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Three upholstery cleaning myths

Fabric Stain Removal Services – It’s been said: “It ain’t what a man don’t know that gets him into trouble, it’s what he knows that just ain’t so!”

So, it seems to be with some of the myths that continue to be perpetuated in our industry.

Each of the following myths have basis in fact — as do many cultural myths — but also have flaws in them that can cost you time.

Dry cleaning is always the safest way to go

Problems related to upholstery cleaning — such as texture distortion, cellulose browning, colour bleeding and colour fading — are often associated with cleaning with water-based solutions.  It seems that dry cleaning with solvents is the logical method to use when there is any doubt as to the possibility of damaging a fabric.

While this is sometimes. true, it’s not often true.

Dry cleaning solvents are the least likely to damage delicate textures like a chenille fabric made from rayon.  But there is no guarantee that dry cleaning solvents will not cause colour bleeding.

There are several ways to stabilize dyes, some of which use dye setting agents that allow for cleaning with water-based solutions.

While these methods are not 100 percent safe at all times, neither are dry cleaning solvents.

All cleaning and spotting products should be tested on the fabric that is being cleaned to assure that it is colorfast to those materials.

Always clean with the hottest water possible

Synthetic fibers, release oily soils readily when cleaned with hot cleaning solutions.

The use of hot water speeds cleaning and lessens the need for highly buffered alkaline cleaning detergents that might otherwise cause bleeding or fading of colours.

However, there are two distinct situations where “hot is not so hot:”

Non-colourfast fabrics:

There are times that hot water may contribute to colour bleeding when warm water may not.

Synthetic fiber velvet:

Under certain circumstances, such as heat spikes in equipment with poorly regulated heat systems, permanent distortion can occur when a burst of heat contacts some synthetic fiber velvet fabrics. Very warm, consistent temperature is safer on such fabrics than extremely hot water that might not be easily controlled.

The tags are accurate cleaning guidelines

There are two tags commonly found on furniture: Fiber content tags and cleaning code tags.

Both can be misleading.

Fiber content tags most always describe the material used for “fill” or “stuffing” in the furniture. There are cases when you might discover tags that do list the fiber content of the fabric that you are cleaning, but this is very rare.

Cleaning code tags are actually colourfastness code tags used by furniture manufacturers. This is to assist the consumer to determine which products they might use to maintain their fabric. These codes do not eliminate the need for you to do your own inspection and testing of the fabric.

While many cleaners find that the “S” code, which means “dry clean only,” is rarely accurate.

Never for a moment should you believe that blindly following these codes will prevent damaging materials in any way. These codes are merely guidelines, not guarantees.


Debunk the myths

Debunking these commonly held myths meant to protect you.  It will help to speak to professionals. Some things that “just ain’t so” — or, at least — not so all of the time.  Call us on 0800 800 382

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