Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Power of Positive Thinking?

There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet & book stores etc, telling us the power and benefits of positive thinking.

We can easily be led to believe that just by thinking positive thoughts, success will automatically flow into our lives.
Can this be true? Can the idea of only thinking positive thoughts all day bring me or you an abundance of happiness, joy, success and achievement?
Now, if I’m honest, my instinct says ‘of course not’. I am a big believer of being positive and having a ‘got for it’ attitude, but I suppose it all depends on your definition of what success really is…
If success for you is a feeling of happiness, calmness, inner peace and good motivation then I would think positive thinking alone can be highly effective. However, if you want to build a successful business, perfect a skill, become wealthy, meet the perfect partner etc… then it takes a lot more than what is going on inside your head.
I suppose then that positive thinking is a type of fuel to help propel us towards where we want to go or what we want to do. Here are some real ways in which positive thinking can bring success:
·         Positive thinking can motivate us to work harder and smarter towards what we want to achieve.

·         It can help us find solutions to problems.

·         It can attract people that can help us and expends our network… People like to be around other positive people, thereby expanding your chances of finding someone who can help you towards your success.
I would then hypothesise the same is true for the opposite.
Can negative people become successful? Again, I suppose it depends on your definition of success.

The majority of television programs and the media is full of negativism. We seem to lap it up. When you hear people talking to each other, the majority of what is being spoken is negative. Our lives are filled with all this negativity. How can anyone become successful!?
The answer is… like ALL energy forces, you need a positive AND a negative.
Let’s be honest, if you were constantly 100% positive, would this really be helpful? Of course not, you would be unbalanced, a bit annoying and you would need to become more realistic.
Yes we need to look at and focus on the upside, but we also need to pay attention to the downside. We need to embrace negativity into our lives as much as we embrace positive energy. We need to have a balanced positive/negative thinking diet!
This is why I believe most positive thinking books, seminars, training etc fail about 98% of the time… they are only focusing on the positive they are missing half the resources.
Now the difficult part is finding that +/- balance. Too much either way and life becomes more of a challenge again.
Of course, we use negativity as a positive. We do this by avoiding pain or something bad that we don’t want to happen.
This negative thought drives us into doing something positive to avoid the negative situation. Like, if I don’t do the washing-up my wife will be very upset with me (negative). But if I do the washing-up then she will be happy, which makes me happy (positive), this give me the motivation (energy) to do the washing up, even though I really don’t want to do it.
So it takes a negative situation to create a positive situation that = motivation.
I love positive thinking and have read many books on the subject and I suppose even if the glass is half full or half empty, in reality you still have the same amount of your favourite drink left. ;0)
I would love to hear your comments, positive or negative.
By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners,

Direct Cleaners is a Rug, Hard Floor, carpet and general cleaning company based in Merton, South London & Surrey boarders. We carry our free consultations for all you cleaning needs to give you free cleaning advice and full written quotations with a 100% money back guarantee.
Here are a few recent customer testimonials:

First class professional service. Commitment to excellent confidence in integrity & skill of Jean. Lyndon Bowring, Chiswick

Your staff are promt & very polite.          
Mandy  Talbolt, Streatham

Very polite. Very careful & thorough work.         
Hilary Jones, Wimbledon

Were very satisfied it was a thorough and professional clean and got rid of most spots the carpet looks in excellent condition now, Thank you.         
Chris, Brixton Hill

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Great Day at Kidderminster Carpet Museum with Woolsafe

Had a great couple of days at the Woolsafe educational conference in Kidderminster this week. This is where some of the best carpet cleaners and carpet related industries from around the world come together and discuss anything from how to remove pet urine from wool rugs to the latest ideas in online marketing and how to make cleaning more green.

Wilton Carpet Loom at The Carpet Museum Kidderminster

Working Wilton Loom from The Carpet Museum
The conference was held at The Carpet Museum in Kidderminster, a town made famous for its manufacturing of some of the world’s best quality carpets for the past few hundred years.
Unfortunately, most of the carpet manufacturing has now moved abroad, but it’s great to see a collection of carpet looms on display at the museum and seeing a demonstration of them working. Some of the looms dated back to the 1700’s, with the latest ones last used up until the early 90’s.
We also had a tour of the Brinton’s carpet manufacturing factory, one of the last large carpet manufactures still to survive in Kidderminster and still commercially producing carpet.

Brinton’s started in Kidderminster by the Brinton’s family as engineers in the 1800’s and built all types of machines and equipment.
They also built their own carpet looms and began producing carpet for the UK and exporting to most parts of the world. Brinton’s was a family owned business until fairly recently, when the last surviving family member sold the company as part of a management buyout. This structure struggled for a few years and the future was looking very bleak.
Another great thing that has come from Woolsafe this year is the consumer wool carpet warranty, named WOW. If you purchase a wool carpet by many of the leading manufactures from your local retailer, look for the free WOW warranty that gives you free stain removal from a local Woolsafe registered company, free advice on stain removal from that company AND a free bottle of Woolsafe stain remover. This is a fantastic offer and one that should prove to be rather popular.

