The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sitting Pretty

I thought for a split second I might title this post Clean Your Seat.  But I thought better.  :)

When we remodeled our kitchen, we had purchased four rather expensive bar stools to be placed around our kitchen counter area.  They were microfiber, which the store sales rep told us was so very easy to clean.  I loved the black metal, and the swirly design, and the "easy to clean" sales pitch sewed it up.  We were sold.

Well, the stools lost their ability to swivel cleanly (an issue with the ball bearings inside the seat), but they were still very pretty and comfortable to sit in.  And, the years passed by, and the seats got dirty.  Every now and then I'd clean them with a damp dish cloth, but there'd still be stains left behind.  And after a while, I ceased to care.


Gross, huh?  Well, after all the cleaning and re-organizing we recently did, I took one look at those bar stool seats and decided I'd better spend some time cleaning them.  An upcoming church meeting at our house sealed my determination to clean--even if men don't care about the cleanliness of the space they're in if you put coffee and food out on the table.  :)


Yeah, the stains were bad.  Looking at the pictures, I can't believe I let it get that bad.  Embarrassing, huh?  But I'm usually pretty transparent on this blog, and I'm sure you have some of your own spaces and places in your home that you'd be embarrassed to show me.  So let's call it even.

I remember reading--and pinning--a blog post telling you how to clean microfiber, over at 551 East.  This is not my original idea!  But I thought I'd try her method and see if it really worked.  Read on, dear reader!

I utilized a teenager in the cleaning process--but only after I exhausted my own arm muscles.  First, take a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol in it.  My own spray bottle leaked, so I simply removed the sprayer and put it directly into the bottle of rubbing alcohol.  Worked just fine.

Over at 551 East, Julia wrote that I should use a white sponge, to avoid possible color transfer onto my microfiber material.  I didn't have white, but I had a pink one and a couple other colors, and they were new, so I figured I was game and tried it--no problems!  I think I would have been more careful had my microfiber been light colored, as Julia's was.

I sprayed the rubbing alcohol directly onto the fabric, saturating it (not until it was dripping, mind you).  Then I took the sponge--which I had damped and wrung out--and began scrubbing.  I pretty much scrubbed the entire seat, though I missed the sides of the cushions at first.  You'll see that below.

When my arms were dead tired, I engaged Thomas' help.  Please don't rest your hand on top of the seat you have just cleaned, as you see Thomas doing below.  He left little finger-shaped marks on the seat and we had to clean it again.  :/


While Thomas cleaned, I enjoyed a cup of coffee.  Yes, I usually fill it to the brim.


Here below is my first effort with the first chair.  You can see the dirty areas on some of the sides, which I later cleaned.  And another note:  rotate your sponge so that you're using a clean section, and once that gets dirty, rotate it again.  Or simple rinse it out really, really, well, and continue scrubbing.


I was seriously amazed.  I couldn't believe I had new-looking chairs again!  The reason rubbing alcohol is used instead of water is its ability to dry quickly.  And since I decided to clean the bar stools on the same day as the men's meeting, I needed them to dry quickly!  I placed one in the patch of sun coming through the patio door, then rotated the chairs around.  Within just a few hours, they were all dry and ready to be sat in once again.

The smell of the alcohol didn't really bother me, but if that's something you'd rather avoid, put a fan out, or open the windows if the weather is nice.  The smell dissipated quickly, so no worries about it lingering around for guests.


Looks like a new bar stool, doesn't it?  I'm so tickled that this method works.  And I read that I can do this once a month.  I don't know that I'll do it that frequently, but maybe just as needed or at the change of seasons--spring and fall cleaning.


Back to life,
Christine

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