September 10th, 2015

Nice upholstery
Upholstered furniture is often subjected to heavy use and can show soiling and stains very quickly. Keeping it clean throughout its eventful life can be challenging and you will need to develop a thorough care routine if you want to maintain its appearance.

A good upholstery maintenance programme should include both regular self-maintenance and periodic (at least once every two years) professional cleaning.


1. Keep upholstery away from direct sunlight to avoid fading.

2. Place furniture at least 10 feet away from vents a
nd fireplaces to avoid hardening and cracking, especially in the case of leather and vinyl-covered items.

3. Rotate your upholstery cushions weekly.

4. Vacuum regularly using a soft upholstery brush attachment. Even if your furniture is not used often, dirt and dust particles can still cause wear on fabrics.

5. Consider adding protective coverings to the arms and back of your upholstery, or covering your items with light coloured throws (never use dark colours as the dyes may rub off onto the fabric when dry, or bleed when wet). Ensure these loose coverings are washed frequently.

6. Do not machine wash removable upholstery cushion covers, as this can result in a colour difference between them and the covering on the furniture’s frame as well as shrinkage and loss of texture and ‘feel’ of the fabric.

7. Avoid using dyes, paints, inks, nail polishes, etc. around your upholstered items.

8. Do not leave newspapers on upho:
lstered furniture as ink may be transferred onto the fabric.

9. If eating, place your food on a tray to avoid spillages.

10. Have an upholstery fabric protection treatment professionally applied. A protective treatment will allow you time to deal with a spillage before it becomes a stain.

11. If a spillage occurs, act quickly! Very carefully scrape up solids, and blot up liquids using white absorbent cloth or towelling (never use coloured cloth/towelling as the dyes may transfer onto the fabric). When blotting, apply gentle pressure – too much can push the stain further into the fabric. Call a professional upholstery cleaning service to help you remove any residual staining as soon as possible.


Even furniture that has been diligently conserved will still need regular cleaning. Like carpets and rugs, furniture should be cleaned professionally at least once every two years to remove the deep down soiling and grit which is a major cause of wear and tear.


September 9th, 2015

Paul cleaning carpet with wet extraction

Carpet cleaning doesn’t just improve the appearance of your carpets, it drastically extends their life as well. All that dirt and grime doesn’t just look bad, it wears and tears at your carpet fibres over the years.
To save money, some people choose to try and clean their carpets themselves. But, while the ‘do-it-yourself’ approaches are less expensive, they are never as effective as professional cleaning and involve a considerable amount of time and hard work. It is also very easy to damage your carpet.
Below are three common ways carpets are damaged during a ‘do-it-yourself’ clean:
1. HEAT DAMAGE – The intense heat generated by the ‘steam machines’, that can be purchased in many of the retail chain stores throughout the country, can cause the twists within the yarn in twist-pile carpets (which are heat-set during manufacture) to become unwound leaving the carpet looking very old and the pile felted.
2. OVER-WETTING – Moisture which soaks to the bottom of a carpet and into the backing materials can cause it to discolour; you also run the risk of mould and mildew problems as wet carpet backing is very difficult to dry. Additionally some carpets will shrink if they are subjected to too much moisture.
3. FAILING TO PROTECT THE FRESHLY CLEANED CARPET FROM FURNITURE – Another carpet-cleaning hazard is stains caused by furniture coming into contact with wet carpeting. Many kinds of wood furniture will release some of the dyes in their stain if left in contact with a damp surface. ‘Do-it-yourselfers’ are more likely to encounter these problems because they often don’t remove all the furniture from the room when cleaning, and they often don’t have ready access to the foam blocks and foil-backed cardboard squares that the professionals use to keep the furniture off the carpet until it is dry.
The best way to retain the appearance of your carpets, and extend their life, is to have them regularly deep cleaned (at least once every two years is recommended) by a professional carpet cleaning company with the equipment and skills to do job properly and without causing damage.
Next to the house and the car, the carpeting in your home is one of the most expensive items you’ll purchase. Don’t put it at risk by trying to clean it yourself, get a professional cleaning company to do the job for you.
For a fully-trained, professional carpet cleaning company in your area go to: or phone 0116 271 9550.

