Cleanability Codes for Upholstery Fabrics:
We frequently have customers bring us upholstery fabrics-having wrestled them off the cushion- to dry clean. After they have worked so hard we hate to disappoint them but there are several reasons that this is not a good idea: Often upholstery fabric is coated with a resin to give it body and extra strength and that resin may dissolve in dry cleaning fluid. Then there is the possibility that any tumbling method of cleaning may result in shrinkage or separation of the seams. And finally, clean cushion covers may show up as lighter in color when placed against the (uncleaned) back and arms of your sofa!
While upholstered furniture is not covered under the Federal Trade Commission’s Care Label Rule, many manufacturers voluntarily use the American Furniture cleanability codes either permanently attached to the piece or on a hang tag. The following codes were designated by fabric manufacturers:
Clean soiled areas only with the foam from a water-based cleaning agent, like a mild detergent or upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.
Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent dust and grime from accumulating. Water-based foam or cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, fading or possible distortion.
Have this treated by a professional furniture cleaning service only. Use of water-based or detergent-based cleaners may cause excessive shrinking. Water stains may become permanent. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing is recommended to remove dust and grime.
Clean soiled areas with a mild solvent or a water-based cleaning agent. Avoid any product that contains carbon tetrachloride. You may also use an upholstery shampoo product or the foam from a mild detergent. With either method, pretest a small area before proceeding. Use a professional furniture cleaner when an overall soiled condition is reached.