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"I’m a carpet cleaner,” you proudly declare.

         

What about the furniture in your customers’ homes? If you don’t clean it, who will?

         

Many entering the carpet cleaning industry purchase truckmounts or high-performance portables to clean carpets. Some use other methods – but regardless of your method of choice, there are some carpet cleaners avoiding furniture cleaning.

         

Use your equipment to do more.

         

The advantage when expanding into other services is you can use your existing equipment and keep your financial resources where you want them to be – in your wallet or bank account.

 

A service the customer thinks you already offer…

           

Upholstery cleaning is one specialized service the customer expects carpet cleaning companies to perform.

         

All carpet cleaners clean furniture, right?

         

Wrong.

         

Most of you already perform this service, but you would be surprised to know many carpet cleaners don’t offer upholstery cleaning. Many of them are afraid of getting into upholstery cleaning because they’ve heard other’s “horror stories.”

         

I have cleaned at least 1,000 sofas in my life and probably 10 times that have been cleaned by my employees, and there have never been major problems.

         

With a small investment ($75 to $375) in a good upholstery tool, you can clean almost 99 percent of the upholstery in your market – safely. (See “The gentle nature of fabric” in the sidebar.)

         

Usually the more expensive tools are the ones that help you control the level of moisture and reduce your risk of a claim.

         


The most important thing to remember is there are more than 300 different kinds of fabrics in upholstery, while only six fabrics are common in carpeting. Here are some things I’ve learned from the field that will help anyone safely clean upholstery.

 

1. When cleaning any fabric you have not cleaned before, test for colorfastness. Take your pre-spray and apply it on a towel, then go to an inconspicuous area on the furniture and blot with the towel. Darker colors work best. If there is any color transfer at all, then you can’t wet clean the fabric safely. The colors will bleed.

 

2. Another test you need to perform is the shrinking test. Before you start cleaning, test clean a one square foot area and let it dry. If any shrinking occurs, you will not be able to wet clean this fabric.