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Missed the last issue? You can read it in full here…
Prochem expands truck mount sales and fitting to the regions
We know it’s a big step buying into truck mounted cleaning technology – suddenly everything seems bigger.
But that doesn’t have to include the actual journey to acquiring a Prochem Europe machine.
“You don’t have to travel all the way to Chessington to buy a Prochem truck mount and have it installed in your van,” says Prochem Europe’s Equipment Product Manager, John Hattersley.
Prochem’s Blazer – compact, simple and affordable truck mount technology
The company now offers Europe’s widest range of super-powerful, truckmounted cleaning extractors from three UK fitting locations offering full sales and installation service covering quotes, information, installation repairs and servicing.
In addition to its own fitting bay in Chessington, Surrey, Prochem has appointed suppliers and installers of its truck mounts in strategic locations in Gloucester for the west of the UK and Bury in the north.
The companies – respectively GP Cleaners and Walkden Group – both offer the capability skills to manage the relative complexities of truck mounts as against conventional walk-behind extractors and meet the high standards that installation demands.
Prochem has been installing truck mounts in the UK for over 30 years using trained technicians ensuring installation, servicing and repairs are carried out to the manufacturer requisite standards.
Walkden supplies LCD with Peak performance from Prochem
David Meehan (right) with son Wayne and their brand new Peak truck mount
Newly-appointed Prochem truck mount cleaning vendor and installer for the north of England, Walkden’s of Bury has supplied and fitted a new Peak GTX dual operator truck mounted carpet and upholstery cleaning system for Morecambe-based LCD Support Services.
Started by managing director David Meehan initially as a window cleaning service, LCD has expanded into all aspects of cleaning and maintenance: “we offer the complete package, so customers don’t have to go anywhere else for cleaning services”, he says.
David has grown his business along with son and general manager Wayne into one of Lancaster and the North West’s best known cleaning contractors with a constantly growing client base including Costa Coffee, McDonalds, Honda, Thornton’s amongst other High Street brands.
“Every job is different, and with that comes different challenges,” says David. “Our contracts range from small domestic homes to large industrial buildings, but no job is too big or small.
A long-standing user of Prochem products, LCD (which has a contract with Lancaster University student residential blocks) was called in to assist with clean-ups after the major floods in Cumbria last winter. Local Prochem distributor and truck mount fitter, Walkdens, assisted with the carpet cleaning with its Peak unit and David was so impressed with the results, he decided to buy a Peak for himself.
“We had a Prochem Blazer XL truck mount previously and were very pleased with it,” says David. “The Peak measures up to it in every way, shape and form – it’s doing its job, making us money.
“Walkdens did a great job of supplying and installing it, so we’re very pleased it!”
More information: www.lcdsupportservices.com
Pen stain? – think Ink Solv…
When it came to taking ink stains out of upholstery, professional cleaner Paul Quinnell found yet again that Prochem chemicals meet the challenge.
“I had a real problem come my way when a customer was despairing over a cushion in beige polyester on a much-loved settee that a naughty child had drawn all over in pen,” says Paul.
“I really wasn’t sure how to tackle this one so I contacted Phil at Prochem. I had done the company’s upholstery course and I knew if anyone could resolve this, it would be him .”
Phil asked Paul to email over a picture of the cushion along with fabric details and after some consideration, recommended a pre-spray using B108 Fabric Restorer followed by extraction cleaning with B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse and then a final going over with E848 Ink Solv, a water-based micro-emulsion spotter for nail polish, marker pen ink and PVA adhesive on carpets and fabrics.
“That really did it,” says Paul.
Former builder Paul’s been operating his business – Prestige & Quality Carpet Cleaning – for a year now and he’s a firm believer in training. “I’ve done some of the NCCA courses as well as Prochem’s and my next one will be for hard floor cleaning and maintenance. I’m definitely going to use Prochem chemicals more now.”
