25 March 2013
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How to Read Upholstery Codes

Did you know that you can clean your own upholstered furniture? Like care tags on fabric and clothing, your furniture also holds information which give you insight on the best way to clean them based on the type of fabric it is made of. These recommendations are important to take into consideration when cleaning your furniture as you don’t want to use the wrong product.

Where To Find the Codes

You can find the codes for your couch or chairs on the tag that is placed under the cushion. If you can’t find it there, look on the platform or underneath the piece. If it’s a piece of furniture that you inherited or was a hand me down and you believe that the tags were removed, you can try contacting the manufacturer. They may even have the information you need online. On an older piece or antique, you may want to try calling a professional who deals with Upholstery. A quick online or phone book search should get you in touch with an Upholsterer who can educate you on how to clean the piece.

What do the Codes Mean?

  • W – Can be cleaned with water (safe to use carpet/upholstery cleaner attachments)
  • S – Can only be cleaned with cleaning solvent (dry cleaning). Do not use water to clean.
  • S/W – Can be cleaned with a cleaning solvent and water (recommended to leave to a professional)
  • X – Do not Clean! Vacuum Only

Now that you know these codes, it also helps in the selection of any new furniture that you may purchase. For example, a family who wants to put the piece in a high traffic area and has multiple kids and pets will probably not want to have a piece that needs to be professionally cleaned every time there is a spill or stain. They may want to go with a fabric that is safe to be cleaned just with water and is more durable. If you want a chair that goes in a formal sitting room that no one uses, then you can choose a variety of fabrics as the chances of having to clean it are low.

Now go check under those cushions and get cleaning. Remember, if you aren’t sure of what to use or feel that there is a chance you could ruin the piece, you can always contact a professional to clean it for you.

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