Comment

Wall Cleaning Tips

The walls tend to gather all kinds of dirt, dust, and grime with time. However, cleaning them can be a daunting task, but doing it regularly is a sure way to keep your house sparkling as well as maintaining the walls in excellent condition. With some simple tips in your arsenal, you can easily clean painted, wooden, and wallpapered wall and get your home looking as good as new!

What you will need:

  • Buckets
  • Brooms and brushes
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • A piece of cloth
  • Warm water
  • Stain remover like vinegar for vinyl-coated wallpaper
  • Soap or detergent

 Tips for cleaning walls
 

  • Remove pictures, decorations and pull the furniture away from the walls 
  • Dirt, water spills, cleaning solutions and dirty water may trickle down on photographs or other decorations on the wall causing damage to them or giving you an extra job of cleaning them after finishing the walls.
  • Besides, furniture cleaning is labor-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming, therefore, ensure all furniture is pulled away from the dirty walls, or temporarily covered with paper or old fabric sheets. Doing so enables you to reach possibly neglected areas and also create sufficient workspace.

Use clear soap and detergents

Use detergents with no added coloration to clean the dirty or stained walls. The color of soap or detergent or dye sponges tends to react and stain the Wallpapers. The stain may be permanent or may require other procedures to clean which may damage the paper due to excessive abrasion and too many chemicals applied to the surface. However, this is not a challenge during cleaning of oil-painted walls.

General Dusting is sufficient for walls

Dusting may be done using a vacuum cleaner, dust extensions, dusting brushes or a piece of fabric. Cover a broom with a micro cleaning fiber cloth or an old piece of material if the bristles are tough to prevent them from damaging the wall. Ensure the dusters are clean to prevent dirt from spreading to other portions.

Do a patch cleanability test

Perform it before doing any cleaning to avoid damaging the surface with harsh chemicals or procedures – you can use a piece of cloth and warm soapy water. Identify an inconspicuous area of the wall and apply the cleaning solution lightly. Squeeze off the excess water from the towel and wipe off the area while checking if the portion becomes blurry and dries sufficiently. For painted walls, check to ensure that the solution does not cause any thinning of the paint.
The patch test should also be performed during stain removal to ensure the stain remover does not damage your walls.

Clean from bottom to top

Doing this ensures dirty water streaks or drips do not soil the already cleaned areas. Clean the wall in small portions, rinse with clear water and wipe dry with a clean piece of cloth. Clean the entire wall from one side to the other to avoid water marks resulting from inconsistent cleaning and changing the types and intensity of the cleaning solution.

Cleaning a wallpapered wall

First, identify the type of the wallpaper, which could either be a plain paper, vinyl wallpaper or fabric wallpaper covered with acrylic or vinyl. Acrylic or Vinyl wallpaper is easily cleaned with a damp piece of cloth. If the paper is heavily soiled, ensure you use clean, warm water with no soap or detergent for very delicate and light wallpapers. Use vinegar diluted with warm water to clean moldy walls and remove stains from a vinyl coated wallpaper.

Use light strokes to overlapping clean sections and then pat the cleaned area dry using a towel without damping the walls. Ensure that you wipe the walls immediately to prevent the paper from absorbing too much moisture, which might tear and damage it.

Care for wooden or paneled wall

If the walls are paneled or wooden, use vegetable oil and warm soapy water to clean and polish the soiled and stained surfaces to create a visually appealing surface. Use a soft damp cloth, and gently wipe the panel from the bottom to top without allowing it to soak the board.
Excessive moisture damages the wood and causes the finishing to warp. After the surface is clean, dry it while rubbing along the grain with a clean cloth. Rub in the oil into the panel and sufficiently buff it to shine the surface.

Note: too much water on the panel surface causes it to discolor.
 
Wall cleaning is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.  It is, however crucial to ensuring your property looks great and keeps the paint, the finish or wallpaper in an excellent condition.

Comment

Comment

How to get Rid of Pet Odor from Carpets

People really love their pets and they will care for them like their own children. However, people don’t like cleaning up after their fury little four-legged creatures. Especially, when it comes to removing pet odors from carpets. Let’s face it; cats and canines love to mark their territories and will do so on your furniture, beds and floors. The following information will explain how to get rid of pet odors and to keep your home smelling (and looking) its best.

How does pet odor ruin your carpet’s smell and appearance?

carpet cleaning

When a cat or dog urinates into a carpet the urine seeps into the fibers. When this happens, the strong urine smell will cause it to stink. Keep in mind that a pet’s kidneys filter out waste material. If they get enough water, then their urine will not have a very strong smell. Pets who are not getting enough water in their diet will have smelly urine. So, if your pet has a very strong urine smell when it pees (especially into your carpet) try giving it more water.

Pets with a strong urine smell will leave behind a scent that smells like ammonia. To get this smell off your floor and out of your home, you will need to perform the following steps below. Just remember to keep your pet hydrated as possible to reduce the overpowering odor of urine.

