Can You Wash Scotch Guarded Fabric?
Do you have a Scotch Guarded sofa or chair that needs spot treatment?
Many couches and chairs come from the factory already treated with a product called Scotchgard. (You can also apply a Scotchgard treatment yourself at home.)
This is really great stuff—it repels water and prevents liquids from absorbing into the upholstery fabric, reducing the likelihood of a tough stain.
Once a piece of furniture is “Scotchgarded”, it will rarely need cleaning beyond occasional vacuuming to take care of crumbs, pet hair and dander, and dirt and dust. When spills occur, you can usually clean them just by blotting with a paper towel if you get to them quickly enough. Blot until no more dampness comes up on your paper towel.
The way the product works is that it slows the absorption of fluids into the fabric. It doesn’t stop absorption completely. So if you clean it up immediately, you’re golden. But if don’t catch a spill in time, you likely will have a stain to deal with.
If you do miss that magic window of time and end up with a tough stain on your Scotchgarded couch, there are a couple of things you can do.
Our advice? Call a reputable upholstery cleaner. It’s not expensive, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the stain out if you hire a professional. Plus, even Scotchgarded fabrics can benefit from occasional deep cleaning. Fabric treatments like Scotchgard only work to prevent tough stains. They don’t do anything about odors or ground-in particulates from regular wear and tear.
But if you’re in a do-it-yourself mood, do yourself a favor before you attempt to clean it and check the manufacturer’s label on the piece of furniture. The cleaning instructions will tell you what types of cleaning products are safe for your couch or chair. They are written in cryptic code, but here’s a handy guide:
“S” means solvent-based cleaners are safe. Try rubbing alcohol.
“W” means you must use a water-based cleaner in order to avoid damaging the upholstery. Use a bit of dish soap mixed with water.
“W-S” means you can use either solvents or water-based cleaners.
“X” means don’t use any cleaners; only vacuum.
If all that sounds too complicated, take our advice and call in an expert. If you live in the Asheville, NC area, we would be happy to help you with your Scotchgarded upholstery cleaning needs. Call Five Step at (828) 237-3237 or drop us a line, and we’ll get back to you quickly!