Understanding Washing (Cleaning) Symbols When Caring for Upholstery

We see them everywhere, especially on the back or sides of our clothes that provide us with the instructions to properly clean, wash and care for them. But let’s be real, we seldom, if not never really pay much attention to these labels. After all, washing machines these days are designed with highly delicate functions that (should) rarely cause any defects or concerns on the fabric of our clothes.

Washing (Cleaning) Symbols
Image: wikiHow.com/clean_a_couch

But that’s on the topic of clothes, now what about our sofas, carpets, beddings and mattresses? They come with a whole different set of washing symbols, usually in the form of alphabets like ‘S’ or ‘WS’.

For those with little experience cleaning their upholsteries, these symbols may be difficult to understand. If you’re facing this particular trouble, you’ve just arrived at the right page.

Codes you should know

W – Spot clean with water-based shampoo, or a foam upholstery cleaner.

S – Spot clean only with a water-free dry-cleaning solvent without any use of water.

WS – Spot clean with an upholstery shampoo, mild detergent or dry-cleaning solvent.

X – Clean only with a vacuum or light brushing. No water or solvent based cleaner should be used!

And you might ask, “Why not send them to the dry cleaner, isn’t that much easier?”

While you’re not exactly wrong, there are few risks involved when sending your upholstery to the dry cleaner. Despite dry cleaning is a highly delicate process that mostly delivers our garments back to us in a fresh condition, the process for cleaning fabrics on our sofa, beds, and others of similar nature has a few complications that regular garments don’t present.

Because these fabrics are built to perfectly fit a particular frame, such as the armrest of your couch, sending it to the dry clean may risk shrinkage and a poorer fit. And should that happen (knock on wood), you’re going to have to prepare for a sleeveless armrest the next time you sit on the sofa.

That alone should already be more than enough reasons to avoid sending your upholstery to the dry cleaner, and instead have them done DIY with the appropriate methods, which you should already know from the codes above!

De Hygienique staff cleaning upholstery

We understand, however, that understanding these codes alone may not translate into an effectively cleaned sofa or bed. But fret not, because the professionals are always ready to lend a hand. Contact us today to get your upholsteries cleaned the right way!

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