By the way, if your pet releases waste material onto your flooring, the strong odor of fecal matter will permeate into your home. The sulfur, bacteria, undigested foods, parasites and other waste materials are what makes a bowel movement stink. Once this substance is on your floor you will have to get it out – if you want to refresh your carpet’s odor. Now, that you have a simple understanding of odors; let’s find out how to clean them up.
 

Basic Feces and Urine Removal

You should start to clean up your rug right away, once you realize your cat or dog has used it as a toilet. First, put on a pair of rubber or plastic gloves. Next, get a small shovel or paper plate to get up any poop that might be on the rug. You can also pick it up directly with your glove covered hands. The next thing you should do is get a sponge or old rag to blot-up any fresh fecal stain. You can also use paper towels.
 
Try not to scrub the affected area because you can literally massage the fecal matter deeper into the rug.The same steps can also be used for removing urine. Just leave out the part about picking up fecal matter. There will not be any when a pet pees onto a carpet. Once you blot your carpet, you now have three options to further clean your floor.

1. Use a Reliable Carpet Cleaning Brand

There are some commercial cleaning products that can really do a great job with removing pet odors from rugs. They are sold as foams, sprays or solutions. Homeowners just have to spray them onto the affected area and let them sit for a while. Once the ingredients go into the carpet, it can then be vacuumed up or cleaned with a home carpet cleaning machine. Ultimately, if you use a commercial floor cleaning product, make sure you are following manufacturer directions to get the best result.
 

2. Hire Professional Carpet Cleaners to Remove Stains and Odor

A professional carpet cleaning company can be hired to eliminate stains and odors. They typically provide different types of carpet cleaning services that can accomplish this job. The steam cleaning method is arguably the best for removing pet stains. This type of cleaning really gives carpeting a deep and cleaning.

3. Splice your Rug to get the Smell Out

If a pet’s odor is so strong that it does not come out after a heavy-duty cleaning, then you might want to splice your rug. Some pet owners have gone to this extreme when it came to removing pet odors from their home.

Carpet splicing is simply cutting out the affected area and putting in a fresh piece of carpet in its place. This step should only be taken as a last step option since it is expensive and time-consuming to perform. Splicing a rug is useful for saving a fairly new or very expensive carpet from being completely ruined by pet odors. These techniques can also be used to freshen up your carpeting with the natural animal odor that cats and dogs have.

Specialized Carpet Cleaning Techniques

You might not realize this but there is specialized carpet cleaning techniques that can eliminate pet odors. One type is known as chemical dry. This technique is designed to break down urine molecules. It contains special oxidizer that works within hours to rip apart urine molecules and it should not damage your rug. It normally takes about 24 hours to work.
Some carpet cleaning professionals will use UV technology and black light to locate hidden stains in carpets and rugs. Once they find them they can use standard technology to use them or even heat treatment methods to remove the odor.

Once the pet stain has been eliminated the odor should diminish. If you still have a pet odor in your home, after you clean your rug, then the smell might be coming from some other part of your house. Just make sure to get rid of the stains if you want the odors to disappear. Ultimately, removing pet odors from your home is an easy thing to do once you know how to do it.

Comment

Comment

4 Things To Clean With Your Old Toothbrush

Toothbrushes have far more uses beyond brushing teeth. Toothbrushes have long been part of the professional cleaner's toolkit. So instead of throwing out your old brushes or storing them in a moldy cup, save one to make your house look shiny. 

Cleaning Tile & Grout

Tile is porous. It easily absorbs dirt, and stains can become near-permanent if not wiped away immediately. Fortunately, you can easily clean your tile if you have an old toothbrush lying around. Simply apply bleach or tile cleaner to the tile and then scrub vigorously. Ensure that your toothbrush has soft bristles. Hard toothbrush bristles can scratch and ruin your tile. 
 
Grout is more difficult to clean than tile. Dirt easily collects on its surface and mildew can begin to grow if there is enough moisture in the environment. To get rid of the grime and dirt, apply hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to the grout and then wait. After a couple minutes, begin to scrub vigorously until the grout is clean. 
 
Both tile and grout are susceptible to acidic soaps and cleaners. Checking to make sure that your cleaning agent is non-acidic before use will save you the pain of having to replace or repair tile and grout. 

Cleaning Animal Cages

If you own birds, rabbits, hamsters, or any other caged pet, you are probably used to scrubbing away droppings and food remnants. Sometimes droppings and food can resist the usual cleaning techniques (especially in the case of bird droppings). A toothbrush with stiff bristles will be able to scrape off just about anything stuck to your pet's cage.
 
Just apply soap and anything else you would typically use to clean your cage and then aggressively scrub at the areas your sponge was unable to fully clean. 
 
The unused toothbrush your dentist handed to you will probably suffice for this task. Just remember not to brush your teeth with it after you clean off your pet's cage. 

