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!

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.

Man’s Best Friend – Pet Accident

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DID YOU KNOW that man’s best friend can actually become your worst nightmare?

That’s right. He’s cuddly, cute and you love him, but sometimes he has a problem with “accidents” and pretty soon, you start to notice the… ummm… odiferous situation in your Bay Area home.

Besides the obvious occasional accident from Fido, his hair can also be an issue. Once he shakes a bit off, it goes into the carpet and furniture and sticks to it all and it can be quite a problem. This may not be noticeable at first if Fido has short hair, but you’ll notice it building up over time.

Then you have the issue of “I want in. I want out. I want in.” You know it… Fido is always on the move and the constant going outside and then back inside brings in all kinds of dirt.

What can you do about all this?

1. Clean messes up quickly. Once you discover an “accident,” it’s important to grab a few paper towels and blot up the mess before it sinks down into the padding of the carpet. A good enzyme deodorizer like you might get from the vet helps with lingering odors, but of course it’s best to have a professional carpet cleaner near you come over to handle these odor challenges. They are best equipped to tackle the accidents that have seeped deeper than the first layer.

2. Brush your dog frequently. A hairy situation can be tamed by brushing your dog often. Loose hair that’s about to go into the carpet and furniture can be easily pulled from Fido with a good grooming brush. And guess what? He probably likes the attention!

3. Use mats. While you may not have the time to wipe off Fido’s muddy paws each time he wants back inside, it is a good idea to place mats inside and outside the door. When Fido want’s back inside, let him beg a little bit on the outside mat because some of that dirt is definitely going to come off.

Do all of this and man’s best friend is going to be a dream to live with, not a nightmare!

Whether you have a dog, cat, or other pet, let the carpet cleaning specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration take care of any pet stains or odor removal needs by calling them at 925-833-0408.

The Basics of Spot Removal

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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!

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

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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.

Taking On Holiday Stains

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It’s that time of year when you start planning for family and friends to visit and, since you are hospitable, you start thinking of all the delicious meals, snacks and beverages you will serve them when they arrive.

Despite the very best attempts of you and your guests to keep things on the plate, in the bowl, in the glass and on the spoon or fork, the inevitable happens: Food or drinks spill, and for some reason they always spill on the carpet. Usually white carpet.

There is no need to panic, but there is a need to gather your thoughts, keep your cool and not overreact to the situation. That is difficult when you witness a full glass of merlot splashing onto your white, wool rug in the middle of the living room.

Your first reaction might be to grab a random cleaning product from the collection underneath the kitchen sink. This can be a mistake. Some consumers have been known to use window cleaner, bathroom tile cleaners and other products on carpet.

Instead, keep things simple. Use these three, easy-to-remember steps:

1. Scrape and Blot

If the spill is food related, scrape up as much as you can. Then, using white, disposable paper towels or white, washable cotton towels, start blotting up the spill. Keep at it until the area you are working on is fairly dry and you have removed as much of the spot as you can. Then…

2. Add product

Using a flip-top or trigger sprayer application, apply small amounts of a product manufactured specifically for carpet fibers. The best products for this can be obtained from your carpet and furniture cleaning company. Blot in between applications, and when the spot is gone, use a little warm water to help remove the cleaning residue, blotting as you do so. Then…

3. Blot some more

When the job is complete, and you are happy with the results, blot until all moisture seems to be removed and then leave a white, absorbent towel on the spot with a weight on the towel, so any remaining moisture wicks up into the towel. Leave the towel in place for several hours.

But when the occasion occurs (and it will) and the spot just won’t come out, stop your work to avoid damage to the color texture of the carpet and “setting” of the spot or stain. Quickly call your carpet and furniture cleaning specialist.

How to Prep Your House for Bad Weather – Part 2

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Previously, we provided some practical tips to prep your house by inspecting windows, roofs and gutters — and making sure they were all in good shape. Why? Because winter and bad weather is coming!

Being prepared for cold, windy, rainy and snowy weather is important. Preparation means you will — hopefully — avoid water, mold, wind, fire and smoke damage to your home.

Don’t Neglect to Disconnect

Those beautiful spring, summer and fall days mean you are gardening, watering and taking care of the outside. But winter is a different story. Before the grip of cold weather sets in, take a few minutes to walk around outside the home and disconnect any hoses connected to faucets. If you are able to, turn off the outside faucets from inside the home just in case a pipe were to freeze and break. A broken faucet or pipe means water can flood the interior of your home.

Inspect the HVAC

It doesn’t cost that much to have a professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning company inspect your heating and cooling system. Be sure to have a company inspect and clean any chimneys you use. A puff-back of smoke is expensive to clean up, and the unthinkable event of a fire can be avoided with preventative maintenance.

Keep them charged

Your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are your silent sentinels, diligently protecting your family. Prep your house by testing your detectors monthly and changing the batteries, even if they still seem to be working fine, every six months. Perhaps do this when you change the clocks for daylight savings time in the spring and fall.

Being prepared is smart. But if something does happen to your home, be sure to reach out to Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration!

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