How to Clean Performance Fabric: 7 Proven Tips

To clean performance fabric, mix soap and water and gently scrub with a soft brush. Avoid using harsh chemicals or machines that can damage the fabric.

Performance fabrics are designed to provide high durability, stain resistance, and protection against odors. However, daily use can still lead to dirt and spills that require cleaning. While some fabrics may require special care, most performance fabrics can be cleaned easily using basic household items.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to clean performance fabric, including the types of cleaning solutions to use, methods to avoid, and best practices to maintain quality over time. Whether you have a performance couch, outdoor gear, or workout clothes, these tips will help keep your fabrics looking and performing their best.

Understanding Performance Fabric

Performance fabrics are designed to repel stains, spills, and water. They are ideal for outdoor and sports activities, making them a popular choice for people who want to enjoy their hobbies while staying comfortable. However, cleaning performance fabric can be a daunting task for many people.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of performance fabrics, their characteristics, and how they impact cleaning methods.

Explanation Of Different Types Of Performance Fabrics

There are several types of performance fabrics available in the market, each with unique characteristics and uses. Here are some common types –

  • Outdoor fabrics: These fabrics are designed to withstand the elements and resist fading and mildew. They are ideal for outdoor furniture, cushions, and awnings.
  • Sportswear fabrics: These fabrics are designed to wick away sweat and keep the wearer dry and comfortable during physical activity. They are commonly used for activewear, running shorts, and other athletic clothing.
  • Upholstery fabrics: These fabrics are designed to resist stains, spills, and wear and tear. They are ideal for furniture, drapery, and bedding.
  • Automotive fabrics: These fabrics are designed to withstand the wear and tear of daily use and are used for car interiors, headliners, and seat covers.

Discussion Of The Characteristics Of Performance Fabrics

The characteristics of performance fabrics determine how they can be cleaned effectively. Here are some of the characteristics that impact cleaning methods –

  • Water-repellent: Performance fabrics are designed to repel water and resist stains. This means that spills can be easily wiped away before they can penetrate the fabric.
  • Durable: Performance fabrics are designed to withstand wear and tear. They are less likely to show signs of wear and tear compared to other fabrics.
  • Quick-drying: Many performance fabrics are designed to dry quickly, which is ideal for outdoor or sports activities.
  • Chemical resistance: Performance fabrics are often resistant to chemicals such as bleach and other harsh cleaning agents.
  • Heat-resistant: Some performance fabrics are designed to withstand high temperatures, which is ideal for use in a hot environment.

Now that you understand the different types of performance fabrics and their characteristics, you can choose the right cleaning method that works best for your needs. Remember, proper maintenance ensures that your performance fabrics last longer.

Tip 1: Read The Care Label

Explanation Of Why Care Labels Are Important

Performance fabrics need special care to ensure they maintain their quality and performance over time. Care labels offer essential information on how to clean each type of performance fabric without causing damage. They provide instructions on recommended washing methods, temperature settings, and specific products that should be used or avoided.

Ignoring these care labels can result in shrinkage, color fading, and even permanent damage of the fabrics. Therefore, it’s crucial to read and follow the care instructions on the label to preserve the fabric’s appearance and functionality.

Guide To Interpreting Care Labels For Performance Fabrics

Understanding the care label symbols can seem complicated, but it’s essential for maintaining the lifespan of your performance fabric. Here’s a guide on how to interpret the care labels:

