Today, our notable call was from a young lady named Erin who has an ottoman on which she attempted some DIY cleaning and now has compounded her problem.

Not uncommon! The unique thing here is that during our call she referred immediately to the cleaning code that is on her upholstered piece. (Which Erin imprudently ignored during her DIY attempt.) Cleaning codes are the manufacturers recommended cleaning process for a specific fiber type. These codes are designed for the homeowners/ end users. Manufacturers prepare for the inevitability that most of the people cleaning will not be experts. The general cleaning process of a homeowner is to spray something on it the fabric and scrub it off. While this is really the only readily available option for most, this is not the best way to attempt to remove a spot from fiber.

Manufacturers will always err on the side of caution when instructing people in cleaning their own pieces. Often you will find along with these cleaning codes and care instructions, a note that recommends calling a professional.

Professional cleaners have access to cleansers and equipment that most homeowners don’t keep on hand. The combination of our cleansers and our specialized equipment means that we are going to be more successful at removing spots, stains, and the residue of any cleansers used. It also means that our cleansers don’t have to be as harsh as the ones available over the counter, because our equipment does a bulk of the cleaning rather than the chemical.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, Erin called with a combination of a fabric with a polyester and linen blend, an S, cleaning code, some pet feces, and water as a cleanser. An S cleaning code means that you should use a solvent only. This means no water – just dry cleaning. The reason for this is because the linen blend in this fabric means that it is susceptible to cellulosic browning, and very prone to water stains. Not a fabric for a novice cleaner. As a professional cleaner, we will use water on a piece like this because we can control how much water we put on it, how much water we remove, and we can ensure that it will dry evenly and quickly which helps to prevent water stains.

So, in summary, the cleaning codes are important as a homeowner to follow to prevent damaging your upholstery. That said, you can trust a professional who doesn’t follow those cleaning codes, because those codes are not designed for us. As long as we know the fiber blend that we are dealing with, you can trust that we will use the right process to get it clean.

Happy Cleaning!