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Odor Control in the Home

How to Remove Blood Spots from Carpet and Furniture

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Blood spots on your carpet or on your furniture… what a terrible thing! These spots can come from a family member or pet. Hopefully when it happens, it’s not from a very serious accident.

But when it does happen, you must remove it quickly. Blood spots can be removed fairly easily if you get to it quick enough.

Of course, if there is a fair amount of blood, more than just a few spots, it’s best not to do anything except call a professional carpet cleaner.

For a small amount of blood, though, you should be able to handle the task of removing the spot if you follow some simple, safe procedures.

Removing Fresh Blood from Your Carpet

1. Blot.

When you have a fresh blood spot, get a white absorbent and disposable towel (like a paper towel without print on it) and blot up as much as you can. Never rub or scrub. That can damage the color and/or texture of the fabric, especially furniture fabric.

2. Wet blot.

There is probably still a spot remaining, even with a lot of blotting. So take about a quart of luke-warm water in a bowl, and add a drop of dish soap to it. Just a drop, you don’t want to leave any sticky residue behind. Dip a fresh, white absorbent and disposable towel into the solution and carefully blot the blood again. What you are trying to do is use the detergent solution to release the blood from the fibers into the towel.

3. Peroxide.

After that, if there is still some light blood staining remaining, use a fresh, white, absorbent and disposable towel to apply a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, the same strength you purchase at a drug store. But remember, hydrogen peroxide is a “bleach” and you must be careful with colors, especially on furniture fabrics. It’s best to test an area like on the back, bottom skirting to make sure the colors aren’t affected.

Phew! That’s a lot of work. And it might do the trick, but it might not. You could set the blood and it could become a difficult stain if you aren’t careful.

So if you don’t like to live dangerously and would rather play it safe… your favorite carpet and furniture cleaning company, Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration can help you. They know exactly what to do for your East Bay home. They have the tools and cleaning solutions to do it right!

If you have questions or need our assistance, contact our stain removal specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to help keep your flooring beautiful.

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.

Do Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solutions Really Work?

homemade carpet cleanser

Creating homemade cleaning solutions can seem like a great way to save money and create a more natural way to clean. But are homemade carpet cleaning solutions really as effective and safe as professional carpet cleaning? While the idea of making your own carpet cleaning solution seems tempting, it’s important to investigate if homemade cleaning solutions are really worthwhile. Here we look at some of the most popular homemade carpet cleaning solutions and how they compare to professional options.

‘Dry’ Home Carpet Cleaning Powders

One of the easiest and simplest ways to use a homemade carpet cleaner is to dry carpet clean with a powder that’s then vacuumed up. This eliminates the need for getting the carpet wet to shampoo, which is always risky when not done by a professional. Many homemade powder carpet cleaners are made of some combination of baking soda and cornstarch, scented with herbs, potpourri or essential oils. For a stronger cleaner, occasionally borax and baking soda are combined.

Once sprinkled and left on the carpet for some time, these powdered cleaners are vacuumed up. Powders can be useful for adding scent to a room, but they don’t really ‘clean’ the carpet. Thorough carpet shampooing and rinsing is required to really provide any effectiveness in removing stains, odors, dust and dirt. Furthermore, borax and baking soda and extremely alkaline, and can be irritating when small amounts are left in the carpet after vacuuming. For the most effective deodorizing, cleaning, stain removal and rinsing for safety, professional steam carpet cleaning is necessary.

Home Carpet Cleaning Solution For Machines

Some homeowners have developed homemade solutions to be used in carpet cleaning machines that may be hired for home use. These solutions can include vinegar, dish soap, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, salt, essential oils and other household ingredients. However, although they are used with a carpet cleaning machine, these homemade solutions could create issues.

