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University of Illinois Extension

General Rules for Upholstery Fabrics

When possible, check the care label of the upholstered item. This will give you the recommended stain procedure to use.

Stain Removal Directions

  • Treat spills and stains IMMEDIATELY. The longer a spot remains, the more difficult it is to remove.
  • Always pretest fabric in an out-of-the way area to guard against color transfer or color change.
  • Do not over wet. Blot frequently. Do not rub or brush. Work from outer edge of spot toward the center to prevent rings.
  • After stain is removed rinse with clear water, then absorb all moisture with white towels. Place a thick layer of towels over wet area and weight with heavy object. Place aluminum foil between towels and weight to prevent transfer of color from weight. Check periodically; rewet and changes if toweling is stained.

Cleaning agents

  • Detergent Solution/Water - One teaspoon of a general duty detergent without optical brighteners in one cup of warm water Do not use a bleaching agent. Rinse with water.
  • Dry-cleaning Solvent- Any common brand according to directions.
  • Nail polish Remover* Acetone Alcohol - Isopropyl (rubbing)type
  • Ammonia - Household 3% solution
  • Acetic Acid - A 3% solution or 50% white vinegar mixed with 50% water
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - A 3% solution.
  • Dry Compound Cleaner - Any common brand according to directions.

*Clear, non-oily

General instructions and precautions

  • All treated upholstery fabrics may be dry cleaned with standard dry cleaning fluids (available in small containers under various brand names), or lightly sponged with water. Remove covers with zippers before cleaning. Commercial foams and powders for home cleaning use may prove useful.
  • Although treated upholstery fabric is tested for fastness to common cleaning materials, please test all cleaning agents on an inconspicuous area before applying to the stain to insure against damage to the fabric.
  • washclothUse a minimum of cleaning fluid and lots of absorbent tissue or cloth. Never flood stains with fluid as this will simply spread the dirt and possibly affect the backing or foam padding.
  • Remove as much of solids as possible with a dull-edge spoon or spatula. If liquid, blot up. If a detergent solution is to be used, mix powdered detergent without optical brighteners in warm water ... make lots of suds. Dip sponge in the suds and work from the edge of the spot towards the center to avoid spreading stain. Blot. Rinse with plain water. Blot.
  • If the spill was of grease or wax base, or soft drinks or material which contained caramelized sugar, the area should additionally be rinsed with a solution of 50% white vinegar, 50% water. After rinsing, place a thick stack of white paper towels over the area and weight for several hours with a heavy fiat object. The moisture and residue will wick up into the absorbent material by capillary action. Brush up the pile lightly after removing the paper towels.

Source: Fabriclink.com