Simplify Your Upholstery Cleaning System - [Part #1]
One of the primary reasons carpet cleaners shy away from upholstery cleaning (despite the fact that they usually call themselves "__________ Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners") is that upholstery cleaning has many more variables than carpet cleaning, and therefore making it a bit more difficult to create a simple, easy to follow cleaning system for upholstery than it is for cleaning carpet.
And, while that is true, there are some things you can do that should help you create a system of upholstery cleaning that will at minimum reduce the confusion and complexity that cause many cleaners to shy away from all but the "lowest risk" upholstery fabrics.
Here are the two key things you MUST do to create a simpler upholstery cleaning system:
TEST and INSPECT !
Many cleaners will immediately recoil from this comment, since both steps initially seem to ADD complexity to the job, not reduce it. That initial thought is untrue, however.
These are the answers you are looking for with Testing and Inspection:
- WHAT is it?: Natural fibers react differently (mostly in bad ways) than do synthetic fibers. Your choice of cleaning products should be primarily influenced by your fiber family test results.
- HOW is it made?: The type of weave, design, and dyes have a strong influence on both procedural, tool, and product choices
- WHAT happened to it?: Your inspection will tell you what the soil level appears to be, the types of spills that may or may not be permanent stains, and what type of care or neglect has existed prior to your visit.
- WHY does your customer wants it cleaned?: What your customer expects from cleaning can have a great deal to do with how you will decide to clean the fabric, and what risks, if any, your customer will take (NOT you!) if its cleaned.
Once you know the answers to these four critical questions, you will then more easily be able to determine what pH products should be used, what tools are best to use, to what extent the use of stain removal agents, bleaches, boosters, etc might be used, etc.
In part #2 - I will share some ideas of what cleaning systems you might be able to use once you know the answers to these four questions.
Until then, please feel free to download our Upholstered Furniture Condition Report to help you to better communicate these four questions with your customer.
I strongly recommend this Upholstery Condition Inspection Report, which since 1987 has been the only comprehensive such form in our industry. If you would like to check out the form, CLICK HERE
You can download a "proof set" as well as find out the price for bundles of 50 of these valuable 2 part NCR forms.