Who cleans upholstery by hand?  We do!

The industry standard for cleaning upholstery is typically with a carpet steam cleaner.  The large carpet wand is traded for a smaller upholstery tool.  Basically, omitting soapy liquid onto the fabric and at the same time it is vacuuming back up.  Back and forth, back and forth until they feel it is clean.  You are then left with a wet or damp sofa which you can’t use til it dries a day later.  You also can’t tell how clean it is is if the spots and soiled areas even look better, since it is still wet.  I understand that this must work for most companies, since this is the way it is predominately done.  However, I love the fact that we are not like everybody else.

Chair

Since 1963, we have only beat and vacuumed, then shampooed upholstery by hand and then force dried.  It may seem a little old fashion, dated, not growing with the times or even integrating with all of the new technology which surrounds our industry.  We have our own simple way of cleaning.  By Hand!

We always beat and vacuum all of our upholstery first. Literally, placing a cushion between our legs or on top of a work bench and hitting the pillow from both sides. The dust within bellows out, then we vacuum. We will beat and vacuum all areas of the sofa until the dust coming out stops or subsides considerably. Beating and vacuuming removes the abrasives which ultimately cause the wearing of the fabric. Dust, loose debris and oils will abrade the fabrics and cause them to deteriorate sooner than planned. Down-filled cushions are much more difficult and time consuming to beat and vacuum thoroughly. Upholstery which does not include down or goose filled cushions do not have this time consuming issue. A lot of the surface dirt is removed and often the item looks better already.
Testing the fabric. Always test the fabric to make sure there will be no color change or color loss. Testing also allows us to try different products or chemicals to make sure they are safe to be used on your particular fabric. This test takes place while we are beating and vacuuming all the rest of the furniture. This way we are not wasting any time waiting for our testing to dry. Once we see that are products are safe to be used, we can safely continue to clean.
Now we can comfortably clean the dirtiest, most spotted or worn cushion on the sofa or item. By working on the biggest problem first it will give us a good sample of what we will have to do next. Sometimes areas need additional work. Due to excessive wear or soil, a second cleaning or different products may be needed. It will also give us an idea as to how long and how much it will cost for us to properly do our work.
Our cleaning process is accomplished with a brush, a bucket with our shampoo and water and a wet dry vacuum system. Again, we only clean upholstery by hand, either in your home, our plant or your work. Many companies actually take the items out of your home and back to their plant. Several reasons; they do not want you to see the amount of time they are spending cleaning. Also, if a problem happens, you do not see it. Being different, we want you to see the process, time and detail we put into our cleaning. We work in small circles, working the shampoo in to the fabric with the horse hair brush.

We work in areas about the size of a small hand, working in the shampoo to break the dirt’s and oils, just like we do with carpets and area rugs. Slowly, we work in rows across the fabric, overlapping our brush areas. Each time we make a circle of shampoo we follow directly with a wet / dry vacuum to pull out the moisture we had just worked in. Very time consuming, but our cleaning is very precise and is the best and most effective way of cleaning a fabric upholstered item. The amount of moisture is being completely controlled. This especially important when working with the high end, sensitive and extremely expensive fabrics as we do.

As we are cleaning, finished cushions or parts of the frame or item are placed directly in front of blowers or fans which are brought into your home. These fans allow us to force dry the fabric as we move along in our cleaning. The longer an items stays wet or damp, the more chance of a negative result can occur. As we are cleaning, we are looking back and inspecting the areas we had previously cleaned. Checking to see if there is a spot or area which needs additional attention. This can easily be accomplished since most of the areas are close to dry, we do not worry about over wetting.

By force drying as we work, it allows us to show you how the fabric looks as we are cleaning and how it looks at the end of our work. As opposed to calling us the following day, letting us know that we need to come back and work on spots or soiled areas that could not be seen, due to the fabric still being damp and darker since it was not dry.

Depending on the type of fabric, some naps will slick down or just need to be brushed back in the proper direction. Some naps need to be used and in time will go back to their normal or original look and feel.
This when we will apply a protectant if this had been ordered.

We successfully clean silk, chenille, wool, cotton, velvet, moire, linen, viscose, rayon and anything else your designer can put in your home. Also, in your backyard. outdoor upholstery is often brought back to our plant and cleaned. We bring back the wet, dirty, bird pooped upon, tree sapped upon and weather beaten fabrics to bring back to you nice and clean inside large plastic bags to store for the sunny days. Many of our clients have us pick up at the end of summer and wrap them for the colder months. This includes umbrellas also.

Example 1

Often, we are asked to work on items which have been cleaned incorrectly by other companies or clients who thought they could do things themselves.  Natural fibers, such    as cottons, wools, linens, etc are more susceptible to turning brown.  Using too much soap, leaving high alkalinity and taking too long to dry are all issues which add to the chance of a fiber and fabric to “Browning out”.  We received both chairs looking like the left one.  We fixed the chair on the left.    She was very pleased, but her husband was extremely happy.  It would have cost him several thousand to have the chairs recovered.

Chair-before-after

Example 2

Don’t forget about the kids favorite stuffed animals.  This is “Bear”, my son Jake’s favorite stuffed animal since he was 5.

A few cleanings, haircuts and a small fur tuck, little bleaching and a Santa Monica blow out, he is ready to go back home.

Stuffed Animals - FIBERMARKMTC