Why should I select D. A. Burns?

Since 1935, residential and business clients have trusted D. A. Burns & Sons with the care and cleaning of their valued furnishings.  We carefully handle your carpet, Oriental and specialty rugs, upholstered furniture and window treatments as if they were our own.  We take great pride in the quality of our service and the experienced professionals who perform them.  

D. A. Burns & Sons is recognized as a leader in our industry and is highly recommended by design professionals who rely on our expertise for the cleaning of care-sensitive textile furnishings and our carpet craftsmanship in the fabrication of custom designs, edge treatments and rug repair.  Our cleaning plant and carpet workroom resources and capabilities are unmatched in our service area.

We are pleased that most of our work comes through repeat business and referrals from decades of satisfied customers.  They value our experienced service team, convenient scheduling, friendly service and kept promises.  We keep our promises, with no surprises!

When selecting a professional service firm, consider the following factors:

  • Years of experience.
  • Continued education, training and certification of the technicians performing the service.
  • Scope, or diversification of their services.
  • Ability to respond to your questions and concerns and stand behind their work.
  • Willingness to provide you with a free, written service proposal.
  • References from satisfied clients.
  • Involvement in their industry and community

Are your cleaning technicians your employees?

Yes.  All members of our service team are company employees – experienced and well-trained.  In fact, the average tenure of our service team members is 14 years.
We value longevity of service and continued education.  To that end, we provide a number of on-going educational programs to assure you the best in service and cleaning results.   

Our firm and our cleaning technicians have achieved industry certification by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification and the Carpet & Rug Institute. We also have two Certified Rug Specialists on staff, as designated by the Association of Specialists in Cleaning & Restoration International. 

Do you offer special price promotions or discounts on your services?

Yes, we have a number of year-round discount programs.

Our 20% “cash & carry” cleaning discount rewards you for bringing your specialty rugs, upholstery or window treatments to us for in-plant cleaning, rather than requesting our pickup and delivery service.

We also offer a discount program for our on-location cleaning services.  Our wall-to-wall carpet cleaning service is discounted 25% when we are not requested to move any furnishings.  For carpet cleaning jobs greater than 1000 square feet, we discount our price (20% – 30%) as the size of the job grows.  

Our on-location upholstery cleaning service is discounted 20%, passing on the savings from not incurring pickup and delivery expenses.

To best match our professional service to your needs and expectations, we are happy to come out and provide you with a no cost, no obligation, written service proposal.  It helps us tailor our service to your needs, assuring you of the best service value … and no surprises!

How should I care for my carpet?

Carpet represents a substantial investment in the scheme of interior furnishings.  With proper and regular care, you can add years of life to your carpet and help retain its original beauty.  The best advice for retaining that like-new appearance is not to allow the carpet to become too badly soiled.  Once that happens, stronger cleaning agents and harsher mechanical action are required to recapture an acceptable appearance level.
The key to keeping your carpet looking great centers around four basic steps:

  1. Controlling soil.
  2. Vacuum thoroughly and frequently.
  3. Prompt, correct removal of spots and spills.
  4. Periodic overall cleaning.

Most abrasive particulate soil accumulates initially within the first few feet of the entries to homes and commercial buildings.  Once inside, this soil takes its toll on your carpet and contributes airborne particles that affect overall indoor air quality.  Properly selected entry mats, designed to collect or absorb soil and moisture, will keep this soil accumulation outside.  These entry mats must be maintained by periodic vacuuming, shaking and cleaning.

Your vacuum cleaner is probably your best weapon in keeping your carpet free from soil.  Vacuum regularly to keep soil from becoming embedded in the carpet’s pile, where it is more difficult to remove and where it can even cause fiber damage, and dull the carpet’s beauty.  For best results, use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar and good suction for dry soil removal, and equipped with an effective high filtration bag.

Thoroughly vacuum the light traffic areas at least weekly, and even daily in the heavily used areas.  Vacuum slowly, with a number of passes, to allow the beating and extraction action to remove embedded particulate soil.  Consider the use of walk-off mats at entry areas to reduce the amount of soil entering the interior spaces.

