Do you understand the cleaning codes on furniture?

Frank House

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upholstery cleaning codes explained



The upholstery cleaning code on a furniture item recommends the best and safest cleaning method.


Understanding upholstery
cleaning codes can be a challenge.

If you look on the item's tag, you'll likely see furniture cleaning codes designed by the letters W, S, WS or X. But what are these letters code for?

Those furniture cleaning codes tell you which couch cleaning products to use to clean the fabric upholstery safely.

Since they're not exactly self-explanatory, this translation of upholstery codes for cleaning fabric can help you do the dirty jobs safely and successfully.


upholstery code w:


Furniture cleaning code W tells you to safely clean that sofa or chair, use a water-based cleaner.

A water-based cleaning agent can be anything from a little foam from mild detergent mixed with water to one of the nonsolvent fabric cleaning products you'll find at the grocery store.

Use as little foam and water as possible to do the job; you don't want to get the fabric too wet.



upholstery cleaning code s:

Furniture cleaning code S tells you to clean without water, using a dry cleaning solvent. Use just a little, as directed, and make sure you have plenty of ventilation.



cleaning code ws:

Furniture cleaning code WS tell you you can use a dry-cleaning solvent, the foam of a mild detergent, or upholstery shampoo to spot clean safely.



cleaning code x:

Furniture cleaning code X tells you: Don't go there. You need a furniture cleaning service to remove the spot(s). You can, however, vacuum or brush off surface grime to keep it looking somewhat decent while you're awaiting the company's arrival.



deciphering furniture wear ability codes
Bet you didn't even know there was a furniture wear ability code. There is. In addition to cleaning codes, furniture manufacturers also add a wear ability code to help consumers gauge how well they can expect a particular fabric to hold up under regular use.

Since kids are notoriously rough on upholstered furniture, these codes can help when the time comes to choose new additions.

399xNxfurniture-easy-care.jpg.pagespeed.ic.UYpDlQTl2o.jpg

Heavy duty furniture such as wicker and washable cotton are easy care and great for families.
hd = heavy duty furniture
This is what you want in your family room.


md = medium duty furniture

Reserve this until your kids are out of the toddler stage.


ld = light duty furniture

This is rather delicate fabric that is definitely not kid proof. Use it for entertaining.


dd = delicate duty furniture

Do we need to even discuss this one? If you have a room that's off-limits to kids and pets, buy this piece.

- See more at: http://www.clean-organized-family-home.com/upholstery-cleaning.html#sthash.qcDFN2hO.dpuf
 

Sierra Clean Care

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upholstery cleaning codes explained



The upholstery cleaning code on a furniture item recommends the best and safest cleaning method.


Understanding upholstery
cleaning codes can be a challenge.

If you look on the item's tag, you'll likely see furniture cleaning codes designed by the letters W, S, WS or X. But what are these letters code for?

Those furniture cleaning codes tell you which couch cleaning products to use to clean the fabric upholstery safely.

Since they're not exactly self-explanatory, this translation of upholstery codes for cleaning fabric can help you do the dirty jobs safely and successfully.


upholstery code w:


Furniture cleaning code W tells you to safely clean that sofa or chair, use a water-based cleaner.

A water-based cleaning agent can be anything from a little foam from mild detergent mixed with water to one of the nonsolvent fabric cleaning products you'll find at the grocery store.

Use as little foam and water as possible to do the job; you don't want to get the fabric too wet.



upholstery cleaning code s:

Furniture cleaning code S tells you to clean without water, using a dry cleaning solvent. Use just a little, as directed, and make sure you have plenty of ventilation.



cleaning code ws:

Furniture cleaning code WS tell you you can use a dry-cleaning solvent, the foam of a mild detergent, or upholstery shampoo to spot clean safely.



cleaning code x:

Furniture cleaning code X tells you: Don't go there. You need a furniture cleaning service to remove the spot(s). You can, however, vacuum or brush off surface grime to keep it looking somewhat decent while you're awaiting the company's arrival.



deciphering furniture wear ability codes
Bet you didn't even know there was a furniture wear ability code. There is. In addition to cleaning codes, furniture manufacturers also add a wear ability code to help consumers gauge how well they can expect a particular fabric to hold up under regular use.

