Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Orange Stain on Carpet

I got the following question in this morning and thought I would share my answer…

Morning Kevin, a friend of mine has a problem with a stain from his daughter throwing up on the carpet. A carpet cleaner cleaned the stain but it is progressively turning orange. Can the process be reversed? Why is it happening?

My Answer

There are many variables for this type of thing, so it is very difficult to give a single answer without a lot more information.

The thing with vomit is that it alone can contain many different properties, (food colourings, acids, proteins, sugars etc…). Also the type carpet (natural or synthetic) and colour (white, cream, beige, dark) can have an effect on how the stain reacts. And then how the stain removal process was carried out can have an effect… What colour did the stain start out as? What products were used? Did the products make a difference or improvement to the stain? When did the stain start turning orange? Instantly or a few hours, days after?

If I had to attempt the stain without knowing the answers to the above questions, I would first flush the stained area with an extraction machine, with just pure water in order to remove anything that might be there.

If there is a vomit smell, I would then treat this with a product we use called Envirosafe, by Alltec that removes bacteria and other nasty’s that could cause problems.  Sometimes, this process alone can remove or improve the stain.

If no improvement is made and assuming the smell is gone, I would consider using a product called Specialist Stain Remover by Alltec. This product helps to lighten and reduce the colour of the stain. You would need to assess the reaction of the stain with this product because depending on the variables mentioned above, funny things can happen like the stain turning a funny colour or nothing happening at all etc… However, this product can prove to be quite successful to improve or remove the stain.

If that doesn’t work, then there are more powerful products (like dye removal chemicals) and techniques (like heat transfer) that can be used, but these require specialist and advance stain removal training in order to carry out and not ruin the carpet further. You would need a professionally train stain removal specialist to have a chance of making further improvements.

Other than that, if the stain is in an area of the room where a piece of furniture or rug can cover or hide it, then this can be the easiest solution ;0)

Depending on where the property is, I can get Mick or Jean to take a look at it for you (both trained in specialist stain removal) to see if there is anything they can do to help…

By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners Ltd,

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

How Do You Turn a Beautiful RUG Into a Worthless RAG?" Don't find out the hard way!

Picture this...

You're out shopping. Your well-meaning husband decides to help out around the house.  He starts with the laundry, hoping to surprise you when you get home. 

As you sort through the clean pile of clothes, you come across your favorite silk blouse.  It's ruined!  But, you remain calm.  After all... he had good intentions.  No one ever told him it requires special care. He just didn't know any better.  

The same is true of uneducated, uninformed cleaners who would clean your fine oriental rugs with the same methods and chemicals they use for wall-to-wall carpeting.  They don't understand your rugs... woven treasures that must be handled by an expert in the fine art of investment quality textile cleaning.

What they were never taught.

First off, hand-woven wool rugs should be gently washed, not cleaned on your floor with portable equipment.  To safely and thoroughly clean such pieces, an expert must have a rug-washing plant where the rugs can be completely immersed, gently shampooed, and thoroughly rinsed.  

The steps involved in this process include: pre-vacuuming to  remove dry soils, rug badgering to remove even more dry soil, test dyes for bleeding, set unstable dyes,  complete submersion in washing solution designed specifically for wool, gentle agitation, and a thorough rinse to completely flush away soils and residues, extract excess water, and finally, use air movers and dehumidifiers which dry the rug quickly and safely.

What's the worst that could happen?
Remember that blouse?  Your Oriental rugs are also in danger of being ruined if not properly cleaned. Color loss, dye bleeding, shrinkage or warping, browning of fringes, break down of wool fiber, and permanent loss of luxurious feel.  

And if it's not cleaned using the proper method, then it's not really clean.  An expert rug cleaner should be the only one entrusted with the care and maintenance of your fine woven treasures.  Otherwise your beautiful heirlooms could be irreversibly harmed.

Please... don't wait any longer.
What can YOU do?

