How to Remove Hard Water Stains

hard water stains, calcium deposits, scale, lime rust

Spots and stains, no matter where they land, are unsightly and ugly, and you work hard to remove them.

A spot is easy to remove, because it’s a deposit of substance that sits on top of a surface. Examples include chocolate, milk, or ketchup. A stain is a different challenge altogether, as it means the substance has penetrated or is strongly attached to a surface. Examples include mustard, curry, or Kool-Aid.

Hard water stains are common occurrences, and often challenging to remove. If you don’t get to them quickly, they can become even tougher to tackle.

What are they?

Hard water stains, often called lime deposits, are basically limestone, calcium and magnesium, among other mineral substances. They all come from ground content. The more minerals in the ground, the harder the water.

Certain areas of the country have more mineral content than others, and without a water softening system in a home or business, the result is a buildup of hard water stains anywhere water stands and dries, such as around sinks, underneath water fountains, and on bathroom floors.

They can also be a problem in toilets and other receptacles that hold water. Mineral deposits can also affect appliances, such as coffee pots.

If you have ever washed dishes, your car, or other shiny surfaces, and the water is hard, you can easily see the issue. White “scales” of minerals are a problem.

How to remove them

Obviously, the best way is prevention. Wiping up water from surfaces before it dries keeps water stains at bay.

But when they do occur, you need to consider which type of cleaning product will react with the mineral stains.

The most common mineral stain cleaning product is white vinegar, which is acidic. Since mineral stains are alkaline, like rust, an acid-based cleaning product is required. White vinegar is safe, easy-to-use, and effective for most mineral deposit issues. Use it as you would any cleaning product. Apply, allow a minute or two of contact time, and wipe away.

But if the mineral deposit is heavy, and white vinegar doesn’t do the trick, then a formulated product from your department or hardware store is your next choice. These are stronger acid products and you must follow directions when using them. Applying them to certain surfaces can damage those surfaces so be sure to read the fine print.

Always wear protective gloves and glasses; skin and eye contact with any cleaning product can be hazardous.

And, as you know, when you have cleaning questions or need professional cleaning services in your home, do the smart thing. Call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call Diablo Carpet and Flooring Restoration!

The Myth of Vacuuming

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You would be hard pressed not to find this noisy, electrical and often-underused mechanical device in any home, apartment or business.

What is it? The vacuum cleaner. You know, that silent sentinel in your closet that comes to life when you plug it in and push the power button, and it buzzes all over the carpet as you follow it around the house.

How Much Do You Trust Your Vacuum?

The problem with the vacuum cleaner is we trust it too much. No, we’re not saying you shouldn’t vacuum your carpet. You should vacuum once per week per occupant, on average, for the main areas. You might vacuum the bedrooms less frequently. We all know that proper vacuuming is important in caring for the carpet.

But some feel that vacuuming the carpet is equal to carpet cleaning. That’s a myth and it is simply not true. Professional carpet cleaning removes so much more than a vacuum can remove. Yet it has been reported that consumers feel that frequent vacuuming removes the dust and grime from their floors and they can either skip or prolong regular carpet cleaning.

That’s not the case.

It’s Not a Wash

A good vacuum, no matter how powerful or advanced, removes only dry soil. The stuff that is tracked in every day and should be removed every day, as well. Vacuums don’t remove the sticky, greasy soil stuck to the carpet fibers. You need professional cleaning to remove those soils.

Compare this to washing your car with a dry rag… or brushing your hair and skipping the shower and shampoo… or — well, you get the point. You need quality cleaning, deep carpet cleaning, to get your carpet thoroughly cleaned.

Do yourself a favor. Keep that vacuum cleaner working, use it all the time, but also use Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration for your cleaning needs. We know what it takes to remove ALL the dirt!

Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?

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DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can still feel negative effects in the presence of some common things around the house?

It’s not something that necessarily has to start growing in the basement of your house after a flood. It’s something that can “just happen” and it’s not good news. But it can be easily fixed.

First of all, what are we talking about?

New old stuff brought in

There are some items that can come into your home that can trigger your allergies or other sensitivities. These can include cardboard boxes, packages and other items sent or brought to you. The worse of these would be old stuff, things that have been around a while, gathering allergens.

Old ‘normal’ stuff

We’ve all been to a library and sniffed old books. OK, maybe not all of us, but those that remember books and libraries can relate. These old books and documents can be allergen triggers, so be sure to remember this before checking them out or taking them into your home.

