How Does Furniture Get Dirty And Why Doesn’t It Seem To Show?

Allergists, upholsterers and certified cleaners all agree that DUST is the #1 enemy of upholstered furniture. Gritty matter blows in through open doors and windows and attaches itself on your furniture cushions and back. Think of how much dust would accumulate on a table if it were never dusted. That same amount is on your sofa, too. You just can’t see it. Then when you sit on the cushion the oils from your hands, skin and hair compress the dirt into the fabric where it’s almost impossible to remove with normal vacuum cleaning.

The abrasive action of the grit pressing into the fiber cuts the fibers like sandpaper does to wood.  That’s why your furniture eventually wears out. Then combine this with pollens, food crumbs, dust mites and their nasty fecal pellets…your furniture is literally loaded with soil within the short span of just a year (with an average family). If you have pets and kids your furniture needs to be cleaned thoroughly at least once a year.

Bacteria and Germs are the result of soils that are not removed from furniture on a regular basis. The byproduct of decaying living materials decomposing is a foul smell that characterizes furniture that has not been cleaned regularly.

Why doesn’t dirt show?  Dirt does not show because today’s fabrics are designed to hide dirt with patterns and colors.  Just because it doesn’t look soiled doesn’t mean it’s not soiled.

How often should I have my furniture cleaned? If you’re a retired couple and live in your home only 6 months out of a year you should probably clean every 2 or 3 years. If you have an active family with 2-4 kids and pets – We suggest at LEAST once a year. Contact Kleenrite at 631-451-1349 to set up your cleaning.

Is Fabric Protection Necessary? You benefit by having us apply our carpet & fabric protection any time we clean your carpets, rugs, and furniture. Our protector makes it more difficult for spills, spots, and stains to PENETRATE to the interior of the fibers (where they can cause permanent color change). The protector keeps messes on the surface where they can be more easily cleaned. Some fabrics have protector applied during the manufacturing process. However, the protection degrades over time with everyday use and even with cleaning. It must be refreshed from time to time.  Fabric protector should be reapplied after cleaning to get your upholstery back to a factory condition.

But my furniture says ‘Dry Clean Only on the Tag’. Many fabrics do. The manufacturer does this to limit their liability so they are not responsible if an inexperienced technician ruins a piece of furniture while trying to clean it. The only problem is dry cleaning is not a very safe or effective cleaning method to be used in a home.  It has a bad odor and is not safe for the cleaner, the environment or the occupants so we do not use them.   However an experienced technician can wet clean various types of fabric and fibers if they use the proper cleaning solutions, do not over wet it, dry it quickly and clean the fabric in the proper direction so they do not disrupt the way the fabric lays.

We don’t just clean carpets. Kleenrite’s carpet cleaning technicians are also experts in cleaning upholstery. We know the right cleaning methods for a particular fiber or fabric. We can clean different types of fabric construction such as Jacquard weave, Pile weave, Dobby weave, Haitian Cotton, Denim Twill weave, Velvet weave, Chenille, Microfiber, Analine Leather, Pigmented Leather, Nubuck Leather, Suede Leather and many more. Our steam-powered truck mounted extraction equipment will clean almost any sofa, love seat, chair or other piece of upholstered furniture.

Often upholstery fabrics are blends of many different fibers. These give the upholstery various textures and effects. It also creates challenges for cleaning since not every fiber can be identified. These challenges include bleeding, fading, loss of finish, browning, and shrinking. Some fabric is sometimes worn to the point that when cleaned it may separate or break. We will use our professional expertise and tools to give you the best possible cleaning but can not make any guarantee regarding the above cautions.

Your home contains many pieces of furniture created from many different fibers, each with different characteristics. Cleaning these fibers properly takes experience and the correct cleaning methods. No one method cleans all upholstery fibers. So that expensive living room set, dining room chair cushion, or office ensemble you bought years ago does not need to be replaced. Kleenrite will make it look like new again. So when you call us to have your carpets cleaned, please don’t ignore your furniture. We can do both at the same time.

How To Tell If Your Upholstery Needs To Be Cleaned

TEST # 1: THE “SLAP” TEST – Surface Dust: Place a bright light over the top of one of your sofa cushions and using a stick (like a paint mixing stick or wooden spoon) whack the cushion 2-3 times. Observe the amount of dust that is released into the air. If you see a cloud of dust your furniture needs to be cleaned.

TEST #2: THE BLACK CLOTH TEST – Embedded Particulate Soil: Use your vacuum cleaner attachment nozzle and take a piece of thin black cloth and rubber band it to the end of the vacuum hose, let it drape into the hose a little way. Put the upholstery tool on the end of the hose. Now turn the vacuum on and run it across the top of the cushion. Take off the upholstery tool and observe all the dead skin, dander, and other particles. If you see accumulations of fine particles, it needs cleaning.

TEST #3: THE WHITE TOWEL TEST – Protein Soils: Moisten a small amount of water on a white terry cloth towel. Now go and briskly rub it across one of your seat cushions or arm covers. Look at the towel. What do you see?  If it is soiled, it needs cleaning.

TEST #4: THE SNIFF TEST – Malodors: I know it sounds a little funny & nasty, but follow these directions.  Completely exhale. Place your nose 3″ above the seat cushions and waft the surface air to your nose using one hand in a fanning motion. Do you notice any odors? Soil accumulations foster bacterial growth that feed on the contaminants and creatures living in the fibers of your furniture fabrics. If your furniture smells funky it’s an indication that it should be professionally cleaned as soon as possible.

9 Tips To Keep Your Upholstery Fresh, Clean & Healthy

  1. Vacuum dust & dirt from all fabric, cracks & crevasses so it does not cause abrasion to the fabric.  Think of how much dust would accumulate on a table if it were never dusted.  That same amount is on your sofa, too.  You just can’t see it.
  2. Reapply fabric protection after professional cleaning.
  3. Rotate all loose cushions frequently to assure even wear. Most couch cushions are reversible but people seldom take advantage of this. Every two weeks when you vacuum your furniture flip the cushions over. This will spread out the wear and make your furniture last much longer.
  4. Protect your upholstery from the sun. Ultraviolet light can cause deterioration or fading.  Tint windows or use light blocking drapery in times of heavy direct sunlight.
  5. Keep pets off of furniture. Pet’s body oils rub off and are very difficult to remove.  We all love them but this will help to save your fabrics.
  6. Use caution with clothing such as Blue Jeans. Fabric dyes can transfer onto upholstered furniture.  Especially the lighter colors & Leather furniture.
  7. If you have animals get a rubber dish glove. The dish glove will make it easy to remove hair from the furniture. Simply put it on and rub your hand over the fabric. You will see that the hair bunches up into clumps making it easy to pick up and vacuum up. Other options include wrapping tape around your hand, sticky side out; using a clothing lint remover; or using a clothing brush to collect the hair.
  8. Avoid sunlight or heat sources to avoid fading or drying of leather. Clean and condition leather at least 4 times a year.
  9. Have Kleenrite clean your upholstered furniture regularly once a year.

Kleenrite Can Also Clean Your Bed And Mattress Fabric