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Sofa, Couch, Settee – Whatever you call it!

  It’s the focal point of your living room and the place you’ll relax and unwind – so it’s worth getting it right. 

 

Buying a sofa takes time and consideration. You need to pick a style that suits your living space, a colour you love, a material that lasts and – after all that – it has to actually fit through the front door.  Get to grips with the various sizes, fillings and finishes before you part with your money. A new sofa doesn’t have to be expensive, but while there are some things you can skimp on, there are other areas in which it will pay to splash out.

The majority of clients we visit to clean their soft furnishings and carpets have owned their previous sofas for more than 10 years, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to choose a colour and style you like. Swatches are usually free, so it’s best to get hold of a range of different options. Seeing a picture of your chosen fabric just isn’t the same as touching it yourself and looking at it in different lights. Live with the swatches for at least a few days. Look at them in natural and artificial light, to see how they’ll look at different times of day. You could even splash some food or drink onto them to see how well they clean up. And, if you’re worried about pet scratches – particularly cats – let them claw at the swatches to see how the fabric holds up.

Choosing a sofa fabric  Whether you go for leather or fabric, whatever your sofa is upholstered in will set the tone for your living room. For everyday seating in a room you use a lot, you might prefer a hard-wearing man-made fabric . Good-quality leather is also a durable choice, ideally one that has a polymer coating to make wiping down and professional wet cleaning possible. Unprotected leathers (aniline) can be cleaned with dry dusters as water marks may appear with other methods of cleaning. Man-made fibres tend to be the most durable – textured flat weaves in particular are among the most hard-wearing and family friendly, as they’re more forgiving of stains and less likely to snag.  Sofa’s containing viscose, rayon or linen look fantastic however these are all delicate natural fibres and don’t live up to family life. These fibres do not clean very well due to their delicate nature and sometimes colour change can occur.
ALWAYS check the fabric composition of the sofa with the salesperson and consult a professional upholstery cleaner for the best advice.

Choosing a sofa shape – from corner sofas to sofa beds  Once you’ve ordered a few samples and narrowed down your fabrics. It’s time to work out what size and shape sofa will fit and suit your space. From elegant chaises longues to practical sofa beds, sofas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you get to enjoy your sofa all to yourself, have to fight for the best spot with a large household or share it with a beloved pet, how you use it will influence the size you choose.

To get it looking just right in your room, you’ll need to be realistic about the space available, too. A small sofa looks out of place in a large room, while a large sofa squashed into a tight space will feel claustrophobic.
Think about how you prefer to sit when you’re relaxing. If there are two of you and you both like to have your legs up, then make sure the sofa is deep enough to accommodate you both. If not, you might need a sofa with chaise end or a reclining sofa.
If you like to lie down on your sofa, measure up to make sure it is long enough for you to stretch out. And, if you’re tall, a sofa with a higher back will give extra support so that you’re not forced to slouch.
It might seem obvious, but always measure the space where your sofa is going to go carefully. There’s nothing more annoying that going through the process of choosing a sofa, having it delivered and then finding it doesn’t fit. If it’s being delivered pre-assembled, make sure you measure up your door frames too, and allow for any tight angles. If it doesn’t fit through the front door, you’ll be heading back to the drawing board.

Keeping your sofa’s looking great:

Whether you ban food and drinks from your sofa or eat your dinner on it every evening, here’s some advice to keep it looking spick and span.

25% of our clients have their sofa’s cleaned every few months. The same number again have them cleaned every 12 months. Around 10% of our carpet cleaning clients have never had sofas their sofa’s cleaned even though we clean their carpets regularly – we can only assume they’re better at managing spills than the rest of us.

The most common sofa stains Sofa stains are incredibly annoying, especially if your sofa is covered in a light fabric. These are the most common stains that we come across:

Food (18%)
Pets (13%)
Hot drinks (13%)
Children (12%)
Wine (7%)
Ink (4%)
Mud (2%)
Make Up (1%)
   

Sofa cleaning tips:

  • If disaster strikes and your sofa ends up splattered with red wine or curry sauce, attend to spills immediately using plain water first.
  • In the case of small spills on a fabric sofa, it’s important to avoid the instinct to rub at the stain. This only pushes the spillage deeper into the fabric, which of course makes it harder to clean. Instead, wipe lightly with a damp (not wet) cloth, and then immediately dry with a soft dry cloth.
  • For anything bigger, call in the professionals.
  • Do not us any over-the-counter stain-removing products such as Vanish, 1001 or Dr Beckman’s as many of these products seal stains in to the fabric or bleach/fade the fabric
  • Do not try any solvent-based cleaners.

