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!

Stone floor clean & re-seal near Frome.

Last week, three of our technicians attended a large converted barn near Frome to carry out a variety of professional cleaning services. The brief was to remove all furniture & deep-clean the travertine tiles & grout on the ground floor, then apply new seal. As well as this, we were required to clean a pure wool lounge carpet & several rugs, including a dhouri.

The initial job here was clearly moving a significant amount of furniture… 

The removal of furniture prior to professional stone tile cleaning.

When the day began, it was a beautiful Spring day – Later on, we were glad we brought our extra large tarpaulin! 

Limestone floor dee cleaning


Once the main area had been cleared, we applied an environmentally friendly stone cleaning solution to the travertine & used a rotary machine to agitate the floor. We used a wet vac to pick up the resulting slurry, then repeated the process. We cleaned the grout lines manually with a grout brush.

Professional stone cleaning in Cheltenham
Cleaning a limestone floor

After this process was complete, we left the floor to dry. As you can see, at this stage the stone has been taken back to its initial matt finish-

Travertine floor after initial clean

While the stone dried, it was time to address the living room wool carpet & the rugs.

After the initial vacuum, a different eco-solution was applied to the wool.

This works at a nano level and sanitised the wool, as well as conditioning it.

Apart from a small area of permanent staining, the area responded beautifully well.

Professional rug cleaning in Frome scaled 1
Frome eco friendly carpet cleaning scaled 1

The dhouri rug had absorbed a considerable amount of soiling, so required significant agitation prior to the rinse extraction stage.

The image here shows our senior technician using a rotary machine to agitate the eco-solution throughout the pile in order to loosen & emulsify soils & absorbed oils.

Professional wool carpet cleaning

After stone tiles & grout have been deep-cleaned, Green Man will always specify at least a top-up coat of seal.  Most of the time, stone flooring will benefit from a full re-seal involving 2 – 5 coats of a protective seal to protect the stone from spillages & build-ups. Depending on the type of seal chosen, this will often significantly improve the appearance of the stone, intensifying colour and increasing the depth of the grain.

In the images below, you can see the impact a satin seal has on the area.

If you have any questions regarding stone floor cleaning & sealing, please feel free to use our Contact page to get in touch.

Further information about our hard floor cleaning services can be found here.

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!

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

Good morning, Frome. 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)

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 Frome

Eco-friendly decontamination cleaning in Frome

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 Cornoviruses, 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 Frome: 

  • Anti-viral eco-friendly carpet cleaning in Frome
  • Anti-viral eco-friendly hard floor cleaning in Frome
  • Anti-viral eco-friendly upholstery cleaning in Frome
  • Anti-viral eco-friendly rug cleaning in Frome
  • Eco-friendly decontamination fogging/fumigation treatment in Frome

How to conduct a sanitising deep-clean in your home

Professional cleaners need professional training & qualifications to ensure a consistent & thorough job is done every time. Here at Green Man, we regularly retrain & reinvest in the latest equipment & eco-technology to ensure we are able to deliver the best our industry has to offer.

The methodology of a deep-clean

At this difficult time, we thought it might be helpful to outline the very latest advice from our industry about the methodology of a  sanitising deep-clean.

It is important to state very clearly that here in the UK, the government has not certified any particular products as having the capacity to kill Covid-19. This isn’t to say that many products will already exist that can do the job, but that we have to exercise caution in suggesting any particular brand will be 100% effective.

1. Know your enemy

Basic Information About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a type of organism that often cause respiratory diseases in people and animals. In the fall of 2019 a new mutation of a coronavirus was first detected in China. The new variation was soon recognized to have properties similar to the 2003 coronavirus that led to the description of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). As such, the virus was named “SARS-CoV-2” by the World Health Organization (WHO). Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 can lead to a specific form of illness characterized by very high fever and dry cough named “coronavirus disease 2019” – abbreviated “COVID-19”.

Within months of its identification, despite extensive efforts at containment, COVID-19 spread around the globe and was declared by the World Health Organization to be a “pandemic”; a world-wide epidemic of an illness for which people have no natural immunity. To address the risk, significant efforts are being directed at developing a vaccine. However, as of the published date of this document, no such preventative medicine is available. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Nonpharmaceutical intervention would be the most important response strategy” to COVID-19. Their pronouncement means that infection control and home care of the affected are the key response measures.

It is noted that older adults, particularly those with weakened immune systems and underlying health problems, are at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 associated illness. This means that medical facilities and eldercare accommodations are especially vulnerable to outbreaks.