Since kids are notoriously rough on upholstered furniture, these codes can help when the time comes to choose new additions.

399xNxfurniture-easy-care.jpg.pagespeed.ic.UYpDlQTl2o.jpg

Heavy duty furniture such as wicker and washable cotton are easy care and great for families.
hd = heavy duty furniture
This is what you want in your family room.


md = medium duty furniture

Reserve this until your kids are out of the toddler stage.


ld = light duty furniture

This is rather delicate fabric that is definitely not kid proof. Use it for entertaining.


dd = delicate duty furniture

Do we need to even discuss this one? If you have a room that's off-limits to kids and pets, buy this piece.

- See more at: http://www.clean-organized-family-home.com/upholstery-cleaning.html#sthash.qcDFN2hO.dpuf
Good info Frank, thank you..... even if just a refresher......
 

Todd the Cleaner

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One other thing to keep in mind is these cleaning codes are for the consumer to keep them from damaging the fabric.

While as cleaners we also use the codes as a guideline I have had plenty of code S fabric that I have wet cleaned without an issue.
 

Frank House

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One other thing to keep in mind is these cleaning codes are for the consumer to keep them from damaging the fabric.

While as cleaners we also use the codes as a guideline I have had plenty of code S fabric that I have wet cleaned without an issue.

Yes you are correct. I was just putting the info out there for people that don't understand them at all. This is a great starting point.
 

SAA

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I certainly do not wish to argue any points needlessly and I think it is great to help educate anyone with proper information. So, just to help not have confusion, the codes are really not for us as cleaners for cleaning. They relate to ONLY colorfastness of the material we are working on. The problem with this is the codes themselves will allow for a lot of damages due to ignorance of what this means. This has been a long term problem in our industry of simply reading something, thinking we understand what it is and what it means and never testing it out to see if it is true or not. This is why I wish to add to this post, not to argue but to try to help clarify where possible.

Here is a link from a year or so ago where this was addressed and sadly, so few even looked at it.

https://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/upholstery-cleaning-codes-defined.70076/

I applaud this post for trying to help and trying to educate. Hopefully this information will simply help support that same spirit. If ones learn about this it will not only educate them as a cleaner but also allow them to educate their clientele. Which in turn should make your business better.

Please read the one page article all the way through to fully understand what the Upholstery Fabric Industry was really trying to tell us, it was not how to clean, but that we had to apply the principles of what their codes really meant and use that with our understanding of the upholstered piece.

SAA
 

Frank House

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Great information from SAA. Also please keep in mind that identifying the type or types of fabrics is still a must. Many times the wrong "code" has been placed on fabric. Always test fabrics first.

TEST
TEST
TEST then
Test again
.
We are the professionals and are held to a higher standard.
 

ColoradoCleaner

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I'm with @Todd the Cleaner ... Rob put out a video on upholstery a few years ago saying that basically any code except X can be cleaned using our standard methods with a little common sense and proper extraction, not leaving it too wet. I've been following that advice without any issues for years now and never had a problem.
 
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SAA

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Kevin,
I think most have been doing the same thing for many, many years, I certainly have for over 40 years. As was stated, these codes have nothing to do with cleaning, we only confuse that as an industry. As Frank stated very well, TEST and test again. Good for you for not being fooled with these and just keep up the common sense.

SAA
 
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wandwizard

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I certainly do not wish to argue any points needlessly and I think it is great to help educate anyone with proper information. So, just to help not have confusion, the codes are really not for us as cleaners for cleaning. They relate to ONLY colorfastness of the material we are working on. The problem with this is the codes themselves will allow for a lot of damages due to ignorance of what this means. This has been a long term problem in our industry of simply reading something, thinking we understand what it is and what it means and never testing it out to see if it is true or not. This is why I wish to add to this post, not to argue but to try to help clarify where possible.

