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July 2013

The official journal of the National Carpet Cleaners Association


Carpet Cleaners Carnival

Soft Furnishing Pre-Treatments


Published monthly by:

03 From the editor - The Carpet Cleaners Carnival 2013 06 From the President

The National Carpet Cleaners Association, 62c London Road, Oadby, Leicestershire, LE2 5DH. Tel: 0116 271 9550 E-mail: Website:

08 Stoneman’s Corner

Editor Nikki Law

10 Take care of your health with HMCA

Editor in Chief Keith Robertson

12 Acid degradation on upholstery 14 Re-evaluating your customer base 16 Pre-treatment of soft furnishing fabrics 20 NCCA tour of Blickling Hall, Norfolk 22 Let Controlaccount Plc clean up your debts 24 Asbestos... still dangerous and still here! 26 H & S - Risks from carpet cleaning 28 The safe use of equipment

Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Association or it’s officers or members. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the statements within this publication, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors, or omissions, or matters arising from any clerical or printing errors, and whilst every care is taken of manuscripts and photographs submitted to us, we can accept no responsibility for any loss or damage. ©Carpet Cleaners Association Ltd 1994 (Trading as the National Carpet Cleaners Association). No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Carpet Cleaners Association Ltd.


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Design Editor Nikki Law President/Technical Director Paul Pearce Vice President/Marketing Director Keith Robertson Vice President/Events Director Nigel Lay Member Liaison Director Glyn Charnock Assistant Membership Director Martin Johns Franchise Liaison Director Denise Pitt Corporate Liaison Director Rob Whitbread Training Director Christian Ramsey Co-opted Director Billy Russell Co-opted Director Allan Simmons

The Carpet Cleaners Carnival 2013


e are pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Carpet Cleaners Carnival (CCC), to be held on 14th September 2013. Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural Carpet Cleaners Carnival in 2011 and the expanded event last year, we are proud to again offer an opportunity for the industry to get together in an informal, yet still business-focussed environment. This exciting event is open to

their equipment, so you'll be able to see more working machinery along with the chance of hands-on testing. For friends and family attending the event there will also be a Nicky Law Newslink Editor number of 'other interest' stalls within the Pavilion. These will include things such as handbags, jewellery and the

everyone within the industry, along with their friends and families, and best of all‌ it's FREE to attend! As in previous years, the CCC will be held at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire. With its combination of facilities for both business and pleasure, and its central location, Wicksteed has proven to be an ideal venue for the Carpet Cleaners Carnival. The event, which will be held in the newly refurbished Wicksteed Pavilion, provides an excellent networking opportunity and includes an exhibition populated by top industry manufacturers, suppliers and advisors from within and outside the Association. This year the exhibitors will also have the facility to demonstrate

beautifully decorated, delicious cakes which were so popular last year. There will also be the opportunity for children to have their faces painted and an entertainment area with fun activities, games and competitions to keep your kids entertained whilst you browse.

Wicksteed Park Grounds and gardens Wicksteed is a very popular day out destination for families. It was one of the first Leisure Parks in the UK and is also an English Heritage Grade II Listed Park and Garden. Within the grounds and gardens of Wicksteed Park there is something for everybody to enjoy, Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page including: an arboretum, lakeside area, a railway, beautiful memorial gardens, a fairground and one of the largest children's playgrounds in Europe. Pets are welcome but dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and are not allowed in the free

Trust - the home of children's play - Wicksteed Park boasts one of the biggest and best free playgrounds in Europe, a fairground aimed at families with young children (up to the age of fourteen years old), racing cars, a lakeside area featuring water chute, nautical jets and boats and the UK's busiest

playground. However, there is a dog recreational field next to the camping site where dogs may be let off the lead.

narrow gauge railway. Attendees will have FREE access to the park grounds, play area and lakeside and the NCCA have negotiated discounted rates for families wishing to visit the fairground and feature rides. Wristbands for the rides can be purchased on the day, but in order to receive your discount you must present a voucher. So if you are bringing children, and are intending to visit the fairground and feature rides, please register numbers with the NCCA office and we will either post or email your vouchers to you.

Places to eat There are various food outlets situated conveniently throughout the park, so refreshments are always nearby. All food is freshly prepared on-site and ranges from Bistro dining to fast food and snacks. There is also a licensed bar in the Park View Bistro, which offers bar meals and a full children's menu. But if none of that takes your fancy, you could always bring your own picnic or barbeque food. There are a number of picnic benches around the Park for customers to use and there are also some brick BBQ's at the far side of the Park, built for customers to enjoy the most peaceful part of the Park, next to the caravan site and dog exercise area. However, be warned, these BBQ's cannot be prebooked and are available on a first-come first-served basis. For the kids (and the kids at heart!) Owned and operated by the Wicksteed Charitable


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Parking The NCCA have negotiated FREE PARKING for Carnival attendees. Please register your attendance with the NCCA office and we will forward you a free-parking pass which you must display in your windscreen. Caravan and camping at Wicksteed Park If you're tired following the day's events and you don't fancy the drive back home, there's no need to spend a fortune on accommodation because

Wicksteed offers a unique camping and caravanning experience that everyone will enjoy. You can pitch your tent or park your caravan/motorhome in the Park's on-site camping area, set in the tranquillity of the park's beautiful grounds. The campsite is fully equipped with toilet/shower-block facilities and there are brick BBQs close by, should you wish to barbeque your own food. Bookings for the campsite can be made by phoning 01536 512475. How to register your attendance at the event If you would like to attend, please contact the NCCA office on: or 0116 271 9550 to register. It is important that you contact the NCCA office as soon as possible to receive your FREE PARKING VOUCHER and your DISCOUNT VOUCHERS FOR THE FAIR AND FEATURE RIDES!