Some people think cleaning wool rugs will harm them.  So they allow dirt and stains to obscure the otherwise vibrant and intricate patterns. Yet the number one enemy to a wool rug is soil.  Gritty dirt gets into the pile, and as people walk on the rug, damage is being done. The gritty soil acts like sandpaper, grinding away at the fibers.  

Improper or delayed spot removal attempts, and moth or insect activity also cause expensive damage.   Your rugs, if properly cared for will last a lifetime and many generations to come.

·         Thoroughly washing a rug every 2 to 3 years will help prevent permanent damage caused by soils and stains, and prolong its life and usability.
·         Rotate your rugs annually to even out wear and fading.
·         Vacuum your rugs thoroughly at least once a week.
·         Protect your rugs from wear and tear and ‘walking’ by adding a rug underlay under the rug like Foxi.
·         Blot up spills immediately and call a professional to remove difficult stains.

If you are in the South London & Surrey area, you can get a free consultation and written quotation to find out how to clean your rug without causing damage and with a full guarantee.

By Kevin Goodwin, CO/ 020 8687 1711   

Friday, 23 January 2015

Quick Tip to Save Precious Time Every Day

A build-up of paper, forms and documents on your desk or around the house can be a draining and unproductive distraction.

Handle each piece of paper only once if possible. If it’s of no real use, throw it away. If it needs to be filed, file it right away. If it needs action, put it in a pending file or bin and write it down. But make a decision.

Don't just set it aside in a pile and then have to deal with it again later.
Simplify and eliminate. Make sure that the routine tasks you are doing still need to be done and haven't simply become a habit. Ask frequently: Is there an easier or more efficient way to do this, and does it still need to be done? Can I get someone else to do it?

How to Save Time on Every Phone Call

1. Before making the call, plan what you want to say and what information you need. This will prevent you forgetting something important and having to call back.

2. Instead of beginning with, "Hello Mary, how are you? How was your weekend?" say, "Hello Mary! I have a quick question for you." Using this phraseology will get you to the meat of your call much faster.

3. If you have to call a client you know is talkative, place your call just before lunch or late in the day when the person will be more likely to keep the conversation short.

4. If you have to answer a client's or prospect's question or problem, and you find yourself talking to their voice mail system or answering machine, leave your entire message instead of a request for a call back. Technologies like email and voice mail are perfect for situations like these, where you can solve a client's problem with a quick and easy phone message.

Set Deadlines

Always have a goal in mind for every task or project. Most people work faster when they have a deadline, even if it is self-imposed.

Be specific when you set a deadline. Don't say, I want to finish this project by the end of the week. Instead say, I'm going to finish this project by Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Be realistic, but challenge yourself a little. Reward yourself when you reach your goal (something simple like a can of diet Pepsi will do the trick).

By the same token, don't assign deadlines to low priority items, or you will take the fun out of the process.

Don't Take On More Than You Can Handle

If you take on too many jobs, you won't be able to do any of them well. Know your limitations. Rehearse courteous, honest ways to say no to your co-workers, such as, How nice of you to ask me but I have a prior commitment.

Six Common Causes of Wasted Time

1. Not setting deadlines. You must set deadlines realistic deadlines then be firm. Stick to the deadlines. Use some discipline.

2. Lack of priorities. You must list your priorities every day, thus enabling you to focus on the most important and productive areas every day.

3. Putting off the difficult or unpleasant tasks. There are plenty of these in Carpet Cleaning. I find that by scheduling the unpleasant jobs first, the rest of the day is easy. Make those tough calls first thing, and get those tough projects out of the way.

4. Unrealistic time estimates. Set your own deadlines, but be realistic. Unrealistic deadlines lead to frustration, destroy self-discipline, and have you running around like the proverbial headless chicken.

5. Being unable to say no. Don't try to be a nice guy. Learn how to say no tactfully, but firmly.

6. Procrastination. This is, I believe, the biggest disease in our industry and most others. Carpet Cleaning work presents tremendous opportunities for keeping busy doing unimportant details. You must discipline yourself to focus on the most important tasks at hand. Reward yourself with a small treat when you get through the toughest tasks.

