TMF chemical question for upholstery | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

TMF chemical question for upholstery

Johnwick

New Member
Sep 28, 2019
12
2
1
Real Name
john wick
I'm starting an upholstery cleaning company this year and would like your opinion on:

1. What do I put in my solution tank? The acid rinse, all fiber rinse, or alkaline rinse?

(I have purchased rug smack, revive, and black label to use as pre sprays)

2. Which tmf spotters are safe for most synthetic fibers? Honestly I'm trying to stay away from cotton/ linen upholstery

3. What should I use as a post spray for water marks/ cellulosic Browning that's safe for upholstery?

Thanks guys and gals
 

Tom Forsythe

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2006
372
617
93
Salt lake City, UT
I would start with a class on cleaning upholstery. Learn two methods: low moisture and hot
water extraction. I have been amazed how much upholstery can be cleaned with a peroxide based encapsulant. Spray it on, brush with soft brush and towel it off. When using the extraction process you need to remember that there are a lot of cotton/polyester blends. I would always have a neutral upholstery pre-spray and an alkaline (10 pH) upholstery pre-spray on hand. When in doubt use the neutral pre-spray. Pre-test for dye bleed. Stay away from upholstery with nap except for microfiber. Spray the pre-spray on the fabric and agitate with a soft brush. Have an upholstery tool that channels water over the surface of the fabric rather than spraying directly on the fabric using an acid rinse. Protect with a highly repellent protector.
 
  • Like
Reactions: admin and Swani21

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
Premium VIP
Nov 12, 2008
8,554
3,342
113
Real Name
Randy Dockins
Business Location
United States
It's really a good idea starting out to at least take some kind of class to get the basics on upholstery. I've been cleaning it since my first year back in 1987, but I've had a few close calls. I'm gonna set your mind at ease and make you worry a little bit at the same time because you shouldn't take doing upholstery lightly. The chances of liability doing upholstery are far more than cleaning carpet. You may clean for years and never have a problem, but then one day you walk in and begin to clean something that you don't realize the potential problem and it takes a big chunk out of your rear end! So here's my advice:

1. Take the class ASAP. Learn the basics of fiber ID and how the potential problems happen and how to avoid them.
2. DO NOT make it a practice to use carpet cleaning presprays on upholstery. Yes you can get away with it on some upholstery, but use it one time on the wrong upholstery and you may wind up buying it.
3. I personally think it's pretty safe just to use an acid rinse for everything and that's the way I've handled it for years. A good acid rinse can help eliminate and prevent some of the common things that can go wrong with upholstery cleaning. I use Matrix All Fiber, but there are others just as good.
4. Know that most cleaning labels are pretty useless although I have seen some improvement in recent years. Most of them have to do with what type of cleaning agent will cause that fabric to bleed.
5. In addition to extraction, I strongly suggest you learn how to use a good fabric shampoo and a sponge. I normally use this on naturals or natural/synthetic mix along with extraction with my acid rinse. This is something I can't overemphasize and I wished I'd learned it when I started out.
6. Following proper procedures with proper chemistry will eliminate or prevent most of the things we worry about such as bleeding, shrinking, browning, etc. I've only seen one couch really bleed in over 30 years, but fabrics with really deep reds or other colors are ALWAYS a concern.
7. Spotting can be a challenge, particularly on natural fibers. If in doubt play safe. It is better NOT to get a stain out that the customer caused than to remove the color that YOU CAUSED. Be cautious of using strong peroxide products on prints and naturals if you don't know what you're doing. Under-promise and over-deliver. You WILL NOT save them all and you will not remove every single stain although most furniture will turn out great some will be a real challenge.
8. Don't get it too wet in the first place and leave it as dry as you can. Especially important if cleaning naturals!!! Use a low moisture upholstery tool. There are several good ones out there that really help make the job a lot easier and that alone can really make a difference in how the final job turns out.
 
