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Carpet Shading and Sisal – A recent experience

Two issues that often come up in carpet cleaning are the issue of “carpet shading” also known as “pile reversal”, and cleaning sisal carpets (see image below).

Sisal Carpet - Aqua-dry carpet cleaners dublin

Sisal Textile

I had an interesting experience today when asked to clean some carpets in a lovely home in Rush, Co. Dublin. Although this lady is a long-time customer of ours, I had not been out to clean in her home before, it had always been another technician.

Her mother let me in, and told me to pull the door after me when finished. That kind of trust is very nice to have between customer and carpet cleaning company.

 

Carpet Shading

The carpets were a very good quality cream 80% 20% wool mix. Although all the carpets were the same quality, the only one that showed shading or pile reversal (see image) was the one in the landing. You will see from the picture a great example of what shading or pile reversal looks like:

 

Carpet Cleaning: this is what carpet shading looks like

Carpet shading also known as pile reversal

Some people get upset when this appears in their carpets because they think this is a flaw in their carpet. Actually it is a phenomenon which the carpet manufacturing industry cannot explain. If you check the labels in your carpet retailers you will read that this condition is not a manufacturing fault. Unfortunately, shading is not something that can be eliminated or reduced by cleaning the carpet.

 

Sisal carpeting – Can it be cleaned?

As I was finishing the carpet cleaning job, I noticed a couple of small mats, made of sisal at the bottom of the stairs and at the doorway. I have seen these carpets in many homes and even in large commercial properties.

Although this type of carpeting looks great when just installed, unfortunately it lets you down badly when it needs cleaning. Two major problems with sisal carpeting are:

a)     They watermark very badly

b)     They are very prone to shrinkage when wet

This makes them impossible to clean by hot water extraction. Our experience is that dry cleaning these types of carpet is a waste of time.

If you have any enquiries about carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning or rug cleaning in the home or commercial property email us at info@aqua-dry.com or call 01-8400799. We’ll be happy to assist.

 

Read more: Tom’s previous blog on how important customer service is to us as consumers as well as service providers: “If you’ve never been to Tullow, this might be a good reason to go”

The Importance of Commercial Carpet Cleaning Maintenance in High Traffic Venues

 

Carpet Cleaning Job in Dublin, National Concert Hall - Aqua Dry

National Concert Hall – Aqua-Dry Carpet Cleaning van

Keeping the same furniture and carpets for decades

As you may know, we have been cleaning carpets and performing upholstery cleaning at the National Concert Hall for over ten years now. It’s always a pleasure for us to be in the National Concert Hall, whether for carpet cleaning or to enjoy some top class singing.

 

Click On the Video below to See Tom enjoying his carpet cleaning in the plush surroundings of the National Concert Hall

 

In all those years, the carpets and upholstery, chairs and sofas have not been replaced. When you take into account the huge number of people that attend events at the Concert Hall annually, that is a remarkable saving and excellent value for money on their original investment.

Tattersalls Commercial Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning

For almost twenty years now, we have cleaned carpets, sofas, dining chairs and rugs in Tattersalls. Tattersalls is one of the leading livestock agents in the world. Apart from the many selling events they host each year, they also cater for weddings and other events.

Similarly to the Concert Hall, the carpets, upholstery and rugs in Tattersalls have not needed to be replaced in all that time.

How have these high-traffic venues managed to avoid replacing their furnishings for so long?

Both organisations have a very good maintenance programme in place. From new, all the furnishings had a protector applied like Scotchgard. This has helped to stop spillages becoming stains and has improved subsequent cleaning results. That’s the first part.

Secondly, both the Concert Hall and Tattersalls deal with spillages and stains in a very efficient manner. Spillages are removed quickly and at least every 6 months, the carpets get a full hot water extraction clean. Periodically for the rest of the year, a spot removal programme is in place.

Carpet Cleaning in Dublin Tatersalls

Carpet Cleaning in Tattersalls

The cost of replacing the carpets, upholstery and rugs in these organisations would be very high indeed. For over 10 and 20 years respectively, this cost has been avoided by good maintenance.

Benefits of good commercial carpet cleaning maintenance

Simply put, the advantages of a good maintenance programme are:

Contact Us With Any Questions Or To Book  A Job

If you have any questions about cleaning upholstery please contact us now – or call us on 01 - 8400799 or email info@aqua-dry.com.

 

 

What should you do when something spills on your carpet?

What to do when something spills on your carpet

What to do with spillages on your carpet?

