In this issue:

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

Stoneclean’s place in history…

Henry VIII – his part in Ian’s job...

Henry VIII – his part in Ian’s job…

Remember Ian Brewer? We wrote about his Woking-based business Clean & Gleam in the last issue.

Ian is building his business on many fine qualities.

Putting aside the obvious ones (focus on great service using great products!) he also remembers to photograph his jobs, before and after.

Ian then uploads the pictures to social media. These make for great sales aids – ‘every picture tells a story’.

So, here’s the latest – and it must rank as one of the oldest surfaces we’ve seen in a while.

History in the making…

…after the clean

Because, this stone floor Ian treated recently turned out to be rather special.

Ian takes up the story: “The lady of the house asked me to visit the farm she lived in to treat this stone floor which had just got very grubby. While I was working on it she explained that the stone is from the 12th century. So, that made me stop and think for a minute!”

It turns out that in 958 AD, the village was probably part of land granted to Westminster Abbey which passed to King Henry VIII in the 1530s.

Ian found out that this lady’s flooring was originally laid in a church in Knaphill, Surrey and was removed and relaid in the farm when Henry VIII decommissioned the church.

“So many of these churches were systematically robbed and then destroyed in this period so it was lucky this floor found a new home at the farm,” says Ian.

Cleaning the floor was straightforward enough.

Ian used Prochem’s A257 Stoneclean to treat the ancient stone.

After pre-testing, he applied a diluted solution by mop and then scrubbed the surface before allowing a short dwell period for cleaning action. He rinsed the area well with plenty of clean water and then removed the slurry with a wet pick-up vacuum, before allowing it to dry.

A special blend of phosphoric acid, detergents and solvent, Stoneclean is designed for cleaning and restoring stone floor surfaces and is suitable for use on quarry tiles, ceramic tiles and other acid resistant stone and tile interior flooring, subject to pre-testing. It will effectively remove limescale, grout stains, general soil and grease.

If you’ve treated an unusual or historic floor like Ian’s, let us know and we’ll feature YOUR FLOOR in this e-zine …

Prochem takes training to Ireland

Prochem Europe has extended its regional training campaigning to Ireland next month.

The company’s training team is spending the day of October 1st with local cleaning professionals at Cork Hygiene’s premises in Cork itself.

Further details from Paudie Griffin on (021) 434 1411 or email

The team then heads east to Dublin where training days are being hosted by Industrial Cleaning Equipment (ICE) and Chemical Direct on the 4th and 5th of the month.

For more information from Chemical Direct, contact Patrick Crawford on  01 829 8924 or by email to

ICE has already published a schedule for its day starting at 9.00am with a session including the Chemical pH Scale and Industry-approved Methods of Cleaning. After lunch discussion turns to Carpet Construction, Browning & Problems and Stain Removal, amongst other topics.

For more information contact Mike in Dublin on 01 460 1277 or email

“Taking our training expertise into the field is always a win for distributors and their customers alike as we all get to know one another better and understand more about local interests and needs,” says Prochem Europe sales manager, Phil Jones.

“We’re very much looking forward to a trip across the Irish Sea.”

Take the pain out of the stain

The majority of technical calls into the Prochem technical and training department are centred on stain removal.

Cleaning (as in the day-to-day removal of soils from carpets and fabrics) can be quite effectively carried out by contractors, but when a spill or stain catches them out, we get called to advise on what chemicals as well as removal techniques are going to put matters right.

Cleaning removes dirt and soils from a surface; the kind of spills we are being asked about can carry colouring into carpet or fabric fibre and re-colour it.

The task of removing a colouring from a carpet or fabric, without actually upsetting the original colour is deemed to be a skill.

It should be treated as such and, ideally, depending on your business plan, sold separately, to the actual clean you would otherwise undertake.

If the colouring comes out during the clean, it was only a spill that required re-liquefying and rinsing away.

If the colour remains after a clean, then it needs some more skills or advanced techniques to “unlock” the colour from its new home.

Generally, spills or stains fall into two groups: water-based or oil-based; depending on the environment of the spill, the vast majority are water-based, a category that includes tea, coffee and foods etc.

