In this issue:

Missed the last issue? You can read it in full here…

Well done to our Distributors of The Year!

Stephen Stout and Frank Cullen from Chemical Direct with Prochem Europe sales manager Phil Jones (centre)

Stuart Macmillan of Prochem with (left) Phil Eaton of winners Cleaners Warehouse at the Cleaning Show

Phil together with md Jeremy Thorn from award-winning Avica UK

A very busy stand with the new CR2 system in prominent display at Cleaning show 2017

A very busy stand with the new CR2 system in prominent display at Cleaning show 2017

The Cleaning Show – history now, we know, but we’re going to touch on it here with feed-back on the sneak preview of the CR2 hands-free system as well as the potent 500 variant of the Endeavor extraction machine showcased at the London event in March.

Plus – this gives us an opportunity to congratulate our 2016 ‘Distributors of The Year’, many of whom joined us on the stand to pick up their awards.

So, congratulations go out to Trafalgar Cleaning Equipment and Dublin-based Chemical Direct, respectively Distributor and International ‘Distributor of The Year’ as well as to Avica UK, Tower Supplies and Cleaners Warehouse who were some of the winners of the ‘Exceptional Sales Award’.

Visitors to the stand either commended the Endeavor because they were using one or were curious as to what all the fuss was about. Either way, the reception to this super-powerful extraction cleaner remains characteristically enthusiastic.

Likewise, a new technology solution for bathrooms and other wet areas that does away with mops and brushes, and – with the addition of a carpet wand – can also be used for carpet cleaning drew attention.

The CR2 “Multi-Surface” machine enables the cleaning of toilets, urinals, and restroom floors without getting hands dirty. There’s no need even for chemical mixing as the solutions container affixes to the machine case for automatic dosing during operation.

More about this in a future issue.

Corridors – making that long walk a whole lot easier

Ask any cleaner – long carpeted corridors, large carpeted halls and conference facilities can be pretty hard-going.

So, here’s a Prochem solutions ‘package’ that makes lighter work of cleaning the bigger carpet – as well as hard-floor areas that need to be scrubbed and dried.

The technology involved constitutes a Polaris walk-behind rotating brush wet-extraction machine with an AC1041 extension hose coupled to a PM2505 Squeegee Scrub wand.

You get a lot of choice with the Polaris range. It comes in four different sizes rated according to capacity, brush width and vacuum motors but they all come fitted with a 120psi pump.

The Polaris 500 and 700 have a single 2 stage-Lamb Vacuum motor; the 500 has a 14in cleaning width and a 19 litre capacity; the 700 has a 17in cleaning width with 26.5 litre capacity.

Trade-up, and the 800 and 1200 models are both fitted with the twin 2-stage motors and 19in cleaning width (note: the 800 has a 30 litre capacity where as the 1200 has 45 l capacity).

Connect any of these machines with the AC1041 hose and the Squeegee Scrub Wand (above) and you have a match made in heaven, because this combination not only enables fast and easy passes on large-scale carpeted areas but also on hard-floors.

Brush side of scrub wand…

Squeegee side of scrub wand…

The rotatable head allows you to scrub in chemicals such as Alkleen or Powerclean for those greasy kitchen or heavily soiled bathrooms with the hard brush side of the head. You then rinse and dry the floor with the squeegee side of the wand head, collecting the waste water into the soiled water tank.

Suddenly the workload has got a lot lighter!

Latest fibre protector brings dual action aftercare

Prochem has just launched a brand new dual action aftercare solution for protecting your customer’s carpets and upholstery from soil and stains.

B130 Fluoroseal® CF carpet and upholstery protector replaces both Fluoroseal® Plus and Aqua Seal Fabric Protector with one product, based upon cationic fluoropolymer technology for durable soil and stain resistance.

A high quality professional carpet protector, Fluoroseal CF coats and protects fibres, providing excellent repellency and protection against oil and water-based soils and spills, with the added benefit that the product can be used on both carpets and upholstery.

Ready-to-use, Fluoroseal CF is suitable for use on most new or freshly-cleaned wet-cleanable carpets, rugs and fabrics, subject to pre-testing and assessment, and is WoolSafe approved.

