Life Expectancy of Household Textiles

The American National Standards Institute, Inc. approved the Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products. This standard provides the guidelines for determining liability for claims adjustment purposes for textile products. It also includes the following life expectancy chart for household textile items:

Life Expectancy Table

Bedspreads – 6 years

Blankets
Heavy Wool and Synthetic Fibers – 10 years
Lightweight – 5 years
Electric – 5 years
Comforters – 5 years
Down – 5 years

Curtains
Sheer – 3 years
Glass Fiber – 3 years

Draperies
Lined – 5 years
Unlined – 4 years
Sheer – 3 years
Glass Fiber – 4 years

Sheets and Pillow Cases – 2 years

Slipcovers – 3 years

Table Linen
Fancy – 5 years
Other – 2 years

Towels – 3 years

Upholstery Fabrics – 5 years

Articles Coated or Flocked – 2 years

How long the items last also depends on selection. Consider the following before purchasing a household product:

  • Will the material be durable?
  • Will the fabric resist stains and soil?
  • Are there any protective coatings of finishes available that will prolong the useful life of the textile?
  • Is the fabric preshrunk?
  • Is the fabric resistant to light, fading or pollution?
  • Do any care instructions come with the purchase? Read all instructions or information before buying the item.

Proper care will always help prolong the beauty of the household textile. Here are some basic rules to protect and prolong the beauty of household textiles:

  • Protect all furnishings from sunlight, fumes, and pets.
  • Damage, like tears, should be repaired immediately.
  • Vacuum and/or brush to remove dust regularly.
  • Follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations.
  • Do not allow the item to become extremely soiled, and have any stains removed immediately.
  • Clean household textiles before storing.

Cleanability Codes for Household Fabrics

Upholstered furniture may come with the manufacturer's recommended method of cleaning. The American Furniture Manufacturers cleanability code may either be permanently attached to the upholstered piece or a part of the hang tag. Upholstery is not covered under the Federal Trade Commission's Care Label Rule. Labeling of furniture is strictly voluntary. The following cleanability codes were designated by fabric manufacturers. Caution: Never remove cushion covers for separate cleaning or washing. Any tumble cleaning method can destroy the back, shrink or otherwise damage upholstery fabric.

W
Clean soiled areas only with the foam from a water-based cleaning agent, like a mild detergent or upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.

X
Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent dust and grime from accumulating. Water-based foam or cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, fading or possible distortion.

S
Have this treated by a professional furniture cleaning service only. Use of water-based or detergent-based cleaners may cause excessive shrinking. Water stains may become permanent. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing is recommended to remove dust and grime.

W-S
Clean soiled areas with a mild solvent or a water-based cleaning agent. Avoid any product that contains highly toxic carbon tetrachloride. You may also use an upholstery shampoo product or the foam from a mild detergent. With either method, pretest a small area before proceeding. Use a professional furniture cleaner when an overall soiled condition is reached.