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!

Be a Dust Handler

Dust. It’s everywhere. Want proof? Reach over to a cabinet top, a window sill… just about any surface. Rub your finger on them and see what you get. Be a good dust handler!

While dust occurs naturally in Bay Area homes and buildings, there are some practical steps you can take to minimize how much dust affects the cleanliness of your Danville or San Ramon home but also how much it negatively affects health of your loved ones. A dust handler knows how to tackle it.

Exhaust fans
Talk about something you might never inspect, unless you think about it. Give it some thought now. In your bathrooms, look up at your exhaust fans — assuming you have them. Look closely. They are probably covered with dust and hair and other debris, and perhaps the circulation openings are completely clogged up. Use a vacuum to remove as much as you can, and when there is air flow into the fan, use some compressed air to finish the job. Loosening up the dust means the fan will move it on out.

Area rugs
While you vacuum your floors and area rugs on a scheduled basis, you never get as much dust out of area rugs than taking them outside and giving them a good “beating.” Of course, the area rug has to be of a size and weight you can handle. But if you get them outside, drape over a fence or patio chair, and go at them with a broom or tennis racket, you will get much more dust out of them than if you vacuumed alone.

High areas
Like your exhaust fans, other areas you might not inspect can be dust collectors. Think about your ceiling fans, trim around doors and windows, pictures and ornaments, any area above typical eyesight. Your favorite department store or online store will have a variety of dusting devices you can use. They also have products meant to, while you clean, attract dust, dander, and debris so you aren’t just moving it around. The main thing is to buy them and use them on a regular basis.

Maintenance
As with any task, performing what needs done on a schedule is important. Keeping a house clean and tidy is a task that never ends. From dusting to carpet cleaning, to hard floor care, and more, the best way to keep it all in perfect shape is to use the professionals of Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration who are helping you see clean again.

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.

Cleaning Air Conditioners

Mother and daughter enjoying air conditioning, cleaning air conditioners

It’s summertime. And if it isn’t that hot yet, it will be really soon. If hot weather isn’t in the forecast right now, give it time… it will warm up.

When hot weather strikes, most people work hard to be comfortable, and that means turning down the air in the home, using their trusty air conditioning system. For some, that means 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For others, 70. Others… like it even colder. It’s all about personal preference.

But when your air conditioner doesn’t perform adequately, or even worse, stops completely, panic strikes as the heat and humidity increases.

How can you avoid a sluggish or broken air conditioner? A few preventative maintenance steps can help tremendously. What do you know about cleaning air conditioners?

Keep it simple — and clean!

Any part of your air conditioning unit, whether it is a portable window variety, mini-split, or central air, it’s important to keep all working parts, filters, everything clean of dust and debris.

Cleaning air conditioners mostly means regular inspections, perhaps twice a month, and taking steps to clean dirty areas. If your air conditioner is portable and has a water collection tank, empty it regularly.

What comes in handy for removing dust and debris, especially from filters you can’t remove and aren’t washable, is a can of compressed air, such as you might use for your computer. But remember that when you blow dust off one surface, it will land on another.

And, if you aren’t sure about filter location or any aspect of your AC unit, ask a professional and take notes so you can refer to them in the future.

Call the pros for cleaning air conditioners

As with any electronic and complex piece of equipment, there are limits to what you can do yourself. Consider calling a professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company come in annually and perform an inspection. These are usually very inexpensive and, if you ever need repair service, they will respond faster if you are a regular customer (usually).

Once in a while, an air conditioning unit malfunctions or spills over, making a big mess. If that ever happens, it’s time to call your favorite cleaning company to take care of the issue. After all, it pays to call a pro!

Spring Cleaning: Closets

spring cleaning closets, organization, closet cleaning

Although traditionally a spring cleaning chore, cleaning and organizing a closet can be done any time of year.

And no, keeping the door shut isn’t the best solution to a messy, disorganized closet, although it may give you moments of sanity that quickly disappear when you venture inside for that favorite pair of pants you haven’t seen in months.

Here are a few quick tips on organizing and spring cleaning closets:

Empty the closet. 

Take everything out. Put it in organized piles according to type, such as a pile of shoes, shirts, pants, sweaters, etc.

Clean all surfaces in the closet. 

This means a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, some paper towels or cotton cloths. This is a good time to clean the walls, shelves, every surface you can reach.

Inspect what needs to go back in. 

Take a close look at those piles of shoes, shirts, pants, sweaters, etc. Do you need all of them? Are there some items you might discard or donate to charity? Now’s the time!

If you are a seasonal organizer, this could be an opportunity to store away, perhaps in a basement, items you won’t need for the near future.

Restock the closet. 

Give this some thought. Hanging as many items as you can on thinner hangers saves space. Have areas in the closet where you keep items you wear more frequently and other areas for items that you wear occasionally.

Consider garment organizers.

They’re helpful in keeping items separate for seasonal use, or for specific types of events, such as formal occasions. And remember the floor space, which can be used for shoe organizers.

Closets are very important real estate. Take advantage of them and keep them all neat, clean and organized. Imagine… going into a closet that doesn’t scare you as you select your favorite sweater to ward off a cold evening chill. Nice thought, right?

Cold Weather Comfort

space heater safety, home safety, precautions

 

It’s coming. You can probably feel it right now. Space heater safety season!

That’s right. Brrr! For some across the country, this means trying to keep warm and snug in the home.

Some find comfort from their fireplaces. Others might use electric blankets. And others rely on space heaters, either gas powered or electric, to boost the comfort level their regular heating system can’t always provide, especially in sub-zero temperatures.

Space heater safety is very important, as many suffer from accidental fires and burns annually from these necessary devices.

The first consideration is which type of space heater you will choose. Electric models are considered safer than those which use fuel, which can be overturned and quickly cause a fire difficult to extinguish. So be smart when shopping and consider how the heater will be used and if there are children or pets (or clumsy adults) that might tip it over.

Space Heater Safety features

  • Consider the size and shape of the heater. Lower-profile heaters are more difficult to tip over. Some space heaters are shaped like a tower, and can easily be tipped. Avoid those.
  • While all space heaters should have an automatic turn-off mechanism if tipped over, still do your research and ensure yours has one.
  • If you have children or pets, an outer grill safety feature should be mandatory. You don’t want accidental contact burns to occur.

General Fire Safety tips

  • Measure the area you wish to heat and make sure the device you purchase is sufficient for the space. An overworked heater can be dangerous. And one that is too large for a room can overheat the room and be uncomfortable.
  • When purchasing a fuel-fired heater, never fill it while the device is on. Open flames are dangerous. Use appropriate, approved containers to carry the fuel.
  • When purchasing an electric heater, make sure it is plugged into a three-prong outlet that is grounded. Any extension cords you use must be able to handle the current your heater will need. Be sure to ask an expert about this.
  • Common sense dictates keeping any flammable materials away from the heater, such as furnishing, draperies, etc.
  • When you turn the heater off, give it plenty of time to cool down before touching or moving it.

But if anything does happen, such as a fire or smoke damage, then it’s time to get some professional help. Call your disaster restoration experts. After all, it pays to call a pro!

Importance of Service

Wool Hides Dirt!

Dirt Dulls Carpet