Problems Associated with Cleaning Curtains and Upholstery - Part 1

For the average Cleaning Contractor theres a certain mystery surrounding cleaning upholstery and cleaning Curtains, some larger companies will have their own specialist divisions but the majority will contract this out to other companies with the knowledge to undertake this kind of work.

With the help of information provided by Prochem Europe I have attempted to highlight some of the possible upholstery and curtain cleaning problems you are likely to come across and how to address them.

 

How do I clean suede?
 
In guide, cleaning upholstery, cleaning curtians

For the average Cleaning Contractor theres a certain mystery surrounding cleaning upholstery and cleaning Curtains, some larger companies will have their own specialist divisions but the majority will contract this out to other companies with the knowledge to undertake this kind of work.

With the help of information provided by Prochem Europe I have attempted to highlight some of the possible upholstery and curtain cleaning problems you are likely to come across and how to address them.

 

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How do I clean suede?
 
Real suede leather can only be cleaned with a solvent. DRI PRO can be used by towel application subject to pre-testing. Keep in mind that suede will darken in response to solvent cleaning and will not return to normal colour until completely dry.
 
How do I tell if it’s real suede?
 
It’s sometimes very difficult to tell real suede from the imitation faux suede which is a man-made polyester fabric. If you scratch and smell real suede it will have the distinguishable smell of leather. If it is possible to see the reverse side of the suede (inside a cushion for example) this will be leather and not a smooth fabric.
 
How do I clean faux-suede?
 
This is a microfiber and can be wet- cleaned using a mild pre-spray such as PRE-SPRAY
GOLD or FABRIC RESTORER and rinse-extracting with FIBRE & FABRIC RINSE.
Do not use water that is too hot as this may distort the nap. Inspect your hand tool attachment for sharp edges which could mark the fabric. If in doubt, extract through a piece of net curtain.
 
After cleaning, lay the nap all in the same direction with a folded terry towel. Do not allow to dry with the wand marks left in.
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cleaning upholstery
 
What is the best way to clean curtains?
 
If the curtains have to be cleaned in situ, the fabric fibre must be identified and tested for shrinkage: Mark out a 60mm square with pins. Wet with Fibre & Fabric Rinse solution. Re-measure the square. Any loss of more than 3mm (5%) means that the curtains will shrink noticeably. Dry clean only. If there is less than 5% shrinkage, vacuum the curtains thoroughly, pre-spray with PRE-SPRAY GOLD or FABRIC RESTORER, towel off with a folded terry towel, or rinse-extract with FIBRE & FABRIC RINSE using Prochem PM2504 Curtain Tool fitted with maximum 01 fine spray tip. Pre-test all products and follow label instructions.
 
How do I clean vertical blinds?
 
Always pre-test the vertical blind material to check the stability of the fabric. Although it is usually synthetic and wet-cleanable, some fabrics may have a stiffening agent which could be affected by water and so should not be wet-cleaned. For light soil: after vacuuming thoroughly, sponge clean with FIBRE SHAMPOO foam, then towel wipe. For heavier soil: vacuum then use FABRIC RESTORER by sponge, spray or towel. For heavy nicotine type soils: vacuum then use ULTRAPAC RENOVATE at 1 to 10 by spray, brush or towel.
 
To lighten white or cream shades OXIBRITE can be added to the ULTRAPAC RENOVATE solution as for Ceiling Cleaning. Follow the dilution rates on the label. Always pre-test (allow test piece to dry fully before proceeding) and observe all safety precautions.
 
How do I clean mattresses?
 
Mattresses can be cleaned like other upholstery with FABRIC RESTORER and rinse-extracting with FIBRE & FABRIC RINSE. Be careful not to over-wet. Use air movers. For stains and ring-marking try STAIN PRO and BROWNING PRESCRIPTION. Once clean, the mattress can be sanitised with CLENSAN according to label instructions.
 
How do I clean headboards?
 
If the fabric is wet cleanable, clean with PRE-SPRAY GOLD or FABRIC RESTORER and rinse-extract with FIBRE & FABRIC RINSE. Headboards are prone to greasy marks from heads. It will probably help to add CITRA-BOOST to the pre-spray. This is a solvent additive to help remove grease. If the fabric is not wet cleanable, dry clean by hand with DRI PRO.
 
Upholstery such as headboards are known to come into contact with hairspray on hair and this has been known to sometimes react with cleaning chemicals and cause colour changes in fabrics. Ask the customer if hairspray is used and only go ahead with the job once they have signed a disclaimer.
 
 
How do I clean car seats?
 
Car upholstery can be cleaned in the same way as any other upholstery. FABRIC
RESTORER as a pre-spray and rinse-extraction with FIBRE & FABRIC RINSE are a good combination. Make sure the car remains well ventilated until the upholstery is thoroughly dry.
 
How do I clean velvet?
 
First do a burn test to find out if it is natural or synthetic velvet. Cotton velvet or rayon velvet should be dry-cleaned only with DRI PRO (spray on by hand and towel off with a white terry towel). If the velvet is synthetic (e.g. acrylic), it can be wet cleaned with FABRIC RESTORER and rinse-extracted with FIBRE & FABRIC RINSE. The pile should be carefully brushed while still damp with a velvet ‘boffin’ brush or the pile can be laid with a folded terry towel.
Consider going on a Prochem Upholstery Course.
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