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.

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

4 Reasons Your Carpets or Area Rugs Need Professional Inspection

Your carpet is an investment in your home’s value and comfort, and so it’s important to protect your carpet with regular cleaning, maintenance and care. But how do you know the right type of care for your carpet? And what should you do about issues such as stains, worn patches and carpet replacement? This is where carpet inspection by a professional who knows all the details of carpet care and cleaning can be a critical part of preserving your carpet.

A carpet inspection can help you identify and diagnose issues with your carpet and determine the right treatment to optimize your carpet’s condition and give you the best results. Here are 4 reasons why you might need a carpet inspection, and how a professional carpet inspection can benefit you.

Carpet Cleaning or Stain Removal

If you are considering a professional carpet cleaning or you have a number of stains or bleach spots on your carpet that need removal, a carpet inspection should be an integral part of preparing for your carpet cleaning. A carpet inspection allows the cleaning professional to check the current condition of the carpet in order to recommend the correct mode of cleaning. The carpet inspection evaluates how old the carpet is, the pattern of wear, how well it has been maintained, and the type of fiber the carpet is composed of. This information allows the professional carpet cleaner to determine the most appropriate and safe mode of cleaning.

When it comes to carpet stain removal, you want stains to completely disappear, without leaving any residue or trace of the stain removal process. Bleach spots are even more difficult to correct because the carpet color needs to be correctly matched and added back in, or otherwise the carpet must be patched. Before these intricate and difficult processes to correct your carpet are undertaken, your carpet professional should provide a detailed carpet inspection.

Area Rug Cleaning

Area rugs are popular in houses with hardwood or tiled floors, in order to add warmth and comfort to the home. But cleaning area rugs can be tricky, as there are so many variations in the types of area rugs, the composition, the dye and the fringing, that expert attention needs to be paid to correctly inspecting and recommending a treatment for these rugs.

Cleaning an area rug incorrectly can lead to the dye bleeding, colors fading and even irreversible physical damage, which can lead to the loss of your valued rug. Many expert carpet cleaners offer complimentary carpet inspection before they conduct area rug cleaning in order to determine the most appropriate and safe methods of cleaning and handling.

Buying A New Home

If you are buying a new home with carpet, you want to ensure that the carpet is worth investing in. Repairing or replacing damaged carpet can cost thousands of dollars, and you don’t want to find out that you need this kind of expensive work on your prospective home’s carpet when it’s too late. If you are thinking of purchasing a new home that has carpet, call your local carpet care company to join you on a carpet inspection of your new home before you decide to buy.

Replacing Your Flooring

Carpet inspection can also be useful when you are thinking of replacing the flooring in your existing home. You may think your carpet is too stained or worn out and has to go, but an expert carpet inspection can help you understand whether it’s time to replace or whether you can simply repair.

A flooring inspection can also help you decide whether carpet, tiled or hardwood flooring would be best for your home if you do decide to replace, by inspecting the current condition of your flooring, evaluating your flooring use and taking into account your family’s lifestyle.

Carpet inspection is often neglected, but can be an extremely important aspect of caring for your flooring and help you to save money on floor replacement and repair in the long run.

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.

Taking On Holiday Stains

clean carpet spots, avoid holiday stains

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.

Carpet Traps Allergens

Beware of the Moth Man

Do you know your Fabric?

The First Area Rug