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Upholstery Cleaning Advice

As well as having your carpets professionally deep-cleaned on a regular basis, it’s important that you look after your upholstery too. Caring for your fabric upholstered furniture correctly will keep it looking good and will also help it to last much longer too. Here are some useful tips on how to look after your fabric upholstered furniture.

  • If something is spilled on your furniture, don’t leave it till later to deal with! The sooner a spill is tackled, the more chance there is that you’ll be able to prevent it from staining the fabric. Always blot the spill, rather than rubbing or scrubbing it. Blotting will lift the substance, whereas scrubbing will spread it.
  • Turn cushions regularly whenever possible in order to minimise wear and tear on one side only.
  • If possible, don’t position your furniture where it can be damaged by direct sunlight. If you do place a chair or sofa right under a window, always close your curtains or blinds on sunny days to protect the fabric from sun damage.
  • Don’t leave printed items such as newspapers on your furniture; the dye can easily be transferred to the fabric.
  • Be very careful if using nail varnish or make-up when you’re sitting on your upholstered furniture. It’s all-too easy to spill cosmetics, and they can be extremely difficult to get out of fabric.
  • Vacuum your furniture at least once a week using the soft brush or upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Remove the cushions so that you can vacuum underneath them; vacuum the cushions themselves, not forgetting the arms, back and underneath of the furniture.

Professional cleaning

It’s recommended that you have your upholstery professionally cleaned every year. This will help the fabric to retain its colour and will also delay the ageing process. It’s a good idea to have a stain protector treatment applied to your furniture at the time you have it cleaned. This can stop spills from penetrating the fabric, thus preventing damage by staining. Bear in mind that the stain protection will wear off between cleans, so you’ll need to have it reapplied at the next professional clean.

In conclusion

Always have your fabric upholstered furniture professionally cleaned annually, and follow the helpful advice given above between cleans to keep your furniture in good condition. In the event of discovering a stubborn stain, don’t hesitate to give your local professional cleaning firm a call for some free advice.

Professional vs Rented Carpet Cleaning Machines

When you decide to have your carpets cleaned, you might consider doing the job yourself using a rental machine from your local supermarket, rather than paying more for a professional company to do the work. But what’s the difference between using a rental machine and hiring a professional carpet cleaning company?

Rental machines

Rental machines simply do not compare with those used by professional carpet cleaning firms. They are underpowered and not particularly effective. This means that your carpets will be left wet and may shrink or become discoloured.

The chemicals supplied to be used with rental machines are cheap and cheerful, failing to shift stains and even damaging your carpets.

The professional cleaning process

A professional carpet cleaning firm will have paid thousands for their equipment and will employ highly-trained, competent staff. This means that you can expect a high-quality job for the price you pay. So what can you expect from the cleaning process?

1. The company will carry out a pre-inspection of your carpets. This process entails identifying the fibre and construction of the carpets, and the identification of any existing stains.

2. On the day of the job, operatives will move any large items of furniture for you as necessary.

3. Your carpets will be surface-cleaned with a powerful industrial vacuum cleaner.

4. In areas of heavy traffic, a special pre-conditioning agent is applied to help break down heavy soiling. Any individual stains are treated with the correct chemicals to ensure that they are removed completely.

5. Your carpets are steam-cleaned using a top-spec, super-powerful carpet cleaning machine. This machine removes all the dirt, allergens and stains from your carpets, whilst simultaneously sucking out any moisture, thus avoiding over-wetting.

6. A thorough inspection will follow where any stubborn stains are treated again with powerful, specialist products.

7. Your carpets are then groomed with a professional grooming tool. Grooming not only helps the carpet to dry, it also lifts the carpet pile, leaving your carpets looking fluffy and as good as new.

8. A final inspection will be carried out to ensure that you are happy with the work. If required, a stain protector treatment will be applied.

In conclusion

As you can see, there really is no comparison between having your carpets professionally cleaned and doing the job yourself using a cheap, rental machine!

Allergens Found In The Home

No matter how scrupulously clean you think your home is it’s still likely to harbour several common allergens that can adversely affect your family’s health. But what are these allergens and what’s the best way to control them? Read on to find out more.

