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Cracking the Code: Upholstery Cleaning Codes and What They Mean

Posted Friday, September 21st, 2018

upholstery cleaning codes and what they meanEverybody knows their carpet and tile floors need regular cleaning, but sometimes we can forget about where many of us spend so much time when we’re home: our furniture. The couches, chairs, and other upholstered items in our home get used every day, but they’re not as easy to clean as vacuuming the carpet in the living room or sweeping the kitchen tile. While there are handheld vacuums and attachments to get the surface dirt off the furniture, but just like carpet, upholstery needs regular professional cleanings too.

Here’s the thing: different upholstery fabrics need different types of cleaning! Virtually all carpeting can be professionally wet cleaned, but the same rule does not apply for furniture. Some upholstery can only be cleaned with a dry solvent, and other pieces are only recommended to use a vacuum and/or a light brushing. So how can you figure out how to clean upholstery the correct way? Upholstery cleaning codes! Almost all pieces of furniture will have upholstery tags (usually located on the underside) that will tell you specifically what cleaning method the manufacturer recommends. However, they are listed as codes that aren’t always the easiest to read. So, what do the codes mean?

W – Wet Clean

There are three common codes found on furniture made in the U.S. The first is W. This code means your furniture can be cleaned with water-based cleaning solutions, like a professional truck mounted extraction system. This type of cleaning delivers the best results, especially for stains.

S – Solvent Clean

The second of the three common codes is S. This stands for solvent cleaning. Solvent cleaning is a dry-cleaning method and can remove surface dirt but isn’t quite as successful at removing food or drink stains.

X – Vacuum Only!

The last of the three common cleaning codes is X. This means the material or filling of the upholstery is sensitive enough that it is recommended to be vacuumed only. Wet and dry-cleaning methods might damage, discolor, or shrink the furniture.

So, what do you do if your furniture doesn’t have any upholstery cleaning codes? If you know where you purchased the furniture, you can call the manufacturer and ask them directly. If that’s not an option, you can always have a professional upholstery cleaning company come out and determine the safest and most effective way to clean your upholstery.

Modernistic has been checking upholstery cleaning codes and providing the best furniture cleaning service in Michigan for over 45 years! If you have questions about how to best clean your furniture, click or call to learn from the experts! 

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