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Monday's Ask the Experts: Cleaning fabric-covered walls

July 13, 2009
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Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I have fabric covering on walls in meeting rooms. They haven’t been cleaned in a long while, and over the years handprints, shoe scuff marks along the bottom, and just general grime have turned the covering gray. I have vacuumed the walls to remove dust, but don''t know how to go after the grime without affecting the glue or the sheetrock behind it.
The answer:
I would start with the easiest process and progress to the hardest, if required.
First, pretest an inconspicuous area to ensure the fabric is cleanable and your cleaning chemicals are safe to use on it.
It is possible that the covering is wool and will require special procedures, such as controlled pH and lower rinse water temperatures. Dampen a small section to see if the familiar wool odor is emerges.
Next, spray a light amount of soil retardant shampoo or encapsulation cleaner on a difficult area. Buff lightly with a lamb’s wool car wash mitt and then towel lightly.
If the fabric is wool, curtail fraying by careful agitation.
If the water-based cleaner does not remove the spot, proceed with a
...Gary Clipperton, National Pro Clean Corporation.
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