Last edited:

Johnwick

New Member
Sep 28, 2019
12
2
1
Real Name
john wick
I would start with a class on cleaning upholstery. Learn two methods: low moisture and hot
water extraction. I have been amazed how much upholstery can be cleaned with a peroxide based encapsulant. Spray it on, brush with soft brush and towel it off. When using the extraction process you need to remember that there are a lot of cotton/polyester blends. I would always have a neutral upholstery pre-spray and an alkaline (10 pH) upholstery pre-spray on hand. When in doubt use the neutral pre-spray. Pre-test for dye bleed. Stay away from upholstery with nap except for microfiber. Spray the pre-spray on the fabric and agitate with a soft brush. Have an upholstery tool that channels water over the surface of the fabric rather than spraying directly on the fabric using an acid rinse. Protect with a highly repellent protector.
Thank you for your input I've worked at a company for 3 years and they use hot water extraction. They use a neutral cleaning solution and water based upholstery solvent. Also they use a peroxide spray for water marking. What's the peroxide encap you use?

It's really a good idea starting out to at least take some kind of class to get the basics on upholstery. I've been cleaning it since my first year back in 1987, but I've had a few close calls. I'm gonna set your mind at ease and make you worry a little bit at the same time because you shouldn't take doing upholstery lightly. The chances of liability doing upholstery are far more than cleaning carpet. You may clean for years and never have a problem, but then one day you walk in and begin to clean something that you don't realize the potential problem and it takes a big chunk out of your rear end! So here's my advice:

1. Take the class ASAP. Learn the basics of fiber ID and how the potential problems happen and how to avoid them.
2. DO NOT make it a practice to use carpet cleaning presprays on upholstery. Yes you can get away with it on some upholstery, but use it one time on the wrong upholstery and you may wind up buying it.
3. I personally think it's pretty safe just to use an acid rinse for everything and that's the way I've handled it for years. A good acid rinse can help eliminate and prevent some of the common things that can go wrong with upholstery cleaning. I use Matrix All Fiber, but there are others just as good.
4. Know that most cleaning labels are pretty useless although I have seen some improvement in recent years. Most of them have to do with what type of cleaning agent will cause that fabric to bleed.
5. In addition to extraction, I strongly suggest you learn how to use a good fabric shampoo and a sponge. I normally use this on naturals or natural/synthetic mix along with extraction with my acid rinse. This is something I can't overemphasize and I wished I'd learned it when I started out.
6. Following proper procedures with proper chemistry will eliminate or prevent most of the things we worry about such as bleeding, shrinking, browning, etc. I've only seen one couch really bleed in over 30 years, but fabrics with really deep reds or other colors are ALWAYS a concern.
7. Spotting can be a challenge, particularly on natural fibers. If in doubt play safe. It is better NOT to get a stain out that the customer caused than to remove the color that YOU CAUSED. Be cautious of using strong peroxide products on prints and naturals if you don't know what you're doing. Under-promise and over-deliver. You WILL NOT save them all and you will not remove every single stain although most furniture will turn out great some will be a real challenge.
8. Don't get it too wet in the first place and leave it as dry as you can. Especially important if cleaning naturals!!! Use a low moisture upholstery tool. There are several good ones out there that really help make the job a lot easier.
Thank you for reaching out. I've used only hot water extraction, and haven't used a sponge and shampoo before. I was considering buying Rob's acid rinse. Are there any products here on the forum you recommend?
 

Ed Cruz

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2013
4,646
1,933
113
40
CT
Real Name
Ed Cruz
I would start with a class on cleaning upholstery. Learn two methods: low moisture and hot
water extraction. I have been amazed how much upholstery can be cleaned with a peroxide based encapsulant. Spray it on, brush with soft brush and towel it off. When using the extraction process you need to remember that there are a lot of cotton/polyester blends. I would always have a neutral upholstery pre-spray and an alkaline (10 pH) upholstery pre-spray on hand. When in doubt use the neutral pre-spray. Pre-test for dye bleed. Stay away from upholstery with nap except for microfiber. Spray the pre-spray on the fabric and agitate with a soft brush. Have an upholstery tool that channels water over the surface of the fabric rather than spraying directly on the fabric using an acid rinse. Protect with a highly repellent protector.
I’ve been getting great results encapping upholstery with peroxide encaps also. Only thing about encapping upholstery is when dry the fabric is not as soft as with water extraction unless you dampen your towel or bonnet with water or an acid rinse which seems to help.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rob allen

