Carpet and Floor Cleaning: Should You DIY or Hire a Professional?

If dirty, soiled and stained carpets, or scuffed and marked hardwood floors are detracting from your home environment, you may need a deep floor cleaning. The question is, should you hire a professional floor cleaning company, or try a do-it-yourself method to get your floors clean again? Each option has different benefits and drawbacks, and the choice depends on your cleaning needs and desired result. With professional carpet cleaning you are always assured a deep clean and high quality result. But how does DIY compare? Here we compare both professional and DIY floor and carpet cleaning.

The Procedure

Professional carpet and floor cleaners use a number of different expert methods to deep clean your carpet, hardwood floors, tiles and grout. For carpet, professional cleaners can choose from 4 different methods depending on your specific needs, including bonnet cleaning, steam cleaning, pre-spray hot water extraction, and shampoo scrub.

The hardwood floor and tile cleaning methods used by professional flooring cleaners are gentle enough to protect your floors while thorough enough to deeply clean and draw out dust and dirt from cracks and grout.

DIY floor cleaning methods usually involve using a detergent, along with a wet carpet cleaning method like hot water extraction. A homeowner can hire a carpet cleaning machine to use on their own home for a day and then return after the cleaning is completed.

The Depth of Cleaning Needed

There’s no doubt that professional floor cleaning is much deeper and more thorough than DIY hired machines. Professional carpet cleaners know how to target stains and heavily soiled areas, and maneuver the carpet cleaning machine in the most effective way to really get your carpets and floors fully clean. For DIY machines, the result is usually less effective, and is often heavily dependent on your technique while using the machine.

The Cost

Professional carpet cleaning can be very cost effective and great value for the outstanding result it produces. However you are likely to save a few dollars by hiring a machine and doing the hard work yourself. It’s important to know how to use the home machine effectively if you want to do it yourself, as incorrect usage can easily cause water soaking, wet carpets and the conditions for mold growth, which can be very costly to fix.

The Result

Professional carpet cleaning delivers an excellent carpet cleaning result with carpets that can be walked on straight away for ‘dry’ cleaning methods. For the deeper ‘wet’ cleaning methods, some drying time will be required, although for professional carpet cleaning this is usually reduced due to the use of powerful and effective machines. The effects of professional hardwood floor cleaning and professional tile floor cleaning methods are immediate, and the floors can be used immediately.

DIY carpet and floor cleaning machines often use wet methods, however they are less powerful than professional machines. This can mean your carpet takes longer to dry. It’s important to take care while using a home cleaning machine to ensure as much water and detergent is removed from the carpet. If not, chemical residues may be left in the carpet or the carpet may go musty or moldy. It’s also important to maneuver the machine to get into corners in order to pick up as much dirt and residue as possible.

For a cleaner, safer and higher quality finish, professional floor and carpet cleaning is always the best choice to preserve the comfort and beauty of your floors.

The Basics of Spot Removal

Spot removal, spot cleaning carpet, bay area carpet cleaner

 

It’s a good feeling. You have a beautiful home, you spend time keeping it in perfect shape, and your brand-new carpet is the icing on the cake. It’s soft, comfortable and clean.

Then one day, you notice (gasp) a spot right in the middle of the living room. There’s no way you can live with that eyesore. It has got to go. What do you do?

Here are a few tips to basic spot removal. Don’t forget that a spot can really be a stain, which needs professional attention.

Identify

Do your best to visually identify the spot. Some spots are easy to figure out; others are pretty tough. It’s not always possible to identify the spotting substance in the carpet. Yet, a little sleuthing on your part can get you close. Where is the spot? Is it near the dining room or where those in the family might eat? Odds are, it’s food related, and you might find success with a spotting solution for sticky residues. Is it in a bedroom? Could be cosmetic, shoe polish or other substance common to getting ready for the day, and you might find success with a dry solvent spotter.

Apply product

When you have figured out as best you can the type of spot you have, choose a reputable product for that particular spot. Some of the best spotting solutions can be obtained from your carpet cleaning company. Ask them what they recommend.

Blot

Next comes removal. Carefully blot the spot. Do not scrub. You will damage the tips of the fibers and there’s nothing short of replacement to fix that. Keep applying and blotting product until the spot is gone.

Remember, if you do your own spot removal, there is some danger of removing original fabric color and causing other damage. Take your time and do it right. Pretesting fiber and solution compatibility is always recommended.

And when in doubt (or when a spot stumps you) always do the very best thing: Call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration right away!

What does the dust in your home mean for your health?

You vacuum it, sweep it and wipe it off your furniture. But do you know what it actually is – and how it may affect your health?

Don’t feel bad if you’re clueless about your dust. Scientists are not that far ahead of you in terms of understanding the sources and health risks of indoor air and particles.

