Upholstery Cleaning: 16 Key Questions to Ask
When your upholstered furniture begins looking dingy or dreary, it’s time to contact a professional cleaning company. Whether the furniture in question is a beloved treasure or a serviceable sofa that’s seen one too many spills, finding the right cleaning company can seem like a daunting task.
Upholstered furniture looks better and lasts longer if it’s deep cleaned on a regular basis. Annual cleanings are sufficient for many, but if your busy household includes kids and pets, consider adopting a routine six-month cleaning schedule.
Three primary steps (prepping, cleaning and finishing) anchor any professional upholstery cleaning process according to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the certification and standards organisation for the industry.
The best companies use cleaning equipment, methods and products that comply with the manufacturers’ recommendations. They recognize that choosing the right method involves evaluating furniture construction along with fiber content and specific materials used for upholstery and padding. They employ Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technicians (UFTs) certified by IICRC, and their company may be IICRC certified as well.
This information is useful, but it’s just the starting point. We’ve outlined 16 key questions to help you find a qualified, dependable service provider.
Qualifications & Experience
How long have you been in business?
Is your company certified by IICRC?
Are your technicians certified UFTs?
Are you/your employees insured and/or bonded?
Do you guarantee your work in writing?
Can you provide references and contact information for recent satisfied customers?
Services & Pricing
How much does it cost to clean a couch? A recliner? A side chair?
Will you provide a firm written estimate?
Will the stated price include everything (pretreatment, cleaning, finishing) or will there be additional fees?
Do you clean all furniture in the home?
If you prefer to clean furniture offsite, do you pick up and deliver?
What type of cleaning methods do you use?
Is your equipment portable or truck mounted?
Do your cleaning products meet manufacturers’ recommendations?
About how long does it take to clean a typical couch?
How long does it take for the upholstery to dry and be ready for use?
If your furniture is upholstered with leather, ask specific questions regarding the leather cleaning process and confirm it meets the manufacturer’s recommendations. Remember too that upholstery cleaning products often contain strong chemicals, so if anyone in your household has allergies or sensitivities, ask about the compounds and fragrances used in the cleaning formulas.
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