To sum it all up, your systems should help you to:
1. List your priorities every day.
2. Stick to your plan.
3. Force yourself to stick to your plan.
4. No matter how much you want to go off your plan, stick to your plan.
5. Don't do anything else except your plan.
6. Just do it!

By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners Ltd, 020 86871 1711 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Positive, productive and efficient work-place

“A recent survey has proved that dirty carpets in the work-place significantly contributes to lower productivity, higher absenteeism and reduced motivation”.

“Clean and fresh carpets can increase productivity, lessen time taken off work and create a more positive & healthier environment”. 

More & more people are realising the large range of benefits for having their carpets & upholstery regularly cleaned. These benefits can include better; ‘Indoor Air Quality’, healthy fresh clean carpets, a cleaner looking working environment, increased carpet life, fewer stains, fewer odours etc…

Here Are My 5 Top Tips For Keeping Your Carpet Clean, Fresh & Looking Great All Year Round!

1.       Vacuum Regularly.
A very important thing you can do to look after your carpets is the most obvious. Vacuum them and often! When you vacuum your carpets, you remove loose soil and dirt that makes up about 80% of the overall soil in your carpet.
It is recommended carpets should be vacuumed 1-3 times per week to remove all loose soil and about 80% of the overall soil that gets in your carpet.

2.       Get Good Door Entrance Mats
The best types of doormats are the ones that absorb the dirt from your shoes. Cotton Fibre Mats or Tack Mats are very good as they are machine washable so you can easily maintain them yourself. Good door mats will remove 70-90% of dirt before it gets into your carpets.

3.       Let Mud Stains Dry
If mud is walked onto your carpet, let it dry, then vacuum it. Pouring stain removers onto mud will cause it to deepen into the carpet, thereby making more difficult to remove.
By the way, if you spill a drink onto your carpet absorb as much as you can onto a kitchen towel ASAP. Try not to rub the stain and be patient.

4.      Use a Carpet Protector.
This can make the difference between a permanent stain you’ll never forget and a stain that’s a distant memory. 

5.      Professionally Clean the Carpets.
All carpet manufactures recommend professional carpet cleaning 2 times per year. This will keep all the soil out of your carpet that causes premature wear & tear. Regular carpet cleaning also means more mild cleaning which is much better for your carpet.

One-off aggressive carpet cleaning can be very bad for your carpets if not carried out correctly. E.g Rapid re-soiling, long drying times, shrinkage etc…

Always use a professional company who carries out a full carpet survey and provides you with a written and guaranteed quotation.

By Kevin Goodwin, 020 8687 1711

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Best Defense From Dust Mite Allergens and Stains!

“Imagine Being Kept Awake at Night by the Persistent Sound of a Dry Hacking Cough – And the Reason You Can’t Sleep Is Because It’s Your Child Coughing and there’s Absolutely Nothing You Can Do about It”

This is a very real problem faced by more and more parents every year.  

A dry hacking cough throughout the night is one of the symptoms of Asthma – even with medication.  

The British Allergy Foundation has described ASTHMA as “One of the most significant health problems in the western world” and  “The most common chronic childhood medical condition.” 

You may say no one in your family has Asthma or has been diagnosed as allergic to an allergen.   According to the British Allergy Foundation (BAF) most allergy’s go unrecognised and untreated or symptoms are simply wrongly diagnosed.  In fact BAF claim over 40% of the population suffer from allergies, and alarmingly over 50% of them are children.

Most symptoms associated with allergies are so common we don’t even realise they’re allergies – like Sneezing, Wheezing, Sinus Pain, Runny Nose, Coughing, Rash / Hives, Swelling, Itchy Eyes, Ears, Lips Throat and Palate (Roof of Mouth), Shortness of Breath, Sickness, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, and Increase in Secretions.