Cleaning Keyboards

Ever taken the keys off your keyboard? No? Well try it, and you will probably find enough dirt to fill a sandbox. All the crumbs from our late night Netflix binges end up under our keyboards, which is gross. Keyboard gunk is unlikely to affect your typing performance unless you have a lot of it, but it is unsanitary, and you should probably clean out your keyboard at least once. 
 
Carefully remove your keys (take a picture beforehand, so you remember how it goes back together) and take a moment to gaze at all the dirt you didn't know was on your keyboard. Then flip the keyboard over a trash can and use a toothbrush to scrape off the especially sticky or gooey parts that refuse to drop into the trash. 
 
Avoid water at all costs unless you have a waterproof keyboard (you probably don't), and do not use soap or any cleaning agent. But if you want to scrub with water, use a little bit of water and a paper towel to wipe down each key before you replace them. 
 

Cleaning Your Entire Bathroom
 

If anything in your bathroom is dirty, a toothbrush will probably be able to clean it. Most bathrooms have hard surfaces which are easy to scrub with a little soap, water, and a toothbrush. If you have mildew growing, just apply soap and scrub, but remember to check what exactly you are scrubbing. Tile, grout, and walls with paint might require different cleaning agents to prevent damage. 
 
And you bet your toilet can be cleaned with a toothbrush! Just apply soap and scrub, the toilet won't be damaged, unless it is one of those electrical toilets. 
 
Mold and mildew are usually a problem in bathrooms thanks to the steam made by our hot showers. It usually grows in cracks in the bathroom and in between tile, so you may have to poke around the corners of your bathroom to ensure that you are mold-free. If you do find mold or mildew, just scrub it away with a toothbrush and a little soap.
 
Tip: check the underside of faucets, shower heads, and the pipes below your sink for mildew and mold. These areas are often overlooked and usually, have the most mold. 

Comment

Comment

Benefits Of Cleaning With Essential Oils

When you want to clean your home in a natural way you should start by learning about essential oils. There are benefits to using these oils for cleaning that go beyond them making your house smell great, and you should read the tips below to learn how to best use various essential oils. They provide great scents and a good way to clean naturally, and you will love getting your house cleaned up when you use them.

Start By Using Lemon Essential Oil To Remove Stains

Got stains? Lemon essential oil can help with them. Add a bit of it to the water you are using to scrub your floors and you will get the stains and dirt out of them quickly. Also, use lemon oil to shine your faucets and sink. It works well to get all of the grime and dirt and stains off of surfaces, and you will enjoy the Pine-Sol like scent that it gives off as you are using it to clean. 

Peppermint Essential Oil Will Keep Pests Away

If you are worried about pests in the home and that is one of the reasons that you are cleaning, then you need to use peppermint essential oil. It is a natural pest deterrent, and you can use it in the bathroom, in your kitchen, and more.

Get Rid Of Stickiness With Grapefruit And Lemon Combined

If you have a sticky spot that you have been meaning to clean up on any surface, then you should try a natural way of getting it gone. Combine grapefruit and lemon essential oils together, along with a bit of baking soda and vegetable oil. They will work well to get the stickiness gone, and you will now have a way to remove the stickiness if it ever happens anywhere else in the home.

Pine Is Great For Deodorizing

If you want to deodorize your home, then you should use pine essential oil. It will help to get the bad scents out, and the scent of pine will make your home feel fresh and bright and warm. You can use it in all kinds of cleaning products, and you will have a natural way to get the bad smells out of your home when you do.

Rosemary Essential Oil Works As An Antiseptic

You can clean with rosemary essential oil because it is naturally an antiseptic. Many people use it for their cleaning needs because of that, and your home will be nice and clean and germ free once you start using it.

Deodorize Cloth With Orange And Lemon

When orange and lemon essential oils are combined they make a great cloth deodorizer, and you can use them for your dishcloth or more. You can combine them whenever you need to give cloth a fresh scent, and you will enjoy the citrus scent that they give off.

Tea Tree Is A Must Have For General Cleaning

You can mix tea tree oil with other oils to make an all-purpose cleaning solution. Make sure to add a good amount of water, and you can put it in a spray bottle and have it on hand for any time that you get in the cleaning mood. It is one of the essential oils that it is good to start off using, and you should keep it in your home at all times so that you can clean anything without worrying about using chemicals to get the job done.

Use Lemongrass Or Another Oil For Cleaning Carpets

If you want to deodorize your carpets, then you can use a bit of essential oil to help out with that. Just make a solution that you find directions for, add a bit of essential oil to it, and your carpets will smell great and seem much cleaner soon.
 
Don't be afraid of any of the essential oils that are out there, but know that they are the best thing you can use to get your cleaning needs met. With all of the great essential oils that are available, you will have your home fresh and clean and smelling great in a short amount of time. You can keep them on hand and know that they will help with the cleaning anytime you need it done, and you can make up solutions for different purposes and rooms in the house, so that you will always be ready to get your cleaning needs met.