Very often the reason a professional carpet cleaning company is asked to come in is to remove stains which cannot be removed by the customer. It is thought that the carpet cleaning company will have somebody sufficiently well trained to deal with every type of stain. This is actually not true at all. The ability of the carpet cleaning technician to remove stains is governed by a number of factors. The first thing to consider is:

What type of Stain is it?

  1. Oil based stains such as tar, fats, grease, cosmetics etc. are usually easier to remove from a wool carpet or wool-rich carpet. A synthetic carpet, i.e. nylon, polypropylene etc. does not give up these types of stains so easily.
  2. With water based stains such as tea, coffee, and juice, it is easier to remove these from a synthetic carpet. Wool loves water so it does not want to give up these stains too readily.

The general rule of thumb is, that wool loves water and hates oil, and synthetics hate water and love oil. It is therefore easy to see that the same treatment on different carpet types will not work as effectively on each.

Other factors that affect carpet cleaning and stain removal

Other things that affect carpet cleaning and stain removal include heat and age. The hotter the liquid spillage, the more likely the permanent damage is. Stains near sources of heat such as underfloor heating, open fires and even direct sunlight will also be more prone to permanent staining.

It is therefore very important to deal with a spillage quickly and especially if the spillage or stain is near a heat source.

So what do you do?

Oil based stains:

  1. Blot up immediately with absorbent towelling or tissues;
  2. Do not rub the carpet as this may cause “fuzzing” on the pile. If this happens, it is permanent and can look worse than the original stain. You will need a solvent cleaner to remove the job. Your friendly dry cleaner may be able to oblige you with some dry cleaning solvent.

Water based stains:

  1. As with oil based stains, blot up immediately, using absorbent tissues or towelling.
  2. Be very patient with the blotting action because this is your best chance of removing the spillage completely.
  3. If the stain is tea, coffee or red wine, you will need to call the professionals. You will need to do this as soon as possible!

Contact Us With Any Questions Or To Book  A Job

If you have any questions about cleaning upholstery please contact us now – or call us on 01 - 8400799 or email info@aqua-dry.com.

 

Carpet Cleaning Gift Voucher

Carpet Cleaning Gift Voucher

Carpet Cleaning Gift Vouchers

We’re well into our bookings for Christmas. It’s always a busy time of year in the carpet cleaning business. For many years now we’ve thought of doing gift vouchers for our customers, something like €100 vouchers for carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and rug cleaning, carpet, rug and upholstery protection.

Up to now we have always resisted the temptation of doing gift vouchers. The primary reason is that we know that not all vouchers will be redeemed. You know how it happens, you get a voucher for Christmas and then put it in the drawer or in your wallet where it never sees the light of day again. This could result in a situation, for example, where we could sell €5000 in vouchers, but as much as €1500 may go unredeemed.

That does not sit right with us. Some might say, well, it’s not your problem, but still, taking €1500 for doing nothing seems, to us at least, to be cheating.

So how could we resolve this situation to everyone’s satisfaction?

If The Gift Voucher is Not Redeemed we will return the Money

What we are proposing to do is this: we will do vouchers for carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, rug cleaning and protector application. A month in advance of the expiry date, all recipients of the vouchers will be informed if the voucher has not been used. This gives them the opportunity to remind the recipient to book in the work. If after the expiry date, the voucher has still not been redeemed, we will return the amount to the purchaser, less a small administrative fee.

If the purchaser chooses not to have the money returned, we will choose a charity to send it to.

We don’t really want to benefit from doing nothing; we would rather be paid for carrying out the work. We are quite happy for someone else to benefit from the intended gift so they can help others.

By the way, people are already starting to book for Christmas cleaning. Book early so as not to be disappointed.

 

Contact Us With Any Questions Or To Book  A Job

If you have any questions about cleaning upholstery please contact us now – or call us on 01 - 8400799 or email info@aqua-dry.com.

 

paint-on-carpet

Carpet Cleaning to remove paint

We would always advise to have your carpets cleaned AFTER the painting and decorating has been done. Really, the last thing that should be done is the carpet cleaning.
It is the decorator’s responsibility to cover your carpets and soft furnishings and while there is really no excuse for getting paint on your carpets or furnishings, it can happen.

Can the paint be removed from the carpet?

The type of paint that gets on your carpet and the quantity dictates whether or not it can successfully be removed.
The type of carpet also has a bearing on this.
Small splashes of oil-based paint can usually be removed very successfully. It is very important to notify your carpet cleaning company as soon as possible after the stains appear.

