1) Vinyl Care: The vinyl covering of your table is very important. Due to the relatively low cost of purchasing massage tables these days, it is not economically viable to reupholster your table if the vinyl is damaged or cracked and has become a health hazard and is visually unprofessional.
So you need to care for your vinyl properly to get the maximum possible life from it.
Body oils and massage oils draw plasticisers out of the vinyl, causing it to go stiff, and then it will crack. Apart from the obvious fact that this not a "good look", it can make the table less comfortable to lie on, and means it cannot be cleaned hygienically. Cuts and damage to vinyl surfaces are also not a "good look" and also not hygienic.
Do not use alcohol-based cleaners, oil-based aromatherapy disinfectants, or any other harsh or abrasive cleaning products.
Manufacturers instructions are to clean a massage table using soft soap and water. I always start cleaning inside the face hole first. If you clean the face hole last you will transfer small quantities of oil from the flat surfaces of the table, into the sewn seams in the face hole. You will not be able to fully clean the oil out from there, so this will potentially be the first place on your table for the vinyl to crack.
To clean my table, I only take a few minutes. In the standing, working position, I use a wet face cloth and soap it up with the same type of soap that I would use on myself in the shower. I start soaping in the face hole first, then the flat areas of the table, including over the sides of the table. Do not forget to prop the middle of the table up a bit to get any oil that has got down between the join in the middle of the table ( do not prop it up too far or the table legs can fold in and the table will then collapse as it folds up). Then rinse the face cloth well and start rinsing off in the face hole before doing the other areas of the table. I would rinse the face cloth a minimum of 3 times while rinsing the table. You may then choose to dry the vinyl surface off with a towel.
Most vinyl damage to tables is done to the bottom corners of tables, usually when the table is being transported, or put up or taken down.
When moving the table in its folded position, make sure you pick the table up clear of the floor before moving off. Many people move off (without realising they are doing it) before the table is fully clear of the floor. This quite often tilts the table so that the lower corners of the folded table will contact the floor. This is the most common way to damage vinyl on your table. Another way to damage vinyl is to hit the lower corners of the table on stairs or going through doorways (remember that going downstairs you need to lift the table higher because the back end of the table is further behind you). The table frame is hard, the object you are hitting is usually hard, and the soft vinyl is sandwiched between. Many people damage vinyl in this way and do not realise they have done it because it does not require a very strong collision to do the damage.
2) Maintain the massage table periodically.
Make sure all screws are secure and the cables have not deteriorated or frayed.
When closing up your table, ensure the guy wires are not poking out the bottom of the table case to be caught up when closed. This may damage the cable.
Also, be aware of making sure that the attaching points of the stay wires to the wooden leg stays DO pivot properly when folding the legs into the table case to close the table up for transport. If they do not pivot properly, they may be jammed into the underside of the table. This means that the legs cannot close fully. The wires may then be bent. If the wires are bent repeatedly, they will eventually break, and probably with a weight (client) on the table.
Check leg adjustment knobs are done up firmly on wooden tables and check push-button buttons on aluminium tables, to ensure they are not cracked (I have seen these buttons sheared off in some cheaper tables which will cause a table collapse). Our aluminium tables have solid push buttons that will not shear off.
3) Use a carry bag. We recommend you always use a massage table carry bag to prevent damage in transit or while being stored.
4) To carry your table.
The table usually has two vinyl handles to lift it with. Always use both handles when lifting the table in the folded position. One handle only will not take the weight of the table easily and you will eventually rip the handle.
5) Do not allow clients to jump onto a massage table.
It seems obvious but some clients are so excited to receive a massage or healing work etc that they literally jump on the table. This is where table plywood can be cracked (this is called point loading) Always direct your client to mount and dismount your massage table with reasonable care.
6) Covering your table while in use.
It is best to fully cover the vinyl of your table to help keep oils off the massage table (see vinyl care at the top of this page for the damage that oils do to your vinyl). Covering a massage table also prevents belt buckles and zips from damaging your vinyl if your clients are clothed.
We make fitted polar fleece covers for massage tables, and for the front arm support, face cradle and side armrests.
7) Polar fleece washing instructions:
Avoid washing with towels. ( polar fleece will pick up all the fluff and is then very hard to get it off again)
Wash with laundry powders /liquid that you would use on your own clothes
Air dry or clothes dryer. Polar fleece will dry relatively quickly. In the drier, an anti-static dryer sheet/ball would help to keep the static effect down.
Do not use fabric softener. ( this will damage the anti-pill coating on the fleece)
Do not use commercial cleaning or commercial cleaning products as they can contain products which will also damage the anti-pill coating
Oil does soak into massage table covers, so be aware that this can be hazardous when drying them in a hot dryer, as oil vapours that have not been washed out well can cause a fire. There can also be a build up of oils over time which can cause the oils to smell rancid. Not a good smell when a client is lying on a table cover.
Cotton and towelling covers are worse for oil problems than polar fleece. As polar fleece is a synthetic material, oils cannot soak into the fibre of the material, and so washes out easily. Polar fleece is also less bulky in the wash, and dries a lot quicker.
Massage Table Polar Fleece Covers.