Fluoroseal CF is available now in a 5L pack size.

Birmingham training bigs up practical benefits

Phil Jones introduces their Prochem training course to delegates at Birmingham City FC. Next up - the practical work...

Phil Jones introduces their Prochem training course to delegates at Birmingham City FC. Next up – the practical work…

When it comes to learning a trade, you can’t beat practical experience. That was the opinion of the majority of delegates polled at Prochem Europe’s recently-held 1-Day Carpet Cleaning Course in Birmingham.

Britain’s second city’s St. Andrew’s stadium – home to Birmingham City FC – drew a good number of cleaning professionals, so much so that the Ground had to upgrade the event to a larger venue on site.

“We had candidates attending from as a far afield as south and north Wales, Northamptonshire, the Midlands and Derbyshire,” reports Phil Jones. “Their cleaning interests were equally diverse spanning trains, healthcare, hotels as well as the carpet and upholstery cleaners we look forward to welcoming to these events.”

Brian Howard from Clear & Clean Window Cleaning of Rushden sent colleague Mark Chantry on the course. “He gave it the thumbs-up,” says Brian. “Mark felt he learned a lot over the day. We know Prochem of old as we also clean carpets and use Odour Neutraliser regularly to freshen-up communal areas after cleaning them. I’ve always rated it.”

This latest Prochem regional course ran extremely smoothly, confirms Phil, with everyone attending thoroughly enjoying the day (and some great food courtesy of BCFC!)

“Looking at the feedback forms after the event, it is clear our students prefer visual, practical demonstrations to classroom teaching,” he adds.

“Many people learn better through visual stimulation rather than conversation and three students who came that day have re-booked with Prochem for further training.”

“All in all, the course was great success – just a shame the venue wasn’t overlooking the pitch!”

Prochem regularly holds regional courses away from its Chessington, Surrey training academy due to the high demand for places. The next course is in Manchester this October – check out the Prochem website for further details and book a place now!

Latest Sapphire largest jewel in the crown

The 870SS truck mount marks five years of Sapphires

The 870SS truck mount marks five years of Sapphires

Five years post-launch and Prochem Europe celebrates the introduction of the Sapphire range with its latest variant: the ultimate in high-pressure truck mounted cleaning technology.

The new Sapphire 870SS liquid-cooled triple-operator truck mounted carpet and upholstery cleaning system delivers more heat, more vacuum and more pressure than any other unit in the Sapphire range.

For durability and performance, this high extraction capacity cleaning titan employs premium components throughout including the commercial-grade 1.6 litre Hyundai petrol power unit, the unit’s triple-source heat co-generation delivering day-long strong and consistent cleaning on the largest jobs.

As one of the most powerful slide-in truck mounts available, the 870SS is set to exceed expectations, with key features including heavy-duty tri-lobe positive displacement blower, general pump HTS2016S producing 5.6 GPM, patented thermal well system with tube coil design and thermostatic control, capable of operating two hard surface tools simultaneously, maintaining full heat and pressure.

The 870SS is the premium Sapphire truck mount. Starters may prefer to opt for the entry-level option in the Sapphire Rage, now with a new air-cooled belt drive system it’s perfect for the start-up truck mount based carpet cleaning business or as an upgrade from portables to truck mount performance. High quality no compromise components and superior heat and state-of-the art engineering come in an affordable package.

There are now six options to choose from in the Sapphire range. All are built on a unique narrow platform that makes the most of available space in your existing van or provides the opportunity for a move to a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Each model incorporates innovative heat exchanger technology that captures and retains heat efficiently and gives you precision control to provide constant hot cleaning solution.

A Short Reach Service Design has no component more than 10 inches from the outside, putting all belts, filters, oil drains and other service points within easy reach.

Sapphire truck mounts also have an exclusive through-frame belt cooling design that extends belt life to help reduce maintenance costs.

More on the range here

Training course a Safe bet for better business

Becoming a WoolSafe Fibre Care Specialist adds real value to the professional cleaner’s customer service offer.

