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How often should upholstery be cleaned?

Tuesday, Feb. 16th 2021

How often do you dust the end tables and coffee tables in your home? (Here in the Midwest dust bowl, this is needed all the time) The dust doesn’t just miss the sofa next to the table does it? What then happens there are atmospheric oils from the air, body oils from husbands kicking back during football season (ME), kids, and pets settle on the upholstery turning simple dust into a very acidic oily resin. Over time this resin builds up and is ground into the fabric. Eventually it will oxidize which degrades the fiber and color if not removed periodically. CAUTION! I have seen older pieces that the only thing holding the fabric together is the resin build up. Preconditioning with specialty products designed for the fabric is very important. These products are more foam based and are designed to stay on top of the fabric which is very thin. They are also much better at handling the body oils that have accumulated over time and they dry fast. This is much different from carpet cleaning situations and is why at Bock’s Steam Star we carry different products for different fabrics. Upholstery is often cleaned from a problem control standpoint while carpeting is cleaned from a do what it needs standpoint. Since we are limited on how aggressive we can be with upholstery from a chemistry and agitation perspective, it makes sense to have cleaning done periodically before the damage can be irreversible.

A note on Cleaning Codes: many will have an S-code for solvent clean only on the decking tag. The manufactures are very conservative here and only recommend dry cleaning because it is unlikely to cause any issues. However, it’s also the least effective and most expensive method we offer. Frankly the manufactures are not up to date on the technology we use to safely clean the most delicate fabric on the water based side with one of our low moisture systems. Only light soiled, antique, or high client concern pieces will we direct the client to true chlorinated dry solvent cleaning.

 We will go thru a 12 step cleaning process with upholstery so that we maximize the cleaning results while keeping the safety of the fabric in mind. Most cleaning companies don’t provide a fraction of these important steps. Please plan ahead for a free no obligation consultation as my schedule fills up fast the closer we get to spring.


Posted in Upholstery

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