Farnham, Surrey-based Paul has registered with Checkatrade and is on the Trustmark Scheme. His patch spanning Guildford to Dorking brings in steady, quality domestic business and some local council work and commercial work with the estate agency sector next in his sights.
You can find Prochem’s latest training dates here
Nautiel celebrates 25 years in yacht cleaning
Happy 25th birthday to one of the longest-established marine service providers on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.
Nautiel Services is celebrating its birthday after opening a new office in Valencia and Palma de Mallorca, and exhibiting at the Valencia Boat Show during the autumn.
The company has also expanded its cleaning technology portfolio with a Prochem Europe-supplied Sapphire 460SS truck mounted extraction cleaning machine. Business is booming!
Carpet, mattress, upholstery extraction and dry cleaning are just some of the wide range of services offered to super-yacht owners at the luxury marinas of Barcelona, Denia, Valencia and Palma on the island of Majorca.
“Maintenance and presentation are crucial on comfort levels and resale values in the yacht and cruiser,” says Nautiel Service director, Ricard Garcia.
“There are a lot of different chores involved when cleaning boats. Our service enables clients not to worry about keeping their vessels in order and they let us get on with the chore for them.”
Nautiel offers a full cleaning package for boat owners, including cleaning, laundry and dry cleaning, engine rooms and bilge cleaning and treatments for teak decking and hulls.
In addition to cleaning, the company undertakes cleaning of yachts after fire damages surfaces and fabrics, and cleaning and repair of sails.
A popular maintenance package constitutes a weekly or fortnightly clean, engine tune-up, and checkover ships’ batteries and electrical.
The cleaning service covers cleaning and deodorising and water-proofing of carpets, rugs and upholstery, walls and ceilings, mattresses, bedding and curtains. Treatment for mite infection and bacteria are also undertaken.
Nautiel Service also applies fire-retardant treatments for floor coverings, suspended textile materials, upholstery materials and bedding components for use onboard vessels certified under the MCA Large Commercial Yacht Code.
Prochem products play a significant role in keeping Barcelona’s boats in tip-top shape. “These days, most yacht floors, ceilings, sofas and mattresses are lined with a wide range of different fabrics,” says Ricard.
“These different elements require special care and Prochem offers the diversity of solutions to meet their very specific needs. Our customers expect the best and we provide it.”
Truck mounted extractors are favoured by the yacht cleaning community and Nautiel is no exception. “They are the most professional solutions available and again Prochem excels with these machines.”
As with many Prochem users, Nautiel started with a portable extractor – a Comanche.
“Business picked up immediately,” says Ricard. “We attended a two-day carpet cleaning course at Chessington and business just kept growing.
“We next bought a second machine, a Steempro Powerplus and then a Bravo, so that we could keep two teams working simultaneously, and then later upgraded to a Prochem Legend XL.”
Nautiel Service are pleased with the company’s latest acquisition. “The Sapphire is yet another fine piece of cleaning technology from Prochem,” says Jaume Badia, the company’s WoolSafe-trained textile specialist.
“It is powerful for its size, very efficient and has dual wand capacity making it ideal for ensuring we get the job done quickly and effectively.”
“Since Nautiel Service is a WoolSafe Approved Service Provider, we specially value the very professional support of the WoolSafe Organization and that Prochem’s products are also WoolSafe approved. That’s peace of mind for us and confidence to our customers.”
Dilution rates – back to basics
Prochem chemical product manager Paul Reynolds advises on how to get chemical dilution right first time…
Prochem’s product range includes both concentrated products, which require dilution prior to use, and ready-to-use products (RTU) – no dilution necessary.
So, before using any chemical (or any other product for that matter), do read the label.
You may take the view ‘well, I know this product of old, so I don’t need to read the label anymore’.
But bear in mind that innovating companies like Prochem are continuously looking at improving and developing solutions via research, development and innovation.
Consequently, products can sometimes change – making it prudent for even regular users to check label instructions before use.
Where dilution of products is required the recommended dilution rate is given on the label in metric units.
