It would be so nice if people would just sit on the furniture.

Instead, we use a dining chair as a step ladder. Our kids eat and nap on the sofa (you might too).

Some of us sit on the arm of the sofa or chair. Some people have been known to put their feet on the upholstery. Sometimes when we aren't home, the dog might even climb up to see why we like to sit up there.

Hide and seek:

None of us sets out to soil our carpets, but experience has taught us that it will get soiled. So when we buy carpet, most of us try to choose a color or pattern that will have some soil-hiding ability.

Upholstery evokes another set of standards. Instead of being concerned about soil resistance or the ability to hide soil, we want the fabric to 'match the drapes.'

Unfortunately, the people who make the carpets and upholstery yield to our idiosyncrasies and offer carpets and upholstery to match our buying habits. When we look at carpet, we generally see information about stain resistance. How often have you seen upholstery advertised for its stain resistance?

Because upholstery often gets more wear and tear than we had anticipated, it's always a good idea to give it some help whenever we can.

Rotation of dining chairs is a good start. Even if they aren't soiled, you should still rotate them. Light from the windows and airborne soils that enter the room will slowly make a difference.

Rotating the seats on the sofa is an old practice that many people have forgotten about. If you can do it, it's worth the time.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of washing the seat cushions. When we wash something (in the machine or by hand) there is always a change in the fabric. We don't notice a change when we wash a shirt because the whole shirt is subjected to the same cleaning. But if you clean just the seat covers, they may not match the rest of the sofa when you put them back. Of course, they might shrink also. Double jeopardy.

Always remove spots as soon as you notice them. As spots age, they become harder to remove. If you have a question about a spot, give us a call.

Fabric protector.

Fabric protector is a good investment. Frequently, new upholstered furniture comes with some protection already applied. Sometimes it's offered as a point-of-sale item. In either case, the protection will eventually weaken from the abrasion the fabric receives. Be sure to have the protection tested when we clean. If it's worn out, we can reapply it for you.

Lastly remember to vacuum your upholstery from time to time and arrange for regular professional cleaning.

Copyright 2000 Lewis Cleaners


An Ugly Carpet problem may be hiding and waiting to pop up in your home.

The air around us carries microscopic bits of soil. Normally we pay no attention to such tiny things. As individual bits of oily dust, they are insignificant. When they gather in great numbers, they create a unique problem.

It is an error to assume tiny specs of dust can't create problems. Remember, ancient cities such as Babylon were buried by such things. In our homes, we vacuum to keep dust under control. After all, we don't want our home to become like Babylon.

What happens to create problems in our home is the accumulation of this type of soil. Bit by bit the dust accumulates until we notice it. This problem is called filtration. Tiny bits of soil become entrapped and collect in your carpet fibers.

This generally happens along the edges of the room where the vacuum cleaner can't work effectively, or under a door that is closed most of the time. In each case, the cause is the same. Air is forced to pass through the carpet fibers in a constricted area. The result is the airborne soils accumulate in that area. It usually appears as a dark line. If you have seen this, you know exactly what we are talking about.

A person might ask how is it possible to have air passing through the carpet at the edges of the room? Well, if you think about it, your carpet and its pad serve as a wide barrier that stops air from traveling up through the imperfections in the floor below. Any air that wants to pass through is forced to pass at the edges.

Differences in air pressure from one room to another cause the air to want to travel from one to another. It's a miniature version of what we see on the evening weather forecast when they show high pressure in one area and low in another. A breeze traveling from one area to the other is inevitable.

Air moving in or out of a room along the edges leaves its soil as it passes through the carpet fibers. The same thing happens when a door is closed most of the time. The air still moves in and out of the room, but it has to pass under the door. After this happens for a while, a dark line appears beneath the door, right across the doorway.

What can you do?

Filtration is very hard to remove. We can usually get it out, but it's time consuming. It is best not to let the soil build up in the first place. When you vacuum, make sure to give special attention to the area along the walls once in a while. Try not to leave a room closed off in a way that forces air to travel under the door. If you see the beginnings of filtration, give us a call so we can clean it before it becomes very difficult or impossible to remove.

Articles in this newsletter are for general information. Call (650) 525-1100 for free consultation on specific items.

© 2000 Lewis Cleaners


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