Best Fabric Protector for Furniture

Best Fabric Protector for Furniture & Upholstery

Updated on

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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Some things are bound to happen, like accidentally spilling your food or drink on your expensive couch or linen sheets. Similarly, your pet can leave messes on your upholstered furniture fabric. To prevent this, you need to invest in the best fabric protector for furniture. And why would you need furniture fabric protection? Here are some of the reasons. Also, check out the best fabric protectors for furniture and factors to consider when buying one.

Why Would You Need Furniture Fabric Protection?

Furniture is expensive, so maintaining and caring for it will boost its durability. With the best fabric protector for furniture, you will maintain its beauty and enjoy stain-free furniture.

Fabric and upholstery protectors will protect your furniture from stains as well as protect it against any degradation caused by UV to your furniture. Besides, some even prevent the growth of mold or mildew. They also make cleaning furniture easier, so you will save time because dirt will come off more easily.

Now that we know why we need furniture fabric protectors, let's check out the best ones, tried and tested.

1. Scotchgard Fabric Water Shield for Furniture, 13.5 Ounces

Scotchgard Fabric Water Shield, 13.5 Ounces, Repels...
  • Strong fabric protection repels water based spills for easier...
  • Ideal for household items like upholstery, curtains, pillows,...
  • Perfect for use on clothing like shirts, dresses, silk ties,...
  • Simple application
  • Dries clear and odorless

Scotchgard Fabric Water Shield is my favorite fabric protector of all the protectors that we have tested. It can protect practically any fabric surface in the home. Besides, you can use the fabric protector on delicate fabrics and accessories like shirts, jackets, dresses, backpacks, and canvas shoes.

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This spray formula repels water-based spills creating stain-resistant, easier-to-clean surfaces. Besides using it on clothing, I use it on my upholstered furniture and table linens, among other things, and it's quite effective.

The Scotchgard fabric protector spray is easy to apply and generates a waterproofing layer for long-lasting fabric protection. Besides, it does not affect the feel of materials and dries clear to an odorless yet invisible layer of protection.


  • Easy to apply
  • Generates a waterproofing layer for long-lasting fabric protection
  • Offers stain and moisture resistance
  • Dries clear and odorless


  • Not very effective for outdoor furniture

2. 303 Fabric Guard (30606CSR) Restores Water & Stain Repellency

303 Fabric Guard - Restores Water and Stain Repellency...
  • RESTORES WATER REPELLENCY – Recommended by Sunbrella, a leading...
  • PROVIDES STAIN RESISTANCE – This powerful, unscented protectant...
  • VERSATILE – This protective spray does not alter fabric color,...
  • DIRECTIONS – Use product outdoors only, in supplied packaging....
  • SHELF LIFE – All 303 Products are good for use up to 2 years...

The 303 Fabric Guard is also ideal for most types of fabrics. It offers a safe and protective coating that you can add to furniture fabric to boost durability. I love that you can use this fabric protector spray even on hard-to-coat fabrics such as velvet and suede. Besides, it boosts water and oil-based stain protection, keeping your furniture or upholstery dry and stain-free.

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The 303 Fabric Guard 30606CSR doesn't have an odor; therefore, you can use it indoors with enough ventilation. You can also use it on outdoor furniture as it effectively repels spilled water or liquid. However, ensure you protect the treated material from rain until completely cured for the best results. It might take 12-24 hours, depending on the weather conditions.


  • Easy to use
  • Odorless fabric protector
  • It doesn't change the color of the upholstery.
  • It boosts upholstery durability.


  • It doesn't offer protection against UV damage.

3. Scotchgard Sun & Water Shield, 5019-10UV-2PK21 (2 Cans)

Scotchgard 5019-10UV-2PK Water and Sun Outdoor Sun &...
  • Helps protect fabric from fading by blocking out harmful UVA/UVB...
  • Delivers excellent water repellency to outdoor fabrics, leather...
  • Ideal for use on patio furniture, patio umbrellas, grill covers,...
  • Simple one-step application that dries odorless and resists...

