Posted on

Host Training Seminar

Our 2019 Host Training Seminar Dates are as follows

Thursday 4th April – Sorry No Availability
Tuesday 14th May – Sorry No Availability
Thursday 13th June – Availability

Summary of Training Seminar Content

Why is carpet different to other floor coverings?
2. A brief look at Carpet Construction and Fibres
3. What are the challenges posed by Carpet Cleaning – Its all about extraction.
a. What types of Soil are there?
b. Where does soil come from?
4. Components of successful cleaning – Vacuuming, Chemistry, Heat, Agitation and Time
5. Host System – how it challenges and can beat the standard industry systems
a. The importance of dry soil extraction
b. Releasing “sticky” soil. Water, Detergent and Cleaning agents – What are Host Sponges?
6. Hands on how to use the Host system. Filtration, Brush Selection, Technique
7. Improving the environment – Green Clean and Dry proposition. The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
8. Cleaning challenging fibres and Surfaces, Sisal, Coir, Triextra, Tencel, LVT and Grouted Tiles
9. Maintaining your HOST equipment with Steve Parker
10. Costing Methods – Per sq Metre or Per Hour or Per Day
11. Presenting HOST Carpet Cleaning
a. Problem Solving, Pre Treatments, Spot Removal, Post Treatments
b. When say No to cleaning and Yes to restoration.
12. A brief introduction to the Aridex Upholstery System

The Cost of a HOST Training Seminar?

If you buy a HOST Freestyle or Liberator Special Deal then the Training Seminar is free. We will even book you in to a local hotel, at our cost, on a bed and breakfast basis for one night. If you are a continuing user of HOST systems then this seminar is also free, sorry no hotel and subject to availablity.

Otherwise the cost is a measly £125.00 (VAT included) and if you then buy a system then the price will be reduced by the £125.00 you have invested.

Please email for more information or to reserve a place on a HOST Training Seminar.

Posted on

Cleaning and Maintaining Textured Hard Flooring

Cleaning and Maintaining Textured Hard Flooring such as laminated, grouted and textured hard flooring can be a real challenge. More people are becoming aware of the effectiveness of Host von Schrader’s Dry Extraction Carpet cleaning system in keeping carpet looking its best. However, many do not realise that the system is ideal for cleaning these types of flooring as well

Cleaning and Maintaining Textured Hard Flooring
LVT Flooring Before and After

Using the HOST Dry Extraction Cleaning system to clean laminated vinyl tile (LVT)  and laminate flooring is now becoming common practice in the US.  It works extremely well, on textured types of flooring – with a wood grain effect for instance. By using the HOST® SPONGES and our more resilient red brushes flooring is cleaned without the need for any moisture remaining on the surface. The specially designed brushes will ensure that damage does not occur.

Compared to more traditional methods of cleaning hard flooring, the Host System has some real advantages. The most important being that efficient dry cleaning of these floor coverings is always better than wet cleaning. This is due to a safety point of view as well as a health and environmental point of view. Also, dry means that the flooring area is not out of use because it’s dry immediately.

The ten second grout test will prove how the system can work on hard floors

Posted on

Martha Stewart

Sharkey had a little accident

Martha Stewart Sharkey


Martha Stewart said “I just love the way sisal carpeting looks throughout my homes, but just like any carpet, sisal does not fare well with spills, or the occasional pet accident.  Fortunately, I discovered a remarkable product that does a fantastic job of making those stains disappear.  Its called Host Dry Carpet Cleaner Shaker Pack.   This all-natural product is made up of a balanced blend of moisture, detergent, and a bit of safe-to-use solvents.  When needed, we just sprinkle the sawdust-like material over the stain and gently brush it in.  Host goes to work, dissolving and absorbing the stain and any odor associated with it.  After about an hour, you just vacuum it up and voila! no more stain and no wet carpet!  I’ve used Host Cleaner with great success and its good for all types of carpets.  Plus, I love that its environmentally friendly.”

Natural Flooring Care need not be as daunting as some people think, whether it’s Sisal, Coir, Seagrass, Jute or even Wool

To help you whether you are a domestic user or professional user of HOST we have got FREE Care instructions specifically for Natural Floorcoverings and Wool carpets. Click on the logo to access these instructions. Also, see the Host kits in the shop


Posted on

Gold Brushes OK !!

