Five Step Carpet Care of Asheville NC provides rug and carpet cleaning services at the most affordable price in Asheville NC.

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Upholstery

oil stain

Oil can be one of the toughest types of stain to get out of fabric. And when the fabric in question is attached to a sofa or armchair, it can be an even bigger head-scratcher. It’s not as if you can just spray stain remover on and throw the sofa in the washer! But don’t worry. Grease and oil stains can often be removed by tried-and-true DIY methods. Here’s how to get oil stains out of upholstery.

Whether it’s a splash of vinaigrette, a pizza grease stain, or smudges of oil-based lotion or makeup, getting oil and grease stains out of upholstery can feel a bit daunting. But there are a few cleaning tricks that can be tried using items you probably already have around the house. Try one of these methods to get that oil stain out.

If the stain is fresh and still wet, use a rag or plastic utensil to remove the oil that hasn’t yet seeped into the upholstery fabric. Then begin with the following methods.

The WD-40 Method

WD-40 is great for lubricating squeaky hinges and wheels, but did you know you can also use it as a stain remover? This lubricant contains solvents that break down oils and lift stains to the surface of the fabric. As always, perform a spot test in a small, out-of-view area of the upholstery to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric. If you get the go-ahead, then spray the stain lightly with WD-40. Let sit for five minutes, then wash with a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water. Blot dry.

 

The Baking Soda Method

Liberally sprinkle baking soda onto the grease stain. Let sit for ten to fifteen minutes, then scrub lightly with a toothbrush. Vacuum the remaining baking soda and repeat as needed.

 

The Vodka Method

Alcohol can lift oil stains from fabrics as well as carpets. Spray the stain with a bit of vodka, then blot dry. Follow up by blotting with a wet cloth to remove any remaining alcohol. You may have to repeat this trick a few times.

 

If these DIY methods don’t do the job, it may be time to call in some professional help. If you live in the Asheville, NC area, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 today!

How to Remove Ink Stains From Upholstery

Did you lose an uncapped pen in between the couch cushions? Or did your toddler create a masterpiece in Magic Marker on your armchair? These things happen. Now you might be wondering how to remove ink stains from upholstery.

Not to worry! There are a few simple methods you can use to get rid of those ink stains and leave your furniture looking as good as new.

Ink stains can be tricky to clean because the method you’ll need will depend on the type of ink that was spilled and the type of fabric you are cleaning. Also, synthetic fabrics may be easier to clean than natural fabrics like cotton or wool. It may take a little trial and error to get it right.

Here are a few cleaning solutions you can try:

  • Dish soap and water (for very light stains)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Denatured alcohol

You might have to try more than one of the above solutions in order to get the best results. But each cleaning agent will involve the same basic steps. They are:

  1. If you’re using one of the stronger cleaning agents (isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol), perform a spot test in a hidden area, just to make sure the product won’t damage the upholstery.
  2. If the stain is fresh, blot it with a clean white cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the wet ink as possible.
  3. Add a small amount of the desired cleaning solution, enough to cover the stain.
  4. Blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not wipe!
  5. Repeat as necessary, and if you’re not seeing results, try the next product on the list.

It’s as simple as that! Of course, if you’re having trouble with the above instructions, it may be time to call in the professionals. No matter how tricky or extensive your upholstery stain is, Five Step can get it out in a hurry! Just give us a call at 828.327.3237 or drop us a line today!

Why is Upholstery Cleaning So Important?

upholstery cleaning is important

 

Professional upholstery cleaning is probably not at the top of your mind when it comes to important tasks around the house, but maybe it should be! Here are a few reasons why upholstery cleaning is so important for your furniture, your family, your wallet, and even your mood.

 

Upholstery Cleaning Promotes Better Health

Did you know that health hazards could be hiding in your furniture’s upholstery? From bacteria to viruses to mold spores, the fabric on your couch or lounge chair can harbor a lot of microbes and allergens if not cleaned periodically. This is especially true in homes with small children, who are liable to bring home germs from school and smear them indiscriminately on every surface they come into contact with. Cold and flu germs may only live for a few hours or days, but those mold spores, pollen, and other allergens can remain in your furniture’s upholstery for much longer. If you or any of your family members suffer from asthma or allergies, having your upholstery professionally cleaned can really improve your family’s health!

