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Upholstery cleaning disaster- advise

Posted by lovethesouth (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 29, 08 at 0:22

We bought a beautiful dining table and 6 chairs from Craigs list. The chairs have thick upholstered seats. The fabric is thick, woven, and off white. The seats had some soil on them. I used the upholstery attachment on my Hoover upright steam cleaner and ProForce Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner from Sam's club to go over each seat. They looked great, I went to bed. When I woke up each seat had brown almost streak like discoloration on it only at the corners and along their front edges. Some are worse than others. I re cleaned just one using a soft brush and the same cleaning solution. After an hour, I removed all the brown discoloration. After a half hour or so, the brown re appeared. To me, it looks worse than the first time the brown appeared. I wish I could show a picture. It is hard to describe. Picture an off white dining chair seat that someone took a larger paint brush that had been cleaned but still had a slight bit of dark brown paint in it and gently brushed it over the front edge and corners of the fabric feathering it out as they brushed over the fabric. The entire top of the fabric seat fine. Before I started the first cleaning I looked for a fabric content tag or any tag with cleaning instructions. The only tag says 100% Polyurethane Foam. It also gives the company name who made the dining set which did not come up on a google search.
Any suggestions would be so much appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Upholstery cleaning disaster- advise

I would take the seats off the chair frame, wash them once more time and let them fully dry before putting the seats back onto the chairs.

Is the underside of the chair frame brown wood?


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RE: Upholstery cleaning disaster- advise

I think you have ruined the chairs. I suspect you have Dry Clean only fabric. That is what I have on all of my furniture. I have to use dry cleaning solvent. I have it done by a pro as I can't take the smell of the stuff. He sprays white, cotton towles with the solvent and then wipes the fabric. He repeats this several times and then re-wipes with dry white towles. The backing of the fabric is never wet. You are experiencing brown out. The backing has become soaked and the brown is "Wicking" up to the surface. That is a term used in the carpet cleaning business. With carpet you can use water so they just let it dry and then spray and rake the carpet pile and the browning is gone once dry. This is called Target, Tannin Stain Remover by Matrix. I don't know if this product can be used on dry clean only fabric or not. Why don't you give Jon-Don a call and ask if they cary a product that you would be able to use. 1-800-556-6366. This is a big operation and they do give carpet and fabric cleaning classes and continuing education to those who have been in the business for years but need to learn about new products and machines. Good luck!

For others reading this post, check your fabric tags before you clean anything. If it says "S" this stands for solvent and not steam or shampoo. My neighbor could not locate her tag and was steaming away. The sofa turned brown. I went over there after she called in a panic and found the tag. It was under the front kick skirt. It said "Nettyoer Sec Sulement." The spelling may not be correct but it means Dry Clean Only in French. The sofa was made in Canada.


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RE: Upholstery cleaning disaster- advise

Thank you so much to all who gave suggestions. I just tried the white vinegar solution on one chair seat and it almost instantly took away the dark brown streaking. I will wait for it to completely dry to make sure the brown doesn't come back and then do the others. Again, Thank You So Much.


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RE: Upholstery cleaning disaster- advise

Lovethesouth,I feel bad for you. Is the brown staining still bad? Turn one of the chairs upside down and see if the seats can be removed. The frame may be held on with screws that can be removed. You may be able to remove the fabric and replace it with seat cover material of your own choice. I had four chairs with extremely scratched up leather seats. I took the seats apart, added some needlepoint cloth covers I bought from a fabric store, and reattached the seats. They looked wonderful and lasted many years. Whatever you do, good luck.


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