Professional Upholstery Cleaning in Bristol

The Togo design from Ligne Roset is a timeless classic, and one that we encounter from time to time. These two sofas were in a generally good condition, apart from greasy marks on one sofa from the family dog.

1. The initial part of our fabric cleaning process is the initial pre-test. The visual inspection had confirmed significant oily build-ups on one of the sofas. To successfully remove this, we would need to use one of several solutions.

The pre-test allows us to ensure that no damage is caused to the fabric. We apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area and observe the results. We are checking to see if there is any change in either the texture of colour of the fabric. In most cases, one of the benefits of using eco-solutions is that they don’t rely on high alkalinity or an aggressive action to achieve results.

2. The next stage is particularly important on this specific design of upholstery. As you can see, the sofa is textured with long lines of folds, all of which can hold on to a huge amount of dry soil. On the two sofas, the vacuuming alone took nearly half an hour.

3. After the vacuuming, we apply the pre-sprays & agitate them into the fabric to help break down soils. Whilst these dwell in the fabric, we set up the rinse extraction machine. 

Ligne Roset Togo detail

4. Rinse extraction (sometimes called “steam cleaning”) is the final stage of the  professional upholstery cleaning process where we recover the remaining soils held within the cleaning solution.

A gentle rinse agent helps us to ensure as much as possible can be recovered from the fabric, leaving it outstandingly clean.

If you have any questions about our process, or if you’d like to discuss how we might be able to help, please feel free to get in touch using our Contact Page.

Thanks for listening!

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!

Professional flood services in Bristol

When a flood occurs, it is preferable to deal with it fast. Water tends to move quickly and is capable of moving in unexpected directions, so a rapid response is preferable to prevent as much damage as possible.

A few weeks back, Green Man were called out to deal with a Cat 2 escape of water in a Georgian block of flats in Clifton, Bristol.

Stage 1: The survey

Flood restoration

Although reaction time is important, a thorough initial survey is vital. At this stage, we gather as much information about the flood- how it started, where it came from, the type of water, how long it lasted. From a thorough understanding of the cause, we can then begin to put together a viable drying strategy.

At this stage, we also use a variety of moisture detecting equipment to take readings. This is the only way we can ensure we are able to monitor how the drying process is proceeding. 

Stage 2: Extraction of flood water

We now use powerful water extraction equipment to recover as much water as possible. In this instance, because the flood was recent & was pure water from the mains, we are using a large commercial carpet cleaning machine. We moved the furniture off the affected areas as much as was possible. The decision about which items were or were not recoverable was not ours in this instance.

Flood water removal in Bristol scaled 1

The images here is of one of the flats below the flood. The volume of water and force of gravity were quite sufficient to mean that the water moved laterally across the floor above and fell into this flat through the light fixtures.

The water has also soaked through the wall in this image…

How do you think you dry a wall?

The answer is: it depends what it is made of. The main wall affected by the flood in this instance was constructed of cinder block with plaster. 

This type of initial extraction is able to recover a large amount of water from non permeable surfaces, or areas (like carpet) which will release the water as easily as they absorb it.

Stage 3: Install drying equipment.

3 commercial dehumidifiers for drying a flood
A row of commercial dehumidifiers waiting to be installed.
A commercial dehumidifier and an air mover.

This job required a large commercial dehumidifier and 2 air movers in each affected room. Drying is accelerated through increasing the heat and air movement to promote evaporation. Once we can begin to get evaporation occurring, we can recover the moisture using a dehumidifier. Without this equipment, moisture that is trapped within materials such as brick, wood and plaster will remain where it is and cause secondary damage. Once everything had been set up, we returned to monitor the drying every three or four days.

After about ten days, we took final moisture readings which indicated all the affected structures were dry to a satisfactory point. We cleaned the carpets with a biocidal solution to ensure that mould would not have any chance to develop. We were then able to remove the drying kit & declare the flats dry and ready for redecoration. 

Thank you for reading.

If you have any questions about this article or about our flood work, please use the CONTACT page to get in touch.

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!

