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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.

coronavirus-2019-ncov-virus-background-with-disease-cells-red-blood-cell-covid-19-corona-virus-outbreaking-pandemic-medical-health-ris
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.

doctor-holding-covid-19-card_23-2148445988
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!


 

Office Carpet Cleaning Saves You Money!

One of the most popular types of flooring material for office buildings is carpet, but it’s not the type of carpeting typically found in homes—like plush pile, shag or woven. These options are ideal for average residential use, as they are intended more for comfort in low-key environments. Work environments are a different type of animal; the heavy foot traffic nature of commercial buildings calls for a lower-profile, thicker industrial carpet material designed to stand up to regular use and extra abuse.

From the soles of footwear to wheeled carts to food and drink spills, your office carpets are put through the wringer day in and day out. This is inevitable. Since these things cannot be avoided, it’s up to you to be extra attentive to the appearance of your office or retail space.

Office

 

 

Professional carpet cleaners can help. Sure, this service is another business expense, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Here’s how office carpet cleaning can actually save your business money.

 

 


Positive Impressions

The biggest benefit of choosing to hire a professional carpet cleaning company for regular services is that it can help boost the appearance of your commercial space. Whether you own a hotel, office building or retail establishment, the success of your business depends on returning customers or clients. People are more likely to frequent places that are clean than places with dirty or stained carpets.

Marine Carpet Cleaning Restaurant Carpet Cleaning

Prevent Wear and Damage
Cleaning plays a big role in preventing wear and damage to your commercial carpets. Carpets that are not cleaned at regular intervals will start to look dirty and unhygienic. The longer you let your carpets go without cleaning, the sooner they’ll need to be replaced, and maintaining your carpets is much more cost-effective in the long run than having to pay for replacement carpeting prematurely.

Supplies Not Needed
As a business owner, you have all sorts of different expenses to include in your budget, such as employee payroll, utilities, computers and office maintenance. You don’t need to add on the cost of carpet cleaning supplies and equipment. If you decide to hire an in-house cleaning team, that’s an additional expense for your business. However, if you call professional carpet cleaners only when you need the carpets cleaned, you’ll only pay for a single service – and they provide all the cleaning supplies. This is by far the more affordable option.

Office Carpet Cleaning (3)     St A 3-001

Focus Your Time Elsewhere
Running a business, office or shop keeps you and your employees busy, so the time required to properly clean your commercial carpeting may not be available. Additionally, this task takes away precious time from your team, which could lead to missed deadlines or disorganization. Time is money – consider hiring outside carpet and upholstery cleaning service. Consider hiring Gerrards!

cropped-carpet-cleaners-in-warrington-2-2015_10_03-09_36_17-utc
Gerrard’s have a range of the most modern and effective carpet cleaning systems in the world, giving us the means to clean any commercial carpet in any location, regardless of age or condition. We will visit your premises and carry out a detailed inspection and then tailor a cost-effective cleaning package to your exact requirements, which may include the use of different systems and techniques to suit specific areas, rather than a one size fits all approach. And with almost 45 years’ experience in the industry, you can be sure that you will be dealing with a specialist professional company, totally committed to high levels of service and quality.


 

Guest Blog!

This month we have a guest blog written by Carol Simpson from Hire A Mover in Sydney Australia. 

       Carol Simpson Hire a Mover Carol Simpson

The importance of having freshly cleaned carpets when selling your home!

To sell your property quickly for the best possible price, a little sprucing up will no doubt be in order. Yet when you’re mopping the kitchen floor or scrubbing your bathroom tiles, don’t forget that your carpets will also be in need of a deep clean.

Having nice, clean and fresh carpets could make a big difference to the look and feel of your entire property, helping you to secure that quick sale. Here are some of the many benefits of getting them cleaned before moving home.

1. It will help create the best first impression

Spotless carpets that smell great will give buyers a great first impression of your property: that it’s clean, has been well looked after and lovingly cared for. If your carpets aren’t clean, buyers will assume the rest of the property isn’t either.

2. It will eliminate any odours

It’s surprising how much carpets can hold odours. Strong smells from pets, cigarette smoke or even food can linger in your carpets and will be instantly noticeable and unpleasant to someone who has never been in your property before. Carpet cleaning is therefore so important when moving home because it eliminates odours and will leave your property smelling fresh and clean.

3. It removes stains

Maybe you dropped your dinner plate on the dining room carpet, or perhaps your kids had a bit too much fun with the finger paints. Either way, you simply can’t leave that stain just sat there in plain view when trying to sell your home. Cleaning your carpets will finally remove any stubborn stains once and for all.

4. It will brighten the place up

It’s amazing how much dirt can accumulate on carpets over time. You may not have noticed your carpets slowly changing colour, but with a thorough clean you’ll be surprised at how much brighter they, and in turn each room, will look.

5. It’s one less thing for buyers to think about

Cleaning your carpets will help entice buyers who are looking for a low-maintenance property they can move straight into. It will eliminate the need to buy new carpets, which can be costly and may put some buyers off.

This article was written in conjunction with Sydney Removalist Hire A Mover.

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