Comment

Comment

Deep Cleaning Bathrooms

bathroom

One of our customer’s greatest concerns is bathrooms.  While a living room or bedroom usually just needs a good dusting and vacuuming and an occasional deep cleaning, bathrooms need thorough deep cleaning every time.  That’s because bathrooms (and kitchens) harbor some of the worst germs our homes contain.  As professional cleaners, we’ve got this bathroom deep cleaning thing down to a science and we’re using this space to share some of our most important tips.  Of course, cleaning bathrooms is also one of everyone's least favorite things to do.  So if the list below feels you with dread or overwhelm, simply give us a call!

Dusting and Vacuuming:

This is a good first step before the deeper cleaning of sinks, showers, and toilets.  While bathrooms can quickly and easily collect hair, thorough dusting and vacuuming eradicates it. Start from the top and move down, remembering light fixtures and crevices.  Nothing makes a bathroom feel dirty like a stray hair left on a surface.

Tubs and Showers:

We learned this insider tip from hotel cleaners - heating tiles and basins up just ten degrees can double the effectiveness of bathroom cleansers.  We accomplish this by leaving hot water sitting in the tub for a few minutes, then splashing it onto the tile and emptying the tub just before cleaning, we get better results a lot faster. (Get this started just before you begin vacuuming and the tub will be ready when you are)  When cleaning showers and tubs, always start at the top so the water running down the walls will not dirty areas you’ve already cleaned. Don’t forget to use antibacterial spray to make sure you’re getting things really clean.  Let the cleaner sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cleaning off the areas you’ve sprayed.  Disinfectants take time to do their (dirty) work. Use a good scrubber to scrub dirt and rings off the tubs and showers. And don’t forget to give a very thorough rinse.  Many cleaners feel this is the most important step of cleaning the tub since residual shower cleaner can attract new dirt.

If you’re cleaning a long-neglected shower, consider soaking the showerhead nozzle in vinegar to disinfect it.  Turning on a dirty shower head can spray bacteria and mildew everywhere.

Toilets:

Again, with toilets, leaving plenty of time for cleaning materials to do their disinfecting work is of primary importance.  Spray things down and add toilet bowl cleaner, then let the whole mess sit for five or more minutes.  While a toilet brush (remember, not too old and well-shaped to get all the crevices) will do most of your hard work, sometimes it just isn’t strong to handle the built upscale and stains.  If you are left with a stubborn toilet ring, use a pumice stone to scrape away the residue causing the stain.  The toilet will look just like new! Don’t forget to clean carefully around the base of the toilet (we like to use disinfectant wipes for this) to remove any dirty drips - yuk!

Sinks:

Use disposable cleaning cloths.  This is not an area where reuse and recycle is a good strategy. Bathroom germs need to be cleaned away not spread around.  Studies show that a number of bacteria in and around a bathroom sinks rivals the toilet!  Spray down the sink and counters with disinfectant spray and wipe everything down carefully starting from the farthest mostly dusty counters and moving towards the germier inner sink.  Throw away wipes as often as needed to ensure you’re cleaning thoroughly and not moving dirt around.  Finish by making sure to wipe down the chrome fixtures with a dry cloth to buff them to a perfect shine.

Mirrors and Glass:

A quick spray and wipe down of mirrors and sinks is one of the simplest steps but makes the bathroom feel happy, bright and shiny.  Don’t forget to be thorough about corners and edges!

Mopping:

Last, but very important. Be sure to finish your bathroom cleaning with a careful mopping.  Do not spread germs around by inadvertently using your mop to carry dirty water from the edges of the toilet towards the door where they are more likely to contaminate bare feet or socks.  Be sure to disinfect and wipe carefully in the toilet area before beginning mopping.  Once you begin mopping the rest of the room, use disinfectant cleaner and rinse your mop often to ensure you remove bacteria before cleaning new areas.

Now we’ve given you the skills you need to get your bathrooms cleaner, shinier and less germy than ever before.   If you’re feeling up to the challenge - go get started!  If not, feel free to give our professional cleaners a call.  We can have your bathrooms feeling fresh and squeaky clean without you even lifting a finger!

Comment

Comment

Cleaning Away Pet Fur

Pets can be one of life’s greatest joys. They also bring one of house cleaning’s greatest challenges: fur!  The problems of pet fur are magnified when you own more than one pet, or acquire a long-haired or heavily shedding breed.  But even pet owners with a single, low-shed animal will find that pet hair becomes one of their main cleaning issues.

cat on carpet

Since we clean many homes with pets, we’ve had to become experts on this topic.  Nothing ruins the feeling of a good clean like furry upholstery, cabinets, or air vents.   And the soft thick stuff has a way of sticking to everything - even the areas that might not normally be looked at during routine cleaning. What many people don’t know is that its static electricity combined with low humidity that create the ultimate conditions for pet fur to stick around.  The tips below will help you combat the static problem and become a master cleaner.

