Today we had a customer call and ask why we charge more for upholstery than we do for carpet – sofas are much smaller than rooms, after all!
It was a funny question for me, but as I was explaining it to my team, Isabel told me to put it in the blog.
So here goes!
My initial response to her was: “Why don’t you vacuum your sofa every time you vacuum your room?” And she laughed and said because it takes a lot of time.
Answer Number ONE: It takes a long time to clean a sofa.
- The material is delicate compared to carpet, so we can’t be quick and aggressive when cleaning it like we can with carpeting.
- The tool we use is a hand tool, so it covers a smaller area with each pass.
- The sofa needs to be cleaned in sections – front, back, sides, cushions top and cushions bottom etc…
Answer number TWO: Sometimes you are paying as much for the knowledge and experience to do a good job as you are for the labor.
There are only about 5 types of carpeting out there and they are easy to identify. But fibers for upholstery are infinite and much more difficult to identify because you can also have blends of different fibers. Upholstery fabric can be made from any yarn or thread that is woven or knitted into a textile. Cotton, linen, wool, hemp, polyester, polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, and rayon fibers are strung on looms and woven into upholstery fabric. You can use one type of yarn or various combinations of yarn to weave or knit upholstery fabric.
When we clean upholstery we need to identify what blend of fabric it is, make sure we mix the right cleansers for that fabric, and ensure that we are applying the appropriate heat, water, and resetting the nap the correct way in order for the drying to be perfect.
Cleaning upholstery may sound simple, but I assure you it is not. Did you know that a cleanser that is too acidic can bleach? The wrong ph can change the color (called color flip) and that if you don’t properly set the nap, you may have permanent brush marks? You can also use too much water and your sofa will be yellow forever. There is a lot that can go wrong, so if we are charging more than you think is fair, keep in mind everything that could happen if you find someone cheap.