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Upholstery Cleaning Codes

Some manufacturers have adopted the voluntary uniform standards for furniture cleanability developed by an industry committee. If used, each fabric will be marked with a code which indicates the appropriate cleaning method. The code may be printed on fabric samples, on a label under seat cushions and/or on hand tags. Use as a guide for spot removal, and for overall cleaning.

W - Use Water-Based Cleaner. Spot clean this fabric with the foam only of a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or commercial upholstery shampoo. Use sparingly. Avoid overwetting.

S - Use Solvent Cleaner. Spot clean this fabric with a mild water-free dry-cleaning solvent available in local stores. Use sparingly in a well-ventilated room with no sparks or flame in the room.

CAUTION - Use of water-based solvent cleaners may cause spotting and/or excessive shrinking. Solvent cleaning agents will not remove water stains.

S-W - Use Water-Based or Solvent Cleaner. Spot clean this fabric with a dry-cleaning solvent, mild detergent foam or upholstery shampoo, depending on the stain.

X - Vacuum Only. Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent accumulation of dust and grime. Water-based foam or solvent-based cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, fading or spotting.

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus with references from Wisconsin Extension bulletin, Care and Cleaning of Upholstered Furniture.