The Event n Organised by the NCCA n FREE Entry n Open to Everyone n Family Friendly Format n Networking Opportunities n Supplier Exhibition n Supplier Demonstrations n Hands-on Opportunities n Equipment for Sale n ‘Other Interest’ Stalls n Fun Games and Activities The Venue n Ideal Venue for Fun Day Out n Beautiful Grounds and Gardens n FREE Attractions n Discounted Entry to Fair n Camping Facilities On-Site n Easy Access from Motorway

We are very much looking forward to the event and hope you will be interested in joining us again this year.

n FREE parking

Wicksteed Park Barton Road, Kettering NN15 6NJ

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From the President

Paul Pearce


t's that time of year when people take their holidays, or at least some time off work; many of our clients certainly take a break during the summer period as their children have broken up from school. This is great, as far as getting to and from jobs is concerned, because there are no 'school runs' causing extra traffic. It means your scheduled time of arrival is usually unhindered unless, of course, you are like me and take advantage of those extra twenty or thirty minutes because you think it will be quiet‌ and then it all goes wrong. The downside of the school break, of course, is that your clients may not want their soft furnishings cleaned while their children are at home, choosing instead to wait until they have returned to school. So, if this is the case, what do you do? Well, you could try and obtain the work that definitely will be available at this time of year, for instance commercial cleaning. The obvious place to look is the schools and colleges. Because they close down for five or six weeks in the summer it presents the perfect opportunity for a thorough clean. In fact, you'd be amazed at how many other premises also close down for a week or two at this time of year. Now, you are probably too late to chase the work for this summer, as anyone that is running the


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maintenance department of a large facility would have already sorted out their cleaning arrangements. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try contacting them. So how do you find out which businesses will be closing down and when? Well, your first port of call could be to contact your local contract cleaning companies. Many of them will have information on business/commercial 'close downs', as they will probably have been called in to do the cleaning work. However, amazingly, a large number of them do not do clean soft furnishings themselves. So email or call them and introduce yourself. Tell them what you do and how you can help them. You may get a 'no' but you never know unless you try.

doesn't help. Also, cleaning commercial premises during a 'close down' period could involve some very long days and you may need to consider taking on extra help to complete the work. It is also worth remembering that low moisture processes are generally the preferred method of carpet cleaning in commercial premises. This is because more often than not there will be a low profile carpet or tile, which has been stuck to the

You might find that the same contract cleaners also look after the local schools, although the best thing would be to contact the schools and colleges directly. There are 24,000-plus schools and 300 colleges and universities in the UK, plenty of choice. If you do decide to take on commercial cleaning,

however, do bear in mind that it is different from residential or domestic cleaning in a number of ways. For a start, the footfall in these buildings can be phenomenal and the lack of daily maintenance

floor, and this will restrict airflow when wet extraction is used. This doesn't mean that you can't use wet extraction at all, just that you might need to combine it with a low moisture process as well. All something to take on board. Finally, bear in mind that there may also be hard floor surfaces that need cleaning too and it is not just during the summer holidays that commercial premises close down. Some businesses close down at other times of the year as well. So get to know these dates and plan your campaign well in advance so that you can be available to carry out the work when it comes in.

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Unusual use of ceramic tiles


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Keith Robertson

Stoneman’s Corner Delft tiles. Over four hundred tiles were used, all of which appear to be pre-used and quite old. It is only since my visit that I learned I might have been able to date them according to the depth of the tile. Early tile from around 1580 could be as much as 2cm thick but by around 1600 this was reduced to 1.5cm and in the latter part of the 17th century they were reduced to 1cm. By comparison a modern machine-made Dutch tile will be only 0.50cm. Dutch delft tiles started to be produced in the 16th century. It is suggested that Spanish, Moorish influenced tilers inspired and taught Italian tilers, some of whom moved with their skills to the Netherlands. Before long, white tiles with blue or purple patterns or illustrations were being manufactured in a number of towns throughout

Photographs Š Keith Robertson


f you are interested in the unusual use of ceramic tiles there are a couple of interesting examples at the National Trust owned, Packwood House, in Warwickshire. Packwood House started off as a timber-framed Tudor farmhouse when John Fetherston had it built in the late 1550's. His family lived there for three hundred years so, as you can imagine, many changes to the property took place. After some ownership changes in the late 1800's it became the property of industrialist Alfred Ash and his son Graham Baron Ash in 1905. After the First World War his son, who liked to be known as Baron Ash, set about altering the property to reproduce what, in his view, a Tudor house would have looked like. He had Georgian and Victorian alterations torn out and went about acquiring original materials, including oak floors, panelling and fireplaces from other properties, to achieve his goal. He built a long gallery to link the house with a barn, which was altered to become a great hall. Nevertheless, as it was a house that he lived in, he did make sure there were modern fittings where appropriate such as bathrooms. One of these bathrooms is quite memorable because of the considerable number of Dutch

the Netherlands and later these skills were exported to other countries, including England, when Dutch artisans fled from their homes during the eightyyear war. Delft tiles, also referred to as Delftware, are most often found on fire surrounds and belong to the history of architectural ceramics. They are decorative, often depicting scenes or activities, and have inspired study and collectors, including Baron Ash. Although we generally think of Delft tiles as being blue and white, they were also produced in coloured 'polychrome' format. A fireplace in the same bathroom contained a couple of purplish painted tiles. Another example of this colour can be seen in a fireplace in another National Trust property, Thomas Paycocke's House, in Coggeshall in Essex. It may be that Baron Ash was influenced by the Arts & Craft movements who, in the late 19th century, advocated using handmade tiles and also by the fact that Morris & Company (until the early

