Red Discoloration Problems - AGAIN?
Red discoloration problems with furniture fabrics continues to be an ongoing and costly issue to cleaning companies.
Fortunately, more and more companies have become aware of this problem, and are learning how to test and inspect so that they can avoid being blamed for what is a pre-existing condition, whether or not it is yet avoidable.
These are pictures of how this furniture looked when a local fine fabric specialist arrived at their customer's home: link to eclean
This cleaner had once before had a problem with a fabric turning pink from flame retardant ticking, and thus was cautious when they noticed the discoloration.
They now also routinely check the pH of cushion ticking on each job, regardless of whether or not it is down filled (the most common type of ticking to have a flame retardant treatment applied to it).
In this case, not only was the fabric already discoloring, as you can see in the pictures, but the ticking had a pH reading of 6, which indicated the strong possibility that a flame retardant treatment had been applied.
The cleaner explained the situation to their customer, who was appreciative that they did nothing to make the condition worse, and still had them clean their other furniture, as well as their carpet.
There are two valuable lessons to be learned here:
First, and the most obvious, is that you MUST be aware of this potential problem, and you must be very suspicious of any fabric that has any level of red or pink discoloration. Before cleaning the fabric, it would be prudent to also test all cushion ticking for the presence of an acidic flame retardant.
The less obvious, yet even more important, lesson is that all the things that you test and inspect for before cleaning are the steps that both keep you out of trouble and enhance your reputation with your customer.
Cleaners who are in a rush to get to the next job, and/or feeling even resentful that "there isn't any money in cleaning furniture, its too hard to do, takes too long, etc. etc." tend to skip testing and inspection, and all too often suffer for the neglect. They prove themselves absolutely right by doing exactly the things that cause the financial and business damaging losses.
If you'd like to learn more about issues like this one, how to test and communicate better with your customer, and how to make upholstery cleaning more rewarding for you, I'm going to be sharing some of my thoughts here in Mckeesport on June 1st.
If you are from the west coast, I will also be speaking on this subject in Reno at the CFI/CCINW Cleaners College on June 27-29, 2012. You can learn more about it by going to:
For more regarding the "red discoloration" problem, check this article out - http://www.ecleanadvisor.com/public/843.cfm
If you'd like to know how to explain such issues to your customers better, look at the reverse side of the Upholstery Condition Inspection Report.
Please feel free to download our Upholstery Condition Inspection Report to help you to better communicate 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 the price for bundles of 50 of these valuable 2 part NCR forms.