What are the most common allergy symptoms?

Indoor allergy symptoms are often mistaken for a common cold. They include;

• a runny nose with clear, watery secretions
• itchy eyes
• symptoms that linger for more than a few days

If you or your family suffer from any or all of these symptoms while you are at home, but note that they seem to go away when you’re outside, then it’s likely that they are caused by allergens.

What allergens are to blame for these symptoms?

There are a number of common allergens found in your home;

Dust

Dust can be comprised of a wide range of different particles, ranging from minute bits of skin, soil, food, fibres, insects or plants. Any one of these substances could trigger an indoor allergy.

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny creatures that live on dust, and their droppings are the main cause of asthma. Although dust mites can be found anywhere in your home, they are most numerous in your carpets.

Mould

In areas of your home where humidity levels are high, such as your bathroom, mould can begin to grow. Mould and mildew are primitive plants that shed minute spores in order to spread, and it’s these that these that can trigger indoor allergy symptoms. It’s worth noting here that carpets left over-wet by poor carpet cleaning techniques remain damp for long periods, offering a perfect environment for mould.

Pet dander

Pet dander refers to particles of dead animal skin and hair. The allergic reaction you might suffer is actually caused by a protein found in animal saliva. Your cat or dog grooms and licks itself, the saliva sticks to the animal’s hair that then falls out onto the carpet, together with fragments of skin.

How to combat indoor allergens

As you move around your home, you trigger an invisible, mini dust storm from your carpets. Allergens swirl around in the air, you breathe them in, and your nose starts running or you suffer an asthma attack.

Obviously, vacuuming regularly is important, but the only sure way of keeping your home clear of allergens is by having your carpets, rugs and upholstery deep-cleaned regularly by a professional firm of carpet cleaners.

Beware of Lowest Price Carpet Cleaning

When you decide to have your carpets and upholstery cleaned, you should always take the time to ring around a few local firms for quotes so that you can compare their prices. But is it really a good idea to plump for the cheapest priced job? Here’s why cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best in the world of carpet cleaning!

What can you expect from the cheapest carpet cleaning company?

Cleaning carpets is simply manual labour and doesn’t really require any specialist knowledge or skills, right? Well, that’s what the cheap cowboy carpet cleaning companies would like you to believe.

The carpet cleaning industry has no legal requirement for entry and no official training requirements. This means that anyone can hire a carpet cleaning machine, pick up some cheap chemicals, and set up in business.

Unfortunately, cheap rental machines don’t do the same job as super-powerful professional ones – that’s why they are so much cheaper. Cheap carpet shampoos won’t shift stubborn stains, they won’t deodorise your carpets, and they won’t kill potentially harmful allergens that could be living deep within the carpet pile. You carpets may even be left really damp, leading to the formation of mould and unpleasant odours that will take forever to get rid of.

Underpowered machines can also leave carpets excessively wet, which can cause shrinkage and browning.

As if this wasn’t enough to put you off using the cheapest company, their operatives will probably have received only the bare minimum of training. Mistakes can lead to irreparable damage to your carpets or upholstery, and it’s highly unlikely that the company will have any insurance. This means that you’ll be left footing the bill for the replacement of damaged carpets and furnishings!

When you bear all this in mind, it may come as something of relief to find that these companies are unreliable, frequently failing to turn up at all.

What can you expect from a reputable, more expensive carpet cleaning company?

So, what could you expect from a good professional carpet cleaning company:

• full insurance and protection against accidental damage
• top-spec, powerful machinery
• premium cleaning products
• fully-qualified staff
• in-depth knowledge of stain removal techniques
• stain protector treatment
• reliability

In conclusion

When choosing a company to entrust with the job of cleaning your valuable carpets and upholstery, it certainly pays to spend a little more, and the old maxim, “you get what you pay for”, certainly applies.

Thinking Of Renting A Carpet Cleaning Machine?

If your carpets are in need of cleaning, you may have been tempted to have a go at the job yourself using a carpet cleaning machine that you’ve seen advertised for rent in your local supermarket. But is this really such a good idea? Read on to find out more.

