If you are looking to extend the life of your treatment table, maintenance is key. Vinyl is a ongoing concern for many practitioners especially around face holes and chest areas. Vinyl is a PVC or plastic which is a naturally hard product; softeners are added during the manufacturing process to make it suitable for use as an upholstery fabric. Many factors overtime can make it lose it's suppleness, harden and eventually blister and crack.
Here are a few tips on how you can maximise your vinyl's life span.
The first important fact is to avoid leaving your table in direct sunlight for prolonged periods (e.g. un-shaded windows).
Now on to cleaning; you need to clean your upholstery regularly to remove perspiration, massage oil and other grime. Even if towelling covers are used (once you remove the covers shiny patches on the table surface is a sign that some massage oil has seeped through).
We recommend that you only clean your table with Athlegen Vinyl Cleaner or completely neutral laundry soap such as Sunlight Soap. Rinse and towel dry when complete. You need make sure you avoid detergents, disinfectants, vinyl preservatives, chemical products, solvent or alcohol based cleaners, or abrasive cleaners. Keep the vinyl surface clean, particularly around the face hole, stitching and sides of table; and avoid oil or perspiration to dry and “cake” on the table.
Always smooth out the vinyl after each patient to avoid the development of a “set” or a permanent crease.
Be aware of the fact that some jewellery and clothing surfaces are sharp enough to cut vinyl.
Avoid exposure to non-colourfast dyestuffs found in some articles of clothing as they may transfer dye to the vinyl; and pen or biro marks, as many of these marks cannot be removed from vinyl. This can be avoided by use of a cover, fitted ones are always the best, also accessories like the Athlegen Tao pillow over the face hole recess are great to prevent excessive body, make-up or massage oil contamination.
It also important that your towelling covers are throughly laundered, if the towels aren't washed correctly there may still be oil residue remaining which can harm the vinyl. Towelling must be washed in warm water and with a washing detergent that will remove all the excess oil. To minimise oil build up we recommend the use of water-soluble massage oils, such as the Athlegen Hydro 2 Oil.
Now what happens if you have already started to notice some vinyl cracking on your table? One key bit of advice we can give you is that if cracking has already occurred it is best to get the table re-upholstery done as soon as possible - because splits in the vinyl will allow oils and cleaning products to seep into the table cushioning, quickly deteriorating the foam. This will also cause unpleasant odours and can compromise the hygiene of the table.
Taking care of your table covering will not only give your table a more professional aesthetic it will also save you money in the future. As soon as the first crack appears, replace the vinyl and then you won't have to replace the foam as well. Remember a soft supple vinyl allows for a more comfortable experience for you patient or client.
If you are interested in recovering your table we would be more than happy to supply you with a quote.