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Upholstered Furniture: Cleaning & Care 101

When you invest in the furniture you’ve fallen in love with, you want it to look like it did the day you bought it for as long as possible.  Knowing how to clean and care for your upholstered furniture, and doing so consistently, will help maintain its beauty and increase its longevity. Here are some tips:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight
  2. Regularly flip, rotate and fluff cushions
  3. Vacuum regularly
  4. Spot clean spills immediately
  5. Professional Cleaning

AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT

Direct sunlight on upholstery for extended periods of time can damage and fade the fabric.  Inevitably some furniture pieces will be exposed to sunlight during certain times of day, but minimizing exposure will help colors remain vibrant and fabric intact.

REGULARLY FLIP, ROTATE AND FLUFF CUSHIONS

Loose pillows, back and seat cushions should be flipped and rotated to evenly spread out the wear and tear of every day use.  Cushions should also be repositioned, as one part of a couch may get more use than others.  Pillows and cushions should be fluffed to help maintain their original shape and prevent unwanted indentions.

VACUUM REGULARLY

Vacuuming upholstered furniture is important to include in your regular cleaning routine, as it lifts away surface soil that would otherwise sink into the fabric.  Dust and dirt encourage premature fabric erosion, thus vacuuming weekly is ideal if possible.  A vacuum attachment with a soft upholstery brush should be used to avoid snagging the material.

SPOT CLEAN SPILLS IMMEDIATELY

Life happens, along with unexpected spills and stains.  When spills happen, take immediate action!  BLOT gently, never rub, the spot with a clean, absorbent, white folded towel.  If the stain does not lift, follow the instructions according to the cleaning code (detailed below) listed on the law tag found attached to furniture.  Always pretest spot cleaning method in an inconspicuous place on the piece.

PROFESSIONAL CLEANING

First of all, never steam clean your upholstered furniture.  If there are stains you are unable to remove, always call a professional.  Experts recommend you have upholstered furniture professionally cleaned every few years.

Below are industry codes, found listed on http://www.rowefurniture.com/fabrics/fabric-care.html :

Industry Cleaning Codes

S – Spot clean only with a water-free dry cleaning solvent. Pretest a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not saturate. DO NOT USE WATER.  Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended.  When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material.   Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of the affected area to prevent circling. Overall cleaning by a professional furniture cleaning service only is recommended.

W – Spot clean only with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Pretest for color loss and fabric compatibility. Do not over wet. Use professional upholstery cleaning service for overall soiling.

WS – Spot clean with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or mild dry cleaning solvent. Pretest a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding.  Do not saturate.  Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance.  Hot water extraction of steam cleaning is not a recommenced cleaning method. Cushions casings should not be removed and laundered or dry cleaned.  To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended.  When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material. Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of affected area to prevent circling. Use a professional furniture cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

X – Cleaning only by vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush.  DO NOT USE ANY WATER OR SOLVENT BASED CLEANER.

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