Prochem is not only the largest manufacturer of WoolSafe-approved cleaning solutions in the UK, it’s also a newly-accredited trainer to the organisation, recently holding its’ first WoolSafe Fibre Care Specialist course at its Chessington training academy.

Explains Prochem sales manager Phil Jones: “Wool is perceived as a top quality material with many residential and commercial properties specifying some wool carpet for top-end budget specifications.

“While its fibres last longer than synthetic variants, are better quality and have better resilience, they don’t agree with harsh chemical usage and therefore require specialist understanding and treatments. This course explains all this and more.”

More technical in content terms than a standard carpet cleaning course, the day-long event was well-attended with delegates invited to sit an “open-book” exam to qualify for membership of the WoolSafe Organisation.

“Many passed and are now members of a cleaning industry elite,” says Phil, adding that: “one attendee from a company specialising in property cleaning prestigious sites in Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Mayfair, reported that the course helped increase his business immediately by his simply mentioning to clients he had been on it!”

Want to learn more about the next WoolSafe training at Prochem? Contact the training department on 0208 974 1515 and visit Prochem WoolSafe Training for more information

Upholstery: manage the risk, reap the reward

Fancy cleaning this? No? Read on … there’s profit to be had.

Most cleaning contractors clean carpets. It’s thought to be pretty straight forward and easy to do.

Of course, there are hidden dangers: shrinkage, coloured dyes that can run, browning, stretching.

However, you could clean many carpets without anything actually going wrong. It’s a numbers game – one day, you may be unlucky and actually shrink a carpet and have to shell-out for a replacement to the client.

A sofa set is often one of the largest cash outlays to any household, along with a new car, kitchen or bathroom. Indeed, a domestic three-piece suite is, on average, more expensive to buy than the carpet it is standing on.

Some cleaners give fabrics and upholstery a wide berth on the basis they can be risky to treat.

But that means the rewards are correspondingly higher if you are prepared to add them to your service offer.

Cleaning upholstery is easier than people think and can be more profitable than cleaning carpets. Depending on your charges, it is often accepted that cleaning two three-piece suites a day can be more profitable than cleaning three or four full house carpets.

More manageable, too: you are often staying in one area and not getting all hot and sweaty running around as you would with carpets.

First things first: going into upholstery cleaning is not just a case of exchanging the carpet cleaning wand for a hand tool and “going-for-it”.

Types of fabric you could encounter

Types of fabric you could encounter

Fabrics used on upholstery can change and vary regularly perhaps more than carpet types and they present a range of potential issues for the unwary cleaner.

Many fabrics contain delicate “floating yarns” (or what looks like guitar strings across the weave) and if they are cleaned roughly or plucked, they may catch and pull, damaging the fabric.

There being many more natural fibres used in upholstery manufacture, unstable dyes, shrinkage issues and more may emerge if the fabric is mis-cleaned.

Most fabrics are wet cleanable (cleaned with water-based products) though there is a small group of fabrics that should only be dry cleaned (cleaned with a blended solvent).

Extraction cleaning

The chances of cleaning a three-piece suite without even using a wet extraction machine are high, but often the client wants to see some sort of machinery, as they think that is always the way it is done.

Low moisture cleaning

Low moisture methods can include spray and absorb with products such as B107 Prespray Gold or B108 Fabric Restorer and a gentle towel off to absorb the released soil, similar but with B137 Fine Fabric Solvent Cleaner for dry clean only fabrics.

Cleaning with foam

Cleaning with foam

If the soil levels are deeper or more visible, then B105 Fibre Shampoo can be used with a sponge or your extraction machine for deep cleaning if required and with a focused selection of cleaning detergents. Often upholstery detergent options are less alkaline and more neutral than when cleaning carpets, due to the natural fabric/fibres involved.

Having attended Prochem upholstery training courses, one thing cleaners duly understand is the need for, and the benefit of, carrying out pre-cleaning tests.

It’s good to know how to manage the risk of the cleaning task in hand. If carried out in conjunction with a correct, professional survey, a better, more focused task and therefore accurate quote can be given to the client, prior to the cleaning job.

On carpets, there are essentially three pre-cleaning tests that the industry recommends – fibre/burn test, dye bleed test and the float test. Once these are done, the operator is fully aware of potential risks and can make a judgement on how to carry out the task.

