Fabric surfaces can be a challenge to maintain in the commercial setting. Nevertheless, using fabric and textiles for upholstery and accents in the office is important. Without these soft, comfortable additions, your office can feel cold and sterile to employees and customers alike. Soft surfaces are also important for sound absorption, especially if you have hard flooring. Here are some pro tips to keep fabric clean and well maintained.
Spot-Cleaning Fabric Surfaces
The most common applications of fabric surfaces in a commercial setting are desk and task chairs, conference room chairs, cubicles and lobby furniture (sofas, loveseats or armchairs). Unfortunately, chairs attract more dirt and stains than almost any other surface. Start the cleaning process by determining the chair’s material type. If the manufacturer’s recommendations are nowhere to be found, look for a tag on the furniture itself. The tag may or may not indicate the type of material used, but it likely identifies a code such as “W,” “S”, “SW” or “X.” These respectively stand for water-based upholstery-cleaning solution, solvent-based cleaner or a choice between solvent and water. An “X” designation means that neither water nor solvent is safe, and the product must be taken to a professional dry cleaner. If you can spot-clean safely, vacuum the chair first, then apply the cleaning solution according to package directions. If the stain is persistent, you may have to let the solution soak for a while. If the chair hasn’t been cleaned for some time, be prepared to have a noticeable clean spot when you’re done.
Deep Cleaning Fabric and Textiles
If you are diligent about regular maintenance, deep cleaning will not be required more than once a year, if that often. Most commercial furniture manufacturers advise using a professional cleaning service if you need to do anything beyond simple spot cleaning of commercial textiles. In many cases, products like foaming upholstery cleaner can cause more harm than not cleaning the surfaces at all. Likewise with the steam cleaners you can rent for the day at the local hardware or grocery store. If the fabric is not made for water extraction, you will likely ruin the piece of furniture if you try. If you do have furniture that will tolerate a DIY cleaning, be sure to test first for colorfastness in a small, inconspicuous corner.
Care and Maintenance of Soft Surfaces
Most textiles used for commercial applications are designed for durability and long life, when given the proper care and maintenance. This consists mainly of regular vacuuming using the upholstery attachment. Most manufacturers warn never to use a fabric or vacuum brush on any type of woven or wool-based textile. Many fabrics are also sensitive to water, and you risk causing permanent damage or voiding the warranty if you use water to clean fabrics that require dry cleaning.
You can best protect your company’s investment in office furniture by having it professionally cleaned. Town & Country Office Cleaning specializes in both regular cleaning and maintenance services and specialized or deep cleaning of all types of commercial surfaces. Contact them today for more information on keeping your textile or fabric surfaces clean and looking great.