First, though, the number one solution to excess pet hair is to start with your pet itself.  Brush often.  Many pet owners find the Furminator does an exceptional job of removing fur.  The goal should be at least two days a week, or better yet, every day.  But let’s be real, some pets hate brushing.  And many pet owners can’t find the time to spend methodically removing fur from their cat or dog multiple times a week.

That’s where cleaning comes in. Here are some tips for how you can conquer the pet fur in your life.  Or, if even the thought makes you tired, call us instead!

Upholstery:

Nothing substitutes for a great vacuum when dealing with fur on upholstery.  As professional cleaners, we own the ultimate in cleaning tools and accessories for sticky cleaning items, like fur.  But if you don’t have the right vacuum for dealing with fur on fabric, there are a few other things you can try.

A damp rubber glove.  Simply running your hand, clothed in a slightly damp rubber glove, over the offending furniture item, will reduce the static levels, allowing the fur to move from the furniture to your glove.  As fur collects you can rinse the glove off and begin again.  The amount of fur you can collect is truly amazing!

Hard Furniture Surfaces:

A soft cloth combined with a good anti-static cleaning spray or old fashioned furniture polish, will be effective at removing fur from hard surfaces.  Your biggest challenge with fur on hard furniture surfaces is, again, static.  The use of anti-static spray or cleaning polish helps break that static bond.  This will allow you to do more than merely move the fur around. In order to create a cleaner environment, you have to fully remove the fur, not just displace it.  This method allows you to do so with a few simple wipes.

Carpets:

Carpets with a lot of fur require serious vacuuming.  This is where great tools come in.  The ultimate in fur vacuuming requires a vacuum that beats deeply into the carpet while using a strong suction to pull the hair into the machine.  Vacuuming is most effective when it is repeated several times and the machine is used in two different directions across the carpets.

For excess fur you can also use a pumice stone.  Pulled across a carpet, a pumice stone will collect large amounts of excess fur. This tip is probably best for areas of carpet that are hard to reach with a vacuum.

Hard Floors:

On the other hand, when cleaning hard floors, many vacuums can become the problem rather than the solution.  Vacuums have a tendency to blow furballs around the room and spread clouds of fur back up onto furniture surfaces.  If the amount of debris on the floor is excessive, a vacuum may be needed to do first level cleaning.  If, however, you are dealing with normal dirt and fur issues, try using a microfiber dry mop instead of a vacuum. The fur will stick to the microfiber mop, creating a better level of cleanliness.

These tips will help you to reduce the fur in your home and maintain a cleaner and healthier environment.  And whatever you do, don’t forget to use lint rollers to manage the stubborn fur that is inevitably attracted to you each time you pet or hug your animal.  Keeping your clothing clean will help keep your furniture clean too!

Comment

Comment

How To Pick A Commercial Cleaner

While picking the commercial cleaning company for your professional space hardly seems like one of your most important business decisions, you’d be surprised to realize what a big impact the right cleaning company can have on your office space.

As a long-term commercial cleaning client, you will benefit greatly from a consistent, thorough, knowledgeable and friendly cleaning team. Here’s a brief list of what to look for in your commercial cleaners.

  1. First of all, make sure you’re working with a friendly team. Your commercial cleaning team should be respectful, interactive, and helpful.  Although cleaning teams rarely interact with your staff or clientele due to the after-hours nature of the work, this doesn’t mean their customer service skills are unimportant.  On the contrary, cleaning staff represent the companies they work for and should present professional, helpful and courteous attitudes at all times.

  2. The team that cleans your commercial business should also be trained carefully on security and confidentiality.  As your staff leaves the business for the day and the commercial cleaners enter your workplace, it’s quite common for personal or professional items of value to be left lying around.  Oftentimes secure documents may be left unattended in the workplace overnight as well.   A great commercial cleaning company will meticulously train their employees on respect for personal possessions and careful attention to confidentiality.  Information gained while cleaning commercial businesses should never leave the workplace.

  3. The team you hire for your commercial cleaning should be able to provide a variety of commercial cleaning services.  Beyond the usual dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and surface cleaning, great commercial cleaners offer a number of specialty services.  Look for a company that can add-on special jobs such as electronics cleaning, plant cleaning, pictures, indoor glass and sills, and window coverings.  Many of these could also be accomplished on a rotating schedule to keep your costs down while keeping your workplace clean.

  4. Your commercial cleaning company should also be environmentally conscious.  Indoor air quality is a huge factor in health.  For staff members with allergies or asthma, the products used to clean can have a huge effect on their quality of life and morale while at work.  A great commercial cleaning company should use cleaning supplies that are safe for the environment and safe for people, but that are also proven to kill germs.

  5. Paired with the right cleaning supplies, thorough cleaning is imperative to the good health of your staff and clients.  Many commercial cleaners simply move the dirt around by mixing inadequate amounts of cleaners into water, mopping in an effective manner and dusting with the wrong tools.  Nothing makes a workplace look less competent and professional than a lack of cleanliness. Be sure to use a thorough and well trained commercial cleaning team.

