Kids are rough on upholstered furniture.
They put their shoes on the couch, jump on the chairs, pull off the loveseat pillows to make forts, and stash crumbs, pencils, quarters, etc. under the cushions to create a perpetual collection of odds and ends.
We've even found tennis shoes under our cushions.
The good news is that you can keep the furniture nice and clean it yourself when needed.
Here are some key ways to protect your furniture and tackle upholstery cleaning safely.
Protect your upholstered furniture from direct sunlight. Rotate and reverse cushions occasionally so they will fade evenly and receive equal wear.
Monthly upholstery cleaning should include vacuuming the furniture with a soft brush attachment to remove surface dust and dirt before it becomes a ground-in upholstery stain.
No matter how many house rules you have about no eating in the living room, chances are someone will eventually spill juice on your couch. It's just one of those things a Mom can count on. Wipe up spills on upholstery with a clean cloth immediately after they happen. Blot, don't rub!
Use the guide to understanding upholstery cleaning codes below to help remove furniture stains and spills safely.
What exactly do those cleaning codes 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 DIY cleaner or solution to use to clean the fabric without damaging it safely. (And which to avoid.)
This guide will help you decipher the meaning behind the codes.
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, fabric cleaning code ws tells you can use a dry-cleaning solvent, the foam of a mild detergent, or upholstery shampoo.
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.