How to Scotchgard Your Furniture

Written by siva stephens
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How to Scotchgard Your Furniture
Use Scotchgard to protect upholstered furniture. (sofa image by Clementina Cabral from

Scotchgard is the brand name of a product made by the 3M company. It comes in a spray can and can be applied to upholstery to “repel spills, block stains and resist soils,” according to 3M's website. It helps prevent dirt from being ground into the fabric and causes liquid to bead up on the fabric's surface rather than being absorbed. You can pay to have new furniture Scotchgarded when you buy it but it's simple—and much less expensive—to do it yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scotchgard
  • 1 white rag
  • Masking tape/ newspaper

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  1. 1

    Check the “cleanability code” on the furniture's tag (if any). If the code is S or W/S, proceed. If the code is W or X, do not apply Scotchgard to the fabric.

  2. 2

    Use the masking tape and newspaper to cover any non-upholstered areas on the piece such as chair legs or wooden trim on sofa arms.

  3. 3

    Shake the can well and spray Scotchgard on a small, inconspicuous part of the furniture. Dampen the area thoroughly but do not saturate it. Wait several minutes and rub the treated spot with the white rag. If colour comes off onto the rag, do not proceed.

  4. 4

    Apply the Scotchgard to the furniture by holding the can 10 inches from the surface of the upholstery and spraying in a sweeping motion. Move slowly enough that the surface of the furniture becomes very damp but not dripping. Continue until the entire piece is sprayed. Allow to dry for one hour and reapply.

  5. 5

    Remove the masking tape and newspaper. Let the furniture dry for 24 hours at room temperature before using.

Tips and warnings

  • Two cans of Scotchgard will protect the average love seat, while it will take three cans for the average sofa.
  • For extra protection, wear a painter's mask while applying Scotchgard.
  • Apply Scotchgard only to brand new or clean furniture. Don't use Scotchgard on dirty fabric; it will seal in stains and make them harder to remove.
  • Only use Scotchgard outside or in a well-ventilated room.
  • Keep children and pets out of the area when using Scotchgard.

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