Today I’ve been cleaning carpet, rugs and upholstery in Warwick. All went smoothly and the customer was delighted with the results. It was an entirely standard sort of clean with only one area that needed a bit of extra thought applying. This particular armchair is covered in cotton but the process can applied to almost all fabrics.
As we can see here the front edge of the chairs arm is black with soiling. This is made up of the oils and sweat that come off your hands along with some newspaper ink. A drop of water on the fabric didn’t soak in as there was so much oil. A typical detergent will make some impression on this with enough brushing but that risks damaging the fibres or over-wetting the fabric.
A trick is to apply some solvent which is very good at breaking down oil based stains and marks. The solvent immediately attacks the oils making them easy to break up. With a soft cloth the worst of the oils can be removed by gently rubbing and absorbing them out of the fabric. It still isn’t cleaned but I have dealt with the worst of it and the remaining solvent in the fabric will continue to work on the last residues of the soiling.
The remainder of the chair is cleaned as normal leaving the solvent to continue working. A standard upholstery detergent, applied as a foam and gently worked into the fibres with a sponge releases the soiling ready for rinsing with hot water. Here I have done half of the back cushion, though hopefully you can see that for yourself.
Finally the arms and the piping are rinsed with hot water to remove the soiling and solvent. A confirmation wipe with a soft white cloth will show that the fabric is now clean, remove excess moisture from the surface and re-align the pile. This chair should be fully dry in an hour or two.
If you have some upholstery, or carpet for that matter, that is looking past its best then perhaps I can help. Cleaning upholstery improves the appearance, removes any odours and can increase its lifespan. For more information on upholstery cleaning you can visit this page. You can also contact me, Neil Worsnop, on 01926 492696, 07557 944461 or via the contact pageon my website. I cover the Warwick, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth areas including surrounding villages for carpet, upholstery and rug cleaning.