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
Premium VIP
Nov 12, 2008
8,554
3,342
113
Real Name
Randy Dockins
Business Location
United States
Thank you for your input I've worked at a company for 3 years and they use hot water extraction. They use a neutral cleaning solution and water based upholstery solvent. Also they use a peroxide spray for water marking. What's the peroxide encap you use?



Thank you for reaching out. I've used only hot water extraction, and haven't used a sponge and shampoo before. I was considering buying Rob's acid rinse. Are there any products here on the forum you recommend?
I think the items are pretty clearly labeled for the intended use. I'm used to using other products. I have only used TMF products that are for carpet and I have used the TMF acid rinse products. Btw, all fiber rinses are acid side rinses. I'm looking at an ad for Rob's Ultimate Fiber Rinse that I'm sure would be a good choice for upholstery work as your final rinse. Btw, it's not realistic to avoid natural fibers. There's just too much of it out there and many fabrics are blended. Just learn proper procedure and use the right chems and chances are you won't have a problem. Naturals definitely can be more of a challenge though if they're really hammered or heavily stained. Using a good upholstery shampoo is a really valuable tool that can really make your life a lot easier. I almost always either use a good upholstery prespray on synthetics and mainly use shampoo with a sponge on naturals or blends. Either method can be employed on both. I simply decide which one I want to use that will get me the desired result in the safest and most efficient way.
 

Johnwick

New Member
Sep 28, 2019
12
2
1
Real Name
john wick
I think the items are pretty clearly labeled for the intended use. I'm used to using other products. I have only used TMF products that are for carpet and I have used the TMF acid rinse products. Btw, all fiber rinses are acid side rinses. I'm looking at an ad for Rob's Ultimate Fiber Rinse that I'm sure would be a good choice for upholstery work as your final rinse. Btw, it's not realistic to avoid natural fibers. There's just too much of it out there and many fabrics are blended. Just learn proper procedure and use the right chems and chances are you won't have a problem. Naturals definitely can be more of a challenge though if they're really hammered or heavily stained. Using a good upholstery shampoo is a really valuable tool that can really make your life a lot easier. I almost always either use a good upholstery prespray on synthetics and mainly use shampoo with a sponge on naturals or blends. Either method can be employed on both. I simply decide which one I want to use that will get me the desired result in the safest and most efficient way.
Solid advice. Yeah, you're certainly right about avoiding natural and Nat blends. The company I was working for didnt really do well on linen and cotton fabrics.. we wouldnt screw anything up, it just never cleaned up well . I'll certainly take a class
 

Fedri

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2015
3,780
2,060
113
Mississauga Canada
Real Name
Fedri Irsat
I'm starting an upholstery cleaning company this year and would like your opinion on:

1. What do I put in my solution tank? The acid rinse, all fiber rinse, or alkaline rinse?

(I have purchased rug smack, revive, and black label to use as pre sprays)

2. Which tmf spotters are safe for most synthetic fibers? Honestly I'm trying to stay away from cotton/ linen upholstery

3. What should I use as a post spray for water marks/ cellulosic Browning that's safe for upholstery?

Thanks guys and gals
Just like the guys here have recommended to take a class to learn the basics like what to watch out for then clean your upholstery and family friends and slowly start. In the past before I took the upholstery class I messed up 2x high end $ 6000 cotton upholstery and didn't know how to fix it, luckily they never called me back lol. I have realized it at the class that most likely it was browning and most likely it is fixable by going back and rinsing it with low ph at the same time I have worked as a sub contractor for a company that deals only with upholstery and learned a lot. It is not that easy and and it is not that hard either, it just takes time and knowledge.
 

Latest posts