We’ve previously advised that it wasn’t possible to use our Gold Brushes (Code M1019) with the Freestyle complete with the Extractorvac vacuum – without demounting the vacuum. Simply the brushes wouldn’t work.

However, one of our export customers had a real problem with some degradation of a very soft twist carpet with other cleaning systems.

Freestyle Gold Brushes
Gold Brushes

As a result, we decided to relook at the attributes of the newer Freestyle machines using the machine as a complete unit. After much experimentation with a Freestyle Gold Brush combination, we found that it is OK to use these brushes with the complete machine.

However, our technical people say that “you do have to push/pull it more slowly, though. The soft brushes will not allow speeds that are achieved with white or stiffer brushes. Operators who cannot adapt their stroke speed will be frustrated. Those brushes are what’s right for delicate carpets”.

It’s good news, Gold Brushes OK !! The productivity of the Freestyle machine can be a maintained on delicate carpets and orientals. However, this only applies to machines with a serial number of 9995 and above.

Berber Carpet

The soft and loose construction of some Berber carpets makes it very difficult to brush them without causing some fuzzing and/or pilling. Even using the soft (gold) brushes on the HOST Machine may be too aggressive for some of these carpets. In this case it may be necessary to clean them by hand with a soft hand brush.

Posted on

Household Bleach (Chlorine) and Carpet

The use of Household Bleach (Chlorine) on Carpet is quite an emotive issue. However,  we agree with WoolSafe and don’t think that cleaning any carpet with household bleach is a good idea.

Here are some thoughts:

  • There’s a tendency to over apply chemicals and penetration of Chlorine Bleach into the backing and sub-floor can cause damage. Even if the face fibre is polypropylene which is chlorine tolerant downward migration of the liquid bleach can cause problems
  • Bleaches can damage the fibre and strip colour from other, non-polypropylene carpet in your home. For example, when chlorine bleach is tracked onto other fibres colour damage can ocur. Did you know that wool fibres immersed in Chlorine Bleach will dissolve?
  • Bleach is a potential hazard, especially to children and pets. This is because Chlorine Bleach may dry out but remains active when put back into solution with water, Unless Chlorine Bleach is neutralised, (do you know how to neutralise Chlorine Bleach?), it can be a potential hazard. If your pet comes into the home with wet feet and walks over, or sits, on the area that has been treated with chlorine bleach they could potentially suffer chemical burns. Babies crawl over, and children play on the carpet, why would you put them at risk?
  • Household Bleach (Chlorine) , smells awful even at low concentrations and is not good for your respiratory system. Using bleach in a spray puts droplets into the air and so is much easier to breathe in.
  • There are environmental concerns over Bleach, just look at the warning symbols on the side of the bottle. Bleach pollutes the air and water supply and is one of those chemicals that accumulates over time.
  • Bleach is not a very good cleaner, although a good disinfectant, bleach has no detergency which which we all know is vital for cleaning.

Bottom line

If you want to clean a carpet or just remove a spot then a dedicated carpet spot remover like HOST Spot Remover is the way to do it. Our carpet cleaning kits have all you need in them to solve spotting problems.

Posted on

Which HOST Brush Should I use?

“Which HOST brush should I use?” is a question that frequently comes up. Usually, this question is followed by “How do I decide when not to use a particular brush?”

We sell all HOST machines with a set of white brushes as the standard. The other brushes we offer are available as accessories. We made this decision because we have learned over the years that the white brush is the best choice for regular, every day Extractor Vacuuming in commercial facilities.

The users asked, “When is the zebra brush appropriate?” As always, the choice of brushes is dependent on several factors: type of carpet fibre, carpet texture (loop pile, cut pile), soiling condition and the process, for example, daily Extractor-vacuuming or HOST cleaning.
Carpet Fibre


Synthetic fibres, such as Nylon, Polypropylene and Polyester, can be brushed with stiffer brushes. Natural fibres, such as Wool, Silk and Sisal, are brushed with softer brushes.

Carpet Texture

Generally, brush loop pile carpets with softer brushes. Also, use softer brushes on Loop pile carpet made from wool and other natural fibres.

