There’s a lot more to cleaning house than dusting and vacuuming your surfaces. Your furniture holds tons of dust and allergens so it too needs a good cleaning once or twice a year.

Before doing so, check for a label indicating how the item should be cleaned. The American Furniture Manufacturers clean-ability code may either be permanently attached to the upholstered piece or a part of the hang tag.

Upholstery is not covered under the Federal Trade Commission’s Care Label Rule. Labeling of furniture is strictly voluntary. So if you find cleaning instructions, contact the manufacturer to inquire about the manufacturer’s recommended method of cleaning.

If there is a clean-ability code on your furniture piece, it will be one of the following clean-ability codes, designated by fabric manufacturers.

Spot clean only with a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Apply foam in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.

Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent dust and grime from accumulating. Water-based foam or cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, fading or possible distortion.

Have this treated by a professional furniture cleaning service only. Use of water-based or detergent-based cleaners may cause excessive shrinking. Water stains may become permanent. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing is recommended to remove dust and grime.

Clean soiled areas with a mild solvent or a water-based cleaning agent. You may also use an upholstery shampoo product or the foam from a mild detergent. With either method, pretest a small area before proceeding.

– S.O.