 

Clean Upholstery Increases Your Enjoyment of Your Home 

Most of your upholstered furniture is probably in the room you use the most for relaxing: the living room or den. But when your furniture is dirty, it can be difficult to relax. The upholstery might have a sticky or grimy feel, or it might harbor a slight unpleasant odor. At the very least, the lackluster appearance of dirty furniture can increase your level of stress and prevent you from enjoying your relaxation time at home. Hiring a professional upholstery cleaner can seriously brighten your mood!

 

Spend a Little Money Now to Save More in the Long Term

One thing that sometimes prevents people from committing to routine upholstery cleaning is the price. You might wonder, is it even worth it? The truth is that periodic deep cleaning helps prolong the life of your furniture, which can save you big bucks over time. And, just to put your mind at ease, professional upholstery cleaning doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Five Step’s upholstery cleaning services are quite affordable!

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for a top-level, professional upholstery cleaner, Five Step has got you covered. For a quote, give us a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today.

How to Disinfect Upholstery

disinfect upholstery

The topic of upholstery sanitization rarely crosses anyone’s mind, but there are all types of reasons why you might want to know how to disinfect upholstery. Upholstery is fabric, and fabric can harbor hidden health hazards, like mold and bacteria. So if you have an old couch that’s been sitting in your basement for a few years, or you just recently purchased some antique chairs from a yard sale, you may be interested in removing those microscopic health hazards.

Luckily, disinfecting upholstery is not as difficult as you might think.

Fabric-safe disinfectant sprays are available at your local supermarket and hardware store, and you can even whip up your own antibacterial, antifungal spray at home using eco-friendly ingredients. The only drawback is that these products may only sanitize the surface of your furniture. If you’re concerned about germs and mold spores hiding deep inside the stuffing, you are probably better off hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service. It all depends on how deep the contamination goes.

If you decide to DIY it, the first step is to choose a disinfecting spray. Check the instructions and cautions on the label of store-bought products to ensure they’re safe for fabrics. And just to be certain, perform a patch test on a small, unseen area of the upholstery. Allow the product to dry, then check for discoloration.

If there are no undesired effects, go ahead and spray your upholstery all over, following the label instructions. Leave seat cushions out with adequate airflow to ensure proper drying.

If you’d rather use an all-natural, eco-friendly cleaning solution, use equal parts vodka and water. No joke! The vodka both sanitizes and deodorizes, and will not damage fabrics. (Although you should still perform a patch test with any product, store-bought or homemade, just to be sure.)

If you’re worried about bacteria, mildew, mold, or viruses hiding deep inside the stuffing of your upholstered furniture, call on the services of a local professional for a thorough deep cleaning.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area, Five Step Carpet Care is a great choice. Give us a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today!

 

 

 

How to Choose the Right Upholstery Cleaning Professional

how to choose the right upholstery cleaning professional

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know how to choose the right upholstery cleaning professional for your home or business.

Good upholstery cleaners aren’t always easy to come by. And unlike hair stylists, car mechanics, or tax professionals, it can be difficult to maintain a relationship with the person or business you call to clean your upholstery. This is because most upholstery cleanings occur on an as-needed basis—just when stains appear or your furniture begins to take on a dingy appearance from long-term use. Most people don’t schedule monthly or even yearly upholstery cleanings in advance, and it’s probably safe to say you don’t have your upholstery cleaner’s number memorized!

How do you know which services actually deliver on their claims? Will the provider use equipment or cleaning agents that are harmful for your upholstery fabric, or toxic for your family and pets?

