Pre-spray+general cleaning solution foe upholstery(confused!)

Yura

New Member
Mar 19, 2020
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Iurii Pankovskyi
Hi guys, I just started the furniture(upholstery) cleaning business and trying to figure out all information about the chemicals to use.
I've read a lot of information before but still some things make me confused, hope for a help to make it clear.
As far as I know the upholstary cleaning process goes in such way:
1) depending on fabric we chose delicate or harder solutions.
2) pre-spray heavy soiled areas(if such exist) with Pre-spray solution + agitate with brush. If no hard areas we skip this step. (?)
3) cleaning the rest of the area with main cleaning solution(not so strong like pre-spray)
For example at the moment I often use Enz All as a pre-spray for hard areas, then spray formula 90 or Karcher RM960 on all the remaining area, then brush/rinse.

Considering all this I have few questions:

1) I am a bit confused Looking at TMF shop I see that most upholstary solutions like Revive and Black label are called Pre-spray, meaning I can only use them for pre-spraying hard areas, but I don't see any solutions for main cleaning, do they mean to use, the same solution(Pre-spray) for main cleaning too but less concentrated or how?

2) What about cleaning the delicate fabrics like silk etc? Do I understand right there that delicates are afraid of acid or alkile so I don't use any pre-sprays or strong solutions and no metter how dirty it is, the only choice I have is using some neutral foam shampoo like RSF cotton shampoo + agitatation then extraction?

Thanks!
 

Yura

New Member
Mar 19, 2020
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Iurii Pankovskyi
Hi

We do hundreds of upholstery and sofa cleaning projects every year. We have two types of pre-spray:

Craftex Traffic Lane Cleaner PH 7
Craftex Traffic Lane Cleaner PH 12

We use the first one for sensitive and coloured fibres and the second one for all other types of materials. Dilution 1 to 100. Pre-spray the sofa with the solution (warm water), wait 5 min, scrub well with a semi hard brush & wash and extract the whole sofa with Craftex Advanced Formula Fabric Cleaner. Job done.

Blood, food, enzymes, inks, rust, etc, will require treatments with solvent stain remover. We usually use Craftex Alco Spot or Craftex Citrus Booster.

In America you probablly use diferent brands but more or less the same steps. It is essential to don`t use strong pre-sprays on sensitive fibres.
Hi, I am not from USA, I am from Europe, Ukraine. Thanks for the answer, will check those names, never heard of them.
 

Yura

New Member
Mar 19, 2020
29
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Real Name
Iurii Pankovskyi
Craftex is a great brand of carpet cleaning products available in UK and Ireland. In your area you can probablly get Prochem or some similar brand.
We have only wide range of chemspec, all the rest is almost not presented here, but not a problem to order from US ok UK even if they ship locally.
 

Yura

New Member
Mar 19, 2020
29
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Real Name
Iurii Pankovskyi
You look like a smart dude

If those products are not available in your area, why dont you sell it? Sofa/carpet cleaning can make you a bit of money but having the licence to sell Craftex & Prochem in Ukraine is a totally diferent business man.

Just contact craftex UK and they will help you out
sounds not bad, thanks for ideas)
 

sbsscn

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Sep 17, 2009
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When it comes to upholstery cleaning Education helps you tremendously!
But till you get classes Ill try to help as simply as possible.

1st thing to do when choosing how to cleaning a fiber or fabric is :

1: Fiber Identification
Identifying a fiber and knowing its cleaning and handling characteristic will save you from nightmares and paying your client instead of them paying you.

Every fiber has a different characteristic, some are similar but proper identifying them will relax you and even give you confidence which can easily be reflected to your client.

I I identify fibers to help me avoid problems and give myself a cushion with a customer.
If I meet a customer that is very sensitive or has a sentimental attachment to a upholstery piece, this is where identifying a fiber makes you a hero and gains their trust almost immediately. I cannot tell you how many times I've identified the fiber and almost in a blink of an eye do people react with " wow, whats that you're doing?" or "No one ever did that!"
I identifying a fiber is not the only thing to do, its just part of it. Understanding the science, chemistry, customer service skill and being able to communicate to a customer will also help you relax and also help them decide its you they trust.Many times I have heard "You are more expensive but I can tell that you know what youre doing and You are SO professional!" and no its no myth these are comments that I receive. They feel great!
Plus I get to understand their mindset.

