Upholstery care is an often overlooked aspect of home cleanliness. Homeowners will splurge on a fresh coat of paint for the walls, get the floors cleaned (a great idea by the way!) and have the windows done, but will forget about the sofa, chair and loveseat. In fact, upholstery, hardwood floors and grout are the three things most people forgot when it comes to cleaning.
In the case of upholstery, it’s the most surprising because furniture figures so prominently in a home’s interior.
Similarly to carpet, dust is the number one culprit in dirty upholstery. Airborne particles of dirt and dander (dead skin cells and worse – yuck!) settle on your furniture like they settle on everything else in your home. You’ve seen how it accumulates on your shelves and tables! That is what is being worked into your upholstery every day. Dirt from your pet’s feet, oil from human skin, spills, stains and the like add up and work their way into the fabric, wear away at the fibers, and gradually the upholstery in your home starts looking not so great.
The difference is you sit on your sofa or chair all the time. Carpet you usually just walk on!
We offer both residential and commercial upholstery cleaning.
Our cleaning process is different from others for two reasons:
- Prep and set up process
- Dual cleaning methods (HWE and low moisture)
We take steps other upholstery cleaners don’t. We don’t clean with the furniture ‘in place’. Instead we take the steps and time needed to get it done right and clean the entire piece of furniture. Upon arrival we set up a folding table, drop cloths and essentially create a work station. The folding table allows us to work standing up, not bent on hand and knee. [5:44:49 PM] Think Tank Admin: Standing up to do detail work for pillows and cushions allows us to work comfortably (not ‘bent’ which makes most cleaners rush the job) in turn providing you with a proper cleaning.
After setting up our work station the next step is to take the furniture apart and prep it. Don’t worry, we don’t disassemble it! However we do remove all cushions and pillows and move them to the folding table/work station. We then use a commercial vacuum to clean the entire piece. Pet hair, people hair, crumbs, candy and more (lots more!) are vacuumed away. We then use the same process on each cushion and pillow. Removing as much dirt and dander out of the fabric via vacuuming is a key element to a good cleaning. The less impurities prior to cleaning, the better the end product will be.
The next step is to pre treat the fabric. Using a low pressure sprayer we apply a fabric specific detergent. We then use a horse hair brush to safely agitate the solution into the fabric. Spots and stains are also treated as needed during this process. Once applied we allow for a proper dwell time.
After the dwell we move to the cleaning and extraction process. This again is where we differ from most. For extraction we choose one of two methods, either hot water extraction or low moisture encapsulation. We base our decision on the type of fabric, fabric age and condition.
For instance, in most homes microfiber is the dominant fabric. Generally speaking microfiber absorbs an incredible amount of dirt and dander. The fabric is not thick and there is virtually no fiber strength (specifically, resistance). In almost every instance we choose water extract. For HWE fabric flushing we use a machine designed specifically for this purpose. Using a pump rated at 120 psi we are able to properly penetrate the fabric without over wetting. This machine also heats the water to over 200 degrees helping to break down the dirt and debris while it cleans. At the same time a three stage commercial vacuum provides the suction needed to remove the dirty water and waste and help advance dry times. While dry times can be significant with microfiber, water flushing does give this particular fabric the proper cleaning needed.
When dealing with a more durable material like corduroy, a low moisture cleaning is usually the better choice. Corduroy, like any material, can and does get dirty. But unlike microfiber, dirt does not penetrate deep into the fabric. Low moisture cleaning does a great job of removing impurities without compromising the feel or strength of the fabric. What makes this process unique is that the encapsulation detergents used are very green friendly and actually trap and surround the impurities making clean up extremely effective.
Once the cleaning is complete we ‘tent’ all cushions and pillows to help speed up dry times. In the case of water extraction dry times can range from one hour to two and a half hours. With low mositure dry times can average thirty minutes to one hour.
The methods used for commercial upholstery cleaning will again vary on fabric type but even more so with the age of the furniture and frequency of cleaning.
Call us today for a free estimate and let us get your sofa, loveseat and favorite recliner looking great! Be sure to ask about our specials and three piece cleaning packages!