Most homeowners in Colorado are diligent when it comes to having their carpets and air ducts cleaned. A growing number are also becoming aware of the importance of dryer vent cleaning. And that is a very good thing that will ultimately lead to fewer house fires. But one area where local diligence is sometimes lacking is upholstery cleaning. In some cases, it's just a matter of people not realizing how dirty upholstery can actually get. While in other cases the homeowner is reluctant to have the upholstery cleaned because they have heard and perhaps bought into, some of the many persistent myths circulating about upholstery cleaning. In this post, we're going to look at some of those myths.
Don’t Buy Into These Upholstery Cleaning Myths
Those of us at Steve’s Carpet Care have been cleaning upholstery for local homeowners for years. In that time we’ve dealt with all kinds of furniture, all kinds of fabrics and stains and we’ve been asked questions related to a number of persistent upholstery cleaning myths. Here are the most common myths we encounter:
Myth: Dry cleaning is the best way to clean your upholstery
We often encounter clients who mention that they’ve been dry cleaning their upholstery for some time but stopped because it seemed to be causing damage. When we ask them why they were dry cleaning their upholstery they typically respond that they thought they were supposed to.
So let’s start this list by saying that, while dry cleaning may be recommended in a few isolated circumstances, it is not recommended in most cases. Dry cleaning can damage the appearance and feel of some fabrics and can cause the color to run in others. The best way to proceed is to call Steve’s and let our pros determine the right way to clean your upholstery.
Myth: The cleaning tag is the law
We’re trained to look at the tag on things to discern the best method for cleaning them. And this is just as true for upholstery as it is for suits and dresses. But the tag on the upholstery is not usually there to provide specific instructions. Its role is really more about informing you of potential problems and indicating how you may head off compromising the colors involved.
They almost never say "do this". Instead, they say something like "avoid this type of cleaner", or they'll just indicate what isn’t safe to use. The best way to determine exactly which method of cleaning is best for your upholstery is to let the pros from Steve’s Carpet Care have a look at it. We’ll tell you exactly what the potential issues are and precisely which method should be used to clean it.
Myth: Hot water is always best
And the hotter the better according to this myth. The idea that you should always use scalding hot water is a myth with uncertain origins. But it’s been around a long time and has resulted in lots of ruined upholstery. The truth is that certain synthetic fabrics like olefin will indeed respond best to very hot water. Others will be best served by our steam cleaning service.
Some types, however, need to be cleaned with solvents only. These include many organic fabrics like cotton, silk and denim. Other fabrics can be cleaned with water but hot water isn’t always the right answer. The best way to protect your upholstery is to enlist the services of a professional cleaning service with lots of experience. Like Steve’s.
Myth: You can’t hurt it if it’s not organic
The myth that synthetic fabrics are basically impervious to damage from improper cleaning has caused lots of homeowners to have their furniture reupholstered. The fact is that any type of fabric is susceptible to bleeding if cleaned improperly. Some synthetics can also have their texture damaged if the wrong cleaning method is used.
They wind up with crimps and waves across the surface that won’t straighten back out no matter what you do. The bottom line is that nylon and some other synthetics are very durable and do a decent job standing up to different cleaning methods. But even they have limits on how far you can push them before they start to manifest damage.
Myth: The sun will clean it for you
This one is a doozy and we encounter it more often than we’d care to admit. Somehow the myth developed that if you really want to get your upholstery clean all you need to do is drag your chair out into the sunlight and let it sit for an hour or so. Hard to know where to begin when debunking this one. So let’s start by saying “not true”.
While sunlight may kill some bacteria hiding in the fabric it will do nothing to actually clean the upholstery. That is, remove dirt and stains from it. Nothing. Also, exposing upholstery to direct, intense sunlight is going to bleach any colors. In addition, leaving it outside means all manner of airborne dirt, dust, debris, and other pollutants are going to settle onto it. The end result being that your upholstery will be much dirtier by the time you drag the chair back inside.
You wouldn’t think so many strange myths would grow up around the practice of upholstery cleaning. But they have, and they’ve cost plenty of homeowners plenty of money and created plenty of heartache as treasured furniture has been ruined. The best way to clean your upholstery is to turn the job over to professionals with long years of experience dealing with every imaginable type of fabric.