You may be beginning to sense a theme with our posts for this month–it’s not just about carpet! Today I want to to talk a little bit about tile and grout.
If you haven’t taken a close look at your tile and grout, you may not even realize that it has become dingy over time. Just like your carpet, wood floors and upholstery, dirt builds up in the grout making it dull. Microscopic pores in the grout allow dirt and other contaminants to be trapped below the surface where they cannot be removed with regular mopping. The dirt can continue to build up inside those pores, leaving the tile and grout looking dirty and discolored. The dirt buildup within the porous grout can be a breeding ground for mildew and mold as well, and a soiled mop can actually exacerbate these conditions.
Of course, there are products that can be bought at your local home store made for scrubbing grout on your hands and knees with a small brush, but a professional cleaning can be a quick and effective alternative to have your tiled floors looking like they are brand new again, as well as contributing to a healthy home environment.
Just because your flooring is not covered in carpet does not mean that it’s not necessary to have it professionally cleaned from time to time. Sure; hard woods and other type of flooring provide the convenience of easy spill cleanup, but this type of flooring can also become dull over time, and regular household cleaners just won’t cut it.
Normal wear and tear leads to dull floors over time. Your floors can take on an old worn out look without you even realizing it. Your floor care professional can help to restore the flooring to like new quality.
Hard woods and vinyl tiles can sustain gentle buffing, wax and polish for a deep clean to remove stains, treat discoloration and scratches, and restore shine. the exception to this is a wood floor coated in polyurethane, which should never be waxed. Your professional floor cleaner will have other alternatives to cleaning this type of flooring.
As with carpeting and upholstery, regular maintenance and cleaning can go a long way in extending the longevity of your flooring.
Did you know that cleaning your upholstery is just as important as cleaning your carpets? You may not have to have it done as often, but some general maintenance on your sofa and recliner can make them last a lot longer, and keep them looking fantastic.
As with carpeting, regular vacuuming is key. Use the brush attachment of your vacuum and go over all the surfaces, both sides of any loose cushions and even if it is not exposed, the back. Remove the cushions and use the crevice attachment to vacuum in the cracks underneath.
Dust and debris built up in and under furniture can be more of a problem than the same buildup in your carpeting because furniture does not act like a filter in the same way as carpet. Think about a day, with sun streaming in through your windows. You flop down on your sofa, and can see through the sun rays the stream of dust that floats in to the air. This is why the vacuuming is important.
Unless you have severe stains, or a pressing pet issue, upholstery does not need to be cleaned nearly as often as your carpeting. Every 12-18 months, as long as regular vacuuming is performed, is usually fine.
As with your carpeting though, this regular type of maintenance can go a long way in extending the longevity of your furniture.
These, of course, are all great tips, but most definitely should not be considered as a replacement or alternative to regular carpet cleaning. Spot cleaning is a great way to get you through to your next scheduled cleaning.
Remember, for big messes, tips and tricks for those stubborn spots, and to schedule your regular carpet cleaning service, call the Buffalo carpet cleaning pros at Clear Choice. We’ll be happy to get the job done.
We’ve talked sticky messes, we’ve talked pens and markers. Now let’s talk a little bit about craft or acrylic paint. Paint can be tricky to remove. It can be manageable with the right tools, but you have to be very careful. Small spots can be taken care of on their own, but for large scale paint spills, your carpet cleaning professional should be called immediately. You will need some fairly uncommon things for the at home removal, specifically, pure glycerine which can be found at most drug stores, and pure acetone which is found in home improvement stores near the paint.
When acrylic paint hits the carpet, the first thing you want to do is contain it. Left on its own, the paint will spread, absorbing deep in to the carpet’s fibers. Place clean dry paper towels around the spill to contain it.
Next, use another dry paper towel to blot at the paint. Do not rub. Use as many paper towels as necessary to blot up as much of the paint as possible.
Now, place a small amount of glycerine on a clean dry towel, and blot at the paint stain. This helps to loosen the acrylic paint and further remove the sticky paint residue from the carpet. Do this until all of the paint itself has been absorbed. You may need to use more than one towel.
What’s left should be a spot on the carpet, the color of the paint. using another clean and dry towel, apply a small amount of acetone to the towel and begin to blot at the stain. At first, it may seem like it’s not working, but keep at it. Blot, blot and blot again. Soon you will see progress, and the stain should come pretty close to disappearing.
When you are done with the acetone, it is very important to rinse the area of your carpet to ensure the removal of the acetone chemical. Mix a quarter teaspoon of dish soap in to 2 cups of warm water, and dip a clean towel in the mixture and blot the area. Do not saturate the carpet, just blot and blot some more to pull the acetone out. From there, blot with clean warm water (no soap) to ensure there is no sticky residue causing soap left behind.
Place a clean and folded dry hand towel over the area, and place something heavy (like a phone book) on top to further draw out anything that may be left in the carpet. Leave for a few hours or overnight.
If the stain is not completely gone at this point, it should be significantly improved. Be sure to point out the area to your carpet cleaning professional at their next visit so the area can be treated and extracted properly.
It never fails. School has begun and they’ve tracked sticky candy all over the house. You’ve just gotten done dealing with that, and they’ve decided to do their homework, surely involving markers and pens, and OOPS, there is now a large streak of it across your carpet or sofa. You panic, of course, because you know that these are the types of things that are permanent. There are some things you can try on your own, however, before calling in a professional.
