Fabric cleaning guide

How to clean your handmade dining chairs...

SPOT CLEANING - Treat spills and stains as soon as possible. Gently scrape any soil or mop any liquid from the surface of the fabric. Use of soap or detergent with water should be approached with caution since overzealous rinsing to remove soap residue may result in over-wetting, water marking and possible wetting of substructure (this may create other stains or damage products).

  1. For non oil-based stains. Blot stain with a soft towel or scrape away the substance. Pre-test the cleaning method on a hidden part of the furniture, using warm water and Vanish Soap (a bar of soap available from most supermarkets). Mix a small amount of soap and warm water solution and apply to the stain, rubbing gently. Blot dry with a clean towel. Apply cool water (preferably rain or distilled water) and blot dry again, then work out from the centre of the stain. Dry quickly to prevent rings forming using a hair dryer or talcum powder. It is generally preferable to clean whole panels of fabric in this way rather than trying to spot clean specific areas. This process
  2. For oil-based stains. We recommend a dry cleaning solvent which should remove oil based stains from the furniture. Apply a similar process as above and ensure the cleaning is done in full panels not spot cleaned.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES - After the moisture has been blotted up, dab at the stain with a clean cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. Then blot repeatedly with liquid detergent mixed with cool water. Blot dry with a towel. Dab again with clear cool water and blot dry.

BLOOD - Mix one teaspoon of ammonia in a cup of cold water and apply it sparingly to the spot. Blot with a clean towel. Repeat the procedure until the spot is gone. Then dab the area with cool water and blot. Wait 15 minutes and moisten the area again with white distilled vinegar. Blot thoroughly with a dry towel.

CHEWING GUM - Rub an ice cube over the gum to harden it, then scrape off the excess with a dull knife. To remove what is left, use dry cleaning fluid.

CHOCOLATE (and other soft sweets) -This is a combination greasy/non greasy stain. Scrape excess away, and then go over the spot with cool water mixed with a liquid detergent. Blot thoroughly and then clean with dry cleaning

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORY DYES - Certain clothing and accessory dyes (such as those used to dye jeans) may migrate onto lighter coloured fabrics and vinyl. This phenomenon is increased by humidity and temperature. Clean according to the recommended cleaning guidelines of that fabric, however this type of stain is often irreversible.

COFFEE, TEA AND COSMETICS - Sponge with warm water. Apply warm glycerine. Leave for 30 minutes. Flush out with water and dry quickly.

FRUIT AND FRUIT JUICES - After excess is blotted up or scraped away, blot the spot with cool water. If a stain remains, add liquid detergent and a drop of vinegar to the water. Dab the spot with this mixture and blot until there is no trace of a stain. Then go over the area lightly with clear water to remove traces of vinegar.

GREASE - (including hair grease and oil): Scrape away excess if necessary and then dab repeatedly at the stain with dry cleaning fluid. If any stain remains, go over the area with a lukewarm mixture of liquid detergent and water. Always make sure you use a clean portion so you don’t put the stain back in the fabric. Last, go over the area with a clean cloth moistened with cool clear water.

INK - Moisten with warm glycerine. Leave for 10 minutes. Apply liquid detergent and brush lightly. Flush out with water, dry quickly.

SHOE POLISH - Apply liquid paraffin to loosen the stain, and then sponge with dry cleaning fluid.

MILK AND VOMIT - Blot or scrape away the excess, then take a clean soft cloth and blot. Apply cool clear water to the area, blotting frequently. Then blot with a detergent solution to which you’ve added a small amount of ammonia. Blot dry and wait a few minutes. Go over the area with dry cleaning fluid, blot dry. Finally, blot the area lightly with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.

SOFT DRINKS, SWEETS AND SYRUPS - Sponge with water, add warm glycerine and work into stain. Flush out with water, dry.

URINE - It is especially important to treat this stain right away, before the urine dries. Otherwise, the urine may react with the fabric dyes and cause permanent discolouration. First, dab at the stain with a solution of white vinegar and water and blot dry. Then apply a mixture of liquid detergent and cool water, blotting frequently and with a dry cloth to avoid saturating the fabric. Finally, dab the spot with clear cool water and blot thoroughly.

WATER SPOTS - Blot thoroughly and then dampen the entire spot with clear white vinegar. Wait a few minutes. When the area is dry, moisten it again with clear water, blotting with a dry cloth after every application of the damp cloth. If the fabric has a pile, brush in the direction of the pile when it is dry.

For oil based stains: Following the same basic guidelines as above, apply a proprietary brand solvent based cleaner and generally try to ensure the cleaning is done in full panels - not spot cleaned. A helpful industry ‘secret’ is for the spot removal of oil based biro marks by the application of a conventional hairspray!

Please note that ink stains made by ballpoint pens can only be reduced, not removed.