Here is a link from a year or so ago where this was addressed and sadly, so few even looked at it.

https://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/upholstery-cleaning-codes-defined.70076/

I applaud this post for trying to help and trying to educate. Hopefully this information will simply help support that same spirit. If ones learn about this it will not only educate them as a cleaner but also allow them to educate their clientele. Which in turn should make your business better.

Please read the one page article all the way through to fully understand what the Upholstery Fabric Industry was really trying to tell us, it was not how to clean, but that we had to apply the principles of what their codes really meant and use that with our understanding of the upholstered piece.

SAA

I've never understood the mysterious X code. Does this simply mean that this fabric is uncleanable with any method? Doesn't make sense to me. I've never once seen a good explanation for it. I'm not really worried too much about it, but I'd like to understand it better. I've seen one living room set with the X code in almost 29 years of cleaning and may never see another one. It was all one color. At that time I didn't know to test for fiber type or color fastness. I passed on the job then and probably would do so again if I were to come across one.
 

wandwizard

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Well, I just finished reading the article and it sort of answers my question on the X label. It means that the X fabric has been tested at the factory and bleeds from both water and solvent based cleaning. That would mean the dye used in the fabric is extremely unstable. Kind of crazy to even make an upholstery fabric out of something like that. That's also probably why it's extremely rare.
 
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SAA

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Randy, they are pretty rare in the code but I have seen several different pieces of upholstery and rugs that can allow transfer with a crocking test as well as dye migration with a bleeding test. This does not mean we cannot clean them but it will require speed drying (the dynamics of upholstery in drying is usually the last 10-15 minutes of drying time is when they 'usually' bleed, due to the dynamics of the water drying will pull the color, pretty neat to see, if you can control it). It will also help to have a low moisture (great place for vapor steamer) to clean it quickly.
Here are two chairs that bled with wet or dry side and yet I was able to clean them with an acid cleaner misted on, then vapor steam with a white towel and then speed dry, came out great.

redchair-1.jpg


Here are some pieces that would be a nightmare without controlling the moisture, just imagine being cotton like this with the color fringe and welting

drapes1.jpg


drying4.jpg


drying5.jpg


Of course this type of cleaning is something most will run from but it is extremely profitable!

SAA
 
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Frank House

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Most furniture fabrics carry the furniture industry’s cleanability code adopted in 1969. It gives the consumer information about the proper methods to clean specific fabrics. Care instructions may be found on the “care and cleaning” label attached with the Fabric Description Hangtag. (To locate your piece's care instructions, see below.) When spot cleaning, pre-test fabric for discoloration and/or shrinkage on an inconspicuous part of the furniture. When overall cleaning is required, professional cleaning will achieve the most satisfactory results. Never remove cushion covers or arm caps for separate cleaning. This may destroy the backing or cause shrinking and color changes.


I was just putting this out there for the forum to see what the furniture manufactures recommend. We all know to always test that's a no brainier. We all know that in this industry there are many ways to go about cleaning something. These different ways don't matter as long as the results are the same and the fabric was not damaged.

The upholstery cleaning code on a furniture item recommends the best and safest cleaning method. as stated on the first line of the article.
 

mrotto

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I carry a Cleanfax article written by Tom Hill on my truck to show the customers which explains the different codes. I have several articles I carry which explains things that commonly pop up now and then like Carpet Ripples. I find that that I can talk all day long on the subject but if I can produce an article written by an industry expert it justifies my explanation.

Two things we need to watch for, color bleeding and shrinkage so I agree test test test.

In all my 35+ years I too have seen only 1 X label. Also I have only needed to replace 1 sofa sectional (covered by insurance) due to an employee cleaning a fabric that shrunk.
 
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