The first order of business is to always test your cleaning method on an inconspicuous area of the carpeting or furniture to ensure that the color will not fade or bleed. You need to think about what is worse–a streak of marker, or a bright white spot in the middle of your beige carpet. Definitely do this first so you can be confident in treating the marker or pen.
Secondly, it is important to always blot and never saturate. We’re talking about using some soap and maybe some rubbing alcohol here, and the less you can use to get the job done, the better.
Finally, if you have any questions at all, call your carpet cleaning professional who may be able to give you some advice over the phone.
Now, on to the removal.
Start by immediately blotting up as much of the marker as possible with a clean white absorbent towel. A paper towel would work just fine. Then mix a half teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of lukewarm water. Using a clean towel, blot this mixture on to the area. Blot with a dry portion of the towel to get as much of the stain and mixture up out of the carpet as possible.
If there is marker remaining, (and this is where the pre-testing of your carpet comes in), blot with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. This, along with the detergent, can help to neutralize the marker. At this point, there should be little, if any marker remaining in the carpet. If there is, blot again with your dish soap solution.
Finally, you will need to rinse the area of the carpet or furniture clean. A spray bottle with clean water can be used to prevent over saturation. Spritz on the area, and blot with another clean white towel.
In most instances, the tricks above will work. Be sure to point out the area to your carpet cleaning professional the next time you have the entire carpet cleaned so they may treat it properly.
Most importantly, take those markers and pens away from your kids (easier said than done, trust me, I know!).
I don’t know what it is about the first week of school, but my kids come home with more candy than they do at Halloween! Some of the candy inevitably gets on the carpets, and it’s usually the gooey, sticky kind. Here are some tips for removing the candy from your carpet.
Start by trying to scrape as much of it up as possible. Something flat, like a butter knife, works best to eliminate as much of the sticky gunk from the floor as possible. Then, use a clean damp cloth to gently brush outward from the mess to remove some more of the sticky particles. Some people at this point, might recommend using a little bit of dish soap, but we are leery of combining sticky soap with sticky candy. Unless you are able to really rinse it clean, it is not worth it. The sticky spot will remain, and attract a lot of dirt. Instead, get another clean towel, and blot it with some distilled white vinegar. Don’t saturate, just blot. This should effectively dissolve the rest of the candy. Use a damp paper towel to blot out the vinegar and remove the rest of the candy. Finally, take another clean damp cloth, and place it on top of the area. Put something heavy directly on top of the area, something flat, like a phone book. This should help to draw out any remaining pigment, and leave your carpet looking much better.
Of course, if all else fails, or it’s a really big mess, call a carpet cleaning professional, who can use commercial products and heavy duty equipment to get the job done.
We talked a few weeks ago about the guy who doesn’t clean carpets as a full time job. One of the other benefits of selecting a reputable carpet cleaning company is knowing who will be in your home. Do it on the Side Guy (DSG) might hire somebody he can pay just above minimum wage to handle jobs that come up while he’s working his real job.
At Clear Choice, you will always know who is coming in to your home. We have a small team of long term employees who you can trust for all your carpet cleaning needs!
This is a picture of what came out of our filter after cleaning a carpet that was not regularly vacuumed. Like we mentioned a while back, regular vacuuming helps to remove soil and allergens from a carpet before they are ground in. A carpet that is not vacuumed on a regular basis, has ground in soil, as well as loose debris on the outer layer.
Our carpet cleaning machine works extra hard in situations like this, to first remove the surface soil, and to then try an tackle what has been ground in over time. The result is what you see above–a very dirty filter.
Of course, our filter isn’t the concern here. This is soil that was in one carpet. One carpet that was not vacuumed on a regular basis. This begs the question of how much of that dirt and debris was floating around in the home, contaminating the air or rubbing off on feet as they walked through the home.
Vacuuming is not just good for the carpet, it is good for you, your health and the health of all the people in your home. It’s one of the easy things you can do to keep your homes clean and healthy.
This is the sort of thing that happens in many businesses. Someone works their day job, and then does something else in the evening. How many women do you know who work all day, and schlep containers or craft items in the evening. Or what about men who come home from work and might do some carpentry for extra cash on the side.
This is a trend that is becoming popular in the carpet cleaning business. A guy buys a truck ans some equipment, and decides to just do it on the side. It may seem convenient, because he works nights and weekends. He’s available when you get home from work! What could be better?
We’re here to tell you why Do it on the Side Guy is not your guy.
Do it on the Side Guy (DSG), works a full time job. He is exhausted at the end of the day, but goes home to his truck, and starts working. DSG, being tired, does not do the best job that he can do because he’s so burnt out from his day job.
Because of his full time job, DSG doesn’t have the time to attend training to stay up to date on the latest products and techniques. He may read a magazine here or there on his 30 minute lunch break, but what his misses is the hands on training he needs to stay current and in the know.
DSG, being just that, someone who does it on the side, probably doesn’t carry the appropriate insurance and liability coverage to protect himself (and you!) while he’s in your home.
Ed and his guys here at Clear Choice in Buffalo, are not Do it on the Side Guys. Carpet and Upholstery cleaning is the main priority. And when we are not out cleaning carpets in Buffalo we are training and studying to make sure that we bring the best and most current cleaning methods in to your home or business.
Think about it this way: When you are choosing a dentist, you want the best of the best. You want to be comfortable that the person digging around in your mouth is fully trained, capable, insured, and that dentistry is their number one priority.
The same should hold true to your carpets, which really are one of the biggest investments in your home. Hire the guy who makes it his career, and not just a side project.