  6. Finally, use a cleaning company that has a reputation for being dependable and reliable.  Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and follow them up.  Talk to other long-term clients and be sure your commercial cleaning company has a plan in place for dealing with employee absences or changes in scheduling. The work of your business must go on, and a clean environment is the foundation of a healthy and happy workplace.

The right commercial cleaning company will positively impact the morale of your employees, improve the atmosphere of your businesses, and help keep your workplace running smoothly and efficiently.  Make sure you choose your commercial cleaner well!

Comment

Comment

Choosing Between Professional Home Carpet Cleaning

carpet-cleaner

Vacuuming your home is the easiest and most convenient way to keep your carpet clean, but simple vacuuming will not be enough to keep a carpet in good repair.  At least once every year or two, our carpets will show enough wear and tear, stains, scuffs or blots, that we consider giving them a better, deeper cleaning.  It is then that we are faced with the choice between a home cleaning using a rented steam cleaner or small purchased model, or choosing a professional carpet cleaning.

Dirty carpets impact your indoor air quality, which is often 8-10 times worse than outdoor quality and which has a profound effect on those with asthma or allergies.  Regular carpet cleaning is a must for these individuals.   Many experts recommend frequent carpet cleaning for everyone, at least every six months, to help keep dirt, allergies, and germs at bay.  You should probably clean your carpets even more often if you have pets.

So how to clean those dirty carpets?  Steam cleaning is the only real way to loosen dirt and dust trapped deep within carpet fiber.  These tiny particles, moving within the deep carpet fibers, can effectively shred our carpet from within.  Getting them out is of utmost importance to protect your long-term carpet investment.   In fact, many carpet warranties require professional cleaning every 12-24 months in order to honor the warranty, for this very reason.

Steam cleaning works by spraying detergent mixed with hot water into the carpets. A steam cleaner then acts as a wet vacuum to pull the dirt, detergent, and water back out of the carpets.  This can be done by professionals or at home, with a rented or purchased machine.  Steam cleaning works well because it moves past the surface of the carpet into the deeper layers where dirt and dust particles like to hide.  The spraying and lifting actions of the machine help to pull those particles out of the cracks and crevices they have hidden in.

While you can certainly buy or rent a steam cleaner and do the work yourself, professional expertise helps with making sure all the steam comes back out of the carpets after cleaning.  Leaving the carpets wet is sure to lead to mold and a greater health hazard than the dirt you started with. Steam cleaning is both an art and a science.  Important factors to get the carpets really clean while avoiding moisture and resulting mold growth include: using the right amount of water (not too much or too little), don’t let the water sit too long on the carpets, and use the steam cleaner properly to vacuum the water and detergent back out.  Professional steam cleaners can use more water than home cleaners can because they have much stronger suction to pull the water back out - this gives a cleaner result.  Professional steam cleaners also have the advantage of hot water pumped from the truck into the machines, while, at home, you can only heat water and pour it into the steam machine, hoping it doesn’t cool off too much as you go.  Another factor is the condition of the machine you use at home.  If it’s a rental machine and perhaps not in good repair, it could create more problems than it solves by releasing too much water or detergent or failing to vacuum it back out well.

Steam cleaning is highly effective but it takes time to dry. A faster, though somewhat less effective, alternative to steam cleaning is dry cleaning.   Dry cleaning is not a completely dry process, but it uses far less water than steam cleaning.  Chemicals, in powder form, are sprinkled onto the carpets.  These chemicals sift down into the carpet, disrupting dirt, breaking it up and bonding with it.  A small amount of water is used over top of the chemicals to increase their effectiveness. Vacuuming is then used to pull the chemicals and dirt back up.  You can walk on the carpets almost immediately after this treatment, leading to less disruption for the carpet owner.   While these chemicals are very effective without much time or effort, they are also somewhat toxic and may affect those in your home who have allergies or asthma.  Home owners can dry clean carpets with a simple baking soda sprinkle, but the more effective and harsher chemicals are usually best left to professionals.

While professional carpet cleaners are far more effective at getting a clean result with both steam and dry cleaning, the costs will be higher.  Renting a steam cleaner for a day may only cost $20, while the professional may run $120 or more.   Ultimately the decision requires a cost vs benefits analysis by each homeowner where results are weighed against cost and the time of the homeowner is factored in.

Whatever you do about carpet cleaning, between cleanings, be sure to vacuum regularly.   With low wear, carpets can be vacuumed once weekly, with greater use, several times a week may be needed. Vacuuming slowly, thoroughly and in multiple directions will help keep your carpet far cleaner and reduce the number of times it needs a full cleaning.

