GENERAL UPHOLSTERY CARE GUIDELINES

Follow the simple guidelines below to keep all your upholstered living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture looking like new.

  • To avoid fading, keep upholstered home furniture away from direct sunlight.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture as often as possible. Even if your home furniture has seen little use, the abrasive action of dirt and dust particles can wear the fibers of your upholstery fabric. For high-use furniture, it’s a good idea to frequently beat the cushions and then vacuum and rotate them.
  • Damp-dust arms and headrest areas with a cleaning solution to prevent body oil accumulation on the upholstery fabric (be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation as to the type of upholstery cleaning solution to use; see item #2 under Upholstery First Aid).
  • Avoid placing newspapers directly on home furniture upholstery fabric, since ink will accumulate and is difficult to remove.
  • Never cover your upholstered home furniture with dark-colored blankets, sheets, etc., because the dyes can rub off onto fabric when dry or bleed when wet.
  • Avoid the use of dyes, paints, inks, nail polishes, and Mercurochrome around your upholstery fabric, since these substances alter color and will stain.
  • Never remove cushion covers for dry cleaning or machine washing, even though they have zippers.
  • Periodic professional cleaning will keep soil accumulation from marring the beauty of the upholstery of your home living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture.

UPHOLSTERY FIRST AID

You’ve just spilled a glass of wine on your living room sofa—what do you do now? It’s important to act promptly but not to panic. Follow these guidelines to control a spill and prevent a stain.

  1. Act quickly before a spill spreads or dries.For liquid spills:
    Blot lightly with a dry paper towel to start. Increase pressure and use a fresh paper towel until no more liquid is absorbed. DO NOT RUB! If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.For solid or semi-solid spills (such as foods):
    Gently lift the substance from the upholstery with a spoon or dull knife, scraping carefully toward the center of the spill. Treat any wet residue as a liquid spill. If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.For dry spills (such as ashes or dry cosmetics):
    Adding any liquid to a normally dry substance, such as ashes, may cause a permanent stain. Vacuum, beat the area with a ruler or similar implement, vacuum again, then use the adhesive side of masking tape to remove any residue. If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.
  2. Check the manufacturer’s label for any cleaning instructions and/or fabric cleaning code.The following are the standard fabric cleaning codes used by furniture manufacturers. Use these codes to determine what types of cleaning methods are appropriate for your fabric:
    W Use water-based cleaning agent
    S Use mild (water-free) cleaning solvent
    WS Use water-based cleaning agent, or use mild (water-free) cleaning solvent
    X Clean ONLY by vacuuming or light brushing
  3. Always test water or a cleaning agent by applying to the same upholstery fabric on a hidden area of the upholstered piece. Allow to dry completely, then check its effect on the fabric.
  4. Apply water or a cleaning agent (as recommended in the stain removal guide) in small doses to avoid spreading the stain or causing a ring. Be patient; apply several times, blotting firmly with a dry paper towel to soak up the liquid after each application.
  5. Never rub a fabric; rubbing could result in damage to the nap, loss of color, or spreading of the stain.
  6. Restore the nap on velvet by brushing gently before it dries.
  7. To avoid water spotting, use a fan or cool blow dryer (on a cool setting) to accelerate drying. Dry from the outer edge of the affected area toward the center.
  8. If the stain persists, seek professional cleaning assistance.

WELCOME TO HOME FURNITURE CARE

Sponsored by Rhodes Furniture

You’ve decorated your home with the furniture of your dreams, but how do you keep your living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture looking beautiful for years to come? While it’s easy to find opinions on the best methods for cleaning and maintaining your mattresses and wood, upholstery, and leather furniture, it’s difficult to know whom you can trust with the care of these valuable items.

Home Furniture Care was developed by the Rhodes family of stores to provide the information you need to safely care for, clean, and protect the living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture in your family’s home. Combining more than 125 years of Rhodes’ furniture experience with the knowledge of some of the country’s finest manufacturers, this site is dedicated to helping you maintain the beauty and value of your home furniture investments.

Here you’ll find safe cleaning and dusting methods that will restore, enhance, and preserve the beauty of your fine wood furniture. Discover leather furniture care and fabric stain removal tips that can save and protect your precious upholstered furniture. You’ll also learn about the simple monthly maintenance that can greatly extend the life of your mattresses. Home Furniture Care has the information you need to keep your living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture looking great for years to come.

