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High Traffic Havoc: The Toughest Areas to Keep Fabric Clean

You sweep, you mop, you vacuum diligently; yet somehow, there are spots in your home where you just can’t seem to keep the fabric clean. It’s time to unveil the mystery behind these persistent pockets of grime that silently challenge your commitment to cleanliness. In this blog, we’ll talk about the zones where dirt, stains, and messes love to accumulate, along with how to keep your fabric clean. From the well-worn paths of high-traffic areas to the unexpected culprits that often escape your attention, we’ll shine a light on the areas of your home that need a little extra love.  

High-Traffic Areas

Though it may seem obvious to some, we often overlook the areas of the home that see daily traffic. Hallway runners, entry rugs, and living room areas often fall into this category. The constant traffic grinds in dirt, dust and debris, leading to faster soiling and damage to the fibers, making it difficult to keep the fabric clean. Despite us seeing the daily use, far too often we ignore it until there is a dark traffic lane, or the rug pile has flattened significantly. While the types of fabrics and floor coverings make a huge difference, all shapes and sizes of furnishings can be better maintained with proper preventative care. This includes bi-weekly vacuuming and damp dusting, as well as periodically rotating your cushions and rugs to even out wear. Thicker rugs, especially wool, will hide dirt and debris, so these measures are important even when you don’t see the soiling. Periodic professional cleaning services can contribute to longer-lasting furnishings.

how to remove oil stains
Traffic lane on wool rug
oil stain remover
After Fiber-Seal cleaning
Seating and Armrests

You may already know that seat cushions on a living room sofa are prone to soiling more than other upholstery in your home, as they endure the most physical wear. However, the arms of upholstered seating get dirty just as rapidly. As the natural resting spots for our arms, elbows, and the occasional snack or beverage, they become prime targets for spills, sweat, and body oils. Especially on lighter colored upholstery, we often notice these armrests becoming darker over time than the rest of the piece. While vacuuming and damp dusting will prolong the life of the fabric and help remove oily stains, seating and armrests will usually need additional care to tackle oily buildup, such as mild cleaning detergents and a fabric sponge –  both of which are provided in our fabric care kit. As is the case with any do-it-yourself spot cleaning, always test on an inconspicuous area first!

Dining Room Chairs

If you frequently have meals at the dining room table, it is inevitable that a few minor spills will happen. However, dining room chairs are one of the most neglected fabrics in the home because they are among the least used. Because of this, we forget to freshen them up after hosting a Thanksgiving feast, leaving a few crumbs here and there on the seat cushions. The oils from those crumbs will transfer to the fabric, and slowly engrain themselves into the fibers. What could have been prevented with simple vacuuming has now turned into stubborn stains that require tedious cleaning.

Children and Pet-Friendly Areas

At Fiber-Seal, two of the most common culprits of spots and spills that we see are kids and pets. Whether it is the pet hair taking over the living room or mud tracked onto the rug from the kids, they don’t always consider the well-being of your furnishings. If you are living with kids, vacuuming and rotating cushions become very important. All too often we find half eaten candy or spilled juice in between sofa cushions that have been living there for weeks or months! Even when treated with a fabric protector, the longer you let a foreign substance sit on your fabrics, the more difficult the spot becomes to remove. 

If you have a pet that sheds, you understand how quickly pet hair can accumulate on upholstery. We recommend ‘The World’s Best Upholstery Brush’ to pick up hair, followed by vacuuming. Dogs and cats also like to rub up against the base of sofas and chairs, leading to an oily buildup similar to that of arms on a sofa. These dark spots can be broken up with a dry-cleaning solvent or brushed off with our fabric sponge!

Trust the Professionals

At Fiber-Seal, we always urge our clients to perform self-maintenance on their soft surfaces to prolong the life of their fabrics and floor coverings. However, the nearly infinite combination of fiber makeups, and fabric constructions make DIY spot cleaning methods a risk that isn’t always worth taking. Fiber-Seal has over fifty years of experience in protecting and maintaining all soft surfaces, coupling the best fabric protection with complimentary spot cleaning services from trained technicians. Contact your local fabric care center to keep your fabric clean for longer!

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