Clean It- Don’t Cover It

clean it, don't cover it! odor clean up, smell removal

 

Odors. They are everywhere. When pleasant, we might call them “scents.” When not-so-pleasant, we might call them malodors.

Odors are caused by a variety of sources. Some odors are pleasant, welcoming, such as from a fresh-cut batch of flowers or a nice, home-cooked meal. Others are not pleasant, “malodorous,” such as from an unattended cat litter box or rotting garbage left too long in a trash bin.

And when something is malodorous, you must do something about it. Sometimes, the urge is to just cover it up. That can be a very bad idea as odors just keep getting worse and worse and you eventually have a difficult situation to deal with.

You want your home to be neat, clean, and odor-free, except for odors (scents) that you introduce because they are pleasant and welcoming, such as air fresheners, perfumes, scented candles, etc. A rule of thumb is this: When it is clean and dry, there should be no odor.

Your carpet, furniture and other absorbent materials in your home, over time, become soiled and often collect odors. Normal “dusty” odors are part of life between cleaning, and routine chores keep them manageable. Yet odors from urine, feces, body perspiration, and other sources are offensive and must be removed.

There are three principles to follow when it comes to keeping your home clean and odor-free.

Remove the Source

When something is deposited, spilled, or has come into contact with a surface, the first step is to remove contamination. This means scraping, rinsing or otherwise removing any odor-causing sources. The sooner you do this, the easier the job will be. An example would be blotting and removing a fresh pet “accident”, as odors will quickly become worse over time.

Clean Affected Areas

Once the source is removed, there is still some contamination on the surface. A thorough cleaning is important to remove any residual matter that can cause odors. Using hot water is best, if the surface can handle higher temperatures. Some furniture fabrics are heat sensitive, for example.

Deodorize and Disinfect

Now it’s time to use odor-removing products, such as an approved deodorizer and/or disinfectant. This should be the final step in odor removal. Follow manufacturer directions exactly, as using too little or too much product can be counter-productive.

And never forget, Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration know how to clean and tackle tough odors. Let us do the dirty work. It pays to call a pro!

Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?

allergens, household irritants, clean home

DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can still feel negative effects in the presence of some common things around the house?

It’s not something that necessarily has to start growing in the basement of your house after a flood. It’s something that can “just happen” and it’s not good news. But it can be easily fixed.

First of all, what are we talking about?

New old stuff brought in

There are some items that can come into your home that can trigger your allergies or other sensitivities. These can include cardboard boxes, packages and other items sent or brought to you. The worse of these would be old stuff, things that have been around a while, gathering allergens.

Old ‘normal’ stuff

We’ve all been to a library and sniffed old books. OK, maybe not all of us, but those that remember books and libraries can relate. These old books and documents can be allergen triggers, so be sure to remember this before checking them out or taking them into your home.

Old decorations

Sure, the holidays are a time when you use ornaments and stuff, and this is just a few times a year… but you have to store them, right? Remember that they can bring in allergens. It might be best to give them at least a wipe-down, if not a complete cleaning, before putting them into the attic.

Old mattresses

Ick. This is a tough one, and sometimes a sensitive issue. Sure, it’s OK to pass on mattresses from one generation to another (what is family for?), but what are you getting when you inherit an old mattress or other bedding from someone not close to you? And don’t be tempted by that new-looking mattress at your neighbor’s garage sale. You just don’t know what you are getting into. Did you know that everymattress has dust mites?

Old rugs and carpet

Rugs and carpet are very important to you, but be sure to have them inspected by your carpet cleaning pro before bringing them into your home. These are items that can collect all types of allergens and other contaminants that can affect you and your family.

Don’t be afraid to throw old stuff out. Remember, it’s your home and your family’s health. Protect it!

Just make sure that what you bring into your home is safe for any allergy or asthma issues you or your family may have. 

Dust Mites and You

dust mites, mattress cleaning, allergens

No matter who you are, no matter where you live, you never sleep alone.

