History Of Carpet Cleaning

carpet cleaning Lichfield

The history of carpet cleaning starts during the industrial revolution. Before we had the fitted carpets we have today, we had big lose carpets, rugs and before that wooden or tiled floors in our homes. If you want to go way back, the Romans had mosaics, but we are talking about the history of carpet cleaning, not flooring!

For a very long time, pretty much up until vacuum cleaners were invented in the early 1900s, carpets and rugs were hung over a washing line, or the back of a chair and beaten by hand. This only removed dirt and dust though.

From about 1830, when the industrial revolution was in full swing, the new wealthy class of industrialists showed off their affluence by buying carpets and other luxury goods. This lead to published advice on how to clean carpets.

History Of Carpet Cleaning Techniques

Some of the techniques were pretty unusual and downright dangerous by modern standards. To get rid of stains like ink and grease it was recommended you scrub the carpet with lemon juice and a hot loaf of crusty white bread. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and leave outside to dry. White bread was a total luxury then, well out of the reach of working people and this is being used to clean a carpet!  How rich were these people?!

Another popular method of carpet cleaning was to use Naphtha, this is also a pesticide. Then there was clay paste mixed with water. Left overnight to dry. The theory being that when this was brushed off stains and soil would be removed.  The clay paste method caused the colour to fade, so chloroform was recommended as an alternative. Yes, chloroform, every kidnapper and serial killers favourite knock out drug. Obviously, this didn’t really catch on owing to the paralysing effect of the human central nervous system.

The next major break through in the history of carpet cleaning was the invention of the vacuum cleaner. In 1901 British engineer Hubert Cecil Booth invented the first machine that sucked up dirt.  He had a couple of near fatal experiments with his new vacuum but went on to form the British Vacuum Cleaner Company and his beast of a cleaner was put on a horse-drawn cart and used to clean the homes of the wealthy in London. This included Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mint. To find out more and see photos of the “Puffing Billy” follow this link to the Science Museum website.

Modern Carpet Cleaning Is Born

Some time later people began to think about restoring and conditioning carpets, rather than just cleaning the dirt away.

Following World War II, the use of chemicals heralded the era of modern carpet cleaning and many of the basic principles are still used. At Knight & Doyle we use these basic principles but in a much improved and efficient way.

In the 1970s chemical cleaners used detergents, which are sticky by nature. This fuelled the myth that carpets get dirtier faster once they have been professionally cleaned.  This may have been the case 30 years ago, but not now. Washing up liquid is a detergent and is great for getting rid of grease, but if you use it for carpet or upholstery cleaning dirt will stick to it and cause rapid soiling. The old chemical cleaners were about 12pH which also lead to problems with carpets going brown!

Cleaning Carpets In The 21st Century

Whether using a manmade chemical or a natural chemical, the carpet cleaning industry uses chemicals. Whenever possible we use plant based cleaning solutions, because its better for our technicians and our customers.  You will be amazed what can be achieved with plant based products and products that use enzymes to tackle tough stains.

In the past carpets used to be liable to shrinkage, but that was because our contempories of yesteryear didn’t have the advanced machines and the range of cleaning methods we have at our disposal.

We always tell our clients that one cleaning method cannot tackle every cleaning job.  We use many different methods from Hot Water Extraction to Dry Carpet Cleaning and lots in between. Let’s be sensible you wouldn’t use the same cleaning method on wool, silk, polypropylene or leather, would you?

Contact us for all your carpet and upholstery cleaning in Aldridge. Our advice is free of charge and our quotes are free of charge and without obligation.

To read about our carpet cleaning methods click here

Rich Doyle On BBC’s Ready Steady Cook

Ready Steady Cook Contestants

Knight & Doyle owner, Rich Doyle and his mum Julie were contestants on Ready Steady Cook.  They got to meet host Rylan Clark-Neal and experience what its like in a TV studio.  Rich’s sister put them forward as she is a massive Rylan fan! Rich is a good cook, his mum taught him everything he knows, and he chose ingredients to impress his vegan girlfriend. One of the ingredients was tinned Bannana Blossom and he was shown how to turn these into delicious fritters.  He has cooked this several times since, and our Marketing Manager, Karen has also had a go at making them.

His mum won on the day with the Green Pepper Kitchen getting the majority of the votes. Well done, Julie.

Many people ask if they were allowed to keep their aprons, and yes they were.

Rich is an expertly trained and qualified carpet and upholstery cleaner.  Most of our clients are in the Lichfield and Aldridge area.

Cleaning Fine Fabrics

Cleaning Fine Fabric Rug

Cleaning Fine Fabrics is something other carpet and upholstery cleaners walk away from. Maybe the thought of cleaning £300/sq meter fabrics has them running for the hills! We have no problem cleaning expensive oriental rugs and other fine furnishings. We do this because we are properly trained and have the right equipment to carefully clean fine fabrics.

