the information necessary.
Each piece of furniture you buy will have on it’s tag one of the following letters: W, S, S/W and X; each representing a specific way of cleaning the fabric.
W stands for water and it means that you are in luck because you can use water to clean your fabric with any upholstery/carpet cleaner that you have. This is the most durable material and it is suitable for popular areas in your house such as dinning rooms, living rooms or kitchens.
S means you can only clean your furniture fabric with cleaning solvents or dry cleaning only. In fact, spot cleaning is advised and it should happen be as soon as the spill occured.
S/W means that you can use a combination of dry cleaning solvent and water. Use this piece of furniture in places of low traffic and stains should be cleaned immediately.
X is not a common code anymore. If you do have it on your upholstery tag then you have to know that the only cleaning method allowed is vacuuming. You wouldn’t want spills on this kind of fabric but if you do get them, then it’s better to ask for professional help.
Now, that the code mystery is solved we can go further and talk about ways of cleaning different natural fabrics that cover your upholstery.
Leather – cleaning tips – always a mild liquid facial or body soap (they are not as harsh as regular soaps); distilled water, just because it doesn’t have chlorine and the risk of damaging the leather is lower; soft cloths and water-based leather conditioner. Cleaning leather is really easy, because there are no stains that have to be removed. You just have to wipe it with soapy water, rinse it off with a damp clothe and then protect it with the conditioner.
Cotton – cleaning tips – you can use any mild detergent to surface/spot clean it. Use a soft brush to rub on the surface, but be mindful not to soak it. After you clean it, make sure you keep your piece of upholstery in an aerated area so that it dries faster. An alternate to it would be to use an hair dryer.
Silk – cleaning tips – it is such a sensitive material. Silk tend to water stain if it is not cleaned properly. It is better cleaned using a dry solvent cleaner. Wipe using short vigorous stokes against the material. Afterwards, use a dry white cloth to remove any excess cleaner.