Upholstery cleaning differs from carpet cleaning in a number of ways and requires a measured approach to achieve good results. Because most upholstery is much more delicate than carpet, extra care is required along with the use of specific cleaning solutions and the right tools.
First, the cleaner should perform a thorough inspection of the furniture piece being cleaned. The inspection should include all sides of the cushions, headrest, arms, back, skirt (especially in the front which will come in contact with shoes), and pleats.
Next, the cleaner must determine the type of fibers from which the upholstery is constructed. The type of fiber dictates what type of cleaning solution can be used. This is quickly accomplished by performing a burn test with some loose fibers.
After completing the inspection and determining the fiber type, the upholstery is ready to be cleaned.
- Vacuuming – As with carpet, vacuuming prior to cleaning upholstery will provide better results by removing dry soil, hair, etc. Depending upon the delicateness of the fibers, a vacuum with a soft brush may be used. For more delicate fibers, the upholstery should be vacuumed without any agitation.
- Cleaning solution – Upholstery is much different than carpet and requires cleaning solutions that are designed specifically for upholstery cleaning. Using carpet cleaning solutions on upholstery can have disastrous results. A professional cleaner will take the time to switch between upholstery and carpet cleaning solutions.
- Cleaning tool – The appropriate tool for cleaning upholstery is referred to as a “dry tool”. Because upholstery is quite “thin” when compared to carpet, over wetting is a primary concern. To help prevent over wetting the upholstery, a dry tool is constructed so the rinse solution is continuously flowing across the fabric rather than being injected into the fabric as would happen with a “wet tool”. A dry tool also allows the cleaner to adjust and control the rate of the rinse solution flow as well as the strength of vacuum.
Again, cleaning upholstery is different from cleaning carpet. A professional cleaner will be prepared to provide safe and effective upholstery cleaning that will achieve the best results possible by using the appropriate cleaning solutions and tools. You should expect nothing less.