Knight & Doyle owner, Rich Doyle has recently completed a Fine Fabrics course.  On the course he enhanced his skills by firstly learning how to identify fine fabrics, and then how to clean them.  When we talk about cleaning fine fabrics we mean silk, velvet, sea grass and other natural and synthetic fibres. Rich has been cleaning fine fabrics for years, this course is an example of the on-going training we invest in.

In addition to training we invest in equipment. For example horsehair furniture brushes, velvet carding brushes, lint & pilling brushes and other specialist tools to carefully clean fine fabrics.

Cleaning Fine Fabric Pros & Cons

All fibres can be divided into two categories, that’s natural and synthetic.  Natural fibres then get divided into protein fibres and cellulosic fibres.  Each kind of fabric has pros and cons. For example, wool is a protein fibre because it comes from an animal. Wool is good because it absorbs dye really well, so you get some stunning carpet colours. But, this absorbency means it stains easily and is chemically sensitive.

Silk is lightweight and stretchable, which is good. However, if a filament gets pulled during cleaning this can be a problem.

Velvets are made with synthetic and natural fibres. They feel soft to the touch but water can cause staining and cleaning problems.

Cleaning Expensive Fabric Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Our prices are competitive and honest. You won’t be quoted a higher price because of your postcode. We are trusted to clean carpets, rugs and upholstery from stately homes but we don’t charge premium prices for the privilege. Yes, we have to know what we are doing, and yes fine fabric cleaning takes time. But whether it’s a rug from a stately home or a rug that’s not expensive but precious to our client, we take the same care.

Our advice is completely free of charge and without obligation.  Please contact us to discuss your requirements, we will be delighted to help you.

We are Woolsafe approved.  All our work is fully insured.

With offices in Aldridge and Lichfield, we serve our clients throughout the local area from Streetly to Uttoxeter, Tamworth to Cannock Wood.

Woolsafe logo showing accreditation to clean wool carpets and upholstery.

Stains On pH Sensitive Fabric

carpet cleaning Lichfield

Upholstery stains on pH sensitive fabric cause unexpected things to happen.  For example, a client knocked a glass of white wine over, which spilled on her grey suite and in the morning the stain had turned red.

As expert carpet and upholstery cleaners with over 20 years’ experience we have been noticing for sometime that a number of manufacturers are using fabrics that are pH sensitive.  Which means they can possibly change colour if spills are either acidic or alkaline.  Another client peeled an orange and some of the juice went on the sofa, the result was a pink stain.

Baby Wipes & Upholstery Stains On pH Sensitive Fabric

We see a lot of pH damage owing to baby wipes because they are slightly acidic.  When clients have used them to wipe a spill the colour change may not happen immediately, but it will over a short period of time.

Treating Upholstery Stains On pH Sensitive Fabric

Can we rectify the problem of upholstery stains on pH sensitive fabric? The answer is yes, but.  Only if the client has not tried to remove the stain with another solution.  Because this will most certainly fix the stain into the fabric permanently.

Fixing Upholstery Stains On pH Sensitive Fabric

Now, its time for a chemistry lesson.  To get the stain out is quite simple.  Because all you need to do is find the pH level of the stain and bring the level back to neutral.

For once something we learned at school has come in handy!  7.5 is pH neutral (water).  0 to 6 is on the acidic side and 8 to 14 is alkaline.  So, if you have a stain that is on the acidic side, say pH 5 the application of an alkaline solution of say 9 should solve the problem.

For Advice Pick Up The Phone Or Send A Message

We are always happy to give free advice, with no obligation. We always say it is best to call us BEFORE trying to treat the stain yourself. This is because if you use the wrong kind of cleaner on your carpet or fabric it may fix the stain making it difficult, if not impossible for us to treat.

You can buy what we use, our own brand Professional Spot & Stain Remover and Neutraliser, please call to order. We’ll make sure you buy the right product to get the best results.

Remember, we make a donation to St Giles Hospice for every job we do.  If you are a St Giles Lottery Player we give you 10% off as well. See our Offers page for the latest offers.

Carpet Stain Removal

Spot and Stain Remover

We all know that carpet stain removal can be difficult and scrubbing at a carpet stain is a definite no, no!! We’ll explain why this is and also tell you why getting rid of stains like chocolate and beer is so hard to do.

Carpet Stain Removal For Chocolate

Chocolate is made up of a number of ingredients and typically contains oil, grease, cocoa, butter, colouring, sugar and milk.  So, guess what? A single carpet stain removal product is not going to get rid of it.