Once you’ve identified what it is you are treating, you need to know what surface or fibre they are spilt on.

It’s important, because an absorbent fibre such as wool will recolour easily and it could be more taxing to remove the stain.

Ask a hairdresser, who after dyeing a customer’s hair, is told that the client doesn’t like the colour, how easy it will be to remove that colouring. The common answer is that it is much harder to put right the wrong.

Funny how customers expect carpet cleaners to be miracle-workers, who by a simple pull back of the “Harry Potter” wand miraculously remove an offending stain!

Talking of which, your worst offenders are going to be coffee and red wine. They are both challenging and can need up to four individual processes being applied to resolve.

What are they and how do you learn these skills?

You could opt for trial and error on site and hope for the best (but you may need a very understanding customer…)

A far less stressful solution is to come on a Prochem stain removal course.

It’s a full day focusing on how colours lock into fibres; suggesting products and more advanced techniques than perhaps our one- or two-day carpet cleaning courses cover; offering you actual hands-on experience where you can get-down-and-dirty and remove a selection of unknown spills and stains from a variety of carpet samples.

All this comes with the confidence of knowing you have ready advice to hand from the Prochem training team if you need help at any time.

Let’s face it, you really want to be looking up to the experts, and not your customer, come the moment you need guidance tackling a tricky stain.

Learn tips and advice for stain removal and gain, more importantly, the confidence to take back to your valued customers.

For details of our stain removal training course dates (the next one is on Wednesday 21st November), click on this link, Prochem Training 2018

Or call 0208 974 1515.

Good sports at CAS!

You keep fit in the cleaning business. But do you keep fitter cleaning sports venues like this?

“Yes,” laughs Sean Cullum of CAS Carpet Care. “There’s a lot of walking involved!”

For Ware-based contractor CAS, ‘staying on track’ is what it’s all about. Not least at the spectacular Lee Valley VeloPark at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.

The high-performance 250m indoor velodrome has capacity for 6,000 spectators and outside boasts a BMX course, one-mile road cycle circuit and 8km mountain bike trails.

Inside are four fully accessible changing rooms, dedicated bike workshop and bike hire facilities, multi-purpose rooms for meetings, seminars, conference facilities and a café owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

CAS boss Sean Cullum and partner Danny Stone tackle this beast along with the nearby Hockey & Tennis Centre (right).

“They’re both fabulous sites to be involved in caring for and it makes going to work a pleasure,” says Sean.

He came into the cleaning business in 2015 on the back of a promise. “I got told that I’d get cleaning work if I put myself on a course to find out how it’s done properly,” he says. “That took me to Prochem and in turn to the products they make.

“I’m a big fan of them all but my current favourite is Prespray Gold for its sheer versatility and the fact we are always using it on site for example on rugs at the Tennis Centre and on the upholstery in the VeloPark café.

A mat pre-clean at the Tennis Centre

A mat pre-clean at the Tennis Centre

“It’s got low pH, high dilution rate, is WoolSafe and packs excellent performance.”

CAS started in the carpet and upholstery business but recently added hard floor cleaning to its portfolio.

That took Sean back to Prochem where he attended a one-day hard floor training course.

“That’s a fantastic entry point to understanding the dynamics of hard floors and their maintenance – I’d recommend it,” says Sean.

Straight after, he went out and bought a new scrubber-drier and it’s been go, go ever since, Sean tells us, also tagging Ultrapac Renovate, Stain Pro and Fibre & Fabric Rinse as further strong contenders for the must-have solutions on board the van.

When he and Danny aren’t in the Park, they’re on the other side of London cleaning Chelsea & Kensington’s iconic Town Hall (right).

“That’s another lovely job and one that’s completely different environmentally from the sports arenas, though at the end of the day, you’re still using the same quality solutions to clean them”, says Sean.

With this busy schedule there barely seems time to sell but, when they have time, the duo post testimonials of their work to social media. They are also on mumsnet: “we pick up a fair bit of business from its mum members, too,” says Sean.