20th century) were selling Dutch made tiles. This, coupled with the fact that Delft tiles had a history that went back to Tudor times, may have convinced him that this was a continuation of a historically accurate idea, although used in a 20th century setting of a bathroom. It certainly appears that he went to the trouble of sourcing old tiles rather than freshly made ones, although it would be difficult to determine whether they all date back to the 16th Century. The second example of the unusual use of ceramic tiles at Packwood House is quite different. The main entrance to the house is up a couple of semi-circular

steps (pictured). If you look carefully you will understand these are presumably not original to that doorway, as the height has been increased by the stone mason inserting clay tiles, or paviors, to raise the height. He also spread the diameter of Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page the step by using tiles to pack out the diameter of the curve. The tiles have settled in nicely and the slightly larger steps allow you to comfortably enter the house. It is because ceramic tiles are such a versatile way to cover surfaces that they can be found in both modern and historic properties. There is also an interesting collection of early tiles not far from Thomas Paycocke's house in Coggeshall, in the Grange Barn, once owned by Henry VIII - a magnificent structure in its own right. If you have already added tile cleaning as one of your niche areas you may well get the opportunity to work on some historic tiles. Certainly there are

plenty of Victorian Tiles in homes all across the country, many of which are requiring attention. Occasionally, if a house is being renovated, tiles will have been hidden by glued-down vinyl or carpets and the new owners will need a specialist to bring the floor back to 'as near its original look' as possible. Sell yourself as a specialist and the rewards are greater than if you hang back and describe yourself as a cleaner. Part of becoming a specialist is to build up your knowledge, not only of what you can achieve but also of the history and background of the products you are working on. Visiting National Trust properties is one of the ways you can do this.

HMCA are delighted to offer NCCA members and their families their range of medical health cover and related products. Hospital and Medical Care Association are specialists in offering voluntary benefits exclusively to members of professional and trades associations and membership groups. They have over thirty years’ experience dealing with over 700 Associations in delivering first class service at highly competitive rates. They do not deal with the general public and do not advertise nationally. This simply means that they can continue to offer reduced costs coupled with first class service. Once you subscribe to any of their plans you automatically qualify for further discounts from their range of Loyalty Benefits. These include leisure, hotels and magazine subscriptions. Details will be provided upon joining and are enclosed in their Welcome Packs. HMCA also provide a FREE Medical Helpline which is available 24/7 and provided by a team of professional experts to help you with any concerns or questions you may have. All claims are dealt with efficiently and promptly by their experienced staff to ensure prompt payment on your behalf. On average, they have been proven to save up to 50% savings on similar plans. You can visit their website for further details or call them in person. They will be more than happy to speak to you and answer your queries. For further information you can visit their website at or telephone 01423 866985 for an informal chat and details.


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Acid degradation on soft furnishings

Peter Collins (Honorary Member)


cid degradation on upholstery, curtains and fabric wall hangings is a major problem in that it can change the fabric's appearance. For example, a fabric can take on a darker hue or look burnt. It is a slow developing problem that can discolour the fabric producing an orange, brown or tan appearance in uniform or irregular patterns. A cause of this is thought to be acid treatment or acidic fire and flame retardant finishes applied to a fabric which is then subjected to fluctuations in temperature, moisture, sunlight and heat during everyday situations. The most vulnerable fabrics are made from cellulosic fibres, namely cotton, rayon and linen, along with any blends including these materials. Applied finishes and acid salts used in fire and flame retardants affect cellulosic fibres. Problems can arise in fabrics that contain duck down or cotton batting, in the form of acid migration from the face yarns, which discolours the fabric. Fire and flame retardants have been a source of acid burning problems for some time and it seems to


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occur more in high quality and custom-made soft furnishings. In cotton, rayon and other cellulosic fibres, colour degradation occurs in an oxycellulose tan-brown formation, this type of damage can take several years to occur and is very likely to be permanent. The use of oxidising or reducing bleaches could, with careful cleaning, lighten the fabric, however at some stage the staining or darkening will reoccur. Unfortunately there are no tests to determine acid degradation or colour damage problems prior to cleaning, so be aware before you carry out your cleaning schedule.

First online only edition of Newslink! newslink ncca

The June issue of Newslink was the last printed edition you will receive. From this issue onward your monthly publication has become online only. Every month you will receive an email notification informing you that Newslink has been published online. You will be able to view your magazine by clicking on the links within the email and even download your own copy for your digital library.... freeing up valuable storage space in your office! So, if your email address changes at any point, please email Nicky immediately on: with your up-to-date details. PLEASE NOTE: IF WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE NOTIFICATION EACH MONTH WHEN NEWSLINK HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. July 2013

The official journal of the National Carpet Cleaners Association


Carpet Cleaners Carnival

Soft Furnishing Pre-Treatments

Member referral report Since publishing a referral statistics report in last month's Newslink there have been 81 recommendations for full members provided by the NCCA. This number is made up of 33 referrals from the NCCA office, 46 potential customers contacting members direct through the website and 2 referrals to members without an email address, which have been tracked by the office.

congratulations to all delegates on the July c&U course! we are pleased to announce that we had a 100% pass rate for the first times ever. well done everyone!

New NCCA Members BCC - Bradleys Carpet Cleaning Portsmouth, Hampshire Fentons Carpet Care Reading, Berkshire Razzle Dazzle Cleaning Services Ltd Henstridge, Somerset Re-Nu Life Ltd Clacton on Sea, Essex Deep Clean Eco Steam Old Colwyn, Clwyd Clean N Restore Lechlaid, Gloucestershire

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Re-evaluating your customer base


've recently had a couple of experiences that demonstrate exactly why I choose to focus my business on 'high-end' clients and - if you don't already do the same - may even lead you to reevaluate your own customer base. The first involved a recent job in a nice area of a nearby town, where all the homeowners are reasonably high-end with large detached houses. I had previously cleaned the carpets for this particular client some years ago. On this occasion, as I entered her living room I asked how long the carpet had been down (I had assumed that she'd changed the carpet fairly recently as it looked immaculate). To my astonishment she informed me that it was the same carpet I had cleaned years earlier! But it's what she said next that surprised me the most. She asked “Do you think it will clean?” Isn't that interesting? My perception was that it looked as though it didn't require cleaning. Her perception was that it may be beyond cleaning. I thought to myself “How can I get more clients like her?” Contrast that with a man I visited for a quotation a few years ago. After telling me on the phone that the carpet was not really dirty or stained, I made a home visit. His living room carpet looked as though it had been left outside