Accidents will occur, but prompt first-aid is vital to preventing permanent damage.  A wet/dry vacuum will help greatly in removing spots and stains.  Use cleaning solutions sparingly and blot … don’t rub.  A weighted pad of color-fast towels or tissue, placed over the wet area, will absorb additional moisture and the staining substance.

Be mindful not to leave residual detergent in the carpet, as it will attract soil causing the spot to “reappear”.  Unfortunately, not all spots and stains can be completely and safely removed.

How often your carpet will need an overall cleaning depends on foot traffic, soiling conditions, type, and color of the carpet.  

Installed residential carpet exposed to routine use should be programmed for cleaning at least annually.  Carpet that is subjected to extreme soiling or heavy use, particularly high traffic areas, or carpet installed in homes occupied by persons with allergy or respiratory problems requires greater cleaning frequency.  Carpet receiving limited traffic needs less frequent cleaning.

Consumers should not wait until their carpet appears soiled before cleaning.  Significant soil accumulation at the base of the carpet fibers occurs long before it is visible at the fiber tips.  Experts agree that clean carpet not only contributes to the overall aesthetics of your interior surroundings, but it plays a vital role in the healthful state of the overall environment in which people work, live and spend the majority of their time.  Regular vacuuming and immediate attention to spots and spills will keep your carpet cleaner longer.

Should you choose to do it yourself, select your cleaning method and equipment carefully.  Follow the instructions and avoid high pH cleaning solutions and excessive abrasive action.  If cleaning a stain-resistant yarn system, first do a general cleaning and then, if necessary, spot clean with approved cleaning agents.  Do not apply any cationic (anti-static/anti-microbial) chemical treatments to stain-resistant yarn systems.

A professional carpet cleaner will select the best method of cleaning to keep your carpet newer-looking for longer, and in less frequent need of overall cleaning.  Always insist that he/she be experienced, well-equipped and properly trained.  Having the best in equipment is not enough … it’s the cleaning technician behind the equipment that really makes the difference.
So remember … regular vacuuming and prompt spot removal will postpone the need for more expensive, overall cleaning to restore your carpet’s color and texture.

What is the best carpet cleaning method?

Just as there are many ways to clean clothing, there are many ways to clean carpet.  Cleaning methods vary in their advantages and disadvantages, but the key to superior cleaning results lies in the skill and commitment of the cleaning technician. The cleaning method selected will be dependent on several factors including:  the type of carpet, the type and degree of soiling, the reason for cleaning and the out-of-service time available.  It is more important to select the right cleaning firm, who will in turn select the right cleaning method.

Our cleaning technicians are highly trained, industry certified and well equipped … a combination that meets or exceeds our customers’ expectations.  Equipped with the best of truck-mounted, hot-water extraction cleaning systems, our experienced cleaning technicians produce superior cleaning results in accordance with your carpet manufacturer’s care recommendations. In the final analysis, any cleaning method is only as effective as the professional technician performing the service.

How often should I have my carpet cleaned?

Most carpet manufacturers and fiber producers recommend that your wall-to-wall carpet is cleaned every 12-24 months.  The Environmental Protection Agency suggests even more frequent cleaning, depending on your carpet’s use.

Installed residential carpet, exposed to routine use, should be programmed for cleaning at least annually.  Carpet that is subjected to extreme soiling or heavy use, particularly high traffic areas, or carpet installed in homes occupied by persons with allergy or respiratory problems requires greater cleaning frequency.  Carpet receiving limited traffic needs less frequent cleaning.

Consumers should not wait until their carpet appears soiled before cleaning.  Significant soil accumulation at the base of the carpet fibers occurs long before it is visible at the fiber tips.  Experts agree that clean carpet contributes not only to the overall aesthetics of your interior surroundings, but it plays a vital role in the healthful state of the overall environment in which people work, live and spend the majority of their time.  Regular vacuuming and immediate attention to spots and spills will keep your carpet cleaner longer.

Can you get all the spots out? Will they return after cleaning?

It has been our experience that most spots respond well to our cleaning processes.  Most of today’s carpet is treated with special finishes to resist soil and stains.  However, no carpet is stain-proof.  The longer you leave a spot or spill unattended, the more difficult it will be to remove.  Since knowing the identity of the spilled substance is helpful in spot removal, prompt attention is essential.

