CoCreative Interiors Furniture Care Guide

Jun 7, 2022

powder room
CoCreative Interiors Site Icone

Written By cocreativeinteriors

When you are finished with an interior design project and all your beautiful new furnishings are in place, you want to keep everything in the best condition possible. No matter how much you spend on your furniture, following proper furniture care steps will help you enjoy your new pieces for years to come! 

Regular Furniture Care

To keep your furniture in great shape, there are some cleaning tasks that you can complete regularly to maintain the best quality for as long as possible. Adding these simple tasks to your cleaning routine will pay off for years. Minor furniture care helps prevent damage that can turn into a bigger issue that needs more attention. 

  • Vacuum upholstery from top to bottom with an upholstery attachment using short left to right strokes. 
  • Some vacuums have a special attachment to get into the small spaces between cushions to clean seams and crevices. 
  • To remove debris, you can also use a can of compressed air to loosen things up before vacuuming. 

Fabrics with a texture such as corduroy, chenille, and suede should be carefully vacuumed to maintain the texture and loft (a fancy way of saying fluffy). 

furniture care

Dealing with Spills

Spills are going to happen! Unless you want to wrap your furniture in plastic, your beautiful pieces will get a spill or two, even if you don’t have kids or pets. Luckily, spills aren’t the end of the world. The key is to clean them quickly! 

  • As soon as a spill happens, grab a clean white cloth and blot (DON’T RUB).
  • If a mark remains after you are done blotting, use a cleaner approved for your specific fabric type – keep scrolling for a rundown of the different fabric types and what you need to know about them.
  • After using the right solution for cleaning the fabric, follow up with a dry white cloth to absorb any moisture. 

If the spot does not come out after two or three cleaning attempts, call a professional. 

Furniture Care Cleaning Codes

Every type of fabric has a cleaning code. These codes help you identify the right way to clean fabric without causing any damage. Pay attention to the codes to avoid water or chemical damage to your furniture. 

You can usually find the cleaning code on a tag attached to your furniture. This tag is most often found under the sofa or chair cushions. If your cushions are not removable, the tag may be found underneath your furniture. If for some reason you cannot find the cleaning code for your furniture, you may try to check the manufacturers’ website, call a professional upholsterer or bring a swatch of the fabric (cut from underneath your sofa) to a fabric store to see if they can help you identify it.

C Code

  • Machine-washable
  • Water temperature should be 160° F or less
  • Use synthetic detergents
  • Tumble dry for 3-5 minutes on the synthetic cycle

S Code

  • Use solvent-based cleaners like a dry-cleaning solution
  • Water-based cleaners can damage fabrics with an S code
  • Spot-treat stains with a water-free solvent or dry-cleaning product
  • When using dry-cleaning solvent, make sure your space is well-ventilated
  • Work the solvent into dirty areas with a clean, soft-bristled brush
  • Dry completely before sitting on it again

SW Code

  • Use a mild solvent or an upholstery shampoo to spot clean
  • Make sure your workspace is well-ventilated 

W or WS Code

  • W stands for water-based cleaners
  • Easiest fabrics to clean, but not the same as being machine-washable
  • W code means that you can spot clean with a water-based shampoo or upholstery cleaner
  • Use a brush to gently work the cleaner into the fabric, but be careful not to use too much liquid
  • Pre-test the cleaning solution in a hidden spot to make sure there is no discoloration
  • Allow the piece to dry completely before sitting on it, and do not try to speed the process with a blow dryer. Heat can cause the fabric to shrink
  • For complete cleaning of the piece, call a professional cleaner

X Code

  • Vacuum or brush lightly to remove any debris
  • Water-based foam cleaners or solvent-based cleaning agents may cause shrinking
  • Using a soft cloth to blot stains 
  • Use a small amount of cleaner and blot again, working your way from the outside to the center of the stain

Leather Care

  • Vacuum all debris off the furniture
  • Look for the areas on the furniture that are the dirtiest or scuffed
  • Create a homemade cleaner of equal parts water and white vinegar
  • Wipe down the leather piece in short strokes and rinse the cloth after every few strokes
  • Follow with a dry cloth to absorb any excess cleaner
  • For stains on dark leather, rubbing alcohol can be used as a spot cleaner
  • On light leathers, create a paste from lemon juice and cream of tartar and apply for 10 minutes, and then remove with a wet cloth to lift a stain

Performance Fabric Care

Performance fabrics are more durable than the fabrics you find at your local craft store. They are made to be water-resistant, easy to clean, and will hold up to heavy daily use. These fabrics are usually made from materials that on their own are nothing special, but are treated to make them performance fabrics perfect for upholstery. These durable fabrics are made by blending regular and performance fibers and then treating them with a protective coating. To read more about performance fabrics, check out this comprehensive article.


Sunbrella fabrics are designed to resist mold and mildew and are easily cleaned. Since the color is saturated, it can even be cleaned with bleach! Soap and water solutions can be lightly misted and scrubbed for quick stain removal for lighter cleaning. 


To clean Revolution fabrics, blotting can handle most spills. If you need to do more deep cleaning, water and bleach solutions can be sprayed and rinsed from the material. This fabric is an excellent choice for a living space with lots of traffic and wear and tear. 


Most liquids will roll right off Crypton fabrics, so blotting the surface with a towel keeps it clean. This feature makes it the perfect choice for high-traffic areas that are used often. Imagine blotting coffee, juice, or red wine off your sofa with no stains left behind! A simple mixture of water and laundry soap can work wonders for tougher stains. 


Brisa fabrics are ideal for high-traffic areas. They resist typical spills like coffee and wine, but ink can also be removed easily. Most stains can be wiped off immediately with a wet cloth or soap and water. For tougher stains, a bleach and water solution or isopropyl alcohol can be used to remove the stain. 


Spot cleaning works well on InsideOut Performance Fabric (IOPF) for light to medium upholstery stains. For more severe stains, a mixture of enzyme cleaner and water solution can be sprayed and lightly scrubbed to remove them. 


Ultrasuede is one of the most durable performance fabrics available. It is soft to the touch and stain-resistant. If you pour liquid on Ultrasuede, it beads up and rolls off so you can blot it up right away. A wet cloth can gently blot and lift the stain if liquid soaks into the fabric. Once the fabric is dry, you can use a soft brush to restore the texture.

furniture care

Final Furniture Care Tips

You can do small things throughout the year to maintain your furniture and avoid too much wear in one area. Add these tasks to your cleaning list to keep your furniture in great shape! 

Flip & Fluff: If your furniture has removable cushions, we recommend flipping, fluffing, and rearranging them every few months. This will allow the furniture to wear more evenly over time. Make sure you are also fluffing your throw pillows, and change out the inserts when needed. 

Don’t Let Dirt Sit: Dirt, dust and debris can cause abrasions and wear faster. Make sure to vacuum your fabric pieces regularly with an upholstery attachment. 

Remove Pills: Some fabrics may show signs of pilling. Pilling happens when little bits of the material wear off and form little balls that stick to the fabric. Pilling does not affect the fabric’s longevity, but it does make your furniture look run down. To remove pills, use a fuzz remover to easily get pills off. We understand how wonderful finally finding the perfect furniture for your home feels! Once you have it, make sure it lasts as long as possible by following these simple furniture care tips. If you would like to chat more about finding or caring for your furniture, get in touch! We love helping our Charlotte, NC interior design clients and Lake Norman interior design clients create spaces in their homes that are a reflection of their lives. Book your complimentary consultation today, OR download our design guide and project planner.


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