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David Coker

in a skip all night in the rain! Needless to say it was beyond cleaning. But it was his perception of the state of his carpet that perplexed me most. And that's often the case with the bottom end of the market for carpet cleaning. The lesson here is that OUR TARGET MARKET IS VERY IMPORTANT. You cannot really serve two ends of the market with the same business. It's much better to focus on high-end clients. They have the money to pay for quality and, in fact, demand it. And their carpets are often much easier to clean because they are maintained more regularly. And there's another benefit to focussing on high-end clients. I recently lost a regular carpet cleaning contract with some commercial premises, which I'd had for over five years (I'd managed to clean the carpets when even a national franchise was unable to get them clean). I always cleaned additional areas at no extra charge and came out to remove stains at no charge on several occasions. I was informed by phone that our contract was ending. The reason? Their office cleaners were now branching into carpet cleaning and they wanted to give them a chance. No negotiation. It was a done deal. This rarely happens with high-

Diary Dates 2013 end clients. If you do high quality work and look after their best interests then they are just glad they've found you and will use you again and again. By the way, the lady I mentioned with the immaculate looking carpet paid just under five hundred pounds for work that took just over three hours‌ and the carpets were so easy to clean. She has just written to me saying that she is delighted with our service and will happily refer us to others. Now, that's what I call an ideal client.

NCCA COURSES Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning 27th - 28th September 22nd -23rd November Spot & Stain Removal 25th October Health & Safety 19th September Carpet Cleaners Carnival 14th September (Wicksteed Park, Northamptonshire) NCCA courses held at NSPCC Training Centre, Leicester unless otherwise stated. Visit: for booking forms and further details.

IICRC COURSES (HERTFORDSHIRE) Carpet Cleaning Technician with Paul Pearce 29th - 30th October Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician with Paul Pearce 12th - 13th November Held at Alltec Network, Royston, Hertfordshire. Tel: 01763 208222

IICRC COURSES (SURREY) Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician with Adam Jankowski 6th - 7th November Applied Structural Drying Technician with Adam Jankowski 19th - 21st November Held at National Flood School, Surrey. Tel: 01252 821185 Visit: for further details on all IICRC Training Courses.

Pre-treatment of soft furnishing fabrics Derek Bolton


ne of the most important, yet most ignored, items used in the pre-treatment of soft furnishing fabrics is the agitation procedure. We usually talk about suitable hand tools or appropriate chemical mixes but what about the application and agitation of chemicals on the fabrics. Those of you who know me well will know that I have a bit of a brush fetish (for cleaning purposes that is!). I must have well over a dozen brushes in my kit box - one for every conceivable fabric or situation - and each one is invaluable at some point. The thing with brushes is that they last for an awfully long time (which is good), unless of course you happen to leave a favourite on site; this can be quite annoying, especially if you forget exactly where you left it. Over the years I have disciplined myself to operate from a central workstation (a bit of Flotex carpet) so that when I finish with an item, be it a brush or a pre-treatment spray, I return it to the central point. There is very little chance of forgetting it that way‌ you can only have so many senior moments‌ it gets expensive. Getting the pre-treatment onto the fabric I tend to use one of two methods: 1) Apply an appropriate chemical pre-treatment with a hand-held spray unit (1 - 1.5 litre size with a fine tip). 2) Apply an appropriate chemical pre-treatment

using either a natural or synthetic sponge. Some technicians prefer to use a hand-mitt or a microfibre cloth. I have rather large hands so the latter two are not suitable for me. I can then add additional appropriate chemicals as required using trigger sprays to prevent any over-wetting. Agitation bits and pieces 1) Brushes: There is an infinite variety of brushes available

and I reckon I have most of them. Be careful if you have some of the harsh, plastic scrub brushes. They were fine on the old Dralon fabric of yesteryear but the more delicate fabrics require a gentler approach. Try some of the softer horsehair brushes. Be very careful when cleaning some of the modern Viscose fabrics, as agitation with stiffer brushes can sometimes severely damage the fabric. There are smaller brushes for tamping

which are also suitable for the indented button areas or pleats in the fabric. I still have one of the old Holloway rotary shampoo brush machines (see photos overleaf) and 'yes', it still comes out on odd occasions. It's a bit of a heavy beast but still does the job. My old Von Schrader contra rotating brush shampoo machine served me well for many a year but has sadly now gone to a recycling plant. Continued on next page

2) Natural or Synthetic sponges: When using techniques for some of the more delicate fabrics, it is crucial that wetting be minimised. The use of sponges enables you to create a foam that will allow a maximum amount of active detergent to contact, and hold, within the soiled face of the fabric with very little moisture penetration. The appropriate chemicals in this technique

My trusty machine

should be a neutral pH thereby eliminating the risk where pH sensitive dyes may be an issue. 3) Hand Mitt: These items look like small carpet bonnets. A hand mitt can be dipped into a shampoo solution or as a follow up to a light spray pre-treatment; this enables a quick preconditioning with complete control of moisture. 4) Terry Towelling: I use these absorbent cotton towels after an extraction process to remove any excess moisture that is left; it also enables me to see if I have removed all the soil from the fabric. Reminders

ŸCheck all chemicals prior to use in respect of colour bleed.

ŸCheck fabric colours for crocking.

ŸCheck fabric for any pH sensitive dyes.

ŸCheck for any pre-existing damage. There are others, but as a good NCCA member you will be doing these checks anyway… won't you?