Unattended spills often penetrate to the back of the carpet and even into the underlying cushion.  When this is allowed to occur, it is not uncommon for the spilled substance to continue to “wick” to the carpet’s surface, attract soil and “reappear” as a discolored area.  Repeated cleanings may be necessary to overcome this soiling pattern.

In dealing with spots and stains, it is beneficial to clarify the difference between the two.  A “spot” is a discoloring substance adhered to the outside of the carpet yarn causing a visible spot.  Spots can be removed effectively by using the proper array of mechanical and chemical processes.  

A “stain” is a discoloration caused by chemical reaction or by penetration of discoloring material into the dye sites of the carpet yarns.  These stains may be color-added stains, from substances such as red wine or juice, resulting in a stain the same color as the spilled liquid.  Stains may also be color-loss substances, such as bleaches, resulting in a loss of color from the carpet fibers in the affected areas.  Stains cannot be removed using standard chemical or mechanical processes.  Corrective action of a stained carpet area may mean spot dyeing or the skillful insertion of a carpet section.

What should I do if I spill something on my carpet?

Act quickly!  Most carpet available today has been treated with a stain-resist treatment, so many spills can be removed if immediate action is taken.

The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spill becoming a permanent stain.  Remember, staining is influenced by many factors, and no carpet is completely stain-proof.

Blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or paper towels (no printing).  Do not scrub the area.  Scrubbing can cause pile distortion in the affected areas.  Continue to use a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is completely dry.  For semi-solids, gently scrape up with a rounded spoon.  Solids should be broken up and vacuumed until completely removed from the carpet.

If the spot can be identified, locate the substance in our “Carpet Spot Removal Guide” and follow the directions carefully.

Will my carpet need cleaning more often, once it is cleaned?

No.  This question is a hold-over from decades past when the cleaning detergents used would leave a slightly sticky residue that actually attracted soil, leading to a more rapid carpet resoiling rate.  In addition, some cleaning systems leave residues that contribute to rapid resoiling.  

We take great care to prevent unnecessary resoiling by using specially formulated detergents and improved extraction cleaning methods, leaving your carpet cleaner and in less frequent need of cleaning.  For added protection, consider having your carpet treated with Teflon Carpet Protector following each professional cleaning. 

When can I put my carpet back in service after cleaning?

Following a thorough hot-water extraction cleaning, your carpet will be damp to the touch.  It should be completely dry within 6-24 hours.  You may walk on your clean carpet immediately following cleaning, but we recommend limiting the foot traffic until the carpet is completely dry.  

It is advisable to avoid tracking in outside soil onto the damp carpet and please do no remove the protective pads from under furnishings until your carpet is completely dry.  To accelerate the drying time of your carpet, keep the interior temperature at a comfortable level and provide for air ventilation throughout the cleaned area.

Are your cleaning procedures and agents environmentally sensitive?

We take great care in the selection of environmentally appropriate cleaning agents and we responsibly dispose of the waste water generated during our cleaning processes, as well as the collected particulate soil.

Do carpet and fabric protectors really work?

Carpet and fabric protectors help preserve and protect the appearance by allowing easier, faster and more efficient removal of soil, stains and liquid spills.  The Scotchgard Carpet Protector we use is a fluorochemical-based product that bonds with the fibers to form an “invisible barrier” against water and oil-based stains, making them more soil retardant and stain repellent.

A small amount of stain-resist protector will be removed in the cleaning process.  However, abrasion from normal use can wear away the protective coating more rapidly, especially in high traffic areas. To restore your carpet to its original level of stain-resist protection, consider having Scotchgard Carpet Protector reapplied to your carpet following each professional cleaning. 

Can you clean my specialty rugs in my home?

Yes, we occasionally clean selected specialty rugs on-location under special circumstances.  These special circumstances may include an unusually large-size rug, furnishings that are difficult or impractical to move, or premises that make it extremely difficult to remove the rug for a more thorough in-plant cleaning.

We advise that handmade rugs, especially those with a cotton foundation, be removed to receive a thorough and safe in-plant cleaning.  On-location cleaning, with its prolonged drying time, may result in color-run and permanent damage to the cotton foundation yarns of the rug (not to mention the risk of damage to the finished floor underneath).

