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Best Fabric & Upholstery Protector for Furniture Indoor & Outdoor

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After spending money on a piece of furniture you plan on using for 10-15 years it’s common to feel the need to keep it safe. Buying well made furniture that lasts is expensive so taking a few extra steps to help it last is important.

After reviewing the top 20 most popular furniture protectors and talking with experts while doing research for about 55 hours total time we found the best is overall protectors is the Nano Tex-10. (Nano-Tex reached out to us after our review and have given our readers an exlucsive coupon **NANOZTEX 5% OFF** Use on Amazon for 5% OFF)

If it’s not available or you prefer a name brand when doing your shopping then the Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector is also a good pick. For outdoor furniture we recommend Scotchgard Water and Sun Shield.

Tex-10 textile and fabric and Upholstery protector is an eco friendly solution spray that is water based and works well to keep furniture safe. The nanoparticles don’t contain any toxic chemicals, which is a big plus. 

It covers fabrics and upholstery in a thin and invisible coating that won’t change the look or feel of your furniture. They will also retain its color and be kept stain free. It’s versatile and will work to protect from water and oil based stains. 

With its ability to protect almost all types of furniture upholstery from various types of stains and its unique non toxic properties it is our best recommended furniture protector. 

The UV protection also makes it ideal for protecting outdoor furniture.

Always make sure you test & spray a small area of upholstery before applying on a full piece of furniture. One bottle should last from 7 to 30 square feet of coverage depending on the absorbency of the surface (Plush furniture will consume more product).

Another Good Pick: Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector

This fabric & upholstery protector is made by the reliable 3M brand. If the Tex-10 protection isn’t available or you are a fan of the 3M brand it’s a good pick as long as you don’t need UV protection. 

3m is a household name that delivers reliable products. Their 3m scotchgard upholstery and fabric protector holds up to that. It repels and blocks stains from furniture giving you some stain free peace of mind.

This fabric & upholstery protector isn’t recommended for outdoor use so it isn’t as much as a generalist as the nano-tex fabric protector. It can also take a couple applications to fully protect furniture so make sure you purchase a little more than you expect.

With it’s reliability the 3m fabric & upholstery protector is a reliable spray that is recommended if the Tex-10 isn’t available or you’re looking for a budget option to protect indoor furniture. 

Best Fabric Protector for Outdoor Furniture: Scotchgard Water and Sun Shield

For protecting outdoor furniture the Scotchgard Water & Sun protection spray does the best job. It’s a heavy duty solution that focuses on keeping patio sets safe from UV rays and water.

Scotchgard water & sun upholstery protector stands out by niching down and focusing on protecting your outdoor furniture. The main elements that you’ll need to watch out for are UV rays and H20 making this protector spray ideal.

UV rays break down the color of fabric and upholstery while water creates an environment more mold and mildew to grow and break down furniture. 

It sounds heavy duty, so you might think it’d offer extra protection on indoor furniture but it is not recommended. You’ll get about 60 square feet on light nylon fabric and 20 square feet on heavier fabrics. 

This protector can cause some fabrics upholstery to appear darker than normal. Always test a small portion before applying on the full piece of furniture to keep it stain free.

Best Fabric Protect for Velvet: Vectra

If you have furniture made of delicate fabrics like velvet the Vectra protector spray does the best job of keeping furniture’s natural textures. It is also recommended by many furniture exports for this specific property.

If you own a soft velvet sofa, and want it to keep its texture stain free, the Vectra 32 oz. protector spray is recommended by furniture experts. This fabric and upholstery protector will keep your furniture safe from stains and works on materials as delicate as silk.

This furniture protector also offers UV protection so if you have indoor furniture that is hit by sunlight it will help preserve its color. We recommend the 3m water and sun for outdoor furniture.

Another perk of this one is that it does not contain fluorocarbons which some say can have long term health side effects.

The spray nozzle didn’t work well for some and may make it a little difficult to get an even coat quickly. 

Best Fabric Protector for White Sofa: Guardsman Fabric Defense & Upholstery

If you have light colored furniture and don’t want to worry about changing its color or staining it the Guardsman Fabric Defense does a great job of that. Always test a small inconspicuous section of the furniture before using on the whole piece.

Guardsman fabric & upholstery defense offers a long lasting stain protection on furniture which will help it to stay new looking for longer. It also doesn’t change the way fabric feels or looks which is perfect if you love your furniture the way it is.

It’s made in the USA and became odorless once it dried. Having a chemical smell release every time you sit isn’t ideal and you’ll avoid that with this protector.

White sofas look stunning but will always show stains and dirty quicker than any other color. This protector will help keep it white much longer than not using anything at all. 

Just remember to keep applying every year or so or in between any deep cleaning you do on the furniture that can remove the protector. 

Guardsman doesn’t offer any UV protector so it’s not recommended for outdoor furniture use. It’s great if you want long lasting stain free protection on light colored interior furniture upholstery. 

Fabric & Upholstery Protectors for Furniture Buying Guide

Professional VS DIY Furniture Fabric Protection & Cost

Getting your furniture’s upholstery professionally protected will be more expensive than DIYing it and will cost about $50 to $100 per piece of furniture. A bottle of DIY fabric protector is going to run $10-$30 which can cover a few pieces of furniture in a stain free coating.

There is quite the cost difference between the two and having a professional do it will always be better and worth it for pricey furniture. However, using a self applied furniture protector is still very worthwhile and better than doing nothing at all.

