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.

March 13, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

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.” 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Jessika James

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.


Have a limited marketing budget but realize the importance of neighborhood marketing? Try doorknob hangers, a low-cost, yet highly effective way to drum up more business. In this episode, John Braun discusses the value of this tactic as well as what you should include on the materials you're hanging.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2014 September

The September issue of ICS features stories on moisture detection, disinfectant services, neighborhood marketing, then we discuss the last level of being phenomenal, and cool products.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Social Media

Social media is a good way to regularly keep in touch and interact with current clients and reach potential ones. What social mediums do you use in your cleaning/restoration business?
View Results Poll Archive


Get Paid! book cover
Get Paid! (ebook)
Over 30 authors – over 40 articles…from attorneys, contractors, consultants, instructors and others, both inside and outside the restoration industry. R & R, C & R and Cleanfax, opened their archives and gave us the best they had, other chapters were created just for the “Get Paid!” book and its readers. And every one of them has ideas for how to get paid what you are owed.

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo