Can Upholstery Fabric Be Washed in Washing Machine? Find Out Now!

Imagine sitting on your beloved, comfy couch, and suddenly you spill your morning coffee. Your heart sinks as you look at the unsightly stain on your upholstery fabric. You might be wondering, can upholstery fabric be washed in a washing machine? The answer to that could impact not only the longevity of your furniture but also the aesthetics of your living area.

Don't worry. This article is here to help you navigate through the daunting world of fabric maintenance.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Check the Cleaning Code: Before you rush to toss that fabric in your washing machine, ensure to check its cleaning code. This will guide you on whether it's machine washable fabric or requires professional cleaning.
  2. Machine Washing: Many upholstery fabrics can be machine washed with cold water and a mild detergent, but always refer to the washing instructions for optimal fabric care.
  3. Alternative Cleaning Methods: If your fabric isn't machine washable, other methods like spot cleaning or using baking soda can help freshen up your upholstery.

Knowing how to handle fabric cleaning can save your furniture and keep your home looking its best.

Procedures for Cleaning Upholstery Fabric

How to Read Upholstery Fabric Wash Symbols

When it comes to cleaning upholstery fabric, it's important to understand the wash symbols provided by manufacturers. These symbols offer guidance on how to clean and maintain the fabric effectively. Here are some common upholstery fabric wash symbols and their meanings:

  • W: Fabrics marked with a W can be washed with water and water-based detergents. This means you can safely clean these fabrics in a washing machine.
  • S: Fabrics marked with an S cannot be washed with water and should be dry-cleaned. These fabrics are sensitive to water and may shrink or become damaged if exposed to it.
  • WS: Fabrics marked with a WS can be cleaned with both water-based detergents and solvents. This gives you the flexibility to choose between dry cleaning or machine washing, depending on your preference and the fabric's condition.
  • X: Fabrics marked with an X should only be washed by a professional and cannot be washed with water or solvents. These fabrics are delicate and require special care to avoid damage.
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Techniques for Spot Cleaning on Upholstery Fabric

Spot cleaning is an effective way to tackle small stains or spills on your upholstery fabric. It allows you to target specific areas without having to clean the entire piece of furniture. Here are some techniques for spot cleaning upholstery fabric:

Guideline for Spot Cleaning Upholstery Fabric

  1. Act quickly: The sooner you address a stain or spill, the easier it will be to remove. Blot the area with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.

  2. Check the fabric's cleaning code: Refer to the fabric's wash symbols to determine the appropriate cleaning method. If the fabric is marked with a W or WS, you can proceed with spot cleaning using water-based detergents. If it's marked with an S, dry cleaning is necessary.

  3. Test in an inconspicuous area: Before applying any cleaning solution, test it in a hidden area of the upholstery fabric to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration or damage.

  4. Use a mild detergent: For fabrics that can be spot cleaned with water-based detergents, mix a small amount of mild detergent with water. Apply the solution to the stained area using a clean cloth or sponge. Gently blot the stain, working from the outer edges toward the center to avoid spreading it.

  5. Blot with clean water: After removing the stain, dampen a clean cloth with water and blot the area to rinse off any remaining detergent residue. Blot with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture.

  6. Allow to air dry: Let the fabric air dry completely before using the furniture again. Avoid using a hairdryer or heat source, as it may cause shrinkage or damage.

  7. ![](

When a More Concentrated Spot Cleaner is Required

In some cases, stubborn stains may require a more concentrated spot cleaner. Commercial upholstery cleaners are available in the market, but it's essential to choose one that is suitable for your fabric. Before using any spot cleaner, always read the instructions and test it in an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility with your upholstery fabric. Apply the spot cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions, and remember to blot, not rub, the stain to avoid spreading it further.

Spot cleaning is an effective way to maintain the cleanliness of your upholstery fabric between deep cleanings. By promptly addressing stains and spills, you can prevent them from setting in and prolong the lifespan of your furniture.

Machine Cleaning Method for Upholstery Fabric

While spot cleaning is suitable for small areas, sometimes our upholstery fabric requires a more thorough cleaning. In such cases, machine washing can be a viable option, but it's essential to follow the correct steps to ensure the fabric's safety and longevity.

Steps to Machine Clean Upholstery Fabric

  1. Check the care label: Before proceeding with machine washing, check the care label on your upholstery fabric. The care label provides instructions specific to the fabric, including whether it is machine washable or should be dry cleaned.

  2. Remove any detachable covers: If your upholstery fabric has removable covers, unzip or unfasten them and separate them from the rest of the furniture. This allows for a more thorough and even cleaning.

  3. Pre-treat any stains: If you notice any stains on the fabric, spot treat them using the techniques mentioned earlier. It's best to address stains before machine washing to ensure they don't set in further.

  4. Choose a gentle cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water. Cold water helps prevent shrinkage and color fading. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the fabric.

  5. Use a mild detergent: Select a natural, non-dyed, or sensitive detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can cause discoloration or damage.

  6. Load the fabric carefully: Place the upholstery fabric in the washing machine, making sure not to overload it. Overloading can prevent proper cleaning and agitation.

  7. Start the machine: Begin the washing cycle and let the machine do its work. Once the cycle is complete, remove the upholstery fabric immediately to prevent wrinkles or creases from setting in.

  8. Air dry or use a low heat setting: After machine washing, it's crucial to dry the upholstery fabric properly. Air drying is the safest option, as it minimizes the risk of shrinkage. If you prefer using a dryer, select a low heat setting to prevent damage. Avoid high heat, as it can cause the fabric to shrink or lose its shape.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, upholstery fabric can indeed be washed in a washing machine, but it's essential to check the fabric's cleaning code and care label beforehand. Fabrics marked with a W or WS are safe for machine washing, while fabrics marked with an S or X require alternative cleaning methods. Spot cleaning is an effective way to address small stains, while machine washing provides a more thorough clean.


How do you wash couch fabric in the washing machine?

To wash couch fabric in the washing machine, follow these steps:

  1. Check the care label on the fabric to ensure it is machine washable.
  2. Remove any detachable covers or cushions if possible.
  3. Pre-treat any stains using spot cleaning techniques.
  4. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water.
  5. Use a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics.
  6. Load the fabric carefully, avoiding overloading the machine.
  7. Start the washing cycle and remove the fabric promptly after it's finished.
  8. Air dry or use a low heat setting to dry the fabric.

How do you clean fabric upholstery?

To clean fabric upholstery, you can use spot cleaning techniques or machine washing, depending on the fabric's cleaning code. For spot cleaning, act quickly to blot spills and stains, using a mild detergent and water-based solution. Test the solution in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the stain. For machine washing, check the care label to ensure the fabric is machine washable. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Air dry or use a low heat setting to dry the fabric. Always follow the fabric's care instructions for the best cleaning results.

Can I wash upholstery material?

Yes, you can wash upholstery material in most cases. However, it's important to check the fabric's cleaning code and care label before washing. Fabrics marked with a W or WS can be washed with water and water-based detergents, while fabrics marked with an S or X require alternative cleaning methods. If the upholstery material is machine washable, follow the proper steps for machine cleaning. If it's not machine washable, consider spot cleaning or professional dry cleaning as suitable alternatives.

What is the best easy to clean upholstery fabric?

Easy-to-clean upholstery fabric such microfiber and synthetic fabrics are popular choices. Microfiber is known for its durability and stain resistance, making it easy to clean with spot cleaning techniques or machine washing. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are also easy to clean and maintain. They are resistant to stains and spills, and many are machine washable. It's important to check the care label and follow the manufacturer's instructions for each specific fabric to ensure the best cleaning results.

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