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Photographs (machinery) © Derek Bolton

Continued from previous page

NCCA tour of Blickling Hall, Norfolk Glyn and Maureen Charnock


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NCCA member, Peter Jones, outside Blickling Hall

owner, Phillip the 11th, Marques of Lothian, who died in 1940. One of its claims to fame is that Ann Boleyn was born there in 1505, although some historians believe she was born at Hever Castle in Kent, another of the family's homes. Paintings by Gainsborough and furniture by Chippendale are just a couple of names to drop in the vast array of treasures housed at Blickling. Our first insight at conservation came when our guide told us, as we

All photographs Š Glyn Charnock


s we walked from the car park to the South front of the Jacobean Blickling Hall it started to rain, it was at that point we were glad we hadn't booked a tour of the spectacular gardens! We had, however, booked two guided tours of the house before it opened to the public, as there were too many of us to be accommodated on a single tour. Blickling Hall was built on the site of a medieval hall in 1616 by Sir Henry Hobart (pronounced Hubbard), but Keith Robertson at the on-site shop. They say a there has been a picture paints a thousand words... Oh how true! significant building on the site since before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Blickling was the very first historic house bequeathed to the National Trust by its last private

Our tour guide in full flow

entered the Chinese bedroom, that the Chinese wallpaper (hangings) made from bamboo and linen had been removed, cleaned and replaced. After a fire hydrant burst in the attic a few years ago, leaking gallons of water and damaging the ceiling, a lavishly painted ceiling above was revealed which the last private owner apparently didn't like, so had covered with plasterboard! A tapestry of Peter the Great, woven in 1764 and given to the 2nd Earl as a gift by Catherine the Great, was so big that a room was built just to be able to display it. This room has matching wall hangings, ceiling and furniture in delicate pink and an ideally suited Axminster carpet on the floor. There was so much to take in that it would have been nice to have re-walked the tour route at

leisure, but our one-hour 'highlights' tours took over an hour and a half, possibly because of questions the guide couldn't answer - he did spend quite a few moments frantically searching through his notes! It's interesting that a bunch of carpet cleaners can stump an expert on a historic house tour! After meeting up with those who went on the first tour, we only just had time for a sandwich (in the pub of course!) before it was time to set off to the National Trust Conservation Studio where we got to see the awe inspiring processes undertaken to stabilise and preserve the most historic, irreplaceable carpets, tapestries and fabrics in the country.

Crewel work footstool

Read all about our tour of the National Trust Conservation Studio in the next issue of Newslink.

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Let Controlaccount Plc clean up your debts


e are pleased to inform you that the NCCA is working in partnership with Controlaccount Plc to help our members in dealing with slow paying customers. Controlaccount aim to collect your outstanding accounts within a fourteen-day cycle to help prevent further action by litigation, which is a service they also provide should all else fail. The NCCA have negotiated a preferential rate on a no-recovery no-fee arrangement and so Controlaccount are able to recover your outstanding commercial accounts for 7.5% of whatever balance is collected. In addition, if they can add LPA interest and compensation (late payment act) to cover part of recovery costs these fees will reduce to just 5% commission charged on monies collected. Their service includes: ŸA dedicated team of collectors with an expert knowledge of commercial and consumer debt, enabling them to collect your accounts with

minimum disruption to you or your business. ŸFully automated systems to deal with all queries you may have. ŸOnline referral system for ease of notifying them of any accounts you wish them to chase. ŸOnline notification systems keeping you fully informed of conversations they have had with your customers. ŸOnline reporting providing up-to-the-minute information on all accounts placed with them for collection. ŸIn house legal system, should it be necessary for legal proceedings to be issued, with the same upto-the-minute reporting facility allowing you, as the client, so see exactly what point all proceedings have reached. For additional information please Contact Chris Lisle on 0777 8776580 Company website:

COMPETITION NNER! STILL NO WI Would you like to train as a floor sanding professional? Well... this is your chance! Simply identify what you think caused the stain (right) on an oak kitchen work top and, on a less serious note, what you think it resembles, AND YOU COULD WIN A PLACE ON OUR FLOOR SANDING COURSE - WORTH £395 + VAT! For your chance to win, email your answers to Terry Guilford at:

HERE’S A CLUE: famine staining



Asbestos... still dangerous and still here! Terry Guilford (The Ultimate Floor Sanding Co.)


n February 2012 my mother died of lung cancer. This in itself was not too unusual because it is, by far, the most prolific form of cancer. Specifically though - and this is where it becomes a little more curious she died of pleural mesothelioma… blank faces all round I am guessing. Ok, let's start to fill in some of those blanks. Her illness was caused by asbestos, yet she had never worked in industry and, in fact, was a carer for her mother in her early life and a carer for her family in her later life (as was common in those times). As a woman, her risk of contracting asbestos-related disease was low, 1 in 60 for men but only 1 in 773 for women. Interestingly, however, the occurrence of secondary contamination is actually higher in women… I shall come back to that. Whilst most forms of cancer are decreasing, the incidence of mesothelioma is on the increase (four-fold since the 1980s). It is not due to peak


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until 2016 and the UK has the second highest incidence in the world. All very interesting I hear you say, but what on earth has this got to do with the flooring industry? Well, about six weeks ago a colleague rang me and asked if I had ever sanded off vinyl floor tiles. They were in his daughter's bedroom and he wanted rid of them. Spot the danger yet? No, neither did he. The fact is that in properties built before 1980, vinyl tiles could contain asbestos and, also, if those tiles are 9”x 9” there is a 95% chance that they DO contain asbestos. Incredibly, despite the fact that the Romans identified the link between this naturally occurring mineral, and the early deaths from respiratory disease of the slaves who mined it, we decided to put it in just about everything once the industrial revolution kicked in. The dangers of asbestos were known for centuries but unbelievably we didn't just use it

where it was essential (to be fair there weren't insulating alternatives for many years) we actually chose to put it in where there were alternatives we could have used. Its usage peaked in 1963, until eventually blue and brown asbestos were banned in 1985 and white asbestos in 1999. In the flooring industry, vinyl sheeting, vinyl tiles, the adhesives and mastics to fix them, the backing papers and the damp proof membranes underneath them can present problems. If you leave these products alone they are considered benign, but cutting, sawing or sanding them not only endangers health but may be illegal, (see .htm) and this is where I come back to my earlier point about secondary contamination. If you have no regard for your own health then that is your choice but please consider the health and wellbeing of those around you. One of the theories put forward for my mums death was that she breathed in a fibre (it only takes one) from her father's overalls when she was a child (he was a plumber) and fifty-odd years later it killed her.

