Fabric Care & Cleaning Guide

Before you begin to clean up any stains, soil, or spills on your upholstery, check what it's cleaning code is. All of our products list their cleaning codes and content to ensure your cleaning doesn't harm it's stain, soil, and fluid repellent treatments. Below is a overview of what the codes are and how to handle the cleaning of them. 

Cleaning Code



"W” Code W stands for "Water based cleaner" and these are the easiest fabrics to clean. This is not the same as being machine washable, however. This code means that you can spot clean your fabric with a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. You can use a brush to agitate the cleaner or even an upholstery attachment on a carpet cleaner. Be careful to avoid over-wetting the stain.


“S” Fabrics that are Code S must be cleaned with solvents (dry clean only). You can spot treat stains with a water-free solvent or dry-cleaning product. Use solvent cleaners in a well-ventilated room and keep away from open flames. Avoid using cleaning products containing carbon tetrachloride, as it is highly toxic.


“W/S” A W/S code, as you might expect, means that a combination of dry-cleaning solvents and water-based cleaners may be used. These fabrics can be spot cleaned with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or a mild dry-cleaning solvent. This is a case where the pre-test is especially important. For overall dirt, call a professional to clean these fabrics.

id="wm_code" W/M

"W/M" A W/M code means "water based modified". Clean only with Crypton Cleaners or water-based cleaner, outlined in their instructions and method. Do not over wet. Do not use solvents. 


“X” If you have fabrics with Code X, they can only be cleaned by vacuuming or light brushing. A Code X means the fabric is not cleanable with water or solvent cleaners.



Regular Maintenance Regular and proper maintenance of your upholstery fabric permits less frequent cleaning. Maintenance is routine, on-going care which reduces soil build-up on a fabric’s surface. This includes promptly treating spots and stains.

  • Vacuum regularly with a proper upholstery attachment to thoroughly remove air-borne dust and lint.
  • Promptly treat spots and stains.
  • Clean periodically to remove accumulated grime and retain the fabric’s original appearance as much as possible.
  • Turn and rotate loose cushions to equalize wear and soiling.
  • Clean protective arm covers and headrest, so they do not look different from the rest of your upholstery.
  • Remove any cleaner residue by rinsing or extraction to avoid future buildup.


It is very important to note that when disinfectants, cleaners and/or bleach are permitted they should be used in the proper concentration as recommended by the manufacturer and as indicated on the product specifications and product labels. Pretest in an inconspicuous area. Disinfectants, cleaners and bleach solutions must be rinsed with clean water and dried with a clean cloth following application. If you do not follow these instructions, you may harm the fabric and void product warranties. Avoid cleaners and Disinfectants containing abrasives.


Spots and Stains

Get to it quickly! If a spot, spill or stain occurs, it must be cleaned quickly. It may become difficult or impossible to remove if allowed to set.

Fluids - Remove fluids immediately from the surface and do not let them penetrate the cushion or furniture construction.

Solids or Semi-Solids - Carefully break up solid or semi-solid substances (such as mustard) with a flat object—butter knife, spatula. Then vacuum to remove as much of the stain as possible before using a cleaning agent.

Large or unusual stains - See a reputable professional cleaning service.

Note – Use a soft brush as needed for difficult stains unless prior test on inconspicuous place suggests brushing may result in permanent damage.

PRETEST A small, hidden area with cleaning agents. 

  1. Use only a small amount of cleaner applied with a dampened towel to avoid spreading the stain or shrinking the fabric.
  2. Work in from the outside edge to the center of the stain.
  3. Blot the cleaning agent on, DO NOT RUB or you may damage the fabric.
  4. Remove the cleaning agent by rinsing the fabric and blotting it dry with an absorbent cloth, paper towel or sponge once the stain is removed. After removing the cleaning agent allow the fabric to dry.
  5. Check for color change. If the cleaner made the fabric wet, allow it to set for one or two hours to dry.

The rest of your fabric Spot and stain removal may also remove accumulated soil from the fabric. The newly cleaned area may look much different from the rest of your fabric. You may then need to clean its entire surface.




Polyester - WS Cleaning code

When a green approach is requested for Recycled Polyesters, they can be cleaned by our standard methods using green cleaners such as Green works, 7th generation (detergent) and Master blend Citrus spotter.


Polyester & Acrylic Blends - WS Cleaning Code

Some patterns are bleach cleanable 10:1. Please refer to individual pattern specs for bleach cleanability on our website.


Polyester & Nylon Blends - WS Cleaning Code

Some patterns are bleach cleanable 10:1. Please refer to individual pattern specs for bleach cleanability on our website.


Solution Dyed Nylons – WS Cleaning Code

Nylons can be cleaned with both water-based and solvent-based cleaning systems, including such strong cleaning agents such as diluted bleach.


Stubborn stains:

  • Use a carpet cleaning detergent. o Blot stain with diluted bleach (1-part household bleach, 4 parts water)
  • Allow to sit for approximately 60 minutes.
  • Remove bleach solution by hot water extraction (“steam cleaning”).


Wool - S Cleaning Code

Wool fabrics as well as high-content wool fabrics (60% +) also carry S Cleaning Code, vacuum with a soft brush, wipe away stains with a moist sponge and a clean, lint-free cloth or use professional dry cleaning.