Meantime, CAS Carpet Care is recruiting for more – fit! – cleaners to join him and Danny on the track.

Strength in specialism

Delivering the goods: Prochem’s Powermate 1200

Delivering the goods: Prochem’s Powermate 1200

Have you noticed there seem to be basically two types of cleaning chemicals and technology provider out there?

You’ve got one that presents a limited number of (often perfectly efficient) products that cover the broadest range of needs.

So, when you call up and ask, “It cleans walls but will it clean floors?” they will say ‘Yep!’ and then you find the same being said of other surfaces and even some specific stains and spills.

And then there’s another supplier that develops solutions dedicated to each of those needs.

Prochem Europe is very much the second of these types. That’s why it has such an extensive range.

One made up of products which ‘do what they say on the label’: B144 Stain Pro, A257 Stoneclean, R603 Stone Seal, B198 Rust Remover, B195 Coffee Stain Remover and many more.

There’s no debating what these are designed for and they do the job so well many cleaners invest in keeping a wide range to hand in the van.

This year has been no different when it comes to innovating.

Recent introductions to the Prochem Europe 2018 portables ranges include the new Powermate 1200. A lightweight easy-to-manoeuvre extraction machine power wand, it has a self-levelling cylindrical 2500 rpm brush, 12” vacuum head and 25 ft. power cable.

Sometimes, it’s the simplest solutions that turn heads. Take the new Teflon Wand glide Clip-on accessory for Glidemaster 30 cm (12″) wands, it delivers smooth glide performance over all types of carpet.

Chemicals scoring highly in your opinion include B230 Fresh Breeze Odour Neutraliser, a new technology odour neutraliser concentrate for carpets, fabrics and professional restoration cleaning, it features a hard-working micro-encapsulation formula with odour absorber.

And then there’s B106 Extraclean, an advanced micro-encapsulation extraction cleaner for carpets, rugs and upholstery, it has an anti-resoiling formula with odour neutraliser. It’s WoolSafe-approved for wool carpets and rugs.

Not long past a 40th anniversary, Prochem is still ‘specialising’ when it comes to tackling the many and varied problems you are likely to encounter in your day-to-day business on site.

Putting some Wow into WCP

Prochem Europe wowed professionals from both vertical and horizontal cleaning sectors at the annual Window Cleaning Page (WCP) Cleaning Show this year.     

The company exhibited as part of the NCCA membership following the phenomenal success of the 2017 event, making this joint venture a must for everyone working in carpet and window cleaning, and related enterprises.

Prochem Europe were in attendance at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, fielding a large array of chemicals and machinery with demonstrations of the Galaxy extractor, the larger Steempro and the top of the tree,  500psi-powered Endeavor, all drawing the crowds.

Says Prochem sales manager, Phil Jones: “A great show, this one, with visitors including a large number of new starters to carpet cleaning, which is always promising for a company like ours, blending training with technological innovation.

“Many of these visitors were interested in seeing the Galaxy, an ideal starter machine and a few had been informed of the show by their local suppliers and opted to come and see Prochem for more information.”

Prochem also displayed and demonstrated a couple of new products to its range, notably a Teflon wand glide which attaches to any 12” head and makes “wanding” so much smoother.

Relates Phil: “One contractor wrote it off as a gimmick but when he tested it, just turned his head with a big beaming smile and went ‘Wow!’”

Also displayed and getting a lot of attention was the LS38 Vac/sweeper, a twin, contra-rotating brush machine, ideal for brushing in presprays, as well as being used for dry compound cleaning, in the form of Fiberdri.

“Even though it was only displayed for trials and for feedback, not being a stock item as yet, orders were taken, so watch this space,” says Phil.

Prochem also ran a small stain removal demonstration area, where visitors were shown the correct way to remove coffee and red wine stains via a range of varied removal methods.

Phil relates: “Some visitors had a go themselves, which led to some fun. Prochem Red Rx proved popular for removing red food/drink colourings and was the demo most requested.

“Overall, the show was a great day out for both visitors and stand staff with new contacts being made and old friends re-connected. The event was very well attended with the footfall of visitors up on last year’s show.”