For the best fabric protector for outdoor furniture, count on the Scotchgard Sun & Water Shield 5019-10UV-2PK21 model. The fabric protector is designed for outdoor uses to protect your furniture fabric or upholstery from snow, rain, and UV rays that might cause fading and mildewing.

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The upholstery protector spray usually covers outdoor fabrics, suede, and leather with a water-repellent and UV-blocking layer. This layer also helps in stain resistance and makes spills easier to clean. Therefore, you can use it on typical backyard surfaces, including patio cushions, patio furniture, umbrellas, tarps, grill covers, and awnings, to keep them stain-resistant and vibrant.

However, I must mention that I noticed that this fabric protector makes some fabric's upholstery look darker than usual. So, we recommend testing a small portion before applying it to the entire furniture.


  • Easy to use
  • It offers protection against rain, snow, and UV rays
  • Odorless fabric protector
  • Ideal for most outdoor fabrics


  • It makes some upholstery look darker than usual.

4. Bayes Water-Based Fabric Protectant for Upholstery and Furniture

Bayes Water-Based Fabric Protectant Spray for Indoor...
  • Safe Protection - Bayes high-performance fabric protector spray...
  • Maximum Protection - If your fabric surfaces are protected and...
  • Versatile Protection - Protects interior and exterior fabric...
  • Outdoor Protection - In addition to waterproofing and stain...
  • Cruelty-Free - Leaping Bunny Certified, Eco-Responsible, Safe...

For the best water-based fabric protector, count on the Bayes Fabric protectant. You can spray this fabric protector on your furniture indoors or outdoors since it doesn't contain petroleum distillates or acetone. Instead, the fabric protector is made with an innovative polymer formula that removes water and oil stains from your clothing and furniture.

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Therefore, if you often spill drinks on your couch, this protector spray will protect it from getting permanent stains. Also, if you use it outdoors, it will help reduce the current UV degradation of your fabric. When testing it, we realized it doesn't change fabric color, feel, or breathability, so it's safe to use.


  • Easy to use
  • It acts as a sunscreen for your upholstery furniture
  • Made up of eco-friendly and cruelty-free formula
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor fabrics


  • It has a strong odor.

5. SoftClad Extra Strength Fabric Protector Spray for Furniture and Upholstery

Extra Strength Fabric Protector Spray Prevents Stains...
  • FABRIC PROTECTOR SPRAY AND STAIN GUARD - prevents stains and...
  • WORKS ON ALMOST ALL FABRICS: Cloth, Shoes, Knits, Suede, Felts,...
  • Proudly Made in the USA
  • SAFE TO USE - SoftClad is non-flamable and safe to use indoors....
  • 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If you are not satisfied, request a...

SoftClad Extra Strength Fabric Protector is an excellent option for repelling water-based spills such as coffee or wine. You can use it on various materials, including upholstery, canvas, suede, leather, and felt. Besides, the upholstery protector is designed for interior usage to protect furniture, carpets, curtains, clothing, shoes, and other fabric materials.

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The upholstery protector spray bottle has three finger grip making it convenient to use. Besides, I love how fast it dries and with no tackiness. This usually prevents dirt and dust from sticking to the surface after applying. Also, being odorless is a plus for me.


  • Easy to use, has a user-friendly handle
  • Dries clear and odorless
  • It doesn't hold on to dust or dirt
  • Water-based upholstery protector


  • Multiple coatings needed to get full coverage

Steps on How to Effectively Use a Fabric Protector

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Step 1: Shake the fabric protector bottle vigorously.

Step 2: To avoid over-spray, ensure you cover the non-fabric material in the surrounding section with plastic.

Step 3: Spray the hidden areas of the fabric properly and wipe it with a towel. If you detect the fabric color rubbing off, don't use the spray.

Step 4: Spray at a distance of 25 to 30 cm from the fabric.

Step 5: In a steady and sweeping motion, overlap the spray to cover the surface uniformly.

Step 6: Allow the fabric to dry for about an hour.

Step 7: To retain protection, use the fabric protector every three to four months or after each thorough cleaning.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Fabric Protector for Furniture

1. Ingredients

Before buying the best fabric protection spray for your upholstered furniture, it's wise to read the ingredients list. Check to see if the ingredients are fit for the type o fabric you're dealing with. The wrong ingredient might ruin your furniture's fabric and possibly the wood.

