Clients care about where they sit. And they’ll not be impressed if your chairs are scruffy, grubby or uncomfortable. One speck of dirt and they likely notice, giving them the unfair impression the rest of the experience may be similar. But there are ways to extend a chair’s life, keep them spotless, and avoid harmful chemicals. Daniel Johnson, one half of The Salon Chair Guys, experts in the repair, maintenance, and replacement of salon furniture, knows how. Here are his five tips on how to keep your chairs as well-groomed as your guests.
Know what you’re cleaning with
If the pandemic taught us one thing, it is the value of thorough cleaning. Guests now expect nothing less. However what you are cleaning with can add or subtract valuable years off the lifespan. Standard or all-purpose cleaners, especially those used during the pandemic, often contain bleach, ammonia, volatile organic compounds (VOC) or other harsh chemicals. These can damage and discolour your chairs. Plus, it means you are repeatedly exposing your guest and team to unhealthy chemicals.
Inspection means all
A cursory glance over your chair occasionally won’t wash. You need to inspect them regularly including the condition of the fabric, the state of the seams, the foot and armrests, even the bolts that hold it together. Keep an eye on the moving parts, cleaning, servicing, and oiling them regularly.
If it’s broke, fix it
Don’t reject a chair because it’s looking a bit tarnished. Check locally for upholsterers to breathe new life into your chairs with a fabric makeover. It will be way cheaper than buying a new chair, usually costing less than $100. Reupholstering your chair could mean another five years of use, or more if you care for it.
Do your research
Before you buy, check on the manufacturer’s spares and repairs policy. If they don’t have one, run. It’s also good practice to keep spare parts - bolts and such - or at least a list of where to get them so if a chair should break, it can be quickly repaired. This is as much about safety as it is about protecting your investment.
A false economy
What’s the worst thing you can do to ensure your chairs won’t last? Go cheap. We are flooded with chairs for repair that are sadly unrepairable. The material is cheap, the seams split and the padding can’t cope with the traffic. But worse, those chairs bought online for less than $100 or $80 also have cheap hydraulics. Instead of metal parts, they have rubber, which immediately begins to rot in hydraulic fluid. They last a few years tops before needing replaced. When you are buying chairs, go for the long haul from the beginning. We are repairing chairs that are decades old and still going strong after a little bit of TLC.
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