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Cleaning of Upholstery

Posted by on in Upholstery Cleaning
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Cleaning of Upholstery



Today things are so expensive, everyone tries to save a little money and do some things themselves instead of hiring a professional to come in to do it. Cleaning upholstery is not something the homeowner should try. The cleaning process may seem simple but there is so much more to it than what meets the eye. There are so many different fabrics and each one could require different procedures and cleaners to properly clean them without causing harm to the upholstery.

There are synthetic fabrics that are usually fairly safe to deal with and the dyes are fairly stable, so there is some room for error with these. Just remember there are always exceptions.  Fabrics like Jacquard weaves that are known for bleeding if the fabric gets too wet.  There are many others with their potential problems.  Natural fibers or blends make up the vast majority of upholstered furniture today.  These fibers also use a great variety of dye processes.  So when dealing with natural fibers, you have to consider the type of weaves used, the fiber content, whether they are cellulose or protein fibers as well as the dyes used.  These fabrics can all be prone to shrinkage, discoloration, color loss, or bleeding just to name a few problems that could crop up. 

You need to consider not only what is a safe procedure and a safe cleaner for that particular fabric, but you also need to consider what you are trying to achieve.  Like, what if you have a stain that requires a solvent to remove it, like grease, tar, oil, makeup, gum, or other solvent-based materials but the fabric is recommended to be wet cleaned using only water-based cleaners, no solvents.  Or we could have the other problem of food spills or other water-based stains that require a water-based cleaner to break it down to rinse it out.  The problem is that it is on a fabric that recommends dry cleaning only and has no exposure to water.  This can be a problem considering dry cleaning solvents can’t dissolve or break down sugars. Then there are some fabrics that the manufacturers recommend that the fabric is un-cleanable. This is why hiring a professional upholstery cleaner with lots of experience can be your smartest move.

Now, considering the cost to reupholster or replace your furniture, you might want to rethink trying to save a little in this arena.  Even with professionals, I hear so many nightmare stories from bad experiences they have had.  It’s one of those areas that completing proper schooling and being certified is only going to give you a very small tasting of what you are in for.  It takes about 10 years of experience and cleaning of hundreds if not thousands of different fabrics to become skilled at this.  With over 50 years of experience in the carpet and upholstery cleaning field, we not only meet these requirements, but we also exceed them.   With all the experience and knowledge Alec has had, he can continue to teach and guide his employees with methods that will achieve the best possible results without causing any harm to your upholstery when cleaned.  To learn more about Alec’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning LLC call our office at 781-871-4428 or visit our website at http://www.Alecscarpetandupholsterycleaning.com 

See more on upholstery cleaning on our upholstery cleaning page at http://alecscarpetcleaning.com/upholstery



  • Guest
    Suzie Monday, 14 March 2016

    Hi Alec. I picked up an old bench/ love seat on the side of the road yesterday. The bottom cushion was garbage, but the fabric on the backrest of the bench looks pretty decent, although it was raining when I picked it up yesterday. I believe the fabric is velvet. It now feels crusty and matted. I'm confident this was kept in a garage or shed because there was evidence of spiders on the bottom side. I'm wondering if I should even try to save the velvet on the back or if I should reupholster it. I have photos also but I am not able to attach them here.

  • Alec Houle
    Alec Houle Monday, 14 March 2016

    Suzie, I not sure if you will re-visit this bog to see my response but just in case you do, I will reply. Since the upholstery was wet from the rain, I'm assuming not only the fabric got wet but also the material under the fabric. This material is usually cellulose in composition and as a result will get all moldy. Once this happens he upholstery will always have that musty smell. I would definitely suggest to have the entire piece reupholstered and not try to save the existing fabric.

  • Guest
    Suzie Tuesday, 15 March 2016

    Thank you! That's what I figgured you would say, but I had my fingers crossed :) Your blog is great by the way, thank you for sharing your knowledge!

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