Understanding The Cleaning Codes On Your Sofa

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Understanding The Cleaning Codes On Your Sofa

Understanding The Cleaning Codes On Your Sofa

Sofas come upholstered in different materials- from natural to synthetic fabrics. These have their different cleaning requirements. Procedures used on wool or silk are different from those that one uses when working on polyester sofas and acrylic units. With the diverse range of upholstery material that sofas are available in, cleaning codes come in handy to differentiate with cleaning processes can be used on them. The manufacturers indicate these codes on the furniture as a guide, and the owner needs to be keen in order to avoid damage to the upholstery. 

For the sofas that have detachable cushions, the codes are usually found under those cushions, while others have the codes being placed on the platform – that region where the cushions are laid. If you don’t see them here, check the tags that may be attached to the furniture. In case there were tags but you removed them soon after you bought the sofa, you can look up the particular set online, especially on the particular company’s website or product page. The most common codes on the sodas are S, W, WS, and X. Here is a look at what they mean: 


  • W


This means that your sofa can be cleaned with water. Here, there is a wider range of water-based cleaning agents that one can work with, and these types of fabric upholsteries are usually set in busy rooms that have high rates of spills due to the amount of cleaning that is expected to be undertaken. Methods like hot water extraction or steam cleaning are acceptable here. You can also use the cleaning agents and towels to dab out spots that form from spills. 


  • S


Here, the upholstery can only be worked on using cleaning solvents. These solvents chemically break down the soiling and oily residue, which can then be extracted through processes like vacuuming. It is sensitive to water, and will not react will to it. Wetting the upholstery with water can cause permanent rings to form, or the fabric can shrink. 


  • WS


For these units, you can clean them with either water-based solutions or the solvent cleaners. Here, it is recommended that you use solvents when dealing with the oily areas, and use water-based cleaners for the water-based spills that had been formed. 


  • X


These types of sofa upholsteries are rare, but it is often seen on the fabric blinds and shades. Basically, the item should not be worked on with either water or solvent cleaners. but instead it should only be vacuumed and brushed in order to remove the dry soiling. With these materials, there is a high risk of staining shrinkage of the material, or distortion of the surface pile when the conventional cleaning agents are used. What of the spots that can’t be vacuumed off? It’s recommended that you get in touch with a professional sofa cleaner to address the particular type of material that you’re dealing with, in order to determine the most appropriate course of action. 

What of the unmarked sofas?

Here, you should test the cleaning agents on an inconspicuous spot before proceeding to use it on the rest of the sofa. Ensure that the instructions on the product label are followed to the letter. Better still, leave the cleaning to the professionals who have the skills and resources needed to determine the appropriate method for working on the sofa. 

When cleaning, you’re not meant to over-agitate the area. With the right products, the chemical action of the formulation on the dirt spots and stains should do the heavy-lifting. Excessively scraping or scrubbing a spot brings about the risk of distorting the fabric, and causing permanent damage to it. 

Turn To The Specialists For Your Sofa Cleaning Needs

With professional sofa cleaning services, you get to ensure that your furniture is in safe hands. Hiring a novice because of the rock-bottom price being offered, or going the DIY route in a bid to cut back on costs usually ends up costing more in the long run. Here’s why:


  • Working with low capacity machinery


The industrial grade machinery that professionals use is expensive, requires proper training to operate, and maintaining it also takes a significant chunk out of the company’s balance sheets – but it also enables tasks to be done more effectively, and more customers to be served within a shorter time. The same cannot be said for the lower capacity rental units obtained from dealership stores. For this, the emphasis is on having smaller units that will be easy to transport in a family vehicle, and light enough to move around the house. This compromises on the power and effectiveness that is available for the cleaning process, leading to issues like the sofa not being cleaned deeply enough, or the tasks taking far much longer than they should. For the former, you end up being forced to schedule another cleaning much sooner, leading to more resources being used up. You also don’t want the sofa cleaning tasks stretching out for hours into your weekend, taking away that precious time that you have to relax. 



This can be as a result of overwetting the upholstery, or the suction gear lacking sufficient suction power to remove the bulk of the moisture from the sofa. It ends up being inconvenient to your family members, since you’re prevented from using the furniture for longer. It also increases chances of mould and mildew growing, which comes with their health risks, due to the spores and mycotoxins that are released into the interior air space. 



This may be due to frustration of the ordinary detergents not removing those pesky stains. Ammonia, bleach-based formulations, that lemon juice solution that is popularly whipped up for DIY cleaning tasks – these can end up damaging the upholstery, due to the fabric getting corroded – and you’ll dig deeper into your pocket to have the issue rectified. Some solutions will cause stains to set more permanently into the material, others will bleach out the dyes that the sofas have been treated with. These are certainly not outcomes that you want for the sofa cleaning task. Get it done right by bringing in the experts to take care of it right from the word go. 

Understanding The Cleaning Codes On Your Sofa

One Comment
  1. Most professional sofa cleaning contractors will understand the codes on your sofas. But if you are doing it yourself, read a bit to find out what types of cleaning is recommended for your particular type of sofa

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