Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery Cleaning is often the last thing on a homeowners mind. Your carpets show the dirt more quickly because of the types of soils spilled on them or tracked in from outside. Consider that your upholstered furniture will see more use than your winter coat over a years time and will likely only be cleaned every 5 to 10 years or less.

What’s the easiest way to determine if your sofa or chairs need to be cleaned? A disposable white terry cloth towel that has been dampened and a vacuum with a hose attachment are all you need.

Dampen your white towel lightly. It should not have any water dripping of, but it should be damp to the touch.

Drape the towel in a single layer over the end of the vacuum hose ( make sure the vacuum is turned off) and either hold it in place or use a rubber band. There should only be a single layer of the towel over the end of the hose.

Turn on the vacuum, still hold the towel in place, and vacuum the cushions or arms of your upholstery for about 30 seconds or a minute. Now look at the towel. What you find may disgust you. That dark brown or black circle is only a small amount of the dirt that is in your couch or chair. Now you know it’s time for some upholstery cleaning..

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5214/5439588870_b99e00b89d.jpgHow Should I Clean My Upholstery?

You’ll always want to first of all do a thorough vacuuming of the piece you want to clean. After it’s been vacuumed, you can test the material for colorfastness and bleeding. If you don’t test it first, you can ruin or permanently damage your furniture.

Test It First

Testing is easy. Moisten a clean white towel with your shampoo or cleaning solution, and find an inconspicuous spot on the furniture to test. Sometimes you can test near a zipper on the back of a cushion, or under the sofa or chair where the fabric wraps underneath. Just remember that you want to test in a place that can’t be seen, just in case the fabric bleeds colors or easily loses color.

If your fabric bleeds color, or is not colorfast, call a professional, and let them clean it for you.

Rent or Buy An Upholstery Cleaning Machine?

You can rent or buy an upholstery cleaning machine and clean the furniture yourself, or you could call in a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company.

Some local hardware or grocery stores rent Rug Doctor machines, and an upholstery cleaning tool, and you can expect to pay around 70.00 for the rental of the machine, upholstery tool, and cleaning chemicals.

car upholstery cleaningA popular machine for spot cleaning your carpets also has an upholstery attachment available. The Bissell Little Green ProHeat Machine is great for the occasional piece of furniture, cleaning car upholstery, and fantastic for spot cleaning small spills and spots on your carpets and rugs.

You can probably expect to pay around 70.00 for one of these. There is also a Bissell designed specifically for car upholstery cleaning called the “Bissell SpotClean Auto”, which costs around $100.00.

Wax On, Wax Off!

The old fashioned way to clean your furniture is to use a soft sponge and dry terry cloth towels. There are some people swear that only natural sponges work well, but I’ve found that the yellow sponges used for tile and grout installations work equally well. Using a high quality fabric shampoo mixed in a bucket of water, agitate the mix until you have a large volume of foam. Use the sponge to apply the foam only to your upholstery, and then immediately remove the foam and dry the fabric with your dry towels. Some folks will think of the Karate Kid movie where Ralph Machiato is told to wash and wax the car, “Wax On, Wax Off!”.

If you expect to clean your furniture frequently, or have a business like an office or theater with lots of chairs or couches to clean, you may wnt to consider a professional machine. One of the easiest to use and with a long history behind it’s name is the Von Schrader Host “Aridex” Upholstery Dry Cleaning Machine. It uses foam from a water based upholstery shampoo, and a powered brush head that gently scrubs the fabric with a rotating head. The shampoo is then vacuumed off leaving furniture that is clean and reay to use in 30 minutes to an hour.

If you are considering cleaning carpets as well, then you may want to check in with a local carpet cleaning supply to view a variety of machines from several different companies. Know too, that many of the cleaning supplies have used and refurbished upholstery cleaning machines for very reasonable prices.

How Much Does Upholstery Cleaning Cost?

Hiring a carpet and upholstery cleaning service to clean your sofa or chair usually starts at about $10.00 a foot length, and then the price is determined by soiling, the condition of the furniture, the type of material, and the difficulty and risks of cleaning the material or furniture.

I charge $15.00 a foot to clean most furniture, or around $105.00 for a normal 7 foot sofa, and $35 to $65 for a recliner or overstuffed chair.

Look for a company with experienced technicians, and be thankful if a technician or company turns you down if they don’t think that they can safely or satisfactorily clean your furniture. It will save you both lots of money, time, along with headaches and heartaches.

I hope this helps, feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and I’ll try to get back to you.