Ingrained soiling giving you a hard time?

Powerclean at work

Powerclean at work

Dealing with heavy, ingrained soiling to hard surfaces has always been an issue. Especially in schools, when the opportunity to run a deep cleaning programme often has to wait until holiday periods.

Safety flooring, in particular, holds onto that soiling, and simple mopping never gives the result required.

Quite often, a scrubber drier with a brush roller or disc is the best bet, using a chemical that actually lifts the soils out of the grooves and dips and allows the machine to agitate and extract.

Prochem D488 Powerclean is one answer.

It’s a high strength alkaline floor cleaner, especially designed to cut through layers of soiling, greases, oils and carbon build up.  More evidence still that it’s the one for the job is the fact this is usually Prochem’s chemical of choice when demonstrating machinery and chemicals for hard surface cleaning.

Capable of running through a variety of cleaning machinery including rotary scrubbers, scrubber driers or even pressure washers and with an optional range of dilution rates, Powerclean works by ‘floating’ the soils out of the floor, allowing for simple removal by machine.

If the soil levels are lighter, a mix of 1 to 50 would be both suitable and highly cost effective. When foot traffic levels increase and with them, the soil levels, dilution can be boosted to 1 to 25, giving more soil-cutting potential.

When working on fire restoration cleaning of kitchen floors and even oven hoods, then Powerclean can be used at a 1 to 4 ratio to deal with ingrained carbons and greases.

Adding a small amount (10ml) of B845 Citra Boost can even boost the Powerclean to assist in dealing with those baked on greases, as well as giving a pleasant orange fragrance.


Powerclean case study

A recent demonstration of Prochems’ LW30 Floor Pro floor washer on a care home’s entrance Polyflor was a challenge for one contractor. 

The floor was mopped daily and the soils had been left in the grooves of the flooring.

A mild dilution (1/50) of Powerclean was run through the LW30 floor scrubber (without the vacuum running) merely using the roller brush and scrubbed for one minute before being vacuumed away with the vac motor.

The floor came back bright and new, much to the awe of the head housekeeper!

Give it a go sometime!

Chemicals – they’ll make or break you

Counting the pennies - are you overdoing it?

Counting the pennies – are you overdoing it?

No matter what type of kit you are using on a job, ultimately it’s the chemicals that really count.

Cheap low-grade chemicals increase the likelihood of poor cleaning results (and even damage) reducing repeat business wins or referrals. And if you cause damage that’s beyond repair, it may cost you money on the job.

We know cost is many a carpet cleaner’s single most important factor in choosing a brand. Yet chemicals comprise only three to four percent of a total cleaning job cost.

That would suggest it’s worth the peace of mind, security plus trouble-free performance to spend a little extra and purchase a premium brand product.

So what characterises a premium brand?

Well, it starts by being a provider that assures you of proper formulations and pH. A high pH may cause dye bleed or browning or may remove the stain resistant properties of stain-resist carpets.

Private label brands – using chemicals blended and bottled under a private label arrangement with a formula that may appear under different names – can vary from batch to batch, which leads to unknown performance characteristics and cleaning may damage the carpet fibre, so the carpet re-soils faster, stains more readily (even permanently).

Residue is a major factor in chemical quality. The more residues left in the carpet after cleaning, the quicker it re-soils. Residues, minute particles of chemical components, are slightly tacky, attracting soil. The result is noticeable soon after cleaning and leads to customer dissatisfaction, which results in little, if any, repeat business.

You pay less in actual “use cost” for a quality product than for a so-called “bargain” low shelf-price product. Use cost is not just a factor of chemical cost. It is also a factor of labour costs.

When you have to clean areas twice, or if you have call-backs due to rapid re-soiling, or other cleaning related conditions, your labour costs become a significant part of the ‘use cost,’ as well.

The professional carpet cleaning industry is no longer a cottage industry serving an un-informed consumer.

Today’s customers are concerned about the indoor environmental effect of cleaning. They are more demanding in regards to the appearance and feel of the carpet, as well as re-soiling.