Pre dyed wool spools ready for the looms at the Brinton’s factory

Pre dyed wool spools ready for the looms at the Brinton’s factory
There were many other topics discussed at the conference, of which I will be sharing some of the best ideas, advice and useful information in future blogs.
If you have any comments regarding any of the above I would love to hear from you.
By Kevin Goodwin,



Monday, 13 October 2014

The Amazing Benefits of Rug Underlay

For those of you who have rugs on Hard Floors like Wood, Laminate, Natural Stone etc… may have experienced the phenomenon known as ‘Rug Walking’. This is where the rug keeps moving from where it is supposed to be.
This can be annoying and sometime a bit dangerous, especially if it’s a small rug and it moves around quite easily. Also, did you know that when you walk on your rug against any hard floor, you can be causing premature wear and tear by grinding the rug against the hard floor as you walk on it?
How to stop your rug walking!
A great solution to this mildly annoying problem is Rug Underlay. The best Rug Underlay to stop ‘rug walking’ in its tracks is Foxi Rug Underlay.
Foxi Rug underlay is cut to the size of your rug and placed underneath which stops the rug from creeping across the floor. It also provides a cushion for your rug against a hard floor that protects it from premature wear and tear as you walk on it.
Foxi underlay is slightly tacky that helps it to adhere to the rug and floor, but it doesn’t leave any messy residue that can be left on the rug or floor from other anti-slip systems like sticky tapes etc. You can easily remove it from the rug and place it somewhere else with no mess and no hassle.
What about for comfort?
If comfort and a lovely soft tread is what you want then, the other rug underlay we can provide to you is Monarch. This is a much thicker underlay designed for comfort and cushioning of the rug rather than slippage. If you want the feeling of a very soft underfoot when you walk on your rug then this is for you. Again, it is cut to size and placed underneath the rug. It is also a great solution for protecting your rug from premature wear and tear.
If you have rugs that are ‘walking’ or you want to protect from wear and tear, we will cut the underlay to size and deliver it to you free of charge. Click here to order.
Let me know how you stop rugs from shuffling across your floor, I’d love to hear in the comment box below.
By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners Ltd.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Power of Smiling

Daily life can be stressful, busy and hectic. It is very easy to get mixed up in the trials and tribulations of work, family, friends and even TV and the news!
Try this… Think back to the last 5 days, how many time on average per day do you think you really smiled? Are you surprised? Is it more or less than you thought?
It’s a proven fact that just the motion of smiling can make you feel better, even if it’s a forced smile! By raising the muscles on your face that’s needed to smile, this releases brain hormones that triggers happiness.

If you want to see this for yourself, try holding a pen horizontally between your teeth, this forces you to smile and after a few minutes you will start to feel happier.
We smile when we meet people we know and people we’ve just met to show them we are not a threat or danger to them. It’s a very important part of non-verbal communication, showing that you are a friend and not a foe.
Smiling is also very contagious, if you smile at someone you know they will smile back and if the smiles are genuine, it will make you both feel good and release more happiness hormones creating a very positive ‘feel-good’ chain reaction.
It’s no coincidence that people who smile more tend to be more positive on their outlook on life and on average, live longer, healthier lives. Of course, it may not work trying to force a smile all day every day, you’d get a very achy face (ask Tony Blair), but when you are feeling a bit low, try forcing a smile for a few minutes and see how you feel.
Here are some or the positives effects smiling can have on you:
1. Smiling is contagious

Because of complex brain activity that occurs when you see someone smiling, smiles are contagious. Studies report that just seeing one person smiling activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement, which leads to a grin.

Even in bad situations, if you smile, others are likely to mimic the expression.
2. Smiling lowers stress and anxiety

It’s not easy to keep smiling in stressful situations, but studies report that doing exactly that has health benefits. When recovering from a stressful situation, study participants who were smiling had lower heart rates than those with a neutral facial expression.

The next time you’re feeling stressed, just try smiling to calm yourself down.
3. Smiling releases endorphins

Smiling can help you manage stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, chemicals that makes you happier. Endorphins are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high. Smile more to get that high without having to run.
4. You’ll be more attractive

Smiles can be very attractive for more reasons than one. A smile suggests that you’re personable, easy going, and empathetic. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiling actually makes you more attractive to those you smile at.
5. Smiling strengthens your immune system

Smiling even makes your immune system stronger by making your body produce white blood cells to help fight illnesses. One study found that hospitalized children who were visited by story-tellers and puppeteers who made them smile and laugh had higher white blood cell counts than those children who weren’t
6. You’ll be more approachable

Turn that frown upside-down if you want to make some friends!

Studies have found that people are more willing to engage socially with others who are smiling. A smile is an inviting facial expression that tells people you are willing to talk and interact with them.
7. Smiling will make you more comfortable

Our natural tendency is to stick to things that are familiar, but smiling decreases this need. A study found that smiling can make you more comfortable in situations you would otherwise feel awkward in.
8. You’ll seem more trustworthy

If you want to improve your credibility, simply smile more. What could be easier than that?