Units: Using the metric system the dilution rates for products are given in litres (L), millilitres (ml), kilograms (kg) or grams (g).
1L is the same as 1,000ml
1kg is the same as 1,000g
Therefore 500ml is the same as 0.5L (half a litre)
Usually the dilution instructions will tell you to add a certain amount of concentrate (in ‘ml’ or ‘g’) to an amount of water (in ‘L’). This may also be expressed as a ratio.
Ratio: A ratio is a unit-less way of expressing the amount of one quantity relative to another. So for a ratio of product to water of 1:4, for every 1 litre of concentrated product you would need to add 4 litres of water to make up a total of 5 litres of diluted liquid.
A common mistake is to assume that 1:4 means that 4 litres of diluted product contains 1 litre of concentrate, this is not the case.
The table (below) can be used as a quick-reference guide when diluting to help you establish how much chemical to add, to how much water.
To use the table, simply check the label for the dilution ratio of the product, look this ratio up in the left hand column of the table, then scan to your right to look up the amount of chemical product (highlighted in yellow) required for the amount of water (highlighted in blue) you are using. To aid simplicity some values in the above table may have been rounded up/down.
How to use …
For example, a cleaner has 10L of water and the chemical has a 1 to 25 dilution ratio. By checking the table you can see that you need to add 400ml of chemical to your 10L of water.
Finally – a measuring jug comes in very handy right now!
What makes a product WoolSafe?
Paul Reynolds, Prochem Europe’s Chemical Product Manager, explains why you should consider using a Prochem WoolSafe marked product when cleaning wool carpets and rugs.
Dedicated to the promotion of quality care for wool and synthetic carpets and rugs, it has been testing and certifying suitable products since 1991.
As an experienced manufacturer of professional chemical products for cleaning wool carpets and rugs, Prochem Europe has long recognised the importance of attaining WoolSafe Accreditation for its products.
In fact, the company has invested significantly in the development of solutions that are safe for use on wool with currently 15 products in its range boasting WoolSafe accreditation.
The WoolSafe mark is an endorsement that the product bearing it has passed the necessary tests to the highest standards set by the WoolSafe Organisation.
To gain accreditation, a product must undergo rigorous testing in accordance with WoolSafe’s Protocol.
This may involve over twenty different tests, to check the product performs correctly, safely and effectively. Tests include the assessment of the product’s cleaning and spot removal performance, and ensuring it does not have any detrimental effects on wool carpets in terms of colour fastness, quick re-soiling, fibre damage or odour.
WoolSafe checks include pH, the presence of oxidising agents, reduction agents or fluorescent brightening agents, and re-soiling.
The quality controls governing WoolSafe products don’t stop there though. Existing WoolSafe products are subject to an annual re-evaluation to ensure they continue to meet the organisation’s stringent standards.
WoolSafe cleaning products are worth opting for because the accreditation does what it says. A Prochem WoolSafe product has been independently tested and shown to be suitable and safe for use on wool.
Used correctly, it diminishes the likelihood of colour bleeding, colour loss, rapid soiling or fibre damage, and consequentially the risk of potentially expensive customer complaints.
Prochem offers a range of WoolSafe Approved products for both carpet and upholstery ranging from presprays, spotters and shampoos, to extraction detergents and rinse agents.
Here is a checklist of Prochem’s current WoolSafe approved range
B106 Fine Fabric Detergent (Extraclean in 2017)
B107 Prespray Gold
B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse
B122 Neutral Pro-Spotter
B129 Fluoroseal® Plus
E157 Natural Carpet Rinse
E343 Natural Carpet Spotter
E717 Natural Carpet Prespray
E772 Natural Carpet Cleaner
E779 Natural Carpet Powder Detergent
S780 Fibresafe Gold
S781 Liquid WoolSafe
From social media to silks – WoolSafe conference spans industry needs
October’s 2016 WoolSafe Conference in Bradford provided Prochem Europe and fellow UK guests with the opportunity to exchange news and views with specialists from Spain, Greece, France and the US.