Luckily, you can limit the possibility of upholstery cleaning failure. It’s just a matter of doing a small amount of homework before making your final decision. Here’s a quick list of considerations to check off for each company you research

  1. How long has the company been in business? A shorter length of time shouldn’t necessarily disqualify a candidate (everyone has to start somewhere!), but obviously, the more experience, the better. A well-established company is much less likely to clean your sofa today and go out of business tomorrow, leaving you unable to contact anyone in case of error or questions. If the company you’re considering has been around for less than two years, find out what (if any) experience the owner had before launching the business. Look online for reviews and testimonials.
  2. What type of equipment and cleaning solutions do they use? There are a variety of different types of upholstery cleaning systems and equipment. You can often figure out what kind your prospective service provider uses by looking on their website. If they don’t have a website, that may be a red flag. If the information you’re looking for isn’t on the website, call the company. The owner or representative should be able to answer your question clearly and without hesitation.
  3. How much does it cost? Some purchases in life can be skimped on without much impact in terms of quality. But upholstery cleaning is not one of them. A very low price usually means very low competence. On the other hand, if the price seems unreasonably expensive, keep shopping elsewhere. Do the math. Does it seem like a company could stay in business charging the price you were quoted, without cutting corners? If you get a quote that seems much lower or much higher than the industry average in your area, ask the owner why their price point is so different. It’s possible they are running a special discount for new customers, in which case a very low price shouldn’t be a mark against them.
  4. Are they bonded and insured? No matter how great an upholstery cleaning service may be, no one is immune to accidents. As with any service provider who you hire to do work inside your home or on your property, you need to make sure the company is fully bonded and insured. Just in case.
  5. What do their customers think? If you can’t find reviews of a service provider online, chances are they are either a brand new company, or they are going to great lengths to keep reviews off the internet. Honest, competent cleaners LOVE reviews. Even if there’s an occasional nasty one, the good ones more than make up for it by bringing in new and repeat clients. You can find reviews of upholstery cleaning companies in your local area by checking out paid membership sites like Angie’s List, free review sites like Yelp!, on search engines like Google, and even on some social media sites like Facebook. If you don’t find many reviews on one source, check a second or even a third source to be sure.
  6. How are you treated? Let’s say a company you’re researching passes all five of the above tests. Great! Now it’s time to give them a call or write an email. This last step will determine how the company treats its customers. When you call, do they answer right away? If not, do they get back to you within a reasonable amount of time? Are they friendly and courteous over the phone or in their email communications? Do they seem to answer your questions honestly and without beating around the bush? If the company passes this final test, you’ve probably found yourself a keeper. Chances are high that the same friendliness and courtesy they showed you in your initial phone call or email thread will extend to the manner in which they treat you as a service provider in your home.

We hope this post helps you with the sometimes-frustrating task of how to choose the right upholstery cleaning professional. If you live in the Asheville, NC area, we welcome you to put us to the test! Peruse our blog and website, and feel free to call us at 828.327.7233 or drop us a line with any additional questions you might have.

 

Know Who Else is Doing a Lot More Work From Home in 2020? Your Couch!

upholstery cleaning

If you’re among the 42% of the American population now working from home in the midst of the COVID pandemic, it’s safe to say your upholstered furniture is getting a lot more wear and tear than it used to.

Your kids are either doing school-from-home or are on a limited school schedule. You and your spouse are taking turns on Zoom calls in the office. And while we’re trying to social distance, there’s not much to do on the weekends, either, so you’ve probably caught up with all your favorite Netflix series, and a few more besides.

Your couch, armchairs, and other upholstered furniture have been there to support you and your family through it all, and it might be starting to show. Increased use of our furniture means increased opportunities for dirt, crumbs, spills, sweat, and dander to come into contact with the upholstery.

We know upholstery cleaning is probably the last thing on your mind right now, and we totally get that. Still, if protecting your furniture investment is important to you, it may be time to schedule a professional cleaning.

Five Step continues to provide top-level, environmentally sustainable cleaning services with a smile (behind our masks, of course!) We have adapted our business practices to ensure we are staying safe, sanitary, and socially distanced while we serve our customers during these unprecedented times.

So if your furniture does look like it could use a little TLC, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 828.327-7237 or drop us a note for a free quote. And if now’s really not the time, we understand 100%. Just keep our number handy. We’ll be there when you need us.