Hello, Bristol. We remain open & determined to fight this…

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Good morning, Bristol. Here we go again…

I must admit, it felt pretty dispiriting to hear we were to go into a second lockdown. I feel particularly for our local businesses in the hospitality sector that are forced to close their doors. All we can hope for is that as many of us as possible manage to stick to the guidelines & do what we can to keep one another safe.

Green Man have taken the decision to continue to work.

We upgraded our Covid-19 working protocols last Friday to ensure we remain compliant.

Specifically, we are:

  • Maintaining a more than safe distance between ourselves & our customers (we are asking customers to either be out of the house or, at the very least, never in the same room as our technicians)
  • Wearing masks throughout the duration of any job
  • Sanitising any touch-points we have interfaced with at the end of the job

As a small local business, we have to try and stay working if we can.

I appreciate that some may disagree with this.

Unfortunately, as self-employed tradesmen (and women, Ellie!) we are not guaranteed the same rights as those eligible for furlough. It looks as though the chancellor may have increased our entitlement, but the message seems to be that we should continue to work until told otherwise.

Other news

Aside from the misery that is Covid, the good news is that we have been working to improve our offering.

We have recently invested in new kit & upgrades to be able to better deliver urine treatments. Never a glamorous service, but absolutely a key part of our offering!

The new kit enables us to more effectively tackle the sub-floor and underlay as part of our process. We have sourced an industry-standard new solution that powers through the ammonia compounds & nitrogen build-ups that urine causes.

If you have any questions about this, or anything related to our range of carpet, hard-floor, rug, stone or upholstery cleaning services, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Take care, stay safe,

Jon (Director)


Victorian Tile Restoration in Bristol

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Last week, our team conducted a full deep-clean of Victorian tiles in the porch and entrance hallway of an Edwardian property in Bristol.

Our approach involves an industry-standard combination of dry extraciton, application of an appropriate tile cleaning pre-spray, various mechanical agitations followed by rinse extraction.

Once the tiles are fully dry, several applications of a colour enhancing seal are applied to ensure the tiles are protected against spillages.

The results speak for themselves:

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If you have an enquiry or would like to find out how we could help restore your Victorian or Quarry tiles, please feel free to get in touch via our Contact page.

Thank you for reading.


Professional carpet repair in Bristol

A few weeks ago, Green Man were contacted by a tenant of a property in Bristol. She was very concerned that her pet rabbit had damaged the carpets beyond repair. We arranged to conduct a survey and inspected the damage-

A successful repair will depend on a donor piece of carpet. This can be either a section of spare carpet kept back from the original installation, or it can be a small piece removed from a carpeted cupboard or something similar.

In the following images, you see our lead technician cutting donor pieces of carpet & installing them in place of the areas of damage…

In the last of the three photos, it is fair to say that you can not see the carpet insert at all. The carpet in question may need a deep-clean, but can you see the edges of the new piece?

Our carpet repair services include all our branches from Frome to Frampton, Bath to Bampton.

If you have any questions, or would like to send some images to see if we can repair your carpet, please use our contact page.

Thank you for reading.

End of tenancy carpet cleaning – double clean!

End of tenancy carpet cleaning Bristol

This week, we attended a deep end of tenancy/start of tenancy clean at a beautiful apartment in Bristol. It should have been a very straightforward job:

  • Empty bedroom
  • Large space to work in

However, the condition of the carpet was very poor.

The texture of the carpet had meant that a large amount of dry soiling was bound into the carpet fibres.

The first step was intensive vacuuming using our industrial Sebo BS36. We vacuumed slowly both horizontally & vertically. By the times this stage was complete, there was already a noticeable difference.

After a high performance eco-friendly pre-spray had been applied & agitated evenly throughout the carpet using a rotary machine, it was time for the final rinse extraction.

This is the stage that is sometimes called “steam cleaning”. Ordinarily, this is a linear process beginning from one end of the room and ending at the other side. This time, owing to the state of the carpet, we found we needed to conduct this stage both horizontally & vertically (like the vacuuming earlier).

The machine we were using can produce 800 psi, so it wasn’t a lack of power. It was simply that the carpet had significant amounts of compacted soiling that needed specific treatment.

As professional carpet cleaners, we are committed to ensureing every job is our best work. Sometimes, this means taking significantly longer to ensure the work is to a standard we can be proud of.

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).