Carpet/Rug/Upholstery Cleaning / Web Exclusive Features

Just Ask Jess: What’s the Best Way to Remove Hair Oils and Food Greases from Upholstery?

Poor results may be due to the cleaning method, or, more likely, the chemistry not being used.

upholstery cleaning man chair hotel roomJessika,

Lately I am not having much success cleaning synthetic upholstery, and am having a hard time removing hair oils and food greases. What am I doing wrong?

-Chad, Truckee, CA


Hi Chad – great question! When good cleaning technicians are getting unsatisfactory results it may be due to the cleaning method they are using, or, more likely, the chemistry they may not be using! Most synthetic upholstery is “oleophilic,” which means that oils and greases bond onto the fiber and are difficult to release without the proper professional-grade cleaning agents. To clean synthetic upholstery you’ll need to pre-spot any heavily soiled areas with a blended citrus solvent gel. Apply the gel liberally and give it dwell time to dissolve the oils and grease spots. On deeply embedded oil and grease spots I’ll agitate gently with a horsehair brush. I also recommend adding a liquid citrus solvent booster to your upholstery pre-spray and about 5-7 minutes of dwell time so the solvents can break down the oily soils. Extract with a mildly alkaline upholstery detergent for superior cleaning results – an acid rinsing agent may not be enough to remove the soil and cleaning agent residues.

 If you have any questions or need any more advice, please feel free to contact me or click here for a free short “ProSeries Upholstery Cleaning Guide.” 

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