A day that I was prompted to remember recently whilst being interviewed for an article in a trade journal is not one that I have mentioned over the years, but since the cat is out of the bag:
"What was the worst carpet disaster you've ever faced – and how did you remedy it
The worst carpet disaster is often the most recent one - those that caused us to suffer in the worst at the time often are the ones that give us the most satisfaction and often the most amusement in the fullness of time.
To illustrate,my worst self-inflicted disaster was in the mid-sixties when I had an idea to improve the efficiency of the dry vacuum stage. At the time I frequently encountered carpets that were swept with a broom as the only form of maintenance.Those that were vacuum'ed at all were 'oovered in the time honoured fashion of 'Mrs Mops' - a few random, high-speed stabs with a vacuum cleaner whose dust-bag was a fermenting midden as bloated as Billy Bunter in a pie factory.
Consequently the dry-soil load was far higher that we customarily encounter today. Also the efficiency of the vacuum cleaners I was using did not match modern standards. So I had the 'brilliant' idea of increasing the efficiency by introducing positive pressure beneath the carpet whilst sucking and beating from above – a stroke of pure genius! The ideal job to test this theory soon presented. A large third-floor room that had been used for many years by a theatrical costumiers.We had the task of bringing this thirty-year-old Axminster back to life.Two or three old cylinder vacuum cleaners had their hoses fitted to the blow end and then inserted beneath the carpet.They were switched on and I had the satisfaction of seeing the whole 36' x 20' of carpet majestically rise from the felt underlay like a low-profile fore-runner to the Millennium Dome.
It was with a feeling of great satisfaction and eager anticipation that my assistant and I went down to the Austin A35 van to collect our vacuum cleaners.We arrived back upstairs, kitted out with dust masks an goggles ( OK - war surplus gas masks- three shillings and sixpence from Jobstocks and a pair of dispatch-riders goggles from the same source ). I thought the room looked a little misty but put this down to the the slightly yellowed goggles. So we set about our task, each starting at opposite ends of the room.After a short while I looked towards Steve to see how he was doing – and could not see the other end of the room! The dust storm created by my 'stroke of genius' had reached proportions that would not have been out of place in the Sahara on its worst day! Needless to say, the planned clean did not take place that day! We let the cloud settle and spent hours vacuuming, only to return the next day to dust all the walls and ceiling, clean the windows and re-vacuum the carpet. It was only on a third visit that, after a further vacuum,we dared wet the carpet. I did not repeat the experiment."
The full article (complete with miss-prints) is at http://www.cleaning-matters.co.uk/st...or_new_growth/