That’s an issue, because people spend a lot of time indoors. Indeed, the average American stays within four walls for almost 90% of their day. So knowing more about how your indoor environment affects your health is vital.

To better quantify environmental influences on health, researchers have begun using an “exposome” approach, which considers every last environmental exposure an individual experiences over a lifetime. Your own exposome includes everything from secondhand smoke when you were a baby to lead exposure in your childhood to particulate matter if you grew up near a major roadway or industrial facility. 

CLICK HERE to read more from this article by Gabriel Filippelli on Apple News

Fabric Protection that Really Works

DID YOU KNOW that one of the best ‘feel good’ experiences you can enjoy is having freshly-cleaned carpet or furniture? This is hard without fabric protection.

And one of the most frustrating experiences you won’t enjoy is when, within just a few days, something like red wine, coffee or tea is spilled on that freshly-cleaned carpet or furniture.

This is not good!

So you feverishly apply all kinds of household cleaning products and scrub in desperation. That spot does look a little better but it is still there. You have an important appointment so you give up. When coming home a few hours later… it has grown! (This is another mystery and you might want to ask your carpet cleaning pro why this happens.)

Fabric Protection

All of this drama could have been avoided if you had asked for fabric protection when you had your carpet or furniture cleaned. You know, like Scotchgard or Teflon or some of the other products available to consumers.

Yes, fabric protection does cost a little bit more but… it’s worth it!

How does it work?

Fabric protection is quite a mystery to many, but basically what it does is act as a kind of invisible shield that repels most substances that are spilled.

You might compare this to waxing a car. You are providing protection to your paint job by applying an invisible shield, and you know it is working because you can see water beading up on the surface.

Carpet and furniture fabrics need the same type of protection.

Besides the obvious immediate benefit of cleaning up fresh spills, you can rest assured that a protected carpet or piece of furniture is going to last longer because when something is clean, it performs better and increases the lifetime of the fabric.

This doesn’t mean you can skip regular cleaning. Anything that is dirty will wear out prematurely. Fabric protection enhances a good cleaning. It’s an added step that you want for your carpet and furniture in your home.

So you want peace of mind? The next time you have your carpet or furniture cleaned, ask for protection. You will like it… and so will your carpet and furniture.

Should You Wash Cushion Covers?

It’s a very easy thing to do… you notice your sofa cushion covers are a little dingy, which is perfectly normal with kids, pets and normal usage.

So you decide to do-it-yourself and wash the cushion covers. They come out looking nice. But you also notice a little problem. The colors aren’t as bright as they used to be, and it takes a lot of effort to get the covers back over the foam cushions themselves. In fact, for one cushion, you can’t even get it zipped up all the way.

The reason is that these casings are not designed to be washed like normal laundry. “But it has zippers!” you exclaim. Well, that’s for the convenience of the furniture manufacturing company or the upholsterer.

Keep these points in mind if you’re tempted to wash cushion covers:

  1. When you wash the cushion covers, there is some danger in fabric shrinkage and dye loss. If this happens, not much you can do to fix it.
  2. Shrinkage typically occurs in the drier, so if you are tempted to wash your own cushion covers, hang them to dry (but remember there is always risk).
  3. Dyes are funny things. The dyes on your favorite t-shirts are pretty tough and durable and last a long time, but on upholstery they can bleed or fade. 
  4. Putting cushion covers in the laundry can also cause problems with the integrity of the fabric, such as any latex backing that could be present; delamination, or the separation of the face fiber and backing, can occur.

So while you may do this, remove your covers for laundering, keep these points in mind and be very careful with your valuable furnishings! Do your furniture and all upholstery fabric a huge favor: Call Diablo Carpet & Flooring Restoration, your upholstery cleaning professionals, today!

4 Tips to Keep Your Carpet Looking Fresh and Clean for Longer

carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, grout cleaning, stone cleaning, hardwood cleaning, pet odor, pet stain, testimonial, review, walnut creek, san ramon, pleasanton, dublin, danville, concord, lafayette, orinda, alamo, hayward, pleasanton, san leandro, san lorenzo, castro valleyCarpet that stays clean and fresh for longer not only helps your home to look more attractive, it keeps your floors hygienic and safe as well. But keeping your carpet clean and hygienic can be more than a minor challenge, especially if you have pets and children around. Here we look at 4 tips that will help you maintain cleaner and fresher carpet from day to day.

Vacuum Regularly

Regular home maintenance of your carpet, including weekly vacuuming is an essential way to keep your carpets healthy and clean. Vacuuming removes weekly dirt and dust build up in the upper layer of the carpet, and can help to reduce dust mite levels. Vacuum all areas of the carpet, including under furniture and area rugs. This helps to keep the buildup of dust and dirt low and maintains your carpet’s cleanliness and hygiene.