Upholstery First Aid

You’ve just spilled a glass of wine on your living room sofa—what do you do now? It’s important to act promptly but not to panic. Follow these guidelines to control a spill and prevent a stain.

  1. Act quickly before a spill spreads or dries.For liquid spills:
    Blot lightly with a dry paper towel to start. Increase pressure and use a fresh paper towel until no more liquid is absorbed. DO NOT RUB! If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.For solid or semi-solid spills (such as foods):
    Gently lift the substance from the upholstery with a spoon or dull knife, scraping carefully toward the center of the spill. Treat any wet residue as a liquid spill. If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.For dry spills (such as ashes or dry cosmetics):
    Adding any liquid to a normally dry substance, such as ashes, may cause a permanent stain. Vacuum, beat the area with a ruler or similar implement, vacuum again, then use the adhesive side of masking tape to remove any residue. If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.

  2. Check the manufacturer’s label for any cleaning instructions and/or fabric cleaning code.The following are the standard fabric cleaning codes used by furniture manufacturers. Use these codes to determine what types of cleaning methods are appropriate for your fabric:
    W Use water-based cleaning agent
    S Use mild (water-free) cleaning solvent
    WS Use water-based cleaning agent, or use mild (water-free) cleaning solvent
    X Clean ONLY by vacuuming or light brushing
  3. Always test water or a cleaning agent by applying to the same upholstery fabric on a hidden area of the upholstered piece. Allow to dry completely, then check its effect on the fabric.
  4. Apply water or a cleaning agent (as recommended in the stain removal guide) in small doses to avoid spreading the stain or causing a ring. Be patient; apply several times, blotting firmly with a dry paper towel to soak up the liquid after each application.
  5. Never rub a fabric; rubbing could result in damage to the nap, loss of color, or spreading of the stain.
  6. Restore the nap on velvet by brushing gently before it dries.
  7. To avoid water spotting, use a fan or cool blow dryer (on a cool setting) to accelerate drying. Dry from the outer edge of the affected area toward the center.
  8. If the stain persists, seek professional cleaning assistance.

Stain Removal Guide

Always follow the upholstery first aid steps outlined above, and then pretest any of the remedies listed below in an inconspicuous area before using them.

Use the table below to determine the appropriate cleaning method to use on your home furniture upholstery stain. Explanations of the letters in the Remedy columns appear below the table.

Stain Cause Remedy Stain Cause Remedy
Alcoholic drinks C/B Ice cream B
Ashes/soot A/B Ink/lipstick A/C
Blood B Jam/jelly B/C
Butter A Margarine A
Cake frosting A/B Mayonnaise A/B
Candle wax A Milk/formula A/B
Candy B/C Mud B
Ketchup B Mustard B
Chewing gum A Oil A
Chocolate A/B Salad dressing A/B
Coffee A/B Sauces A/B
Cosmetics A/B Shoe polish A/C
Crayon A Soft drinks B
Dairy products A/B Syrup B
Egg B Tar A
Feces B Tea B
Felt-tip marker C Urine B
Fruit/juice B/C Vegetable A/B
Gravy A/B Vomit B
Grease A Wine/Kool-aid C/B
   A. Use a dry-cleaning solvent (such as Energine®, Carbona®, or K2r®). READ LABEL CAUTIONS. Apply to stained area with a clean cloth. Using a paper towel, blot with increasing pressure until liquid is absorbed. Repeat this procedure multiple times to rinse the stain material from the fabric.
   B. Use a protein/enzyme-type laundry detergent (such as Era®), diluted; use one (1) part detergent to 30 parts water. Apply to stained area with a clean cloth. Using a paper towel, blot with increasing pressure until liquid is absorbed. Repeat this procedure multiple times to remove the stain. Repeat as necessary with clear water to rinse the detergent from the upholstery fabric.
   C. Use a solution of one (1) part distilled white wine vinegar mixed with nine (9) parts ethyl rubbing alcohol (denatured or isopropyl rubbing alcohol may be substituted). Apply to stained area with a clean cloth. Using a paper towel, blot with increasing pressure until liquid is absorbed. Repeat this procedure multiple times to remove the stain from the upholstery fabric