I find people interesting. In my job I meet all kinds of them in all kinds of homes. You see, I provide upholstery cleaning in Portland and carpet cleaning. Since I do both, I encourage my customers to get their furniture cleaned at the same time as their carpet. It makes good sense for me and for them too. If I can save me a trip, I can save them some money. If I have time I offer a discount on my other cleaning services while at the home.

I like people as I said, but they sometimes surprise me. I’ve been in some nice homes. Folks can have a perfectly clean home and ruin it with a perfectly dirty chair. I’ve been in the business long enough to know what looks good. A stained chair does not look good. To mix metaphors, a dirty chair sticks out like a sore thumb and is an eye sore.

Customers have asked me about DIY upholstery cleaning. Let me say up front that carpets and furniture are very different beasts. Ninety-eight percent of all carpets are nylon and tough as nails. Yes, they can wear and stain. However, manufacturers have made carpets to last. Furniture, on the other hand, does not have to stand up to us walking on it. Manufacture can use a wide variety of materials besides nylon. The more delicate nature of furniture makes it a little more challenging to clean.

Yes, you can clean your own upholstery, but you need to exercise some caution. Before you start slopping water around check the label on your piece. Upholstery should have a tag with a code S, W, or SW. W stands for water. S stands for solvent. SW stands for either water or solvent. Using the wrong cleaning agent can ruin your furniture. You use dry cleaning fluid on S and water-based cleaning solutions on W. Use you use either on SW, but I’d recommend using S on the SW.

If you have kept your furniture covered or reasonably clean, you shouldn’t have any problems doing a general cleaning. Let me recommend an Do It Yourself Upholstery Cleaning  that explains various cleaning procedures for upholstery. I would issue the same cautions for furniture that I issue for carpet. Don’t over wet the piece. Over wetting can cause mold, compromise fabric integrity, or swell the furniture’s wooden skeletal system. Make sure you dry your furniture quickly with fans and a warm room. Don’t over soap. Adding excess cleaning agents can bleach out materials, leave the fabric stiff, and end up attracting dirt when dry. Use commercial cleaning products. I differ on this point with the link I gave you. They recommend a home made upholstery shampoo. Why take the risk? Use a tested commercial product.

For heavily soiled furniture or furniture with multiple stains I would call in a professional. They will have the equipment, solutions, and expertise to handle the tougher cases. You can save some money by scheduling with a person who can do both your carpet and furniture at the same time.

Hope this information is helpful. Until next time…Sean.