10 Leather Cleaning Tips For Maintaining Furniture
Several leather cleaning tips should be observed when treating large pieces of furniture, like sofas or chairs. This material requires regular maintenance or it may dry, crack or discolor. It is highly sensitive to stains, particularly liquid stains, and usually comes with a finish that needs to be protected. To preserve the finish of the furniture, a homeowner should keep these leather cleaning tips in mind:
• Liquid stains must be removed as soon as possible. This material is naturally porous, so it will quickly soak up any liquid. Once the stain has penetrated the surface, it will be extremely difficult to remove.
• Cleaners that contain ammonia or alkaline are too harsh for this type of furniture. In general, it’s best to choose soaps that are gentle enough for human skin.
• This furniture usually is tagged with information on how to treat the material. Observing this information will ensure the furniture is kept in ideal condition.
• Oils and cleaners designed for hard leather may not be appropriate for the softer material normally found on furniture.
• Before applying any soap or liquid cleaner to the material, brush off solid debris and dirt with a soft brush. This will prevent scratching.
• Avoid using abrasive pads or anything that could scratch the material while wiping it down.
• This type of furniture usually comes with a protective finish that must be replenished occasionally. There are multiple products that are designed for this purpose.
• Don’t use any oils that have wax or silicone as they will adhere to the material, making it sticky.
• Keep the furniture away from direct sunlight, air conditioning vents or any heating source. This will prevent it from drying out.
• Don’t hesitate to contact a certified professional if the furniture is damaged or badly stained.
The Importance Of Professional Upholstery Cleaning Standards
Professional upholstery cleaning standards are put together to help technicians in the field provide excellent service to their customers. The best version of these guidelines is put together by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. The IICRC has certified more than 50,000 technicians and 6,000 firms in 22 countries across the globe. This institution is accredited through the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI. The ANSI is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve U.S. business quality through industry guidelines. Because the IICRC is the most respected agency in the industry, it provides these guidelines for workers in the field.
The IICRC has several publications detailing its regulations. The BSR-IICRC S300 concerns professional upholstery cleaning standards and is available through the Institution’s website. The BSR-IICRC S300 is intended to be a document that offers a foundation of knowledge, so technicians are expected to further their education through IICRC certification. In 2014, the BSR-IICRC S300 will be updated for the current state of the industry and for ANSI approval.
These guidelines were put together following in-depth consultations with many sources. These include training schools, chemical and equipment manufacturers, allied tradespersons, international, national and regional trade associations, upholstery and furniture manufacturers, industry professionals and experienced specialists.
Technicians that take courses through the IICRC will be introduced to these guidelines through some of the Institution’s coursework. These classes are taught over a few days by IICRC-approved and certified experts. The IICRC does not maintain a staff of instructors to teach these courses, instead opting to link technicians to approved schools in the technician’s area. This is more convenient for the technician, because approved IICRC courses are located all over the country.
What Is The Professional Upholstery Cleaning Reference Guide
Standards such as the Professional Upholstery Cleaning Reference Guide enable IICRC-Certified Firms to expand their businesses on a number of levels. Reputation management can be accomplished more effectively by building process flow upon the foundation of established principles that constitute the core values of the Contaminant Removal industry. The use of the Cleantrust logo, along with patches and marketing materials acquired from IICRC certification, help firms build more solid relationships with their customer base. Certified Firms can also tap a broader spectrum of potential clients from the referrals gained through their association with the IICRC.
The standards that Certified Firms can purchase from the IICRC assure consumers that the professionals they hire for various types of contaminant removal, inspection, and restoration represent the leading edge of their respective disciplines. Consumers are assured that certain core values of ethics and procedures will be followed by the technicians dispatched to their location. These core values include, but are not limited to, the following:
• The assurance that firms will provide for the continuing education for their technicians.
• The use of only trained technicians who have passed the required coursework associated with their fields
• A process for handling written complaints that includes arbitrations of disputes between customers and Certified Contaminant Removal, Inspection, and Restoration firms.
By purchasing standards such as the Professional Upholstery Cleaning Reference Guide, Certified Firms can assure their customer base that their procedures are based upon established research, policies, and experience in the contaminant removal industry. Additionally, Certified Firms can pick up referrals to potential clients who visit the IICRC website in search of top-notch professionals they can trust.
Starting A Successful Carpet And Upholstery Cleaning Company
A successful carpet and upholstery cleaning company cannot operate on equipment alone. Customers want to know that they are choosing the right company with the credentials that ensure the job gets done properly. The wrong technique or solutions can permanently damage the textile, leaving customers unhappy and business owners with a blemish on their reputation.
