Sofas, armchairs, chairs, mattresses and anything that has textile upholstery needs specialized care – cleaning using methods other than regular ones. Simply put, cleaning a sofa and washing the floor are different technological processes, while chemicals for cleaning upholstered furniture and chemicals for cleaning floors are different types of detergents.
What chemistry can be used for cleaning upholstered furniture and how to apply it.
Vacuum cleaning and vacuum cleaning chemicals
In most cases, when a person is looking for something on the request “chemicals for cleaning upholstered furniture”, he/she is looking for chemicals for a washing vacuum cleaner. I described in detail the requirements for chemistry for a washing vacuum cleaner in the article, and here I will just briefly repeat the main thesis: it should be safe for equipment, furniture and humans. If we talk a little more about this safety, then it follows that the chemicals must be:
- low-foam, so as not to spoil the suction turbine;
- it must contain the right ingredients to ensure selective aggressiveness to dirt and delicacy to the materials of the furniture itself;
- it must be safe enough for a person during use (provided that adequate PPE is used), as well as when using cleaned furniture.
In principle, the listed requirements can be applied to any chemistry for cleaning upholstered furniture, except for the requirement for low foaming. It is important when working with such equipment as a washing vacuum cleaner (extractor), because if there is a lot of foam, it will quickly overfill the tank for the collected solution with dirt.
I will also add that upholstery and other materials in the construction of furniture can be very different, and what is safe for one material can be dangerous and aggressive for another. Therefore, the selection of chemicals for cleaning upholstered furniture should always be made with an eye to the properties of materials and the recommendations of manufacturers (meaning all manufacturers – and manufacturers of individual materials, for example, upholstery, and furniture manufacturers as a whole, and equipment manufacturers, and manufacturers of cleaning chemicals ).
In general terms, cleaning furniture with a washing vacuum cleaner consists of several successive stages:
- dry vacuum cleaning;
- preliminary wetting (analogous to soaking when washing clothes);
- rinsing with a cleaning solution;
- stain treatment;
- rinsing with clean water or a solution of a special rinse aid (acidic cleaning agent).
This is the most common cleaning algorithm for upholstered furniture. It may be different:
- dry vacuum cleaning;
- preliminary staining;
- preliminary wetting;
- rinsing with a solution of a special rinse aid (acidic cleaning agent).
Algorithms for cleaning upholstered furniture using a washing vacuum cleaner (as professionals in cleaning upholstered furniture would say, extraction cleaning) may be different, but using these two as an example, I want to show what chemicals for cleaning upholstered furniture can be useful in general.
And there are quite a lot of such chemistry:
- pre-wetting agents (pre-spray);
- cleaning power enhancers (boosters);
- proper cleaning preparations (cleaning for extraction cleaning, basic cleaning);
- stain removers;
- rinses (acidic cleaning solutions).
Typically, a household consumer, looking for chemicals for cleaning furniture, has only a basic cleaning agent in mind, which can be poured into the tank of a washing vacuum cleaner and rinsed with it on your sofa. A professional sees the issue much broader and, to be sure, more difficult, more multifaceted.
Different groups of products have different requirements for both cleaning ability and safety levels. We consider these issues in more detail in the process of training specialists, and in the context of this article, we will simply consider what drugs in the groups listed above can be.
This group includes aggressive preparations that must be thoroughly washed off the surface. They may contain caustic alkalis (in fact, very rarely in preparations for cleaning furniture) or simply have a fairly high pH, 9-11, solutions, may contain special solvents that facilitate the removal of sweat stains, or many surfactants and enzymes that provide synergy.
In the line of chemicals for cleaning upholstered furniture from Wieberr, such tasks can be realized with the following preparations:
- Seat Cleaner is a neutral pre-wetting agent for delicate coatings such as woolen upholstery (for example, when cleaning billiard table cloth), glued upholstery and so on. In solution, it gives only 7 pH, which makes it possible to clean even those coatings that are afraid of alkalis;
- Enzime Hard Clean is an enzyme preparation with a pH of 10 solutions, excellent for pre-soaking heavy sweat soils, a wide range of food soils, dense accumulations of household and street dust. It is best suited in cases where there is a lot of protein and fatty pollution on the furniture – food, saliva, sweat layers, urine, and so on. I will immediately insert a remark : it does not eliminate the urine odor, but allows pre-preparation before removal;
- Skaria Cleaner is an alkaline stain remover, in solutions 1: 10-1: 20 can be used as a preparation for preliminary wetting of carpets and upholstered furniture. Great for pre-wetting furniture before the main cleaning. The product is active against most household contaminants. Well suited for budget cleaning of furniture;
- Grease Eliminator – Stain Remover, Pre-Wet, Pre-Wet Enhancer. This drug is based on the synergy between water-soluble solvents, terpenes (solvents of biological origin) and surfactants. The drug perfectly dissolves and emulsifies fats and oil particles. The best choice when you need to cope with road dust, in which there are many particles of unburned fuel, rubber and asphalt, as well as many stains of paint, cosmetics, oils, ballpoint pen stains.