On upholstery and fabric cleaning there are a few more tests available to the operator to be aware of.

Testing for colour fastness

So, add to that list a tensile strength test (to determine the fibres strength when wetted), a shrinkage test (to determine if the fabrics will shrink or pucker), a distortion test (to discover if a pile fabric should be dry cleaned or can be wet cleaned), and a swealing test (to eliminate possible browning/water marking when cleaned).

These risk management, pre-cleaning tests only take a matter of minutes to carry out so don’t think you’ll be testing all day.

And if you already test your carpets prior to cleaning, you will know the client’s response to seeing you do it. They are impressed: “no-one has ever done that before” is a regular comment.

Still seems like hard work?

OK – so, you are on site and all’s going well cleaning the client’s house carpet, when they suddenly ask to be given a price to clean the upholstery suite, too.

Just watch their faces when you say you can’t or don’t want to clean it.

They may just contemplate employing an operator that could do both next time …and you’ve just lost a customer.

Attending a one-day upholstery cleaning course with Prochem means added knowledge and confidence not only to clean sofas, but also mattresses, curtains, fabric dividers in offices or any other fabric surface. As a result of the extra skills you will be able to offer, think of the potential growth to your business that this added service will bring.

Call 0208 974 1515 to book a place on a One-day Upholstery Course and for more details or to book online visit

De-messing about on the water

With summer getting into gear, the team at Banbury-based contractor Pro-Clean love being on the water. Just don’t tell them they’re ‘messing about’…

After years of neglect, Britain’s canals have been brought back to life with more of us than ever taking to the water whether for leisure, a life afloat, or even just a towpath walk and a pint.

This resurgence in interest has also seen returning good fortune for marina owners, agents, chandlers and narrowboat hire providers like Calcutt Boats in Warwickshire.

40ft hire boats at Calcutt

Narrow boat cleaning = space at a premium!

Narrow boat cleaning = space at a premium!

Located at Napton Junction, where the Grand Union and Oxford Canals meet, the 40 year old company operates a hire fleet of 15 narrowboats. Around 6ft wide and up to 60ft long, and with the whole family on board, they can get grubby quickly on a wet day.

Which is why last summer Calcutt asked Pro-Clean over to clean the boat interiors. What started as a one-off clean has now grown into a regular trip to the marina for Pro-Clean’s Neil Webber and his team with up to six vessels cleaned a week.

“The customer used to clean the boats themselves but the extractor being used was taking them three times longer than we found we could achieve with our equipment using Prochem chemicals, so now we are canal regulars”, says Neil, adding “but rather than messing about we are doing the reverse!”

Neil cites Prochem solutions as the perfect package for the job. “We use Trafficlean for carpets – which are on the walls as well as the floor! – along with Neutra-Soft, Urine Neutraliser and Fibre Shampoo.

And it’s not all plain sailing: “No, the spaces are confined with restricted access and a lot of work is carried out on all fours in some areas,” Neil confirms. “But we do love the work and it makes a change from crime and trauma scenes.”

Prochem solutions on board

Prochem solutions on board

Yes, when they’re not cleaning banquette upholstery, Neil’s team find themselves in very different surroundings.

Any criminal scene or traumatic event which puts people at risk needs careful, skilled and prompt handling.

Pro-Clean provides a professional, discreet trauma cleaning service throughout Oxfordshire and the West Midlands, as well as across the UK.

“We got into the business in 2013 and after a three-day training course with the National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners in Bristol began to take on projects of our own along with work on the association’s behalf,” Neil relates.

“It varies enormously. We recently had a call from a private landlord call to deal with a house that had been used as a drug squat – we removed nearly one thousand needles from the scene along with seventy-one bin bags of rubbish.

“Another one involved cleaning a house that the deceased owner had lain undiscovered in for three weeks and more recently the bottom of a lift shaft where an unlucky lift engineer had fallen and again not been found until two weeks later.”