They wouldn't have been aware of the dangers in those days, but we are. I am sure you'll appreciate why this subject is so close to my heart. Indeed I was asked to write this article on several occasions but felt I wasn't qualified. The information, however, is out there and very accessible (even down to the names of the companies prosecuted for breach of the legislation, if you work in public buildings don't add your name to the list). My colleague, once alerted to the danger his tiles potentially posed, was quickly able to access the specific information he needed and take the required action. If you work in any industry where you MAY come into contact with asbestos you are legally obliged to undergo awareness training. Remember: asbestos contamination is usually recognised many years after it has occurred, by which time it may have caused an illness for which there is currently NO CURE. Sources:

Article written in memory of Ruby Guilford

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H & S - risks from carpet cleaning

Steve Scotter

Steve Scotter was a carpet cleaner and a member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association for many years. He now works for NCCA Corporate Member, Hydro-Dynamix Ltd, as a NEBOSH qualified Health and Safety Manager.


oes health and safety scare you? If it does, don't despair, just keep it simple. Carpet cleaning, carried out by a skilled technician, should be low risk so long as attention is paid to the workplace and the task in hand. Self-employed technicians need to concentrate on earning a living, which can make Health and Safety regulations seem like an inconvenience, but if you work to simple systems it can be easy to comply with the regulations.

Main risks from carpet cleaning 1) Manual handling. 2) Electric shock. 3) Slip hazards from damp cleaned surfaces. 4) Trip hazards from hoses and electrical leads. 5) Exposure to chemicals and hazardous substances.


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1) Manual handling If you're self-employed you need to take care with lifting, i.e. straight back, do not twist when lifting etc. If you employ technicians you will need a company manual handling policy and the technicians must be trained in manual handling otherwise it could be very difficult trying to defend a claim against your company. 2) Electric shocks In the UK we have one of the most dangerous electrical supplies; a 240 volt electrical shock can kill in 55 milliseconds. The consumer unit circuit breakers (if fitted) will not protect you as they do not work

quickly enough. You should fit Residual Circuit Devices (RCD's) to all your equipment. PAT testing is not a legal requirement, however there is a legal requirement for maintenance of electrical equipment at work and one way to prove that electrical equipment is being maintained is to have items PAT tested. 3) Slip hazards Restrict the work area from residents and pets. Warning signs should be used, but why not have signs fitted to the sides of equipment where possible. Preferably you should dry carpets whilst you are onsite. 4) Trip hazards Re-route cables and hoses wherever possible; keep your workspace tidy as work progresses. 5) Exposure to hazardous substances The regulations covering this are the: Control of Substances Harmful to Health regulations: COSHH 2002. You must not expose people or technicians to harmful substances; this applies to all substances not just chemical usage. When using chemicals always follow the MSDS, never mix chemicals.

Asbestos: Many carpet cleaners will probably not come into contact with asbestos or Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). However, if you carry out flood restoration work you could come into contact with asbestos, or ACM's, and therefore there is a legal requirement for technicians to be trained in asbestos awareness and have refresher courses every twelve months. Risk assessment If you employ less than five people you still need to carry out a risk assessment, but it does not have to be written down. However, if it is not written down how can you prove it should someone be injured? Take a few minutes to write down the risks and control measures required. Generally Please be careful in your daily work, unfortunately there are some people out there that are looking to make personal injury claims, don't be the fall guy. (Next month: Asbestos in domestic buildings). Note: The NCCA run an excellent Health and Safety course specifically for the carpet and upholstery cleaner. The date of the next course is 19th September.

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The safe use of equipment

Ashley Sheppard (Eversheds LLP)


he Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 ‘PUWER’ have been in force for over fourteen years; placing a number of duties on those who own, operate or have control over work equipment. The most basic duty, set out in Regulation 4, is clear: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided.” An article two months ago highlighted the basic duties that apply to any employer when equipment is being used. However, questions have arisen as to the interpretation of the above duty and one particular question relates to changes made to equipment after it has been purchased. Following the supply of equipment, changes may be made to improve performance, make the equipment easier to use or, in some cases, quicker to use. The dangers of equipment use were made clear in the prosecution of ThreeShires Limited. The prosecution followed the death of Tony Robinson, who died after a link from a chain, spinning at around three hundred miles an hour on a petrol strimmer, became detached and hit him on the back of the neck causing fatal injuries¹. Whilst ThreeShires did not employ the contractors performing the strimming works, the company was nonetheless prosecuted for failing to consider the risks of the attachment. ThreeShires was fined £15,000 (plus £10,000 costs) and the attachment


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has now been banned. Moving on from the above case, which related to equipment being brought in to the workplace; whenever altered equipment is used in the workplace, it is important for the employer to ensure that the following is undertaken: 1) Risks of use are assessed - the relevant risk assessment for a particular activity using the new equipment should be revisited. This should not simply be an 'admin' exercise, but may involve others such as the person responsible for the modifications or employees who will be expected to use the altered machinery. 2. Inspection is carried out - following any major modification, the equipment should be inspected. This will be in addition to any normal maintenance or inspection regime and will assist with the other tasks set out in this article.

3. Adequate health and safety information and instruction is provided - training should also be provided to supervisors/managers of those that use equipment. If only minor changes have been made, training may not be necessary (for instance, where the changes do not relate to how the equipment is used by the operator or the relevant safety features). You should consider how any training is delivered, particularly if employees struggle with English language skills. Training records should then be updated explaining any new information. 4. Guarding is appropriate to prevent injury changes to equipment may require a review of the necessary guarding or PPE. Guarding should be reviewed to ensure that it is still sufficient or whether new technology has allowed improvements to guarding. Employees who use equipment are often best placed to advise on what guarding is required and where there may be 'gaps'. Thought should also be given as to how PPE or other guarding may make tasks more difficult or create new risks. The above requirements need to be met by the employer of those using the equipment. Where you instruct third parties to perform the work, your duty extends to making sure that the employer has carried out the above. In the case where employees bring their own

equipment to work you, as the employer, should have some control. It is not enough to simply allow the use of such equipment. An employer must either ban the use of personal equipment or follow the steps identified above and, as in previous articles on this topic, ensure that it is safe. The Health and Safety Executive has published an Approved Code of Practice and additional guidance on PUWER². Whilst not strictly law, any competent employer will want to ensure that it meets the standards set out in the guidance, as explained in the document itself: “Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice.” The risk of equipment misuse is clear, however, the risks from modifications (whether authorised or not) are often ignored. It is important that you get to grips with the equipment that is used by your workforce; has it changed since it was initially used and how are you sure that it is still safe? ¹ ²

