A brief intro about Paul Pearce:

"I am married to Sandra, now celebrating 42 years and have 3 sons Liam, Matthew & Jay.

I started in the carpet cleaning industry in 1972. In those days, all the carpet cleaning was done using rotary machines with a high foaming shampoo.

I had small offsite works where we cleaned rugs & carpets. This was very basic but involved beating rugs etc., with a flail beater, thoroughly immersing them in running water and shampooing them, then a rinse and into a 48’ hydro-extractor. The drying room was basic but had multiple fans around the room with a gas fired boiler assisting several radiators. Rugs and carpets dried overnight.Mid 70’s saw bad winters where there was a lack of loft insulation and therefore burst pipes were common place. I very quickly became a trade carpet cleaner drying and re-washing flooded carpets for the trade. We were never without work.

In 1984 I joined the Carpet Cleaners Association (now NCCA) and moved on to their board in 1985 and very quickly got involved taking on the post of Trading Standards.

By now I had an interest in training as I had taken 3 schools with the Carpet Cleaners Association and 2 with Prochem. Next, I attended a 3-day Carpet Appearance Course run by an American company in the UK. By 1990 I was working with the training team of the NCCA of which I took over the running of the training side in 1995, where I changed it to a residential course over 2 days from 3 individual days spanning many months.

I took multiple classes through various IICRC educators and eventually became a Master Textile Cleaner which assisted me in becoming an Approved Instructor through IICRC in 1998. I have continued learning from various technical courses which include Cleaning Research International, BTTG and the dry cleaning industry. Indoor Air Quality Management schools both here and America, including a 5-day conference on Indoor Air Quality in Edinburgh 1999.

I teach carpet and upholstery cleaning along with other industry-specific courses for the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA), I recently developed a course on The Fine Fibre cleaning of cellulosic textiles which has proved popular given the current Designer climate. I am also an approved instructor with the IICRC for CCT, UFT, RCT, CCMT & HCT. I also teach for WoolSafe in the UK as well as many private companies.

During my time in the industry, I have been President of the NCCA twice, President/Chairman of IICRC & Chairman of the British Cleaning Council. I am currently the Technical & Training Director of the NCCA and Chair of Instructors & Schools for IICRC.

My day job is either teaching a course somewhere in the UK or assisting one of my many clients to solve their cleaning problems. I have cleaned and clean for many celebrity clients as well as royalty and enjoy the challenges this brings. I am also a Senior Carpet Inspector through IICRC as well as WoolSafe carpet inspector.

I also love to travel and have been fortunate enough to do this through my cleaning & training programs. One of my passions is reading of which I have an extensive library of books relating to the industry I love.

There’s always something new to learn and I make it part of my business to do so."

"Please, can you suggest the best way for cleaning a chenille sofa? My fixed-cover chenille sofa is 13 years old and in need of a refresh."

Chenille is classed as a novelty fibre and is made up of 3 elements. Which are the core, effect & a binder to keep it all together. It is then woven into a fabric and the surface will have a velour feel to it. After 13 years it would be normal for upholstery to collect a lot of soil.

When cleaning a chenille sofa, the first thing to do is to vacuum it well to remove as much dry soil as possible. This will reduce the possibility of the soil attaching further once it’s made wet during the cleaning. Sprucing up the whole sofa is quite a challenge as too much moisture can cause unnecessary staining. That's why its best to treat spills as they happen by absorbing the moisture as soon as possible. There are proprietary cleaning agents that can deal with surface soils on upholstery although adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions is important as the excess solution can cause staining as well as attracting further soiling.

If applying the cleaning agent it is important to dry off with clean white cotton towels as soon as possible, this will reduce drying times which enables the sofa to be used quicker. Some fabrics can absorb and retain moisture more than others so caution is always advisable and where ever possible the use of a professional upholstery cleaner from the National Carpet Cleaners Association is recommended.

All members of the NCCA have undertaken a recognised professional carpet and upholstery cleaning course and reached the required standard in the examination. These courses offer a thorough grounding in all aspects of carpet and upholstery cleaning. This ensures that all our Trusted Local Cleaners have essential knowledge for the safe and effective cleaning of carpets and fabrics.

["Cleaning a chenille sofa" was snswered by NCCA Technical & Training Director, Paul Pearce, and featured in the 'Ask the Expert' section of the November 2018 issue of Your Home magazine]

Accidents around the home will happen and most can be resolved, however some will require the help of a professional. Read our top tips for dealing with accidents.