 

 

Debunking Persistent Upholstery Cleaning Myths

Our team has combined decades’ experience in the upholstery cleaning biz. With all that experience, we’ve run into more than a few misguided pieces of upholstery cleaning advice! From myths to outright lies, here are our top 5 most frequently heard misconceptions about upholstery cleaning, along with the real truth from the industry professionals at Five Step Carpet Care.

  • All upholstery cleaning companies are the same. False! It’s the same in any industry. All service providers are not created equal. A while back on the blog, we published a helpful checklist to ensure you’re hiring someone who will do the job right (the first time!) and treat you like the valuable customer you are.
  • The sole purpose of upholstery cleaning is to remove visible dirt. Nope! Effective upholstery cleaning not only removes visible soiling; it attacks germs and other pathogens that hide in or under your upholstery. Things such as mold spores, bacteria, dander, and allergens. It also freshens the fabric, making it look brighter and feel softer. And a good professional cleaning should eliminate any musty or sour odors coming from the upholstery or the cushions underneath.
  • Cleaning your upholstery causes it to deteriorate faster. Wrong again! This myth may have gotten started due to improper cleaning methods (such as scrubbing) that actually can cause damage to certain fabrics. But an experienced, professional upholstery cleaning service would never use these methods. At Five Step, we’re familiar with hundreds of different types of upholstery fabrics and how to clean them. We stay far away from abrasives and harsh chemical agents. Rest assured that our gentle products and cleaning methods will NOT cause deterioration.
  • DIY cleaning is just as effective as professional cleaning. Unlikely. Although it’s possible to clean your own upholstery using commercially available cleaning products and/or rental equipment, chances are high that your efforts will not produce the same results as a professional upholstery cleaning service. Why? Because professional cleaners have tons of experience that the average consumer does not, and because our equipment is of much higher quality. Since improper cleaning can damage your upholstery or lead to mold and mildew growth inside of the cushions, it’s much more cost-effective to hire a competent professional. We wrote an entire blog post on this topic a couple years ago.
  • Professional cleaning isn’t worth the money. On the contrary, it may save you money in the long run. Your furniture represents a significant investment in your home and your continued ability to enjoy it. If your furniture is dirty, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much. And in addition to present enjoyment, professional cleaning can be a smart financial decision in the longer term. Quality furniture can last a very long time—if it’s properly cared for. A yearly or bi-yearly cleaning for your sofa and chairs is much cheaper in the long run than having to replace them every few years because they look dingy and smell funny.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are in need of top notch professional upholstery cleaning, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line via our contact form today!

 

How to Sanitize Upholstered Furniture

Have an old sofa that’s been sitting in your basement for a decade? Or maybe you recently purchased a set of antique upholstered chairs from a yard sale? Maybe you’re worried that the fabric might be harboring hidden mold and bacteria. Not to worry! It is possible to sanitize upholstered furniture, and it’s not as difficult as you might think!

Disinfecting fabric is actually quite simple. There are many disinfectant sprays on the market that are safe to use on fabrics, and you can even whip up your own antibacterial, antifungal spray at home using eco-friendly ingredients. However, these products may only work to sanitize the surface of your upholstered furniture. For deep cleaning that tackles hidden health hazards inside stuffing and cushions, you are probably better off hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service. It just depends on how deep the contamination goes.

If you’re going the DIY route, the first thing you’ll want to do is to choose a disinfecting spray. Check the instructions and cautions on the label of any store-bought product you choose to make sure it’s safe for use on fabrics. And just to be certain, test a small area on the back of a seat cushion or somewhere that will remain hidden from sight. Allow the product to dry and make sure it doesn’t result in discoloration or any other undesired affects.

If everything looks good, you can go ahead and spray your upholstered furniture all over with the disinfectant. Leave seat cushions out so that the air will circulate around them, helping the product to dry adequately.

For an all-natural, eco-friendly spray, use equal parts vodka and water. Seriously! The vodka both sanitizes and deodorizes, and will not damage fabrics. (Again, if you want to be extra sure, just spray a test area before you proceed with cleaning the rest of the upholstery.) You can even add natural fragrances—a drop or two of lemon, lavender, or peppermint oil works well–to make your spray smell great.