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Items for sale BUSINESS FOR SALE Small, long-established, reputable NCCA Registered, working carpet, upholstery and soft furnishings cleaning company. Essex based. Owner Operator retiring. To be sold as a complete package only. Mobile HWE and dry cleaning system. Domestic and commercial clients. Genuine interested parties only please to call 07903 497298 and leave details. EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Prochem 250 ft vacuum hoses for truck mount - £150.00. Chemspec hose reel for truck mount plastic - £200. Prochem sadle tank for truckmount 227 litre/60 gallons - £300.00. Contact for further information or contact andy on: 07970 544806. VAN AND TRUCKM0UNT FOR SALE - £4000 IVECO van, 2001, very good condition, 2800 cc engine size, 124,000 miles, fitted with shelving, all the necessary hoses, 2 wands go with it + Steam Way Sidekick 6100 truckmount, very good condition with 2165 hours on the clock. As an extra goodwill gesture we will include a rotary jet extractor R X 20, which is worth more than £2000 to buy brand new! Selling price is NON NOGOTIABLE because this very good price for someone maybe looking at starting up in the industry. Interested buyers are more than welcome to come to Market Harborough and test drive the van and truckmount. MOT until end of March 2013 and Tax until end of Feb 2013. Call Angelo on 07949 214588. VACANCY & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Experienced full time Carpet and Floor Care Technician required. Own van and equipment an advantage but not essential. Good business incentive package (profit share or buy in). Area coverage M4 corridor from Bristol to London. Apply by email to with full CV, etc.) or telephone: 01672 871882 or mobile: 07831 172743. CITROEN RELAY HDi LWB HR + TRUCK MOUNTED CARPET CLEANING MACHINE VAN: Year-56plate. Miles-38453. TAX-End March 2013. MOT Due-August 2013. Serviced March 2012. TRUCK MOUNT: Chemspec 860 High Heat. Hours-2537.5hrs. This was Chemspec's largest and most powerful petrol truck mount. The same was used as their demonstrator mounted on a trailer. It is designed as a dual wand system so a 2man team can work continuously at impressive distances if required, but equally can be run as a simple wand system. The machine is mounted on the vehicle complete with: large waste tank, large capacity clean water tank, retractable hose reel for easy filling, fuel tank, chemical shelf, 5 x 50' extraction hoses on van mounted reel for easy set up, 5 x 50' solution hoses on van mounted reel for easy set up, 3 x large carpet wands, 1 x Hand Tool, 2 x yellow/black hose pavement ramps, chemical tanks. We have it set up so you can have up to 4 different chemicals ready to go and can simply be switched from one to the other without moving/switching tanks. We have also invested and have installed an Eberspacher cab heater ( which allows the back of the vehicle to be kept warm overnight during the winter months if the vehicle can't be garaged. This runs independently from the engine. Cost: £10,750+VAT. Contact Peter Booth on: 01553 762762. newslink

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BUSINESS FOR SALE Small, well established carpet, hard floor and upholstery cleaning business (London and Kent borders). Package includes: 57 plate Vauxhall Vivaro LWB Van with 53k miles on the clock, Prochem Blazer GT Truck Mount machine with only 270hrs on the clock, established interactive website (which had SEO programme last year), chemicals, turbo drier, 250 feet of solution and suction hose and van mounted hose reels, together with a property maintenance company name, website and promotional materials. Contact telephone number 020 8309 6517. Sale price: £18,000 O.N.O. EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Mobile container/bin (red) - comes with lid. Heavy duty container on wheels. L55” x W32” x H31”, ideal hose and other carpet clng equipment storage. List price: £199 - selling for £95. Whole room drier/air mover. List price: £534 - selling for £250 (no VAT). Professional spot carpet cleaning machine, one year old, includes vacuum hose plus product cleaning hose - selling for £250 (no VAT). 6 Litre spray bottle (comes with nozzle) - selling for £40. Contact: Chis on: 02380 898 212 or or phone Chris on: 07970 040729. TRUCKMOUNT Banclene truck mount complete with base unit, stainless steel 80 gallon recovery tank, 100 gallon solution tank, 150 feet of Vaccuum/solution hoses, floor, stair and various upholstery hand tools, inline heater and misc parts etc..The van has been sold seperately. Selling due to retirement and will consider the highest offer. Call Derek at Aquamaster on 01845 537640 - mobile 07976 218304 or email derek CLEANING AND RESTORATION MACHINERY - EQUIPMENT ACCESSORIES Dri-Eaz Dehumidifier 1200 as New Boxed £450.00. Dri-Eaz Sahara Pro TurboDryer - New Boxed £150.00. Dri-Eaz Dri X Airchanger Dehumidifier New Boxed. Normal Price £1900.00. Our Price £500.00. Plus much more. For a complete list please telephone: 07580 182 325 or E-mail: MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT 3 Ozone plates 4'' x 6'' to fit Jetazone 600 ozone generator £15.00 for the 3, plus £5.00 p & p. Chemspec stainless steel 4 jet floor wand in good condition - £100.00 plus delivery charge if applicable. Please phone Pete Collins on 07885 804560. EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Prochem bazooka plus citrus gel Good condition £20.00. Extracta electric power sprayer. Excellent condition £40.00. Contact Lester Gale 07949 207777 based in Oxfordshire. RUG CLEANING CENTRIFUGE SPIN DRYER Saves time and energy drying rugs and greatly reduces risk of colour run - 18 months old and worked once per week doing about 15 - 25 rugs at a time, 3 Phase power, 7.5 kw motor, largest rug 3.5 meter and drum size is 39 cm, on 6 wheels so can easily move, comes with spare belts and bearings. Excellent condition. Cost: £6500 + vat. Call Pierre on 01223 863632 / 07554422838.