A new company should employ skilled technicians to remove soils and stains with the latest, state-of-the-art technologies and procedures. The IICRC sets the standards for this type of work. IICRC-certified technicians earn certificates through course study and proper completion of written examinations. Ongoing training is also very important. Upon completion of the initial examination, technicians are offered continued education classes both in a classroom setting and online. These courses can be completed in as little as a day in some cases. The classes offer specific training in areas ranging from restoration caused by natural disasters to inspecting certification. In effect, technicians with IICRC-approved training have earned an impressive degree in this industry.
Not only is this type of training imperative for proper carpet and upholstery cleaning, but a technician that has spent time working on their certification can help potential customers know that they are making the right choice when deciding on whom to hire. Those that have IICRC certification are known to use the proper methods, products and techniques to complete the job in a more-than-satisfactory manner.
The Importance Of Steam Cleaning Furniture
While most homeowners realize the importance of keeping their carpets clean, it is rare that a homeowner regularly hires professionals for steam cleaning furniture. Actually, however, it is a good idea to do so. This procedure can extend the life of household items significantly by keeping stains, odors or microbes from taking root in the fabric. The equipment and training that a Cleantrust professional has will ensure that all fabrics are deep treated and restored to their natural beauty.
Cleantrust is a symbol of excellence that can only be achieved through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. This organization is the governing oversight agency for the industry. It makes sure that its members act in good faith toward the customer and use only best practices and equipment while on the job. This specialized equipment is extremely important when steam cleaning furniture, because it ensures that all dirt and debris is removed, and the fabric is left immaculate.
A trained expert will be better able to monitor water and detergent use. This is a crucial thing to look out for because excess water can do serious damage to fabric. If too much liquid is used on the fixture, any porous materials may soak up the water and encourage mold growth. This mold can cause serious health problems and odors, and it is impossible to remove without professional help.
Businesses that provide this service usually provide many other services that can benefit the home. They are likely to also treat carpets too, which will also likely need help if they are located in high traffic areas of the house. They may be able to repair patches of fabric or carpet, and they may also be able to refinish wood items to prolong their life also.
What To Expect From An Upholstery Cleaning Service
Not sure how to find the best upholstery cleaning service in the area? Want to know what to expect? What can the professional offer the customer and how much will it cost?
The expert being considered should always be licensed, insured, and have ample experience. There is a lot of training required to do the job well, and those that have been certified by the IICRC are some of the best in the business. They have learned the best methods of caring for delicate fabrics, whether it is furniture, carpeting or Persian rugs. Once a reputable and highly trained company has been found, it is a good idea to check any references. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource, and the internet can get the consumer a number of reviews and ratings on the company. Don’t forget to investigate the individuals who run the company as well.
The professional can clean and restore furniture that has been seriously damaged in a flood or fire, or the expert can simply make a regular visit to maintain the quality and integrity of favorite pieces. An old chair may be a family heirloom, and it demands special care. But the expensive newly acquired furniture set will last longer if it is maintained regularly as well.
A good upholstery cleaning service does not have to be expensive. There are ways to save money while receiving the best from a company. Talk with a representative and ask the person about any deals or specials they may be offering. While some people think it may be more cost effective to do one piece at a time, further research will show that it is best to do it all at once to keep everything looking uniform.
Most don’t realize that upholstery cleaning is a process that requires real skill, but it does. Many unqualified businesses like to operate in this knowledge vacuum and get away with using amateurs and poor quality equipment. A smart consumer makes sure that any company he or she hires has the proper certification to get the job done right. A lackluster effort can do more harm than good, and a homeowner may need to spend extra to fix the screw-ups an inept operation may cause.
The best way to see if a group of professionals is on the level is to see if they are members of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. Getting certified by the IICRC is not just a matter of paying some dues and slapping some words on the side of a truck. An upholstery cleaning business that’s certified is following the standards set by the institute, and because the IICRC is considered the industry standard, this is a big deal.
Furthermore, an operation that wants to improve its standing even more can send its workers to courses run by the institute. These courses are intensive, and require their students to attend for several days in a row. A business that is a member for a year and has taken three courses, one of which is an upholstery sanitation class, is considered a journeyman by the IICRC. After two more years and two more classes, the company can attain master status. A homeowner can check the institute’s website for any certified members near them. Hiring a group of professionals off this list is a wise idea, as they will have both the depth and breadth of knowledge to accomplish a wide range of duties.