What exactly do those upholstery cleaning code letters on your couch or sofa cushion mean? They're not exactly self-explanatory.
The letters you'll find are generally W, S, WS, or X. And they're meant to tell you which cleaning products or solutions to use to safely clean the fabric without damaging it. (And which to avoid.)
This guide will help you decipher the meaning behind the upholstery cleaning tag letters, no magic decoder required.
Use as little foam and water as possible to do the job; you don't want to get the upholstery too wet.
WS = Water-based cleaning agent or solvent. Depending on the stain, you can use a dry-cleaning solvent, the foam of a mild detergent, or upholstery shampoo.
X = Don't clean it yourself. Hire a professional. You can, however, vacuum or brush off surface grime.
By the way, zippered cushion covers do not mean you can remove the covers for cleaning separately. The zippers are there to provide a tighter fit. If you clean covers separately, they may shrink, tear, or discolor.
It's deceptive, I know. I've bought couches myself on the mistaken notion that I could clean the removable covers.
In addition to the cleaning code, manufacturers use a wearability code to gauge how well a particular fabric will hold up under use.
When you're shopping for furniture, ask the salesperson about the wearability of the various fabrics. Then go for the one that will take the most abuse. Here's how to break the secret code:
This is what you want in your family room.
Reserve this until your kids are out of the toddler stage.
This is rather delicate fabric that is definitely not kid proof. Use it for entertaining.
Do we need to even discuss this one? If you have a room that's off-limits to kids and pets, buy this fabric.