2. Ease of Application

Most fabric protectors are usually available in spray form, allowing you to quickly and uniformly cover the fabric surface by depressing a trigger or holding a button. And since fabric protector sprays are reapplied regularly, the convenience of use is essential.

3. Dry-Time

When shopping for the best fabric protector for furniture, look for one with a short dry time. One that you won't have to wait long to repeat layers. Quick-drying also ensures that your furniture isn't damp for too long.

Besides, to provide adequate protection, the spray must completely dry. With quick-drying fabric protectors, you can use them on high-traffic, heavy-use pieces like a family room couch or entranceway rug, which you need to use soon after treatment.

4. Environmentally Friendly

Look for fabric protectors that are eco-friendly. Though aerosol sprays are convenient to use, they have environmental implications. This is because aerosol products no longer have ozone-depleting ingredients such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Still, you can find some with hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and compressed gases, which are known to be unfriendly to the environment.

Some fabric protection products have a strong odor due to their chemical constituents. Though the odor fades with time, it might be unpleasant for some, especially when used indoors. Luckily, there are low-odor options that dry without a strong odor for those with olfactory sensitivity.

5. Fabric Variety

Different protectors work on specific types of fabrics. Therefore, look for a fabric and upholstery protector spray that you can use on more than furniture or upholstery. All-purpose protection sprays are handy since you can use them on rugs, curtains, indoor and outdoor furniture, and household items like shoes, backpacks, and hats. Generally, you can use these types of protection sprays on any fabric.

We recommend reading the label guidelines before spraying to ensure it's suitable for your intended surface, especially for delicate fabrics such as velvet, silk, and some leathers. Also, check if the spray is designed indoors, outdoors, or both. Outdoor fabric sprays often provide superior weatherproofing and UV fading protection, making cleaning and maintaining outdoor furniture easier.

6. Coverage

Fabric protectors are usually applied to fabrics to keep liquids and dirt from getting deep into the fibers. Besides, some protectors protect against UV damage, which causes fading. We recommend reading labels to find a product that solves your main concerns and ensures you get enough to cover the whole surface.

On the other hand, the best fabric protectors come with high-quality spray systems to disperse a fine, wide mist. Fabric protectors come in two common containers; a pump spray bottle or an aerosol spray container. Both types of spray can offer great coverage, although aerosols provide a finer mist.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Fabric Protector for Furniture

1. Is a fabric protector for furniture permanent?

Most people might think you are done once you sprayed a fabric protector on your furniture. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. A fabric protectant is simply a temporary solution. It needs to be reapplied depending on how frequently you use your furniture.

The best way to check whether you need to reapply the fabric protector is by splashing a few water droplets on the upholstered furniture. The application is still effective if the water pills don't get absorbed by the couch. But if the liquid penetrates the upholstered furniture, it's time to reapply the protector.

After treating your sofa with a fabric protector, ensure you do regular maintenance to eliminate dust, dirt, and pet hair. We recommend using pet hair vacuum to clean your upholstered furniture weekly to monthly, depending on how often you use it.

2. Can you clean upholstered fabric furniture protected by a fabric and upholstery protector?

Though you can, it is not recommended. The reason is that you can easily clean the upholstered furniture and clothing, which are treated with a stain-resistant coating with a wet sponge or towel. And vacuuming will be enough for the rest of the task.

3. Can I use a fabric protector on old upholstered furniture?

Yes, if the furniture is in decent shape and you haven't considered reupholstering it yet. However, it's crucial to wash the fabric first to get rid of any stains. Check the washing guidelines to understand how to care for your fabric.

Though you can wash some fabrics in a washing machine, hiring a professional upholstery/dry cleaner is wise. They have the necessary chemicals to remove stains. After your furniture fabric has dry, apply a protectant for future use.

4. What can a fabric protection product be used on?

Most fabric protectors are usually safe to use on various household materials, including upholstered furniture, carpet, rugs, and curtains. Besides, you can use some even on bags, shoes, and outdoor gear; check the product label to verify which surfaces are suitable to use.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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