Have you ever wondered how professionals manage to clean upholstery so well? In this post, you will find out. We discuss how they achieve such spotless results and, critically, how you can emulate them.
Step 1: Thoroughly vacuum
The first step is to evaluate the upholstery to determine the appropriate cleaning method. Most upholstery is made of synthetic fibres and fabrics, which means that it is relatively easy to clean. Professionals can clean it with hot water and detergents. However, some fabric types may require dry cleaning.
If wet cleaning, the first step is to vacuum the upholstery thoroughly. Vacuuming removes top dust and improves cleaning efficiency later on.
How much vacuuming you require depends on the material type. Some fabrics are highly porous, meaning that they easily incorporate dust from the atmosphere. Others are less porous and, therefore, allow fewer particles to penetrate.
Step 2: Wash cycle
The next step is to perform the wash cycle. To do this, professionals first lay down protective sheeting underneath the upholstery and then spray with a pre-conditioner. The solution breaks down and emulsifies ground-in soils (such as skin oil).
The next step is to agitate the fabric with an upholstery shampoo using a soft brush. The upholstery shampoo assists the pre-spray to function and loosens up more of the soils. It’s essentially the same process as clothes washers go through: pre-rinse and then wash.
Step 3: Rinse
After that, professionals rinse the upholstery. This step flushes out all of the cleaning agents and any freshly-loosened soils.
This step can be done manually. However, most professional upholstery cleaners use a specialist rinsing tool. This looks similar to a regular vacuum but has a nozzle on the end for delivering water and rinsing solution.
As professionals draw the tool across upholstery, it loosens and removes particles and cleaning chemicals. The result is fresh, soft-feeling fabric that often looks several shades lighter than it started.
Professionals will typically perform more rinsing on horizontal than vertical surfaces. That’s because horizontal surfaces tend to accumulate more dust over time. At this stage, the upholstery should smell fresh.
Step 4: Apply protector
Professional upholstery cleaners will often apply solvent-based upholstery protectors after washing. The purpose of these is to create a water- and stain-repellent layer on your fabrics to create a barrier against odors, sun fading, spills and stains.
There are a wide variety of fabric protectors available, each of which offers slightly different types of protection. Some, for instance, specialise in protecting against water infiltration while others are for specific applications, such as car interiors or outdoor upholstery.
Professionals, such as Couch Masters, will always use the type of protector most suited to your application.
Step 5: Allow to dry
The final step is to dry the upholstery. Since the washing process does not saturate the material, professionals will typically let upholstery dry naturally. They will then tell customers how long they need to wait before using their upholstery again before they leave.