Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Breaking the code on spring cleaning

 It’s  not as thrilling as young love or as inspiring as cherry blossoms along the Potomac, but with spring also come thoughts of a thorough house cleaning.  While some tasks are straightforward and routine, others can be confusing and downright mysterious.

One elusive mystery is those cryptic letters that are upholstery fabric cleaning codes. Chances are your American Leather® furniture made it through the winter without incident, but if you do need to do a bit of touch up for spring, we’re here to help you break the cleaning code with the below guide and tips.


When you see S think Solvent or Something other than water.
Clean only with solvent-based cleaner. Do not saturate. Do not use water. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned.

Examples include: K2R Spotlifter, Carbona and Resolve


When you see W think Water.

Clean only with water-based shampoo or upholstery cleaner. Do not over wet. Do not use solvents to spot clean. Cushion covers should not be removed and laundered.  Most water based cleaning agents are often classified as upholstery shampoo.

Examples include: Glamorene, Glory, Blue Lustre and Woolite

WS or SW:
When you see WS or SW, think open options! This means you can use your favorite cleaner, just test it first. Spot clean with solvent-based or water-based cleaning products. Do not saturate with liquid. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned.

Happily, most American Leather upholstery fabrics carry the WS or SW code. These are the most serviceable fabrics, and the best strategy is to start with water before turning to solvents.

We also have quite a few fabrics with S codes and some with W. Do not despair if that’s what you have. In most cases, careful effort – and sometimes with some professional assistance--your fabric-covered furniture can be fresh as spring again.

DC or X:

While American Leather furniture does not have these codes, you may see DC for Dry Clean Only or X, which means vacuum or light brushing only, on other upholstered pieces you may own. These both require professional attention for best results.

As a rule of thumb, the best advice is to proceed cautiously. Even with pure water or a water-based cleaner, you will want to test how your fabric responds in a small, inconspicuous area before attempting to tackle the blotch in the middle of your seat cushion.  Also, pile fabrics may require brushing to restore appearance.

To learn more about caring for leather furniture, view these tips on the American Leather website: http://americanleather.com/Coverings/Leather/Leather-Care---Cleaning.aspx

 And if your American Leather furniture is covered in the extremely resilient Ultrasuede®, be sure to visit our partner’s website for the best information on care and cleaning: http://www.ultrasuede.com/about/care.html





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Jason shwartz said...

What great information about how to make our leather pieces look incredible. I personally had no idea that water based cleaners were something that was great to consider. That definitely would be great to know, especially if there is not a lot of humidity in the area that you live in, like myself in Denver. Thank you for sharing. http://www.atlanticcarpetcare.net/upholstery/1383341

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Janelle Winters said...

Thanks so much for demystifying those cryptic care labels! I appreciate that companies put them on their products, but they are absolutely no good to folks when they have just the symbols with no further explanations. When cleaning pieces that have the X symbol, should one use a specific vacuum attachment or is any attachment fine? http://www.supremecleanersinc.com/dixon-il-carpet-and-upholstery-cleaning.htm

Jenny Gygi said...

Wow, thanks for the information! I've been wanting to do a bit of touch up work on my couch, but I had no idea what kinds of products to use. Now, thanks to your help, I'll know what kind of cleaner to pick up! I'll make sure to check the product's code before buying it so that I know how to use it, and if it will work well on my couch. I also have a leather chair that I want to clean, too. What product would you suggest I use? http://www.americanprovenance.com/shopmercantile/leather-conditioner

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