Trip to a carpet fair

February 2nd, 2014

I recently embarked on a trip to the Domotex Carpet Fair in Hanover. This is something I have wanted to do for many years. I have been to Harrogate Carpet Fair a few times, Surfaces in the states probably a dozen times and back in the good old days there was even a carpet fair in London. However Domotex is the biggest of them all. There were 13 halls crammed full of carpets, rugs, laminates, wood floors, tools, carpet tufting machines, cutting machines, fibre producers even leather & hides.
I arrived at 10am after leaving Stanstead at 8am. It was then an easy shuttle to the exhibition centre, by 11am I was walking through the doors of Hall 2, which was the start of my 3-day experience. In this hall were some big bespoke rug suppliers. You could by everything from a tufted to a unique masterpiece in fibres that make you think did I really read that right? When you ask the folk on the stand how would you maintain it? Their eyes glaze over which make you think they have just been given some sad news or they suddenly realise that English isn’t their first language and the answer isn’t forthcoming. Of course as someone who has cleaned a rug or two you get to know what needs to be done in order to maintain them, I was just trying to chat to the suppliers.
After 3 hours of wandering around this hall I move on to Hall 3 where the centrepiece is Iran showing just what they were capable off. One machine made carpet that was hanging, was over 20 feet tall with a very detailed pattern of columns from a ruin I can only assume was from the country. It was certainly common to see rugs depicting photographic pictures on them both big and small. You could walk in and out of the stands quite happily, I took the opinion that I wasn’t necessarily there to buy but to admire, to gain information and grab the atmosphere. So I made sure that sales staff knew that I was interested more as a cleaning consultant than purchasing so that they could judge if they wanted to spend time with me or move on to a purchasing situation with someone else on their stand. This proved a good move and there was no pressure from the sales staff and most were very helpful. I met up with some colleagues from the UK whilst wandering around which was a nice way to spend sometime chatting about what we had seen or missed. I continued round to Halls 4 & 5 where most of the wall to wall stuff was as well as the British Stand entitled The Best of Wool, many of the folk on these stands were from the UK, showing some new products as well as quality. One interesting product was from Martinello Ginetto they have created a wool/viscose/bamboo/nylon chenille loop pile carpet that has a rugged look, its called Heather Tweed. Watch this space. The first day for me ended at around 4.30pm as I wanted to find my hotel in the centre of Hanover and Domotex was a fare way away. The info centre at the fair was most helpful, explaining that the Metro was the easiest to use and my entry ticket to the fair covered the cost. I took two trains and about 16 stops and I was within 200 mtrs of my hotel, simples. It was basic but central and clean; the staff were more than helpful.
Day 2 was rug day. There were 2 halls 16 & 17 that housed more rugs than you could ever imagine. Most were hand knotted and were all shapes and sizes. I was in a candy shop, there were silk (real), wool, linen, cotton and even polyester. There were Tabriz’s, Heriz, Gabbeh, Qum, Kilim’s, Afghan’s Nepalese, Indian, Chinese, Moroccan, Turkish, Uzbekistan, Pakistani’s and loads more. One type of rug that seemed to have many stands showing them was patchwork rugs. These were made up using old pieces of rugs that had been damaged or discarded or I believe made especially for the purpose. They were very interesting, some had been purposefully distressed or aged and usually sewn together in 45cm squares, then a cloth back is attached. Some of the rugs had been given a particular hue to them; I guess the makers had felt this enhanced the look? None the less I can’t wait to see one that needs cleaning. When wandering around these halls I couldn’t help thinking how they had been shipped from around the world to get here and how long it all took. The container companies must be doing a roaring trade to enable the show to go on. The rugs were being turned over and over so buyers could view them and then the pallets were being loaded with the rug buyer’s pickings. The forklifts were picking them up and loading the waiting trucks continuously.
Day 3. Today I concentrated on wandering through the middle halls where the tools, equipment, laminates and wood were. It wasn’t long before I wandered back into the rug halls to get another look at the beauty of these pieces of art. Even the odours that some of them had was a draw, some had the rawness that you would expect from the tribal communities, others smelt as though they had been through a washing process and were on the final part of the drying cycle, then you had the ones that had been through a complete finishing process and just smelt new. I finished the day walking through 1st Rug Avenue this is where designers had created several room sets using modern and old but had been integrated with hand knotted rugs from many different countries, some on the floor and others on the walls. This really showed how you could add to the room using rug art. It was now 4pm and time to travel home. I was laden with books, brochures, samples and my rugs left on a pallet hoping that they will find their way home. Can’t wait to go back next year, the dates are 17th to 20th January, put it in your diary and plan early, you won’t be disappointed.



