Samples of many of the Bella Dura fabric colors and designed, organized by color.

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How to Clean Performance Fabric

Performance Fabrics offer easy cleanability. Knowing how to properly care and clean them will provide years of beauty and enjoyment.

What Are Performance Fabrics?

Performance fabrics are specialty textiles that can be used indoors or out. They are made with special yarns that make them durable, resistant to staining, pilling, fading and are easy to clean. The perfect upholstery solution for families with children, pets or for those who entertain a lot. 

How to Clean Performance Fabric 

While Performance Fabric is designed to be stain resistant and withstand high use, it does require some basic care to keep it looking beautiful.

Performance Fabric is an ideal fabric for dining chairs, sofas and chairs in family rooms and for cushions and pillows for outdoor furniture. You can relax and enjoy these living spaces with no worry when it comes to cleaning up spills and paw prints.  The below methods will work on virtually any type of mess. 

1. Vacuum Debris or Blot liquids

It is essential to address any stain as soon as it occurs. The longer a stain is left untreated, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Lightly brush off or vacuum any excess debris.  Vacuuming will help remove any dirt or debris and provide a deeper clean by removing loose particles that can prevent cleaners from working effectively. Vacuuming will also allow you to reach hard-to-access areas like corners, seams and in-between buttons. 

 Blot any liquid with a soft towel or clean sponge. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain as this can spread it further and work it deep into the fabric’s fibers.

When you finish vacuuming the fabric, you can move on to removing debris from the other areas of your furniture. If your cushions are removable, take them off the furniture and place them somewhere clean to get better access. Pick out larger items like coins or small toys before reaching for the vacuum. Switch your attachment to a crevice nozzle, which is usually longer and thinner to help you reach all parts of your furniture. 

2. Clean With a Solution of Mild Soap and Water

Prepare a solution of 1 part mild soap or detergent to 4 parts water. Spray fabric with the solution and use a sponge or soft bristle brush to clean, making sure the entire stained area of the fabric is soaked. Rinse with clean water. Blot the area with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat these steps as needed. Allow fabric to air dry.

3. Treat Tough Stains

If a stain still remains after treating with mild soap and water, combine 1 part bleach to 4 parts water. Bleach won’t fade or harm solution-dyed performance fabrics! Spray the area with the bleach solution and use a clean sponge or soft bristle brush to clean the stained area. Rinse with clean water. Blot the area with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat these steps as needed. Allow fabric to air dry.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Performance Fabric

Certain cleaning methods and products can be too harsh for performance fabrics. Avoid using:

  • Hard-bristled brushes: Hard bristles can damage the quality and integrity of the fabric fibers. Stick with soft-bristled brushes.
  • Dryers:  Excessive heat can damage fabrics. Never put your performance fabric in the dryer or use a blow-dryer. Air dry the fabric instead.
  • Machine washing: We don’t recommend machine washing as it may damage the fabric. Manual spot cleaning is a safer, less harsh technique.

Never dry clean, steam or iron performance fabric!

Treating Different Types of Stains 

The most important thing to remember is that any stain should be treated as soon as possible and never let sit. This will keep your performance fabric looking new and beautiful. Most stains can be treated with mild soap and water. Tough stains can be treated with bleach and water. 

Here is a list of some of the most common stains.

types of stains

1. Oil Stains 

Some oil-based stains might need an absorbent to draw the oil out of the fabric because it will repel water. Many sources recommend cornstarch, which you can sprinkle over the stain and let sit. When finished, you can vacuum up the starch

You can then treat the oil stains with a detergent solvent mixture. We recommend a ratio of two parts water and one part dish soap  (such as Dawn), to remove oil-based stains effectively.

You can work this solution into the fabric with a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush, or a clean cloth. Rinse with clean water and blot with a clean dry cloth.

2. Wine Stains 

Restaurants and wineries might struggle with wine stains, which can leave prominent and noticeable spots on regular upholstered furniture. You can treat stubborn wine stains with water, undiluted white vinegar, or a mix of detergent and ammonia. 

Because performance fabric is more durable than other options, you can safely use bleach to treat stains without risking fading. Remember to only use a diluted bleach solution with four times as much water as bleach.

3. Tomato Stains 

Tomato sauce and ketchup are delicious and can leave a nasty stain on upholstered furniture that can be difficult to remove. The beauty of performance fabric is that the simple solution of dish detergent and water and a soft bristle brush will usually do the trick. If the stain is set in, use the solution of bleach and water and the stain should come right out. Remember to rinse with clean water and blot dry.  

Caring for Performance Fabrics  

Cleaning is important in maintaining the beauty of performance fabrics. Here are some other tips to help keep your fabrics looking beautiful for years of enjoyment.

1. Regularly Flip Cushions and Pillows

It is beneficial to regularly flip your cushions and pillows as it can extend the life of both the cushions and fabric. By regularly flipping and rotating cushions it will prevent uneven wear and allow you to see any stains that need to be cleaned.

2. Vacuum Regularly

You vacuum your floors regularly, why not your sofas and chairs? Dirt, debris or crumbs buildup can become embedded in the fiber of the fabric if not taken care of over time. 

Regular cleaning can prevent this and also help you see any stains that may have been missed.

3. Avoid Continuous Exposure to the Elements

While performance fabrics are suitable for outdoor use, we do not recommend leaving them in the elements 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To keep outdoor cushions and pillows at their best, store them during rain and snow storms or when not in use. This will ensure years of enjoyment and beauty.

4. Invest in Suitable Fabrics

When durability and cleanability are a must, Performance Fabrics are the solution to maintain high-quality, long-lasting and beautiful furniture.  The Bella Dura Home Performance Fabric line uses a premium blend of yarns including proprietary solution-dyed polyolefin yarns and high UV polyester which offers a greater variety of textures and patterns and is also extremely durable, easy to clean and bleach cleanable, stain, water and fade resistant and, won’t pill.

Bella Dura Home is Made in the USA by the Swavelle Group, a 3rd generation family-owned business committed to quality products and exceptional service.

discover high-quality performance fabrics with Swavelle Group

Discover High-Quality Performance Fabrics with Swavelle Group

Swavelle Group has been working with contractors since 1989 to deliver excellent results and quality performance fabric solutions for commercial spaces. When you partner with us, you can choose from various fabric types, colors and designs to provide your clients with unique upholstered furniture that perfectly fits their spaces. Our designers can individually work with you to create custom fabrics that stun your clients and better match their needs.

Contact Swavelle Group today to learn how we can help you find the right fabrics for your clients’ performance fabric needs.