Neil (centre) with colleagues (both called Neil) on the Prochem Europe stand at the 2017 Cleaning Show

Neil (centre) with colleagues (both called Neil) on the Prochem Europe stand at the 2017 Cleaning Show

Not surprisingly, the team go ‘full CSI’ with gloves, masks and suits. Prochem solutions again play an important role in the clean-ups.

Says Neil: “Very demanding cleaning jobs these ones so you really need effective solutions. Rust Remover for example is very good at dealing with blood. We do get through a lot of sanitisers.”

A family business since 1989, Pro-Clean is also first port of call for many homes and businesses across Banbury, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire seeking professional cleaning with a personal touch.

“From bedsits to stately homes like Aynhoe Park, we get something different every day,” laughs Neil – clearly a master of understatement!

Defining Defoamers

Cleaning machines clean (of course) – but they too need cleaning from time to time, too.

Sludge and waste matter builds up in any motor or engine; leave it and something is going to go wrong eventually.

For example, an excess foam build up in the waste tank of an extraction cleaning machine can clog the vacuum motors (see right), causing serious internal damage. That’s why it is important to use a defoamer.

Prochem Europe has several defoamer products in the range to help prevent the excessive formation of foam in waste tanks.

Two liquid products are available in S760 Liquid Defoamer and S761 Contract Carpet Defoamer as well as a powder version: S762 Powdered Defoamer.

How to use liquid defoamers

1. Refer to the label, check the amount of defoamer to use proportionate to your recovery tank size.

2. Dilute the required amount of concentrate in a small amount of water and feed this solution into the vacuum hose whilst the vacuum motor is switched on, or add the defoamer solution directly to the machine recovery tank.

* This option depends on the type of machine you are using but Prochem recommends, if possible adding solution to the vacuum hose of the machine as you use it. This way the defoamer coats both the inside of the hose and machine waste tank more effectively. Just check the waste tank for foam whilst cleaning.

Never add defoamer solution to the cleaning solution tank.

3. In cases of more severe foaming, increase the amount of defoamer concentrate you use.

How to use powdered defoamer

Silicone-based S762 Powdered Defoamer works in a similar way to liquid defoamers but has the benefit of being in powdered form: economical, concentrated and available in 4Kg size tubs.

1. Pre-dissolve 15ml (1 measure scoop) of S762 in a small amount of cold water and feed this solution into the vacuum hose with the vacuum motor switched on, or add the diluted solution directly to the waste tank.

This option depends on the type of machine you are using but Prochem trainers recommend, if possible adding solution to the vacuum hose of the machine as you use it. This way the defoamer coats both the inside of the hose and machine waste tank more effectively. Just check the waste tank for foam whilst cleaning.

2. Increase the amount of S762 used for more severe foaming problems.

Again, never add powdered defoamer to the cleaning solution tank.

To De-Foam or Not De-foam that is the QUESTION…

In our experience, the consequences of not using defoamer can be pretty serious.

Foam build up in the waste tank can cause damage to your vacuum motors that will render them useless. As foam builds up in your waste tank it cannot raise the shut off float in the tank, this allows foam to enter the vacuum motors – as we all know electrical motors and water do not mix.

The foam water mix gets into the bearings and causes them to rust, putting unnecessary strain on the motor which in turn causes it to overheat and burn out.

Vacuum motors are a relatively expensive item. You then need to add on the relevant labour cost, plus the VAT and if you then add in the downtime and missed jobs it becomes clear that the cost can be significant.

So is it worth it? As you can see, the answer is yes!

Roy of The Rovers

It’s a been a while since anyone shouted “Foul, Ref!” at Roy Pardoe. But that was a former life…

For many, Roy Pardoe, who has retired from work after 22 years with Prochem, was the face of the business for cleaning professionals throughout the south of England, his sales territory spanning Cornwall and the Channel Islands to the far reaches of Kent.

Roy joined Prochem from Hoover. Prochem managing director Alan Tilley spotted him from his appearances on TV as a football league First Division linesman at the former Wembley Stadium and Highbury. It seemed to help!

Now, Roy’s hung up his boots – and on behalf of all his friends and colleagues in the industry, we wish him a very happy retirement.

Opportunity knocks in Essex

Interested in buying into an established Essex cleaning business?