Announcing my new business page on Facebook

January 3rd, 2013

Have a look at the page direct from the link below
As well as my Carpet inspections page at

Why Should I use a Vacuum

December 22nd, 2012

By Paul Pearce

Dirt is a four letter word to our customers and a blessing to us. Your customer will often develop some creative words for describing the dirt in their carpet such filth, grime, crud, or just ‘yuk’.

Question – What should you call the dirt in your customer’s home? The response of some ‘professionals’ when they see the carpet might be “Woah this carpet is dirty!” Perhaps a more professional approach would be “Mrs. Brown, your family obviously enjoys this room. Based upon the heavy SOILING in your traffic areas, I would recommend our Deluxe Clean Method.” Always refer to your customer’s dirt, filth, grime, and crud as SOIL. Be gentle.

Soil wears out a carpet prematurely. Next to a car or a home, the investment in the carpet and upholstery is the highest that a consumer will make. Excess soil will destroy that investment.

While today’s better nylons will resist heavy wear they are still exposed to soil that, if not removed on a periodic basis, will cause them to take on a worn appearance. Most soil, whether it is tracked in, atmosphere pollution or food spills, is acid based. The oxidised oils and the resins they form will begin to yellow and eventually weaken the carpet fibre. Abrasive Soil, the sand and grit that is tracked in on a daily basis, will cause the fibres to be scratched and abraded. This wear on the fibres will reflect light differently and therefore give the carpet a worn look. Another problem caused by soil is aesthetic. Soiled carpet looks bad. People are embarrassed if their friends or customers see it. Soiled carpets are also unsanitary, a perfect breeding ground for any number of bacteria and pathogens.

Your customer needs to know the problems associated with letting the carpet become overly soiled. It is no longer a good idea to let the carpet go as long as possible between cleanings, because the carpet acts as a filter for all types of soil and indoor pollutants such as animal dander, dust, pollen, and even some gases. This is a benefit as long as the filter is cleaned regularly.

Soil comes from two places:
1. Tracked into the home – Shoes and animals will bring in a high degree of soil from cars that drip grease and oil, factories that emit pollution, soil from gardens, asphalt, which will turn carpet yellow, and many other sources. Thus, the reasoning behind the fact that most dry soil in the home is found at the main entries. This can be reduced by the use of a doormat, the removal of shoes, etc.

2. Inside the home – The inside soil comes from many sources: human and animal hair, clothes, lint and fibres, skin (yes, we do shed), body oils from humans and animals and even cooking oils – it would surprise you to know how much oil is actually deposited in the air when you fry your sausage, egg and bacon on the cooker. The better the cook, the quicker the soil builds up in the home. As for the food spots, people can be very creative with food spills.

Soil is anything that is foreign to the carpet. For simplification we will divide soil into three types:
• Water Soluble – These soils usually consist of sugars, starches, salt, and residues of water soluble foods and fluids.
• Solvent Soluble – Asphalt, tar, grease, cooking oils, many cosmetics, ink, etc.
• Insoluble – This division of soil, which is normally the largest concentration of soil in the carpet, consist of items such as clay, sand, carbon, quartz, limestone, vegetable fibre, and animal hair. This type dissolves in neither water nor solvent.

The type of soil in the carpet will play just as important a part as the amount of soil, when considering the cleaning process. Different types or combinations of chemicals are necessary to clean grease laden carpet as opposed to heavy dry soil content.

