A man is recovering after a lengthy battle to save his carpet cleaner business from the brink of bankruptcy.
The man, identified only as Mr D, was one of the first customers of Mr S and Mr B, the two men who run carpet cleaning businesses in the South East of England.
The men say their business has suffered a loss of around £150,000 after the government introduced a new law in April 2017 to restrict the use of carpet cleaning chemicals.
The new regulations, which were introduced to stop people using harmful chemicals to clean carpets, made a big difference for Mr D and his customers, who say their profits were reduced by at least 60 per cent.
Mr D said the new regulations were “extremely harsh”, forcing him to close down and close the business for the first time.
“We did not expect the change in regulations that have come into effect.
We had been around for 20 years, we have been here for 10 years, so we had always done a good job.
But it is a tough time,” he said.”
The carpets are dirty, the chemicals are toxic, they don’t dry properly, and we do not have the skills to do the job.”
Mr D, who works as a cleaner at a company called Clean-up & Cleaner in the East Midlands, said the changes in the law forced him to shut down.
“It’s a very difficult time for us and for the industry as a whole.
It’s a disaster for us,” he told Al Jazeera.
Mr S, the other man behind Mr D’s carpet cleaner company, said he had to find alternative ways to earn a living, including working in the construction industry.
“I’ve been doing carpentry for 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he added.
The regulations came into effect at the same time as the Government’s controversial Clean Air Act.
The Government said it wanted to protect the environment and promote the country’s health, and the regulations were designed to protect public health, but Mr S said the laws were unnecessary.
“People who are doing this work are just using the chemicals, the carpets aren’t cleaned properly and we are getting away with it,” he argued.
Mr M, a cleaning technician at Mr D�s company, agreed.
“They (government) are trying to restrict carpets because they are a health hazard.
That is why I am here,” he explained.
Mr A, a carpet cleaner and a former carpet cleaner at Mr S�s business, said it was unfair to say the chemicals were toxic.
“You can’t do anything about carpets and they are so hard to clean,” he replied.
“If you use chemicals to help clean them, you are destroying the carpettas.”
A carpet is the most important thing in the world.
You can’t live in a world without it.
“Mr S said he believed the regulations would be “a disaster” for carpet cleaners in the future.”
My job is to make sure the carpet is cleaned properly, to make the carpettes look nice, to keep them clean,” Mr S added.”
That is what I do.
“The Government has also promised to create a scheme to help carpet cleaners.”
Cleaner jobs are being created and will be made available to help people to save money on their carpets,” a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) told Aljazeera.”
Over the next year, we will be working with industry and businesses to provide additional support to help carpets be cleaned and cleaned up properly.
“Al Jazeera’s James O’Connor, reporting from London, said that although Mr D was one carpet cleaner who had been hit hard by the legislation, his business was thriving.”
This is not an industry that has seen a real change in years, or at least not yet,” he says.”
But it’s a start.
“He said it would be up to the Government to provide “a safe environment” for all carpet cleaners, and said it is crucial to help them find a way to survive.”
There is no reason why the carpette needs to be washed, the carpet needs to look nice and tidy, and there’s no reason the carpet cleaner needs to wash the carpetera and the carpiteras.
It just makes no sense,” he concluded.