Upholstery and Furniture Cleaning
After focusing for so long on picking out the exact right furniture, carpet, and drapes for your home, it's important to make sure it lasts as long as possible. For most people, this means taking care of it with regular, professional cleaning. Determining who to use, what to ask about, and how often to have your furniture cleaned can be tricky, however.
How often should you clean your furniture?
The answer to this really does depend on how you use the furniture and what it is made of. Lighter fabrics and those with texture such as grosgrain cotton will need to be cleaned more often than fabrics with very little texture and darker colors. Location and use are also important factors. A heavily used couch or armchair or one kept in a frequently trafficked area will need much more frequent cleaning than one kept in a rarely used area of the house.
In many cases, this means that some types of couches will need to be professionally cleaned at least one every six months, while others will only need cleaning once every two years. Of course, if there is a spill that leaves a stain and/or odor, you will want to get the piece of furniture cleaned immediately. You should also be aware that it is not uncommon for some pieces of upholstered furniture to take several cleanings before they are fully restored. This is because the chemicals used can only be used in small quantities in many cases without risking damage to the fabric or surrounding materials. Heavily soiled pieces often have to be cleaned in stages.
Who should I use?
Choosing the right company to clean your furniture is an important decision. Not only are you trusting them with your furniture and antique upholstery items, you are also inviting them into your home. That means you have to pick a company that you can trust. Start by looking for companies that are licensed, bonded, and insured. This means that you will get cleaning technicians who are trained on multiple types of fabric, furniture, and staining materials. It also means that you will get a company that is insured in the rare event that something goes wrong. This can cover damage to your furniture or any injuries that a technician receives on your property.
When picking a company, it can help to get recommendations from friends, but it is also important to read BBB reviews and complaints on their website. Get a feeling for a company's reputation before hiring them.
What should I learn about before hiring a cleaning service?
There are several questions that anyone who is considering hiring an upholstery cleaning service should ask before setting up the first appointment. To start, ask about the experience and training of the technicians who are arriving at your house. Specifically, find out if they have experience dealing with the type of fabric and stains that your furniture has. You will also want to ask about the material around the upholstery and whether or not the chemicals used to clean your furniture are safe to be used with this material. For example, some common cleaners cannot be used on antique pieces with wood varnish because they will strip or discolor the varnish. Fortunately, there are other chemicals and cleaning methods that can be used for these pieces.
Because certain chemicals cannot be used on some types of furniture, it is critical to be honest about the materials in your furniture and also what has been spilled or ground into it. A professional company has seen just about everything, but they are only able to clean something well if they know what the problem is. If you aren't sure what a stain is, tell them so.