Scotchgard helps prevent pet stains and odors.

How to Scotchgard Furniture

by Wendy A. Cassidy

In a matter of seconds, a sippy cup can spill, pouring fruit punch onto your brand-new, expensive sofa, leaving a horrendous red stain on an unprotected piece. Most busy moms cringe at not being able to get out a stain; you most likely want to simply wipe off the stain and go. Furniture protected from stains and spills prevents headaches and hours of troubleshooting stains, giving you and your children more time for play dates.

1. Why Use Scotchgard?

Furniture is an investment, and few families are able to redecorate every few years, making it imperative to protect furniture from food stains and drink spills. Stains and spills are often difficult to get out of upholstered couches and chairs, making their appearance less desirable over time. In a house with pets and children, the risk of damage to furniture is greater. Taking the time to protect your furniture lessens the chances of stains and spills and extends the life of the piece.

2. New Furniture

For an additional fee, many furniture retailers offer to apply Scotchgard to new purchases before their warehouse delivers the piece. But you can save money by applying Scotchgard yourself. Purchase Scotchgard at your local home improvement store or hardware store. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and spray the fabric to protect it from possible damage.

3. Gently Used Furniture

That sofa you picked up at a consignment shop or as a floor model for a bargain price probably needs a Scotchgard treatment. These pieces may have small stains or patches of dirt from previous everyday use. Begin by cleaning the fabric with a steam cleaner or spot-clean it with a little white vinegar, water and soft cloth. After it dries, spray a can or two of Scotchgard evenly on the fabric to treat it from further stains, wear and tear.

4. Considerations

Scotchgard has a chemical base. Aerosol sprays are not environmentally friendly, as they contain chlorofluorocarbons, which are thought to affect the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. Some aerosols are considered irritants and may be harmful to family members with sensitivities to aerosol, causing headaches and sinus congestion. Always apply Scotchgard in a well-ventilated room, outside or in your garage with the door open.

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