Are carpet cleaning rental machines really a cheap option?

You might think that a big advantage to cleaning your carpets using one of these rental machines is that it’s a cheap option. However, consider the following costs that you’ll incur if you hire a carpet cleaning machine:

• machine hire – £30
• detergent – £9.99
• traffic lane cleaner – £6
• urine stain eliminator (for pet accidents) – £5
• spot and stain remover – £2.99
• anti-foam – £2.99
• odour remover – £2.99

The total cost of your ‘cheap’ DIY carpet cleaning option initially comes to approximately £59.96. Remember to factor in the time it will take you to work out how to use the machine, carry out the work, and clear up the mess afterwards, and then add your usual hourly work rate onto that figure. The DIY option is not so cheap after all!

So, what kind of job could you expect your bargain machine to do? The first problem you’ll encounter is that rental machines cause over-wetting of the carpets. This is because, unlike professional carpet cleaning machines, the DIY versions are not powerful enough to suck all the water out of the soaked carpet pile. Excessively wet carpets take forever to dry, which can cause shrinkage and discolouration. Damp carpet also encourages the growth of mould, leading to allergens in the air your family are breathing, and an unpleasant, musty odour you’ll never get rid of.

Stain removal is another problem area for the DIY carpet cleaner. Professional carpet cleaners have an in-depth knowledge of how to deal with different types of stains, as well as a broad armoury of stain removal products with which to tackle them. Cheap, over-the-counter stain removers simply don’t do the job, and they can even damage your carpets.

In conclusion

Although a rental carpet cleaning machine might appear to be good value at first glance, an experienced firm of fully-insured, professional carpet cleaners will do a much better job. Remember, if you ruin your carpets with a rental cleaning machine, your house insurance won’t necessarily cover you for the cost of replacement.

Cleaning Your Rugs Yourself

Good quality rugs can add style and interest to your interior décor scheme. If you keep your rugs clean and in good condition, they’ll last much longer. It’s recommended having your rugs cleaned professionally every year or so, but in the meantime; you can maintain your rugs yourself. Read on to find out more.

1. Vacuum regularly

Dust, grit and particles of soil can work their way down into the fibres of your rugs where they readily cause friction damage. Vacuum your rugs weekly using the upholstery or stair attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Begin with the reverse side of the rug, working from side to side, ensuring that you cover the whole surface of the rug. Turn the rug over and repeat the process on the front.

2. Shake it!

Once every couple of weeks on a nice sunny day, it’s a good idea to take your rugs out into the garden and give them a good shake. If you can, hang the rugs over a washing line or fence and ‘beat’ them. This is an old-fashioned but really effective way of dislodging dust and freshening-up the rug.

3. Move your rugs to ensure they wear evenly

If your rugs are subject to heavy foot traffic or are in a position where they are exposed to direct sunlight, it’s a good idea to turn them 180 degrees every six months or so. This helps to even-out the wear and keeps your rugs looking good for longer.

4. Have your rugs professionally cleaned regularly

It’s not advisable to attempt DIY cleaning or stain removal on your rugs, especially if they are made of wool or silk, or if they are very old. A professional carpet cleaning firm will use special products that have been specifically formulated to clean delicate fibres without damaging them. It’s recommended that you have your rugs professionally cleaned at least once a year or more frequently if you have a busy household and pets.

In conclusion

In between professional cleans, you can keep your rugs well-maintained and looking good yourself by following the tips and advice given above. For more information on how to look after your rugs, have a chat with a good carpet cleaning company.

What To Ask A Cleaning Company In London

When you decide to have your carpets professionally cleaned, it’s important that you choose the right company to do the job. So that you can ask pertinent questions of prospective contractors, it’s helpful if you know a little about the industry. There are plenty of carpet cleaning companies in London to choose from, so how do you know you’ve picked the right one? Here’s a useful list of the questions you should always ask before employing a firm of professional carpet cleaners.