  • Machine wash: The bucket with water indicates that the fabric is machine-washable, while the number inside indicates the recommended temperature in celsius degrees. A line beneath the bucket implies a delicate cycle is required.
  • Hand wash: The hand on the label suggests that the fabric must be hand-washed, and the number reflects the recommended temperature of the water.
  • Do not wash: The cross on the label implies that fabrics with this symbol should not be washed in water or machine-washed.
  • Dry clean: The circle on the label signifies that the fabric should be dry cleaned. If there is a letter inside the circle, that indicates specific solvents that need to be used. An absence of letters implies that any solvent can be used.
  • Do not dry clean: The cross on the circle indicates the fabric must not be dry cleaned.
  • Tumble dry: The circle within the square implies that the fabric can be tumble dried, and the dots inside represent the temperature requirements. One dot requires low heat, 2 dots imply a warm setting, and 3 dots indicate a hot setting.
  • Do not tumble dry: The cross in the square signifies that the fabric must not be tumble dried.
  • Low iron: The iron on the label means the fabric can be ironed, and the number inside specifies the maximum temperature it can tolerate.
  • Do not iron: The iron with a slash through it implies that the fabric must not be ironed.
  • Bleach: The triangle symbol indicates whether chlorine or oxygen-based bleach can be used. A cross on the triangle suggests that no bleach should be used.
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Example Of A Care Label And What It Means

Let’s take a cleaning label that reads “machine-wash warm, tumble dry medium, do not bleach, iron low. “

  • Machine-wash warm: This means the fabric is machine-washable and requires a warm temperature, usually around 40°c (104°f).
  • Tumble dry medium: You can use a tumble dryer, and the medium temperature should be around 50°c to 70°c (122°f to 158°f).
  • Do not bleach: Bleach should not be used on this fabric.
  • Iron low: It’s safe to iron this fabric, but you should use a low temperature setting to avoid damaging the fibers.

Tip 2: Vacuum Regularly

Explanation Of Why Vacuuming Is Important For Performance Fabric

Performance fabrics are designed to be durable and stain-resistant, making them an excellent choice for households with children and pets. However, even performance fabrics need regular cleaning to maintain their quality and appearance. This is where vacuuming comes in. Regular vacuuming helps to remove surface dust and dirt, which can eventually wear down and damage the fibers of your performance fabric furniture.

In fact, some manufacturers recommend vacuuming your furniture once a week to keep it looking and feeling its best.

Guide To Proper Vacuuming Techniques For Different Types Of Performance Fabrics

Vacuuming performance fabric is a bit different than vacuuming standard upholstery. The following are tips for properly vacuuming different types of performance fabric:

  • First, always check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to make sure you are using the right vacuum and settings for your specific fabric.
  • When using an upright vacuum, set it to its lowest setting to prevent damage to the fabric.
  • To achieve the best results, use a vacuum with a hepa filter to remove any allergens or bacteria from the fabric.
  • For heavily soiled areas, switch to the upholstery attachment that comes with most vacuums to lift dirt and debris from the fabric fibers.
  • When vacuuming, use short, overlapping strokes to ensure you reach all areas of the fabric.

Tips For Removing Debris And Dirt From Performance Fabric

Even with regular vacuuming, debris and dirt can still accumulate on performance fabric furniture. For a deeper clean, try these tips:

  • To remove surface stains and dirt, use a damp white cloth and gently dab the area. Avoid rubbing, as this can damage the fabric.
  • For tougher stains, such as ink or chocolate, mix one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups of warm water. Dab the stain with the solution until it is removed.
  • If you have a pet, try using a rubber glove to remove pet hair from the fabric. Simply put on the glove, wet it with some water, and run it over the fabric. The hair will cling to the glove and can easily be removed.
  • Finally, consider using a fabric-protecting spray to help repel stains and spills. Always test the spray on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it won’t damage the fabric.

Regular vacuuming is an essential part of cleaning performance fabric furniture. By following the proper vacuuming techniques and removing debris and dirt with these helpful tips, you can ensure that your performance fabric furniture looks and feels great for years to come.

Tip 3: Blot Stains, Don’t Rub Them

Why Rubbing Stains Is Harmful To Performance Fabric

Rubbing stains on performance fabric can result in permanent damage, which is why this technique should be avoided at all costs. Here are a few reasons why rubbing stains may harm performance fabric:

  • Rubbing can cause the stain to spread, making it more challenging to remove.
  • Rubbing a stain may cause the fabric fibers to fray or weaken, affecting the fabric’s integrity.
  • Rubbing a stain may cause the stain to penetrate deeper into the fabric, making it more difficult to remove.

