Spring cleaning is right around the corner. One of the most common questions our Product Service department receives is “how do I clean my benches?” There are multiple ways to clean furniture. However, there are a few ways that could actually cause more harm than good. This generally happens when product contains foam and fabric.
- Many cleaning companies use a hot water extraction to clean product. In this process, hot water and cleaning agents propel into your furniture at high pressure. Allowing them to loosen up dirt, soil, and grime. In almost the same motion a high-power vacuum collects the hot water. Along with all the dirt and stains in your product. This is a great way to clean carpet with a pad on the bottom. But when it comes to benches, chairs, or auditorium seating this poses a major threat to the product. Carpet is much more resilient than fabric. As it usually sits on either concrete or thick plywood. The method of extraction heats up the upholstery. While at the same time injects water all the way down to a wooden core that is used as the substrate of the furniture. This process in conjunction with the high-powered vacuum creates a very aggressive situation for upholstered products. Foam begins to degrade and break down along with the upholstery. This could/will result in excessive wrinkling of your fabric and major loss in the comfort level you once had. Not to mention an increased growth of bacteria and fungus. (EMSL Analytical Labs Study 2016)
What is best way to clean fabric and our preferred recommendation?
- The best way to clean fabric and our preferred recommendation by the Product Service department is to simply use a damp sponge. Blot the entire length of the furniture with sponge to ensure even cleaning. In the case of heavy soiling, a hand steam cleaner can be used to try and disinfect the affected area. Be sure to blot clean the entire length of the product to ensure even cleaning when it dries. Most importantly, always refer to the manufacturers cleaning instructions for the specific fabric you will be working on. All fabrics have specific cleaning codes that will direct you on what type of cleaning methods can effectively be used for each stain.
What should I use to clean the fabric on the pews?
- For stubborn stains:
- 1 tsp. Dawn dishwashing detergent in 1 gallon of water.
- Spray until wet.
- Scrub with bristle brush.
- Wet vacuum to remove excess.
- Spray with clean water.
- Wet vacuum again.
- Let air dry.
- Extremely dirty areas my need a second application.
What should I use to polish the benches?
- The furniture should be thoroughly cleaned prior to polishing. DO NOT APPLY ADDITIONAL COATS OF POLISH WITHOUT FIRST CLEANING, since an accumulation of polish, dirt particles and perspiration can severely damage or sometimes lift finish.
- To wash the wood surfaces, make a sudsy mixture of mild soap, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap and water. Apply with a clean soft cloth from which most of the water has been wrung. Work fast, washing, rinsing and drying a small area at a time, so that no moisture is allowed to stand. Be sure to overlap washed areas.
- After cleaning, apply a good grade of furniture polish. BE SURE TO SELECT A POLISH THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN SILICONE, since this may cause damage to the furniture finish.
Please call our home office at 1-800-537-1530 for additional information.