The National Carpet Cleaning Association has noticed some unethical marketing tactics that’s recently been published in order to increase sales in the cleaning industry. A “promise to safeguard your home against the deadly coronavirus” is raising questions as to whether or not there is enough scientific evidence to warrant this claim.
Since Covid-19 only appeared in 2019, sanitisation tests are still in the very early stages and there is currently no known chemical or product that can disinfect the 2019 coronavirus, Covid-19 from our homes. All theories are based purely on previous coronovirus outbreaks such as SARS or MERS. When these types of virus come into contact with non-living objects such as metal or wood, scientists state that it can remain infectious for 3 to 9 days. But Covid-19 is a new, or novel, virus and might not follow the same pattern. Perhaps it could even last for years, like smallpox. So who are we, in the carpet cleaning industry, to make such a claim? The only promise we should truly make is to “assist” in creating a healthier environment for susceptible individuals. But in doing so, what prevents our germs from being left behind around your taps and on your furniture? During this isolation period I would personally advise against any tradesperson coming into your property.
If you think you may have touched a contaminated object, the best way to combat the disease is to follow the NHS and government guidelines. That is, to remove solid particles with soap, as well as to rub potentially infected areas with products that contain alcohol (60% minimum), peroxide or bleach, taking care not to bleach your clothing or furnishings. This goes for any object that comes through your front door, including packaged groceries and medicines delivered by our kind volunteers.
In the near future when the government allows certain business to get back to work, carpet cleaners may offer a sanitisation service using disinfectants such as Microsan or Formula 429, but it would be impossible to guarantee a complete disinfection at microscopic level. I’ll give you an example of one of our carpet cleaning failures:
A new customer wanted to move into a house in which previous tenants had had dogs. The carpets were very dirty but the fibres were polyester and relatively easy for us to clean with our stronger pH solutions, brushing system and 80℃ steam cleaner. After spending a full day cleaning and disinfecting all the carpets, the house looked and smelled fresh and the carpets almost new again. In our experience, any customer would’ve been be delighted with the results!
However, we left the premises in the evening and because the house was empty the windows had to stay closed overnight, without allowing air circulation to dry the carpets. So, it was inevitable that there would be some odour the very next morning, when our customer moved in. After receiving the complaint, we popped over to investigate by noon and we couldn’t detect any odours at all. Yet when I knelt to the floor to take a sniff, my nose touching the fibres, I could smell it immediately. Had I known our customer would be so sensitive to dog odours, I would never have made this promise to clean her carpets and should rather have suggested fitting a complete new set throughout the house to guarantee a completely healthy environment.
We have the best carpet cleaning process known to mankind, with the quickest drying time, yet we couldn’t remove these dog odours. Even though we’d used Microsan exactly according to instructions, it was not possible to disinfect the carpets in totality. So, any carpet cleaner making the promise to eliminate all virus contamination is nonsensical. Don’t believe them.
If you’re susceptible to diseases, employ a deep-cleaning company to clean with soaps and alcohol, along with a specialist carpet cleaner to “do their best”, and then you should stay away from the infected house for a minimum of nine days. This time will allow the carpets to dry, emitting no more damp odours, and during this period the virus should hopefully have lost its ability to infect a new host.