5 Signs You Need Upholstery Cleaning

clean upholstered furniture

 

When it comes to cleaning interiors, one area that goes forgotten is the upholstered furniture, or soft furnishings. They’re difficult to thoroughly clean yourself at home, so we get in the habit of skipping over them.

Good news: professional upholstery cleaning provides the ideal solution to deeply cleanse and safely rinse all upholstery. Here are 5 clear signs that it’s time for professional upholstery cleaning for the health and beauty of your home.

  1. You Can See Stains

Visible stains are a sure sign you should have your upholstery cleaned. It’s probably been a long time since the last thorough cleaning, if there ever has been one. Spills that stain are particularly difficult to remove from upholstery because they settle into the fabric and padding quickly, becoming set before you can properly clean the spill. Professional upholstery cleaners have the tools and machinery to safely deep clean and spot treat upholstery to fully lift and remove even stubborn stains, as well as the filth you can’t as readily see.

  1. You’ve Noticed More Sneezing and Allergies

An increase in sneezing, allergies and asthma in your home is a reliable sign you would benefit from thorough upholstery cleaning. Just like carpets, upholstery fibers can harbor dust, dust mites and pet dander – all allergens that can set off your symptoms. While regular vacuuming of soft furnishings helps, it takes professional upholstery cleaning equipment to remove these allergens on the deepest level to keep you healthy.

  1. Your Upholstery Has an Odor

Upholstery, carpets and other soft surfaces in your home can be magnets for odors. Whether it’s cooking odors, pet odors, smoke, or just a musty odor, dirty upholstery often has a distinctive ‘smell’ to it. The solution to preventing upholstery odors is to remove the source of the odor – ventilate while cooking, only smoke outside, and don’t allow pets on the couch. But if the odors are already there, professional upholstery cleaning is the only way to really get them out.

  1. Upholstered Furniture Fabric Looks Dull and Oily

Over time, upholstery fabric absorbs grease, oil and dirt from our bodies as we use our couches and sofas. You’ll find this most prominent in the areas we repeatedly touch the furnishings with our skin, like where our hands, heads, or necks rest. This is a very unflattering effect on upholstery, making it look much older, grubbier and dirtier than it has to look. Professional upholstery cleaning lifts away grease, oil, grime and skin flakes that may have collected in your couch over the years through prolonged use.

  1. Hair, Fur, Dust and Dirt Are Stuck To Your Upholstery

The soft fabric surface of upholstery easily collects pet hair, dust and dirt as humans and pets pass by. Unlike smaller bits of dirt and dust, these larger hairs are more visible to your family and visitors. Dust and dirt can turn into dark marks and wear over time with repeated use. Upholstery cleaning removes visible hairs, fur and grime for cleaner looking upholstery.

With professional cleaning you can make the upholstered furniture in your home cleaner, better smelling, and newer looking. Talk to a professional carpet cleaner about the options they have for upholstery cleaning to renew your upholstered pillows, chairs, sofas, benches, and couches for a fresher, cleaner, more hygienic home.

How Pets Are Changing the Cleaning Industry

Pets changing the cleaning industry

Pet-safe cleaning has become a higher concern, with pets increasingly playing a more important role in our lives and our homes. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 33% of young home buyers aged 18-35 were motivated to buy their first home in order to have a better space or a yard for their dog. In comparison, marriage was the motivation for 25% of home buyers that age, while having a child was motivation for only 19%. A 2016 report also found that 44% of Americans own dogs (78 million dogs in homes total) and 35% own cats (that’s 85.8 million cats).

Cleaning Your Home With A Pet

Pet owners are always looking for new and better ways for their homes to support their pets. Pets are spending more time indoors and have a greater impact on our homes. And our homes have a significant impact on them, too. A part of this is finding home cleaning solutions that create a safe and healthy environment for both humans and their pets. The cleaning industry is adapting and changing to provide solutions that are pet-safe, while also dealing with the sometimes difficult cleaning problems pets can cause. Here we look at the different ways we can adapt our cleaning to protect our pets and address the unique cleaning challenges pets create.

How Pets Can Affect Your Home

It’s no secret that pets can affect the cleanliness and hygiene of our homes. Even well-trained pets have accidents, and their indoor/outdoor life means that they’re another source of dust and pathogens being dragged into the home.

