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One of my all-time favourite episodes in FRIENDS is The One With The Tea Leaves. Phoebe visits a dry cleaning shop with Monica (and bumps into Alec Baldwin, who becomes a fleeting love interest). “You didn’t have to come in with me” she says, armed with dirty clothes. “Are you kidding?” Monica replies. “This is where they get out stains! This is like Disneyland for me!”
It would be like Disneyland for me, too. I love a good stain conundrum; although if anyone could help me get Clinique’s Even Better Glow oil-free foundation out of my most delicate of cotton shirts that would be most appreciated, because I am, quite frankly, baffled.
So when an invitation popped through the metaphorical door (i.e. into my inbox) from Aquaclean, a company that produces sofa fabric you can clean most any stain out of with just water, I was intrigued. I RSVP’d yes immediately.
Not content with producing the only fabric treatment that allows you to clean literally ANYTHING off it, Aquaclean were going to test their mettle in one of the most trickiest ways possible: they were going to install their sofas in what they titled the Kid Kafe, a setting they had devised for one day only…. the country’s only cafe ran entirely by kids: messy, sticky, spillage-prone kids. If their sofas could survive this, they could survive anything.
I grabbed my own two muck-magnets (that’d be Elfie and Hux, then) and we were off for the day, ready to make some (cleanable!) Monica-friendly mess at the Kid Kafe.
On arrival we were greeted by the staff – a host of very charming young people who were more than happy to make us happy! We took a look at the menu before ordering; cakes, doughnuts, sandwiches, juices and sparkles for the grown-ups.
The industrious staff bustled around bringing us all we asked for and Elfie and Hux were in heaven with the amount of sweet things on offer. It was lovely for them to be in an atmosphere that was so laid back; there was definitely a celebration of the ‘accidents happen but who cares’ attitude!
Before long my two were whisked off for some cake decorating so I could get to the very important business of learning more about Aquaclean.
As the owner of a prized pink velvet sofa I was very interested to see just how infallible a fabric could be. I get asked often how my sumptuous salmon-coloured three-seater is still in such pristine condition and the answer is simple; I just don’t let anybody sit on it. Our smaller blue Habitat sofa is for all the banana-coated hands (and it shows) but the pink velvet? Approach at your peril: it’s impossible to get marks out of.
In contrast to my temperamental velvet, Aquaclean fabrics are made with a natural and unique technology within the fibres itself, which means nothing is impossible to remove (however long you leave it!). A simple dab of water on the stain coaxes it to the surface so you can grab a sponge to wipe it clean – and forget about it. These fabrics – which can be found on sofas at John Lewis – are truly life-proof, even when you’ve got young kids.
The Scummy Mummies were on-hand to prove just how hardy Aquaclean fabrics are: alongside their brilliant act (which I saw the full version of recently in Milton Keynes, do go and see it!) they chucked a host of stains at the lovely blue sofa you can see in the background there, before setting the lovely grown-ups from Aquaclean to scrub them off.
And scrub they did: it was amazing to see the stains lifting off with only water. And I know it sounds perhaps a little sad to be so amazed at a fabric, but bloody hell if I could tell you what a headache the stains on my sofas have been over the years… this genius fabric would have seriously saved be a helluva lot of bother (and elbow grease) over the years.
It was genuinely fascinating to see how the stains lifted.
The folks at Aquaclean had heard about my pink sofa and wanted to bring their comparable fabric, and I am not exaggerating when I say that both children said to me at different times “look mummy, it’s our sofa!”. The only difference in the two is that you could chuck a shedload of red wine at the Aquaclean and you would never know it had been near a sniff of liquid. Try that with my current pink sofa and you’d most probably lose a limb.
Aquaclean’s range of gorgeous velvets: mine’s the bottom left pink (Bellagio 503), though I’m also becoming partial to the 68 and 82. And 514… maybe the 451…
The magic pink velvet fabric… and a couple of magic human beings
I can’t imagine buying a sofa and not heading for Aquaclean first. In a household with kids, dogs or even over-effusive gestures when drinking red wine (we’ve all been a victim of the Saturday night wide armed slosh on the sofa, have we not?), it’s a no-brainer. Have a look at the styles you can get it in from John Lewis yourself or view their Monica-approved stain gallery.
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And never purchase non-stain resistant pink velvet again!
Huge thanks to Aquaclean for inviting us to the Kid Kafe and commissioning MTT for this post. We are IMPRESSED.