Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery CleaningWhen cleaning upholstery it is very important to know what it is that you are cleaning.  There are many things that need to be taken into account before cleaning upholstery.  At Specialty Services of Idaho we take every precaution necessary before cleaning your upholstered furniture.  We have a multiple step inspection process to determine what and how we must clean your piece.

First we need to determine the type of fiber it is that we will be cleaning.  We Upholstery Cleaning

When cleaning upholstery it is very important to know what it is that you are cleaning.  There are many things that need to be taken into account before cleaning upholstery.  At Specialty Services of Idaho we take every precaution necessary before cleaning your upholstered furniture.  We have a multiple step inspection process to determine what and how we must clean your piece.

First we need to determine the type of fiber it is that we will be cleaning.  We determine fiber type primarily by doing a “burn” Test.  No we don’t set your upholstery or home on fire.  If your piece does not have a tag on it to tell us fiber type or types we will need to perform a burn test.  A burn test tells us a lot of information about your piece.  We will open a zipper on a one of the cushions and cut a small piece of fabric of one of the zipper edges.  We don’t need much just enough to be able to see the flame get a hint of the smoke and have just a bit of ash.  This burn test will tell us if the piece is made out of synthetic fibers or Natural fibers or both, which is called a blend.  The odor of the smoke will be distinct to the different types of fiber used, as well as the flame.

Once fiber type is determined, we then look for a couple other things.  We will open a cushion and look for the Fire Retardant coating that a lot of manufacturers are using these days.  If the fire retardant is found special steps will need to be made to protect the fibers in the cleaning process.  You see this fire retardant is something that will bleed, and once it does there is no reversing it.  So extra special care needs to be taken.

Then we will look for rips, cuts, tears, wear patterns, and levels of soiling, we will look for pet urine and other difficult stains that will need to be removed.
We will also fill out a detailed inspection sheet and take multiple photographs of your piece before the cleaning process and after the cleaning process.  We do this to show the difference that happened once the piece was cleaned.

All of that is just in the inspection process.

There are many steps and procedures to cleaning upholstered furniture.  It is not just a spray something on it and then suck it off to clean it.  If that is the method you are used to receiving from another cleaner, maybe you should give us a try.  At Specialty Services of Idaho we have developed a 13-step process to clean your upholstery the best that it can be.

Specialty Services of Idaho’s 13 Step Process:

Step 1: Fiber Identification

This is the first and most important step when cleaning upholstered furniture.  Know what type of fiber that is being cleaned is paramount to the success of the cleaning.  It is very important to know whether you are cleaning a natural or synthetic type fiber.

Step 2: Inspection

Inspection is the next key to a successful cleaning of upholstery.  There are many things to look for when inspecting a piece to be cleaned.  Things like rips, tears, cuts, fading, pet urine, Spots, Spills, Stains, watermarks, color fastness, fire retardant application etc.  Not identifying potential issues before cleaning commences could become a major problem in the success or failure of the cleaning job.

Step 3: Vacuuming  (Dry Soil Removal)

It is very important to remove as much dry soil from a piece before the wet side of the cleaning commences.  All upholstery is vacuumed prior to cleaning.  Upholstered furniture can hide a substantial amount of unhealthy contaminants that must be removed prior to any cleaning method.  These contaminants are impossible to remove once the upholstery becomes wet from further cleaning agents.

Step 4: Testing

It is very important to test upholstery before cleaning it.  Things that need to be tested for are color fading from cleaning agents, color bleeding from cleaning agents, fire retardant migration to fabric, shrinkage of fabric etc.  By pre-testing the upholstered fabrics being worked on, we can effectively clean any fabric that will yield the best outcome.

Step 5: Pretreat Special Areas of Concern

There are many contaminants on upholstery that cannot be removed by pre-conditioning pre-spray.  It is important to address any major spot, stain, or even that really difficult to remove body oil that is deposited from just sitting on the piece.  Specialty Services of Idaho uses the best cleaning solutions and spotters on the market to remove the toughest things.  It is best to pretreat these areas before the pre-conditioning pre-spray is applied.

Step 6:  Pre Conditioning (Cleaning Solution)

Next it is time to apply the pre conditioning solution to the fabric.  It is important not to over wet the fabric.  We will use the proper type of preconditioning solution based on the type of fiber we will be cleaning and the best tested solution as well.  

If it is necessary to use a stronger cleaning solution we may ask you to sign a waiver that states the risks of using the stronger solution.  We will only use safe solutions on your fabrics, unless YOU accept the risk of using something stronger.  While we are experts, we do not have a crystal ball and cannot guarantee a magical result, or the unforeseen consequences of using cleaning solutions that did not test safe.

Step 7: Soil Suspension (Wash)

The pre-conditioner (cleaning solution) needs to next be agitated into the fabric to help further loosen the soli and or stains.  Specialty Services of Idaho’s expert cleaning technician will use only the appropriate amount of agitation necessary to loosen the soils.  Decisions will be made based on stains, soil level, fiber type and the weave of the fabric to determine the proper method of agitation.  We will only use 4 levels of agitation, which may include a horsehair brush, gently wiping with a towel, gently agitating with a sponge, or agitation with the use of a soft bristled brush.  Only our highly trained technician will use the appropriate method necessary for the safest and most thorough results.

Step 8: Rinse and Extract

Next, its time for the rinsing and extracting of the fabric.  It is very important not to over wet the fabric that will cause wetting of the fill beneath the fabric.  We will use state of the art extraction tools to gently lift the fabric from the fill or foam that ensures a thorough rinse without over wetting.  Some fabrics may require dry cleaning instead of wet cleaning, at which time the special dry-cleaning solvents will be used.  It is very important to remove the entire residue from the fabric to ensure the fabric is as clean and healthy as possible.

Step 9: Speed Dry

We will use our high velocity air movers to dry your upholstery as fast as possible.  The faster it dries the less chance there will be any issues.

Step 10: Grooming

Depending on the type of fabric that has been cleaned, some types of fabrics need to be groomed or combed out during the drying process.  If a fiber like velvet is not combed out during the drying process there will be definite fiber distortion and the only way to reverse it is to clean it again and then comb it out while drying.

Step 11: Post Inspection

Now that the cleaning is completed it is important to re-inspect the upholstery to make sure that every spot, stain or other area of concern was removed.  If not we will make a different attempt at removing the soil.  This may include using cleaning solutions not recommended for the furniture.

If it is necessary to use a stronger cleaning solution we may ask you to sign a waiver that states the risks of using the stronger solution.  We will only use safe solutions on your fabrics, unless YOU accept the risk of using something stronger.  While we are experts, we do not have a crystal ball and cannot guarantee a magical result, or the unforeseen consequences of using cleaning solutions that did not test safe.

Step 11: Spot Re-treat (if Necessary)

After the signing of the waiver to use a more aggressive cleaning solution we will proceed to clean the area of concern again.  Every effort will be made to remove the area of concern.  It may still not be able to be removed and at that time a discussion with our technician will be had at that time.

Step 12: Final Inspection

The last step is to do a final inspection with you the homeowner to make sure that you are completely satisfied with the service you have received.

Questions you should ask to help select the right Upholstery cleaner.

•    Do they test fabrics before engaging in the cleaning process?
•    Do they thoroughly vacuum before cleaning?
•    Do they pre-condition before cleaning?
•    Do they use air movers to aid in drying?
•    Do they use an agitation step or do they just flush and extract?
•    Do they use a rinse agent that leaves your fabric bright and chemically residue-free?
•    Do they use premium-cleaning agents that are safe and effective?
•    Do they use premium UV protection that maintain and prolong the life of your fabrics?

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