Comment

Comment

How to Really Get Wine out of Your Carpets

Red wine is among the most infamous of carpet cleaning challenges.  Short of calling in the professionals, what’s a homeowner to do?  We’re happy to save you time and put your mind at ease as we treat your carpets.  But if you’d like to try a little TLC of your own, we have the tips you need below. Here’s how to really get red wine out of those light carpets, if it can be done.

wine spill

If your stain is fresh and still wet, the first step is heavy blotting.  Do not wipe your carpet!  Try to use a clean fresh cloth with plenty of absorbency rather than a paper towel or napkin which could shred into the carpet as it absorbs moisture.  Blot up as much as you can of the stain, pressing fresh sides of the clean cloth against the stain again and again until no more wine is coming up on the cloth.

Next, start with plain water or even better, club soda if you have it.  Take another fresh clean cloth and dip it into the water, then begin blotting again.  Getting moisture into the area helps to dilute the wine and keep it from settling down into the carpet fibers and drying in place.   After you have removed as much as you can this week, prepare a solution of two cups of warm water plus one tablespoon of dish detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Use this solution to blot the carpet again. Continue blotting as long as wine comes up. Make sure to follow the vinegar solution with another blot of plain water to help remove the vinegar smell from the rug.  

If you have no time to do anything about your red wine stain while it’s wet, simply dump salt on it!  This is an age-old method but even experts swear by it.  It works by absorbing the red wine.  While it doesn’t work perfectly, it can be a great partial solution if time constraints don’t allow you to thoroughly treat your red wine stain when it’s fresh.   This solution is said to work best when used on top of the club soda treatment mentioned above.   Some experts say this is the only solution you need to use . . . but see what works for you.

If all these techniques fail you can always mix one part dish detergent with two parts hydrogen peroxide and blot the area.  This may bleach your carpet, especially if it is not light colored, so use this method with care and spot check an inconspicuous part of the carpet first.  If it is not too strong for the carpet, this method works without any scrubbing.  Simply pour some solution on, wait for it to do its work and if more is needed, add an additional solution to the stain.  Eventually, it will appear to “melt” away!

Even if you’re dealing with a dry wine stain, do not despair.  Although these are much harder to clean, there is always hope!  Try pouring hot water onto the stain to saturate the area then sprinkle granules of some kind of oxi product onto the now-wet spill and let it sit for up to ten hours to work on the tough stain.  In many cases, this will remove the tough dried wine stains.

While red wine is among the toughest challenge a carpet can face (see about carpet cleaning), there are many solutions known to work!  Try the tips above and if all else fails, call in the professionals! We’d be happy to help you save face, and save your carpet!  Whatever you do, don’t put off dealing with a red wine stain. The sooner you call for help, the more likely we are to have success in dealing with your stubborn stain.

 

Comment

Comment

Getting rid of mildew

mildew on a wall

Mildew is one of the harder problems to deal with because many times it creeps up on you unexpectedly. Greasy kitchen walls, the basement, and closets are just some of the places that tend to go unnoticed but are some of the places where the environment is ideal for mildew to grow. The two main ingredients, humidity, and higher temperatures, that need to be present for mildew to form are often more present in the summer than the winter but can also be created during the cooler months. When it is found, it is essential to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
 
Here are the main places where you can find mildew:

  • Carpets
  • Clothing
  • Showers
  • Plants
  • Walls

There are two basic approaches to removing mildew: the chemical methods, and the natural and organic methods. The chemical methods are found in the form of sprays and liquids that you apply directly to the affected areas. There are a number of products you can buy, many found on the same label as mold removers. This is because both mold and mildew are both types of fungi, but mildew is far less dangerous to humans. That said, when using chemical sprays to clean mildew you need to be sure to wear a face mask for two reasons. The first is to avoid inhaling the spray, which may contain chemicals that can irritate your throat and respiratory system. The second reason is to avoid inhaling any of the mildew spores, which can also negatively impact your respiratory system.
 
You will likely need to use a scrub brush and a moderate amount of elbow grease to completely clean the infestation. Dense infestations of mildew on walls, tiles, or shower areas may require multiple treatments. In especially severe cases a professional cleaning company may be required to completely rid your home of mildew.
 
The alternative is to use natural or organic methods to clean the mildew. These methods are preferred by some people because since mildew is a living organism, it only makes sense to deal with the problem naturally. Before reading on it is important to know that different people have had different results using some of these methods, so you may need to experiment to find the best solution for your particular problem.
 
One of the bigger concerns of using chemicals is that the chemical that kills the mildew can also have a toxic effect on you, requiring you to wear rubber gloves to prevent it from being absorbed into your skin. In contrast, the first two natural methods are liquids you may either cook with or drink.
 
Vinegar is naturally antimicrobial, meaning its kills molds naturally. There is no need to dilute the bottle of plain white vinegar, just spray it directly on to the surface needed to be treated, let it stand for a period of time, then wipe the mildew from the surface. There are two potential limitations to using vinegar. The first is that you may have to wait a while before wiping the surface clean, so if you have a time compressed schedule that would not be the best choice. A second potential drawback is that you may have to repeat the procedure several times to completely rid the surface of mildew.
 