There are many finishes on the market that provide liquid, oil and stain repellents for fabrics today. The ones utilized by us are:

  • Teflon
  • Alta
  • Nanotex
  • GreenShield
  • Crypton Green
  • Incase
  • C-Zero



Teflon™ textile finishes work like a shield for clothes and other fabrics, forming a protective barrier around each fiber to repel water, dirt, and stains. The fabric mill/finisher applies these invisible finishes, which do not interfere with the fabric's weight, look, feel, color, or breathability. 

Whether it’s apparel, upholstery, awnings, or patio cushions, Teflon™ fabric protector:

  • Resists soil, stains, and spills
  • Keeps fabrics and textiles looking new longer
  • Facilitates easier cleanup.
  • Teflon™ fabric protector works on a variety of fabric types without interfering with weight, look, feel, color, or breathability.
  • Textiles treated with Teflon™ fabric protector require less frequent washing because they are better protected from stains.

Read more about teflon technology here



Nanotex, powered by Crypton, elevates fabrics to stand up to everything. Offering superior spill and stain resistance coupled with remarkable performance and durability, Nanotex brings you more than just high performing technical fabrics, we give you the freedom of choice. Nanotex uses nanotechnology to transform and permanently bond to the structure of the fibers, creating permanent performance without compromising the hand. The results are fabrics that offer remarkable performance and comfort – permanently.

  • High oil, liquid and stain repellency
  • NSF 336 Compliant
  • High level of cleanability
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certified
  • Chemistry is engineered to the fiber type
  • No PFOA, PFOS, or PFCs » Flexibility – can add the features you need
  • Optional permanent moisture barrier (NanoGuard)
  • In-house lab & testing » Optional odor resistance

Read more about Nanotex Crypton technologies here



GreenShield and GreenShield ZERO are nanoparticle-based innovations that reduce the health and environmental impact of stain resistant fabric finishes. An interior environment can be a tough place, and upholstery fabrics need to perform under many demanding circumstances. Food stains, liquid spills, and several other dirt producing situations can result in unappealing looking furniture and expensive cleaning bills. With GreenShield you can protect your upholstery fabrics from oil-based stains like mustard, ketchup, and pizza grease while helping to protect the environment. GreenShield ZERO provides Fluorine Free protection from water-based spills like soda, coffee, and wine.

  • GreenShield dramatically lowers the amount of fluorochemicals needed to repel oil-based stains.
  • GreenShield ZERO is Fluorine Freefor water-based stains.
  • Both GreenShield and GreenShield ZERO have base components with clear and established safety records.

Read more about GreenShield technology here



Alta™ provides the highest repellency to water and oil-based stains to dramatically increase the cleanability of fabrics and reduce the need for harsh cleaners. Some cleaners, if not used properly, can damage the fabric. Simply follow the Alta™ cleaning instructions. These instructions should not replace the cleaning instructions accompanying the fabric. Always follow your fabric’s recommended care instructions and use in conjunction with the treatment instructions.

  • Alta is a water-based technology that imparts permanent repellency to virtually any kind of fabric without impacting its softness or breathability.
  • Forms molecular bond to fibers and will not migrate or “off-gas.”
  • High repellency to liquid and oil based stains and spills. Exceptional cleanability, reducing the need for chemical cleaning agents.
  • Non-allergenic and safe to be next to the skin; core technology similar to “performance fabric” used for leading apparel and sportswear.
  • Odorless and completely imperceptible to the eye and hand. Free from any solvents or VOCs (volatile organic compounds), PFOS, PFOA, formaldehyde, heavy metals or phthalates.
  • Passes EPA and Cal Prop 65 environmental standards (California, United States).


Read more about Alta technology here.


Crypton Green

Crypton is has a great reputation for providing spill and stain protection. Crypton fabrics have stain protection built into the fabric when it is milled.  The advantage is that they don't need a secondary treatment - such as Alta, GreenGuard or Nanotex.

  • Crypton Fabric is a specially engineered fabric system that delivers superior performance from stains and spills.
  • Each fiber of Crypton Fabric is encapsulated with a patented technology through an immersion process, so it never breaks down its resistance to stains, moisture, mildew and odors.
  • The impenetrable moisture barrier protects the fabric from spills, keeping stains from setting in the foam of the cushions.


Read more about Crypton Green spill, stain, and soil resistant technology here


Incase (Crypton)

The ultimate in design freedom. Crypton performance customizable for almost any fabric.

  • Stain Repel and Release
  • Easy to Clean
  • Lifetime Protection
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certified


Read more about Crypton Incase here


C-Zero (Crypton)

 Unparallelled fluorine-free stain-resistance performance technology with C-Zero ‘Plus’ options.

  • Superior Water Repellency
  • Permanent Repel and Release of Water-based Stains
  • Easy to Clean
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certified
  • PFOA-Free/PFOS-Free/PFC-Free
  • Moisture Barrier and Odor Resistance Available (C-Zero Plus). 

Read more about Crypton C-Zero technology here


For more stain type cleaning guides and procedures see more at Designtex.