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fabric codes for cleaning

How do you Read an Upholstery Cleaning Code?

Did you just find a stain on your upholstery?

Did you just spot pet hair on your chair?

Well, it can be tricky to figure out the best cleaning methods for dirt and stains on upholstery. 

Stains can set in just a few seconds. But understanding the fabric codes for cleaning can help you get rid of a spot of shame. 

Phew…luckily most of the upholstery comes with a cleaning code. Based on their codes, you can determine the cleaning solution and bring them back to its original appearance. 

So, today, we are going to take a deep look at different upholstery codes to improve its longevity at the helm. 

But WAIT…..

Where can I find the cleaning code on my furniture?

Just like you would find cleaning codes on your clothes, the same way, upholstery cleaning tags are found under the seat cushions. 

  • If the upholstery is store-bought, the cleaning code must be on the tag.
  • If you have reupholstered it, check with the fabric manufacturer. 
  • If you have vintage upholstery, call those who make their living reupholstering.
  • And if you’ve removed it after purchase, check this information on the company’s website. You will get full cleaning specifications 

If you still cannot find the cleaning codes for upholstery, call professionals for upholstery cleaning now! 

Below, we have listed the cleaning codes. You must follow these cleaning code instructions before cleaning your upholstery. Have a look here-:

Upholstery Cleaning Codes

Upholstery Cleaning codes are common. However, the best way to start upholstery cleaning is – Patch Testing. 

  • Always test your solution or cleaning method on a small area first.
  • Do not apply solutions to your entire furniture.
  • Blotting is always better than scrubbing. It protects your carpet from being worn out. 

1. “W”

“W” means water. If your upholstery has a “W” code, believe me, you are lucky. This means that you can clean your upholstery just with water. In case of spills and stains, you can use a carpet cleaner. 

As a rule of thumb, while cleaning stains and spills, always blot and never scrub. If you rub over the stains aggressively, the material will start to fade and lose its luster. 

Secondly, do not use tap water for cleaning your upholstery. Tap water contains chemicals that can fade your furniture. Instead, use distilled water to tackle its shine and spark. This will make your upholstery look new and clean all the time. 

2. “S”

Did you just find the “S” cleaning code on your furniture? 

Okay, so “S” means Solvent. You need solvents (dry clean only) for cleaning your upholstery. 

You should not apply water to the fabric. And, spot cleaning is applicable only in case the product is meant for home dry cleaning purposes. 

Since your upholstery has an “S” cleaning code, don’t leave it messy just because you know professionals will clean it. Instead, keep cleaning your upholstery regularly and treat stains, spills, and dirt as soon as possible. This will retain the longevity of colors and quality of the fabric.  

Note: Solvent cleaning won’t remove water stains. 

If your upholstery has a pile fabric, you can brush it off during the cleaning process. This will restore the pile to its original nature. 
3. “S/W”

The “S/W” code is a sheer combination of solvents and water. Upholstery with this tag is oftentimes best left to the professionals. This is a very rare cleaning code, and you can spot-clean it by using a specialist upholstery shampoo, solvent, or mild detergent. 

Do not saturate the fabric with liquid. This can cause permanent damage.

Always apply the upholstery cleaning solution directly to your cloth. Do not apply directly to the fabric. If you do so, you will damage or discolor the fabric’s delicate exterior. 

Note: Upholstery with “S/W” code has pile fabrics. You can do brushing to restore its appearance. 
4. “X”

The “X” Code stands for Vacuum only. You should clean this type of fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing. This will prevent the buildup of dust or grime.

This code isn’t seen often anymore. It may appear frequently on fabric shades and blinds that aren’t cleanable and just require vacuuming.

If you find a stain or spill on this type of fabric, hire professionals now! You can pay a visit to dry cleaners or a local furniture restoration shop for the best clearing. You can’t clean this with any homemade or shop-bought cleaning solutions. 

And, do you have zippered cushion covers? Don’t be tempted to remove and dry clean. If you wash this kind of cushion fabric, it can cause shrinkage. 

Tip: It is the best practice to vacuum the “X” Code type of upholstery. This will keep loose dirt, dust, allergens, and lingering smells at bay. 
5. D (Dry Clean Only) 

Some fabrics only need dry cleaning. We always recommend patch testing on a small inconspicuous area to check fabric shrinkage or color bleeding. However, some stains may come out just by light brushing. 
6. (P) Professional dry-cleaning

Upholstery fabric with a “P” code suggests professional dry cleaning only. It allows solvents only except trichloroethylene. Do not use water-based or detergent-based solvent cleaners. This may cause excessive shrinkage. 

You can periodically apply a light brush or vacuum the fabric. This will remove build-up dust particles from your upholstery. 
7. Unmarked Fabrics

What If your upholstery does not have cleaning tags?

There are a lot of custom pieces of furniture that do not have any cleaning code. In that case, you can experiment with the above cleaning options on a small area not generally visible. Make sure there is no color bleeding from the fabric. 

Bonus: Leather Upholstery Sofa 

Are you buying a leather upholstery sofa in your living? You get a bonus point here. 

Leather is a standard furniture upholstery that ensures durability, splendid look and feel, and doesn’t cost much maintenance.

For cleaning the leather upholstery, you just have to wipe off the mess. However, note that- 

  • Do not use abrasives cleaners or hard brushes
  • Only use manufacturer-recommended cleaning solutions
  • No proportion of soap, oil, or detergent must be there with leather cleaners
  • Conditioner your leather fabric every 6 to 12 months 

Basic Upholstery Fabric Care Tips

  • For routine cleaning of your upholstery, use the attachment on a vacuum cleaner. This will remove loose dirt from the fabric.
  • You can use a lint roller to pick up pet hair on other days of the week.
  • Always flip your cushion while vacuuming. This will reduce soiling.
  • Take care of accidents immediately. Don’t give time to absorb into the fibers of your upholstery fully.
  • Clean spills immediately. Blot gently with a clean, or absorbent cloth. 

The Final Words

Above mentioned cleaning labels are upholstery cleaning guides. If you ignore these codes, then you are risking your expensive upholstery. 

And, if you didn’t find these codes or are exhausted with all these cleaning recommendations, hire Seaside Carpet Cleaning for upholstery cleaning services. We provide cleaning services across the areas of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas and Vista in California.

Our team will treat spots and stains and make your upholstery look new, which you were thinking of throwing away anyhow. Call us now!