What are those dark lines around the edge of my carpet, and how successful are you in removing them?

“Soil filtration lines” are the dark, soiled areas that develop gradually around the perimeter of your carpet, under floor-length draperies and under doors.  They can also develop anywhere there is an air space such as between floorboards or spaces in the sub-flooring and along stairs.

The soiling is caused by the passage of air through or across the carpet, depositing microscopic particles of dirt, dust and soot in the carpet.  This type of soil is very fine and can penetrate deeply into the yarn system.

Special techniques by a professional carpet cleaner are usually required to improve the appearance of soil filtration lines.  Unfortunately, the discoloration cannot always be completely removed.  The degree of removal depends on the amount and type of soil, length of time the soil has accumulated, the amount of air flow, color of carpet and type of fiber.  Although professional cleaning may improve or remove soil filtration lines, these soil lines are likely to return unless corrective measures have been taken to eliminate the passage of air through or across the carpet.

What is an Oriental rug?

Oriental rugs can be defined as a hand-woven rug of natural fiber, made in geographical areas that include the Near East, Middle East, Far East and the Balkans.  True Oriental rugs also share a common characteristic – the manner in which they are made.

Oriental rugs are either flat-woven or hand-knotted.  In flat-woven, pileless rugs, horizontal and vertical yarns form both the rug itself and the design.  In hand-knotted rugs, strands of yarn are tied into the flat-woven fabric, creating a pile and pattern.  This foundation has developed the variety of weaving styles, designs and geographic similarities that can make Oriental rug identification difficult.

What is the difference between a Persian rug and a Persian design?

A true Persian rug is a hand-knotted rug made in Iran.  A Persian design rug may be hand-knotted, although it could also be machine-made.  In addition, it can be made in any rug-producing country, using a pattern that once originated in Persia (Iran).

How do Oriental rugs get their name?

The names of Oriental rugs are often difficult to pronounce and confusing to many.  They conjure up images of faraway lands and exotic locales such as Sarouk, Kashan, Kerman, Bokhara, Peking, Samarkand, Heriz and Tabriz.  The names originally referred to the cities, villages or nomadic tribe which specialized in a specific rug weave, pattern or quality.  But using the cities to identify specific rug styles is no longer a rule of thumb since many patterns are now woven in cities – and countries – other than their origin.  The names are now more useful in describing a pattern than discovering the area where the rug was made.  

Today, many rug names include a prefix that identifies their country of origin.  For example, the rug name “Indo-Kashan” describes a rug with a Kashan design made in India, whereas a “Sino-Tabriz” is a Tabriz design made in China.  This is not always the case, however, as new designs are sometimes given their own names by the wholesale rug companies that have them produced.  

Why are so many hand-made rugs made of wool?

Sheep have long been a vital part of the culture of rug-making regions.  The great majority of Oriental rugs are made of wool because of its beauty and durability.  Wool is capable of absorbing deep color from dyestuffs, as wool fiber drinks in color like a sponge and locks it within the fiber in a unique molecular bond.  And wool is a low luster fiber which gives colors a rich, deep quality.

Wool fiber resists staining, matting, wetting, crushing and burning, giving it great durability.  The texture of wool does not change over time, and its original color is not altered by foot traffic and repeated cleanings.

Throughout countless centuries the many special properties of wool have made it the most popular fiber for floor coverings.  Those same properties continue to endear it to rug weavers and rug owners today.  

What are the differences between “hand-knotted” rugs, “hand-made” rugs, “tufted” rugs, “machine-made” rugs, and “wall-to-wall” carpeting?

Hand-knotted rugs are the only true Oriental rugs.  Industry standards insist that for a product to be labeled as “hand-knotted” it must actually be knotted by hand.  Many other rugs are labeled and advertised as “handmade” or “hand-tufted”, including hooked and needlepoint rugs.  “Tufted” rugs can be made by hand or machine.  The pile yarns are punched into a fabric (usually cotton), the face pile is clipped and a cotton material covers the back of the tufted rug. 

“Machine-made” rugs, as the name suggests, are made by machine – not by hand.  “Wall-to-wall” (installed) carpeting is not as durable as a hand-knotted rug, because its backing is glued to the foundation and knotting does not occur.

