Pros: Protects fabric from stains, not expensive
Cons: Gives off fumes, use in well ventilated area
My husband and I have been married for 29 years, and over that time we have purchased a variety of living room furniture. I remember the first time a sales person talked us into having our furniture treated with a stain resistant product. We fell for it.
We heard the same speil several weeks ago when we were shopping for a new recliner. However, when you pay a store to treat your fabric, you can't take the furniture home at the time of purchase, because it will be, as they said "wet". You have to make another trip to the store to pick everything up.
Well, as it happens, a very good friend of mine is in the furniture business. He is a wholesaler and rep, who supplies furniture to stores such as JC Penney and other local retailers. He explained to me that I could go to the store and purchase a can of Scotch Guard and spray my furniture myself, saving a bundle of money. That sounded very appealing to me. Now that I think about it, a side chair we purchased from Penney's years ago, and paid to have treated, never held up very well. It's a tan color, and it really does need to be re-upholstered.
Enter Scotch Guard
There are several brands on the market that claim to repel dirt when sprayed on fabric, but Scotch Guard was recommended by name to us, and that's what we bought. The Scotch Guard brand is easy to recognize, as it has a bright red cap, and the bottom half of the 16 ounce can has a picture of a red, black and yellow plaid piece of fabric. It looks like a close up snapshot of a flannel shirt. On this picture there are three round "drops" which show these three areas magnified.
This is a 3M product, and has been around for years. One 16 ounce can will protect 18-22 square feet of upholstery fabric - six dining room chair seats, or 35-50 square feet of lightweight fabric - two to three dresses or two raincoats.
The front of the can says that 3M Scotch Guard claims to repel dirty, greasy stains and water. The back of the can gets a little bit more technical, stating that Scotch Guard Fabric Protector will:
* Protect new or freshly cleaned fabrics so greasy or watery spills blot up easily
* Restores water repellency to outerwear
* Will not change the look or feel of fabrics
* Easy to use on upholstery, curtains, fabric crafts, children's clothing, dresses, suits, ties and shirts
Ease of Use
Scotch Guard comes in a spray can, containing CO2 propellant, and there is a red dot on the inside rim of the can. You need to be sure to line up the spray nozzle with this red dot. Before applying to the entire surface of a product you should first test for colorfastness, by spraying a small inconspicuous area, then wiping the area with an absorbent cloth. If color comes off onto the cloth, you should not treat that particular item with Scotch Guard.
Because I wasn't sure how long it would take for my chair to dry after being sprayed with Scotch Guard, I applied it early in the evening, then let it dry overnight when I knew nobody would be sitting in the chair. (Especially my daycare children!)
Holding the can six inches from my chair, I covered the entire chair, with smooth sweeping motions. The spray comes out of the can in a fine mist, and I did have a problem with the can dripping large droplets of Scotch Guard from time to time, but these seemed to simply be absorbed by the fabric. The directions say to spray until the item is "evenly wet", and be sure to overlap spray areas.
If I hadn't applied this so that it could dry overnight, I would have needed to wait a minimum of three hours before sitting in the chair. After the treatment dries, you can test it's effectiveness by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the fabric, and if the treatment has "taken", the water will bead up on the fabric. If it doesn't, more spraying needs to be done.
For me, I only needed one treatment, and the water test proved that the droplets didn't absorb into the fabric on my recliner. Good news as I wasn't looking forward to doing this again.
Now for my advice. I thought I was making a smart decision to spray my chair at night, but if I were to do this again, and I'm sure I will, I will do it on a nice day, with all of the doors and windows in the house open! This stuff stinks. It reminds me of alcohol, and our downstairs smelled when I got up the next morning.
In reading the fine print, I see that I did use this totally against the manufacturers guidelines. Under "directions" it does not give any advice on when to use, ventilation, etc. I found this information the next morning when I read the fine print at the bottom of the can. It says to use only in well ventilated areas, with cross ventilation. Boy did I feel dumb. Live and learn!
But the bottom line is that the Scotch Guard does work. It reminds me of the stain resistant coating that new carpeting is treated with, water beads up and you can simply blot it up. I found it interesting that under durability, the can states that one should periodically test fabric for repellency with the water test. If water soaks in it needs to be treated again. If clothing is treated, you need to reapply after the items have been washed.
There are other precautions that you need to follow, such as not getting into the eyes, not inhaling the fumes, keep away from open flames, etc. These type of warnings are on all aerosol cans.
Scotch Guard will not work on certain fabrics, such as leather, vinyl, clear plastic, fiberglass or imitation suede.
I have known about Scotch Guard for years, but have never used it until this most recent time. I never even thought about spraying curtains, crafts or men's ties. Men's neck ties are very expensive, and my husband always seems to drop or spill food on his - so treating them with Scotch Guard actually might not be a bad idea.
As far as crafts goes, when you spend hours and hours doing a needlepoint or similar project, it makes sense to protect it from being soiled by spraying it as well. Especially those pillows!
Never again will I pay the high cost to have my furniture treated by the store to make it stain resistant. From past experience, it sure seems like those treatments wear off over time, just like the Scotch Guard treatments will.
The fact that water doesn't soak into my new chair tells me that this Scotch Guard product is working to protect my investment. Let's face it, furniture is expensive! We paid $800 for our Lazy Boy recliner, and I want it to last a very long time. With daycare children around, you never know when something is going to be accidentally spilled on your furniture.
I personally can't say how well Scotch Guard works to protect fabric if food is spilled, like say catsup or mustard, but if it ever happens I will be sure to update and let you know. The fact that the material repels water is a good indication that it will also repel other liquids and stains as well.
One can costs around $15, and is much cheaper than the $100 the store was going to charge me. Scotch Guard can be found in most stores, sometimes it's in with the cleaning supplies (carpet cleaners, etc.) and sometimes you'll find it in the automotive department. I suppose this would work good on car interiors too (ours are leather so I can't use it personally, but I'm just saying.)
Bottom line, I recommend this product!