NCCA Corporate Members EQUIPMENT FOR SALE - ÂŁ2950 Top of the range Ashbys Ninja adjustable up to 400psi with inbuilt heater and Hot Solvent Functionality. 2 x25m vacuum hoses, 1 x silencer hose, 1 x wand, 1 x upholstery tool, 1 x dry cleaning solvent tool. Sebo Duo agitator, Sebo Vacuum BS36, 1.5hp blower dryer, Truvox high speed buffer, Prochem Stain Removal kit, 2 x 6 litres pressure sprayers, 1 x 1 litre upholstery / spot sprayer, vinyl mat for Ninja, and 1 terrapaulin sheet, Huge array of chemicals including: Prochem Power Burst, Defoamer, Prochem Pre Spray Gold, Prochem Natural Carpet Cleaner, Ashby's supreme Anti Grease, Prochem Browning prescription, Prochem Fabric and Fibre Rinse, Ashby's Extra Fresh, Prochem Odour Fresh. Box of other bits including shoe covers; brushes, polystyrene pads, measuring jugs, dry compound. All in excellent condition. Selling as my second business is consuming all of my time. Contact Richard 07903 841534 The Association advises that all goods are checked to be in a satisfactory condition, and comply to electrical and health and safety standards, etc. It is recommended that equipment serial numbers should be checked to ensure the seller is the legitimate owner. The Association accepts no responsibility or liability arising from any transaction or dispute between the buyer and seller.

+ Allied Insurance Services Ltd: 0844 8156211 (I) + Alltec Network: 01763 208222 (C/M/F/T) + Amtech UK: 01444 232211 (C/M) + Ashby's Cleaning Equipment: 01322 227806 (C/M/E) + Asset Finance Solutions UK Ltd: 01254 584404 (FI) + Bio Productions Ltd (inc. Stapro): 01444 244000 (C) + Camberford Law (insurance brokers): 0208 315 5000 (I) + Chemdry Franchising Ltd: 01482 872770 (C/M/Fr) + Chemspec Europe Ltd: 01274 597333 (C/M/T/D/F) + Cleanerswarehouse Ltd: 01772 434333 (T/C/R/M) + Cleaning Systems UK: 01334 656787 (C/M/T/F) + Cleanpro Software Solutions Ltd: 01582 518467 + Cleansmart Ltd: 0115 8240034 (T/C/R/M/K) + Cleantec Innovation Ltd: 0870 733 7733 (T/C/W/M) + Columbus Cleaning Machines Ltd: 01772 426527 (M) + Dri-Eaz Products Ltd: 01908 611211 (C/M/T) + Dry Fusion UK Ltd: 01772 433711 (C/M/T/W/Fr) + Forum of Private Business: 01565 634467 + Get Booked Up Software: 01405 813665 + Gleaming Insurance (insurance brokers): 0845 4740068 (I)

NCCA Member Benefits

+ Hi-Tec Cleaning Group: 02866 341416 (C/E/F/M/T) + Host Von Schrader Ltd: 0151 347 1900 (M/C)

Adelante Merchant Services: 01628 820500

+ Hydro Dynamix: 01622 664993 (Fr)T)

BeValued - Home Options (specialist claims management - insurance work): Call Shaun Mulvey on 01323 418432

+ McGregor Lloyd (insurance brokers): 0121 706 0616 (I) + NSL Restormate: 01670 590099: (M/C/Tr)

+ Mailboxes Etc: 01628 633336

Control Account PLC: 01527 882901

+ Nu Life Stone Care Ltd: 0161 480 7284 (M/C)

EMJ Management Ltd (workwear clothing and accessories): 02392 434650

+ Prochem Europe Ltd: 0208 974 1515 (C/F/M/T)

Hibu (previously Yell) - ask for Corporate Advertising Department: 0808 100 7890

+ Restoration Express: 01252 726106 (M/C/T/A)

HMCA (free legal and counselling helpline): 0117 934 2600

+ Sebo UK Ltd: 01494 465533 (M)

HMCA (medical health cover): 01423 866985 MF Oils (fuel discounts): Call Jake on 01202 339197

+ Oates Laboratories (Europe): 01772 433711 (C) + Rainbow International: 01623 422488 (M/C/Fr) + Robert Saunders Marketing Mentor: 08450 537129 (K) + ServiceMaster Ltd: 0116 275 9000 (M/C/Fr) + Stainshield Ltd: 01372 841467 (C) + Textile Cleaning Solutions: 01934 521155 (M/C) + The Big Clean: 0208 3934778 (M,C,W,K)

Payatrader: 01296 660177

+ The Ultimate Floor Sanding Co.: 00353 91846488 (M/C/Fr)

SiteWizard (website creation): 08450 608860

+ The WoolSafe Organisation: 01943 850817

Thompson Local - ask forCorporate Advertsing Department: 01252 390385

+ Woodbridge Comercial Ltd: 01279 422220 (C/M)

TrustMark (Diversity): 0115 9673767

+ Truvox International Ltd: 02380 702200 (M) C - Chemicals / M - Machinery / W - Wholesalers / Fr - Franchises / I - Insurance / K - Marketing / T - Technical Services / F - Fire Retardents / A - Auxiliary Services (Restoration Cleaners) / E Supply/Repair of Curtains and Blinds / Fi - Finance / Tr - Training.

.. It Y es. does l l y r ea o rk ! w


Going Going - Gone


Dye Gone offers a unique new package and application device to remove the severest of dye stains including: coffee, tea, wine, hair dyes, paints, candle colours etc. No need to mix - just spray - wait and the stain is gone.* *pre-test carefully and rinse out after stain is removed with cold water after use. Chemspec Europe, Tong Park, Otley Road, Baildon, West Yorkshire, BD17 7QD. Tel: 01274 597333 Fax: 01274 597444 E-mail: Website:

Ncca newslink july 2013