Old decorations

Sure, the holidays are a time when you use ornaments and stuff, and this is just a few times a year… but you have to store them, right? Remember that they can bring in allergens. It might be best to give them at least a wipe-down, if not a complete cleaning, before putting them into the attic.

Old mattresses

Ick. This is a tough one, and sometimes a sensitive issue. Sure, it’s OK to pass on mattresses from one generation to another (what is family for?), but what are you getting when you inherit an old mattress or other bedding from someone not close to you? And don’t be tempted by that new-looking mattress at your neighbor’s garage sale. You just don’t know what you are getting into. Did you know that everymattress has dust mites?

Old rugs and carpet

Rugs and carpet are very important to you, but be sure to have them inspected by your carpet cleaning pro before bringing them into your home. These are items that can collect all types of allergens and other contaminants that can affect you and your family.

Don’t be afraid to throw old stuff out. Remember, it’s your home and your family’s health. Protect it!

Just make sure that what you bring into your home is safe for any allergy or asthma issues you or your family may have. 

Dust Mites and You

dust mites, mattress cleaning, allergens

No matter who you are, no matter where you live, you never sleep alone.

But don’t panic…those sleeping with you are somewhat peaceful. And not really that noticeable, until the “Welcome” sign goes up and they start inviting a bunch of guests over. Once the invitation goes out, there can be millions that end up in one mattress alone!

Yes, we are speaking of dust mites, those super-tiny eight-legged creatures that live in every house and take up residence in virtually every pillow, mattress and other comfortable abodes in the world.

Commonly called the “house dust mite,” (there are a couple of different types known to inhabit various parts of the world) this little creature feeds on flakes of shed human and animal skin and known to be a cause of asthma and allergic reactions.

Dust mite feces contain a powerful digestive enzyme that causes all kinds of breathing problems — if there are enough of the creatures in your home.

Some people are highly sensitive to dust mites, while others never have a reaction.

 

What can you do?

First of all, like we already said, don’t panic. Dust mites are everywhere, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

What you can do is keep things clean. Dust mites reproduce quickly in mattresses, beddings, pillows and other areas because these absorbent items take up moisture, such as saliva, perspiration and blood, from body contact. Dust mites prefer those warm, moist environments created by sleeping bodies.

Besides moisture, they need food. Dust mites are like any living creature. They need to eat. The skin flakes, dander and other protein sources are food for dust mites, so regular vacuuming is smart, especially using one with HEPA filtering. And running an air cleaner in your home with HEPA filtering will help, too.

Professional cleaning is a good investment for your home. Deep cleaning all fabrics on a regular basis means you are taking food away from these unwanted tenants. Logically, this equates to fewer dust mites coming over to party at your house.

So be a smart homeowner. Keep things clean and keep some of the pests away! Contact Diablo Carpet today.

Always Do This When Cleaning

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Taking care of cleaning chores around the house is something Bay Area homeowners have engaged in since houses were invented. Not much thought goes into it other than it just needs done. Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration is here to make it easy for you.

However, some specialized tasks, such as removing a spot from a carpet, getting rid of an irritating pet odor from the family dog or trying to find the best cleaning solution for the toughest jobs can actually end up causing more harm than good.

Spot removal

When we find a spot on the carpet, there are two things people tend to do. The first is to put way too much cleaning solution on the spot, saturating it and even getting the padding wet. This just spreads the spot and causes trouble in the future. The second is we tend to scrub way too long and way too hard. This can fray the fibers and you can’t fix that. So when you get a spot, put some solution on a white towel and blot. Never scrub or rub. This is very important. Should the problem persist, contact your Bay Area carpet cleaning specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Odor removal

The biggest question when Fido or Fluffy does their thing on the carpet is “How do I get it out?” That’s not always easy unless you get to it right away. Urine will penetrate into the carpet, the padding and even the subfloor, and when it dries, over time it becomes sticky and smelly.

People will sometimes put powdered carpet deodorizers on those spots, which only gums up the carpet and creates a residue very difficult to remove. Like with spot removal, blotting the area quickly is usually the best remedy for the do-it-yourself types. If you are unsure or the issue continues, contact the Bay Area pet stain and pet odor specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Using Products

When one product works well and you find another one works well, too, the tendency is to mix them. Remember, never mix ammonia and bleach. Both are effective products on their own, but mixed together, they become deadly. Other products on your shelf could, if mixed together, create toxic fumes that can cause harm to your family. Always follow directions.

How can you avoid all these problems and challenges? It’s simple: Call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration today at 925.833.0408. We’ll be right over to save the day.