Larger deposits of oil-based stains are usually impossible to fully remove.

Carpet Cleaning and Water-based Paints

Although most people think that water based paint is easier to remove than oil-based paint, that is not our experience. Water-based spillages, especially on wool rich carpets, are nigh impossible to remove, particularly if the stain has dried in.

Small deposits of water-based paint can be removed, but you must act very quickly.
While the stain is still moist, it can be flushed and extracted.

The difference between trying to remove oil and water based paint is that with oil, a solvent can be used. Not so with water-based paint.

There are products available to professional carpet cleaners which are designed to remove oil-based paint. I am not currently aware of any such product for water-based paint spillages.

No.1 Message - Make Sure Your Painter Takes Care!

So Rule No.1: make sure the painter is responsible enough to cover your carpets, upholstery and rugs adequately. Rule No.2: in the event of a spill, act quickly, especially if it’s a water based paint spillage.

If you do get paint on your carpet, of course please contact us now – or call us on 01 - 8400799 or email info@aqua-dry.com or

Read more: Previous post on Why we offer a 100% money back guarantee on all work

How long does Carpet Cleaning take to dry?

Carpet Cleaning Drying Time Variables

Drying times for carpet cleaning depends on a number of different variables.

Among the different variables are carpet type, cleaning method chosen, assisted drying, ventilation, the weather, and heating systems.

With the hot water extraction method of cleaning the normal drying time for carpets will be about 4-6 hours with good ventilation and perhaps with some help from the heating or good weather. If a protector is applied after cleaning, this will be extended to approx. 6-8 hours. Again, this is assuming the area is well ventilated.

Air movement is key to faster drying. For example, when clothes are out on the line on a dry, windy day, they dry very quickly. It is similar with carpet cleaning.

This is a video of a wedding carpet that we had to clean and have ready the very next day.
Thanks to some quick thinking and a couple of air movers, we had everything ready in time.

In certain commercial work, (e.g. cinemas or hotels), where a quick turnaround can be essential to the running of the business, air movers can be used which can speed up the drying process dramatically.

Cleaning Carpets and Degree of Soiling

The degree of soiling also has a big bearing on the drying times. A lightly soiled carpet may not need a pre-spray. It may also only need one to two passes of the cleaning head. Heavily soiled carpets e.g. cinemas, restaurants, entertainment venues) almost always need a pre-spray and full extraction clean. The more moisture introduced in the cleaning job, the longer the drying time.

Equipment is an important component of the cleaning effort. Having the best carpet cleaning equipment, whether truck-mounted or mobile can remove 90-95% of the moisture. Obviously, the more moisture removed, the quicker the drying time.

The conclusions on drying cleaning carpet times are these:

In domestic jobs, 4-6 hours should be sufficient with good ventilation, unless a protective treatment, or sanitisation treatment has been applied.

In commercial work, drying times are not always critical, sometimes the office can be left to dry overnight or over a weekend. However, as mentioned above, for some commercial cleaning jobs, time is of the essence. A drying time of 2 hours is possible with the use of air movers on the job.

Read more: previous blog: Why do some stains recur after carpet cleaning?

 

Carpet Cleaning poor quality will last longer than sweetness of cheap prices

Value for Money – Carpet Cleaning

When it comes to carpet cleaning, what constitutes value for money?

While many may have different definitions of what constitutes value for money in carpet cleaning, our definition is this:
"The cleanest clean you can get, with a results that lasts the longest"
If these two are delivered by pleasant staff who are courteous and respectful in your home, that’s even better.

You also want to know that the company really cares about their customers’ satisfaction. After every carpet cleaning job, we contact our customers to ensure that they were satisfied with the job. See our testimonials page to find out what they have said.

Value for money comes with carpet cleaning expertise

How do we achieve the cleanest clean? The carpet cleaning technician must be able to recognise what sort of soil he is looking at. We would take into account things like the location of the carpet, i.e. is it in the kitchen area, the living room, a busy reception area etc.

Also, the type of carpet is important to recognise. Why? Because carpet tiles should be cleaned in a different way to wool-rich carpets. Natural fibre carpets will respond best to products specifically designed to clean natural fibres. There are other products which are best used on synthetic carpets. The qualified technician should know which products are best practice for the carpet in question.

Best carpet cleaning equipment

Once we know what soiling we are looking at and the type of surface we are endeavouring to remove it from, the next important thing to consider is: which type of equipment will get the best results?