But don’t panic…those sleeping with you are somewhat peaceful. And not really that noticeable, until the “Welcome” sign goes up and they start inviting a bunch of guests over. Once the invitation goes out, there can be millions that end up in one mattress alone!

Yes, we are speaking of dust mites, those super-tiny eight-legged creatures that live in every house and take up residence in virtually every pillow, mattress and other comfortable abodes in the world.

Commonly called the “house dust mite,” (there are a couple of different types known to inhabit various parts of the world) this little creature feeds on flakes of shed human and animal skin and known to be a cause of asthma and allergic reactions.

Dust mite feces contain a powerful digestive enzyme that causes all kinds of breathing problems — if there are enough of the creatures in your home.

Some people are highly sensitive to dust mites, while others never have a reaction.

 

What can you do?

First of all, like we already said, don’t panic. Dust mites are everywhere, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

What you can do is keep things clean. Dust mites reproduce quickly in mattresses, beddings, pillows and other areas because these absorbent items take up moisture, such as saliva, perspiration and blood, from body contact. Dust mites prefer those warm, moist environments created by sleeping bodies.

Besides moisture, they need food. Dust mites are like any living creature. They need to eat. The skin flakes, dander and other protein sources are food for dust mites, so regular vacuuming is smart, especially using one with HEPA filtering. And running an air cleaner in your home with HEPA filtering will help, too.

Professional cleaning is a good investment for your home. Deep cleaning all fabrics on a regular basis means you are taking food away from these unwanted tenants. Logically, this equates to fewer dust mites coming over to party at your house.

So be a smart homeowner. Keep things clean and keep some of the pests away! Contact Diablo Carpet today.

5 Signs You Need Upholstery Cleaning

clean upholstered furniture

 

When it comes to cleaning interiors, one area that goes forgotten is the upholstered furniture, or soft furnishings. They’re difficult to thoroughly clean yourself at home, so we get in the habit of skipping over them.

Good news: professional upholstery cleaning provides the ideal solution to deeply cleanse and safely rinse all upholstery. Here are 5 clear signs that it’s time for professional upholstery cleaning for the health and beauty of your home.

  1. You Can See Stains

Visible stains are a sure sign you should have your upholstery cleaned. It’s probably been a long time since the last thorough cleaning, if there ever has been one. Spills that stain are particularly difficult to remove from upholstery because they settle into the fabric and padding quickly, becoming set before you can properly clean the spill. Professional upholstery cleaners have the tools and machinery to safely deep clean and spot treat upholstery to fully lift and remove even stubborn stains, as well as the filth you can’t as readily see.

  1. You’ve Noticed More Sneezing and Allergies

An increase in sneezing, allergies and asthma in your home is a reliable sign you would benefit from thorough upholstery cleaning. Just like carpets, upholstery fibers can harbor dust, dust mites and pet dander – all allergens that can set off your symptoms. While regular vacuuming of soft furnishings helps, it takes professional upholstery cleaning equipment to remove these allergens on the deepest level to keep you healthy.

  1. Your Upholstery Has an Odor

Upholstery, carpets and other soft surfaces in your home can be magnets for odors. Whether it’s cooking odors, pet odors, smoke, or just a musty odor, dirty upholstery often has a distinctive ‘smell’ to it. The solution to preventing upholstery odors is to remove the source of the odor – ventilate while cooking, only smoke outside, and don’t allow pets on the couch. But if the odors are already there, professional upholstery cleaning is the only way to really get them out.

  1. Upholstered Furniture Fabric Looks Dull and Oily

Over time, upholstery fabric absorbs grease, oil and dirt from our bodies as we use our couches and sofas. You’ll find this most prominent in the areas we repeatedly touch the furnishings with our skin, like where our hands, heads, or necks rest. This is a very unflattering effect on upholstery, making it look much older, grubbier and dirtier than it has to look. Professional upholstery cleaning lifts away grease, oil, grime and skin flakes that may have collected in your couch over the years through prolonged use.