Lets face it – we’ve all experienced one or more of the symptoms described on page 1 - sometimes on a regular basis, but we never think we’re being affected by an allergen.   Today allergy’s makes life a misery for over 25 Million people in this country and the number of affected children grows each year  - the most disturbing fact is that the problem starts in the home!

“But, I Was Told It’s Not Good For Children
To Live In a Clean Sterile World”

This is often the cause of a lot of misunderstanding for parents – all the time I hear “I’m not going to wrap my child in cotton wool – a little dirt never did me any harm”.   

This is correct we all need to be exposed to a little dirt and bacteria to keep our immune systems working.  

However, our current domestic life style means we are exposed to a much larger amount of allergens than ever before.

According to Dr Robert Davies, Director of the British Allergy Foundation, you cannot build immunity to an allergen – you become sensitised to them.  Or in other words the more you are exposed to the allergens found in most domestic homes the more the risk of becoming allergic (or sensitised) to them.   

Another expert in this field is Dr John Maunder, of the Medical Entomology Centre in Cambridge, has proven that the main allergen we are exposed to is from the House Dust Mite.  Along with many experts Dr Maunder has been lobbying the government to make more people understand about allergies.

Over the years a lot of myths have been written about allergies – one of the biggest has been proven wrong.  For a long time the increase in Asthma sufferers was related with the increase in traffic pollution.  

The fact is there are a greater percentage of Asthma sufferers in the Highlands of Scotland as there is in central London. 

“So What Is It That Affects Us?”
Research has shown that the House Dust Mites are not the direct problem for asthmatics, but their droppings are.  This has been a known allergen (called Der P 1.) for over 30 years, but it’s only recently that researchers have proven it’s not just simply a common allergen - but the main cause of Asthma and the most harmful allergen in the home.

The House Dust Mite is found mainly in our bedrooms.  They live in our mattress as we supply them with food with our dead skin cells and water with our perspiration.   The reason they are causing more problems is that over the years we have unknowingly developed our homes into the perfect breeding ground for them.  

Double-glazing and central heating increases the humidity while reducing the amount of fresh air, and with us spending up to a third of our lives in our bedroom – it’s the most important environment that affects our health.   Therefore if we can remove the Mites, and stop them from returning, we can stop the Der P 1 allergen, this will stop or most certainly prevent asthma in most cases.

“So what is PROmite™”

Used as part of an Allergy Control Programme PROmite™ will prevent the House Dust Mite from living in or on any surface, which has been treated and prevents them from returning for up to 12-14 months.  We do not claim to be able to cure asthmatics
100%, but all of the research available to us indicates that PROmite™ will vastly reduce the chance dust mites have in affecting our health.

The Medical Entomology Centre in Cambridge independently tested PROmite™ firstly – they are experts on the House Dust Mites and their allergens.  PROmite™ was then recommended for testing to the UK’s leading Allergy Research body - the British Allergy Foundation.      

In the year 2000 the British Allergy Foundation awarded PROmite™ with their ‘Seal of Approval’ in recognition of its ability to stop and prevent allergies and to be safe in the home.  There is no other product that can boost such high approval or any way near the as long-term success of PROmite™

“Long-Term Protection”

Some current Dust Mite sprays that are available over the counter may kill Dust Mites, however, there is no long-term benefit and they can start infesting a once Dust Mite free area as soon as the effects of the spray are gone – this can be within a few days - whereas PROmite™ continues to kill the mite and prevents them from returning. 

This is due to the PROmite™ treatment being carried by a special Protection treatment.  The protector is a polymer, which wraps it’s self around each and every fibre and bonds to the surface.  The part that kills the Mite is therefore held in, on and around each fibre and as the protector wears down it continues to release more PROmite™.

“Is PROmite™ Safe to Use With Young Children”

PROmite™ is totally safe for young children and animals (even pets can suffer from the House Dust Mite).  Of course Direct Cleaners wouldn’t be involved if there was a doubt about the product.  

