When deciding what to clean so much of that decision comes down to the
dirt and stains that we can actually see—these tend to stand out and grab
our attention. It’s important to remember, however, that there are things
that you can’t see which rank among the dirtiest spots in your home. So,
let’s take a quick look at five of these areas and how to clean them.
While throw pillows look cute, they’re not so cute from a cleaning
standpoint. You lie on them, your dog or cat sits on them, the kids drool all
over them—these things get pretty gross! Cleaning them is pretty
straightforward, but of course, be mindful about the fabric care label, and
in this case, we’re dealing with two, not just one. First, the cover.
Hopefully, the cover is machine washable. If it’s something that’s delicate,
you might want to put it into a delicates bag before you launder it.
We would recommend using cold water and gentle detergent if you’re concerned about the durability of the pillow cover itself. Otherwise, the hotter the better. Now, if your fabric care label says that it’s not washable, you’ll want to take it to the dry cleaner. When it comes to the pillow itself they may also be machine washable. Again, check the fabric care label for specific instructions. If it’s not machine washable, something that you can do to help kill odors is to take it outside on a sunny day and just hang it up and let the sun do its thing. The UV rays will help freshen it up and kill any odor causing bacteria.
For upholstered items like couches, sofas, ottomans, and chairs, you obviously can’t machine wash them. In this case, you’re
going to look for one of four codes which will tell you what type of cleaner you can use on that particular upholstered piece.
The first one is W and that stands for Water. This means that you can use a water-based cleaner on that particular piece of
furniture (this is not the same as being machine washable!). Use these cleaners by spot cleaning—apply a little to the surface,
agitate it with a cloth or a brush and remove any residual product with clean water.
The next one is S, which stands for Solvent. These are products that do not contain water, typically this is what we refer to as
dry cleaning solution. If you’re not comfortable with using these, this would be a good time to bring the item to a professional
upholstery cleaner or to bring someone in to do the job for you.
Next up, we’ve got W/S. You’ve got the one-two punch right here. You can use either water-based cleaners or solvent-based
Finally, we have X. This means you can’t use any cleaner on it whatsoever. These are the type of upholstered materials that
you’re going to be vacuuming or brushing only.