Our furry friends affect the cleanliness of our homes in a range of ways including –

  • Tracking dirt, mud, and pathogens into the home, which can accumulate in carpets, area rugs, hardwood floor cracks and tile grout. This creates a dirty and less hygienic environment.
  • Pets, particularly cats, can bring dead  rodents and birds into the home, which can be a health concern.
  • Carpets, upholstery and other soft furnishings can adopt pet odors when pets use them often.
  • Pets may urinate, defecate, leave hairballs, or vomit on carpet, hardwood and soft furnishings, leaving stains or damage. Odors from liquid spills can remain in carpets, rugs, and furnishings for a long time as they seep deep into carpet padding and upholstery stuffing.
  • Dogs and cats can drop fur and skin cells on floors and furniture, which is known as pet dander. This can be an allergen, causing allergic reactions and triggering asthma. It can also create odors and just look bad.
  • Pet dander is also a site for dust mites, another allergen that can trigger allergies and asthma.

How Pets Have Impacted the Cleaning Industry

We know pets have influenced our homes and contributed to cleaning issues. That’s why clear trends toward pet-safe cleaning dealing with these hygiene dilemmas have emerged. These trends include –

  • Installation of Hard Surface Floors – Many homes have resorted to installing hard surface flooring such as tile, hardwood floors, and vinyl, laminate or engineered wood to avoid absorbent surfaces. Hard surfaces are easier to clean and don’t absorb or ‘catch’ pet accidents or hair. Odors and stains from pets are much less likely to impact hard floors.
  • Area Rugs and Their Unique Cleaning Needs – Of course, as homeowners install hard floors, use of area rugs also increases to improve comfort underfoot and improve the warmth and atmosphere of a space. But guess what? Pets prefer these soft, warm and comfortable rugs as well. Area rugs may then become the ‘preferred site’ for pet accidents, as well as the place pets prefer to sit and relax. Unlike the hard floors they sit on top of, area rugs can accrue stains, dirt, and odors quickly, which are often difficult to remove. Area rugs made of fine fibers and delicate designs may need to be sent out for professional cleaning so that they are gently cleaned, while preserving their structure.
  • Carpet Odor and Stain Removal – When pets use carpeted floors, these floors need deep professional carpet cleaning and professional stain removal more regularly. Carpets get stains and odors much more quickly and hold them for longer than other floor types. Liquid spills and accidents can soak deep into carpet padding, which makes odors difficult to reach and fully remove. Specialized, professional carpet odor removal services are increasingly popular, aimed at achieving the difficult goal of fully extracting deep-seated odors from carpet.
  • Professional Upholstery Cleaning and Odor Removal – Carpets aren’t the only surface in the home that is affected by pet stains and odors. If pets utilize upholstery and furnishing in the home, it’s likely that these furnishings will also be subject to pet hair, urine, saliva, feces, and dander as well. Professional upholstery cleaning and deep odor removal is a service that’s becoming increasingly popular and important for pet owners as they strive to keep their home clean and hygienic.

The Impacts of Home Cleaning on Pets

For homeowners with pets, keeping the home clean at all costs isn’t the only consideration. Where pets are living in an environment, they are also going to be affected, so it’s important to consider the impact of cleaning on pets.

  • Some cleaning products can be extremely dangerous and poisonous to pets. Just like children, they don’t know or understand the difference between what is ‘safe’ and ‘dangerous’ so cleaning products should be kept away from where pets can access them.
  • Because animals are naturally closer to the ground, they will be more heavily impacted by the cleaning products and processes that happen to your floor. Even just casual exposure to these chemicals through the environment in your home can negatively impact their health.
  • Pets ingest chemicals from cleaning products when the chemicals rub off onto the pet’s fur or feet. When the pet licks and cleans themselves, they ingest these chemicals.
  • The worst culprits for pet poisoning are bleach, laundry detergent, and phenol-based disinfectants. Some carpet cleaning agents are known to be irritating or unsafe for pets.
  • There is an upside: Pet-safe cleaning products that are known to be safe for both pets and children are available and help to keep homes beautifully clean, while furry friends are kept healthy.

How The Cleaning Industry Is Innovating

The cleaning industry is responding to the need to make home cleaning pet-friendly and pet-safe. Professional carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning companies are now more aware of the impact of cleaning solutions on pets, as well as cleaning techniques that help to produce a better result for your home, while also keeping your pets healthy. You will now find a wide variety of innovations available that make professional and home cleaning safer for our animals.

Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

One of the most significant developments of the cleaning industry in relation to pets is the development of non-toxic, pet-safe cleaning products. This gives homeowners peace of mind when undergoing professional cleaning or cleaning their own homes. Not to mention that many homeowners, especially those with children, prefer to use non-toxic cleaning products in their homes.