It is harder and harder to satisfy the customer with inferior chemicals.

It’s all about brand…

Probably the biggest benefit of a recognized quality brand name is the commitment to quality and value.

A major brand such as Prochem Europe does not rely on others for quality control.

Prochem chemical products are made by the company directly and available only under the Prochem trade name.

Our UK business operates its own laboratory facilities with full quality control to international standards.

Compliance with national and international regulations covers documentation, including safety data sheets, product specification and information literature and container labelling, plus all the health and safety issues regarding the use and storage of the chemicals.

Prochem has a full-time compliance officer whose job is to ensure all processes and output fall within national and international regulations and guidelines.

And, of course, a premium brand in the cleaning chemicals sector provides chemical education to its distributors, with seminars and courses.

At the end of the day, when a company controls its own research, development and production, it is also in control of its quality. A major brand can’t afford to do anything less, or it risks its name and reputation.

The cost of chemicals is such a small part of the overall cost of running a cleaning business.

Don’t risk your reputation with chemicals that cost a bit less on the shelf but a lot more on the floor.

Distributor focus: A big welcome to Weston

Extending a big welcome to latest Prochem Europe distributor and facility management support provider, Weston Support Services Limited (WSS).

It may be a new provider in its native West Country but WSS is no “newbie” in terms of expertise.

Based in Weston-Super-Mare with more than 70 staff, the company is born out of the merger of two well established local firms – cleaning supplies business Harlow Hygiene and commercial cleaning, grounds and property maintenance firm Chantry Supply Services.

The aim, says Operations Director Martin Williams, is to build a thriving regional FM support provider with a service offer spanning grounds maintenance, cleaning, janitorial supplies and more.

Retail division Weston Cleaning Supplies has a shop in Weston, which was refitted only last year, selling cleaning equipment and supplies as well as workwear and PPE.

“Chantry used to buy Prochem products and I was keen to get the brand on board with WSS,” says Martin.

“Customers like and trust Prochem and we trust the science behind the brand and the quality of the products so it’s a great fit for us.

“They offer the best carpet cleaning chemicals around and we are now stocking them while we are working towards offering the machines side of the range next year. We will also be putting our cleaning operatives through Prochem training courses.”

So, how’s it going right now?

“Very well,” says Martin. “We’ve got our fleet of vehicles out there with our teams providing a wide range of FM services to our customers, a new website has been launched and a web shop is due to go live very soon.

“We have generated positive awareness via local community sponsorships and have a strong customer base spanning local authorities, schools, surgeries, offices, shops and factories. We also service regular events facilities in the region and have recently increased our team to continue to improve our sales and customer service”.

Looking ahead, Martin has prioritised the continued growth of Weston Support Services whilst working with Prochem to ensure that their staff have the best product knowledge and training available.

Bravo – just saying!

‘Big is beautiful’ ran the old saying – but then don’t forget … ‘Big things come in small packages’, too!

Yes, often the things that have the most value or quality can be small. But, first off, in cleaning tech terms, let’s be clear. We’re not saying you should use a spotting machine to clean an entire office block.

What we are saying is that if you ever thought “Well, that’s only a small area of staining – do I really need to get my big machine out to tackle it?” more often than not, the answer is “No, you don’t!”

All you do need to do is get out the BV100 Bravo Spotter.

Because, believe us, this punchy little spotting machine can save a lot of time …

Spots and stains are best managed using a small, manageable solution.

The Prochem Europe Bravo comes with a powerful two-stage vacuum motor and a small but powerful and reliable 60psi solenoid pump.

Equipment on board includes a hand tool and 2.4 m of vacuum and solution hose. The vacuum motor can be operated on its own, so that you could easily extract a small spill with a Bravo.

The machine has a separate solution tank (6 litres) and waste tank (13.2 litres) with a specially moulded-in section to house two spray bottles for whatever pre-spray or stain solution you may need.

It also has an extendable handle and two bottom-mounted wheels to aid manoeuvrability. So, no need to carry it a long distance.

One more saying: ‘horse for courses’.  It simply means that things have different qualities and skills and so are suitable in different situations.