You may like the second choice much more – vodka. It is not for drinking but, like vinegar, to spray directly on to the affected areas. It is not recommended to use your best bottle of vodka for this purpose; any undiluted brand will work equally as well. (In fact, for some reason, the cheaper quality vodkas work better.) Like the vinegar, you will need to let it sit for a while before wiping it off the surface, and repeated treatments may be necessary.
 
At the beginning of the article there were two major factors for mildew growth – high temperatures and moisture. The most natural way to rid your home of mildew is attack the affected areas with sunlight and fresh air. Unfortunately, darkened areas such as bathrooms and closets my not be able to get the needed sunlight for this method to be effective, but clothing and carpets may be able to be treated without costing you one cent.
 
The final natural method we will mention is using hydrogen peroxide. This is especially useful on bathroom floor tiles where intricate patterns are difficult to clean. Simply pouring full strength hydrogen peroxide on the tiles and letting it set for at least 10 minutes will do the job without the scrubbing necessary when using chemical cleaners or other organic solutions. Keep in mind peroxide will lose its potency quickly if exposed to sunlight, so be sure to use it on areas where sunlight is scarce.
 
Between mildew and mold infestations, mildew is the lesser of the two problems. But because getting rid of mildew has many simple and easy solutions, you do not see it being presented as a health risk. But always remember it is a living organism and will spread throughout the house if not properly treated.

Comment

Comment

One time house cleaning

a team member cleaning counter tops

I came to realize a simple truth: when it comes to house cleaning there are many people out there like me.
 
I keep my home as in order as I can. A friend of mine was amazed that I only filled up one 13-gallon garbage bag of trash every 10 days. I keep my house relatively clean because in part I don’t let relatives come over very often. Things are kept in order because as a self-employed person I need to find things when I need them. Perhaps most importantly, I am not a messy person.
 
But the reality is that there are times when my home needs a good cleaning from top to bottom. I don’t need nor want a maid service because there really isn’t enough for them to clean up even on a weekly basis, so while having them come in seems necessary – it’s not. What I discovered is necessary is for a quality, professional cleaning service to come in and give the place a thorough cleaning.
 
The first time you realize the one time cleaning is necessary is the traditional spring cleaning ritual. Friends and neighbors, especially those with children, are talking about how to spend the next few weekends cleaning out garages and basements of artifacts accumulated during the winter. But even if you are a neatnik, you will see why seasonal cleaning is a must. Spring is that time of the year when birds and bees find time to mate, and they don’t care where they find the place to do it. So a one-time cleaning to eliminate any potential resting or nesting places is common sense.
 
It helps to know what kinds of services a reputable cleaning service offers so you can find out which services best suit your needs, and which companies have the best reputation to deliver on their promises. Here is where you actually need to speak to the company personally because there are so many cleaning needs that can be easily overlooked. Consider this short list of possible oversights that many cleaning services will clean for you:
 

  • Your gas or electric oven – We are talking about pizzas, but only you know what you put in there.
  • Your microwave – It is easy to miss what grows on top of the inside
  • The laundry room – One would think that the place where there is mostly soap and water would not require much cleaning, but only the cleaning service knows for sure
  • The refrigerator – Do we really have to put this one on the list? Yes!

If you have a home or apartment that has hardwood floors, the reason is because the look so great and are much easier to keep clean than carpeted floors. But regardless of the quality or material of the hardwood floor, it needs to be kept clean to prevent scratches and to get the maximum service life from it. A seasonal cleaning is just what the floor doctor ordered and let you focus on your work and leisure time.
 
Tile floors, whether they are in the bathroom or the kitchen can be a source of built up dirt, especially those with intricate tile designs. Whether the tile color is light or dark, some of the dirt cannot be seen and requires more than just a mop and a bucket. When you consider that much of your personal hygiene is done in the bathroom, it makes good sense to have the tile thoroughly cleaned several times during the year.
 
Whether you have leather or fabric covers for your furniture, they need to be cleaned professionally to get the maximum use from them. Many people wait until they become unsightly or a major spill occurs that requires a call to a cleaning services company. But like your personal clothing, having it cleaned periodically helps it last longer and adds to the appearance of your home.
 
You may only need to have your house thoroughly cleaned once a year. The question you have to ask is whether you have the skills, tools, and know how to do it all yourself. If you factor in the time it will take from your weekly routine, you will discover you are better off using a one-time cleaning service to do the job for you. If you are not convinced, take a few minutes to make a checklist of all the areas in your house, from top to bottom, that need to be cleaned. In order for your HVAC system to run at maximum efficiency, which will save you money, a clean air environment is necessary. That means eliminating as much dust in your living environment as possible.
 
Calling in a cleaning service for a one time cleaning of your home is an investment of both your time and your money. You will save on both because the cost of having a clean, well-maintained home is significantly less than paying for higher energy bills during the year or for an exterminator to rid your house of pesky insects. Calling a cleaning service for a one time cleaning is the only way you will know what services are available, and which ones meet your specific needs. And you are likely to find out there are many people just like you who are in need of a good, quality house cleaning.

Comment