How do I clean fabric& upholstery?

Cleaning fabric or upholstery might involve as little as simple dusting, or it might require a trip to a commercial dry cleaner, depending on the material’s individual properties.

Machine Washing

Conventional washing, either by hand or in a washing machine, can safely clean many common fabrics. The care label on an article of clothing usually recommends a specific cleaning method.

Delicate Fabrics

Silks and other delicate fabrics require gentle handling when cleaning, and in some cases dry cleaning might prove the safest option. Petroleum-based synthetic fabrics respond well to liquid detergent but shrink under extreme heat.


Although owners of drapes must takes the drapes down for thorough laundering or dry cleaning, a quicker method suggested by Good Housekeeping involves vacuuming the drapes without taking them down.


Leather items can suffer damage from cleaners such as saddle soap or cleaners containing solvents, unless the cleanser identifies itself as safe for leather. Most leather upholstery requires minimal care.

Cleaning Code

Fabrics sold in furniture stores have labels that include cleaning codes. “W,” for instance, means the owner can use water, and a fabric labeled “S” requires professional dry cleaning, according to “Furniture Magazine.”


Good Housekeeping: Say Curtains to Dirt

Good Housekeeping: How to Clean a Leather Sofa

Furniture Magazine: Cleaning and Wear Code Information