If you’re concerned that there might be bacteria, viruses, mold, or mildew hiding deep inside the stuffing or seat cushions of your upholstered furniture, you’ll want to hire a professional for a thorough deep cleaning.

In the Asheville, NC area, Five Step Carpet Care is your number one source for upholstery cleaning and disinfecting. Give us a call at 828.237.3237 or use our contact form to get in touch today!

 

 

How to Clean Red Wine From Upholstery

We all enjoy a nice glass of red wine in the evening, but sometimes imbibing results in a dark red mishap. If you end up with a red wine stain on your upholstered furniture, don’t worry! Chances are, you can get it out with just two simple cleaning ingredients if you act quickly.

Try to attack the stain as soon as you notice it. The less time the wine has to dry and set into the upholstery fabric, the better your chances of successfully removing the stain.

Follow these steps to clean red wine from upholstery:

  1. Prepare cleaning solution. Mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap into two cups of cool water.
  2. Blot the stain. With a clean cloth, blot the wine stain, absorbing as much of the liquid as you can. Do not wipe at the area, as that will cause the stain to spread.
  3. Sponge the stain with the cleaning solution. Once you have absorbed as much of the dampness as possible, use a clean sponge or towel to apply your diluted dish soap mixture to the affected area. You should see the color of the stain begin to lighten as you sponge.
  4. Blot until liquid is absorbed. Once again with a clean, dry cloth or towel, blot at the moisture until it is as dry as you can get it.
  5. Repeat as necessary. If the stain is still there, repeat steps 2-4 until it is no longer visible.
  6. Sponge the area with a wet cloth. Use a clean cloth and clear water to sponge the area and remove any leftover soap residue.
  7. Blot dry. With a clean, dry towel, blot the area until no more moisture remains.

If you didn’t discover your wine stain until it was too late, or if you’re having trouble with the above steps, it’s time to call in a professional!

Five Step Carpet Care is the leading pro upholstery cleaner in the Asheville, NC area. We will have that red wine stain out of your upholstery in no time! Give us a call at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form today!

Can You Wash Scotch Guarded Fabric?

how to clean scotch guarded fabric

Do you have a Scotch Guarded sofa or chair that needs spot treatment?

Many couches and chairs come from the factory already treated with a product called Scotchgard. (You can also apply a Scotchgard treatment yourself at home.)

This is really great stuff—it repels water and prevents liquids from absorbing into the upholstery fabric, reducing the likelihood of a tough stain.

Once a piece of furniture is “Scotchgarded”, it will rarely need cleaning beyond occasional vacuuming to take care of crumbs, pet hair and dander, and dirt and dust. When spills occur, you can usually clean them just by blotting with a paper towel if you get to them quickly enough. Blot until no more dampness comes up on your paper towel.

The way the product works is that it slows the absorption of fluids into the fabric. It doesn’t stop absorption completely. So if you clean it up immediately, you’re golden. But if don’t catch a spill in time, you likely will have a stain to deal with.

If you do miss that magic window of time and end up with a tough stain on your Scotchgarded couch, there are a couple of things you can do.

Our advice? Call a reputable upholstery cleaner. It’s not expensive, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the stain out if you hire a professional. Plus, even Scotchgarded fabrics can benefit from occasional deep cleaning. Fabric treatments like Scotchgard only work to prevent tough stains. They don’t do anything about odors or ground-in particulates from regular wear and tear.

But if you’re in a do-it-yourself mood, do yourself a favor before you attempt to clean it and check the manufacturer’s label on the piece of furniture. The cleaning instructions will tell you what types of cleaning products are safe for your couch or chair. They are written in cryptic code, but here’s a handy guide:

“S” means solvent-based cleaners are safe. Try rubbing alcohol.

“W” means you must use a water-based cleaner in order to avoid damaging the upholstery. Use a bit of dish soap mixed with water.

“W-S” means you can use either solvents or water-based cleaners.

“X” means don’t use any cleaners; only vacuum.

If all that sounds too complicated, take our advice and call in an expert. If you live in the Asheville, NC area, we would be happy to help you with your Scotchgarded upholstery cleaning needs. Call Five Step at (828) 237-3237 or drop us a line, and we’ll get back to you quickly!