When Is Hot not so Hot?

When Is Hot 'Not So Hot'?
Jim Pemberton - Fabric Pro Upholstery Specialist
The use of a hot cleaning solution is not without risk in upholstery care!

Cleaning professionals have long been taught that using hot (over 110 degrees) water can be one of the most important "ingredients" for producing outstanding results in upholstery cleaning.

CAUTION!

There are several areas of concern when using a heated solution that a cleaning professional must be aware of:

Concern #1 -Prespray Compounds With Aggressive Solvents:
When fabrics are preconditioned with prespray products that contain aggressive solvents, color bleeding may result when the fabric is cleaned with hot water. The reaction of the solvents and detergents with the heat may cause bleeding that will not be evident when pre-testing.

Note: The use of a cool cleaning solution is not necessarily the best answer, since delayed color bleeding can still occur.

Solution:
Precondition with a neutral upholstery shampoo, and then extract with a heated acid based rinse agent. With this method you will often be able to clean sensitive, multi-colored fabrics using warm, but never hot water ..... always pretesting your products and methods thoroughly before use.



1635a.jpg

"This fabric bled due to a combination of excessive heat and aggressive solvent additives"


Concern #2 - Cleaning Velvets Made From Synthetic Fibers:
While heat has long been used to assist in cleaning synthetic upholstery fabrics, be cautious with synthetic fiber velvets. Extremely hot cleaning solutions could cause nap distortion that can be impossible to correct.

1635b.jpg

"This fabric damage occurred from using extremely hot solutions and a metal cleaning tool on synthetic velvet"


Concern #3 - Spotting:
When attempting to remove blood, urine, and some tannin stains, heat may "set" the stain and can make removal more difficult. Always use moderate temperatures when attempting to remove these substances.

While it might seem to be easier to approach every cleaning task with the same method, this can result in damage claims, or at the best, unsatisfactory work. With training and practice, a cleaning professional will learn to find a variety of ways to clean and restore fabrics to their customers' satisfaction.

The difference between a skilled craftsman and a "technician" in any field is that a true craftsman has the knowledge as well as the know-how to use a variety of specialty tools and procedures to produce a fine, finished product.


A trained "technician" on the other hand, will use a 'reliable' system for all items and stay away from fine fabrics and specialized spotting problems beyond his skill level.

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Comments

#2
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I couldn't tell you how many pieces I fried with the original DriMaster and it's aluminum block spray bar.

Had an Poly Chenille cushion sitting on top of a Vortex hose line, that didnt end well..

I alluded to taking the color out of a Jacquard one, that was heat related, not chems


I could go on and on, but lets just say we keep the temps way down on our Biggy Trucks
 
#3
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I loved heating my prespray back in the day I was the in house upholstery cleaner. It would just melt greasy soils and made it easy to flush out. Melted the color out of the arms on a few heavily soiled jacqard's too.
I blamed the body oils for breaking down the dyes but I probably should have hit it lightly twice instead on once with the big hammer.

Oh well, live & learn...and buy upholstery when you don't learn. :winky:
 
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I could take those out if you gave me a velvet brush 30-40 minutes and a jiffy steamer.
I know right...... Rookie.... Trailer guys ah.....

I never ruined a piece because my mom taught me... Being the people to call when "other cleaners" get into trouble... I have no problem walking... Not my problem...:lol:
 
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I could take those out if you gave me a velvet brush 30-40 minutes and a jiffy steamer.
I had no clue.

I was so proud of how hot my Prochem Legend could get. My dumb ass was showing off the steam it was putting on that couch. I'm surprised that she was happy with me giving her $300 and taking the couch away. I called someone who'd been in this business longer than me, and he told me I ruined it. This was way before I was on any forum, and my only source of information was taking a class from IICRC.

I was so scared that evening, because my dumbass didn't have general liability either. I'm really surprised I'm still in this business with all the mistakes I made my first few years
 
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Jim,
  • What temp at the tool, is exactly too hot? I know, in general, as it depends on the fabric.
  • Usually by the time it reaches the end of the tool, the temp is much reduced. And most of us are not using continuous flow tools, therefore the temp stays lower. And tools where plastic is what's touching the fabric will not do the same damage as metal ends.
  • And why not, as a rule of thumb precaution, use delicate pre-sprays on most fabrics, as these days even delicate fabric pre-sprays are quite good. And compensate, when safe, with a little more agitation.
  • And why a neutral shampoo and not neutral pre-sprays, as shampoos if I understand correctly, are not formulated to be easily and well rinsed.
 
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Anything over 110 at the tool tends to be where I see bleeding that might be otherwise avoided. Most don't have thermometers, but hot water feels painful around 110.

Plastic tools are less likely to cause heat damage, but very hot (200 + )water can contribute to jet streaks even with non metal tools.

Mild presprays are not as effective on heavily soiled and oily synthetic fiber fabrics.

Shampoo products can be applied in the form of a very dry foam and penetrate less into the fabric. They can be more challenging to rinse, and that is an issue with protector bonding. It's a per piece call. I also find I can use mildly acidic shampoos that are less likely to contribute to bleeding and browning than neutral prespray.

I'm signing off till Monday....
 
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I had no clue.

I was so proud of how hot my Prochem Legend could get. My dumb ass was showing off the steam it was putting on that couch. I'm surprised that she was happy with me giving her $300 and taking the couch away. I called someone who'd been in this business longer than me, and he told me I ruined it. This was way before I was on any forum, and my only source of information was taking a class from IICRC.

I was so scared that evening, because my dumbass didn't have general liability either. I'm really surprised I'm still in this business with all the mistakes I made my first few years
That's why it's always better to work for someone else the first few years. Costs less.
 
#21
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I couldn't tell you how many pieces I fried with the original DriMaster and it's aluminum block spray bar.

Had an Poly Chenille cushion sitting on top of a Vortex hose line, that didnt end well..

I alluded to taking the color out of a Jacquard one, that was heat related, not chems


I could go on and on, but lets just say we keep the temps way down on our Biggy Trucks
Damn, you were damaging fabrics with the original DriMaster and kept using it?
 
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I taught myself how to clean upholstery, and this was the first lesson I learned the hard way about 11 years ago View attachment 75041
Well first off that's a custom, after market design enhancement and she should have paid you $300 for improving that ugly sofa. :clap:

I branded myself once with the original hydromaster running off a Bates D84 . Nothing worse than the smell of burning skin (other than having to explain to everyone at church that you aren't a S&M freak). "Really it's from an upholstery cleaning tool, seriously. No I wasn't hanging upside down when it happened ".
 
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Thats why im use water from tap water heat...thats all ill use, because ive been reading so many disaster upholstery cleaning that it not worth the risk of using of using to high of hot water. So far just been usimg bone dry and free rinse pro with higher ph encap spotter spray bottle if needed... I hope to god i dont screw up..
 

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