Naturally Clean Your Upholstery

Forget the dry cleaners and freshen your delicates at home.


| September/October 2007


Try these ideas for keeping your upholstery clean and fresh smelling without toxic solvents. You may find a manufacturer-supplied care label on new drapes, upholstery and slipcovers. Fabrics labeled code “W” or “WS” can be cleaned with water-based agents such as mild detergent or non-solvent-based upholstery shampoos rather than petrochemical solvents. Consider these labels when purchasing or upholstering furniture because they have the least environmental impact—and you can clean them yourself. (Code “S” and “X” fabrics require highly volatile solvents or professional dry cleaning.)

3 Upholstery Care Tips

1. Vacuum or brush furniture frequently to prevent dust and grime buildup.

2. To spot clean, make foam by whisking a tablespoon of mild soap with 1/4 cup warm water. Test the foam in an inconspicuous place. If the fabric color holds, dab the foam onto spots, but do not rub. Allow to dry completely, then vacuum thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.

3. Dust cushions with Dry Cleaning Powder (see recipe below) to freshen the fabric.

Dry Cleaning Powder





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