Is the company fully insured?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cowboy carpet cleaning companies out there that operate without the right insurance. “Liability insurance” does not cover damage to your carpets due to negligence or poor cleaning methods; it only covers damage to your home. Always check that the company has the appropriate “Contractor’s insurance” cover in place.

Are the company’s operatives properly trained?

Carpet cleaning is a skilled trade. Professionally-trained staff will understand how to use the carpet cleaning machinery and chemical products correctly, meaning that they will do a better job for you with little risk of damage to your carpets.

What carpet cleaning equipment does the company use?

As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive the equipment used by the company, the better the results will be. Ask what type and make of machine they use and Google it. Good quality, powerful machines designed to be used by professional, commercial cleaning companies cost thousands of pounds. If the machine is cheap and can be bought in a DIY store for domestic use, go elsewhere.

Does the company provide a free no obligation quotation?

Never pay for a quote. The company should  provide you with a free, written quotation showing a break-down of the work they will carry out and itemised costings.

Remember that you should expect to pay a little more if the company is equipped with top-of-the-range equipment, full insurance, and well-trained, experienced staff.

What methods of cleaning does the company use?

A very important question that you should ask concerns the preferred methods of cleaning used by the company. The most effective method of deep-cleaning carpets is Hot Water Extraction.

In conclusion

When looking for a professional carpet cleaning company in London always do your research and ask the above questions before making a definite arrangement. Ask around your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues too to see if they can recommend a good contractor.

Things Not To Do When Cleaning Your Carpet

Although a much better result can be achieved through having your carpets cleaned professionally, it is possible to remove some stains yourself. However, DIY carpet cleaning can be fraught with danger. Here are some of the common carpet cleaning mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Leaving it too late

Always deal with any spills as quickly as possible. If you leave stains too long before taking action, they can soak into the carpet fibres and dry, effectively setting the stain and making removal tricky.

Using supermarket-bought stain removal products

The stain removal products that you can buy over-the-counter in supermarkets should be avoided at all costs. They don’t work, and they can actually cause colour-bleed and damage to the carpet fibres.

If you want to have a safe and effective general stain removal product to hand just in case, always obtain one from a professional carpet cleaning company.

Not testing the carpet before attempting stain removal

You should always test any home-made stain remover on an inconspicuous area of the carpet. This ensures that, if any problems arise, the damage is hidden. If you have new carpets fitted, it’s worth keeping a few off-cuts for testing purpose if required in the future.

Rubbing at a stain

When a stain simply won’t shift, it can be tempting to rub at it. However, all this will achieve is to spread the stain and could potentially make it much worse. In addition, rubbing can cause damage to the carpet fibres, leaving the carpet looking scuffed.

Rather than rubbing, always blot stains away using a paper towel or a clean colourfast towel.

Cleaning your carpets using a cheap rental machine

Although you might think that you could save yourself some money by renting a carpet cleaning machine and doing the job yourself, this is false economy. Rental machines are usually underpowered, meaning that they don’t clean the carpets as deeply and effectively as a better-quality machine. Their lack of suction power also means that the carpets stay wet for much longer, potentially leading to shrinkage and the formation of mould.

In conclusion

Simple, everyday stain removal can be attempted with reasonable success, but don’t make the mistakes outlined above. Always consult a good carpet cleaning company for more advice and guidance on how to deal with stubborn stains, and have your carpets professionally cleaned twice a year.

Good Carpet Cleaning Tips

Although it’s a good idea to have your carpets professionally deep-cleaned every six months, there are steps you can take in between cleans to care for and maintain your floor coverings. Use the following tips to keep your carpets looking great, to protect the carpet fibres from wear and tear, and to make your carpets last longer.

Vacuum your carpets regularly

Regular vacuuming keeps your carpets looking tidy and gets rid of damaging dust and grit that might be hiding deep within the carpet fibres. If you live alone, a weekly vacuuming session is sufficient, but if you have a family and pets, it’s recommended that you vacuum twice a week.

Use door mats

A really simple way of keeping your carpets clean is to invest in a few good quality door mats that can be placed inside and outside all the external doors to your property.