Firstly, using anything other than a professionally developed cleaner on your carpets always carries the risk of damaging your carpet. Solutions containing any kind of bleach should be particularly avoided, as this can lead to bleach stains. You need to choose the right cleaner for your carpet fiber type as well as the right technique with the machine. Secondly, using your own cleaning solution in a hired carpet cleaning machine could make you liable for any breakages or problems with the machine. Finally, if you are inexperienced with how to use a carpet cleaning machine, you can cause your carpets to become sodden or matted, which is difficult to reverse. Overly wet carpet can become the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Homemade Spot Carpet Cleaning Solutions

For quick spill clean ups, homemade spot cleaning solutions can help when you need to counteract a spill fast. While professional solutions that are proven safe for your carpets are always preferable, gentle spot cleaners can help to manage the spill until professional carpet cleaning or professional stain removal is undertaken.

After thoroughly blotting, a sprinkling of baking soda on a water-based spill or pet accident can help to lift additional moisture, and can then be vacuumed away. Blotting a gentle dilution of clear Dawn liquid soap on the affected area can help to further remove residue.

If in doubt it’s always best to ask your carpet cleaning professional about what’s right for your carpets. A professional carpet cleaner can accurately diagnose and provide the best treatment for your specific carpet type.

Why Odor Removal is so Important: Studies Show How Scent Influences Us

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Smell is one of the senses that is most closely connected to our emotional state. Have you ever smelled a scent or an odor that reminded you of something and contacting it again takes you right back to where you first noticed it? Scent can have a powerful effect on our feelings and behaviors. Recent research has found that 75% of the emotions that we have on a daily basis are affected by smell. Scent is powerfully connected to our memory and emotions. So, what are the scents and odors in your home saying to you? Here we look at how powerful scent can be and why it’s important to effectively remove odors from your home.

The Benefits Of Positive Scent

Positive smells have been shown to improve people’s emotions, encourage people to stay in an area longer and even to boost revenues in commercial spaces.

  • Positive mood – Studies have shown that pleasant smells improve the mood of those exposed to them more effectively than placebos (unscented sprays). Positive smells can give a higher attractiveness rating to people and environments, while bad odors can detract from our perception of the environment. Creating a pleasant odor in your home can make your home seem more attractive, stylish, and appealing.
  • Attraction and retention – Pleasant smells cannot only draw people into your space, they can help people stay longer as well. In a study by SMI and C. Russell Brumfield, researchers found that floral and citrus scents can influence people to linger as much is 25 to 40% longer in stores[1]. Creating positive odors in your home could help people feel more welcome and make your home a more inviting environment.
  • Increase value and revenue – Creating positive smells is not just important for homes, it’s crucial for businesses as well. In a 1995 study conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch, it was found that pleasant ambient scent in one area of a casino was related to 45% more revenue when compared to a non-scented area. Because positive smells draw people in and encourage them to stay, creating an inviting odor can improve business appeal and revenue.

How Bad Odors Detract From Your Space

Bad odors can quickly accumulate in your home and settle in carpet and soft furnishings to linger in your home. Some of the most common sources of bad odors include –

  • Dirty or wet pets
  • Pet hair
  • Pet urine or droppings
  • Cooking smells
  • Cleaning or maintenance chemicals
  • Mold, mildew or must
  • Smoke

Removing these odors can be tricky, especially once they’ve settled fully into carpets, area rugs and soft furnishings. Deep professional carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, and upholstery cleaning can reach deep into soft furnishing fibers and completely remove odor particles. When it comes to preventing and removing odors due to pet accidents and stains, it’s important to act fast to prevent the spill reaching the deep layers of padding and settling there. When spills reach this deep level, odors can be harder to remove so it’s important to catch these spills early to remove odors more effectively. Emergency carpet cleaning and stain removal can help to address spills and stains quickly to prevent lasting issues.

Creating an inviting and appealing home or work environment starts with removing unpleasant odors and cultivating more pleasant scents. Talk to us today about expert odor removal to help make your space more pleasant and welcoming.

[1] http://www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=688

Which Type of Commercial Flooring is Easiest to Clean?

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When setting up a commercial space or office, careful planning must go into every detail. Everything from color palette to space design to interior decorating needs to be considered. One of the most important aspects of a commercial space is flooring. Commercial flooring needs to be comfortable, attractive, non-slip and high performance. Having commercial flooring that is easy to clean is also essential, to help maintain a beautiful, safe and hygienic space. Here we look at some of the most popular flooring types for commercial spaces and how easy they are to clean.

