Dental offices frequently are outfitted with leather and vinyl upholstery, and for good reason. Soft seating in reception areas and the operatory helps put anxious patients at ease. Leather and vinyl are ideal upholstery choices because they are soft and easily cleaned. Maintaining your seating is important to creating a clean and relaxing atmosphere.
However, scuffs, marks, and tears are inevitable over time and must be addressed before it becomes impossible to repair and refurbish those surfaces. Luckily, there are steps you can take to preserve the longevity of your seating that will save you the considerable cost of having to replace your décor.
Develop a Maintenance Routine
Regular maintenance may seem like a chore, but it is well worth the effort. Caring for your seats takes little time and is easy to incorporate into your weekly or daily cleaning routine. Simply wipe down all leather and vinyl surfaces with a white cloth towel that has been immersed in warm, clean water. Wring the cloth out as much as possible before running it gently along the surfaces. During this process, be sure to keep an eye out for minor tears or marks, as imperfections should be addressed immediately.
It’s very important to treat rips immediately to prevent them from tearing any further. As for those pesky scuffs and pen marks, use a cleaner specifically designed for leather to gently remove the stains. You could even create your own leather cleaner by mixing one ounce of Ivory dish soap to 11 ounces of water in a clean spray bottle. This solution is safe to use on both leather and vinyl and is best applied using a soft, white cloth.
Beyond weekly wipe downs, it is a good idea to do a deep clean every 90 days. Vacuum out the crevices and use special leather treatment to help your comfortable chairs and beautiful décor last as long as possible.
Furthermore, it’s advisable to call in the repair and restoration experts, like our Creative Colors International (CCI) franchisees, at least once a year. Not only will they thoroughly clean your leather and vinyl surfaces, but they also can help you find problem areas you may have missed and even give you tips for how to maintain your specific furniture for the future.
Take Steps to Prevent Damage
Some of the potential hazards to your vinyl or leather surfaces are expected, such as pens and shoes, but other dangers may not be so obvious. For instance, many reception areas have newspapers available for patients to peruse while waiting for their appointments. Those seemingly innocuous papers may actually ruin your seats. Their ink has been known to transfer to the seat, and worse, the ink is notoriously difficult to remove, especially on lighter colored seating surfaces.
The sneaky potential hazards do not end there. It’s important to never cover your leather or vinyl surface with any kind of cloth where the dye may transfer easily. Sheets, towels, and blankets are frequently the culprit for discolored surfaces. The transfer is often worse when the material is wet, but can still occur even if both the cloth and the seat are completely dry, so be cautious!
Also, avoid paint, ink, antiseptic dyes, and any other chemical or substance designed to alter color. Those items will likely stain your vinyl and/or leather surfaces and are difficult to clean yourself. It’s possible you would need to have a professional treatment done to re-dye or restore the upholstery if you use too harsh of a cleaner.
And if anything in your dentist practice becomes damaged, our team at Creative Colors International (CCI) is a great resource. We have a network of qualified franchisees in dozens of communities around the country who are passionate about offering top-quality service. CCI technicians are trained in techniques we’ve refined and perfected since 1980 that can save your leather or vinyl surfaces from being replaced. Whether your furniture needs to be re-dyed, repaired, restored, or even replaced or just thoroughly cleaned, CCI can help you save you time and money to get the job done on time.
Mark J. Bollman is the president and co-owner of Creative Colors International, the nation’s premier repair and restoration franchise. As a franchise operations, marketing, and development expert, he leads the day-to-day operations, franchise sales programs, franchisee training, and account acquisition programs for the Creative Colors International franchise system. He can be reached at 800-933-2656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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