Should I accept noticeable “flaws” in a hand-made rug?

As with any other hand-made item, hand-knotted rugs are sometimes less than precise and this may add to their original appeal.  However, what may be a tolerable imperfection to one person may be unacceptable to another.  For example, one rug may have crooked edges, white knots or contain areas of abrash.  

These conditions are not necessarily “flaws”, and what may be considered a flaw in one type of rug may be considered characteristic of a different type of rug.  Only you can determine whether a rug will be suitable in your home, given any minor imperfections that may exist.

Why should I have a pad (underlayment) under my specialty rug?

A high-quality pad (underlayment) will make your area rug much more secure and less likely to move or slip.  If a pad is too thin and flimsy, it will not hold the rug as well, especially over time.  For rugs placed over wall-to-wall carpeting, a pad with some body and stiffness is necessary to hold the rug in place, especially if the pile of the carpeting is plush or if there is heavy furniture on the rug.

The benefits of the proper pad placed under your Oriental or specialty rug include: 

  • Gripping power … to keep your area carpet firmly in place.
  • Cushion … for comfort, impact resistance and reduced wear to your area carpet.           
  • Appearance and safety … your area carpet lays smooth and flat, avoiding tripping hazards.
  • Flow-through ventilation … to allow your area carpet to breathe, resulting in easier, more effective vacuuming. 

What are those bands of uneven color in my Oriental rug?

A change in color in the field and/or border of your rug is called “abrash” and is due to differences in wool or dye batches used in the weaving of your rug.  The color change extends across the rug, left to right, following a weft yarn.

Rather than view abrash as a rug flaw, many rug admirers value this condition as an artful hallmark of a hand-woven rug.
Many machine-made rugs are now emulating this abrash effect to give the appearance of a hand-made rug.

What are those tiny, “white spots” that have appeared in my Oriental rug?  

These are small white, or off-white, spots that appear at random on the rug’s surface.  These “spots” are actually knots from the rug’s cotton foundation yarns that have worked their way up to the surface of the rug, sandwiched between the pile fibers and thus exposed as part of the pile.  

How and why do these “white knots” occur, and why are they more noticeable after a thorough professional cleaning?
The rug’s pile is actually hand-knotted onto a foundation of warp and weft yarns.  In most Oriental rugs, this foundation is composed of off-white or light colored yarns.  Because the cotton comes in short lengths, several pieces will be knotted together to make the appropriate length.  Inevitably, during the weaving process, some of these yarns will break and need to be spliced together, creating additional knots.

When a rug is new, the white knots can be obscured by the full length of rug pile surrounding them.  These knots are bulkier than the surrounding face fibers, and ordinary foot traffic will force them to the surface at the same time that the pile fibers are wearing down.  Since they are a different material and color than the face fibers, they may be a cause for concern.  Their appearance is normal and careful inspection can often find them in almost any Oriental rug – it is a feature of these unique rugs whose face and foundation are both made by hand.

Immediately following completion of the rug weaving, or during distribution and retailing, the more obvious knots may be colored over with a slight tint or dye marker.  As the rug is used, the knots will darken and become obscured with surface soiling. Following a thorough in-plant cleaning, the soil and the tint are removed making the knots more prominent.  This is neither a defect in the rug nor a problem with the cleaning process, but rather a normal result from the use of your Oriental rug.  An added service, if desired, can be provided to recolor these white knots to make them less conspicuous.

How should I care for my Oriental or specialty rug?

Always place a high-quality pad underneath your rug.  Vacuum it regularly, being careful to stay away from the fringe with the vacuum’s beater bar.  Over time, the vacuum can “eat” away at the fringe.

If something is spilled on your rug, blot it up immediately and then remove any remaining stain.  (Refer to our “Carpet Spot Removal Guide.)  Have your rug professionally cleaned periodically, and rotate it every three months for even light exposure. 

Who should clean my Oriental rug?  How often should it be cleaned?

Area rugs and carpets differ greatly in their construction, dyeing methods and fiber content.  In-plant cleaning, by an experienced, specially equipped professional rug cleaning firm assures you of a safe and thorough rug cleaning.