It is very difficult to maintain and clean furniture with upholstery it is very difficult to maintain and clean (viscose, cotton, linen), different approaches to the selection of pre-wetting agents are needed, and I would recommend entrusting the cleaning of such furniture to professionals and nothing more.
Chemicals for basic cleaning of upholstered furniture
Usually this group includes the very products, solutions of which can be poured into a washing vacuum cleaner and clean furniture with them. For simplicity, we will say that they are all neutral or alkaline, and we will refer acidic agents to the rinse aid group.
Most often, these funds are used in large dilutions, rarely giving a pH of solutions above 10, sometimes they may not be washed off, but more often they require subsequent rinsing from upholstered furniture with clean water or solutions of acidic agents (rinses).
In the line of chemicals for cleaning furniture from Wieberr, such preparations include two:
- Extrakt Powder Biosolv is a powder designed mainly for professional use for preparing a detergent solution. Well suited for washing away household contaminants, works great in conjunction with the above-mentioned Enzime Hard Clean or Skaria Cleaner. Upholstered furniture, cleaned with these solutions, then need to be rinsed with clean water or a solution of Acid Cleaner, which I will write about a little below. This tool is the most economical. I don’t want to write a specific price per liter of the resulting working solution, prices may change, and no one will rewrite this article to follow, but I can write this: the jar contains about 32-34 portions, of which you can prepare up to 340 liters of washing solution for cleaning furniture … This is enough for a dozen medium corner sofas. And you can look at the actual price of the product here: Means for extraction cleaning Extrakt Powder Biosolv;
- Extrakt 10 is a product for the same purpose, a phosphate-free liquid. A solution in a concentration of 200 ml per 10 liters has a pH of 10, which allows using this agent even without preliminary wetting, as an independent preparation for cleaning upholstered furniture. The product can be used in concentrations of 100 ml per 10 liters of water, it can be easily diluted with water. The advantages of this drug: high versatility, independence, and for consumers from the household segment – the opportunity to buy 1 liter (5-10 servings, depending on dilution), i.e. the amount of the drug for cleaning one set of upholstered furniture.
Lyrical digression about chemistry for cleaning upholstered furniture and carpets
Despite the fact that the article is generally devoted to the cleaning of upholstered furniture, if you asked me: – But what about the chemicals for cleaning carpets, – I would have to admit that if we are talking specifically about cleaning, then what chemicals for cleaning furniture that chemicals for cleaning carpets will be the same preparations that will be used for the same purpose – for cleaning. The choice of a specific preparation will be largely determined by what kind of cleaning technology is used and what kind of material, it means what fibers, what method of coloring, what glue and whether they are, are being cleaned, and also what it is being cleaned from.
Stain removers are products that clean better, but they are more aggressive and tend to work on the key-lock principle, that is, different types of stains require different stain removers.
The universal stain remover for upholstered furniture is more a line of work than a real product, although, of course, there are those that could be called that due to the fact that they cover a wide range of stains.
The classic varieties of stain removers for cleaning furniture include:
- alkaline stain removers for cleaning furniture;
- solvent-based stain removers;
- stain removers that can discolor dirt.
The line of chemicals for cleaning furniture from TM Wieberr in Ukraine presents the following stain removers:
- Skaria Cleaner (in concentrate) is an alkaline stain remover, it is very active against oily and protein stains, it copes well with the corresponding stains. This drug can be roughly called universal;
- Grease Eliminator is a solvent-based stain remover whose formulation is dominated by d-limonene (a solvent made by separating citrus oil). It is excellent for removing any solvent-sensitive stains such as grease, makeup stains, polymer-based paints (acrylic, latex, oil), except nitro paints. This stain remover works well for stains from ballpoint pen paste, petroleum products, and so on. Remove plasticine from the sofa – also Grease Eliminator;
- Cleaner Powder is a preparation for discoloration of many dyes and removal of such difficult stains as iodine, greenery, grass stains, some sauces … but you need to be able to work with such a preparation;
- To remove rust stains, Wieberr has Rust Remover.