Spring Cleaning – Simplified

 

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Spring is the season of new and fresh starts. It is often looked upon as a time to declutter and cleanse your house of all the grub. However, this process can become overwhelming and subject to eternal procrastination. Thus, Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has simplified it into a few steps to make the process fun and less daunting.

Organizing the Project

If we sit down and write down every cleaning task we’d like to do, we would have the list that will never die. Instead, we always recommend the rule of 3. This means that you do not need to do everything but stick to the most important. Thus, start with creating a to do list and put the top three items that need to be done in the house. Subsequently, put a list of the top three items in each room in the house beyond those initial ones. A key provision to all of this is that each of these items must be very specific. Do not simply put “Clean the Bedroom”. Specify things like “Organize the Closet” or “Go through all the Toys”. Once you have your detailed list, you should then split up the list among all family members and set two to three weekends to get the job done.

Plan Ahead

While you will do each set of tasks over a period of time, it is important to plan ahead for each weekend of activities. Beyond having the list of what you have to complete this Spring, take the time to break down the tasks needed to do the specific cleaning. For instance, if one of the items is to get the carpets professionally cleaned, then you need to research and contact companies in advance so they come on the day you are prepared to accept them and allow them to clean everything. Along the same thought process, if one of the cleaning tasks is to move all your boxes from one room to the garage, you should plan to do this before having professional carpet cleaning. Otherwise, you’ve wasted the professional carpet cleaning of your Bay Area home.

Make it Fun

Spring cleaning can be very taxing and often emotional, especially for the little kids. The children rarely want to give up their long held toys, even if they haven’t been touched in years. Thus, you can make a game out of the whole affair. For instance, you can give them incentive by letting them keep any monies they receive for them. Alternatively, you could show them how those items could benefit those who are less fortunate. Another option could be to create a scavenger hunt game out of the decluttering so the kids have fun and forget about the impact the loss is having on them.

Thus, contact your carpet cleaning specialist today at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to make your spring cleaning a breeze.

Robot Vacuums for Carpet, Hardwood, and Area Rug Cleaning

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As technology takes over our lives, robot vacuums are appearing in more and more homes.  They go around your home and handle things without you having to bend, crawl, or move items.  How can this impact your floor cleaning?

Regular Cleaning

These vacuums allow you to have your floors cleaned on a regular, consistent schedule.  While you may have previously vacuumed your home on a weekly or more infrequent basis, you can now have your floors cleaned daily, perhaps while you sleep. To make this system work, you will now have to empty and maintenance the robot vacuum cleaner every day or few days.

Hard to Reach Spots

Beyond the more consistent schedule, these vacuums are generally smaller and able to go into hard to reach spots.  Think about the last time you vacuumed, did you actually lift your couch to clean underneath it?

Spot Cleaning

Some of these robot vacuums have a mode for handling a spill or mess in one area.  This allows the vacuum to focus on that section of the home and clean it up, although not all the robot cleaners come with this setting.

Mop Replacement

While not all robot vacuums have it, a few of them have an option for it to mop or “wet clean” certain types of floors too.  This is a nice feature but the technology is still evolving, and they have extremely limited scrubbing power. This is not at a level that should be used as a regular replacement to mopping just yet.

Technology Limitations

Some of these vacuums are now wifi-connected, so you can trigger it through an app on your phone or computer. Things are still a little behind though, as with the mop feature, much this technology is still evolving.  The battery can be limited, the bin size maybe too small to handle more than one cleaning worth of dirt, or the device may fall down stairs, get stuck on area rugs, or have trouble finding its way back to the charging station.

Vacuum-Proof the Home

Having these devices doesn’t mean you can leave it and forget it.  You need to clean up the surrounding areas as small toys, socks, or other small items could get stuck in it and break it.

In fact, this can be a big issue with pets, especially if they are not toilet trained.  Recently, one of our clients had severe damage to the device and their flooring when the robot vacuum spread a puppy’s accident all over their home.  We were able to completely clean and sanitize their flooring but the vacuum had tremendous damage.

Doesn’t Fully Replace Vacuuming

While this helps keep the house somewhat cleaner, these devices are not as powerful or effective as traditional vacuums. It is recommended that you still vacuum regularly and use a robotic vacuum for home maintenance in between more familiar methods of floor cleaning. A recent robot vacuum review found that the upright traditional vacuum is still far more effective that the best bots.

While robot vacuums promise to be one of the next wave of useful technologies, we still have a long ways to go.  Regular vacuuming and even professional carpet, hardwood, or area rug cleaning are still essential.  Please contact us with any questions or if you’d like to schedule your professional cleaning today.