With our professional, in-plant rug cleaning you can expect …

  • More thorough removal of abrasive particulate soil and unhealthy allergens.
  • Special attention to stubborn stains … and follow-up attention.
  • Better control of fugitive dyes and dimensional stability.
  • Multiple cleanings, if necessary, at no additional charge.
  • Rapid drying, controlling temperature and humidity, to guard against a weakening of the rug’s foundation due to prolonged, improper drying techniques.
  • No risk of damage to your finished floors … a concern with the on-location cleaning of area rugs.
  • Hand finishing when the rug is dry … hand cleaning of the fringes and grooming of the pile.

Oriental rugs should never be cleaned in your home.  On-location cleaning methods can risk damage to your rug, as well as to the floor underneath.  In-home cleaning simply cannot effectively remove the accumulated, abrasive soil from the rug’s foundation or assure rapid drying to avoid permanent damage to the rug’s warp and weft yarns. 

The frequency of cleaning depends on the level of foot-traffic and type of soil the rug receives.  Typically, an Oriental rug deserves professional cleaning every 2-4 years.

Why does my Oriental or specialty rug look different from one end to the other?

Each rug has a “light” side and a “dark” side, depending on whether one looks into the nap or with the nap.  The color intensity you see from one end of the rug may be vastly different from what you see on the opposite end.

This results from the weaving process as each knot is hand-tied and pulled down.  This creates the nap of the rug with all of the fibers laying in the same direction.  Once you have your rug in your home, examine it closely from both ends, since you may wish to turn it 180-degrees to ensure the best possible effect.

Why are the fringes of my Oriental rug falling apart?

Owners of hand-knotted Oriental rugs often ask why the fringes of their rugs begin to easily pull away.  Most often this occurs due to normal foot traffic and vacuuming. 

The fringes on hand-knotted rugs are an extension of the foundation warp yarns of the rug.  Because the fringes lie directly on the floor they are not protected from foot impact and abrasion like the pile of the rug.  Also, a common practice with many modern Oriental rugs is the chemical washing of the rug after weaving is complete.  The rugs are saturated with a chlorine bleach solution to mute the colors and/or give the wool a shiny appearance.  The rug is then rinsed with an acid solution to prevent yellowing.  This procedure is repeated several times until the desired effect is achieved.  This process does some limited damage to the wool pile but has a harsher effect on the fringe, actually weakening the fiber.

This pre-existing fringe damage is often not noticed until after the rug has been cleaned and pieces of fringe are noticeably absent.  Prior to cleaning, a build-up of soils can act as an adhesive to hold broken pieces of the fringe in place until the cleaning process removes the sticky soil residue.  The small, broken fibers are then free to slide apart and the fringe sheds rapidly.

If you gently tug on the fringes of your rug before cleaning, you may find the fiber comes apart easily.  At this point, the only remedy is to replace the weakened fringe fiber by weaving in new, untreated and undamaged fringe yarn.  When you have a rug repair concern, call on us for a free repair evaluation.

What do I do when I notice excessive wear or damage to my Oriental rug?

Although fine hand-made Oriental and specialty rugs are made to outlast many of us, they sometimes need the skilled attention of a repair professional.  The meticulous repair experts at D. A. Burns & Sons can restore your rug’s appearance and extend its life. 

We can restore your rug’s worn edges and ends to original condition.  Excessively worn and damaged areas can be re-woven.  When you have a rug repair concern, call on us for a free repair evaluation.  And remember … we also clean Oriental and specialty rugs.

Can Oriental or specialty rugs be used over wall-to-wall carpet?

Yes, they can.  We recommend that you invest in a high quality pad (underlayment) designed to keep the rug flat, and securely in place for appearance and safety.  Be aware that, even with a good pad, your rug may tend to ripple or “walk” across the carpet if your wall-to-wall carpet is too plush and/or if your rug has heavy furniture on it.  Also test your pad for color-fastness by rubbing the pad surface with a damp cloth before placing the pad between the carpeting and the area rug.

Is my rug vulnerable to sun fading?

Almost every interior textile will lighten in color or “fade” over a period of time.  The extent of damage depends on the item’s location, exposure to light and elements, color, intensity, type of dyes and the dyeing method used.

