Does My Upholstery/Fabric Need Cleaned?
How Does Furniture Get Dirty And Why Doesn’t It Seem To Show?
No doubt you regularly change and wash your bed sheets. You have your carpet cleaned to remove spots and soiled traffic areas where you walk. But when’s the last time you had your furniture professionally cleaned or even vacuumed?
Imagine how much dust would accumulate on a table if it were never dusted. That same amount is on your furniture also, you just can’t see it. This dust and pollen from outdoors can cause allergies. When you sit on the furniture the oils from your skin and hair stick to the fabric. If you have pets that rub up against it or lay on it, they contribute their fair share of dirt. The abrasive action of this particulate can cause your fabric to wear out if not cleaned and removed. A displeasing odor could even develop as all of this ‘yuck’ sits in your fabric.
But why doesn’t my furniture look dirty? Just because it doesn’t show doesn’t mean it’s not there. Today’s fabrics are designed to hide dirt with patterns and color. Here are 4 ways you can test your furniture to see if it needs cleaned.
TEST # 1: THE “SLAP” TEST – surface dust
Place a bright light over the top of one of your sofa cushions and using a stick (like a paint mixing stick or wooden spoon) whack the cushion 2-3 times. Observe the amount of dust that is released into the air. If you see a cloud of dust your furniture needs to be cleaned.
TEST #2: THE BLACK CLOTH TEST – embedded particulate
Use your vacuum cleaner attachment nozzle and take a piece of thin black cloth and rubber band it to the end of the vacuum hose – let it drape into the hose a little way. Put the upholstery tool on the end of the hose. Now turn the vacuum on and run it across the top of the cushion. Take off the upholstery tool and observe all the dead skin, dander, and other particles. If you see accumulations of fine particles, it needs cleaning.
TEST #3: THE WHITE TOWEL TEST – protein soils
Moisten a small amount of water on a white terry cloth towel. Now go and briskly rub it across one of your seat cushions or arm covers. Look at the towel. What do you see?
TEST #4: THE SNIFF TEST – malodors
Completely exhale. Place your nose 3” above the seat cushions and waft the surface air to your nose using one hand in a fanning motion. Do you notice any odors? Soil accumulations foster bacterial growth that feed on the contaminants and creatures living in the fibers of your furniture fabrics. If your furniture smells funky it’s an indication that it should be professionally cleaned as soon as possible.