Sofa Cleaning: Debunking Common Myths
Myths and misconceptions have proliferated across every niche of the cleaning industry, and sofa cleaning has not been left behind. There are plenty of half-truths and outright lies that are perpetuated across the board. Following them can cost one anything from peace of mind, to time and even money that will be spent in rectifying damages made. Here is a look at some of them:
- Dry cleaning is always ideal
This is probably because of the fact that most problems associated with cleaning sofas are often associated with wet methods. From colour bleeding, fabric shrinkage to distortion of the texture- these occur when wet processes and systems are used, and it’s so common that people may choose to avoid the water-based solutions altogether. Well, problems are caused by not following the appropriate processes when handling the products and machinery for the process. This is why these cases are prevalent amongst the DIY enthusiasts, and the rookie companies where there is inadequate skill and experience involved. What’s more, dry cleaning is not necessarily safe for the sofa. The wrong solvents on a fabric upholstery will damage it, especially due to chemical reactions on the fibres. All sofa cleaning products should be tested before application, to ensure that they are safe for the particular unit.
Understanding the different fabric types of your sofa
Even when hiring professional sofa cleaning services, you should still be well versed with some of the basics regarding your soda. One of this is the types of cleaning methods that are allowed for the particular upholstery. This is come in handy when selecting the service that you will hire, to ensure that you’re dealing with cleaners who will not damage your unit. The sofa comes with tags, where the manufacturer has indicated additional maintenance information about the unit. This information is in code form, such as:
O – Here, the upholstery is made of organic material. This is usually cleaned with only water.
W – For these fabrics, they can be cleaned with water.
S – This means that a solvent is required for the cleaning, or a dry-cleaning solution. Water should not be used.
WS – Here, either water or the solvent can be used.
X – The materials with this label are highly delicate, and the cleaning methods that are generally allowed are simply vacuuming or brushing the sofa. To deal with the staining and stubborn dirt, professional services will be required.
- The hotter the water is, the better the sofa cleaning process
Here, the logic is that since materials like polyester and olefin release the oily soils when worked on with hot cleaning solutions, cranking things higher will make the process more efficient. The hot water does speed up the cleaning process, reducing the reliance on the alkaline detergents that would pose a risk of fading or colour bleeding. However, when the water gets too hot, problems will crop up. For instance, with the non-colourfast fabrics, the really hot water will contribute to colour bleeding, hence it is recommended that the water is used when it is just warm. For materials like the synthetic velvet upholsteries, the sudden rise in temperature – especially when one is working with poorly tuned heating systems can result in distortion of the fabric. Here, warm water that is held at a consistent temperature is preferred, as opposed to extremely hot water.
- Frequent cleaning ruins the upholstery
Again, this only happens when the wrong procedure or harsh chemicals are used. For instance, intense scrubbing can fray the fibres of the upholstery. However, the professional and experienced sofa cleaning teams will not use these methods. Abrasive products, incompatible cleaning agents- these are avoided. The key is taking approaches that are tough on the stains and dirt spots, but gentle on the upholstery itself. Focus shifts to getting a company that is up to the task. This brings us to the next myth:
- Sofa cleaning companies are the same
After all, they have one job, right? Wrong. Just as any other industry, the companies providing the services operate differently- from the work ethic, the products and systems used, to the standards that you can expect from them. When hiring a sofa cleaning company, there are aspects that you should consider. Firstly, how long has it been in business? While this doesn’t negate on the value that start-ups play on the scene, considering the amount of experience that a company has gives you an idea of what can be expected from it. In fact, the longer that a company has been in operation, the more the reviews and references it will have for you to scrutinize, in order to give you an impression of how it runs its business. Then there is the type of equipment that the company works with, and the solutions that are used. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of approaches to the upholstery cleaning process: dry and wet cleaning. With these, aspects such as the eco-friendly nature of the products being used, their certifications on safety and the compatibility with the natural and synthetic upholsteries also comes into focus. Getting a detailed explanation of how the personnel intend to work on your sofa will enable you to make a well-informed decision.
When it comes to pricing, going for the absolute lowest prices is setting yourself up for headaches and frustrations. It means that you will likely be dealing with a company that takes shortcuts, inexperienced personnel, or are about to find yourself bedevilled with incompetence, which will force you to dig deeper into your wallet to remedy the situation. On the other hand, if you’re given a really high price, it will be worth your while to cast your net wider and search for more companies, to compare what is being offered. Remember that, ‘Price is what you pay, value is what you get’. In addition, the company that you’re looking into should be insured. Industry best practices require that businesses offering the sofa cleaning services should have insurance coverage to protect the property of their clients, plus provide workers compensation case of an accident.