In the perfect world, we’d all be so coordinated we’d never have to clean furniture. We’d never drop spaghetti on chairs, put muddy shoes on recliners, and the dog would 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 using 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 using a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner to spot clean. If you can clean the fabric yourself, 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 put in the wash. It 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 vacuum your furniture as often as possible. You can also try regularly brushing the fabric with a stiff, non-metal brush. Both methods will prevent the fabric’s deep, long-term discoloration from setting in.