  • Pet-safe cleaning products – For home cleaning, you can look for products that specify they are pet-friendly on the label or bottle. Keep in mind that just because a cleaning product says it is ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, does not necessarily mean that it is pet-safe or non-toxic for pets. Many natural substances can still be toxic to pets so always check for pet-specific information on the label.
  • Correct product use – It’s important to also know how to use a cleaning product correctly to ensure that your pets stay safe. For example, if a product specifies that you should keep children and pets away from the area until dry, you need to follow these directions for pet safety.
  • Pet-safe professional cleaning – When booking professional cleaning, you should ask if your cleaning company uses pet-safe cleaning solutions and techniques or practices that help protect pets.
  • Adjusting expectations – Keep in mind that some cleaning products and techniques that are safer for pets may not be as effective as stronger chemicals. This may leave you with a different result than you were hoping for. To balance your expectations and your pets health and safety, ask about all the options available.

Safer Cleaning Techniques

It’s not just the cleaning solutions that have been innovated in relation to pet-safe cleaning. Professional cleaning companies have also developed specific techniques to address pet related home hygiene issues while keeping pet’s safe.

  • Pet-safe cleaning techniques – If you need more thorough carpet cleaning with traditional cleaning solutions, don’t despair. Carpet cleaning companies have developed techniques that allow for more deep and thorough carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal, while also minimizing chemical residue. That’s one big reason why it’s best to choose a professional carpet cleaning company for home cleaning rather than trying to do it yourself. With the proper truck mounted, hot rinse carpet cleaning machine, and expert can cleanse and lift traces of cleaning solution from your carpet, and your flooring is left with low chemical residue and no impact on your pets.
  • Knowing how to handle pets – professional carpet cleaners are now trained and knowledgeable with dealing with pets and understanding how they need to be treated in the home. Just as you and your family need to vacate the house during professional carpet cleaning, tile cleaning or upholstery cleaning, your pet also needs to be kept safe from the cleaning process, and surfaces should be allowed to fully dry before pets use them again.

Home Cleaning Plans

Not only are the tools and techniques for cleaning houses being innovated to better accommodate companion animals, cleaning companies are also adapting to provide better service to homes with pets.

  • Professional cleaning plans – Cleaning plans and packages are available to help households with pets stay on top of keeping the home hygienic and safe. These plans can be annual or semi annually, and provide specially tailored cleaning services to keep homes with pets clean, including carpet cleaning, stain removal, tile and grout cleaning and odor removal. The best aspect of these plans is that they save organizing and remembering on the part of the homeowners. With cleaning already arranged and scheduled, you can keep your home safely clean and pet-safe at all times.

Your Guide To A Safe and Clean Pet Loving Home

So how can you formulate your own plan to not only keep your pet-friendly home clean but to keep your clean home pet-safe?

  • Do Your Research – Find out about pet-safe cleaning solutions and pet-friendly cleaning companies. Conduct research about which chemicals in cleaning agents affect your pets, and avoid using these products. Ask your vet for recommendations if in doubt.
  • Ask Your Professional Cleaner – It’s a great idea to talk to your professional carpet cleaner or upholstery cleaner about the type of products and techniques they use and the outcome you expect. This can help you understand the process they’ll use, as well as helping them understand your needs and the needs of your pet.
  • Start A Cleaning Plan – A cleaning plan from a professional cleaning company helps you save money on keeping your flooring beautiful longer, while also ensuring your home stays clean and healthy for the family. A cleaning plan can be specially developed to target some of the issues affecting households with pets, such as pet hair removal, stain and odor removal, and regular carpet cleaning.
  • Pet Accident Cleaning Kit – For homes with pets, preparation is key. It’s more than likely that at some point, your pet will have an accident or create a mess that needs cleaning. Homeowners should be prepared in advance to provide a rapid response that minimizes damage and prevents the accident happening again. Put together a kit with plenty of clean blotting cloth and a pet-friendly carpet and surface cleaner so you can quickly clean up accidents to prevent odors and stains. Promptly and thoroughly cleaning the area of a pet accident is essential to prevent the pet from ‘marking’ the same spot again.

Creating an inviting, healthy home that is pet-safe is a focused recent innovation of the cleaning industry, achieved thanks to pet-safe cleaning products and techniques. Develop your plan for a clean, pet-friendly home with the help of your local professional carpet and floor cleaning company.  

