The second of our Guest Blog Posts is from Steve Bakker of The WoolSafe Organisation.
networks of accredited carpet cleaning companies (more)
networks of registered carpet inspectors (more)
advice on how to care for carpets and rugs (more)
testing and accreditation of wool carpet cleaning and maintenance products (more)
I have known Steve for some time now, both through our own carpet cleaning business and also as a fellow exhibitor at cleaning related events. When I asked Steve if he would like to write a guest blog he replied almost immediately and what you read here is the first of Steve’s contributions. With fibre technology changing, and buyers wanting different things, it makes for interesting reading and possibly even something you could pass on to your clients as there’s some great tips. I’ll hand over to Steve…
I was at a summit meeting of carpet manufacturers held at the British Wool Marketing Board recently. The wool carpet manufacturers are facing a tough challenge in competing against the new wave of ‘bleach cleanable’ polypropylene fibre carpet. With a combination of slick marketing and stretching the truth polypropylene is winning an increasing share of the market.
After years of ignoring carpet after care because it isn’t as glamorous and easy to sell as design, colour and texture, manufacturers have finally woken up to the fact that consumers do care about cleaning and maintenance, and are making their purchasing decisions based upon it!
It was with this challenge in mind that I was asked to attend the meeting and kindly given the opportunity to promote WoolSafe Approved Products and Services to those present.
There is a false perception amongst consumers that wool fibre carpets are problematic to maintain and that spot cleaning is difficult. There is a belief; especially amongst the older generation that once you have your wool carpet cleaned you will be caught in a cycle of cleaning/rapid soiling/re-cleaning.
Although this may have been true in the past it isn’t true any longer, well not if you use WoolSafe Approved Products. You see, all Approved products have undergone soiling tests and have been found not to cause soiling any quicker than plain water.
When it comes to removing spillages from wool carpet, the sooner the spot can be treated the better the chances of successful removal. In the last couple of weeks I have successfully removed half a pint of Guinness (which my 2 year old spilt) and a glass of red wine from a cream loop pile wool carpet with no specialist cleaning equipment, just kitchen roll and a consumer spotter. The reason I was able to get the spillages completely out is because I know what to do, immediately. Unfortunately many carpet owners, retailers and manufacturers don’t.
It was to address this issue that we developed the WoolSafe Carpet Stain Cleaning Guide App. Always at hand and free for everyone to download it is hoped that this excellent tool will assist carpet owners in tackling spills quickly and save them hundreds of pounds in replacement costs while improving their perception of the easy clean properties of wool.
The App gives step by step, easy to follow advice on how to remove most common household spills. At the end of each piece of advice, if consumers are unsuccessful in removing the stain, they are directed to the search for an approved cleaner facility.
Along with approved cleaning products WoolSafe Service Providers are also on the App with those nearest to the App user’s location displayed on a map with one touch to call, email or visit member’s websites. It is hoped that the App will work as a vehicle to channel consumers with carpet care issues directly to WoolSafe member products and services at the time they need them most!
Although the majority of the carpet manufacturers who were present at the meeting already recommend WoolSafe member products and services to their customers those that don’t have indicated they would in the future. Links to the App have also been established since the meeting so let’s hope this drives more carpet owners towards our approved professional carpet cleaners.
No fibre is stain proof and that includes man-made fibres, although polypropylene is hydrophobic it doesn’t release oil based stains well at all. It is much easier to remove oily spots from wool fibre than synthetics.
Incidentally, who in their right mind would pour bleach on their carpet?! Not only is it a health hazard for children and pets crawling around (and anyone else for that matter) but also potentially damaging to the carpet backing and sub-floor, incredibly bad for the environment and stinks!
Have you come across customers bleach cleaning? Were there any adverse effects?
For more information about WoolSafe or becoming a member please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
WoolSafe Marketing Manager
Thanks Steve, a great article and some links to some great resources too. If you’re not already a member of The WoolSafe Organisation, or not using their Approved products, perhaps now’s the time to take a look, after all, the whole wool industry is getting behind the scheme.