Archive for Upholstery cleaning tips

Why Carpet Cleaning needs to be part of Spring Cleaning Routine

Children playing on clean carpetSpring is known throughout history and in most cultures as a time for purification, renewal and rejuvenation.   Aside from all the religious and pagan rituals citing spring as a time for purification, health should be a main reason for having your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned.

After being cooped up with winters accumulating soil and germs it’s finally time to open the windows and let in some fresh air.   Carpeted floors and upholstered furniture all act like large air filters collecting any particulate soil that comes floating by.    Rugs, carpets and entry mats are considered the lungs of the house as most nasty allergy causing agents and other contaminants fall to the lowest point.   Studies have shown that inside air can be 5 times more toxic than outside air.

In addition to making your expensive home interior investments just look clean remember this; hair sprays, perfumes, common dirt, germs, spills, winter slush and other nasty substances have gathered and nested in your textiles for the last few months.   It’s time to remove these potentially harmful materials for an effective and healthy “spring cleaning”.

Choosing a true and trained cleaning professional can ensure a deeper cleaning and properly filtered equipment to eliminate soils from becoming airborne again while using safer and more effective cleaning solutions.   Just think of the cost of renting or purchasing a DIY carpet cleaner, the gas to get there, purchasing the detergents and selecting the proper carpet and fabric protectors and other specialty agents.   Then you still need to move the furniture and do the cleaning.  Hiring a reputable carpet cleaning company will actually save you time, money and aggravation in the long run while getting better results.  

On the subject of fabric upholstery, a thorough dry vacuuming is your first line of defense.   But it is important to make sure your vacuum cleaner is not blowing the soil back into the air.   Truck mounted cleaning systems have their vacuums located externally and therefore all soils are safely removed and collected outside the home.   If you decide to shampoo the furniture yourself make yourself aware of the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for cleaning.   Always check for the following codes as they each represent a recommended cleaning method;

  • “X” – Vacuum Only
  • “W” –  Wet Clean
  • “S” – Dry Clean
  • “W/S” – Wet or Dry Clean

Make carpet and upholstery cleaning an important part of your spring program.   Clean for health as well as aesthetics.    Above all read your manufacturer’s warranty and always follow their recommendations.

My Upholstered Furniture has Fuzzy Balls known as “Pilling”, can this be Cleaned?

Pilling on fabric upholsteryFuzzy looking balls that appear on the surface of fabric upholstery are a condition known as “pilling”.   Pilling can happen to the most expensive fabric as well as the cheapest.   Usually pilling cannot be cleaned away but may be the result of improper cleaning along with other factors.   Have no fear though, there is a way to fix the problem and spruce up the appearance of your furniture.

Most mass produced fabrics and textiles are woven on mechanical looms where individual yarns are intertwined horizontally and vertically.  One set of yarns are called the “Weft” and one set are called the “Warp”.   Normally the weft yarns are a set of threads running a pattern through the warp yarns.   Pilling usually occurs when tightly strung warp yarns snap and twist into knots.    Breakage of these yarns may not be noticeable except for the pilling but certain weaves may reveal inconsistencies.  

Barber's electric shearsAlthough carpet and upholstery cleaners may not be able to clean these little “pills” away, a true professional can easily remove them using an electric barber’s shears.   When attempting this procedure it is important to always first pre-test in an inconspicuous location.   Simply shave across the surface of the problem area moving slowly and checking that more damage is not being created.   There are some “DIY” pill removers for clothing and furniture on the market; however they may not be readily available or aggressive enough to tackle the job.   A fresh and clean set of electric trimmers can efficiently and effectively be used while reducing damage from pulling and snagging.

Again, pilling is usually not correct by cleaning or washing.   I highly advise that you DO NOT remove cushion covers and place them in a washing machine as some other methods suggest.   Seat cushions may shrink and distort.   When washed separate the cushions might not match or may look cleaner than the other components of the furniture.

When deciding which fabric is the best choice for your home or office in Northeast Pennsylvania, consult the experts at Fierros Fine Furniture of Hazleton, www.http://fierrofurniturestore.com.      When considering hiring a “Certified IICRC Upholstery Cleaner”, request a free estimate by email from Services Etcetera Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning.

How to Properly Clean and Care for Velvet Upholstery

Velvet upholstered chairThe term “Velvet” refers to a smooth, woven tufted fabric which is traditionally made from Silk.   Other fibers such as cotton, wool, rayon, polyester and nylon can also used.   Constructed using special looms, the local carpet cleaner offering furniture and upholstery cleaning may not fully understand “how to clean Velvet Upholstery”.

Always consult any tags or instructions that have come with your furniture, they may contain special codes such as “X”, “W”, “S” or “S/W”.    This information corresponds to the recommended cleaning method, i.e., vacuum only, wet, dry or both wet/dry.

For routine cleaning and care Velvet should be gently brushed in the direction of the nap, lifting the pile with a fine bristle upholstery brush, vacuumed and then dusted with a soft cloth to remove any remaining fuzz.   Brushing the face at 90 degree angles and finishing in the direction of the nap should remove distortions and restore some of the appeal. Upholstery brush used for grooming fine upholstery and fabric

Velvet is susceptible to crushing and pile distortion so pay careful attention especially when vacuuming.   Swirling air from vacuuming rarely causes a permanent distortion on the sides of upholstery cleaning tools, but care should be taken to test a small area first.

When cleaning fresh spills, try to shake off most of the liquid if possible.   Avoid “crushing” the area by using a white towel to absorb the spot rather than blotting.   Spots, spills and stains that have been absorbed or allowed to dry require a more thorough inspection of the problem.   You can try mixing a few drops of mild detergent in a bowl of water and brush the foam on the area with a dry white cloth.  You can also try a dry cleaning solution and gently dab the spot with a towel and always follow the directions provided.