Don't use too much water

Never rub or scrub

Don't use inappropriate detergents such as washing-up liquid

Don't mix chemicals

When using cleaning solutions, don't apply directly to the carpet or fabric

Don't panic

Scrape or blot any excess soil prior to treatment

Keep the fabric as dry as possible

Always test any solution/detergent on an inconspicuous area

Follow the recommended ratios & instructions exactly

To avoid spreading, always work from the outside of the stain inward

Persevere, some cleaning procedures need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired result

One of the biggest issues when dealing with accidents is that of reappearing spots or stains. These spots reappear in the carpet fibres due to the residue wicking up from the backing; it could be residues of spot cleaning agents and soil attracting residues. It is common that after D-I-Y attempts to clean up after accidents, that spots keep coming back after being cleaned.

If accidents happen and you're ever in doubt, always contact Trusted Local Cleaners

A basic guide for spot & stain removal from The National Carpet Cleaners Association.
Please feel free to download the Spot & Stain Removal Guide.


  • Blot up surplus spillage using absorbent cloth or white kitchen towel. Apply lots of pressure to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Working from the outer edge of the stain inwards, use a detergent vinegar solution, a little at a time.
  • Frequently blot with dry cloths.


  • Scrape up any excess using a blunt knife.
  • Working from the outer edge of the stain inwards, use a detergent solution. Blot dry.
  • Follow up with ammonia solution. Blot dry.


  • Scrape up any excess using a blunt knife.
  • Working from the outer edge of the stain inwards, use a dry cleaning solution followed by a detergent vinegar solution. Blot dry.


  • A Clean White Absorbent Cloth or Towel
  • Dry Cleaning Solution
  • Surgical spirit (usually available from local chemists).
  • Detergent Solution
    One teaspoon of gentle detergent for washing woollens, to half a pint (0.3 litres) of warm water
  • Detergent Vinegar Solution
    Add a teaspoon of white (NOT malt) vinegar to the detergent solution.
  • Ammonia Solution
    One teaspoon of branded household ammonia to one cup of warm water.


  • Mix one part white vinegar and four parts water.
  • Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray over the stain
  • Blot dampened area (do not rub) to remove excess moisture
  • Spread white kitchen towel (6-8 sheets deep) or absorbent cloth over the affected area and place something weighted on top

Images: Copyright © NCCA

Candles look nice but they can create many problems within your home. If candle wax has dripped onto your carpet, firstly don’t panic. It is actually possible to remove this once it has dried and hardened. To do this you will need a blunt instrument, such as a spatula, a heated domestic iron and some brown paper. Then follow the process below:

1. Using the blunt instrument, break down the wax and then vacuum away the hardened pieces.

2. Place the brown paper on top of the wax and move the iron around on top of the paper. This will remove the wax from the carpet. The trick is to keep the iron and paper on the move at all times, ensuring it is just hot enough to only melt the wax and not the carpet fibres. Do not use the ‘flat’ of the iron either, just lift it up from the back and use the front 30mm.

3. Once the hardened wax has been removed, gently blot the area with a piece of white kitchen towel dipped in either surgical or white spirit. This will remove any remaining grease residue and ensure that re-soiling does not occur.

Coloured wax can present more of a problem. This is because, when it melts, a dye or pigment is released, which can stain the carpet fibres on which it has landed. A suggestion in this situation is firstly to break up the wax with a blunt instrument and vacuum away. Removing the remaining pigment is a much more complex process, however, and it is advisable that you seek the advice of a professional carpet cleaner if staining has occurred.

If you are using candles in your home it is advisable to keep the wicks as short as possible; although a long wick will obviously create a brighter candle, it will also produce more soot.

The National Carpet Cleaners Association promotes best practice in all aspects of running a cleaning business. Our members must fulfil many requirements before being recognised as professional cleaning companies and becoming eligible to trade under the NCCA name. Best practice is promoted to our members through various means, including the PAS 86:2008 - Professional inspection, maintenance, cleaning and restoration of textile floor coverings - Code of Practice.

This Publicly Available Specification (PAS) has been developed by the National Carpet Cleaners Association in collaboration with BSI British Standards and with input from industry experts from all relevant sectors of the cleaning industry. PAS 86:2008 is the only government recognised code of practice for professional carpet cleaning.

The PAS 86:2008 is intended for use by the cleaning industry, however it is also relevant to government bodies, trading standards, the insurance industry, carpet manufacturers, consumers, retailers, training bodies and those involved in the management, cleaning and inspection of textile floor coverings. The PAS is applicable to all types and styles of textile floor coverings within the domestic and commercial environments.

When considering employing a professional carpet cleaner, consumers should ensure companies and technicians are committed to following PAS 86:2008 Code of Practice. Most NCCA members have already adopted the PAS as their official guide to professional carpet cleaning. The Code of Practice is available to buy in our Online Shop.

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