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cleaning upholstery

Has anyone worked on any upholstery? I have a couch and love seat job coming up after the holidays and I have never done any upholstery cleaning yet. My job is for a family member so it is a good place to learn. Any body have any tips that may be helpful. Also, what do people charge for this. Any help would be appreciated

Re: cleaning upholstery

Hi Steve
I'll tell you how I handle upholstery. Others may
well use other approaches.
First, you should dry-vacuum everything: body,
cushions & pillows, and into the crevices. If you
encounter little dried-up patches of food or other
substances while you're vacuuming, try and break these
up with a fingernail.

You should always do a color-fastness test on some
out-of-the-way part of the chair/loveseat/sofa.
Spray some cleaner onto a pad, work it in a little
to the fabric. If you see color, then the colors
may very well run when wet. Don't try to clean it!
Fortunately, this almost never happens.

Basically what I do is spray down the body and the
cushions, making sure to evenly wet everything. Don't
leave seam areas dry, or there could be lines after
the piece has dried.

Depending upon how heavily or lightly soiled the
(let's call it a sofa) is, allow some dwell time
for the cleaner to break down the soil.

I then use small 8", 2-sided Argo pads (the ones that
I use with my stair cleaner) to wipe down the sofa,
spending more time where the soil is heavier. You
may see a lot, or almost no soil appear on your pad,
depending on how soiled the sofa is.

Flashback: I always place cotton Challenger pads
all around the sofa to catch any overspray, so that
is doesn't wet the rug or floor under the sofa.

Sometimes I may take the cushions into a shower area,
or - weather permitting - outdoors to spray them.

When you are finished, leave the cushions standing on
on end, preferably on a hard, clean surface. Before
you leave, advise your customer to turn the "leaning"
side of the cushions out after a few hours, so they
can dry evenly.

Some upholstered pieces require only dry vacuuming
and wiping down with a damp pad (damp with cleaner)
and don't require spraying all down.

I have also cleaned some upholstered pieces via the
encap method, spraying the encap cleaner on with a
small (23 - 32 oz.) sprayer, instead of the 2-gallon
sprayer that I was referring to above. Use enough to
get a thin white foam as you work it into the fabric.
If you are using Releasit or Releasit DS, then you
should not use cotton pads to work solution and soil
out, since for this product to work correctly
(according to everything I've read at www.excellent- it should dry into the fabric.

I charge $80 - 85 for a sofa; $50 - 55 for a loveseat;
and $30 - 35 for a chair. Dining room chairs:
seats only - $6 - 7. Seats & backs: $10 - 11.

Hope this helps.

Re: cleaning upholstery

Hi Mark,
Yes, That was very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to explain the process in such detail. I was surprised that you just use the pad to wipe down the sofa. Could you use the small stair machine for less effort but better results? Excellent supply sells a soft brush that you attach to a drill. Do you think that would work well on upholstery and stairs? For better agitation? I have been thinking about ordering one. Thanks again for your input.

Re: cleaning upholstery

Yes, I have sometimes used my 6" Craftsman orbiter
that I use on stairs on upholstery - if the piece is
firm enough. It won't work well on soft cushions or

Re: cleaning upholstery

yes you can use the Rotobrush from Excellent supply for upholstery. just take care not to damage any of the more delicate fabrics.

i use a green striped hand bonnet and a trigger sprayer as Mark suggested.

thanx --- Derek.