Blogs

Sofa, Couch, Settee – Whatever you call it!

  It’s the focal point of your living room and the place you’ll relax and unwind – so it’s worth getting it right. 

Buying a sofa takes time and consideration. You need to pick a style that suits your living space, a colour you love, a material that lasts and – after all that – it has to actually fit through the front door.  Get to grips with the various sizes, fillings and finishes before you part with your money. A new sofa doesn’t have to be expensive, but while there are some things you can skimp on, there are other areas in which it will pay to splash out.

The majority of clients we visit to clean their soft furnishings and carpets have owned their previous sofas for more than 10 years, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to choose a colour and style you like. Swatches are usually free, so it’s best to get hold of a range of different options. Seeing a picture of your chosen fabric just isn’t the same as touching it yourself and looking at it in different lights. Live with the swatches for at least a few days. Look at them in natural and artificial light, to see how they’ll look at different times of day. You could even splash some food or drink onto them to see how well they clean up. And, if you’re worried about pet scratches – particularly cats – let them claw at the swatches to see how the fabric holds up.

Choosing a sofa fabric  Whether you go for leather or fabric, whatever your sofa is upholstered in will set the tone for your living room. For everyday seating in a room you use a lot, you might prefer a hard-wearing man-made fabric . Good-quality leather is also a durable choice, ideally one that has a polymer coating to make wiping down and professional wet cleaning possible. Unprotected leathers (aniline) can be cleaned with dry dusters as water marks may appear with other methods of cleaning. Man-made fibres tend to be the most durable – textured flat weaves in particular are among the most hard-wearing and family friendly, as they’re more forgiving of stains and less likely to snag.  Sofa’s containing viscose, rayon or linen look fantastic however these are all delicate natural fibres and don’t live up to family life. These fibres do not clean very well due to their delicate nature and sometimes colour change can occur.
ALWAYS check the fabric composition of the sofa with the salesperson and consult a professional upholstery cleaner for the best advice.

Choosing a sofa shape – from corner sofas to sofa beds  Once you’ve ordered a few samples and narrowed down your fabrics. It’s time to work out what size and shape sofa will fit and suit your space. From elegant chaises longues to practical sofa beds, sofas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you get to enjoy your sofa all to yourself, have to fight for the best spot with a large household or share it with a beloved pet, how you use it will influence the size you choose.

To get it looking just right in your room, you’ll need to be realistic about the space available, too. A small sofa looks out of place in a large room, while a large sofa squashed into a tight space will feel claustrophobic.
Think about how you prefer to sit when you’re relaxing. If there are two of you and you both like to have your legs up, then make sure the sofa is deep enough to accommodate you both. If not, you might need a sofa with chaise end or a reclining sofa.
If you like to lie down on your sofa, measure up to make sure it is long enough for you to stretch out. And, if you’re tall, a sofa with a higher back will give extra support so that you’re not forced to slouch.

It might seem obvious, but always measure the space where your sofa is going to go carefully. There’s nothing more annoying that going through the process of choosing a sofa, having it delivered and then finding it doesn’t fit. If it’s being delivered pre-assembled, make sure you measure up your door frames too, and allow for any tight angles. If it doesn’t fit through the front door, you’ll be heading back to the drawing board.

Keeping your sofa’s looking great:

Whether you ban food and drinks from your sofa or eat your dinner on it every evening, here’s some advice to keep it looking spick and span.

25% of our clients have their sofa’s cleaned every few months. The same number again have them cleaned every 12 months. Around 10% of our carpet cleaning clients have never had sofas their sofa’s cleaned even though we clean their carpets regularly – we can only assume they’re better at managing spills than the rest of us.

The most common sofa stains Sofa stains are incredibly annoying, especially if your sofa is covered in a light fabric. These are the most common stains that we come across:

Food (18%)
Pets (13%)
Hot drinks (13%)
Children (12%)
Wine (7%)
Ink (4%)
Mud (2%)
Make Up (1%)

Sofa cleaning tips:

  • If disaster strikes and your sofa ends up splattered with red wine or curry sauce, attend to spills immediately using plain water first.
  • In the case of small spills on a fabric sofa, it’s important to avoid the instinct to rub at the stain. This only pushes the spillage deeper into the fabric, which of course makes it harder to clean. Instead, wipe lightly with a damp (not wet) cloth, and then immediately dry with a soft dry cloth.
  • For anything bigger, call in the professionals.
  • Do not us any over-the-counter stain-removing products such as Vanish, 1001 or Dr Beckman’s as many of these products seal stains in to the fabric or bleach/fade the fabric
  • Do not try any solvent-based cleaners.

Even if your sofa remains accident-free, every day use can make it grubbier than you realise. A professional clean every 12-18 months will keep your sofa looking better for longer.

For the best possible results, talk to us. You can call us on 01942864474, email us: enquiries@gerrardscarpetcleaners.co.uk or message us via Facebook.

The importance of soap & water in the fight against Covid-19

Wash-Your-Hands-001

We’ve all been hearing “wash your hands” as the singular best way to stay healthy during these dark days of Coronavirus Covid-19. As the figures are rising again, it seems some of us have forgotten this technique.
Wash you hands; 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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Image Courtesy of the World Health Organisation (WHO)