Trusting doesn’t come easily to many, but smiling at someone may help.
9. You’ll be a better leader

If you’re in a position of power, or want to be, smiling may be the key to your success. A group of researchers from The University of Montpellier discovered that smiling is a more effective leadership technique than having great management responsibilities.

So, the next time you really want to show off those leadership skills, just grin.
So don’t forget to smile whenever you can, not only will it make you feel better, it can make other people feel better and help you to live longer.
We also hope we can help you smile when you use our services and you see your beautiful, clean home.
I’d love to hear your comments, let me know what makes you smile.
By Kevin Goodwin,

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Importance of being Maintained

The average household who have their carpets professionally cleaned, have them cleaned on average every two to three years.

The majority of households do not have their carpets cleaned, either because they attempt to clean them themselves, or they think cleaning may ruin the carpet, or they have just not considered cleaning their carpets!

The rest just have carpets cleaned only when they have to, like a rental End of Tenancy Agreement.
This may sound surprising, but, we often recommend to our clients to have their carpets cleaned and maintained every six months.

Now, this isn’t for everyone, but it really depends on how busy the household is, (typically how many pets and children you have, see chart below), to ascertain how often your carpets need to be cleaned. This is to keep them at their optimum level and to greatly increase the life of the carpet and keep them looking clean, fresh and healthy.
Try this, imagine for a moment you laid a white bed sheet on your hallway and living room floor!

How long would it be before you had to pick it up and put it straight into the washing machine? Not very long I would bet!
Now carpets are designed to withstand a multitude of dirt, stains, foot traffic and general abuse, they are quite amazing if you think about it.
All major carpet manufactures recommend that carpets are professionally cleaned every six to twelve months. For some manufactures, the carpet warranty can become invalid if the carpet is not cleaned at least every twelve months.  There are very good reasons for this, but the main reason is  the dirt acts like an abrasive on carpet fibres causing premature wear and tear, it cuts into the fibres and causes damage. The best way to prevent this is good carpet maintenance.
So what are the main benefits of maintaining a carpet?
Ø  Your carpets are kept clean every six months, removing the dirt, pollen, exhaust fumes, spots & stains etc and keeping them clean.

Ø  The maintenance cleaning process is much more gentle on the carpet than one-off, more aggressive ‘deeper cleans’.

Ø  You never have to worry about calling a carpet cleaning company again, you are contacted when your next maintenance clean is due.

Ø  No big or expensive cleaning bill as the payments are spread into very low monthly amounts.

Ø  And best of all, if you have an accident or spillage, at any time, you get free stain removal callouts whenever you need them.
Although this is a very popular option for our clients, I am surprised that more people don’t choose to have their carpets regularly maintained. 
To finish, here is a chart by the IICRC that gives you an indication on how often carpets should be cleaned depending on how busy your household is:

Carpet Cleaning Chart

Let me know how often you clean your carpets, if at all, (be honest), in the comments section below.
For further information on our maintenance carpet cleaning service contact us on 020 8687 1711, email or go to
By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners Ltd

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Return Grout to its FULL Glory

Cleaning grout is one way to restore it to its former glory – not only will it look better, but it will be free of bacteria, dirt and other contaminants.

However unless sealed the whole process begins again – clear sealing is one option especially if the floor or surface is natural stone.

Another option is colour sealing. This process should not be confused with inferior products such as grout paints – the process not only colours the grout but seals it permanently!

Colour sealing – the Rolls Royce of grout cleaning…..easy to clean, hygienic, stain resistant

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are often used throughout the ground floor of properties. Pale colours such as ivory creams and off whites are often used to increase the feeling of lightness and space. They look stunning initially when the grout is clean, sharp and crisp but can very quickly with day to day living start to discolour in the grout lines. Left long enough the grout will eventually go black.

The answer – Colour Sealing

  • Colour Sealing eliminates variations in grout colour caused by stains, uneven colour lots, curing, fading or damage.
  • Colour Sealing provides a water tight, stain resistant, durable protection. With its built in mildicides ensures sanitation for years.
  • Colour Sealing can match almost any grout colour. You can maintain the original grout colour from wall to wall or more excitingly change the colour of the grout completely.
  • Colour Sealing is virtually odour free so its application does not disrupt a busy household.
  • Best of all colour seal greatly reduces ongoing maintenance-being completely impervious to moisture, dirt and grime cannot penetrate the sealed surface. Harsh chemicals can be replaced by neutral cleaners
  • Completely removes the need to remove grout from tiled surfaces which is not only very time consuming and costly but creates a lot of dust. In a hotel situation re-grouting can put a room out of action for a couple of days.
This is a sensational product – we have completely changed the feel of floors and walls using this product. Its use extends to bathrooms and showers in both commercial and domestic situations.

Call 020 8687 1711 quote ref 150/503, email or go to to arrange a free consultation and quotation.
Kevin Goodwin