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How to Clean Bleach Cleanable Upholstery

Posted by Guilford of Maine on October 28, 2015

Let's say you have a spill, and your fabric is bleach cleanable. Should you run for the bleach and give it a good pour on the problem area? No! Read on to learn how you should actually clean bleach cleanable upholstery. And straight bleach isn't the answer.


The main thing with any spill is to clean it up as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits, the harder it is to remove. Start out trying to clean every stain first with water. Bleach and other strong cleaners are a last resort, however this becomes more complicated as many healthcare facilities have their own cleaning protocols.

As you'll see below in our handy upholstery cleaning guide, bleach is only effective against certain spills, and should only be used if other cleaning agents don't work. And even then, a dilution of 4 parts water to one part bleach is recommended. And, most importantly, don't use bleach if the upholstery isn't bleach cleanable. A bleach cleanable upholstery should consist of solution dyed fiber could be made up of solution-dyed nylon or olefin, but something just made from regular old polyester, nylon or cotton is not bleach cleanable.

You've probably heard this a thousand times, but always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area first to make sure there isn't any discoloration. One other thing to be aware of is after cleaning a spot, it may look different because now the spot you cleaned is cleaner than the surrounding area. If this occurs, water-extraction cleaning of the entire surface is recommended.

To see our bleach cleanable fabrics, click the link below, choose a product type and click the "Bleach Cleanable" filter under the "Performance" header.

Wondering how to clean a particular kind of stain? See our handy guide below.

And here are a few tips to keep your fabric in tip-top shape:

◦Start with the lowest-numbered cleaning agent listed for each stain. Carefully remove any excess dried material from the fabric. Apply the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth, and blot, working from the outside of the stain inward. Rinse with clear water. If the cleaning agent doesn’t completely remove the stain, wet extract and air dry. Then proceed to the next higher-numbered agent. Repeat if necessary.

◦Always pretest an inconspicuous area for colorfastness before spot cleaning.

◦Timing is everything! Blot up liquid spills ASAP. And sponge off with clear water if necessary. The longer a stain sits, the harder it is to remove.

◦After spot cleaning, the cleaned area of the fabric may look different from surrounding areas due to residual soiling of the rest of the seating surface. Water-extraction cleaning of the entire surface is recommended.

◦For highly colored stains, cleaning agent 9, bleach solution, may be used. Apply to the stained area and allow to sit for up to an hour. Water-extract to remove all traces of the solution. Do not mix bleach with other cleaning agents, and rinse thoroughly after use.



Topics: Upholstery Fabric