Treat Stains Quickly

Promptly treating spills and marks can mean the difference between getting your carpets back to normal and being left with a permanent stain. By understanding the qualities of the substance that was spilled on your carpet, you can treat the stain most effectively. For example, a different stain removal method will be required to lift a fresh red wine stain compared to an oil stain. Calling a professional carpet cleaner for emergency stain removal service can be beneficial for more tricky stains, or if you can’t completely remove the stain on your first try at home.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Of course, keeping your carpets as clean as possible also means preventing them becoming dirty in the first place. Placing doormats at each entrance of your home, or asking family and visitors to remove their shoes before entering can help to keep your carpets clean. It may also be beneficial to keep some areas of your home off limits to children and pets in order to minimize staining and ‘accidents’. However, your home is meant to be lived in and enjoyed, and so you can’t always prevent dirt and stains. That’s where professional carpet cleaning can help make your carpets look and feel like new again.

Schedule Professional Cleaning

Scheduling professional carpet cleaning once a year is the ideal way to keep your carpets fresh, clean and hygienic. Professional cleaning can pick up the dust, dirt and stains you’ve missed, and reach deeper into the carpet layers to help extract odors and ingrained dirt. Professional carpet cleaning also helps to minimize dust and dust mite levels as much as possible, helping those with allergies breathe easier. Scheduling carpet cleaning means that you never forget to book a clean and your carpet stays fresh and beautiful year after year.

Clean carpets not only help to clean your home looking beautiful, they are also safer and more hygienic for your guests and family. Don’t put up with dirty and stained carpet. Keeping your carpets always looking fresh and clean is easy with regular attention and a structured cleaning schedule to lift out stains and renew your carpets.

Cleaning The Shower: Fast, Cheap and Easy

shower cleaning, clean your shower

The job of your shower or bathtub is to keep you and your family clean… yet you might have noticed that the shower or bathtub themselves are in need of attention from time to time.

The problem is a common one. You combine soap residue with hard water and the resulting challenge is a build-up on the walls of the shower, the fixtures and more. It can be an ugly, difficult-to-clean mess! Sometimes, the shower and bath seem to be dirtier than you…

The solution is also a common one, pretty easy to accomplish, if you have the right tools.

A somewhat misleading concoction some think works for cleaning shower stalls and bath fixtures is to mix vinegar with ammonia and add a few other ingredients. The problem with that is the vinegar and ammonia cancel each other out because of their respective acidity and alkalinity. Remember that the “crud” on the tile and tub need acidity to remove… thus the idea of using a vinegar or acidic solution.

Use This for Cleaning the Shower

Create your own cleaning agent using vinegar, a drop of Dawn Dish Soap (or similar product) with super-hot water. You will need a trigger sprayer or small pump-up sprayer. Apply the home-made concoction liberally over all the areas that need to be cleaned. Allow at least 5 minutes of contact time (the more the better) and then rinse.  You may need to repeat the application of vinegar, dish soap and hot water.

Using vinegar is safe. Don’t use a harsh acid (such as a rust removing product) in place of vinegar. The chemical reaction and resulting residue from using a strong acid can be harmful to your skin or the skin of your family.

Don’t forget that a little elbow grease may be necessary to get the job done right. The soap scum and mineral deposits can be very tough to remove. But with the right amount of cleaning solutions along with your own scrubbing efforts, your shower dilemma will be over.

Of course, for all your cleaning needs, from carpet to upholstery to tile floors and more, call your Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration!

Cleaning Wool Carpet and Rug: Good News? Or Baaaad?

wool carpet, sheep wool, care and maintenance

DID YOU KNOW that choosing a wool carpet or rug for your home is both good news… and sometimes bad?

The good news is choosing wool, which is a high quality fiber but not really that popular because of the higher price, means your carpet or rug will last longer, look better and retain value.

The bad news is choosing wool means you won’t see as much dirt on it, and so you may not vacuum or clean it that often — which means your nice, wool carpet or rug may prematurely wear out.

Why is that?

Most consumers base their cleaning frequencies on appearance. That can be dangerous for any carpet or rug, or any surface, for that matter. With wool, the physical makeup of the fiber has the characteristic of hiding dirt, especially those tiny, gritty particles that wear on the fibers. You might compare this to putting sand on a piece of Plexiglas and walking on it. The sand will act as an abrasive, damaging the surface.

While wool fibers won’t damage as quickly as other fibers, such as nylon, polyester or olefin, any type of dirt or soil on them isn’t good news at all.

What you should do is talk to a cleaning professional about cleaning based on frequency, not appearance. Get your cleaning scheduled on a regular basis, and remember that not every situation is the same. Your home may not need as frequent cleaning as another; that’s why a professional opinion is smart.

