When it comes to cleaning furniture, knowing what you are dealing with goes a long ways. Often, safe furniture cleaning is a skill learned through hours of study followed by hands on practice. The hours of study are taught by instructors who have made all the mistakes and learned from them. If you are not so lucky to have such training, or foolish enough to not seek it out, you can get yourself into some serious trouble. Cleaning furniture is not like carpet, you have a whole host of things to be concerned with.
Safe Furniture Cleaning – Cleaning your own furniture
Is this something you should consider? Cleaning your own upholstered furniture? While many modern fabrics are relatively safe to clean, we still see plenty enough to convince us the answer is no. As you can see in the image, something went terribly wrong with the cleaning of these chairs. Our client had hopes to save a few dollars by renting a machine to clean this fabric themselves. Unfortunately, it appears the there was something lurking under the fabric, simply waiting for enough moisture to be drawn to the top of the piece. Our inspection was limited to these two photographs. The client wanted a guaranteed fix, something we were not willing to provide. While we know several tips, tricks, and magics to fix this problem, the only way to guarantee correction is to re-cover the piece.
What happened? Best guess would be a dye either on the back side of the fabric or from the wooden frame became damp, resulting in the horrific discoloration. You see, many times, an upholsterer will mark the layout on the back of the fabric so to know where to cut. If this marking is not cut out, it can bleed through when wet cleaned. If the wood frame had any type of dye or stain, a heavily saturated cleaning job will saturate the wood. Water must travel up to evaporate, bringing the color of the wood with it.
Once the client started cleaning it was a done deal. The client had neither the experience or proper equipment to deal with this problem when it first presented itself. Even a well trained professional can be caught off guard with a dye on the rear of the fabric situation. The difference is, he knows how to quickly dry it, saving from this kind of damage.