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)

How to Tackle A Liquid Spillage!

The first mistake made by most people is to panic! The second is to scrub the spillage! The third is to over-wet the area! And fourth to liberally apply one shop bought stain remover after another!

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How should you deal with it?
If you Google ‘red wine stain removal’ you’ll find all manner of suggestions and remedies.
Some are extremely sensible; others seem to literally suggest throwing the kitchen sink at the problem.
While some of the ‘hip’ lifestyle websites or ‘cleanfluencer’ Instagram and Facebook posts seem to offer you many number of so called solutions, some of them require you to either have a PHD in chemistry or suggest you wave a magic wand, while standing on your head and counting to ten in Chinese.
But while you may not be able to remove all traces of the spillage yourself (particularly if it’s been lying in the carpet too long) here’s what you should actually do:
1. Act quickly. At first, it’s a spillage, and not yet a stain.
2. Using a white towel or kitchen roll, press all your weight on the spillage, even standing on the towel to blot up as much as possible. This may take a few minutes but is worth the time and patience.
3. Check to see if much of the spillage has been transferred to the towel or kitchen roll and replace with a clean one as often as necessary. Do not be tempted to rub or scrub the stain.
4. Once no more colour is being transferred, dab a clean towel with a small amount of water and continue blotting the stain for few minutes.
5. Now place another clean dry towel over the stain and stamp on it again, even adding a something heavy on top of the towel for a while to absorb as much of the spillage as possible.
6. Assess the spillage area afterwards and if any colour remains, call a professional carpet cleaner.

The above process is pretty effective, and at the very least will remove the worst of the spillage while causing no further damage to your carpet or making it more difficult
(or impossible) for a professional to remove.

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Gerrards leave all our customers a free bottle of our professional stain remover after each job. If you have one of these follow the instructions above numbers 1 to 5 and then use the spray following the instructions on the label very carefully.

As always, if in any doubt, please do call us on 01942 864474 for further advice.


 

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-001                              Draught marks clearly 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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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.

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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.

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

We Wear Our Badge With Pride!

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.
Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

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Gerrards Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners – Proud to be a Dementia Friendly Company!

Find out how to become a Dementia Friend by clicking the Forget Me Not below…

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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.

 

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