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:

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Illustration Courtesy of the World Health Organisation (WHO)

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!

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.

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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.

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.

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!

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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.


 

Your Carpet is the Biggest Filter in Your Home!

When you were selecting the carpet in your home, you may not have thought much about how carpet contributes to your family’s health and well-being. Perhaps you were thinking style, colour, and durability. However, one of the greatest, but often overlooked benefits of carpet is its contribution to healthier indoor air quality.
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Your carpet is the biggest filter in your home. Just like your washing machine filter or vacuum cleaner filter or air conditioning that filters out airborne soils that pass through it, your carpet does the same thing. During the autumn and winter months when your windows are rarely opened, it becomes a bigger issue.

draught-marks-001Draught Marks can clearly been seen round the edges of this room!

Carpeting absorbs tracked in soil like dirt, asphalt, pollens, insecticides, bacterial matter, and fungus. This can be clearly seen with “draught marks”.

The black lines that appear on light coloured carpet around the skirting boards, under the doors and around cool air returns is called “filtration soiling” or “draught marks”.

The filtering process that your carpet provides keeps those soils from becoming airborne. These soils are trapped in the carpet. They are then removed with regular vacuuming and regular professional cleaning.

If you do not clean your carpet on a regular basis, the filter becomes full. Would you leave your air conditioning filters for years on end without replacing them or cleaning them? No. The cleaning industry at large has not done a good job of educating the public about these kinds of issues; therefore many consumers are uninformed of the impact.

Not maintaining your carpet not only leaves it exposed to permanent traffic area damage and permanent staining, but it contributes to an unhealthy indoor environment.

Putting your house on the market? Here’s why carpet cleaning can help you close a quick sale!

Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, it’s important you maximise the sale price of your home while avoiding it sitting on the market for too long.
Converting a garage, adding a bedroom, replacing old flooring and renovating kitchens and bathrooms are all proven to add value to a property.
But if you haven’t got thousands of pounds to invest, how do you do add value and make your home a more attractive proposition to potential buyers?

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Photo Created by Freepik

                                              Clean carpets can make or break a sale!

What do your carpets look and smell like?

What might be a charming ‘lived-in’ appearance and smell to you, will almost certainly put off buyers. While colour schemes and design are a matter of personal taste, there’s nothing more off-putting to house hunters than dirty, smelly carpets. (Especially carpets that emit the smell of dog or cat urine!)

But should you replace them if they’ve seen better days?

This is not usually necessary in our experience. Replacing carpets usually runs into the thousands of pounds and causes too much upheaval while you’re in the process of trying to sell your home. By choosing to have your carpets professionally cleaned, you minimise disruption and save a small fortune.

Gerrards Carpet Cleaners in action

Do you need to clean your carpets?

If your carpets have any obvious stains or odours, or simply haven’t been cleaned in a long time, it is wise to get them professionally cleaned before putting your home on the market.
The longer you have lived in your home, the more your senses will have adapted to the appearance and smell of your carpets and flooring.
Potential buyers on the other hand, will quickly pick up on any unsightly stains and curious odours.
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Clean, fresh smelling carpets will project a positive first impression to viewers, and, if they don’t need to replace the carpets, it’s one less cost that they will be concerned about when considering purchasing your home.

Gerrards Carpet Cleaners SOLD
Photo Created by Freepik

If you’re thinking of selling your home, we provide professional carpet cleaning in Warrington, Wigan, Chorley, Bolton, St Helens, Worsley and surrounding areas.

These Common Shop Bought Cleaning Products Can Ruin Your Carpets and Upholstery!

In addition to carpet and furniture cleaning jobs, we often get calls about stain removal.
Most spillages and common stains can be treated and removed successfully if we know what we’re dealing with.
But the real problems occur when a customer purchases and uses one of the common stain removal products that are sold in most supermarkets (no names mentioned but there’s more than one offending brand that fits the criteria here…)

 

Seen here damage to carpets by using over the counter stain removal products.

I still can’t quite get my head around how some of these products can be sold as “stain removers” when they rarely get rid of the stain and often make it far worse and much more difficult to remove to the point sometimes were the stain has been sealed in to the carpet and cannot be removed at all. Often causing irreversible damage to the carpet fibres.

OK, so now I am actually naming and shaming one particular product, however there are many other products that do similar damage.

 

This is the reason why Gerrards give all our customers a bottle of our own label professional spotter/ stain remover to use in between deep cleans.
It is also our way of saying “Thank You” for your business too!