Vinyl

Vinyl is one of the easiest to clean flooring types, being virtually a sheet of plastic that is stain resistant and water proof. Vinyl can be ideal for many types of commercial settings where practicality is most important. Vinyl can become slippery when wet so spills should be cleaned up promptly. While it’s virtually impossible to stain, it can get scuffed and marked, so the business and industry type should be taken into account when choosing vinyl. One drawback of vinyl is that it may not have the warmth or appeal of other floorings types such as carpet or tile, however it is one of the easiest to clean flooring types.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile is an innovative and attractive flooring choice that is also easy to clean and maintain. Many types of luxury vinyl tile are designed to emulate most expensive flooring options, providing a luxe look for less. Luxury vinyl tiles are also stain, scratch, and scuff resistant, and the finishing on luxury vinyl tiles does not require waxes, polishes, and harsh chemicals to clean. Luxury vinyl tiles are the ideal choice for a commercial space that requires a more distinctive look that’s still easy to keep clean.

Rubber Flooring

As a functional flooring rubber excels as a strong, durable, comfortable and non-slip choice. Rubber floors aren’t the cheapest but they are easy to maintain and keep safe and clean. Rubber floors are stain resistant, water resistant, hold up under heavy loads, and are hard to scratch, scuff or gauge, making them ideal for high impact areas. Rubber floors are really the ideal choice for some commercial settings.

Tile

Tile can be a good choice of flooring for businesses who want a polished, stylish look that’s easy to clean. While professional tile and grout cleaning may be necessary from time to time, tile floors are generally fairly stain and spill resistant, provided they are properly sealed. One drawback of tiles is that the grout (and even some tile types) can be absorbent, meaning that occasional professional tile cleaning may be required. Tiles can also be slippery, so gelato and safety considerations need to be taken into account before installing tiles.

Carpet

For offices and retail stores, carpet is often the preferred choice as it offers comfort, style and warmth. However, carpet is notoriously easy to stain and mark and can absorb odors and liquids. However, surface dirt can easily be removed from carpet by vacuuming which can is ideal for environments where liquid spills are not a risk. Commercial carpet can also be treated with protective solutions to make carpet more stain resistant. Commercial carpet cleaning and professional stain removal on a regular basis can help to keep commercial carpet clean and stain free in the long term.

Finding the right flooring for your commercial space relies on balancing a number of factors. But finding an easy to clean flooring type is one of the essential aspects to consider when choosing your ideal commercial flooring.

What’s The Best Way To Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors?

Engineered hardwood can provide beautiful yet economical flooring for modern homes. While maintaining this flooring is relatively easy, it’s important to understand the qualities of engineered hardwood flooring and it’s unique cleaning needs. Properly caring for and maintaining your engineered hardwood floor ensures that it offers resilience, durability and an attractive appearance for years to come. Here we look at how to properly clean your engineered hardwood flooring for performance and longevity.

Start With Light Surface Cleaning
It’s important to remove loose dust dirt and debris from the surface of your engineered wood floor. A soft broom can be used to collect art and dust on the surface of the floor, or if you prefer you may use a vacuum. It’s important to use a vacuum without a rotating bristle bar or a ‘hard floor mode’ in order to protect your engineered wood floors. You can also use a slightly damp mop to collect and remove any remaining dust.

Be sure to towel dry your engineered wood floor to ensure no moisture remains after cleaning. It’s important that moisture is not left on the surface of an engineered wood floor. As moisture can get through the surface and into the cracks of an engineered wood floor and cause damage, it’s important to never use a steam cleaner or wet mop. Avoid using ammonia and vinegar when cleaning as these can damage the surface of the engineered wood floor.

Cleaning Up Spills
Because engineered wood floors are not designed for prolonged exposure to moisture, it is important to clean up spills as quickly as possible.  Of course, spills can also cause staining on an engineered wood floor, and cleaning up spills as soon as possible helps to prevent staining. Quickly removing a spill and lightly mopping the area can help to ensure stains don’t take hold.

