What do Those Codes on Furniture Tags Really Mean?

If you look under the cushions of a typical piece of upholstered furniture you will probably find a fabric care tag. This tag should include recommended procedures for maintaining and cleaning that particular piece of furniture. However, to find out how to keep your furniture looking its best, you will need to find the “cleaning tag”.

The Cleaning Tag

These tags will list cleaning codes that serve as a guideline to assist you in spot cleaning. The tag also informs the professional cleaner on how to avoid color loss, bleeding, browning or shrinkage during cleaning.

Fabrics are made from a variety of fibers including cotton, polyester, silk, rayon, nylon, polypropylene, acetate, acrylic, wool and blends thereof. Improper selection of cleaning agents or methods can lead to permanent damage to fabrics. An example of this is crushed velvet. If it is treated improperly, it can lose its softness, luster and crimp. Unfortunately, damage like this is irreversible. Many floral or multicolored patterns are printed on the fabric rather than woven into it. Extra care must be taken when cleaning these as colors are only on the surface. The wrong chemical can actually remove the printed dyes, or destabilize them to the point that the colors run into each other. Again, this is irreversible.

Effective and safe cleaning of your upholstered furniture means knowing how to clean it. Part of that requires deciphering the code. For example – W means spot clean with water based upholstery cleaners, avoid over wetting the cleaning area; S means spot clean with a water free dry cleaning solvent, be careful not to oversaturate the cleaning area or use any water; WS or SW means spot clean with mild detergent or mild dry cleaning solvent; X means clean only by vacuuming or light brushing, never use water or solvent based cleaners.

No matter what tag you see remember to: Always clean spills promptly and never rub, but rather blot up liquids to avoid damaging your furniture. Of course if you are in doubt, we recommend that you call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning!

 

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