Upholstery cleaning

TimetoShine

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I have attached a couple images, if anybody saw these tags on a couch how would you clean it? I saw this and got the impression that it was to be dry cleaned only. So I just vacuumed it for the client and moved on. I would like to hear others thoughts and input on this situation.
 

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wandwizard

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I have attached a couple images, if anybody saw these tags on a couch how would you clean it? I saw this and got the impression that it was to be dry cleaned only. So I just vacuumed it for the client and moved on. I would like to hear others thoughts and input on this situation.
There are really very few upholstered fabrics where you really do have to dry clean them. Most labels, even the ones that state the Recommended Cleaning Instructions on it, are not reliable in most cases. I think there has been some trend the past few years at getting them more accurate, but in general they're pretty much useless so you need to know some things about upholstery cleaning or you can wind up buying somebody's expensive couch.

I can't see enough about that couch and would have to see it in person and perhaps do a burn test for fiber type and test for potential bleeding before I'd attempt to clean that one. I'd be willing to bet that is a VERY expensive piece of furniture and messing it up cold put you into hot water. The tag you showed that states fiber type is NOT the material you are cleaning. It is noteworthy that there are feathers listed. That means a flame retardant was likely used on the fabric as well and that is sometimes a problem. I really can't identify how I would personally clean it w/o seeing it and doing some due diligence testing. Most of my upholstery cleaning is either with a good upholstery prespray or a good fine fabric shampoo used with a sponge and I extract with both. I can tell you this, I would be EXTREMELY CAREFUL with that one to not over wet it or to go too crazy with aggressive agitation. Again, you mess it up you'll be paying for it. I would also want to get it dry with careful cleaning followed by fans. It might be really easy to clean for all I know. I've been cleaning upholstery since 1987 and I never dry clean upholstery period. Proper tools, cleaning method, and cleaning agents can wet clean just about any fabric with the possible exception of rayon/viscose which ALWAYS will be listed as an S code and it really means S only. Hopefully you'll rarely, if ever see one if you're lucky.
 
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mrotto

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How did you *get the impression* that it was dry clean only. Didnt see it on the tags.

Two reasons upholstery needs to be dry cleaned.

1. The fabric would shrink if cleaned with water
2. The dyes would bleed if cleaned with water.

It is rare to find a true dry clean only fabric. Tags may say dry clean only but testing shows that most upholstery with dry clean only tags are safe to clean with water. I have an article on the truck by Tom Hill (an industry expert) which explains all the details better than I can so when I run into this situation I just pull out the article for the customer. Otherwise they are taking my word for it and to have an article handy just supports what your trying to get across to them

As a sidenote, I have only run across 1 X tag in 40 years which indicates vacuum only, NO cleaning. Customer paid mucho dollars and was surprised when I told her. Guess the salesman left out that part!
 
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John Rockwood

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Agree with Paul. If you have a piece that your not sure of you could always test on the back.
If you're considering to wet/extract clean then simply turn pressure down to 200psi or less then keep the upholstery tool about 6" away and mist fiber then dry extract. If any unusual conditions appear they should be to a minimum. You could also put a fan to speed dry (this sometimes will show wrinkles in the fabric due to construction method (gives the appearance of delamination). Either way you should be able to correct.
I always educate the customer as to what I'm doing and why.

You could see if your local supplier has any upholstery cleaning classes coming up.
 

Darthmaeglin

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Agree with Paul. If you have a piece that your not sure of you could always test on the back.
If you're considering to wet/extract clean then simply turn pressure down to 200psi or less then keep the upholstery tool about 6" away and mist fiber then dry extract. If any unusual conditions appear they should be to a minimum. You could also put a fan to speed dry (this sometimes will show wrinkles in the fabric due to construction method (gives the appearance of delamination). Either way you should be able to correct.
I always educate the customer as to what I'm doing and why.

You could see if your local supplier has any upholstery cleaning classes coming up.
The main thing I'd be concerned about in this case (having seen nothing but the posted images) would be the feathers, which would not be in the back of the piece. Testing on the back is a good way to test the fibers, but sometimes the content of the cushioned parts can cause problems. Usually there's a similarly inconspicuous place, though, under or on the side of cushions.
 

John Rockwood

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The main thing I'd be concerned about in this case (having seen nothing but the posted images) would be the feathers, which would not be in the back of the piece. Testing on the back is a good way to test the fibers, but sometimes the content of the cushioned parts can cause problems. Usually there's a similarly inconspicuous place, though, under or on the side of cushions.
Correct but usually in order to cause problems of what you're talking about are caused by over wetting or getting overly aggressive followed by not enough extraction. BTW most construction has a latex membrane that keeps the cushion in shape and also provides some protection from moisture unless you are not paying attention to what you're doing.