An expensive sofa or lavish footstool can be ruined in a matter of moments when an overly excited friend spills the remnants of her wine glass over the detailed fabric that adorns your cherished furniture. Before you initiate a vicious law suit, it is advised that you contact your local contract cleaner before you try to tackle the problem yourself. A contract cleaner can safely restore your sofa to its former glory in a few simple steps.
Contract cleaners advise people to vacuum upholstered furniture once a month and avail of one of the following methods at least once a year. There are three methods used to clean upholstery. These include dry cleaning, shampooing and hot water extraction. Your contract cleaner will decide on which method suits based on your fabric and the severity of the stain.
1. Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning is often the preferred method for fabrics that are water sensitive or prone to shrinkage. For example, it would be most commonly used on silk covered products.
Dry cleaning is a rather effective process when compared with other methods. It is also considered to be the cheapest method among the three.
The steps are as follows:
• The upholstered furniture is vacuumed to remove all the dust and dirt that may lurk between the crevices.
• After the fabric has been cleaned with dry cleaning cloths, a foaming agent is then added to the upholstery and allowed to ‘rest’ for a specified period of time.
• The foaming agent is then cleared.
• The furniture is then vacuumed a second time to remove the dirt that has been lifted from within the fabric.
Shampooing is often used for cotton or rayon covered products. Compared to dry cleaning, this method takes longer to dry and return to its original, albeit cleaner state.
• A dry foam mixture is added to the fabric in generous and even amounts.
• The contractor then ensures that the foam is dry in order to prevent shrinkage or excessive damage.
• The surface is then blotted dry and left to dry for a period of seven to ten hours.
3. Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning)
Steam cleaning (commonly known as hot water extraction) requires the use of an upholstery shampoo for the required fabric type, soil emulsifier, scrub brush, and a steam cleaner. A fan or dehumidifier may be used if desired.
Steam cleaning is considered to be a versatile method as its can be used with most fabric types.
This method involves:
• Pre-conditioning the fabric with a soil emulsifier. This loosens any dirt which may have grounded into the fabric.
• Following this, the fabric will be shampooed with a specially mixed detergent.
• The shampoo is then rubbed in using a scrub brush. This is done to agitate the fibres and loosen the dirt even further.
• The final step involves intensive steam cleaning. Steam cleaning removes any remaining dirt or residue left behind. A fan may be then used to dry the fabric.