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Carpet Cleaning Myths!

Regular professional cleaning can keep your carpets looking beautifully clean and fresh for many years.

Despite this, some homeowners are reluctant to get their carpets cleaned due to concerns and misconceptions about the potential problems that carpet cleaning can cause.
In this blog we are going to address some myths and give you the real facts about carpet cleaning.

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Let’s make a start by addressing some of the most common misconceptions raised by first-time callers over the phone:

Will my carpets take days to dry after professional cleaning?

No, they won’t. (Unless they’ve been cleaned using excessive moisture or with a machine without enough suction to remove sufficient moisture).
An experienced carpet cleaning company should be using machinery that won’t
over-wet your carpets and they should be touch dry when they leave and pretty much dry in two to three hours.
This is a myth that dies hard because there are still companies out there that operate under powered equipment and have shoddy cleaning processes.

Will my carpets get dirty quicker after they’re cleaned?

This is another misconception frequently heard.
If a carpet is cleaned using the correct equipment, chemicals and process, this most definitely isn’t the case.
A carpet will only re-soil quickly if the cleaning chemicals used aren’t appropriate for the fibres and stains, if they haven’t been fully extracted or rinsed out from the carpet leaving behind sticky residues that attract and harbour dirt.
Once again, the result depends on a conscientious and responsible company using the correct machinery and suitable cleaning solutions.

You can’t wet-clean wool carpets!

This is incorrect.
If wool carpets are cleaned using the correct temperatures, safe chemicals and they are not over-wet then the cleaning process will help protect and maintain the beautiful appearance of the wool.
It is also important to facilitate drying times using a powerful extraction machine and, if appropriate, the use of turbo dryers.

If I have my carpets cleaned too often, will it damage or “wear out” my carpets?

Your carpets should be professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
The misconception that the carpet cleaning process can wear out carpets is simply not true.
Professional carpet cleaning removes the ingrained soils and grit that cause damage to fibres and prolongs the life of your carpets and rugs. Not only that; carpets act as a filter, its dense fibre construction has the ability to trap and retain airborne dust, allergens, small particles and fumes keeping them out of the air. Therefore improving the air quality within your home. Like all filters your carpets need emptying from time to time to remove all the trapped dust, mould, pet dander and debris.

But aren’t all carpet cleaning processes the same?

Reading websites, it may appear that all carpet cleaners and their methods are the same.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
While dry carpet cleaning methods can be effective for light maintenance cleans and some commercial carpets, to get the best results look for a carpet cleaning company that uses a hot water extraction method (often referred to as ‘steam cleaning’), and preferably one that uses a high performance truck mounted carpet cleaning system which are at least 20 times more powerful than the small electric machine some carpet cleaners use.
               The results attained are the best possible and drying times minimal.

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WHICH OF THESE SYSTEMS DO YOU THINK WILL GIVE YOU THE MOST THOROUGH CLEAN AND SHORTEST DRYING TIMES?

Spring Clean Survey!

Spring Clean Survey!

As part of National Spring Cleaning Week the general public were asked to help with a Spring Clean Survey to undercover general attitudes towards cleanliness and cleaning habits.

The survey found that around 40% of typical households considered it rude if guests did not take their shoes off when visiting their house. However, around 8 to 10% of those admitted to wearing their own shoes around the house.

 


The survey revealed that 70% of people had brought mud into their home, and 25% admitted to treading dog poo in their carpet. Dog faeces carries a wealth of bacteria, and if it is not removed promptly and correctly, it can be passed on to adults, children and other animals. Professional cleaning can ensure elimination of such germs and bacteria.
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Interestingly, over 25% of those surveyed said that they’d changed a baby’s nappy on the carpet. Some carpets may look clean on the surface, but the visible grime we notice is just the tip of the iceberg.

Over 85% of soil is buried deep within the carpet pile, and most domestic vacuum cleaners and steamers haven’t got what it takes to get rid of these deep-down germs.
Professional cleaning not only improves the appearance of carpets and upholstery, but also creates a more hygienic environment, by removing accumulated soil and debris.

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It is not uncommon to rest on our sofas when feeling unwell, so it is crucial to keep your home clean to prevent spreading germs further around the house, and even to the wider community. NHS research has shown that two thirds of Britons don’t follow basic hygiene, which makes the need for regular, professional cleaning all the more important.

What are your thoughts?