Remember the Bravo next time you are squaring up to spots and stains.

TIPS: Qs & As

Your questions answered …


One of my customers had builders in doing some work and they laid a plastic film over the carpet to protect it when they walked on it. As they removed it, they found a sticky residue left on the carpet.  I know it’s the glue/adhesive that’s the issue, but I cannot afford to spend all day on my hands and knees with Citrus Gel, for example. How could we go about removing this quicker?


Right, well this is partly due to the hot weather we had. It’s got too hot under that plastic sheeting so you should try removing the sticky residue with S789 Power Burst. It’s a super strength alkaline powder pre-spray and should be used in a sprayer as a pre-treatment, diluted to the correct ratios. Once this has been agitated in and left for 15-20 minutes, rinse with B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse. After the carpet has dried, this should have cured your problem.


I’ve been using Prochem products for a couple of years but I am slightly confused with the options of presprays. I know that I should use a WoolSafe prespray on wool, but we’ve got a dirty carpet to do in a pub and the landlord tells me that it is wool, or at least a wool-mix, and that it hasn’t been cleaned for a couple of years to his knowledge. Can I use other chemicals instead or will it damage anything?


Ideally, you are correct: it is advisable and recommended to use a WoolSafe prespray (or any other detergent) on wool and often nylon as well. But if the soil levels are very heavy, and I expect they will be due to the lack of cleaning regime adopted by the establishment, then you have to discuss the matter with the client beforehand. This may be described as “Extreme Cleaning”.

A WoolSafe prespray, such as B107 Prespray Gold (pH8) will deal with comprehensive soil levels and, after breaking down and releasing the soils, the chemical residue will reduce down, more to a level that the wool is comfortable with. Wool does not like being cleaned with very high pH or strong chemistry/alkalinity.

This is why all WoolSafe approved products are mainly low pH / low alkalinity. Wool fibres hate alkalinity but have no issue or concern with mildly acidic chemical levels. Strong alkalinity could damage the outer, waxy layer (or cuticle) of the wool fibre which will cause fibre deterioration and potentially leave the fibre(s) open to easier staining.

High pH chemicals can also destabilise the dyes and lead to colour-bleeding.

However, if the carpet is that dirty and soiled, then you may have to discuss the option of using slightly stronger presprays with the landlord.

He wants a clean carpet, but you don’t want to damage his carpet in the process and be liable to any follow on issues.

We would advise that you use Prespray Gold, diluted 30ml per litre of warm water but add B845 Citra-Boost to that solution, at a mix 10-15ml per litre of mixed Prespray Gold.

The Citra Boost will help to cut through the greasy food and drinks and as it is a solvent (oil-based) it will not upset the wool fibre.

Gently brush in the prespray and leave 10-15 minutes to dwell and break down the soils, before rinse extracting as normal, but with B109 Fibre & Fabric Rinse (pH4) to neutralise and condition the carpet. Using Fibre & Fabric Rinse will help prevent colour bleeding or jute browning to occur.

If you or the landlord are not happy with that result, then you may have to re-clean the carpets again, once they are dry, ideally a day or two later, with the same WoolSafe approved products.

Or, if you have discussed the results (potentially in writing) prior to the clean with the landlord, you may opt to use something stronger in alkalinity, such as S709 Multi Pro (pH10.5), S710 Trafficlean (pH11) or even S789 Power Burst (pH11) to deal with those increased soil levels.

It will break down soils quicker and more effectively but, as mentioned above, could cause fibre structure damage, jute browning or possible colour bleeding.

The WoolSafe Organisation acknowledge that the contract cleaning industry may use non-WoolSafe approved products in certain circumstances, but will always advise that WoolSafe products are used.

If not, then highly recommend that the contractor then rinse extract with an acidic detergent to neutralise the alkalinity, with such as Fibre & Fabric Rinse.

However, as a supplier of WoolSafe approved products, we advise you to stay in the “Safety-zone” and look after our little woolly friends!

Why not consider coming on a WoolSafe course (Fibre Care Specialist Training Course) at Prochem or at ?

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