Upholstery Fabric Cleaning Codes

Fabric coding is a way to categorize fabrics by the materials they are made from and the cleaning solutions that should be used to clean and maintain them. While most professionals are well-versed in these codes, they can be quite confusing to the average consumer. There are two codes that cover most of our fabrics.

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Solvent-based cleaner (S)

Code S fabrics include organic fibers such as cotton, rayon, linen, wool, silk along with denim, velour, damask, etc. These fabrics should be cleaned with Solvent-based cleaners. These fabrics can not be machine washed and need to be spot cleaned or cleaned professionally.

Water-based cleaner (W)

Code W refers to fabrics that are man-made such as polyester, nylon, herculon, acetate and olefin. This category includes most of our Vinyl and Recycled Leather products as well. These fabrics can be cleaned with Water-based cleaners. Some of these fabrics may be machine washed but not all.

Spot Cleaning Dirty Areas and Stains

You will need: Water-free solvent or Dry cleaning product, Clean cloths, Fan or hair dryer (optional)

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  1. To clean dirty areas, it is best to spot-clean. Before applying any cleaners to the soiled areas, it is important to test a small, hidden area first to ensure there are not adverse effects to the color or texture of the fabric.
  2. If the test area goes well, you are set to start on the main stain/dirty area.
  3. Apply the cleaning solvent to the stained area using a clean, white cloth. Blot the stain switching to a new section of the cloth each time. This will avoid reapplying the stain or dirt to the area being cleaned. When all of the dirt is removed, allow the area to dry completely.
  4. If there are any rough areas, brush over them with a soft brush or vacuum the area to restore the original texture.
  5. The only time that you would clean more than just the soiled area during spot cleaning is on the cushions. If a cushion needs to be cleaned, it is best to clean the entire surface so it blends in well with the rest of the flat surface.


These are meant to be just general directions, please use the instructions on the cleaning product purchased if they differ.

Protecting the Fabric

You will need: Protective coating such as Sta-Clene, Scotchguard or DuPont Teflon Advanced Protector, Clean towel or soft cloth, Fans (optional)

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  1. Protecting your furniture will lessen the number of thorough cleanings needed and make spot cleaning much easier.
  2. Once the furniture is completely cleaned, it is ready for a protective coating.
  3. Begin by placing a large sheet of plastic or a furniture pad underneath the furniture. This is designed to catch any drips or overspray and keep it from falling on the floor around the furniture piece.
  4. Apply the product following the manufacturer’s guidelines. They typically come in spray can which makes for easy application.
  5. Use a clean towel to wipe off any wooden trim or other areas that are not fabric.
  6. Allow the pieces to dry completely. Set the cushions on brown paper or another absorbent towel in a tee-pee fashion. Do NOT lean them up against the edge of the sofa or chair.
  7. Setting a fan near the furniture piece and cushions can help to keep the air moving and speed up drying time. When positioning the fan, try to move the air past the pieces, not blowing straight into them.
  8. When all of the pieces are completely dried, it is time to reassemble the couch.
  9. Replace all cushions and return the piece to its original location.


These are meant to be just general directions, please use the instructions on the protective coating product purchased if they differ.

Customer Comments

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