Why Odor Removal is so Important: Studies Show How Scent Influences Us

cat smelling flowers, odor removal

Smell is one of the senses that is most closely connected to our emotional state. Have you ever smelled a scent or an odor that reminded you of something and contacting it again takes you right back to where you first noticed it? Scent can have a powerful effect on our feelings and behaviors. Recent research has found that 75% of the emotions that we have on a daily basis are affected by smell. Scent is powerfully connected to our memory and emotions. So, what are the scents and odors in your home saying to you? Here we look at how powerful scent can be and why it’s important to effectively remove odors from your home.

The Benefits Of Positive Scent

Positive smells have been shown to improve people’s emotions, encourage people to stay in an area longer and even to boost revenues in commercial spaces.

  • Positive mood – Studies have shown that pleasant smells improve the mood of those exposed to them more effectively than placebos (unscented sprays). Positive smells can give a higher attractiveness rating to people and environments, while bad odors can detract from our perception of the environment. Creating a pleasant odor in your home can make your home seem more attractive, stylish, and appealing.
  • Attraction and retention – Pleasant smells cannot only draw people into your space, they can help people stay longer as well. In a study by SMI and C. Russell Brumfield, researchers found that floral and citrus scents can influence people to linger as much is 25 to 40% longer in stores[1]. Creating positive odors in your home could help people feel more welcome and make your home a more inviting environment.
  • Increase value and revenue – Creating positive smells is not just important for homes, it’s crucial for businesses as well. In a 1995 study conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch, it was found that pleasant ambient scent in one area of a casino was related to 45% more revenue when compared to a non-scented area. Because positive smells draw people in and encourage them to stay, creating an inviting odor can improve business appeal and revenue.

How Bad Odors Detract From Your Space

Bad odors can quickly accumulate in your home and settle in carpet and soft furnishings to linger in your home. Some of the most common sources of bad odors include –

  • Dirty or wet pets
  • Pet hair
  • Pet urine or droppings
  • Cooking smells
  • Cleaning or maintenance chemicals
  • Mold, mildew or must
  • Smoke

Removing these odors can be tricky, especially once they’ve settled fully into carpets, area rugs and soft furnishings. Deep professional carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, and upholstery cleaning can reach deep into soft furnishing fibers and completely remove odor particles. When it comes to preventing and removing odors due to pet accidents and stains, it’s important to act fast to prevent the spill reaching the deep layers of padding and settling there. When spills reach this deep level, odors can be harder to remove so it’s important to catch these spills early to remove odors more effectively. Emergency carpet cleaning and stain removal can help to address spills and stains quickly to prevent lasting issues.

Creating an inviting and appealing home or work environment starts with removing unpleasant odors and cultivating more pleasant scents. Talk to us today about expert odor removal to help make your space more pleasant and welcoming.

[1] http://www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=688

3 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cleaning an Area Rug

With hardwood floors being a common feature of many homes, many homeowners have placed area rugs on their floors to add warmth and comfort, as well as style and atmosphere. Area rugs can be valuable and beautiful additions to your home, but it can also be difficult to know how to clean your area rugs according to their specific needs.

There are so many stunning area rugs available to homeowners today – Persian rugs, Afghan rugs, Pakistani rugs, Wilton rugs and Chinese rugs – and all of them require specific and detailed care in order to maintain their integrity and beauty. Here we look at 3 factors you need to consider when performing area rug cleaning in order to protect your investment and bring life back to your area rugs.

Material Matters

Many homeowners know that effective and specific oriental rug cleaning is important to keep valuable area rugs clean and in good condition. Unfortunately, many homeowners often don’t know what type of area rug they have or what cleaning method is most beneficial. Area rugs can be sourced from a variety of locations such as discount stores, department stores, online, from catalogs, furniture stores, carpet retailers, and fine Oriental rugs dealers, and the care instructions you receive when purchasing can vary. Area rugs area also made from a rage of different materials, including both natural and synthetic fibers and a combination of both.

Before cleaning your area rug, ask yourself whether you know exactly how to appropriately care for your specific type of rug. The best carpet cleaner knows how to identify each type of area rug, and what specific care is needed for each rug type. A professional carpet cleaner knows that blue weft yarns in Persian rugs can bleed, that Afghan rugs shrink like crazy, that many Pakistani rugs have post production side cords that can tear off during cleaning, that Stark wire Wilton rugs must be blocked because the jute foundation yarns shrink, and spot cleaning chemically washed 90-line Chinese rugs can cause color damage. Not being aware of any one of these carpet cleaning factors could spell disaster for your area rugs.