Take prompt action to deal with spills

Time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with spills. Use paper towel or clean, colourfast towels to blot up spills before the substance has a chance to soak into the carpet pile.

Never rub at stains to try to remove them; you’ll just end up spreading the mark further.

Use a blunt knife to lift up candle wax

Although tea lights and scented candles add a lovely, cosy ambience to a room, drips of candle wax can cause havoc with your carpets. Don’t resort to scrubbing and scraping at the wax. Slide a blunt knife underneath the wax and lift away as much as possible.

Use the correct stain removal product

It may be possible to remove small spots and stains by using a stain removal product. However, always use a general purpose stain remover supplied by a professional carpet cleaning firm, not one that you can buy in a supermarket. Supermarket stain removers don’t generally work very well and can actually cause damage to your carpets.

It’s recommended that you contact a professional carpet cleaning firm for advice before you attempt to tackle stains yourself.

Don’t use rental carpet cleaning machines

Although it may seem cheaper to clean your carpets yourself using a hired machine, this is usually a false economy. Underpowered rental machines tend to leave your carpets excessively wet. This can lead to very slow drying times and damp, mouldy carpets. A professional cleaning firm will use powerful, high-quality cleaning machines ensuring that your carpets are completely dry within a couple of hours of cleaning.

N.B. Woollen carpets can be prone to shrinkage and DIY cleaning should therefore not be attempted.

Have your carpets cleaned regularly by a professional cleaning firm

It’s well-worth having your carpets cleaned professionally twice every year in order to extend their life and ultimately save you money. Professional deep-cleaning leaves your carpets looking much cleaner, leaves them smelling fresher, and removes potentially harmful allergens that could affect your family’s health.

When you have your carpets cleaned, always ask the carpet cleaning company to apply a stain protector following cleaning. This will make stains much easier to remove, and also helps to prevent soil and grit from working its way down into the carpet fibres where they can cause permanent damage. Stain protector treatment is particularly recommended for high traffic areas in the home, such as the hall, stairs and landing.

In conclusion

Keep your carpets clean and in great condition by following the above tips. Always consult a professional carpet cleaning company for advice on stain removal and to find out more above stain protector treatments.

Removing Common Stubborn Carpet Stains

It doesn’t matter how careful you are when handling food and drink, at some point in time a spill will occur. The key thing to remember when dealing with spills on carpets is that time is of the essence; the more quickly you clean up a spill, the less likely it is to result in a stubborn stain that you just can’t shift.

Most everyday food and drink spills can be cleaned up successfully by blotting the area with a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid, but there are a couple of substances that really do require professional intervention. Read on to find out more.

Red wine

Red wine is a nightmare to shift once it soaks down into your carpet. If you had a stain protector product applied to your carpet the last time it was deep-cleaned, you have more chance of simply blotting up the spill with paper towel and warm water. However, once the wine gets down into the carpet fibres, the only way to get rid of it is to have your carpet professionally cleaned.

The two most frequently suggested DIY methods of removing red wine stains are to use white wine or vinegar. In short; don’t! Neither of these methods work and you could just end up damaging your carpet.

Blood

In the event that human or animal blood ends up on your carpets, don’t use hot water to try to clean it up. Hot water causes the haemoglobin in the red blood cells to ‘set’ and fixes the stain into the carpet fibres.

As with all spills, act as quickly as you can. Use a clean, dry, colourfast towel to blot the stain. Don’t rub the mark or you’ll cause it to spread; just allow the towel to soak up as much of the blood as possible. Soak the stain with cold water, and then blot it up as best you can.

In order to get the stain out completely, call a professional carpet cleaning company to do the job for you. They will also treat your carpet with bactericide and deodorisers to make sure that it’s left hygienic and fresh as well as clean.

In conclusion

In the event of a spill, act quickly to blot up as much of the substance as possible using paper towel or clean, colourfast towels. Don’t be tempted to use proprietary supermarket stain removers; they don’t work very well and can even damage your carpets. Instead, call out a good firm of professional carpet cleaners to do the job for you. Remember to ask them to treat your carpets with a stain protector product, just in case of future accidents!