Even if your sofa remains accident-free, every day use can make it grubbier than you realise. A professional clean every 12-18 months will keep your sofa looking better for longer.

For the best possible results, talk to us. You can call us on 01942864474, email us: enquiries@gerrardscarpetcleaners.co.uk or message us via Facebook.

Gerrards Fly the Flag

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Made in Britain

 

 

Gerrards have made a commitment to buy British made cleaning solutions, whenever and wherever possible. We have always chosen British made products when possible, however we have now decided to actively source as many products that have been made in Britain as we can. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has already triggered a wave of high street failures, especially in the fashion industry. Hundreds of thousands of retail workers have been furloughed, with the aim that they will return to the shop floor when stores are allowed to reopen. But will these jobs and customers still be there?

Hopefully we can all play our part in supporting local businesses and shops by buying British made products. The lockdown has prompted huge changes in the way we shop, more home deliveries, more local shopping, and changes in the way we buy goods and services. 

Local producers are already seeing uplifts in sales and local farm shops and other community stores are already benefiting from a new customer base which hopefully will stay loyal after the lockdown has been lifted and we learn to live with the ‘new normal’.

Lets make ‘Buying British’ the next fashionable trend!

  Acknowledgment for Union Flag – Photo Courtesy of Freepik

 

 

The importance of soap & water in the fight against Covid-19

 

Wash Your Hands-001We’ve all been hearing “wash your hands” as the singular best way to stay healthy during these dark days of Coronavirus Covid-19.
It seems so basic— after all, it’s what we teach toddlers even before they are able to stand up on their own. Every parent has asked their child, even tweens and teens: “Did you wash your hands?” followed by a “Yes” and an eye roll, followed by “With soap?” followed by…. silence and said eye rolling and slouching child returning to the sink to wash with said soap.      

Washing with soap and water is not a new phenomenon it didn’t just become a new hot latest and greatest practice weeks ago. It has been said that the ancient Babylonians invented soap around 2800 B.C.

However, the current health advice for washing hands with soap and water is based on the ability of soap molecules to interfere with lipids in the Covid-19 virus membrane, breaking down the outer fatty (lipid) layer of the virus. Moreover, the soap molecules can compete with the other non-covalent bonds between the proteins, RNA and lipids, effectively ‘dissolving’ the glue that holds the virus together. The soap can also disrupt the interactions between the virus and the skin surface, removing viruses from the skin.

What is it about soap that gives it such superpowers? (the science bit!)

Plain old hand soap, no, not antibacterial soap (remember, this is a virus we are dealing with, not a bacteria), contains molecules called ‘soap molecules.’ 
Each soap molecule has a hydrophilic (‘water-loving’) head and a hydrophobic (‘water-hating’) tail. Viruses are surrounded by a ‘lipid-bilayer’ made up of two bands of hydrophobic tails sandwiched between two rings of hydrophilic heads. When exposed to soap and water, viruses are prised apart, as the hydrophobic tails of the soap molecules attempt to escape from water and wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of the virus rupturing the viral membrane. In effect breaking down the proteins to help prevent the virus from entering the cells on the skin.

Why soap and water is the ‘Gold Standard’ and NOT alcohol-based hand sanitizers?

There are two types of hand sanitizers alcohol-based and alcohol-free. Only sanitizers with a high concentration of alcohol (more than 60%) are effective against Covid-19.
Ethanol and other types of alcohol are solvents and are therefore more lipophilic
(‘fat-loving’) than water. This means that alcohol does dissolve the lipid membranes and disrupt the virus. These hand sanitizers are useful when soap and water are not available. Even so, soap and water will still remain the ‘gold standard’ as the virus detaches from the skin and falls apart readily in soapy water.

To sum it up!

  • Clean hands protect against infection
  • Protect yourself
  • Clean your hands regularly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.
  • Repeat often.
  • Tell a friend.

How do I wash my hands properly?