Procter and Gamble conducted a study on the content of carpet soil. The interesting part of this study concluded that seventy nine percent of the carpet soil consisted of non-soluble soil such as minerals (dirt), animal hair and vegetable fibres. It also concluded that only sixteen percent of the soil was soluble in either water or solvent solutions.
This would seem to indicate that if our customers were more consistent with their vacuuming, they would have to see us, the professional cleaner, less often.

Imagine the dust that will collect on a coffee table in just a few days. Add to this the dry soil that is tracked in on the soles of shoes and by the family dog. Now, rather than vacuuming this soil, fry up a few good meals letting the cooking oils drift through the house, and give the kids some peanut butter and jam to spread where they may.

If customers would remove the particulate soil before it is bound to the carpet by the other soils, we would have less cleaning to do. But gratefully, most people do not vacuum as often as they should and the greasy and sticky soils combine to hold the other soil to the carpet fibre.

You, as the professional, should also keep in mind that the best time to remove soil is when it is dry! This is why we vacuum first.

December 20th, 2012

CHCC Brochure

Pile Distortion in Walk Areas

December 19th, 2012

Irreparable carpet distortion

Severe distortion

by Paul Pearce

I receive many calls from baffled consumers and carpet cleaners with regards to dark areas in the carpet which are resolutely present during, and even after, cleaning. Consumers say “I have just had my carpet cleaned and it’s still dirty”. The carpet cleaner calls me to say “I have been working on this area now for thirty minutes and it’s still not coming clean”.

You may assume that these dark areas are due to stubborn soiling, but very often they’re not. You see, when we remove the soil from the surface of a carpet we are often confronted with further issues such as distortion to the pile or fibres. This is often the case when a client is dissatisfied with a clean. They think there is remaining soil in the carpet, when the real reason it looks dark is the distorted pile. Of course it really doesn’t help when the ill-informed carpet retailer or clients friend says “well, they didn’t do a good job of removing the soil, it still looks dirty, especially in front of the settee”. We need to better educate our clients if we want to avoid this scenario. Explain to them that carpets can deteriorate rapidly in some areas and certainly never guarantee to get a carpet ‘looking like new’.

Walkway areas in particular can change substantially in appearance, due to distortion, in a relatively short time and this may not be noticed by the client until after you have cleaned the carpet. It is inevitable that all ‘traffic’ areas will show signs of wear and tear over time, but some people think that the degraded appearance is simply down to soiling.

This kind of distortion is progressive, and can start immediately after the carpet is laid. It can be the result of several things:
Shading – a change in light reflection as fibres comprising the pile of carpet are bent or reoriented over time.
Abrading – which results from the abrasive action of particle soils rubbing against the fibres, causing them to dull and reflect, deflect or absorb light differently from less trafficked areas.
Fading – the gradual colour loss resulting from exposure of carpet dyes to light (especially sunlight) over time, and to a lesser extent, to acid soils, or to atmospheric gases or fumes.
Wear – a loss of fibre density resulting from normal traffic, maintenance and general use. Obviously, poor pile density and minimum yarn twist also results in distortion in traffic areas.
Pile reversal – which can appear generally throughout the carpet but mainly wherever traffic is experienced, usually immediately after installation or within a few months and looks like a water stain.

No one really knows what causes pile reversal or how to prevent it. It even extends across seams from one section of carpet to another; I have also seen it on carpet tiles.

There are reported to be one or two people out there using a steaming method to reverse the distorted pile, but even that is only temporary. It is not a manufacturing fault, although there have been instances where a carpet has been replaced by the manufacturer. However, I suspect this was more a gesture of goodwill than ownership of the problem.

Because it occurs in carpet and rugs of all fibre types (wool, nylon, polyester, acrylic, polypropylene, coir, silk, etc.), all construction types (woven, tufted, fusion bonded, modular, etc.), in all methods of installation, under virtually every imaginable combination of circumstances, the conclusion that pile reversal is not related to any of these factors is well supported.