The Prochem team and fellow guests heard engaging talks on diverse topics spanning marketing and social media to rug cleaning and the specialist care of delicate fibres such as wool, silk, bamboo and rayon.
“It was great to share with our industry peers and given we have over fifteen WoolSafe products in our range these days, it was appropriate that Prochem should have a stand at the seminars,” says sales manager Phil Jones.
“We networked with members of the WoolSafe organisation, the NCCA and experienced carpet cleaners at the event, which included detailed information about wool carpets, WoolSafe products and developments in testing wool fibres.
The WoolSafe Organisation is a cleaning industry service provider promoting best practice in carpet and rug care.
Share our factory tour with Woolsafe in the next issue …
Winter weather: keep your show on the road!
Markedly colder weather in January and February is pretty much a staple here in the UK, so it’s time to start looking after potentially vulnerable machines and accessories.
Most equipment of this kind contains brass and plastic components making technology vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Frozen pumps and fractured brass unions are very common during the cold weather so it is always best practice to bring your equipment into a heated area, inside.
Even the smallest amount of water can expand under freezing conditions and crack vulnerable equipment when frozen and the resultant damage can necessitate expensive repairs and more importantly long periods of down time. Just what you don’t need when the weather is throwing all manner of mayhem at your customers!
Covering your machine with a duvet or blanket will not suffice: these machines don’t have a heat source, so they will not stay warm.
You could prevent water freezing inside your machine by adding an anti-freeze solution. Just run this through the system – but don’t forget to flush it out before you clean carpet or upholstery!
Truck-mounted equipment doesn’t escape the frost either. Blown heat exchangers are to be avoided so again try adding anti-freeze to your unit or use a thermostatically-controlled heater inside the van. As with a portable, you would still need to flush the system before using the unit to clean. (Check out our guide to winter-protecting a truck-mount below).
Wands and hand tools are the most common items damaged by cold conditions. They are often left in vans their valves and pipework have very small diameter bores, so even the smallest amount of water will cause a lot of damage. So again, don’t forget about them take them indoors.
Just as you use antifreeze to keep your van running through the winter, so you can protect truck-mounted extractors from freezing up.
To introduce the antifreeze, start up the truck-mount with the auxiliary pump turned off.
Now switch on the solution pump and then attach the open-ended hose and bleed off half of the water box volume. Next, disconnect the open ended hose and add 2 litres of antifreeze to the water box.
Run the engine for 10 minutes to allow the anti freeze solution to circulate. Finally, switch off the solution pump and turn off the unit.
To remove anti-freeze from your truck mount, start up the machine ensuring the auxiliary pump is turned off.
Switch on the solution pump, attach the open-ended hose and bleed off the system until the water box is empty (catch the antifreeze solution for re-use).
Now, switch on the auxiliary pump and flush the system until no antifreeze is present. Finally, switch off the solution pump, remove open ended hose and turn off the unit. Job done!
It’s not just your machines which need looking after during the cold winter months. Many chemical products are also sensitive to extremes of temperature.
Particular care should be taken to ensure that chemicals are not allowed to freeze in the back of your van or lock-up.
Freeze/thawing of chemical products can affect their stability and performance. At the end of the working day, store your chemicals indoors in a cool, dry location at a temperature above 5C, but below 30C.
You don’t want to find the following morning that your carpet cleaning solution is now an icy solid!
Training at heart of business growth for new cleaner
Chris Bunday – on the road with Prochem
There’s a lot to be said for training on the job – industry newcomer Chris Bunday has certainly embraced the belief.
Whenever this newcomer to the industry spots an opportunity, he buys Prochem Europe training, and then goes for it. And it works!
Says Chris: “I started working for a local cleaning company as a stop gap while I decided what to do career-wise. I wound up managing the company and loved all aspects of the job and particularly the courses I went on. The more courses I could do, the more I enjoyed the work.
“So after nearly two years there and with a long-held desire to do something for myself, I decided to make the leap and start my own cleaning company.