Guide To The Proper Techniques For Blotting Stains On Performance Fabric

Blotting is an effective and gentle technique that can remove stains from performance fabric without causing any permanent damage. Below are some tips for proper blotting techniques:

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  • Use a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towels to blot the stain gently.
  • Pressing gently with the cloth will lift the stain off the fabric and onto the cloth.
  • Work from the outside of the stain, moving inward. This will prevent the stain from spreading.
  • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the stain, as this can damage the fabric.

Tips For Removing Different Types Of Stains From Performance Fabric

Different types of stains require different techniques for removal. Here are some tips for removing various types of stains from performance fabric:

  • For food or drink spills: Blot the stain with a clean, absorbent cloth. Spray with a water and vinegar solution, then blot again. Repeat until the stain disappears, then rinse with water.
  • For oil-based stains: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain, allowing it to absorb the oil. Brush with a toothbrush, then blot with a clean cloth.
  • For ink stains: Use rubbing alcohol on a cloth to blot the stain gently. Alternatively, mix baking soda and water to create a paste, apply to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water.
  • For blood stains: Rinse the stain with cold water, then blot with a clean cloth. Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water.

By following these tips for blotting and removing different types of stains, you can keep your performance fabric looking clean and in great condition. Remember to avoid rubbing the stains, which could cause further damage to the fabric.

Tip 4: Use The Right Cleaning Products

Explanation Of Why Using The Right Cleaning Products Is Important For Performance Fabric

Cleaning performance fabric can be tricky, especially if you’re not using the right products. Performance fabrics are designed to withstand heavy use and frequent washing, but using the wrong cleaning solutions can cause irreparable damage. Using the appropriate cleaning products is essential to preserve the fabric’s look and feel, protect the fibers, and maintain the fabric’s durability over time.

Guide To Selecting The Right Cleaning Products For Different Types Of Performance Fabrics

When it comes to cleaning performance fabric, one size certainly doesn’t fit all. Different types of performance fabrics require different cleaning products and techniques. Here’s a guide to help you select the right products for your fabric type:

  • Polyester: Use a mild detergent and cool water to clean polyester performance fabrics. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners.
  • Nylon: Nylon performance fabrics can be cleaned with a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners.
  • Olefin: Olefin performance fabrics can be cleaned with a mild detergent and cool water. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners.
  • Rayon: Rayon performance fabrics require special care. Use a dry cleaning kit, or have it professionally cleaned to avoid damage.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic performance fabrics can be cleaned with a mild detergent and cool water. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners.

Tips For Using Cleaning Products Safely And Effectively

Using cleaning products safely and effectively is crucial to preserve the performance fabric’s look and integrity. Here are some tips to keep in mind when cleaning your performance fabric:

  • Always test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that it won’t cause discoloration or damage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using any cleaning product, including the recommended dilution ratios and application methods.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently scrub the fabric to remove dirt and stains.
  • Rinse the fabric thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of detergent or cleaning solution.
  • Never use bleach or fabric softeners, as they can cause damage to the fabric’s fibers and reduce its durability.

By following these tips and guidelines for selecting and using the right cleaning products, you can keep your performance fabric looking and feeling like new for years to come.

Tip 5: Wash In Cold Water

Explanation Of Why Washing Performance Fabric In Cold Water Is Important

When it comes to washing performance fabric, using cold water is crucial for maintaining its quality. Here are some reasons why:

  • Cold water prevents the fabric from shrinking or losing its shape.
  • Hot water can be harsh on delicate fabrics and may cause them to tear or fade.
  • Cold water washes are more energy-efficient than hot water washes, which can help save money on your utility bills.

