Most Upholstery Is Never, Ever Cleaned- Fabrics You Sit, Lay On and Live on Daily–
They Are To Allowed to Collect Dust, Germs, Fungus & More, Yet You Launder and Sanitize Your Bath Towels and Wash Your Sheets Regularly- The Logic?
There is none. It is no secret that homeowners regularly change and wash their sheets, or regularly launder their bath towels. However, these same folks will go years and years without ever cleaning their prized upholstered fabrics, or never clean them. Frankly, if we took a micro-biological sample of your favorite upholstered chair or sofa it would make you sick (and perhaps, literally!)
Do you see dirt, oils or spills? There’s your sign?
This microfiber sofa in Southampton (pictured above) is heavily soiled. Inviting? No so much. But do we see sofas with similar soiling? All the time. Good news, this particular fabric, microfiber will respond quite well to professional upholstery cleaning.
Take The Dirty Upholstery Test
First, Do the “Look-See” Test
Some fabrics are better than others at revealing the soiling which collects on the upholstered fabric piece. Microfiber, polished cotton, light colored fabrics will clearly reveal soiling compared to other fabrics. Darker fabrics, textured fabrics such as corduroy, velvets, multi colored blends, printed fabrics, and more will hide soiling better, but collect soils just the same. Difference is, you don’t see it. Determining their soiling may require other tests.
Do the “Bang’-Bang Poof” Test-prepare by holding your nose!
More concealing fabrics will show their dirt with the ‘bang-bang-poof’ test. You will need a household broom or dust pan sized brush. Proceed to the front of the sofa, and with the broom-brush end of the broom (a wider surface,) bang the fabric cushion while holding your nose. Observe the air space above the cushion. Most likely you will see a cloud of dust which releases and billows in to the air. Be careful, often it will choke you!
If you observe a cloud of dust, there’s your sign!
Now release your fingers from your nose, and do the Smell Test
Need More Convincing?
Periodic Cleaning of Fabrics and Fiber Rinses, Flushes, Kills, Neutralizes and Rids Foreign Materials
Warning- Do Not Attempt To Remove and Wash Your Cushion or Arm Covers
Removing cushion covers or arm covers could destroy them. Plain and simple- don’t do it. The zippers are not there for that purpose. Zippers are there for foam replacement only. Fabrics can easily be damaged, especially subjected to harsh agitation, water (at all), hot water or high pH detergents!
Beyond the reaction of the fabric subjected to water and chemical, they also are at risk of being distorted during the agitation and spinning action. When this happens they will never recover- some, ruined as fast as you can say 1-2-3!
Professionals dealing in fabric care cringe when clients tell them they usually remove the cushion covers and launder them, themselves. They are very, very lucky. Fabric content, method of dyeing, chemical, temperature, agitation– all play a part; Just because it works one time, in no way means it will work the next time. And just because Sally does it does not mean it will work if Sandy does it- DON’T DO IT!
To Sum It Up About Upholstery and Fine Fabric Care, The Dirt Should Be Enough Reason To Clean
Chances are you will clean your house, manicure your landscaping, even clean your delicate clothing but totally neglect your fine fabrics. And (to be sexist,) your husband will detail his car, motorcycle or boat, or polish his prized golf clubs. But the investment in your upholstered fabrics will be at risk. All the above reasons are good reasons to clean. If nothing more- protect them because you sunk your good, hard earned money in them.
But, Here Are Other Good Reasons To Do So…
Need more motivation? Folks usually need a life event to move the needle.
- The Baby will be crawling soon
- The room is being painted
- New carpet or flooring is being installed
- We’ve had this in the garage (in storage, in the basement)
- I am giving this to my daughter. . . and wanted it cleaned first
- We are moving, and I’d like to get the sofa cleaned before it gets to the new house
- The sofa is filthy, especially where my husband sits
- My upholstery smells like dog, my kid, or my husband
- My baby had an accident while potty training
- My dog keeps marking
- The cushions are filthy
Bottom Line, Just Do It- Your Fine Fabrics and Upholstery Will Thank You For It!
After looking at the soiled sofa above, is there any more motivation needed? We hope not. The only thing left to consider is how to go about cleaning your upholstery, and who to entrust it to.
Want more help in selecting a professional upholstery cleaner, refer to our forthcoming article which will compare a professional experience to that of what to expect from your typical “coupon cleaning” perhaps conundrum.