PROmite™ has been independently tested and approved for use in the home by the Health and Safety Executive, the Medical Entomology Centre and of course the British Allergy Foundation. 

In fact the main product, known as a ‘Synthetic Pyrethroid’ is used in many every day products already.  You can find it in children’s Shampoo’s to stop lice and Insect Repellants that are sprayed direct onto the skin.        

Furthermore, PROmite™ is only available to companies - such as Direct Cleaners, who have been trained in its correct use.

“Provides Long Term Stain Resistance”

As previously mentioned, the polymer base wraps itself completely around the fibre and bonds to the surface.  

This coating is a mighty 3 atoms thick (don’t ring and ask me how they measure 3 atoms, but the reports say it is), and due to the fact that it totally covers the fibre, it provides long-term protection against everyday spills and stains, retards foot traffic wear and makes cleaning easier for you. 

Up until now, we have relied on Fluorochemicals (such Scotchgard or Teflon) for our stain protection.  The technology these are based on is now 50 years old and as we have all found out, wear and clean off very quickly.  But PROmite™ keeps your furniture looking and feeling as new as the day you purchased them.

Imagine, Your Carpet Giving You a Healthier Life”

Just think, in one simple operation, we can remove the allergen from your home by professionally cleaning your carpets, upholstery or mattresses, we can kill and remove the Dust Mites, protect your items from every day spills and stains as well as giving you the peace-of-mind that PROmite™ will continue to protect your family from allergens – and it’s as safe as a shampoo.

Buying new carpets, upholstery or mattresses?  PROmite™ is also for you as Direct Cleaners can also treat item from new.  No they don’t have to be cleaned first, just treated like we would normally spray on Scotchgard or any other protector.  Benefits are the same, a fibre that will allow you and your family to live a healthier life.

“But there’s more…”
NO, we don’t offer free steak knives, but we’re sure you’ll agree the benefits to your home and to your family will be totally amazing.  Just like many of our clients that already have PROmite™ you’ll notice a difference straight away – even if you’ve never suffered from an allergy before.
The End Result, A Home Treated With PROmite™ Is A Healthy Home! 
Perhaps Then We’ll See Less Trips To The Doctor Or Less Days Off Work Sick…

Here’s A Healthy Home Benefit For You . . .
You may have thought cleaning and protection is expensive.  Well it can be with some companies, now here at Direct Cleaners, we pride ourselves on giving the best possible service at the best possible price.

What price can you put on your families health?  I’m sure you’ll agree PROmite™ is worth its weight in gold – but here’s chance to save on our service.
Call us and book your free consultation and we will give you a free treatment of Promite  for every 3 room we clean.
This will enable you to test Promite for yourself and really find out if this is as good as we say it is. 
By Kevin Goodwin, 020 8687 1711

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Can you give me a price over the phone?

This is a question we often get asked, and although in some cases this is possible to do, in the
majority of cases, it is much better to view the areas to be cleaned, to provide a much better service.

Here are 10 very good reasons why you should always insist on a free consultation before going ahead with any professional cleaning work.

1.    When you get a free consultation and written survey, we can provide you with a higher level of insurance and guarantee that provides you with better insurance and protection.

2.    By seeing your carpet, rug or hard floor first, we can provide you with a better, more professional service.

3.    We can test the carpets, rugs or hard floors for the best cleaning method. There are many different types of cleaning systems and we can chooses the best one for you.

4.    Fairer Pricing. We charge by the size of carpet we clean, so you only paid for what is cleaned. We don’t charge by the room, where you could be over paying or under paying which is not the best way to get the best value for money.

5.    You get an exact written price that includes everything. No Surprises!!

6.    We can give you Free, useful customer information.

7.    We can advise whether stains can be removed, or even if the carpet, rugs or hard floors are worth cleaning.

8.    We can answer all of your questions.

9.    We can work out your own cleaning requirements, customised to you.

10. We have different packages to choose from, again we’ll help you choose which is best for you. 

By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners Ltd,