Washing your hands properly takes about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice, which is around 20 seconds and following the images below:

Clean hands protect against infection-001

Courtesy of the World Health Organisation (WHO)

 

Emergency Spot & Stain Guide

If you’ve started to notice that your carpets are getting grotty or if you’ve spilt coffee on the sofa while in quarantine, then you’ll probably want to call in the professionals once the lockdown period is over.
GERRARD’S ARE NOW OPERATING A WAITING LIST READY FOR WHEN THE LOCKDOWN HAS BEEN LIFTED.
And remember in the meantime we are still providing Facebook, email and telephone support and providing quotes for carpet and upholstery cleans.

             Call us: 01942864474, Email: enquiries@gerrardscarpetcleaners.co.uk 

                          PLEASE STAY AT HOME! STAY SAFE! PROTECT THE NHS!

Stay Home


To help with any spillages until it’s safe for a professional deep clean here is our spot & stain guide

Items & Solutions Required:

  1. Dry white absorbent cloth or towel
  2. Home made dry cleaning solution – Surgical Spirit (available from most chemists) 
  3. Home made detergent solution – One teaspoon of gentle wool safe washing detergent mixed with half pint of warm water.
  4. Home made vinegar detergent solution – One teaspoon of white (not malt) vinegar mixed with the detergent solution above.
  5. Home made ammonia solution – one teaspoon of household ammonia mixed with one cup of warm water.

Final Rinse Procedure:

  1. Mix one part white vinegar with 4 parts water
  2. Pour in to a spray bottle and spray over the stained area
  3. Blot the dampened area DO NOT RUB to remove excess moisture
  4. Now place another clean dry towel over the stain and stamp on it again, even adding a something heavy on top of the towel for a while to absorb as much of the moisture as possible.

Spots & Stains:

  1. Liquid Spillages – tea, coffee, alcohol and urine.

Gerrards spotter. (2015_10_03 09_36_17 UTC)-004

A. Act quickly. At first, it’s a spillage, and not yet a stain.
B. Using a white towel or kitchen roll, press all your weight on the spillage, even standing on the towel to blot up as much as possible. This may take a few minutes but is worth the time and patience.
C. Check to see if much of the spillage has been transferred to the towel or kitchen roll and replace with a clean one as often as necessary. Do not be tempted to rub or scrub the stain.
D. Once no more colour is being transferred, dab a clean towel with a small amount of water and continue blotting the stain for few minutes.
E. Now place another clean dry towel over the stain and stamp on it again, even adding a something heavy on top of the towel for a while to absorb as much of the spillage as possible.
F. Assess the spillage area afterwards and if any colour remains.
G. If you are a previous customer of ours we will have left you a free bottle of our professional stain remover. If you have one of these follow the instructions above A to F and then use the spray following the instructions on the label very carefully.
H. If you do not have any of our spotter available use a very small amount of the vinegar detergent solution (listed above) working from the outer edges of the stain inwards, a little at a time and then finish with the final rinse procedure as above. 

2. Chocolate, sweets, ice cream & vomit

chocolate - freepik

A. Scrape up any excess using a blunt knife or spoon.
B. Working from the outer edge inwards, spray the detergent solution and blot dry.
C. Follow with the ammonia solution and blot dry.
D. Follow the final rinse procedure as above.

Photo’s courtesy of Freepik 

3. Fats, grease, gum and shoe polishGrease - Freepik

A. Scrape up any excess with a blunt knife or spoon.
B. Working from the out edge of the stain inwards, use the dry cleaning solution as above.
C. Working from the out edge of the stain inwards, this time with the detergent vinegar solution and blot dry.
D. Follow the final rinse procedure as above.
     

The above processes are pretty effective, and at the very least will remove the worst of spots and stains while causing no further damage to your carpet or making it more difficult (or impossible) for a professional to remove.  

As always, if in any doubt, please do call us on 01942 864474 for further advice.

We are still able to work in unoccupied commercial premises where social distancing is observed for unlocking and locking up of the premises and where we can be left to work alone. All premises are subject to individual risk assessments before a booking can be taken.

We hope all our customers are well and keeping safe and look forward to working for our domestic customers as soon as the Government has decided it is safe to do so!

                                                                                                 

Covid-19 – Can Viruses Spread on Carpets?

At the moment we hear nothing but news after news reports and updates about
COVID-19 coronavirus which has literally gone viral and there are so many questions being asked – and probably way too much panic and misinformation (seriously, even if you have to stay home in quarantine for up to two weeks, you really shouldn’t need 24 jumbo packs of loo roll! Really!!).