I highly suggest that velvet fabrics made from natural fibers be cleaned by a professional upholstery cleaning company.   An IICRC certified cleaning technician should carry a full complement of brushes, groomers, towels, sponges, cleaning solutions and equipment.   Residents of Northeast PA with questions about caring for fine furnishings can contact Services Etcetera Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, an IICRC Certified Textile Cleaning Firm based in Hazleton.

What you need to know about the Cleanup of Tear Gas

With the increased illegal drug dealing and crime activity here in Northeast Pennsylvania, especially in Hazleton PA, landlords and property managers are being subjected to damage and clean up from tear gas used by the Police and other law enforcement agencies.   This noxious substance can continue to cause problems even after months of its deployment without proper clean up.

One problem with teargas is that it doesn’t go away and will continue to off gas and cause respiratory issues and nasal, eye and mouth irritation.   There are several different types of tear gas currently used in the United States with each having its own characteristics and methods for cleaning.   The most common types of tear gas are CN, CS and CR.

These products irritate mucous membranes and are not a single product.   They are comprised of multiple compounds and cause coughing, pain, tearing eyes, sneezing and temporary blindness.   It’s important to know which type you are dealing with as “CN” is more toxic, requiring additional precautions.    Proper cleaning of CN should include the use of carbon filters for odor absorption, adequate ventilation and maintaining a room temperature of about 100 degrees (F).

When dealing with the “CS” type the rooms need to be kept cool to avoid spreading the gas.   CS is usually yellow in color, a fine powder, combined with a propylene glycol-based liquid and dispersed into the air.   A thorough vacuuming with proper ventilation and filtration needs to be performed.

“CR” gas is a possible carcinogen but considered less toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin.   More powerful than the CS kind, CR is used less widely.

Other things to consider when you encounter this type of situation are the use of Personal Protective Equipment such as respirators, protective clothing and skin creams.   Sealing off and or cleaning of the HVAC system is a good idea too.

When cleaning and deodorizing the fabrics, area rugs, furniture and carpet, call Services Etcetera Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning for a free assessment at www.procleaner.biz.    Serving Berwick PA, Hazleton PA, Mountaintop PA, the Pocono Mountains and surrounding areas, we are an IICRC certified firm in “Odor Control” with Journeyman Textile Cleaners on staff.

With the increased illegal drug dealing and crime activity here in Northeast Pennsylvania, especially in Hazleton PA, landlords and property managers are being subjected to damage and clean up from tear gas used by the Police and other law enforcement agencies.   This noxious substance can continue to cause problems even after months of its deployment without proper clean up.

One problem with teargas is that it doesn’t go away and will continue to off gas and cause respiratory issues and nasal, eye and mouth irritation.   There are several different types of tear gas currently used in the United States with each having its own characteristics and methods for cleaning.   The most common types of tear gas are CN, CS and CR.

These products irritate mucous membranes and are not a single product.   They are comprised of multiple compounds and cause coughing, pain, tearing eyes, sneezing and temporary blindness.   It’s important to know which type you are dealing with as “CN” is more toxic, requiring additional precautions.    Proper cleaning of CN should include the use of carbon filters for odor absorption, adequate ventilation and maintaining a room temperature of about 100 degrees (F).

When dealing with the “CS” type the rooms need to be kept cool to avoid spreading the gas.   CS is usually yellow in color, a fine powder, combined with a propylene glycol-based liquid and dispersed into the air.   A thorough vacuuming with proper ventilation and filtration needs to be performed.

“CR” gas is a possible carcinogen but considered less toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin.   More powerful than the CS kind, CR is used less widely.

Other things to consider when you encounter this type of situation are the use of Personal Protective Equipment such as respirators, protective clothing and skin creams.   Sealing off and or cleaning of the HVAC system is a good idea too.

When cleaning and deodorizing the fabrics, area rugs, furniture and carpet, call Services Etcetera Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning for a free assessment at www.procleaner.biz.    Serving Berwick PA, Hazleton PA, Mountaintop PA, the Pocono Mountains and surrounding areas, we are an IICRC certified firm in “Odor Control” with Journeyman Textile Cleaners on staff.

Hints and Tips for Cleaning Dye Stains from Carpet and Upholstery

While working in Mountain Top, PA last week I was presented with a fabric upholstered ottoman which I determined to be a cotton blend.   The customer’s son had broken a Halloween toy containing a red dye causing a 3 inch diameter red stain on the top of the stool.  

After inspecting the piece thoroughly, the customer decided to just have me try to just clean the stain at her home.   Having explained my concerns about what may have leaked underneath and into the cushion, I preceded to the process of cleaning.

My concern was that the unseen dye in the cushion may wick back up into the fabric during the drying process.   Fabrics and upholstery usually dry toward the surface where there is air movement.   Remaining soils and liquids are drawn from behind and may re-soil the area.

After working the spot for about 20 minutes, I dried the spot the best I could and everything looked OK.   I packed up and went home expecting the phone to ring the next morning.   Sure thing, the customer called to explain that her husband came home from work and prior to going to bed for the night commented that I had done a very nice job.   However the next morning the spot had returned.

red stain which returned after cleaning

Sometimes it’s not always what’s on the face of the fabric or carpet that’s cause for concern.   Spills and soils that have breached the back of the textile being cleaned require special attention.   In some case it is necessary to peel back the carpet or upholstery and treat the hidden damage underneath.  

We did re-clean the furnishing at our shop where we were able to control the drying time.    We did not have to remove the fabric, the red spot was removed and the customer satisfied.  In some cases simply drying the area may work for a while but the humidity of summer could re-activate the original problem.