The visibility of various types of shading, including pile reversal, is minimized if the carpet is:
• a loop pile: it occurs almost invariably in cut-pile styles, loop-pile styles are a virtual guarantee against this problem.
• displaying a busy pattern: the more busily and boldly patterned a carpet is, the better it will disguise shading and pile reversal.
• a pale colour: lighter carpets sometimes tend to show less contrast between darker and lighter shaded areas, whereas darker colours often tend to exaggerate these differences.
• constructed of fibres with less lustre: fibres with less ‘sheen’ create less contrast between dark and light areas.

The above is an attempt to explain some of the issues surrounding pile changes in carpet.

Just bear in mind that pile distortion will not be the explanation for every single dark patch of carpet. It might actually be that it does need a bit more cleaning.

Carpet Fibres

July 1st, 2012

All forms of carpets, rugs and upholstery fabrics are made from one or more types of fibre. A fibre can be made from any number of products, and is normally put into two categories, which are ‘natural’ – either from an animal or vegetable source and ‘man-made’ – synthetics like Nylon. These fibres are then spun (or made) into a ‘yarn’.

For thousands of years man has been making floor coverings from the very basic weaving of grasses and other vegetable fibres – to the magnificent tapestry carpets that are now masterpieces, such as the Ardabil Mosque Carpet, the most famous piece of weaving in the world, which can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, it’s said to be woven in 1540 and contains 33,000,000 hand tied knots (380 per square inch).

The true origins of carpet weaving are unknown, although there are many stories of carpets dating back to 2000B.C. There is a coloured wool interwoven in linen which is of tapestry style, in the museum of Cairo that dates from 1480B.C. One of the earliest preserved forms of ‘tufted’ pile rug known is dated at about 425B.C. So if you want your beautiful carpets cleaned and maintained in the most professional way then call Country House Carpet Care on 01883 743175.

Surveying The Job

June 26th, 2012

Site Analysis and Pre-inspection

Without doubt, the most important part of the whole undertaking is the initial inspection of the carpet, upholstery or curtain to be cleaned and the environment in which it is situated. The survey should be conducted in every case and put in writing. This in turn is given to the client prior to any work being carried out. Failure to follow this simple initial step can lead potentially to later problems and may prove extremely costly in monetary terms and loss of prestige for your business. Indeed some insurance companies are refusing to pay out on a claim if there is not documentary evidence of a prior survey being carried out. Carrying out an accurate pre-inspection and explanation can eliminate cleaning problems. The survey will determine how and if the work is to be carried out. It must be carried out systematically and thoroughly every time. Carpet acts as a filter in the indoor environment, trapping soils, gases, animal & human dander

Curtain Cleaning Insitu

June 23rd, 2012

The slightest mention of curtain cleaning can actually put the soft furnishing cleaner on red alert. He wants the extra revenue but is not too sure how it can be tackled. Curtain fabrics are no different to upholstery fabrics but can have some unusual characteristics. It is assumed that we should send the items to the local dry-cleaners for cleaning within a machine using chlorinated solvents. We assume at this stage that our client’s products are in safe hands, and they probably are just why should we lose the revenue?

It is in fact a growing in-situ process and many carpet/upholstery cleaners are cleaning these items in-situ right in front of the client. These cleaners are not taking the risks you may think. In fact, they are taking fewer risks than if the curtains had been taken down and delivered to the dry- cleaners. However we will have a friendly dry-cleaner on hand for those times when we just can’t carry out the work in-situ.

There indeed are precautions to take,that include the use of ladders and chemicals, but can still be an addition to your carpet and upholstery cleaning needs.

The fear that many cleaners have about curtains makes it an open market. You see professional carpet cleaners, clean carpets and many will clean upholstery, but few clean curtains. Yet, there is far more curtain cleaning to be done. The client cannot clean her own curtains in-situ only take them down and drop them into their local shop and then you have to re-hang them.

In fact, curtains will be generally dry-cleaned and many carpet cleaners do not understand how to use dry clean solvents unless of course he has purchased special equipment. Then he would have to feel the need to use it.

To add to this, dry cleaners cannot guarantee a single curtain that is passed across their counter will not shrink or even lose its feel. In-situ curtain cleaners are able to guarantee virtually everything with regard to no shrinkage, texture change and stability. Give Country House Carpet Care a call on 01883 743175 for free advice and quote.