There are two aspects to protection- getting fabrics and leather to last longer and reducing the amount of damage or harm when something is spilled or worked on incorrectly.
Imagine a long-stemmed rose and you break off the thorns. When you remove the thorns, a small pod will remain and under a microscope you will see what are called dye sites. When a protective solution is sprayed onto your fabric, for example (carpet or upholstery), the solution does not sit on the surface and create a barrier. Rather, the solution travels down the shaft of the fiber and settles at these dye sites. As a result, when soil becomes embedded between fibers, abrasion is reduced and the fabric thus lasts longer. When there is a spill, liquid or a substance, the same thing happens. This means that it is easier to remove substances or liquids from fabrics when protection is present.
But, the solution is not a panacea. There are some things that are not protected. In the trade they like to refer to the exclusions: bleaches, acids and dyes. (it just happens that BAD is easily remembered by looking at these three words). Don’t believe all that you see on television. They make sure that what is being spilled will clean up if you are quick and knowledgeable.
Medicine paint urine vomit fruit punch tomato sauce hair dye wine
BUT DON’T BE FOOLED BECAUSE WE CAN GET A LOT OF THESE THINGS OUT OF A FABRIC IF THEY ARE LEFT ALONE. REMEMBER, AS YOU HAVE READ ALREADY, IT IS THE IMPULSIVE TYPES THAT RUIN THINGS AND ONLY THEN CALL FOR HELP.
Protection is definitely helpful since it allows you to wipe up things and blot more effectively. Even our own workmen know immediately when they are working on something that has been protected since their chemicals “bead up” and what is there is usually easier to remove.
A lot of people think that if something is protected, then they can forget about it and call me five years later and say, “remember the white sofa you cleaned and protected five years ago? It is filthy now but I know it will come out like new.” Not true since simple abrasion will take its toll. What I tell people is to remember that when something that has been protected begins to look soiled, that is the time to call and investigate whether it now needs attention or not. Even the finest fabrics still need periodic care just like a car needs to have the oil changed.
Remember that even our own workmen, with a dozen or so chemicals and lots of equipment, are not always able to get a spot or stain out. Your store bought products and need to “do something” can be the ruination. Often it is better to leave it alone and call for help.
And remember that the soapy residue that you may leave in there with self-help efforts will probably reduce our men’s ability to achieve the best results. If you must do something, remember to blot, use a spoon or spatula or a wet pick-up vacuum, then call. We sell these vacuums if you need one and give you instructions on how to use them.
There are many materials and fabrics and leathers and suede that are beyond the scope of this discussion but should be discussed if you are going to consider protection. Call me for the information that you will need.