Cleaning Fabric - Broyhill Caitlyn Chair

BoblinkFebruary 10, 2011

Hi, I have a (pale green) Broyhill Caitlyn chair that appears to have a finger print smug on it and would appreciate any help that you can offer for the best way to clean / remove, this dirty spot?

Thank you,

Bob

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Boblink

Hello again, I forgot to mention that the material fabric is 8175-8D.
Bob

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Boblink

One other addition, the fabric / material is coded as "S".

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 4:45PM
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lukkiirish

if that fabric is a microfiber I was told that it's best to use a soft cloth with distilled water not regular faucet water.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 8:01PM
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Boblink

It's NOT a microfiber, it's a flat fabric with no "hairs" / sheen.
Bob

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 7:40AM
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clt3

"S" means you need to use a dry cleaning solvent.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 9:32AM
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bobismyuncle

Yes, S means Solvent cleaning (not water). In my experience cleaning a couple hundred pieces a year, S does not always mean S only. I once asked a national fabric distributor why this was so, and he sort of chuckled and indicated it was to keep people from trying to do it themselves and messing it up (for example, tossing a cushion cover in the laundry.) Nearly every fabric sold at his wife's furniture store was labelled S, and almost all were water cleanable.

There are a few fabrics that really do need to be S -- rayon chenille, 100% cotton, mohair, and silk. But when faced with having a stain or having a little color bleed, most people will want the stain removed. The real question to ask is not the cleaning code, but the fiber content.

S cleaning is not very effective against ordinary soils. It has to do with the chemistry of the soil and the cleaner. Without getting too technical, "what goes in wet comes out wet." Meaning water-based stains need a water based cleaner, cleaning code be d@amned.

Now, I'm not telling you to jump in with water based cleaning on your fabric without seeing it, and more importantly without doing a test on the fabric for colorfastness and water-spotting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is the best article on the subject that I've read.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Boblink

Thank you for the GREAT information uncle.
Bob

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 10:44AM
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bobismyuncle

I was at a customer's home doing some other work last year while the "dry cleaning upholstery" company was there. It was a total waste of money. They dribbled some solvent on a terry cloth towel and rubbed the surface of the material.

I do have S cleaners in my kit and have used them to remove grease from chenille and even dried-on oil based paint. But my go-to cleaners are all water based. There are very few, if any, people in my metro area who do real s-cleaning. While my water based extractor machine (a portable) runs about $500, a dry cleaning extractor would run about 10x as expensive. Water is nearly free and s-cleaners run quite expensive, too. One of them I have has a boiling point of 85 degrees F. So since I use it infrequently, most of it evaporates away out of the gallon (about $30) before I get a chance to use it.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Boblink

Thank you again uncle, the Broyhill "Customer Support" wasn't really helpful (they "farm out" this to a 3rd party) so I really don't have much to go with. Is their an over the counter (retail) cleaner that you have had good luck with / can recommend?
Thanks,
Bob

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 12:54PM
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bobismyuncle

I am not familiar with too many of the OTC products, other than the "carpet and upholstery cleaners" that you can put in Hoover and Bissell cleaners. I've used these in my home and they seem to work OK. Carbona makes a whole series of cleaners for specific stains, but I don't have any experience with them, I've just seen them at JoAnne's fabric stores.

Broyhill should be able to tell you the fiber content of your fabric. Find that out and come back. It may be a drop of Dawn in a cup of water, a toothbrush, and a wet-dry shop vac is all you need.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 4:58PM
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Boblink

Hi uncle, the tag attached to the bottom of the chair (the one that says Do Not Removed - or you will be executed) lists the material as 97% Polyester Fiber // 3% cotton. I did not include the foam and batting material but if you need / want it, I have it handy.
Thanks,
Bob

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 8:18PM
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bobismyuncle

I have generally found that anything 50-50 poly-cotton (or more poly) wet cleans fine.

In an obscure spot (I like to use the back boxing near the zipper if your cushion is of this configuration):
- Take a dry white cloth and rub the fabric, looking for any color loss
- If that passes, wet the cloth and repeat.
- If that passes, then dry the spot (you can use a hair dryer), looking for water spotting.
- If all is good, you should be able to successfully wet clean.

For such a small spot, mix up a cup of water and a drop or two of dish detergent, like clear Dawn (not dishwasher like Cascade!). Spray or drip a little on this area. Let it sit for a minute and gently work around with a soft brush, like an old soft toothbrush. Extract the solution with a wet-dry shop-vac or upholstery attachment to a carpet cleaning machine, if you have one. Repeat until it comes out. It might take two or three times, or more. Then rinse with plain water and wet the whole surface (seam to seam) and extract.

There are four elements of upholstery cleaning that work for you. TACT - the less of any one of them, you more you need of the others to get the same cleaning effect:
T - Time (let the solution dwell)
A - Agitation (the toothbrush)
C - Chemical (the Dawn)
T - Temperature (warm, but not super-hot water)

Just look around at anything cleaning in your house and you will see these at work - washing machine, dishwasher, your shower, car wash, floor scrubber, etc.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:26AM
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Boblink

"Mission Accomplished", thank you for your help uncle
Bob

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:05AM
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