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Furniture Fabric Care and Cleaning

by Guest Post on Jun 20, 2018

The useful life of upholstered furniture can be increased if the consumer follows a few simple fabric protection rules.

Fabric selection

 Fabric must be chosen that is appropriate for its intended use. For example, if velvet covers are available in cotton, nylon, and olefin, the nylon velvet might be appropriate for a large family for use in high traffic areas. The olefin velvet could also take heavy use and would be an excellent choice for humid climates where mildew is a problem. The cotton velvet has less abrasion and soiling resistance and so might be more appropriate for moderate activity areas.

Vacuuming

Weekly vacuuming or light brushing is a fabric care tip that helps to remove soil and protect the fabric from the embedding of dirt or grime between fibers which can increase abrasion and wear.

Cushion turning

The life of upholstered cushions can be increased through periodic turning. The weekly reversal of loose cushions will allow even distribution of wear over a long time.

Fabric protection

Fabric protection helps to increase the useful life of upholstered furniture by protecting fabrics from soil and stains. Some fabric protections are mill applied and others can be applied in the store or at home.

A protective finish does not eliminate the necessity of proper fabric care. It modifies the absorbency and soil removal characteristics of a fabric. It does not put a plastic cover on it. Loose dirt should be vacuumed and brushed away before it becomes embedded and harder to remove. Spills and stains should be cleaned away quickly following manufacturer's fabric care code instructions for furniture cleaning.

Fabric cleaning

Many furniture fabrics now carry the furniture industry's cleanability code adopted in 1969. It gives the consumer information about the proper furniture cleaning methods for specific fabrics. There are four letters in the code, immediately followed by furniture cleaning instructions. The code letters are W, S, W-S, and X.

Permanent furniture cleaning labels will normally be found under the seat cushion. When spot cleaning furniture, it is always a good idea for consumers to first pretest the fabric for discoloration and shrinkage on an inconspicuous part of the furniture. When overall furniture cleaning is required, professional furniture cleaning will often achieve the most satisfactory results. Never remove cushion covers or arm caps for separate furniture cleaning. This may destroy the backing, cause shrinking, and create color changes.

Code "W"

To prevent overall soil, frequent vacuuming, or light brushing to remove dust and grime is a recommended step in furniture cleaning. Spot clean, using the foam only from a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or non-solvent upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam with a soft brush in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry. Pretest a small area before proceeding. Use a professional upholstery cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

Code "S"

To prevent overall soil, frequent vacuuming, or light brushing to remove dust and grime is recommended. Spot clean using a mild water-free solvent or dry cleaning product containing carbon tetrachloride which is highly toxic. Pretest a small area before proceeding. Furniture cleaning by a professional cleaning service only is recommended.

Code "W-S"

To prevent overall soil, frequent vacuuming, or light brushing to remove dust and grime is recommended. Spot clean, with a mild solvent, an upholstery shampoo, or the foam from a mild detergent. When using a solvent or dry-cleaning product, follow instructions carefully and clean only in a well-ventilated room. Avoid any product which contains carbon tetrachloride which is highly toxic. With either method, pretest a small area before proceeding. Use a professional furniture cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

Code "X"

Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent the accumulation of dust or grime. Water-based foam furniture cleaners or solvent-based furniture cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, staining, or distortion of the surface pile and, therefore, should not be used.

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