Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Water is Healthy for a lot of Things, but Furniture Isn’t one of Them

Yes, water is a healthy thing to consume … for humans, but when it comes to your furniture, plain old water can ruin your upholstered furniture. This includes hot steaming water, too. Plain water applied to a man-made fabric like Rayon comes from wood pulp and is almost all cellulose.

This fabric is on furniture everywhere you look today and it is a beautiful fabric and feels wonderful, but when water comes into contact with it, those fibers that make it feel and look so good will swell up and they stay that way, even after the furniture has dried.

That swollen area is visible from a distance, too. What is worse, you can’t do a thing about it. No matter what, that spot will always be a lighter color and until it becomes really dirty or you wet the rest of the piece in water, it is there to stay.

When it comes to cleaning that viscose fiber (Rayon) furniture, it weakens by as much as 40% when it gets wet. Of course, there really isn’t any upholstery furniture that can tolerate getting wet repeatedly. So, what do you do with viscose covered furniture that needs cleaning?

First of all, you call a professional for the best results. They will have the proper equipment to clean your furniture without causing damage to the fabric. Even if you splurge on a rental steam unit, not knowing the right pressure to apply, you can soak areas on your furniture and leave those swollen spots behind.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Is Your Carpet Experiencing Phenolic Yellowing?

What an odd word – phenolic – and then you add “yellowing” to it and it sounds absolutely horrible. What is it and should you be afraid of this unusual name? It is common but yet it is unusual, too. This is when your carpeting or rugs has suffered from what professional carpet cleaners call “off gassing.”

First thing you should know is not to confuse this with the original carpet color being retained while a rug was laid on top of it. This phenolic yellowing can happen on any carpet color because of the BHT (butylhydroxytoluene), a preservative that is used within the carpet. This is especially true for tufted carpet with latex and the underlay.

When you place a rug on your carpeting, it is the same as sealing in air which causes the carpet not to “breathe.”  As such, this trapped air contains the chemical that usually floats out into the atmosphere and instead, it causes a reaction that discolors the fibers.

However, not all carpet has a tufted pile, which means it doesn’t have BHT that still experiences phenolic yellowing, and then the rug may be the problem with a secondary backed latex glued backing. Instead of air being trapped in the carpet, the “off gassing” isn’t able to escape out of the rug, thus the phenolic yellowing.