Guide To Washing Performance Fabric In Cold Water

Follow these simple steps to properly wash performance fabric in cold water:

  • Check the care label: Before washing any performance fabric, always check the care label for any specific instructions or precautions.
  • Pre-treat stains: Apply a small amount of stain remover to any visible stains and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.
  • Sort by color: Separate your performance fabrics into different piles by color to prevent any bleeding or discoloration.
  • Use a mild detergent: Choose a gentle, low-sudsing detergent that is specifically formulated for performance fabrics.
  • Wash in cold water: Set your washing machine to the cold water cycle and use a delicate wash setting.
  • Avoid fabric softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a coating on performance fabrics that may negatively affect their performance.
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Tips For Drying Performance Fabric

To properly dry your performance fabric after washing, follow these tips:

  • Avoid high heat settings: High heat may cause your performance fabric to shrink or lose its shape. Opt for a low heat setting or air-dry instead.
  • Remove promptly: Take your performance fabric out of the dryer as soon as it is done to prevent wrinkles and creases from setting in.
  • Hang or lay flat to dry: For best results, hang your performance fabrics or lay them flat to dry. This will help maintain their shape and minimize wrinkles.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: If you are air-drying your performance fabric, avoid hanging it in direct sunlight, as this may cause fading or discoloration.

Tip 6: Consider Professional Cleaning

Performance fabric is known for its durability, stain-resistance, and low maintenance. However, even the most resistant materials need a good cleaning every now and then. While you may be able to successfully clean your performance fabric at home, there are times when it’s best to hand it over to a professional.

In this section, we’ll cover when and why you should consider professional cleaning for your performance fabric, how to choose a professional cleaning service and some tips for preparing your fabric for cleaning.

Explanation Of When And Why To Consider Professional Cleaning For Performance Fabric

While it is possible to clean performance fabric on your own, there are times when getting a professional cleaning is necessary:

  • Tough stains: Even with the best home cleaning methods, some stains simply won’t budge. Professional cleaners can use specialized stain removal techniques and products to remove the toughest of stains.
  • Delicate fabrics: While performance fabrics are known for their durability, some are still delicate and require special care. Professional cleaners can clean your fabric without damaging it.
  • Time constraints: If you’re short on time, it may be difficult to give your performance fabric the thorough cleaning it needs. Professional cleaners can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Guide To Choosing A Professional Cleaning Service For Performance Fabric

If you’ve decided to go the professional route, it’s important to choose the right service for your performance fabric. Here are some things to consider:

  • Experience: Look for a cleaning service that has experience cleaning performance fabrics. They should have the necessary knowledge and tools to properly clean your fabric.
  • Reputation: Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family. A reputable cleaning service will have a track record of providing quality service.
  • Certifications: Look for a cleaning service that is certified by industry organizations. This ensures that they have the necessary training and expertise to clean your fabric.

Tips For Preparing Your Performance Fabric For Professional Cleaning

Before you hand your performance fabric over to a professional cleaner, it’s important to properly prepare it:

  • Read the care label: Make sure you understand the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before handing your fabric over.
  • Remove any debris: Vacuum your fabric to remove any dirt, dust or debris before having it cleaned.
  • Note any stains: Point out any tough or set-in stains to your cleaner before they begin.
  • Inform of any special needs: If your fabric has any special needs, such as a specific cleaning method or a certain product to avoid, inform your cleaner beforehand.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your performance fabric is properly cleaned and maintained, extending its lifespan and keeping it looking like new for years to come.


As you can imagine, performance fabric is a wise investment for those who want to enjoy high-quality and durable items, whether it’s clothes, upholstery or anything else. Knowing how to clean it properly is a crucial aspect that can help you maintain its properties over time and enjoy it for a longer period.

By following these simple guidelines and using the right tools, you can get rid of stains, dirt, and bacteria on your performance fabric items in no time. Avoid using harsh chemicals, high temperatures, and abrasive materials that can damage the fabric or change its texture.

Instead, stick to gentle products, cold water, and soft brushes. Before cleaning, always carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. With these tips, you can keep your performance fabric items looking and feeling like new for years to come.

Happy cleaning!

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