Protecting Engineered Wood Floors
Protecting engineered wood floors helps them to last longer with a flawless finish. Using area rugs and other protective coverings can help to preserve your engineered wood floors. If your engineered wood floors are looking a little worse for wear you can get them refinished or replaced. The options you have for repairing your engineered wood floors depends on the material that your floors are made of.

Thicker flooring can usually be refinished more than once however thinner engineered wood flooring cannot be refinished and will need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years of wear. It can be helpful to check with your engineered wood flooring provider about what repair and refinishing options are best for your floor. Refinishing and repair of an engineered wood floor should only be done by a flooring professional in order to ensure the best results.

Deep Cleaning For Engineered Wood Floors
You may wish to give your engineered wood floors a deeper cleaning on occasion. A professional hardwood floor cleaner can provide your engineered floors with a deeper clean that preserves their condition and beauty. It’s important to assess whether your local carpet cleaner or hardwood floor cleaner knows how to properly treat engineered and laminate wood floor surfaces. Incorrect cleaning can permanently damage the floors. However, an expert touch can make your floors shine like new.

Engineered wood floors are not only an economical, attractive and environmentally friendly solution to floor covering, they are also easy to maintain. Taking good care of your engineered wood floors helps to ensure they last in excellent condition for years to come.

The Great Flooring Debate: Should You Choose Carpet, Hardwood or Tiles?

Whether you’re building a new home, or remodeling an older house, choosing the right flooring for your home and your needs is one of the most important decisions. Flooring can be expensive, and you want it to last. If it’s unattractive, difficult to maintain or doesn’t perform the way you’d like it to, it’s really going to detract from the comfort and atmosphere of your home. When it comes to flooring choices, for most homeowners it boils down to carpet, hardwood or tiled floors. Should you go for the easy cleaning of tile, the comfort of carpet or the timeless beauty of hardwood? Here we look at the benefits and limitations, to help you find your ideal flooring choice.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular choices because it’s stunning, durable and not too difficult to clean. One of the greatest priorities for homeowners when it comes to flooring is appearance. We want our floors to look good, both from when they are installed and as time goes by. This relies on how easy it is to clean the flooring, maintain its original condition and be resistant to wear and tear. In all of these conditions, hardwood floors fit the bill. Hardwood floors last for years, and professional hardwood floor cleaning can help to deep clean hardwood floors from time to time to maintain this stunning flooring in its optimal condition.

On the downside, hardwood flooring is the most expensive choice and represents an investment that is out of reach to many homeowners.

Tile Floors

Tiles can provide a huge versatility of applications and purposes, and many homeowners choose tiles for the floors and even the walls of kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles are water resistant and generally easy to clean, although they can sometimes stain and require professional tile cleaning or tile stain removal.

Tiles can also be used as an alternative to more expensive floors, with luxury vinyl floor tiles and other types of high quality tile providing the look of wood, stone or marble with less cost. There are a range of tile options to choose from to fit your needs and budget. However, one downside of tile floors is that their sheer hardness and durability can also make them harder on the human body for falls or long periods of standing.

Carpet

Carpet flooring has long been a popular choice for comfortable, cozy flooring, particularly in bedrooms and living areas. Although carpet can be prone to collecting dirt and stains, professional carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal can help to erase most of these. Keep an effective but gentle carpet cleaner on hand for when stains occur and contact your carpet cleaning service quickly in order to get the best carpet stain removal results.

Carpet is available in a range of types and colors to suit any décor, and also any budget. While keeping carpet clean can be a challenge in some households, there are not many floor coverings that can compare when it comes to the level of comfort that carpet offers, and many homeowners prefer this feel for personal spaces like bedrooms.

While choosing the right floor covering for your home is always going to involve investigation, research and assessment of your own needs and preferences, weighing the pros and cons between carpet, hardwood and tile is a great start for finding the perfect flooring for you.