“With my passion to provide a great and professional service, I knew I could have a good go at creating a business which didn’t just specialise in one thing but offered multiple services – in effect a solution to any cleaning need.”
Newton Abbot-based Chris got up and running this August as CJB Cleaning Solutions and since then has been fully booked everyday up to 30 days in advance.
Says Chris: “I have had my fair share of ups and downs since starting and done a lot of learning as I go and putting myself on more courses ensures I have the best knowledge possible.
“Although with the other company, I completed my C1 carpet course with Prochem, I didn’t initially do many carpets so I have had to refresh my knowledge and learn as I go.
“I have also been in regular contact with Phil and Presh at Prochem who I owe a great deal to as their advice and guidance have been beyond helpful – so for that I thank them!”
Chris is a fan of Prochem technology, too. He’s currently using a Galaxy carpet cleaning machine, mostly on house cleaning and car valeting: “it suits me well and does a great job for all I need,” he tells us.
He also tries to keep chemical usage to a minimum and uses solutions that cater for most carpet types.
“Training has alerted me to all kinds of business possibilities,” says Chris. “ I’ve got more ideas in the pipeline and a lot of work to do, so I’m looking forward to expanding my business in 2017.”
Training at heart of business growth for new cleaner
Need training now? Click on the picture above!
New training course dates for 2017 from Prochem Europe have just been published – if you’ve not been on one of the company’s courses, now’s the time to set matters straight!
Courses, one- and two-day in duration, are held at Prochem’s national training School in Chessington, augmented by one-day regional carpet and upholstery courses.
Topics span carpet, hard floor, upholstery cleaning and stain removal. Clear and practical, each course includes face-to-face instruction and step-by-step demonstrations by dedicated Prochem trainers; so you gain the knowledge and confidence to clean to the highest professional standards.
With each course, you also receive a comprehensive reference manual to remind you how to put all that theory into practice!
More information here
Label colours tell the scale tale – part 2
In September’s e-zine, we looked at the basic elements of the pH scale: what it is and does. Now, we’ll see how truly, there is ‘strength in numbers’.
To recap first, though, we’re talking here about the measurement scale involving water-based liquids and the international colour codes that Prochem has adopted for chemical labels to help users understand its products.
So: looking at this diagram, we start in the middle with the neutral pH 7. This is water at its purest, with no impurities, and therefore described as de-ionised.
Now, if we understand that most soil, dirt and mud are of an acidic nature (you’ve heard of acid rain!) then the alkali side of the chemical scale helps us, as cleaners, to clean.
If you look across the Prochem solutions range, you will see that the vast majority are labelled green or blue, indicating alkalis of various strengths. These help to dissolve or saponify (turn into rinseable soaps) the soils.
The orange, or acidic, side of the scale is used to “balance” the chemical residue in the carpet, fabric or hard flooring following cleaning.
So let’s start with a bucket and fill it up with tap water.
Simple this may be but tap water is not pure neutral water, or pH 7, as we understand it. It may be very slightly alkali (maybe 7.2 or 7.3) or perhaps slightly acidic (6.8 or 6.7) due to picking up impurities as it travels through either the clay valleys, limestone, chalk or granite hills.
For these purposes, let’s call it neutral!
As we understand that alkaline products help dissolve soils, we’ll take a product with a pH value of, say, 8 and we dilute it correctly and add it to the water. That bucket is now containing a liquid (water) that has a pH of 8.
Even though the numerical increase is singular, the actual increase of the liquid is now 10 times stronger (in alkalinity) than it was as “water”.
IF we had used a product of pH 9 instead, the strength increase would have been 100 times away from neutral (10 x 10) as each movement up the number scale in alkalinity (or in fact down in acidity) increases.
So if we follow the calculations up to pH 14 it will be 10,000,000 times (10 million) more alkali than neutral, deionised water.
These kinds of strengths could of course, cause all kinds of damage to carpet fibres, dyes and even our skin, so always wear gloves if the data sheet of the product you plan to use, instructs you to.
