The Importance of Understanding the Solvent Cleaning Code for Upholstered Furniture

As a furniture expert, I have encountered numerous questions about the solvent cleaning code and its importance in maintaining upholstered furniture. This code, represented by the letter “S”, stands for “Solvent” and indicates that mild, waterless solvents and cleaning agents should be used for cleaning. It is the equivalent of a garment that can only be dry-cleaned. However, there are also other codes such as WS, SW, and W that indicate the type of cleaning products that can be used on different fabrics. Solvents are essentially dry cleaning solutions that clean and dissolve stains without the use of water.

This means that, for the most part, furniture can be safely cleaned with a water-based upholstery cleaner or water-based foam. These fabrics can be cleaned with upholstery shampoo, a mild detergent foam, or a mild solvent for dry cleaning. The WS cleaning code indicates that these fabrics are very versatile and can be cleaned with both water-based and waterless cleaning products. It is important to understand the solvent cleaning code as it helps in choosing the right cleaning method for your upholstered furniture. Ignoring these codes could result in damage to the fabric such as discoloration, shrinkage, or dye transfer.

These codes classify and inform you about the type of cleaning products that are safe to use on the fabric of your furniture. You may prefer to leave the cleaning to a professional, but it is still important to know what type of cleaning products they will use on your furniture. The solvent cleaning code is usually found under the cushions of a sofa or chair or anywhere there is a label attached to the furniture. It is important to note that this code is different from the double rub rating, which indicates the durability of the upholstery fabric. For fabrics that fall under the “S” code, it is recommended to use a mild solvent for dry cleaning. This type of cleaning solution is similar to what is used in dry cleaning clothes.

On the other hand, fabrics with a “W” code can be cleaned with water-based products such as upholstery shampoo or foam cleaner. These fabrics are more versatile and have a good chance of responding well to cleaning attempts. For fabrics with a combination of codes such as SW or WS, both dry solvents and wet methods can be used for cleaning. It is important to follow the instructions carefully and test the cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area first before using it on the entire piece of furniture. When using water-based products on furniture with a “W” code, it is important to clean up to the included edges to avoid leaving large water marks. For fabrics with an “S” code, it is recommended to clean only the stained area and not the entire piece of furniture. In summary, understanding the solvent cleaning code is crucial in maintaining the appearance and longevity of your upholstered furniture.

It helps in choosing the right cleaning products and methods that are safe for your specific fabric. So next time you see this code on your furniture, you'll know exactly what it means and how to properly care for it.