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Old 04-21-2006, 10:02 PM   #1
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cleaning upholstery

doe sanyone have any tricks or tips for cleaning upholstery....we just bought a used airstream, and while the furniture and upholstery is in great condition, it needs to be cleaned.....i was thinking of steam cleaning it using a rental "Rug Doctor", but am a bit leery....Anyone have any luck using anything particular????
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Old 04-22-2006, 02:05 AM   #2
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Welcome!

Uh, sorry that I can't really help on the uhpolstery thing.... But "Welcome!" anyway....

I am sure that others will be no end of help with your interior cleaning.

Enjoy that AS!

Ciao

Axel
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
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Rug Doctor is a bit strong for many fabrics. Sun exposure to top of cushions may have weakened fabric. Dry cleaning may be safer if you can get the covers off. Previous owner may have changed covers from what the factory supplied. Ours had be redone at least twice. We stripped covers and hand washed them in Woollite. Testing on the bottom is safest method of finding out.
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:39 AM   #4
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I was trying to avoid removing the covers as I have heard many issues about the fabric shrinking even a bit will make it impossible to get the covers back on properly. I figured renting a steam machine with a hand wand would be suffice.....Need more opinions..lol...
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Lizzy
doe sanyone have any tricks or tips for cleaning upholstery....we just bought a used airstream, and while the furniture and upholstery is in great condition, it needs to be cleaned.....i was thinking of steam cleaning it using a rental "Rug Doctor", but am a bit leery....Anyone have any luck using anything particular????
Steam Cleaning as in Hot Water Extraction is what most manufacturers recommend although some have done well with removing the fabric for cleaning.

Before cleaning with HWE (Hot Water Extraction) inspect well for fiber degradation and buttons or zippers that could allow rust to get on the fabric. Also inspect the inside cushion material for ink or other markings that could bleed onto the fabric. Often times you might see a tag with cleaning instructions but usually that tag is misleading and refers to the cushion and not the fabric or is simply the safest instruction for the manufacturer liability.

Test the fabric to identify the material as Synthetic or Natural. Open the zipper and cut a small excess piece to carefully burn. If the piece is like a hard bead it could be synthetic or if it turns to ash it could be natural. There is more elaborate testing but this could give you enough information to proceed safely.

Vacuum really well to remove dry soil, which is said to be about 80% of the soil content. This could be the most important part of cleaning.

Use a good quality prespray with surfactants and emulsifiers that is intended for your type of fabric. If natural fabric use a neutral PH or slightly acidic and if synthetic you can use an alkaline PH solution although you may want to rinse with an Acid Ph afterwards to resist resoiling and/or even a good quality protector like scotchgard. Always test the solution in a non-conspicuous area for color transfer before starting.

After HWE be sure to dry the material as fast as possible to resist browning or spotting. Often times a lesser quality solution can cause the fabric to feel a little stiff after cleaning but that should not last long. Use caution not to over wet the fabric.

Good Luck and if you decide to hire a professional make sure they are certified by the Institute of Inspections, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. www.iicrc.org

Mark
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:23 AM   #6
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By Hot Water Extraction do you mean as in a 'hand wand' type that shoots in a bit of liquid and sucks it out? Or is there a product I can by in the store, spray apply, then suck out the moisture using a vaccuum, etc.? Not quite sure what type of product to use, and what tools to utilize for application/process....THanks again..
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tin Lizzy
By Hot Water Extraction do you mean as in a 'hand wand' type that shoots in a bit of liquid and sucks it out? Or is there a product I can by in the store, spray apply, then suck out the moisture using a vaccuum, etc.? Not quite sure what type of product to use, and what tools to utilize for application/process....THanks again..
Yes, the hand wand or "upholstery tool" is what I would suggest with controlled pressure @ 100 psi or less shooting the hot water solution into the fabric and vacuuming to recover as much as possible at the same time.

There are many quality products available such as Bridgepoint/Interlink or Prochem or you may be able to find a good product at a large home improvement store along with a good HWE machine to rent. There are so many products on the market it is hard to recommend one not knowing the availability in your area.

Also you can also use a Shampoo product that could do a good job and is often recommended for natural fabric. This is a product that you could mix into a foam and apply with a sponge then towel dry quickly and if needed use a fan to help dry.

Mark
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