#1 Vacuum frequently!
Vacuum or brush away loose dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabric. As the upholstery is used, natural oils from your skin and hair are absorbed into the fabric. This also includes natural oils from pets, if you have them. Dirt and oils are damaging to the fabric of your upholstery . When surface dust is allowed to settle into the fabric, it can react with spills and make a stain even worse. Use the small brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner--and if it’s not very clean, you can wrap it in cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band to protect the fabrics.
#2 Flip cushions monthly and keep fabrics out of direct sunlight
#3 Clean Up Spills right away before it has a chance to become a stain. Warning-before you spot clean, be sure you know the specific cleaning code for your upholstery fabric. Have these supplies on hand for emergency spot cleaning. Even with these recommended cleaners, be cautious and do a test first. . If your furniture is not coded, test the fabric for damage or color change on a hidden part of the furniture before spot cleaning. Look for bleeding, crocking and color transfer while testing.
A spot can often be removed using the appropriate product in the normal cleaning process. A stain may look like spot but a stain has actually changed the color of the fiber. Spots and stains are easier to remove when you know what their made of. Some spots can even be turned into stains if the wrong chemical or removal technique is used. You need to get as much information about the spot as you can. Professional products available at KJ’s
There are 3 classes of spots:
1 Petroleum Based–Tar, Asphalt, Greases, Oils, Paints, and most Adhesives. Use solvent cleaner (appropriate for S coded fabrics. May or may not be ok to use on W coded fabrics—test first!)
2 Protein Based-Blood, Urine ,Vomit, and some food products. (professional products available at KJ’s) These types of cleaners are typically labeled as safe for W or W S coded fabric. May or may not be ok to use on other fabrics- test first!
3 Water Based–These are the most common spots and will be removed up in the normal cleaning process. Follow the specific cleaning code for your fabric
What choices do I have if I have a permanent stain?
After following the spot removal process there may still be a noticeable spot. You now know you are working with a stain. Be aware that further attempts to remove the stain could damage the fabric and therefore is best done by a professional cleaner. They work with special processes and chemicals. Be aware, however, that some stains may be permanent.
One option is to have that part of the furniture reupholstered, or possibly slip covered. If you purchased additional fabric when you had your sofa reupholstered you are in luck!
If not, consider selecting a complimentary fabric to replace the damaged area. Your best choice for stain resistant fabrics are “Crypton” brand fabrics, which can even be washed! See the link to crypton
Have protective arm caps made and/or have scotchguard applied to resist soiling.
When your upholstered furniture requires cleaning, the safest choice is to call a professional service
Click here for specific instructions for do it yourself methods.
Click here for info on using a steam cleaning machine.
Professional products available at KJ’s
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