The sun (and other sources of light and fumes) may fade the colors of your specialty rug, especially if the rug is placed in an intensely bright location.  To minimize this problem, prevent prolonged exposure to intense sunlight by keeping the windows covered or treating them with a protective coating that filters out the ultra-violet (UV) rays of sunlight.  You may also wish to simply rotate your rug every three months.

How should I care for my upholstered furniture?

Furniture manufacturers and professional cleaners agree that furniture owners or users should perform regular, routine maintenance.  This includes routine procedures such as vacuuming, prompt attention to spots and spills and the polishing of finished surfaces.  Maintenance cleaning helps to keep the upholstery in a more attractive and healthy state, while preventing premature wear.

Upholstered furniture is more susceptible to soiling on arms and seat cushions, as well as the upper inside back, head-rests, pillows and skirt areas.  Using arm covers and rotating seat cushions frequently prolongs fabric life and appearance.  Vacuuming and, depending on fabric durability and construction, brushing upholstery routinely is recommended to remove dust and particle soil.  Most spots and spills can be removed easily if the excess is scooped up or blotted and treated immediately with plain water or neutral spotters.  If ignored, these spots may bond to fibers, possibly causing permanent stains.  Immediate spot cleaning is essential.  Extreme caution must be observed when spotting leather or “dry clean only” fabrics.

Periodic professional cleaning of your upholstered furniture is recommended.  The frequency of cleaning will depend on the furniture’s location, use and exposure to soiling.  The greater the level of soiling, the less the likelihood of restoring the upholstery’s original color, appearance and fabric texture.  Thorough, professional cleaning should be performed by experienced, trained technicians before soiling causes permanent damage to fibers, dyes or fabric texture.

How do I determine if my fabric upholstery should be cleaned on-location or at your cleaning plant?

The on-location cleaning of your upholstered furniture offers an appropriate alternative when your fabrics are not heavily soiled and do not require special cleaning procedures.  Many of our clients appreciate the convenience of on-location cleaning ….

  • Your furniture does not leave your premises
  • Your upholstery is ready to return to service within hours
  • We can perform the on-location cleaning any day, Monday – Saturday.

Because of the wide variety of fabrics and methods of upholstering, some fabrics require cleaning processes that are best performed in-plant, under controlled conditions.  The in-plant cleaning of upholstered furniture offers a number of advantages to assure the safe and thorough cleaning of care-sensitive and heavily soiled fabrics.  Our in-plant cleaning service (including pickup and delivery) offers …

  • The ability to employ special procedures for challenging soils and stains.
  • Special in-plant cleaning and finishing equipment, especially important for care-sensitive and heavily soiled fabrics.
  • Removal of furniture from service-restrictive surroundings.
  • Rapid, controlled drying to assure the best in fabric care.
  • Opportunity to provide additional cleanings, if necessary.
  • Post drying inspection, grooming and polishing of wood and metal accents.

Do fabric soil and stain protectors really work?

A fabric protector is a material that enhances the performance of fabrics by coating the surface fiber, changing the surface energy and making the fabric more soil retardant and stain repellent by keeping the staining substance on the surface of the fibers.  Fabric protector is generally a fluorochemical-based product or a silicone-based product. 

Fluorochemicals offer fabric protection from dry soil as well as water and oil-based substances.  It may be applied to finished fabric by the textile manufacturer, the furniture dealer or by a professional cleaning service firm. 

Fabric protectors do work.  A properly formulated one helps preserve and protect the appearance of fabric by allowing easier, faster and more efficient removal of soil, stains and liquid spills.  The fabric protector, when properly applied, will not change the appearance or “hand” of the fabric.  It is recommended that a fabric protector is reapplied following professional cleaning.

Before having my cushions or decorator pillows cleaned, should I remove the stuffing from them?

No, we clean your cushions and decorator pillow as they are, with the covers on.  By doing so, we can assure that your upholstered covers will retain their original shape and size.

What do those “codes” on my furniture’s label mean?

Furniture manufacturers use an ASTM labeling system for colorfastness codes to assist consumers in determining colorfastness to spotting and cleaning agents:

                “W”       …     Dyes are stable to water-based spotters/cleaners.

                “S”         …     Dyes are stable to dry solvent-based spotters/cleaners.