Most Prochem carpet and fabric cleaning products fall into the range of pH 4 to pH 10.5 as a ready-to-use solution.
An example of a product that is roughly pH 14 is a liquid drain cleaner. Hydrochloric or sulphuric acids are examples of Ph 0 and therefore extremely strong (neither suitable for cleaning carpets or fabrics!)
Next time, we’ll explain how we, as cleaners, can use the scale to clean correctly.
Label colours tell the scale tale – part 2
I have been asked to clean inside a lift within a communal block of flats. I’m told it’s carpeted and smells horrific. How shall I deal with it ?
Barney – Grimsby
Ideally, get rid of as much of the hard residue, while still in a dry state if possible.
Consider applying B144 Stain Pro onto the area. This is a protein remover that deals with food, drink, blood, vomit, faeces etc. All of which are protein, whether good or waste matter.
Allow it 10-15 minutes to dwell and then rinse out with B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse, diluted correctly in your extraction machine. While that will clean the area, don’t forget it will then require sanitising.
Best practice here is to spray B125 Clensan onto the affected area in order to destroy any remaining bacteria and prevent any bacterial odour from re-appearing.
I came onto the C1 (1 Day Carpet Cleaning Course) in July this year and found it very useful. I spoke to one of the training staff during the break and told him about a job I was going to do in a nursing home removing urine and general stains from a polypropylene carpet. Can you please remind me which product you recommended?
B112 Neutra-Soft is a carpet extraction cleaner, urine neutraliser, deodoriser and rinsing agent all in one. So, that’s your solution.
You will have to dilute the product and put it into the clean tank of your machine.
Prior to extraction use S709 Multi Pro as a pre-spray and pre-treat the polypropylene carpet before rinsing away. Being a nursing home, there will likely be many challenging stains to tackle, but remember that everything that we eat, drink and pass is protein- based and Stain Pro can be used to treat all of these.
Help! We spilt a large amount of gravy onto our nice white wool carpet. What could we use to get it out please? We did try lots of water with washing-up liquid in it.
Oh dear – I am sorry to have to tell you that the stain you now have could well be permanent. That said, you could try using our B144 Stain Pro as a pre-spray, then rinse extract with B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse. If a dye stain still persists, try using E400 Red Rx, according to the instructions on the label.
Prochem Excels in March
Prochem Europe returns this March (2017) to the UK industry’s leading event, The Cleaning Show.
The show, held at London’s Excel venue 14th-16th March, draws thousands of leading suppliers, wholesalers, technologists, cleaners and all types of customers and specifiers to its compelling blend of showcases, seminars and trade stands.
Prochem Europe is on stand F10 and as ever will be introducing visitors to its very latest product programmes spanning chemicals, accessories and machines of all sizes and types.
A new chemical product will be revealed in B106 Extraclean. An updated version of B106 Fine Fabric Detergent, it’s suitable for both carpet, rug and upholstery extraction cleaning and employs an odour neutraliser in its formula with a pleasing new Lemon Breeze fragrance similar to B230 Fresh Breeze.
In addition to related solutions from the company’s chemicals ranges, Prochem is also bringing along a wide range of its cleaning technology, from ever-popular portables to super-powerful truck mounted units including the new Endeavor, the Bravo, Fivestar, Polaris 500 and 800, Steempro Powerplus and Powermax.
Complementing the above is a full range of Birchmeier sprayers and a selection of hand tools and related accessories.
The Prochem team will be on hand to help with your enquiries. See you then and there!
Sliders make moving easier
Moving heavy furniture about is hard going and even occasionally hazardous. Prochem‘s HD4001 Sliders make the job a whole lot easier.
Simply place the sliders under the furniture feet and say goodbye to heavy lifting as you slide the tables, chairs, beds and chests around commercial and domestic workspaces.
The furniture sliders also help prevent back and toe injuries. Ouch!
Sliders come in four large and small sizes to fit a wide range of size and types of furniture.