In the perfect world, we’d all be so coordinated we’d never have to clean furniture ever. We’d never drop spaghetti on chairs, put muddy shoes on recliners and the dog would certainly never consider barfing on the sofa. But we live in a world of messes. Messes we should know how to clean properly.
Most fabrics come labeled with how they are to be cleaned. Some are dry clean only, some spot clean and some can only be vacuumed or brushed. Some may be labeled as “S,” which means only use a water-free dry cleaning solvent. Others may be labeled as “W/S,” which means you can use a mild dry cleaning solvent, upholstery shampoo or detergent. “W” means only use a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner to spot clean. If you’re able to clean the fabric yourself, make sure to clean spots from the outside to the middle of the stain to prevent spreading the stain.
Further, only fabrics labeled as machine washable should be removed and actually put in the wash. Seems obvious, but it can be tempting to machine wash all fabric types. Steam cleaning and hot water extraction should be avoided.
To prevent stains from taking hold, you should try to vacuum your furniture as often as you can. You can also try brushing the fabric with a stiff, non-metal brush regularly. Both methods will prevent that deep, long-term discoloration of the fabric from setting in.