There are other stain removers in the Wieberr chemistry line in Ukraine. Here are some of the most popular and easiest to use … Simplicity is an important poll.
The fact is that mastering stain removal and dealing with the whole list of stain removers is an applied task for professionals, and here one article is not enough – you need to go to our training in stain removal when cleaning upholstered furniture.
Rinses for cleaning upholstered furniture
In the above schemes, alkaline cleaning agents are commonly used for pre-wetting and cleaning. They cope better with dirt typical for upholstered furniture – sweat deposits, household dust. However, the preparations themselves, agents of this kind, leave a coating of the detergent on the furniture after cleaning, and in it – alkali. Alkali, of course, can be different, but it is alkali. And also, there is still soap.
Of course, you don’t have to wash it off, and if the chemistry is “lighter”, then it will not harm the furniture and will not be noticeable during operation. But if the chemistry is “harsher”, it needs to be washed off. Anyway, to wash it off and forget is much better.
To wash off the remains of detergents for upholstered furniture, solutions of preparations with an acidic pH are used. Usually, it is enough to get a pH of 3-4 in the solution and rinse the upholstery with it to wash off the rest of the cleaning agent.
In addition to the acid, such solutions contain auxiliary components that allow additional cleaning of the textile coating.
- In the line of Wieberr furniture cleaning products in Ukraine, there is only one such product for today – Acid Cleaner.
It can be applied in two ways.
- Firstly, you can dilute 50-100 ml of concentrate per 10 liters of water and rinse and clean the upholstery fabric with this solution.
- Secondly, you can dilute 100 ml of the concentrate with 10 liters of water, spray the furniture with this solution and rinse with clean water using a washing vacuum cleaner.
In both cases, you will be able to neutralize the alkaline residue and wash off the bulk of the “soap” left after cleaning.
Foam cleaning and foam for cleaning upholstered furniture
Very often, household consumers want foam for cleaning upholstered furniture. And, indeed, you can clean furniture with foam, but here you need to understand that this foam cleaning can be completely different.
Professionals use special shampoos for cleaning upholstered furniture, which are diluted with water, foamed with a special device (foam generator) or whipped on the upholstery surface using a special tool (hand or electric brushes).
When cleaning, part of the dirt rises with foam, the resulting slurry is collected using a washing vacuum cleaner, while, so that it does not choke with foam, a defoamer is used in the tank to collect waste. The drying residue crystallizes directly in the upholstery and, after drying, is collected with a good vacuum cleaner. This technology for the operation of the detergent is often called “encapsulation”. This term is new, but the effect is very old, and has been used by manufacturers of chemicals for cleaning furniture and carpets since the 60s of the last century.
Shampoos, the remainder of which can remain in the upholstery for a long time, of course, should be very, very delicate. Therefore, special requirements are imposed on them:
- low pH level of solutions
- large percentage of evaporating ingredients
- biological neutrality of residues, and so on.
In a domestic environment, more often for such cleaning they use foam for cleaning car interiors, which is sold in pressurized cylinders, and foam for cleaning carpets.
Pressurized cylinders are expensive. And the foam for cleaning carpets … In principle, this is normal if it suits the task of cleaning upholstered furniture with its technical characteristics.
The main problem here is different – the ability of the household consumer to apply such chemistry correctly.
Unfortunately, more often than not we see a different result: a pile of soap in the upholstery, which is mixed with dirt and nothing has been removed from the upholstery. Professionals who clean furniture often groan that there is less dirt in the sofa, and it is easier to wash it than the soap that the furniture owners swelled in.
As of today, June 2021, Wieberr in Ukraine does not offer preparations for cleaning this furniture cleaning technology, however, we are considering the possibility of releasing such products and, it is likely that if you are reading this article already in 2022, the situation will change.
Upholstered furniture cleaning trainings and technical support
For users of Wieberr products, and not only for them, ARTHIM organizes various trainings and provides technical support. If you have any questions about the selection of chemicals for cleaning upholstered furniture for your specific case, write, call us, send a photo, and qualified specialists with more than ten years of experience in cleaning upholstered furniture will help you figure it out and get the best result!
To sum up
Try out any of the mentioned Wieberr products for cleaing now and join our group for getting extra info and tech support.