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Dry Cleaning Upholstery Care, Code S


Dry Cleaning / Code "S"

Upholstery fabrics labeled as Code "S" must be dry solvent cleaned only. Dry solvent cleaning is reserved for delicate or non-colorfast fabrics that can be damaged when using water-based cleaning methods. The term dry solvent refers to non-water, hydrocarbon-based compounds.


Dry cleaning is considered to be the safest of cleaning methods, however solvents may damage adhesives or latex back coatings. The good news is that dry cleaning solvents dissolve oily soils and eliminate the fear of bleeding, shrinkage, and browning. The bad news is that it will have little effect on heavily soiled fabric or fabric with water-based stains.


A dry cleaning solvent may be toweled onto heavily soiled areas such as armrests or head rests to remove hair and body oils. A brush or hand bonnet may be used to agitate the soiled areas. Dwell time should be approximately 5-10 minutes.


If a solvent is to be heated, it must be done in a specially manufactured dry-solvent-compatible machine. Solvents should not be heated to exceed flash point (temperature at which a vapor will ignite). An extractor or a towel is then used to extract the solvent and suspended soil. Blotting the piece with a towel after extraction may pick up additional suspended soil.


Following grooming, drying must be expedited by using air movement and ventilation. Every effort should be made to leave the fabric as dry as possible before leaving the job site.


Safety tips for dry cleaning solvents:

  1. Ventilation must be provided prior to and during dry cleaning. Exhaust hoses should be vented to the outside and air movers should be used to exhaust fumes.
  2. Standard immersion heaters may not be used to heat solvents.
  3. No smoking around solvents.
  4. Dry cleaning solvents should not be used around pilot lights, electric heaters, or gas or fuel oil-fire heaters.
  5. The cleaning unit should not be plugged into an electrical outlet closer than 10 feet to the fabric being cleaned. Always ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment.
  6. Drop cloths must be used to protect floors. If solvent is sprayed onto finished wood, it must be wiped off immediately.
  7. Technicians must wear government-approved, fit tested solvent (organic) vapor respirators with fresh cartridges that are approved for specific dry solvent vapors. If solvent odor is detected, replace the cartridge. Splash goggles and dry-solvent-resistant gloves must be worn.
  8. Dry solvents must be stored in properly labeled, flame-resistant, manufacturer-approved containers.
  9. Recovered dry solvents must be disposed in accordance with applicable government regulations.;

Dry solvent vapors should not exceed Threshold Limit Values (TLV). TLV is the air concentration of chemical substances workers can be exposed to for 8 hour-40 hour work weeks without harm. TLV’s are listed on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

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  1. Chemspec® Dry Fabric Cleaner
    Chemspec® Dry Fabric Cleaner

    Releases oil and petroleum-based soils from carpet and upholstery fibers and emulsifies them for easy, clean-rinsing removal.

    • Use to dry clean fabrics by hand or machine
    • pH: None
    • Safe for all fabrics
    • Ready to use

    Starting at $61.93

  2. KleenRite Dry Spotter VS
    KleenRite Dry Spotter VS

    This highly effective spotter replaces VDS formulas and works wonders on removing paint, inks, and other difficult spots. KleenRite Dry Spotter VS can be applied before or after cleaning.

    • Effectively removes paint, ink, and other difficult spots
    • Evaporates quickly and completely leaving no residue
    • pH: None
    • Safe for any latex-backed fabrics
    • Ready to use

    Starting at $75.85

  3. Chemspec® Heavy Duty Soil Lifter with Biosolv®
    Chemspec® Heavy Duty Soil Lifter with Biosolv®

    Chemspec Heavy Duty Soil Lifter makes an effective pre-spray for upholstery, draperies, and carpet. Use it with either wet or dry cleaning methods. This one product can perform ALL textile pre-spraying needs.

    • Effective upholstery pre-spray
    • Loosens upholstery soils easily without scrubbing
    • pH: 7.8–8.8
    • Variable dilutions

    Starting at $58.30

  4. Matrix® Tri‑Foam Shampoo
    Matrix® Tri‑Foam Shampoo

    This highly concentrated shampoo is formulated with the proper pH and detergent properties to clean and brighten all types of carpet and upholstery. Don't risk damaging customers' furniture with the wrong formula!

    • Ideal for dry foam or hand shampooing of upholstery
    • Highly concentrated shampoo
    • pH: 9.5
    • Safe for stain-resistant carpet
    • Dilute 8–16 ounces per gallon of water

    Starting at $25.14

  5. Armaly Brands ProPlus® 7"‑8" Natural Sea Wool Sponge
    Armaly Brands ProPlus® 7"‑8" Natural Sea Wool Sponge

    Combining excellent absorbency and durability with extreme softness, these Wool Sea Sponges are the ultimate choice when tasked with cleaning delicate upholstery or silks. All-natural and 100% biodegradable, these sponges provide excellent foam control and inhibit bacterial growth.

    • Ideal for cleaning delicate surfaces and fabrics
    • Soft, durable, highly absorbent
    • All-natural, 100% biodegradable
    • Naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria
    • Size, shape, and color may vary
  6. Brass Upholstery Brush
    Brass Upholstery Brush

    This traditional velvet brush is made with brass bristles set into a maple block. The handle design allows for "off-to-the-side" brushing action that provides quick and easy “fluffing” of velvets after cleaning.

    • Stands and separates velvet weaves
    • Prevent velvets from drying stiff
    • Fluff velvets after cleaning
  7. Economy Horsehair Upholstery Brush
    Economy Horsehair Upholstery Brush

    This brush features real horsehair bristles on a plastic block. Measures 6" x 2".

    • Horsehair bristles on a plastic block
    • Measures 6 inches x 2 inches
  8. Velvet Brush
    Velvet Brush

    The velvet brush is indispensable for finishing velvets after wet cleaning. It features unique fine-combed anodized aluminum bristles that prevent the fabric from drying stiff. This brush helps restore the velvet's soft texture and plush appearance. Measures 5" x 2".

    • Wood block with fine-combed anodized aluminum bristles
    • Prevents velvet from drying stiff
    • Measures 5" x 2"
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