Meet Phil Dowsett! We reported on his business, Carpet Preservation Services Ltd (CPS), in the last issue.

Now, Phil’s back to tell us he is nearing retirement and looking to move on. Which means a potentially great opportunity for anyone already in the business of carpet, upholstery and curtain cleaning.

Says Phil: “I’d like to get another company in the business involved in what we do here in anticipation of taking over my company.”

As we revealed back in March, CPS employs a small team of three, along with Phil and his assistant. One van works nights in the West End and City while the other journeys in and out of the capital on day jobs.

CPS has been cleaning London’s finest hotels for over 30 years. “Our customers look for expertise and discretion over frills,” says Phil. “Our vehicles are not sign-written as around twenty percent of our business is sub-contracted so it’s best they are not.

“We handle quite a lot of demanding jobs working high quality projects and some businesses can be put off by their complexity.”

“London is booming still, but to make it there you have to deliver,” says Phil.

Like the sound of this? Get in touch with Phil today. More information at

Training – get match fit now!

CPD is just for architects …? No, we all need a bit of continuous professional development – so why not get match fit now on a Prochem Europe training course?

Incoming courses at Chessington for July are 4/5th 2-day carpet; 25th 1-day carpet, 26th 1-day upholstery, 11th 1-day hard floor.

Book now for September: 12th 1-day carpet, 13th 1-day upholstery, and in October: 27th 1-day hard floor and 26th 1-day stain removal, with a 2-day carpet course taking place on October 17/18th.

Based in the north of England? Join our Manchester Regional Courses: October 3rd 1 day carpet and the 4th 1-day upholstery.

More information right here

Qs and As … you ask, we answer!

Got stuck on a technicality? Let us help…


“I’ve had a call from a client and they have had a leak from the water cooler in their office. I haven’t seen it but they say it’s caused water staining on the carpet. I know that the carpet is that hard carpet they usually have in schools. Do you know the type and if so, can I clean this?”


“OK, well firstly, water does not really cause a stain.

“What happens when leakage occurs is that water pushes back the dry soil within the carpet and as it dries and evaporates, forms a ring (or tide) mark – much like when the sea brings in driftwood etc along the coast. The mark tends to be a concentrated soil build up and to test this, we recommend doing the ‘soil patch test’.

“Spray down a small amount of Multi Pro or Stain Pro and blot back with a paper towel. If you get soil transfer, then rinse out and treat the same way as with general soiling in a carpet: using a good and heavy application of prespray, such as Multi Pro, agitate and allow a dwell time of 5-10 minutes and then extraction rinse with Fibre & Fabric Rinse. It may take a couple of attempts if there is a heavy concentration of soil.

If there is no soil transfer, treat it with B175 Browning Prescription : this includes anti browning and yellowing agents and would tackle the yellow/brown colour that is left behind.

“Pre-spray the B175, agitate with a hand brush, leave to dwell for 10-12mins, then rinse extract with B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse.


“Our customer’s dog jumped into the car after a long walk with a cut paw and left blood marks on the seats. The owner tried to remove the stains, but had no luck. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“We can’t help with a sore paw but as to the seat: blood is protein so, just as with all other protein spills, food, drink etc B144 Stain Pro can be used. It is designed to break down the protein content of blood and can then be rinsed away with, ideally, B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse diluted with cool or tepid water.

If there is a brown “tinge” left behind or you find yourself dealing with an old blood spill, you need to get out the residual iron content within the blood. B198 Rust Remover is a strong acidic product ideal for this. After careful application, rinse with either Fibre & Fabric Rinse or cool or tepid water.

Finally, to sanitise the area, use D500 Microsan. It’s designed to treat and destroy bacteria and viruses such as MRSA, Herpes Simplex, HIV-1, Hepatitis B and many more.

Note – Remember when asked to treat any blood or bodily fluid spill, care and attendance to work to the correct Health & Safety procedures. By extracting spills such as blood, you are contaminating your machine, hoses and hand tools. If you are not trained in bio-hazard or trauma cleaning, consider contracting the job to a specialist company like Pro-Clean Banbury (also reported on in this issue).

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