I took the above love seat out of a dumpster. There is one small tear on the back (that would be hidden against a wall anyway) and as you can see it was filthy dirty but structurally completely sound. My bet is they threw it away because they thought it couldn't be cleaned. However, as I am sure you can imagine by now, after being thoroughly cleaned (I know big surprise there) this love seat was donated and someone has a nice love seat to use where it would have been sitting in a landfill. Just goes to show, having a Professional Upholstery Cleaner maintain your upholstered furniture can add years to the life of your furniture and provide you with a healthier living environment. However, that is only if the Professional Upholstery Cleaner you choose knows what to do and how to do it. If not your upholstery could be ruined. I know that sounds ominous but it’s true. Cleaning upholstery is a skill that needs to be taught and if you don’t know a professional upholstery cleaner you will need to do some research to find a good one. Read on to find out some things you should know and be looking for or go to our Specials page to see our Upholstery Cleaning Special.
THE CLEANING TAG
A lot of furniture manufacturers put a cleaning tag on their products. These tags have a code for the type of cleaning that is recommended for this piece of furniture. These codes are not meant to be law but just a guide.
An important note: Many upholstery manufacturers will label their product Dry Clean Only that can be safely Wet Cleaned. This is to limit their liability should the material be damaged because of the method used. If there is concern a Professional will know how to test the material.
Cleaning Method Code
Wet Cleaning W
Dry Cleaning S
Dry Foam W/S
Wet Cleaning- is almost exactly the same as Hot Water Extraction for carpet cleaning.
The biggest difference is the volume of water used. This method is the most effective way
to clean upholstery and usually the cheapest. The good news is almost all upholstered
furniture can be Wet Cleaned, and yea most likely this is the method that will be used.
Dry Foam Cleaning – is used when it has been determined that Wet Cleaning will cause
damage like tannin spots, shrinkage, or dye bleed. There is almost no moisture in this method
because we use the foam only from a proprietary mix of cleaning chemicals that are whipped
into a foam.
Dry Cleaning- is the most expensive technique because the chemical is very expensive and it takes several gallons to do a piece of furniture. Also, Dry Cleaning furniture is the least effective way but if you have an antique sofa dry cleaning is your best friend. Dry cleaning is the least likely to damage your upholstery.
A Professional Upholstery Cleaner will know these techniques and pick which one to use based on the material covering your furniture.
Regardless of the technique, the very first thing a professional will do is vacuum the upholstery. Digging down into the crevasses where the popcorn and pretzels like to hide. Vacuuming is skipped over a lot so look for it.
Also, there is an Upholstery Cleaning Technique where a Dry Cleaning Solution is applied to the material first which creates a protective barrier minimizing the amount of moisture the material will absorb, and then the material is Wet Cleaned. Doing so makes Wet Cleaning typically Dry Clean Only material possible and since Wet Cleaning is more effective the upholstery will be cleaner than it would have been. There is a caveat here: There is still the possibility the material will be damaged or ruined from the Wet Cleaning Process. So if you are going to use that technique you better know what you are doing or be willing to deal with the outcome. I hope this information helps you find the right Professional Upholstery Cleaner for you.