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What Are The Secrets of Sofa Cleaning?
Many people try to find the easiest or fastest way to clean a sofa, but this is not the best way. It’s simple – some sofas are easy to clean, others require more effort. And different upholstery needs to be handled in different ways. So the right question is really, “How can I clean my sofa most effectively?”
Check what materials the sofa is made of
First of all, DO NOT attempt to clean a sofa without knowing what fabric or fiber blends you are dealing with. It’s very easy to ruin your upholstery beyond salvation. The best thing you can do is look for a cleaning code. This should be placed on a sticker that should be placed on the frame under the couch cushions. Manufacturers are not required by law to put such a code on their furniture, so yours may not have one.
If you do, read it carefully. Somewhere at the bottom of the sticker will be one of the 4 codes:
“W” – short for wet or water. You can safely apply moisture.
“S” – stands for solvents only. Dry cleaning only, NO WATER!
“S/W” stands for dry foam. It’s safer than S, but it’s better not to risk it and go to dry cleaning.
“X” – indicates vacuuming only. Do not attempt to wash alone. This is a very rare code.
If there is no code sticker, it is better to entrust the selection of the most suitable cleaning procedure to a professional. Cleaning upholstered furniture is a delicate task. There is no universal method for cleaning all types of furniture. The material will determine which treatment will work best and how well it will clean the particular stain or stain. Remember that being spotless doesn’t always mean you’ll look good after the procedure. Explain your exact visible expectations to the technician before starting the cleaning. Ask for a test point, they do it for free. If you are not satisfied with the result, do not waste money and refuse the procedure. Unfortunately, the truth is that some materials cannot be completely cleaned after some use.
Clean your sofa yourself
If you can’t find a code, feel the fabric with your hand. If it is smooth, almost silky, dry cleaning is the safest. These fabrics tend to be more decorative and slightly shiny. If the upholstery feels thicker or plusher (like car seat upholstery fabric), there’s a good chance you can steam clean it. When in doubt, test an invisible area with a few drops of water. Most dry-cleaned fabrics are non-absorbent and repel liquid. Water treatment of dry-cleaned upholstery can cause color loss or bleeding, shrinkage or water stains (yellowish or brownish rings, such as when a child wets the bed. Most liquid-based rings are called water stains). Once they appear, water stains are most often permanent. There is another good way to check the upholstery. If there are already water stains on the material, it is probably dry cleaning. DO NOT USE WET METHOD. Water stains may appear on some upholstery within a few minutes or even a few hours. If you think your sofa upholstery is of the dry clean type, it is not recommended to attempt it alone. In general, dry textile detergent is only good for surface dirt. For old stains and real visible differences, it is quite ineffective. Dry-cleaned upholstery fabrics do not absorb water, so they do not clean well even when moisture is applied. Your options are limited with such materials.
If you decide that your sofa is suitable for steam cleaning, you’re in luck. You can rent one or use your own portable steam cleaner, but professional equipment does a better job. Using about 300 psi but no more than 400 psi is optimal. However, a smaller portable stem cleaner can only achieve pressure around 100 psi. Do not use a lot of detergent. If it is foam or soap based, it will leave an undesirable residue or film on the material. In a short time, the residue will quickly attract dirt and can stiffen the upholstery a bit. Steam cleaning (which is actually extremely hot water at very high pressure) breaks up and removes dust and dirt, so the added detergent doesn’t matter as much. Go over the entire couch with the steamer. As long as you apply the moisture evenly and absorb as much as you can, you should be fine. For stubborn stains, apply a few drops of cleanser directly to the affected area and repeat with short strokes. But never use too much detergent, regular steam cleaning is more effective and safer than using too much detergent. As a home stain remover, white vinegar mixed with water is safe. First, just move it a little with a brush. However, there is no magic potion that a person can use as a miracle stain remover. Many of the effective patching agents are highly acidic and should only be used by professionals with appropriate equipment. Remember that some stains can be permanent. In some cases, despite your efforts, cleaning does not lead to the expected results. Bright colored stains are usually the worst. Mustard, urine, fruit juices and other bright colors stain the upholstery fabric. When you’re done cleaning, leave your windows wide open to ensure the couch dries quickly. This can take 1-4 hours.
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