  1. Hair, Fur, Dust and Dirt Are Stuck To Your Upholstery

The soft fabric surface of upholstery easily collects pet hair, dust and dirt as humans and pets pass by. Unlike smaller bits of dirt and dust, these larger hairs are more visible to your family and visitors. Dust and dirt can turn into dark marks and wear over time with repeated use. Upholstery cleaning removes visible hairs, fur and grime for cleaner looking upholstery.

With professional cleaning you can make the upholstered furniture in your home cleaner, better smelling, and newer looking. Talk to a professional carpet cleaner about the options they have for upholstery cleaning to renew your upholstered pillows, chairs, sofas, benches, and couches for a fresher, cleaner, more hygienic home.

4 Items You’re Probably Not Cleaning, But Should

cleaning, professional cleaners, upholstery cleaning, office carpet cleaning

We like to think of ourselves as generally clean people, but there are areas for all of us that slip our minds when it comes to cleaning. Keeping a clean home or office is essential to good hygiene and health, but what are the areas you should be deep cleaning that you might be forgetting about?

Office Carpet

You might vacuum your office carpet on a regular basis, even daily. But that’s not enough  deep cleaning for the absorbent carpet surface because it accrues so much dust and dirt from traffic throughout the day. Unlike residential carpet, office carpet can be walked on (and spilled on) by hundreds of different users in a single day. This exposes the carpet to an astonishing volume of dirt, dust, grease, bacteria, and pathogens. Even vacuuming with a commercial strength vacuum is not enough to really cleanse office carpet.

It’s essential that you get deeper cleaning for your commercial carpet about twice a year. A professional commercial carpet cleaner can also inspect your office carpets and evaluate whether more frequent deep cleaning, stain removal, or odor removal is necessary. It’s helpful to enlist a carpet cleaning company for regularly scheduled deep office carpet cleaning. This means you don’t have to remember to arrange for office carpet cleaning, and it still happens on a regular schedule to keep your office carpets hygienic and germ-free.

Area Rugs

Homes and commercial spaces with hard floors have the benefit of being easy to clean and maintain. And hard floors like tile, hardwood, vinyl, and laminate can be tough on the feet and make the atmosphere colder. To add comfort, homeowners often place an area rug over hard floors. Of course, just like wall-to-wall carpeting, these area rugs become a magnet for dust, dirt, and germs.

Area rugs require special care to maintain their freshness and beauty without damaging them. Because area rugs are often made of delicate fibers and have other trims and special construction, many homeowners put off cleaning area rugs out of fear that they’ll damage them. Your professional carpet cleaner can provide expert deep cleaning for your area rugs to ensure they remain intact and beautiful. Otherwise, you can send your area rugs to the manufacturer for cleaning.

Grout And Tiles

Over time, dirt, germs, and mold accumulate in porous grout and can even form a film over or stain tiles. Because this process happens gradually, many business and homeowners don’t notice their tiles and grout becoming full of dirt and mold. While mopping tiles and grout can help to remove surface dirt and residue that’s accumulated over the course of the day, deeper cleaning is needed to really lift stains and ground-in dirt and mold from the grout. Professional tile and grout cleaning provides a deep lift to this long-standing dirt and mold, making your tiles and grout whiter and brighter than ever before.

Couches And Sofas

The couches and sofas in our home and office settings take a lot of wear. But how long has it been since you’ve given your couches, chairs, and sofas a thorough deep clean? Just like carpets and area rugs, soft furnishings like upholstered couches and sofas accumulate dust, dirt, grease, oil, hair, and skin flakes through the course of day-to-day use. And yet we often overlook these upholstered surfaces when it come to deep cleaning.

A good rule of thumb is to have professional upholstery cleaning as frequently as you get your carpets or area rugs professionally cleaned. This helps to remove all the built-up residues and potential pathogens from within the upholstery fibers.