OK, we need to start out by saying that we are not doctors or public health officials or anything of that sort. We are professional carpet cleaners and will do our best to inform you by using the information available to us.

Now we’ve got the necessary disclaimer out of the way, time to move on to some of the questions we are currently being asked.

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Photo Courtesy of Freepik

Can Viruses Spread on Carpets?

The problem with the COVID-19 coronavirus is that it’s a new one and nobody’s got immunity to it because our immune systems haven’t seen anything quite like it before. This means that it is very infectious. Now, we always ought to be vigilant about not spreading viruses and maintaining good hygiene regarding things we touch anyway; this new virus is just given us a good kick up the backside – reminding us to do the things we ought to have been doing anyway, like wiping down high-touch surfaces, washing our hands more frequently and not repeatedly touching our faces.

The issue is what happens to the virus when it hits a surface. Viruses aren’t the same as bacteria. Bacteria like nice warm porous surfaces like fabric and paper – and that includes carpets. Viruses, on the other hand, prefer hard non-porous surfaces and can live on a suitable surface for quite some time after someone’s sneezed on it or touched it with grubby fingers. In the case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the current research suggests that it stays active for up to 28 days, but it’s still early days and the researchers are working on this. Another source suggests 24 hours on cardboard and 2–3 days on plastic. However, this information can change by the hour.

Carpets however receive their fair share of viral overloads if people cough or sneeze and don’t cover their mouths properly so that the spray falls onto the fibres. People also bring in things on the bottoms of their shoes if they aren’t in the habit of leaving their shoes at the door.  The virus then has to get into a host – hopefully not you.

In the case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it enters the human body primarily via the eyes, nose and mouth. This means that to get a virus from the carpet in to one of these entry points, you either have to touch the carpet with your hands and then touch your face (the standard euphemism for picking your nose), or else you have to be face down on the carpet.

Of course, not all carpets are created equal. The carpet in your office has more pairs of feet, more street shoes and more people likely to sneeze over it. Your bedroom carpet is another story. If you take your shoes off at the door, your bedroom carpet will probably not get much in the way of the virus, as you probably don’t have strangers coming into your bedroom and spitting on the floor or licking the carpet or even sneezing.

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Photo Courtesy of Freepik

Should You Get Carpets Cleaned to Prevent COVID-19?

The burning question: will cleaning the carpet prevent you from getting the coronavirus? Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to that. If your workplace or your home has become exposed to the virus, you might like to consider deep cleaning the carpets. In fact, a few organisations have recommended that for places like schools where you get kids sitting on carpets and touching their faces and the floors a lot, steam cleaning and disinfecting the carpets can be one of the decontamination measures taken.
Hot Water Extraction Cleaning most commonly known as steam cleaning is the appropriate technique for killing bacteria and viruses that might be lurking in carpets. Other methods, such as bonnet buffing and dry carpet cleaning, don’t quite do the same job. The reason for this is that it’s the super-high temperatures involved in steam cleaning that kill the bacteria and viruses. For your extra protection we are now using anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial carpet and upholstery cleaners in addition to super-hot solution temperatures to help protect you from any potential risks.

Of course, if you have been self-isolating or sitting in quarantine for quite some time, you’ll probably start to notice what your carpets, mats, rugs and upholstery actually look like. One can only binge-watch for so long, even if you love a particular TV series! If you know that you are likely to have to self-isolate and you know your carpets are a bit on the dingy side, then you may want to call in the carpet cleaners beforehand so you don’t have to stay in a house with carpets that get on your nerves for two weeks or whatever the current recommendations are. If you notice your carpets are grotty or if you spilt coffee on the couch while in quarantine, then you probably want to call the professional cleaners in once the quarantine period is over.

Anything Else You Need to Know?

You probably won’t want to call in a professional cleaner every day to steam clean your carpets even if it would give you peace of mind. However, there are a few things you should bear in mind:

• Don’t rub neat alcohol or methylated spirits or even vodka on the carpets, as you could do weird things to the carpet fibres and wreck the carpet (believe me, this has all been done before!)

• Don’t spray your carpet with neat chlorine bleach (if you can get it, that is), as this will strip out the colour and the damage can’t be repaired.

• Soaking the carpet with anything is a bad idea, it will make the carpet moist – and turn it into a great breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, plus the smell will drive you wild.

• Washing your hands properly, covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and disinfecting your phone will help to protect you!

       Here’s to good health and hoping none of you do come down with Covid-19!