For wool rich carpet, the hot water extraction system is best. We operate truck-mounted machines which powerfully penetrate to the base of the carpet to remove soil.

For synthetic carpets e.g. Nylon, Hot Water Extraction is not always best. A combination of shampooing, bonnet cleaning or encapsulation cleaning usually works best.

It stand to reason that a carpet cleaning job that lasts say 6 months longer, reduces the cost of cleaning and the need to replace carpets prematurely.

So to summarize, a properly trained technician who knows what type of carpet and soiling he is dealing with, and who has the best equipment to remove that soiling will give the best value for money in the long-term.

Next: Read about a company who went for a cheaper quote than Aqua-Dry and it ended up costing them in the long run in Tom's blog post on Quality versus Price.

 

 

Trust Aqua-Dry for all your rug cleaning dublin needs

Rug Cleaning Dublin Centre

Rug Cleaning Dublin Blog

Is Rug Cleaning Safe?

"I’m a little bit nervous about having my rug cleaned"

It is surprising how often we hear these words. Although we also clean carpets and upholstery, there is rarely the same concern expressed. Perhaps the reason is that it takes so long to choose the rug in the first place. It may also be that some special circumstance is related to the rug; perhaps it was a purchase from a memorable trip abroad, or inherited from a loved one. Perhaps it has a sentimental value, or perhaps you just really really like it. In any case, we find that people are more concerned about the outcome of the rug cleaning experience than any other.

Main issue with rug cleaning

There is really no need to be concerned. Most rugs are made up of mostly natural fibres. The vast majority are wool, then silk, cotton etc. The only thing that can really go wrong in rug cleaning is that the colours may run. This problem is easily avoided by doing dye tests on all of the colours. If a dye test shows the colours to be stable, the rug is safe to clean. However, to be completely safe, a textile rinse should be used as the last process. This prevents any late bleed on rugs.

If the colours are unstable, there are usually two options. If the colour is light, it is usually fine to clean with a detergent which has a low PH (below 6). If the colour transfer is strong, the rug can still be cleaned, either with a dry-cleaning compound or fluid.

It is important that the colour tests be done in order to ascertain which cleaning method should be used.

Different methods used for different types

Full extraction cleaning is possible where there is no colour problem. This gives the best results possible.
When methods 2 and 3 are used, the results may not be as dramatic but here is the really important thing: the cleaning is safe.

So we understand people’s fears about rug cleaning. But, your rug in the proper hands is safe. Just make sure you get it into the right hands*.

*Our Rug Cleaning Dublin Centre has been purpose-built for cleaning rugs with a custom designed drying room. Combine this with over 30 years' experience and you know your rug will be in good hands.

Next: Read Tom's blog post about a company who went with a cheaper quote, which ended up costing them in the long run: Quality versus Price

 

 

 

Aqua-Dry Samuel Beckett Bridge

Is a 100% Money Back Guarantee just a marketing ploy?

The cynic might say that a guarantee such as this is “nothing more than a marketing ploy”. In certain companies, that might be the case. The main reason that we do it is to challenge ourselves on every job, whether it be carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, or rug cleaning.

The customer is entitled to the very best job we can give. This is dictated by the training our technicians get, the detergents we use, and the type of equipment we operate. The customer should have no risk whatsoever.
A company that gives a 100% money back guarantee must be confident of their ability to deliver on the promises made. We have this confidence thanks to our training, equipment and products, which are the best we can offer. Not only that, but Aqua-Dry also carries public and product liability insurance. This means that in the highly unlikely event of something going wrong, our customer still knows there is no risk for them.

Risk for Aqua-Dry?

“Oh but you will be ripped off if you give that kind of guarantee” say others. Our experience is that people who use our services are very fair-minded. Once we agree a price they are delighted to pay if the job is to their total satisfaction.

You may have noticed that the guarantee comes with all our work. That includes commercial carpet cleaning, commercial upholstery cleaning and commercial rug cleaning. Now this is where it gets really interesting. Commercial carpet cleaning carries a much higher value than domestic carpet cleaning. In theory, therefore, it is more of a risk to us, the carpet cleaners.
Yes, in theory. BUT, if we cannot give the kind of assurances on commercial work that are required or should be demanded, then maybe we shouldn’t be offering the service. Thankfully, we can and we do.

Next: Read Tom's Blog about how we WILL be beaten on price, and why that's not a bad thing.

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