                “W-S”   …     Dyes are stable to either water or dry solvent-based spotters/cleaners.

                “X”         …     Dyes are not stable to either water or dry solvent-based spotters/cleaners.


Leather Upholstery

A greater number of consumers are discovering the affordability and benefits of leather furniture.  While durable, leather does require a certain degree of care to maintain its beauty.  With proper care and maintenance, leather furniture can last a lifetime.

What type of service do you offer for the care of leather upholstery?

Cleaning & Conditioning  (On-Location and In-Plant Service)   

After years of use, leather furniture can become soiled, stained and experience selective color loss.  Despite this worn appearance, the leather beneath is in good condition with many more years of useful life and enjoyment.  Our experts thoroughly clean and condition leather upholstery—to remove soil and body oil followed by a conditioning of the leather to restore its near-new appearance.  This cleaning and conditioning service includes color restoration of minor abrasions.

What are the different types of leather used in upholstered furniture?

The following are the most common leathers used in leather upholstery:

Aniline (“Unprotected”, “Naked”) Leather

Aniline leather has been treated with an aniline dye to impart color throughout the hide.  The dye allows the grain and natural characteristics of the leather to show through.  Aniline leather does not offer the liquid repellency and soil resistance of a protected leather and will darken dramatically when wet.  Over time,   aniline leather will “patina”, a natural effect where body oils ar absorbed in the leather enriching its natural appearance.

Protected (“Finished”, “Pigmented”) Leather   

Protected leather, the most common leathers used in upholstery, is aniline leather (base color) that has a protective finish and topcoat(s) applied to the top-grain side of the hide to provide greater water repellency and cleanability.  Adding pigment (color) and topcoats to the leather can also cover imperfections in the leather and enhance its appearance.  With use, the protective top coats can be worn away, risking permanent staining to the leather.

Suede (“Nubuck”) Leather

Sometimes called nubuck, most upholstery suede is actually a regular leather that has been mechanically brushed or sanded to create a nap.  Nubuck has a surface area that is roughly double that of true suede and is therefore favored for high-end upholstered furniture.  Nubuck is very absorbent, easily soiled and difficult to clean.


Leather that has had wax or oil impregnated through the leather is referred to as a wax pull-up or oil-pullup.  Wax and oil pull-ups provide some soil and stain protection and create the desired appearance effect.  Wax pull-ups occur in both aniline and nubuck leathers.  Oil pull-ups occur only in aniline leathers

How can I care for my leather upholstery?

Aniline and protected leather can be wiped down with a damp cloth.  Suede—or nubuck—leather can be brushed with a soft bristle brush, a fine abrasive pad or a nubuck block specifically designed to clean suede. Loose fibers and soil can then be vacuumed away.

What is your stone and tile cleaning process?

We tailor our process to the conditions we find: The type of stone or tile; type and condition of grout; and the degree of soap or hard water deposits. We typically do not use high pressure rotary tools or aggressive chemicals for in-home cleaning, we take a little more time, use neutral cleaning products and rely upon a soft horsehair brush to loosen soils.

The bottom of my tile shower, where the floor meets the wall, has a gunky look. Will that clean up?

In some cases, a good cleaning will solve the “gunky” look. In many cases the grout or caulk seam is failing and will need to be repaired. Removing the old product and replacing with new is something we can do at the time of cleaning.

I would like to have my shower enclosure cleaned. How long will the cleaning take and when can I use my shower again?

A typical shower will take 3-4 hours, depending on the level of residue build-up and the sensitivity of the stone or tile. The shower can be used immediately after cleaning if sealing or caulk repair is not needed. If we are repairing caulk joints, or sealing the grout to make it easier to maintain, we recommend 24-hours of cure time.

What does a stone sealer do?

A proper sealer will penetrate into the surface of stone and grout, creating a barrier that keeps soap and other residues from adhering. This makes routine care much easier.

When should my stone sealer be re-applied?

If the correct sealer is applied, it will last a lifetime. However, we’ve found that most people use cleaning products that – while quick and effective to remove residue – will also degrade both the sealer and the grout itself. Because of the low cost to re-seal, it is common to recommend it upon the completion of a restorative cleaning.