This is what you need to do to get rid of a chocolate stain on your carpet or upholstery:

  1. Scrape as much chocolate off as possible
  2. Apply Knight & Doyle Professional Spot & Stain Remover and blot the stain, do not rub
  3. Alkaline spotter and blot
  4. Apply Tannin spotter and blot
  5. Apply enzyme solution and blot
  6. Rinse with cool water and blot until dry

Carpet Stain Removal for Beer

Just like chocolate, beer is made up of several ingredients.  These ingredients include hops, malts, alcohol, albumins and tannins.  So, it is very unlikely that you will be able to fully remove the carpet stain using just one carpet stain removal product.

  1. Blot with a clean, preferably white towel or kitchen roll
  2. Apply Knight & Doyle Professional Spot & Stain Remover and blot, do not rub
  3. Apply Tannin spotter and blot
  4. Rinse with water and blot until dry

Never Rub At A Stain On Carpets Or Upholstery

Blotting a stain is the only thing to do. If you rub at a stain you run the risk of opening up the fibres and driving the stain deeper.  You can also cause the fibre to burst which will make the stained area look different to the rest of the carpet or fabric.  This means that even if you are lucky enough to get rid of the stain the distortion of the fibres will be noticeable, and this cannot be repaired.

Advice From Knight & Doyle Is Free

We are always happy to give free advice if you have had a spill on your carpet or furniture and recommend that you call us before you try to clean up the stain with an off-the-shelf product from the supermarket.  We say this because if you put the wrong kind of cleaner on your carpet or furniture fabric it is much more difficult for us professionals to treat. If not impossible.

You can purchase our own brand Professional Spot & Stain Remover, please contact us to order.

We Are Open Over Christmas & New Year

Capret Cleaning Lichfield

Even when our offices are closed we are still available for emergencies and to offer advice.

We urge you not to attempt to clean up stains yourself, as this can cause more harm. Our advice is free of charge, so please call us first on 07921 900132 at any time.

Christmas Day – Closed (available for emergencies & advice)

28th December – Closed (available for emergencies & advice)

29th December – Open

30th December – Open

31st December – Open

New Years’ Day – Closed (available for emergencies & advice)

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Year from the team at Knight & Doyle.

Furniture Cleaned & Saved From The Tip

Furniture cleaned and saved from the tip! This is what we always do if we can. It saves our clients a lot of money and its one of the best ways to save the planet! We are a very eco-friendly company and prolonging the life of furniture and carpets has a positive effect on the environment.

Sofa Cleaner Lichfield
Carpet Cleaning Lichfield

We do a lot of work for landlords in Lichfield as well as residents of the town. A local landlord asked us to clean the carpets in a furnished let before new tenants moved in. We asked what they were doing with the three piece suite. Our fears were confirmed – it was destined for the rubbish tip.  Our knowledge and experience, as expertly trained upholstery cleaners, made us confident that we could save the whole suite. We asked the landlord if we could try and salvage it for him on a no win, no fee basis.

How We Cleaned & Saved A Three Piece Suite From The Tip

After a couple of tests on the fabric of the three piece suite we worked out the different combinations of pre-cleaners required to clean the sofa and armchairs to give them a new lease of life.  The pre-clean was followed with a hot water extraction clean (HWE).

HWE is the process we use for heavily soiled sofas and chairs. This upholstery cleaning method removes ingrained dirt. It deep cleans and removes stubborn stains. HWE also removes allergens, mildew, fungi and dust mites. It is ideal for restoring or preserving second-hand furniture. Or as in this case, you are a landlord refreshing your furnished let for new tenants. Its also perfect for cleaning chairs in restaurants or reception areas.

We offered the no win, no fee option to clean the suite to the landlord of the furnished let in Lichfield because on inspection we realised that other than very heavy soiling the suite was in excellent condition. It had very little wear. No rips or tears, no burns or broken zips.

But this is not the only example of furniture cleaned and saved from the tip. Or where we have saved our clients a considerable amount of money. Please contact us for more information.

How We Saved A Bedroom Carpet From The Tip

For another landlord, who owns many properties and is a regular client, we were booked to do carpet cleaning and furniture cleaning. But on this occasion we were asked NOT to clean the bedroom carpet. He felt it was too dirty to save and he was going to have to replace it.

Needless to say, we were able to save the carpet from the tip. We actually saved this landlord more money than he paid us to clean the rest of the carpets and upholstery in this furnished apartment.

For the examples we’ve given Dry Carpet Cleaning, (which we offer) would not have been suitable or effective.  We use a wide range of upholstery cleaning and carpet cleaning methods but will only use the Right Process to get the Right Results.

As a business and as individuals we are very much into recycling and protecting the environment. Whether that’s through the cleaning solutions we use or by furniture cleaned and saved from the tip.

We’ve got lots of examples and photos of our work on our Facebook page.

We are Woolsafe approved.