So the rule is, the lower, denser the carpet texture is, the more aggressive the brush that can be used. The zebra brush is best for low loop pile and low cut pile carpet. The higher, less dense the carpet texture is, the softer the brush that should be used. The gold and white are best for high cut pile carpet. The use of these brushes applies to all carpets, whether installed in a commercial facility or in a residence. A good test is to run the back of your hand over the carpet, does it feel soft or harsh to the touch?

Soiling Conditions

If the carpet is heavily soiled, a stiffer brush will deliver better results, but it is always important to be aware of the effect of the brush on the texture. There is a compromise between cleaning result and texture change.


Since daily Extractor-Vacuuming is a frequent activity, it is best to use the less aggressive white brushes for that purpose. Zebra brushes tend to wear faster than the white. Using them only for restoration cleaning is a replacement cost savings issue.

Every machine used for commercial premises should have a set of white brushes and a set of zebra brushes. While machines sold for residential use should have a set of white brushes and a set of gold & white brushes.

Remember, a set of red brushes will be needed if cleaning unsealed grout or other hard floors is part of your plan.

This should answer the question, “Which HOST brush should I use?”



Posted on

Armature, Field, Carbon Brush Life

The brushing unit of the HOST equipment is unique and careful attention needs paying to Armature, Field, Carbon Brush Life. The unit uses an armature and field assembly rather than a swap in motor and operators ask about the life of these various components, the armature, field and carbon brushes. We asked this question of our VP Manufacturing in the USA John Kwasniewcik. Also of Steve Parker who provides our engineering support in the UK. Their advice on maximising the life of armatures, fields and carbon brushes is that an armature is a wearing item and many factors determine its life.

Commutator & Carbon Brushes

New Commutator
New Commutator

The commutator is usually the part of the armature that wears out and fails. A few factors decide its life. Upkeep of the carbon brushes is most vital to longevity.

Changing carbon brushes before they wear down results in less stress on the armature by keeping the temperature of the commutator in the normal range. When carbon brushes are allowed to wear down past their normal life they bounce and do not make good contact with the commutator. This causes excessive heat build up and premature failure. Change carbon brushes in pairs and when they wear down to 8mm.

The type of carpet beings cleaned can determine commutator life. When cleaning a high or long pile carpet, the resistance between the brushes and the carpet increases slowing down the motor and causing it to draw additional amperage; this will wear out the commutator more quickly than running on a commercial low pile carpet. Another factor is Excessive downward will cause machine motor to slow and will draw more amperage, causing potential over heating.

Electricity Supply

A hidden factor that few look at is the incoming current to the machine. If the machine is designed to run on 220/240 voltage, it is not uncommon that many older residential and commercial facilities will see a voltage drop in their power lines. If voltage drops by 10% then the motor may slow down causing it to draw more amperage, causing excessive heat. This heat will not dissipate under normal run conditions.

With so many factors going into the life of an armature is the reason we do not advertise a set amount of hours for the armature. Each situation is unique and therefore difficult to predict the total hours of life.


carbon brush wear
Replace Carbon Brushes before they wear down to this level

Similarly, fields have no wear parts so they are not the same but can easily be destroyed by the armature drawing excessive amperage over time. The resulting heat will break down the varnish and cause the field to fail. The reason for the varnish is two fold.

First, it is to insulate the armature.

Secondly, it is to prevent the wires from moving and rubbing against each other when vibration occurs. Varnish breakdown would cause a direct short between the wires and instantly destroy the armature.

You will ensure a longer life for Armature, Field and Carbon Brush by keeping the machine clean, always ensuring that vents are clear to reduce heat build-up in the motor and making sure that   carbon brushes are changed before they wear down.


Posted on

Washing Up Liquid

Washing Up Liquid – More of a Problem Maker than Solver? WoolSafe say yes it is and what’s more we agree with them! This is what WoolSafe said.

“Which? tested several carpet spot removal products and graded them on price, ease of use and how well they removed spills. Which? also looked at home remedies and, in their wisdom, recommended using washing up liquid to remove spills from carpet. It was this very poor advice that caught our eye and WoolSafe began to dig a bit deeper.

The reason why Which? can recommend washing up liquid is because they don’t test the rate of soiling after application. What is the point of cleaning up a spill only for all the dirt to stick to the washing up liquid residue left behind? You just end up with a dirty great big stain.

WoolSafe also found, under controlled testing, that some of the spotters recommended by Which? caused rapid soiling, bleaching, colour run and one was even highly combustible!

