Specialist velvet upholstery cleaning

Pure cotton velvet requires careful attention & is easy to damage through rinse extraction cleaning. Because it is a “cut pile”, the individual cotton threads will tend to compact when wet.

It is for this reason that many upholstery cleaning companies will either refuse to clean velvet, or insist on using large quantities of volatile solvents to do the job. Dry cleaning solvent has its place in the arsenal of a professional fabric cleaner, but will not yield particularly good results for a general clean.

The owner of this particular velvet sofa had informed us that their cat had urinated on the fabric multiple times & that the visible damage & odour needed professional attention.

Avoiding damage

Stain removal from velvet

This image & the (very dull!) video below demonstrate how wetting affects a velvet pile and- importantly- how using a velvet “boffin” brush can reset the pile & reduce the risk of damage.

Removing pet urine from velvet

Urine will always leave uric salts within fabric, which need neutralising & removing. This creates an interesting problem when the fabric is velvet, as we will usually be looking to use as little moisture as possible to avoid potential damage.

In this case, our technician applied a specific urine neutralising solution to the velvet in minimal quantities using a sponge, rather than spraying it directly onto the fabric. This reduced the chance of the pile collapsing & ensured that we were able to remove the cat pee odour.

Our team are IICRC approved in Odour Control & have a range of solutions & equipment to tackle most issues.

Conclusion: The final result (which, alas, we forgot to photograph) was an odourless, sanitised & visually clean velvet sofa which our client was delighted with. This type of work tends to take a little longer than standard upholstery cleaning, but we find it very satisfying when we can bring this luxury fabric back to its true potential condition.

If you have any questions about our professional velvet cleaning process, please get in touch.

Thank you for reading!

Cleaning & sealing a Victorian tiled hallway

Many homes from the Victorian/Edwardian era contain skillfully laid tiled hallways. When they were originally installed, they would have then been cleaned & oiled at least once a week. In the more recent modern era, mopping is the main method of cleaning and brings with it a few issues.

“What has this floor been cleaned with?”

The chances are that most tiled floors are cleaned with a general detergent based solution. Over time, the sticky residues left by mopping with detergent accumulate in the grout lines and flaws in the tiles, attracting further dirt. If this is combined with insufficient rinsing, then you will find that entrance tiles can soon lose their vibrant colours beneath layers of soil.

Victorian tile cleaning in Cheltenham
Pointing finger L

This image shows a typical example. The floor is actually quite recent, but a regime of heavy footfall & standard mopping has lead to a dull, faded appearance.

After an initial survey to determine the quality of the installation & integrity of the tiles, our technician performed a simple test of the seal (this is done by pouring a small amount of water onto the surface of a section of tiles to see if the water is absorbed).

Any absorption indicates that the seal has failed & will require new applications of a sealant. 

The Clean

Stage One:

First of all, we conduct a thorough sweep & dry extraction of all debris & loose material on the floor.

Stage Two:

Next, we apply an eco-friendly tile specific alkali cleaning solution to break down historic deposits of soil, grease and layers of ingrained detergent residues. We do this in stages, using either a rotary machine or a more specialist agitating device (example video below) to ensure the floor is scubbed as thoroughly as possible.

How we deep-clean & re-seal Victorian tiles

Stage 3:

After the cleaning solution has broken down the layers of dirt in the tiles, we extract the resulting slurry using a rinse extraction machine or a “wet pick-up”. We then clean & rinse the floor again using pure water only. This tends to be the last stage of Day 1.

Stage 4:

On Day 2, only after the floor is completely dry, we begin applying the new layers of seal. The type of seal depends on the preferred finish type of the homeowner – in this case, we were instructed to put down a satin finish. After the initial layer has been applied, we allow the seal to dry or “cure” before applying further coats.

“A completely reinvigorating facelift”

Pointing finger

After 3 layers of sealant have been applied, the job is complete.

You can see in the image opposite that not only have these tiles been deeply cleaned, but that their colours are now enhanced.

This is the beauty of applying the right type of seal – you are protecting your floor from scuffs & spills, as well as giving the very first area of your home that people see a completely reinvigorating facelift.

