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Is it time to clean your sofa? Good upholstery cleaning info

When did you buy your sofa? It’s been more than a year? Five years? Longer? Vacuuming your furniture is just the first step for really doing a good cleaning job. Upholstered furniture to be truly clean additional cleaning steps need to be taken. If you don’t recollect the last time your furniture was given a comprehensive cleaning, it may be time to consider taking such a step. You’ll be surprised how beautiful the sofa will look, you’ll be amazed at its renewal.

The sofa is the family’s first choice for sitting together, and it is used extensively. Besides you bed, it probably receives the most traffic in the home. A sofa should last for years, especially after the small fortune that it took to acquire it. Protecting your investment starts by having your sofa cleaned periodically.

Dirt, grime, dust, staining, odors, are attracted to the sofa, daily. Some say a sofa acts like a filter in the home, there is some truth to this. The usage the sofa gets are so varied, but here are some typical sources of dirt:

  • Body oils
  • Sweat
  • Pet dander
  • Dust
  • Spills
  • Food
  • Stains
  • Cigarette odor
  • Allergens

Upholstered furniture come in all types. Cleaning your sofa requires correct identification of what cleaning method to use. There is fabric upholstery, leather, suede, and other natural fibers, each with its own set of cleaning rules. With the myriad of materials used in the making of upholstered furniture, it is no wonder home owners are faced with confusing information on what is the safest way to do a good cleaning.

The different cleaning requirements need to be understood before contemplating cleaning furniture. Professional carpet and upholstery cleaners have the expertise to employ the perfect cleaning method. Commercial upholstery cleaners know how to identify upholstery fabrics and trained to match the fabric with the proper cleaning method.

Instead of removing dirt from the sofa, choosing the wrong cleaning method can result in leaving the sofa looking worse or even causing irreparable damage. Effects on using the wrong cleaning method on the sofa’s fabric may include:

·        Dirt settling deep into the fabric

·        Fabric shrinkage

·        Color discoloration or staining

·        Damaging or shriveling the fabric

·        Allergic reaction to cleaning agent

·        Damaging environment, non-green products

Furniture that starts to look grungy will take more aggressive steps to clean. The question would be, can the sofa be rehabilitated or is it better to be discarded? The answer depends on how much you paid for it, how much will it take to replace it, or how much will it take for a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner to take a crack at it. A free evaluation from your professional can help in making an intelligent decision.  

As upholstered furniture age it is natural for dirt and dust to accumulate on its surface. Regular, weekly vacuuming will help prevent dirt getting into the fabric. If the furniture starts looking tired and dull, with lots of stains and mystery dirt, a professional begins the cleaning with a strong vacuuming. It is simply amazing what a commercial vacuum machine can extract that a regular home vacuum simply can’t measure up to.

The types of dirt present in a sofa need a unique ways to remove them. Pet hair can be removed with pet hair remover. Body oils can be removed with pre-conditioners and shampooing. Fresh spills need to be worked on immediately before calling in a professional. To prevent a new spill from absorbing into the sofa you need to act quickly to blot the spill. Use a white cotton towel to remove as much as possible from the spot. If the stain is not all gone, it is time to call the professional. Keeping the area moist with a cotton towel over it will help the upholstery cleaner.

The most important thing to consider in cleaning upholstered furniture is to know the type of cleaner to use. This depends of the type of fabric and the type of dirt. Choosing the best cleaning method can seem daunting, but not impossible. New furniture come with special identifying tags sawn in somewhere below or down by the skirt of the furniture with special codes on how to clean that particular fabric. Older furniture lacks this feature, but professionals know how to make the identification.

Not only does furniture come in all sorts of fabrics, but they also are dyed in many colors. All these factors need to be considered. Cleaning challenges involve antiques or rare expensive fabrics. Finding an upholstery cleaning company that can handle unique challenges will take some research, take your time and do your homework.

Luckily, new furniture comes with information on what method to use to clean them. The special tags attached to the furniture contain letter codes, each letter meaning something. The codes are:

·        S: Use only dry cleaning, do not use water

·        W: Cleaning with a water based detergent is allowed

·        WS: This is a catch all, either a water based detergent or dry cleaning method is compatible.

·        X: Clean only by professional cleaners. However, vacuuming and brushing is allowed.

With this information it would seem appropriate for a home owner to do their own cleaning, but this is when people can get into trouble. Taking the short cut in doing your own cleaning can end up with disappointing results. Older furniture without the code tags can be cleaned only after making sure the fabric has been identified. Before undertaking a whole cleaning, it is best to perform a small test in the fabric, somewhere behind or below the skirt level to make sure a cleaning method is not destructive.

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