2. Choose a powerful disinfectant

If conducting a deep-clean at home, please take conscious steps to avoid spreading any contamination:

  • everything that you use to clean must be kept clean
  • until we know what will definitely kill Covid-19, use a different cloth/wipe for every separate area that you clean

As we proceed, it is important to understand that we are using disinfectant to clean, rather than disinfecting. Without rigorous testing after our work, there is no way to guarantee that areas cleaned are entirely disinfected.

When choosing a cleaning product, it makes sense to choose a brand of disinfectant you trust. If a solution is known to have the power to kill a range of viruses, as well as bacteria, this will be a good indication of potential kill power

3. Wear protective gear

Although we are discussing working in your own home, it might be helpful to understand that, as contractors delivering this type of service, we are obliged to wear gloves, gowns, eye protection, and respirators as a minimum. This is following British Standard guidelines designed to protect us, as well as our clients.

Clearly, as you live in the home you are about to clean, the chances are that you have likely been exposed to any micro-organism & viruses present. For this reason, PPE is advised as an example of best practice.

4. Clean all touchpoints

The first step in cleaning and sanitizing to break the chain of COVID-19 illnesses from secondary surfaces is to remove soil and other surface contaminants. Emphasis should be placed on cleaning surfaces more likely to be touched by occupants; commonly referred to as touchpoints. Since people are not precise when touching objects, touchpoint cleaning should extend past the focused item 3-12 inches. Common touchpoints include, but are not limited to:

  • door knobs and locks
  • door push bars, door edges and jambs on the side opposite the hinges
  • stair and ramp hand railings
  • cupboard and drawer handles
  • appliance handles
  • light switches
  • table and desktops
  • telephones
  • toilet seats and flush handles
  • tap handles
  • soap pumps
  • keyboards and mice
  • elevator buttons
  • television remote controls
  • chair armrests
  • bedrails, and countertops

Typically, a trigger sprayer and a wiping cloth are used for cleaning most touchpoints. In that circumstance, spraying the cloth and then wiping is preferable to spraying the surface.
If it is an allowable application method under the EPA registration for the particular chemical, substituting pump up devices that deliver the chemical product as a foam is a technique that has multiple advantages over a sprayer for cleaning touchpoints. A foam application allows the worker to see what has been covered, allows the product to stay on the surface longer without drying, and uses significantly less of the cleaning product.

5. Applying disinfectant to the wider area

Professional cleaners have access to atomising sprayers & a range of equipment designed to broadcast disinfectant throughout a given space.

The most sensible process at home would be to address the flooring and wall spaces. These could be appraoched using similar process as before, taking care not to damage areas by ensuring you pre-test any surfaces you are unsure about wiping. This can be done in areas that are out-of-sight or less visible.

Finally,

Whatever steps you take in your home, please understand that they are likely only to manage the potential risk. The chance of re-contamination after a clean is ever-present. Only regular, thorough cleaning using this method is likely to prove a worthwhile preventative measure.

Thank you for taking the time to read. We all wish you good health during these difficult times.

Green Man

– some information taken from the Preliminary Report for Restoration Contractors Assisting Clients With COVID-19 Concerns published by the IICRC.

Find out more about our domestic services here

IICRC Water Restoration Technician Certification

Last week, Green Man attended the excellent IICRC Water Restoration Technician training course at The National Flood School in Alton. Over the course of three days, the course outlines all aspects of professional flood response & restoration.

Day 1 – We began with looking at the different classes of water typically found in a flood situation. The different classifications are based on levels of contamination & potential risk.

This was followed by looking at insurance categories and how to ensure our initial assessments comply with the standard protocols of a possible insurance claim.

The correct use of moisture sensors & essential PPE was also covered.

Day 2 –  We next looked in detail at how to conduct the initial survey & ensure that a sufficiently detailed assessment of all potential flood damage is recorded. A Drying Plan is a key tool, but relies on accurate measurements taken correctly. This is exactly the area we need to make sure we get consistently right so that we can monitor how well we are recovering water from a flood.

In the afternoon, we began to get into the mathematics & science of Psychrometry.

Day 3 – On the last day, we looked in detail at permeance (how materials absorb & release water vapour), and practised using relative humidity graphs to establish to exact water content of a given area, enabling us to precisely deploy the correct number of dehumidifiers & air movers.

The afternoon was taken up with the IICRC exam. Because the IICRC is based in the USA, we will have to wait about a month until we get our results.

Fingers crossed…

IICRC Water Restoration Technician

Read more about our flood response & water restoration services here.