You’ve just set up your booth at a trade show and everything looks perfect. You are very happy.
You step back to take a picture of the booth and you notice that your beautifully printed fabric graphic is dirty. The booth you put so much time and effort into is not so perfect anymore.
You panic and think what do I do?
In just about every case, we recommend a professional treat the dirt or stains in order to minimize undesirable consequences. But you may be out of time and need to act quickly.
Here are 5 general guidelines to follow for cleaning your fabric graphic:
1. Use a “dry” method.
For loose dirt, your first line of defense is to lift, blow and brush off the dirt. Compressed air or the sticky side of duct tape or packaging tape will often do wonders without using a product that introduces moisture to the contaminated area. You can also try vacuuming or brushing away the loose dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabric.
2. Clean up spills and stains right away.
The longer spill and stains stay on the fabric, the harder they are to remove. Do this by quickly blotting up the spill or stain with an absorbent cloth, facial tissue or sponge. Be careful not to rub the stain deeper into the fabric. If the spill is solid or semi-solid (like ketchup), remove the excess by gently lifting it with a dull knife. Often, gentle blotting will remove all traces, but if the stain cannot be removed completely by blotting, it’s time to machine wash the fabric.
3. Machine wash.
Take it to the laundromat in a clean bag like a hefty trash bag. Use cold water and our preferred detergent is OxiClean. You can also use OxiClean pre-treater spray prior to washing.
4. Air dry.
DO NOT machine dry, but hang dry instead. But where are you going to hang dry while at a trade show?
Your best bet is if you can get back in the show and put the fabric back on the frame just as it installs with full tension. Let it dry overnight. Otherwise, you will need to spread it out in your hotel room! Get creative and drape the fabric over tables, chairs or whatever you can find in your room. Be careful while the fabric is still damp so you do not get it dirty again.
When installing your fabric graphic on a frame, be sure to wear gloves to help keep your graphic clean.
Can we help with your next fabric graphic project?