Re: "Dust Never Sleeps" (Sept. 30): Some of the advice given by one of the story's sources was, in my opinion, incorrect and potentially misleading. According to Kay Leruth, one should vacuum upholstered furnishings but not have them professionally cleaned "unless [there is] a stain."
While I--a nearly 20-year veteran of the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry--agree with Ms. Leruth about the necessity for regular vacuuming, I must take issue with her inference to cleaning being bad for fabric.
Only approximately 10% of dirt is visible. A vacuum can only suction off dry soils, not oily soils. One must use water-soluble detergents and/or solvent solutions to dissolve oil-based soil. Many spot- and stain-removal products only work under highly controlled conditions.
No protective coating can bulletproof your carpet and upholstery. However, a high-quality product applied properly can make the difference between being able to remove certain types of stains or not.
Don't look to the tag on your sofa for the answer. Only the most knowledgeable and experienced cleaning specialist can distinguish between a low-risk and a high-risk fabric for error-free results.
Once fabric is stretched onto and firmly attached to a permanent frame (sofa, chair, etc.), it can not shrink. If loose cushions and pillows are cleaned according to recommended industry guidelines, there is little chance of damage.
Like any other fabric furnishing, drapes need regular attention. They should be dusted once or twice a year. In-home cleaning can be done with a guarantee of no shrinkage.
Carpet can accumulate its weight in dirt. Quality carpet and upholstery cleaning procedures remove contaminants and protein matter (dirt and soil) that attract bacteria, mold and fungus growth as well as dust mites and other insects, none of which can be eliminated with mere vacuuming.
Upholstery fabric and carpet yarn do not wear out; they "ugly out." A routine of vacuuming to control dust and dry soil combined with planned professional maintenance to remove hard-core dirt and stubborn, oily soil will add years to soft furnishings.
Perma-Kleen Permanently Clean Carpets