Understanding Upholstery Fabric Cleaning Codes

Understanding Upholstery Fabric Cleaning Codes

“W”—Code W stands for ‘Water based cleaner’ and these are the easiest fabrics to clean. This is not the same as being machine washable, however. This code means that you can spot clean your fabric with a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. You can use a brush to agitate the cleaner or even an upholstery attachment on a carpet cleaner. Be careful to avoid over-wetting the stain.

Understanding Upholstery Fabric Cleaning Codes

“S”—Fabrics that are Code S must be cleaned with solvents (dry clean only). You can spot treat stains with a water-free solvent or dry-cleaning product. Use solvent cleaners in a well-ventilated room and keep away from open flames. Avoid using cleaning products containing carbon tetrachloride, as it is highly toxic.

“W/S”—A W/S code, as you might expect, means that a combination of dry cleaning solvents and water-based cleaners may be used. These fabrics can be spot cleaned with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or a mild dry cleaning solvent. This is a case where the pre-test is especially important. For overall dirt, call a professional to clean these fabrics.

“X”—If you have fabrics with Code X, they can only be cleaned by vacuuming or light brushing. A Code X means the fabric is not cleanable with water or solvent cleaners.

Now you’re equipped with a guide for cleaning upholstery fabrics, so you’ll know just how to handle that next stain on your sofa! For day-to-day care and cleaning, here are some basic tips on keeping your upholstery looking good for years to come.

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