Inspection is Critical

As discussed above, the details that go into effectively cleaning each type of area rug often require the experience of a professional rug cleaner. In fact, carpet cleaning services will often require that the area rug undergoes a professional carpet inspection before rug cleaning is conducted so that the safest and most effective cleaning method can be applied.

Carpet inspections can provide crucial information when it comes to caring for your rugs. Not only can a professional quickly identify your type of rug and the best cleaning method for the rug, they can also diagnose any specific issues your rug may have and apply the best repairs and solutions for your rug’s needs.

Professional Is Best

Because of the amount of work and detail that goes into cleaning an area rug correctly, seeking the assistance of a professional carpet cleaner to clean your area rugs is often the best solution, particularly for heavy duty or in-depth area rug cleaning. While regular maintenance and vacuuming can easily be done at home, more thorough cleaning is best left to the professionals, especially for those more sensitive or precious carpets.

With these tips you can keep your area rugs clean and beautiful, while protecting your investment and creating a more attractive, fresh and healthy environment in your home.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

DID YOU KNOW:

Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.

STAIN REMOVAL

BLOT….DON’T SCRUB: Never aggressively scrub a carpet as it will distort the fiber. BEST PRACTICE: Blot the spill with a white towel or cloth….then apply the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel and blot the stain, thereby transferring it to the cloth/towel. Reposition the cloth/towel to a clean spot and repeat until the stain is completely transferred.

HELPFUL HINT

Never use bleach to try and remove stains from carpet. Yes, it will take the color out of your carpet and not always the stain. If you have any doubts or questions in regards to stains on your carpet call our office for FREE advice over the phone. Our number is 925-833-0408

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5 Health Benefits of Keeping Your Home Clean

A clean home isn’t just nice to look at and pleasant to be in, it can also directly benefit your health as well. While we often think of threats to our health coming from outside the home, even the Environmental Protection Agency agrees that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, but it does have a very positive effect. Gravity cause common household particles, such as dust, pollen and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet fibers trap the particles, removing them from the breathing zone and reducing their airborne circulation. Frequent vacuuming and professional cleaning effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.

Other benefits to keeping the floor surfaces (carpet, hardwood, stone /tile) of your home professionally cleaned include:

Reducing Allergies

A misconception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. Actually, the opposite is true. Allergies can range from being inconvenient to debilitating, causing breathing issues and cold and flu like symptoms when the allergy is triggered. Some of the major triggers of allergies are found around the home – namely dust mites and pet dander. Dust mites are found in almost every home, in the carpet, upholstery, curtains and bedding, while pet dander is commonly encountered if you have pets at home that live indoors with you.  Studies have shown that properly cleaned carpet helps reduce symptoms. Frequent vacuuming can help to eliminate these allergens in the short term, but a thorough professional carpet cleaning once every 6 months to one year can help to control allergen levels more effectively. Hot water extraction cleaning can be particularly effective for dust mites.

Improving Breathing

Dust mites and pet dander are also a major trigger for asthma, another good reason to conduct regular carpet cleaning. In fact, even people without allergies or asthma will experience some breathing difficulties in a very dusty environment. A common trigger that can affect breathing is mold in the home. Mold can build up on the roof and in tiles and grout, in any room that is high in moisture and humidity and low in ventilation. Keeping an eye out for mold in the bathroom or kitchen will help you to target the problem early.

Decreases Stress

While we think of a clean home benefiting our physical health, a neat and tidy environment positively influences our mental health too. Having a clean and organized home makes moving through the house and finding things easier. It also helps to keep you prepared in case unexpected guests turn up, and certainly makes it easier to find your car keys in a hurry!

Reduced Infections

It’s no secret that we share our home with billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other germs that can cause disease. Germs like Salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus lurk in most homes, and regular cleaning targets these germs preventing food poisoning and infections. In some cases, we share our space with bigger creatures as well. Pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches, insects and weevils can contaminate food sources and damage the home. Keeping your home clean of crumbs and food scraps and sealing bins discourages these pests from setting foot in your home and maintains a healthier and more hygienic environment.

Did you know- Mold and VOC misperceptions :

When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers. Mold requires a food source, such as wood or cellulous debris, and moisture to grow. Carpet is recognized by the Carpet and Rug Institute as one of the lowest emitters of volatile organic compounds among various flooring choices and interior finishes.

Knowing the health benefits of a clean and tidy home helps you to maintain the right balance of daily maintenance and professional cleaning for a safer, healthier living space.