Something else to take into consideration is that furniture upholstery protection isn’t forever. You’ll need a professional to come in once every 1-3 years and if you DIY it will generally last 6-18 months. This will further separate the two in cost. 

Some protectors claim to last indefinitely. However, we are skeptical.

Professionals are more aware of which type of fabric protection works best on different types of materials. To ensure great results when doing it yourself make sure you check the manufacturers recommended usage before applying.

Is Furniture Fabric Protection Worth it?

Furniture is a costly investment and ensuring its longevity is a worthwhile thought. You’ll preserve its beauty and enjoyment in stain free glory..

Fabric & upholstery protector won’t just help against stains you’ll also be prepared for any discoloration UV damage can cause to the color of your furniture. Some even prevent the development of mold or mildew. 

They also make furniture easier to clean so you’ll save time when cleaning as dirt will come off easier. 

Some stain protection is better than none.

What Can You Use Fabric Protector on?

It’s not just for furniture. You can also use it to keep these items stain free:




Throw Pillows


Outdoor Furniture


What Should You Consider Before Using Fabric Protection?

Fabric & upholstery protectors won’t change the color of your furniture, but they can add a shine to fabrics that don’t normally have them. The most notable would be smooth cottons.

Depending on how you clean furniture it can also impact how long fabric protection works for. This will cause you to have to reapply more often to keep them stain free. 

If you do a seasonal deep cleaning or annual on your furniture it’s a good idea to reapply protectors during this time.

Here’s a video testing the effectiveness of fabric protectors on furniture

How to Effectively Use a Fabric & Upholstery Protector for Furniture

First different fabric protectors come with different instructions so always  take note of what the manufacturers’ instructions are.

Upholstery comes in a wide variety of either natural or synthetic materials so it’s not going to be a one size fits all. Synthetic fabrics will respond best to water based treatments. These are nylon, polyester, olefin, and acrylic.

Natural fibers don’t respond as well to water so using a solvent based protector is better to keep them stain free. Some under apply water protectors to these materials and really prevent them from doing their job. Always test before applying. Natural fibers are jute, rayon and acetate. 

Make sure your furniture is as dry as possible before applying. Tests show fabric protectors are less effective when applied to moist or wet furniture. 

If you are purchasing custom made furniture, order some fabric samples before and test the effectiveness of the fabric protector. Fabric protectors are generally safe but always spot check in an inconspicuous part of the furniture before applying.

Key Points

The most effective way to use a fabric protector is to use a water based protector if you have synthetic fabric or a synthetic blend. Use a solvent based protector for natural materials. Make sure the fabric is dry before application. Always test a piece of furniture before applying.

Are Fabric Protectors Safe?

The ingredient that causes the most concern with fabric protection is flurocarbon which is called PFOS. Some say prolonged exposure to these chemicals can cause health side effects. 

Companies have made commitments to stay away from them and use alternate chemicals such as PFBS (perfluorbutane sulfonate). They state they are safe but as of the time of writing there hasn’t been any long term study.

In general, the answer it still unclear but there are eco friendly protectors available to give you peace of mind for stain free furniture. 

Sources Used and Why You Should Trust Us About Furniture Protector’s

This article about protecting furniture and carpet on The Strategist written by Lori Keong and Liza Corsillo. They are both staff writers and The Strategist is “designed to help savvy consumers surface the most useful recommendations for things to buy”

This article on Hunker written by Jacob Andrew which is a “d CCNA-certified technology specialist. After receiving his BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012, “

This article on cleanfax written by Jim Pemberton “is president of Pemberton”s Cleaning & Restoration Supplies and West Penn Cleaning Company. He has more than 30 years of experience in the cleaning and restoration industry.”

This useful guide on homeflowdesign by Amy which is the owner of the blog and she did helpful tests of furniture protectors.

This article on homeadvisor which is a trusted company that has been around since 1999. 

This article on improvenet to get a good idea about the costs of having a professional do furniture fabric protection.

Fabric & Upholstery Protectors for Furniture FAQs

What is The Best Fabric Protect for Furniture?

The best fabric protector for furniture is the Nano Tex-10 fabric protector. It does an all around good job at protecting furniture without harmful chemicals and offers UV protection.

Scotchgard furniture protector is a good runner up if you prefer the 3M brand. They also work on carpet.

How Can I Protect my Couch Fabric?

The best way protect your couch fabric is using a furniture protector we recommend or Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector. Keep in mind leather furniture requires different care.

1. Make sure you protect any surrounding furniture or floors you don’t want to apply on. Wipe immediately if it gets on anything unintentionally.

2. Shake the container or can well before applying.

3. Always test a small piece before applying on all the furniture. You can also order a sample piece of your furniture fabric for custom built pieces to test on.

4. Spray about 6” from the surface. (always check instructions on bottle as this can vary from product to product)

5. Allow it to dry between coats. It should be dry to the touch and dry before your first application.

6. Reapply once a year (varies depending on product) or after any deep cleaning for continued protection

How well does Scotchgard work on furniture?

Scotchgard works to protect furniture by preventing spills and stains from settling in on the surface of furniture.

It’s also notable that Scotchgard works on delicate fabrics like wool and silk as well as carpet so many types of furniture will stay clean and protected.

How do you protect furniture from stain?

The best way to protect furniture from a stain is to use a stain guard for fabrics & upholsteries. A stain guard will protect a sofa from being soiled by preventing spills and stains from setting in.

The tex-10 fabrics protectorwe recommend, does a great job at this as well as guardsman fabric protector or scotchgard fabrics protector.

Leather furniture requires different kinds of protector.

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