2: Communicate
As a professional you are expected to know, and understand why and what direction to go and to lead your customer. If you know how to identify the fiber and know what fibers are problematic then You should/Need to communicate and be completely honest and never ignore your experience and wisdom. I never over promise instead I am honest and under promise. If you know full well that a particular fiber has a high risk of damage then you should tell your client and be able to explain why.
So many times do I communicate with the client and explain the situation, When they only care about cleanliness and not aesthetic. Then you no longer feel the pressure. You warn/inform them, document it and have them sign a waiver/disclaimer agreement.
Part of communication is asking questions and answering them. Asking questions such as are there pets? children? age of item, and origin of soil will make choosing direction to go becomes clear.

3: Once you identify the fiber and communicate all possible issue or risks, then the cleaning begins.

4: Cleaning
Pre vacuum, pre vacuum and Pre vacuum!
This step is soooooooooo Important. Anything that your upholstery will touch Must be prevacuumed.

Depending on the type of fiber you are dealing with and the type of soil will determine what type of arsenal youll be using.

Cellulose fibers should not be over wet. Avoiding over wetting them or expose them to a high PH detergent. Otherwise you raise the risk for cellulose browning ( you really need to know the science/chemistry why this occurs) although you could you a strong spotter to treat a spot, you still should know the risks associated with the actions you take and communicating this to your client.

However if you are dealing with a fiber that has a strong chemical resistance then you dont worry too much about color loss or cellulose browning.

Do understand that there are about 12 or more fibers that are used in upholstery fabric manufacturing. and although you might notice one fiber being popupalr compare to others , YOU should still be aware and familiar with them.

there are

Synthetic fibers

Natural fibers have 2 groups :
Cellulose and Protein.

And Regenerated fibers.

And thats not all

not only should you know what the fabric is made of (which is the Fiber)but you will also know how its woven (Construction/fabric) Fabric this not mean Fiber.
Microfiber is not a fiber
Suede is not a fiber
Velvet is Not a fiber
Moire is not a fiber'
Corduroy is not a fiber

During the first week of the shut down I did a project that the client wanted 8 piece of furniture and 5 area rugs cleaned. Most of the furniture was made of a cellulose fiber,
1 a synthetic (nylon). 2 pieces (a large 2 seat cushioned sofa, and 1 large 1 seat love seat sofa) both are a matching set along with a bench but a blended fiber, rayon & cotton. To make matters interesting they had embossed leafs on them and with a very bright color red and in some areas had a crushed look.....oh And Velvet.
I knew exactly what they were in fiber, and construction. I was honest and explained to them my findings and asked them questions. One was why they wanted it cleaned? and when was the last cleaning service? would they be willing to consider an alternate form of cleaning up to including dry soil removal only. They wanted HWE, not dry or low moisture or even power vacuuming. I explained the possible consequence. The leafs would be at a high risk of disappearing, I assured them the cleaning of the soil would not be an issue, the result of the cleaning would more than likely cause the loss of the embossed leafs. The husband didnt mind loosing the leafs, but the wife did. I put no pressure instead asked to continue with the onsite consultation/pre inspection and that they should think about it and let me know at the end. They ended asking me to test a section I really was against it so they offered a bench cushion as a sample. But when I looke at the cushion I asked if anything had ever spilled on it and they said yes, they spilled water or some sort of drink. Well the water had actually erased a portion of the embossed leaf and they didnt like it, they wondered why it looked so different through the years. Since they never had anyone clean any of the items it was a complete shock!

This client is a multi oscar award winning individual and they were both super impressed with my professionalism (all credit and glory to God) they hired me and I cleaned 1 large velvet sofa 1 area rug (onsite) 3 arm chairs, 1 rocker, 1 ottoman, and one 6x9 area rug offsite. Made a good sale and they are super happy, they even took photos.\

Sorry for the long post but
My advice and opinion to you is take your time and dont just do research get educated

IICRC in my opinion is awesome some wont agree and I respect that.
I do respect Rob and I am happy to encourage you consider getting some education through him.

Hope fully he also covers history, science, chemistry and construction besides the labor(how to) side
 
Last edited:

sbsscn

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2009
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Real Name
Arm Ben
Business Location
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Also learn the chemistry side and that itself will help you decide what to use as substitute.
But I would not recommend you using Enz all on everything. On 100% polypropylene but not on blended fibers, and You Must neutralize ( and should understand the science/chemistry of rinsing and neutralizing
 
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