Yes, this may sound untrue, but water and steam can really damage the upholstery. You guessed it right – the good old water hides many risks! The plain old drinking water can really damage upholstered sofas, armchairs, etc. permanently and this goes not only for water but also the steam from very hot water too. And this all sounds a bit confusing and overwhelming considering the fact that most of the professional upholstery cleaning services are based on the conception for water and steam cleaning!
Very popular on the market nowadays, the fabric Viscose (also known as Rayon) is very popular for the making of upholstered furniture pieces too. You can find a Viscose fabric upholstery in almost any home. Viscose is a manmade fibre, but it is made out of natural materials only with a wood pump that is very similar to cotton in its structure and is almost pure cellulose. How to recognise Viscose sofa or armchair, if you are not completely sure? Well, Viscose comes with a high sheen that looks amazing and feels very beautiful and pleasing.
What is the danger, when it comes to Viscose upholstery and cleaning it with water or steam? When water and moisture, in general, come in contact with Viscose fabric, the fibres start swelling fat because of the pure cellulose and then remain that way even when they get dry. Because of the fact that these fibres stay fat, they start to reflect significantly more light than the normal fibres and the wet and affected patch starts to be visible and easy to notice even from far away, it also gets lighter in a colour and even can look a different colour. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about that. Now the patch is permanent and causes an uneven look and not a uniform appearance.
Viscose fibres can weaken by 40% when they are wet, so besides the fact that water can damage and change the appearance and look of the fabric, this also means that regular maintenance with water or other liquids is not recommended at all. Protecting the fabric from eventual drink or food spells is also very crucial. Of course, there is no such a fabric that can suffer regular spills and still look amazing, but Viscose is more pretentious than usual. Regular dry cleaning is the way to go and maintain it in good condition, but you also have to be sure to prevent damages and so. Unfortunately, steam is not the way to go with Viscose upholstery cleaning too, although steam cleaners are advertised as these magical tools that can clean anything from anything.
In general, upholstery cleaning with the steam method is not recommended for synthetic fabrics, because the chance to ruin them is very serious. Synthetic yarns simply have a melting point and it is not that high at all, so steam is dangerous for them. You could actually melt the fabric if you decide to clean it with a steamer and this damage is permanent. The best thing you can do, if you are not sure how to clean your upholstery is to hire a professional service.
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