Victorian tile sealing in Cheltenham

If you have any questions regarding the cleaning, sealing or general maintenance of your floor tiles, or any type of stone or laminate flooring, please do get in touch using either our  CONTACT page, or by calling your local branch of Green Man using the number at the top of the page.

Thank you for reading.

TV series upholstery cleaning under Covid!

Yesterday, our senior technician Rodney Gray attended a TV location to conduct a commercial upholstery clean.

 

The situation

Professional sofa cleaning

The modern looking suite had sat on a shelf in one of the large London prop-houses and had become dusty and probably a little damp. The shoot was imminent & the upholstery needed a professional deep clean to a high standard.

The need for a quick response was clear & we despatched our most experienced technician within 24 hours.

A professional deep-clean of props that have been hired presents an interesting situation. The items do not belong to the tv production team, so if these sofas & armchairs were damaged, the production company (and then us!) become liable. Every upholstery clean we conduct begins with a careful pre-test. There are endless combinations of fabric types that are used by furniture manufactures. Some of these (such as Haitian cotton, viscose, velvet etc.) can be challenging to clean without damage. 

The clean

Because of Covid-19 restrictions and, quite probably, the franticness of work on-set, an area outside had been prepared for us. This was ideal as it was a lovely day for drying – some late Autumn sun & a light breeze.

Professional commercial upholstery cleaning in Bristol

After the initial tests were done, we confirmed the fabric was suitable for a deep clean.

Our eco-friendly process follows the full professional specification to ensure all dry soil is recovered prior to stain treatments, rinse extraction (“steam cleaning”) and post-clean checks.

Professional commercial upholstery cleaning on a film set

The image above demonstrates the poor condition of the fabric. Our technician has applied our eco-sanitising pre-spray and is about to brush this in to work the solution evenly throughout. Once wet, fabrics often reveal their true condition. This also means that it can be difficult to determine the success of a clean until the item is fully dry.

The image also displays the Sapphire upholstery tool. This remarkable piece of kit enables us to rinse extract upholstery without actually “firing” the rinse solution into the fabric. The video below demonstrates the principle (see 1:10) :

The work went well and a large amount of soiling was recovered. Our cleaning methodology sanitises as part of the process. On an extremely Covid sensitive site, this was an additional bonus for the production team.

Thank you for reading!

Marmoleum polish & repair at The Corinium Museum, Cirencester

This week, the Green Man team were working in the impressive new extension at The Corinium Museum, Cirencester. The museum houses a fine collection of large Roman mosaics from the 2nd and 4th century, and a wide array of artefacts from the Roman town of Corinium. The new extension is designed as a narrative through time and describes the evolution of the Cotswolds from a prehistoric landscape to more civilised times.

Damaged marmoleum

During the renovation of this part of the gallery, contractors fitted brand new marmoleum flooring. Unfortunately, a shallow gouge occurred in the floor after it had been laid-

Shallow gouge in marmoleum
Scratched marmoleum

These types of shallow scrapes present multiple challenges.

Sometimes it is easier if the damage is deeper, as it allows for the repair to bond with the marmoleum more fully.

Before attempting to repair the damage, it was important to ensure the surface was clean…

Commercial floor cleaning

Cleaning this flooring begins with a thorough removal of loose soil & debris to ensure that there is nothing abrasive left prior to machine cleaning…

In the image, you can see our technician Pete wielding the mighty “scissor” (dry) mop. This is an especially handy tool for sweeping large areas of commercial hard flooring.

Commercial builders cleaning

After we had removed as much loose material as possible, it was time to apply a cleaning solution & agitate the flooring.

Forbo, the manufacturers of marmoleum, specify their own cleaning solution and method of clean.

We applied the product & agitated the floor with a lightly abrasive white pad. This works the solution evenly across the floor, as well as helping to lift out any stubborn or sticky soils.

Professional marmoleum cleaning
How to clean marmoleum

After the cleaning solution has been agitated & dwelt sufficiently on the marmoleum, it needs to be rinsed off the surface using a wet vac.