Yes, wool is good… or baaaad… depending on how you treat it.

Don’t Touch Another Carpet Stain Until You Read This!

The scenario is all too familiar. You’re sitting in the living room, entertaining friends, and someone has a spill on your carpet. You spring to the rescue to try to blot up the excess …but now what? Do you dab, blot, put vinegar on it, bleach it? The moments just after a spill and your actions could be what determines whether your carpet is left with a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors and no carpet is completely stain proof.

What you need to know:

What type of fiber is the carpet made from? Knowing the type of carpet fiber greatly helps you when selecting the type of spot and stain removing solutions you want to use. Most carpet (60%) sold in the USA is Nylon or Synthetic Fiber. This type of fiber is fairly stain resistant and many of the cleaning/spotting solutions sold through your local retail stores are made for these carpets. Wool/Natural fibers are more sensitive to stains and over the counter cleaning products. Yes, there are variations and brand names that will confuse this issues, but what you really care to know is if the carpet fiber is a synthetic (man-made fiber) or natural.

What was spilled?

Knowing what was spilled on the carpet will help you determine what approach and the types of spotting or stain removing solutions you might select to remove or reduce the likely hood of residual staining or permanent damage.

Spot Removal Steps:

Blot: Never scrub carpet fibers, as this can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you have solid or semi-solids in, scrape/remove them up with a spatula or spoon. Blot up the liquid with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no print) paper towels. We suggest fold the cloth/ towel(s) to increase the absorbency. (Hint: Applying downward pressure to the cloth/towel will improve absorption. Step or the cloth/towel will help with downward pressure. Change to dry cloth/towel frequently).

Pretest any spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the dyes or carpet fibers. (Hint… Closet or hidden corner)

Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel, and work the solution in to the affected area….gently. Work from the edge of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. If the spill is large, work with a small portion of the stain and test the result.  Let the spotting solution sit for about 10 minutes and blot-transfer the spill to a dry clean white cloth/towel. Be patient, as the removal or the spill may require repeating the same step several times.

Rinse: After the spill has been removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth/towel.

Spot/Stain Removal Guide: Go to www.carpet-rug.org. There is a published guide that can assist you in selecting the appropriate solution for removing various spots and stains.

Call a Professional Carpet Cleaner if you have any doubt or require professional assistance.

Spotting Solutions to have on hand: Make your own and save $$$$$$$$$$:

Detergent Solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear Dawn liquid dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Caution: Do not use dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, as these cleaning products are not made for carpets and will affect the color and dyes.

White Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar (NOT WINE) with 1 cup of water.

Although it’s easy to overreact when a spill occurs and run for the bottle of bleach, avoiding cleaning a stain yourself could be the best thing you do for your carpet. If your carpet is an investment you want to preserve and protect, call in the professional carpet cleaners to get the best stain removal results and to extend the life of your carpet

Floor Cleaning Basics

Floor Cleaning Basics, how to take care of your floors

 

Floors. You can’t avoid walking on them. You can’t avoid looking at them, either.

The condition of your floors really affects the appearance of your entire home. When you have visitors, they notice … whether your floors are clean and tidy and in good condition, and if they are soiled and dirty and in need of repair.

There are all types of flooring in homes today, from carpet and rugs to ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile, natural stone, wood and more.

Carpet

It’s generally accepted by most that carpet and rugs are easy to care for, regarding routine maintenance. Regular vacuuming does the trick. As a basic rule, vacuum your heavy-use areas once per week per occupant. Yes, your pets count as occupants. That means if you have a family of five with a dog and a cat, you would vacuum every day. Not the entire house, so don’t panic, but perhaps the living room and any other common-use areas that are trafficked each day. The other rooms can be vacuumed perhaps twice per week.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is also easy to maintain. It needs swept and mopped frequently to avoid soil build-up. Use neutral cleaners and follow directions. If you notice any streaking after you clean, follow your normal cleaning with a clear water mopping and get it as dry as you can.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, can be cleaned like ceramic tile, but consider a two-bucket system. One with neutral detergent and another with clear water.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is another matter. Be safe and obtain an approved wood cleaning product from the manufacturer, or you can inquire of your favorite cleaning service as to what you should use. After cleaning, you may need to do a light buffing with a soft cloth, especially high traffic areas. Wood is a bit more sensitive than other flooring types, but small surface scratches can often be buffed out. Larger scratches and damage might need to be professional repaired.

There are other flooring types, of course, and each one will respond well to proper cleaning. Floor cleaning can be challenging, as well as hard work. Why not leave it to the pros and spend your valuable time doing something else you enjoy?

Call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration today.  After all, it pays to call a pro!​