The Basics of Vacuuming

If you have carpet or rugs, you have a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum is absolutely necessary to keep your valuable carpet and rugs clean of particulate or dry soil. Vacuuming is not rocket scientist but there are essential elements to make it effective.

While vacuuming may seem like a basic housekeeping chore and simple to do, the biggest challenge is getting out the vacuum and actually putting it to use.

Frequency

How often you vacuum depends on the size of your family, and this includes pets. As a general rule, you should vacuum the main areas in your home, such as the living room, hallways, and other high traffic areas, one time each week per occupant.

For example, if you have four people and one dog in your family, vacuum five times per week, in those high traffic areas. For low-trafficked areas, once per week should suffice. This might seem extensive and perhaps unnecessary, but it keeps your carpet and rugs virtually free of dry soil buildup.

How to vacuum

You might be thinking, “You just plug it in and push it across the floor.” Which is basically what you do. The problem is how fast you move and how much overlapping you cover when running the vacuum.

While you may push the vacuum forward fast, slow down when you pull it towards you. This way the beater bar, if your vacuum has one, has a chance to work loose the soils. Also, overlap several inches from side to side so you have complete coverage of the floor.

Choosing the best vacuum

Quality matters when choosing a good vacuum cleaner. The cheaper ones at department stores may work fine for a while, but they quickly lose efficiency and often break down. Look at the reviews of any vacuum cleaner you are contemplating and spend a few more dollars on a superior model. Your carpet and rugs will be better off in the long run.

Choosing a vacuum with a beater bar is smart. Especially with thick pile carpet, it helps remove more dry soil. Some choose vacuum cleaners with a bagless option. If you use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, change it out when about half full, for maximum efficiency. Purchase plenty of replacement bags and have them on hand for this purpose.

Get with the pros

Cleaning companies, especially those who specialize in carpet and rug cleaning, can help you choose a quality vacuum for vacuuming. Get their input. After all, it pays to call a pro like Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration!

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!

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!

How to Take Care of Your Outdoor Gas Grill

There’s nothing more enjoyable to food lovers everywhere than firing up the gas grill and creating some delicious meals, whether steaks, burgers, bratwursts or healthy home-grown vegetables.

Keeping that gas grill in good shape is, therefore, paramount to happy outdoor barbecues and family gatherings.

And here’s something we all know: Outdoor gas grills don’t clean or take care of themselves. It takes determination on your part to keep them working for you, meal after meal after meal.

Here are a few easy steps to keeping your gas grill in good shape.

Step 1: 

After cooking your favorite treat on the grill (after removing all the food to a platter, of course) keep the grill on. In fact, turn it up a bit, and let all the bits of meat and drippings burn to a crisp so after everything cools you can scrape them off the grill grate. If you don’t do this, the next time you fire up the grill means you will be dealing with the remnants of the previous meal. That’s not tasty.

Step 2: 

Look underneath… no matter the quality of your grill, if you have a storage area for pans, spatulas and the propane tank, food drippings and debris can quickly create a problem. Clean out that storage area on a regular basis, keeping everything neat and ready for the next meal.

Step 3:

Don’t ignore the exterior of the grill. Washing the outside of the grill with warm, soapy water keeps grime from building up.

Step 4: 

When not in use, keep everything covered up. Some feel that with warmer weather, they can leave the grill exposed to the elements. Hey, it’s meant to be outside, right? Yet keeping the grill under a quality grill cover can add years of life to your trusty outdoor cooking partner.

Of course, with outdoor grilling comes greasy spills that can spot and stain your carpet. Nearly everyone has dropped a burger or a hot dog on the floor when bringing the food inside. Even worse is when your tasty treat is covered with mustard or ketchup. Do your carpet a favor and call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration when that happens.

Breathe Easy with Better Indoor Air Quality

protecting kids and adults from allergies through improved indoor air quality

Can you tell what the indoor air quality is like? In the Tri-Valley, allergies are running really high. Do you want to spread that into your home.

As you start reading this, do a quick exercise. Breathe in, really deep… go ahead, fill your lungs. Feels good, right?

Taking a deep breath of air, especially outdoors after a thunderstorm or when the air is crisp and clean, smells and feels good. It’s refreshing.

But taking a deep breath of air inside, such as in a home or commercial building, can be a different matter altogether. Indoor air quality in building can differ dramatically.

The air you breathe, you innocently assume, is clean and healthy. That may not always be the case, as reports of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) prove that not every indoor environment can be considered healthy.

When indoor air quality is poor, there can be issues for many people. Especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses, among others. The list can be quite extensive.

Poor indoor air quality doesn’t just mean “stuffy” air, like can build up in a home that doesn’t have sufficient air exchanges. Although that can contribute to poor health, what really causes health concerns is excessive dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other pollutants. While these pollutants are often indoors, they can also be outdoors, and you must recognize the effect they have on your health. You may decide to stay indoors after a poor outdoor air quality report on the news.

What you can control, though, at least to some degree, is the indoor air quality in your home.

What can you do? It’s simple. Keep things clean. Change your furnace and air conditioning filter on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer. Use a quality vacuum for your carpet and furniture and use it weekly, and more often if you have a busy household. Those hard floors? They need cleaned as well, as dust can easily build up and become airborne from those surfaces. When you dust surfaces, use a soft cloth that will hold the dust instead of pushing it off onto the floor.

And, of course, have your carpet and furniture cleaned based on the recommendation of your favorite cleaning company. In fact, isn’t it time you had your carpet and furniture cleaned… right now? For a healthier, cleaner home free of allergies, have your flooring and furniture regularly cleaned by a professional.

3 Best Ways to Kick Off Spring Cleaning Tasks

spring cleaning tasks, carpet cleaning, stain remove, allergy relief

As winter rolls into spring, you may want to concentrate on fixing, organizing, and cleaning what’s outside — after all, most say that working in the sun is better than working under a light bulb — but there are some tasks inside that just shouldn’t be ignored as part of the annual ritual we call spring cleaning.

Here are a few that will help your indoor air quality the minute you handle them through the course of your spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tasks Worth Doing

Dusty Decisions

A cold, hard winter means the house has been closed up and not aired out. The natural tendency is to think there is no dust coming in. That’s not true. Spring cleaning is a good time to thoroughly dust your entire home, picking up small items off table and desktops, cleaning off the tops of window frames, and don’t forget the baseboards.

Dust the entire home. Be sure to use rags or towels that will collect the dust, instead of spreading it around or pushing it off surfaces onto the floor, where you will just walk on it and kick it around.

All this work means you will be rewarded with less exposure to indoor airborne allergens.

Ducts and Vents

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system works hard to keep you comfortable, and while it does that, the ductwork gets dusty and dirty. You don’t see it, so the tendency is you don’t worry about it.

Take off a vent or two and inspect. Get out the flashlight. Take a white towel and push it into the ductwork. Does it come out brown? While you can clean the vents, it’s virtually impossible to clean the ductwork yourself. You need to call a professional for the duct cleaning work.

Vacuum and Sweep

This is a good time to get out your vacuum, inspect it thoroughly and clean it up, and start vacuuming everything. Every square inch of carpet you can get to and move as much furniture as you can. You would be amazed how much dust can build up under furniture over the winter.

Besides vacuuming the carpet, get a vacuum tool that can handle the hard floors as well. If you use a regular broom, you may stir up the dust and put it up in your breathing space. If you must sweep, find a tool that doesn’t “whisk” the dust up.

A Real Clean

When you realize the job is tough and need a professional cleaning company for your spring cleaning needs, look towards an experienced, knowledgeable crew. It ensures your house is not only clean but healthy especially with all the spring allergens.