We decided to broaden the testing to even more products on the High Street and this is our alarming discovery:

  • 75% – that’s 3 out of 4! – of the random selection of spot removers FAILED the WoolSafe standard tests (and are therefore not suitable for use on all carpet fibres, including wool)
  • Over half of the products will cause rapid soiling, leaving your carpet in a worse state than if you had done nothing!
  • Half the products are not even effective spot removers!
  • 25% will adversely affect the colour fastness of the carpet!

Of the 3 highest rated ‘Best Buys’ the top product failed WoolSafe testing on both colour fastness and rapid soiling….

So if you can’t trust 3 out of 4 spotters not to damage your carpet and you can’t trust Which? Best Buy advice, then how can you be sure you are choosing a safe and effective product?

The answer is really simple: look for the respected WoolSafe Certification Mark on the bottle or packaging. WoolSafe have been identifying the very best cleaning and maintenance products for over 25 years.”

We agree that a WoolSafe approved spotter, such as the HOST Spotter is the way to go. We would always recommend using the spotter on a microfibre cloth and working inwards on the spot and getting that spot into a solution. The other point to make is that the extraction of this emulsified spot is critical and using HOST Sponges either as normal or maybe as a sort of poultice works. We are more that satisfied that a failure to extract active cleaning solutions is a major cause of resoiling. Washing up liquid promotes resoiling.

Posted on

Health Check for HOST Machines

If you a HOST machine owner it’s well worth having an equipment Health Check? Having a Health Check every six months will ensure your machine is running at optimal performance and help to keep costs down at annual Service Time. Furthermore, for only £45.00 plus carriage and VAT you can book your machine in and gain some peace of mind.

Please note that this is not a service. If we discover any major faults or machine problems, then we will discuss them with you before we do any further work. The check comprises of drive belt checking, carbon brush check, brush shaft check, electrical check (includes insulation), full clean of the machine and a run test. PAT certificates are available on request for an additional £7.50 plus VAT.

Contact Steve Parker by phone 01244 289256 or by email for more information or to book a Health Check


PREP Traffic Lane Booster is used with the HOST SPONGES in those very difficult areas that resist cleaning. It is a powerful cleaning booster containing professional strength detergents and penetrating solvents. These combine to help break surface tension and emulsify excess oil film which binds dirt to carpet fibres.

Hence PREP Traffic Lane Booster puts extra cleaning power just where you need it; entryways from parking areas, doorways in restaurant kitchens, on hard-to-clean spills such as medicine, thick, greasy food, etc. However, use PREP sparingly, so only in a light mist. PREP is not the cleaner, HOST SPONGES is. Finally, see more at our product page PREP Traffic Lane Booster

Posted on

Brinton Carpet Approve and Recommend HOST

Brintons were founded in 1783 and have been manufacturing carpet in Kidderminster, UK since then. They are possibly the largest manufacturers of Wool blend carpets in the world and claim the pioneering of the iconic 80% wool/20% nylon blend. We have worked with them in the UK and overseas and they recoomend and endorse our system. Here’s what they say, “Brintons have an established understanding and appreciation of the HOST carpet cleaning system. The HOST system uses Woolsafe products and is recommended as a suitable system for the care and maintenance of Brinton’s carpets. We are happy to endorse the system as part of a cleaning and maintenance regime within both Commercial and Residential installations.”

HOST recognise that Brinton are a leader in the manufacture of Wool and Wool blend carpets. We agree that wool carpets have a justified reuptation for their long-lasting good appearance, excellent recovery from furniture dents and resistance to soiling and so retention of their colour. Wool carpets repond well to HOST Dry Carpet Cleaning and have a justified reputation for longevity that other fibres seem to lack. However, like all carpets when a spill happens its important to take swift action.

Synthetic fibres, while initially responding well to cleaning, over time seem to clean less and less easily. The reason is that as the fibres get damaged the little cracks and fissures that develop in the individual fibres trap dirt and spillages which then can be impossible to get out again. In carpet cleaning we have a term for this and say the carpet “uglies out”…

When correct cleaning techniques and chemistry are applied wool carpets are easily maintained and retain the highest level of appearance. This is why, despite the slightly higher price tag, they are still the carpet of choice for installations where appearance is paramount.