How to Scotchgard a Sofa
A proprietary and trademarked formula made by 3M, Scotchgard adds a protective coating to upholstery and carpets to help them resist staining and soiling. Dirt and debris wear down this coating with age, so you must add the protectant to your couch if you've recently cleaned it.
Do not apply the product to a dirty couch or one that has specific care labels advising against it.
Things You Will Need
- Soft-bristled brush
- Measuring cup
- Sprayer, for commercial product
- 5001 brass spray tip
Spray Can Application
Apply the fabric protectant to the sofa only after a thorough cleaning. If the fabric is already clean, lightly vacuum it to remove any dust and debris.
Hold the spray can at least 6 to 8 inches from the fabric. Press the applicator button and lightly coat the fabric, moving the can from side to side as you spray. Following a specific spray pattern helps you remember the areas you've already sprayed. Work from right to left, spraying the back, the arms, cushions and front area of the couch. The fabric should be lightly damp, not wet. Spray the back of the couch even if it sits against a wall, as this helps keep dust and dirt from settling into the fabric.
Brush napped fabrics, such as velvet or corduroy, with a soft-bristled brush after spraying, and let dry.
Wait at least one to two hours before applying a second coat of Scotchgard. Drying time depends on your region's weather conditions, but generally it takes an hour or two to dry in warm weather. Allow the fabric to thoroughly dry to the touch before you sit on the couch.
Commercial Product Application
Mix the commercial solution in a 1-to-4 ratio, using 1 part of the protectant to 4 parts of warm water in a bucket. The commercial product may be less a costly choice if you have children or pets and annually clean your carpets and upholstery, because Scotchgard comes off during cleaning and needs to be reapplied.
Pour the thoroughly mixed solution into a professional sprayer equipped with a 5001 brass spray tip.
Spray the product across the couch in a uniform manner, working from right to left, to ensure you cover it thoroughly until the fabric is damp to the touch.
Apply a soft-bristled brush dipped in the solution to a couch that has a napped fabric, such as velvet.
Let the couch dry, usually for about 60 minutes, before applying a second coat. The couch can be used when the fabric is totally dry to the touch, which depends on the weather conditions in your area.
While one can of protectant generally covers a medium-sized couch, have two available in the event you run out during application. Do not use Scotchgard on cotton or natural fabrics that might shrink with application. If you are concerned about the protectant's effects on your upholstery, conduct a test on a hidden piece of the fabric before use. Scotchgard can change the look of high-sheen fabrics, reducing their luster, or change the feel after use on velvet fabrics. Scotchgard products work best on acetates, rayon and similar fabric blends. Only use on fabrics designed for water cleaning, marked with a "W" on the care tag. Do not use on fabrics labeled "S" for solvent-based cleaning or "X" for vacuum cleaning only. Do not apply the protectant so that it oversaturates the couch. Do not apply in small rooms, closets or storage areas. Use Scotchgard to add a dirt-repelling coating to tennis shoes, throw pillows, hats, caps and other outerwear. You can even add it to silk flowers and beach towels.
Do not apply the spray in small rooms, closets or storage areas.
Avoid eye and skin contact, and use the product in a well-ventilated area. Use cross-ventilation and fans to remove the fumes from the air and speed up the drying process.
Do not toss the spray cans into a household incinerator, as the chemicals inside can cause it to explode at temperatures of 600 degrees.
The Drip Cap
- A proprietary and trademarked formula made by 3M, Scotchgard adds a protective coating to upholstery and carpets to help them resist staining and soiling.
- Apply the fabric protectant to the sofa only after a thorough cleaning.
- Hold the spray can at least 6 to 8 inches from the fabric.
- Mix the commercial solution in a 1-to-4 ratio, using 1 part of the protectant to 4 parts of warm water in a bucket.
- Spray the product across the couch in a uniform manner, working from right to left, to ensure you cover it thoroughly until the fabric is damp to the touch.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.
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- Yurikr/iStock/Getty Images