The commercial cleaning of marmoleum

This ensures no residue remains and leaves the flooring streak-free.

The floor dried very quickly, which meant we could begin to address the marmoleum repair.

Repairing marmoleum 

On this occasion, our work was made more difficult becuase the damage ran across two differing types of marmoleum.

Firstly, a paste is made by mixing a powdered sample of the same type of marmoleum & an appropriate type of glue. This is placed into the areas of damage.

Close up of marmoelum with hoofer dust

This is then carefully pushed into the gouge to ensure the best chance of adhesion…

Marmoleum repair
How to repair scratched marmoelum

The paste is then allowed to dry, ideally overnight.

How to repair damaged marmoleum

Once dry, the area of repair is sanded down to the level of the floor. This leaves a flat surface which is easily distinguished, owing to its lack of reflectivity.

Refinishing marmoleum
Marmoleum repair services

This area now requires additional cleaning to remove the fine debris from the in-fill. Following the clean, the area is force dried & several layers of marmoleum polish are applied.

PXL 20201117 140511570
PXL 20201117 140511570

The result

To be honest, the result in this instance was not perfect. Marmoleum is designed to be repairable, but the more heavily patterned styles hide repairs much more easily. As you can see from the image, the lighter area of flooring is more forgiving of the repair.

What we certainly managed to achieve here was a level finish. Those involved with the fitting of marmoleum will confirm that achieving an invisible repair with the simpler designs of this flooring type is practically impossible. Over time, the accumulations of cleaning & polishing will help to blend out the areas of repair.

Importantly, we had done our best to manage our client’s expectations from the start. No-one wants to send brand new pieces of marmoleum to the tip, so often it makes sense to attempt repair first.

We would like to thank Amanda Hart (Museum Director) for her kind assitance and for making our time in The Corinium Museum an interesting & valuable experience.

Thank you also for reading!

Contamination Control Certification

Here is my certificate from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) for the excellent & informative training course for cleaning professionals.

This course was to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace. By completing the course, I revised infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Kimberly Clark award scholarship to Green Man

Screenshot 2020 04 27

Kimberly-Clark award Green Man a scholarship to the ISSA Biohazard training course.

We are delighted to announce that we have received confirmation that we have been accepted onto the ISSA’s GBAC Fundamentals Online Course:  Microbial Warrior Workshop, courtesy of
Kimberly-Clark Professional.
This course teaches cleaning professionals to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace. Participants will learn infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

This course will be an invaluable resource to the team at this time. Whilst we have a variety of decontamination training as a team, the ISSA course will be another opportunity to consolidate our learning at a time when we are receiving increased demand for this service.
Kimberly-Clark will fund the training as part of their outreach programme to workers in our sector on the front line of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Thank you, Kimberly-Clark!

Decontamination cleaning in Chippenham

Eco-friendly decontamination cleaning in Chippenham

As a provider of professional cleaning services, we are receiving an increased volume of enquiries relating to decontamination cleaning. The current Covid-19 crisis has affected everyone, both at home and at work. It has heightened the public perception of how contamination can be spread and therefore increased the demand for this type of work. 

What we offer

Green Man carry a range of solutions specifically designed to deal with pathogens and have the training in place to ensure a professional deep-clean can be conducted to a high standard. While few products in our sector have been accredited as being “Covid-19” specific, the solution we use is effective against Coronoviruses, as well as being entirely eco-friendly. For this reason, we are confident in stating that we can conduct a decontamination clean with a solution tested to kill a range of Coronaviruses.

 “Green Man can conduct a decontamination clean with a solution tested to kill a range of Coronaviruses.”

 

Specifically relating to the current situation, here are the anti-viral services we offer our customers in and near Chippenham: 

  • Eco-friendly anti-viral carpet cleaning in Chippenham
  • Eco-friendly anti-viral hard floor cleaning in Chippenham
  • Eco-friendly anti-viral upholstery cleaning in Chippenham
  • Eco-friendly anti-viral rug cleaning in Chippenham
  • Eco-friendly decontamination fogging/fumigation treatment in Chippenham