To maintain real hygiene and cleanliness in your home and office, you don’t want to overlook these four items. Get help from your local professional cleaning company to keep your home spotless and healthy from top to bottom.

 

How Pets Are Changing the Cleaning Industry

Pets changing the cleaning industry

Pet-safe cleaning has become a higher concern, with pets increasingly playing a more important role in our lives and our homes. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 33% of young home buyers aged 18-35 were motivated to buy their first home in order to have a better space or a yard for their dog. In comparison, marriage was the motivation for 25% of home buyers that age, while having a child was motivation for only 19%. A 2016 report also found that 44% of Americans own dogs (78 million dogs in homes total) and 35% own cats (that’s 85.8 million cats).

Cleaning Your Home With A Pet

Pet owners are always looking for new and better ways for their homes to support their pets. Pets are spending more time indoors and have a greater impact on our homes. And our homes have a significant impact on them, too. A part of this is finding home cleaning solutions that create a safe and healthy environment for both humans and their pets. The cleaning industry is adapting and changing to provide solutions that are pet-safe, while also dealing with the sometimes difficult cleaning problems pets can cause. Here we look at the different ways we can adapt our cleaning to protect our pets and address the unique cleaning challenges pets create.

How Pets Can Affect Your Home

It’s no secret that pets can affect the cleanliness and hygiene of our homes. Even well-trained pets have accidents, and their indoor/outdoor life means that they’re another source of dust and pathogens being dragged into the home.

Our furry friends affect the cleanliness of our homes in a range of ways including –

  • Tracking dirt, mud, and pathogens into the home, which can accumulate in carpets, area rugs, hardwood floor cracks and tile grout. This creates a dirty and less hygienic environment.
  • Pets, particularly cats, can bring dead  rodents and birds into the home, which can be a health concern.
  • Carpets, upholstery and other soft furnishings can adopt pet odors when pets use them often.
  • Pets may urinate, defecate, leave hairballs, or vomit on carpet, hardwood and soft furnishings, leaving stains or damage. Odors from liquid spills can remain in carpets, rugs, and furnishings for a long time as they seep deep into carpet padding and upholstery stuffing.
  • Dogs and cats can drop fur and skin cells on floors and furniture, which is known as pet dander. This can be an allergen, causing allergic reactions and triggering asthma. It can also create odors and just look bad.
  • Pet dander is also a site for dust mites, another allergen that can trigger allergies and asthma.

How Pets Have Impacted the Cleaning Industry

We know pets have influenced our homes and contributed to cleaning issues. That’s why clear trends toward pet-safe cleaning dealing with these hygiene dilemmas have emerged. These trends include –

  • Installation of Hard Surface Floors – Many homes have resorted to installing hard surface flooring such as tile, hardwood floors, and vinyl, laminate or engineered wood to avoid absorbent surfaces. Hard surfaces are easier to clean and don’t absorb or ‘catch’ pet accidents or hair. Odors and stains from pets are much less likely to impact hard floors.
  • Area Rugs and Their Unique Cleaning Needs – Of course, as homeowners install hard floors, use of area rugs also increases to improve comfort underfoot and improve the warmth and atmosphere of a space. But guess what? Pets prefer these soft, warm and comfortable rugs as well. Area rugs may then become the ‘preferred site’ for pet accidents, as well as the place pets prefer to sit and relax. Unlike the hard floors they sit on top of, area rugs can accrue stains, dirt, and odors quickly, which are often difficult to remove. Area rugs made of fine fibers and delicate designs may need to be sent out for professional cleaning so that they are gently cleaned, while preserving their structure.
  • Carpet Odor and Stain Removal – When pets use carpeted floors, these floors need deep professional carpet cleaning and professional stain removal more regularly. Carpets get stains and odors much more quickly and hold them for longer than other floor types. Liquid spills and accidents can soak deep into carpet padding, which makes odors difficult to reach and fully remove. Specialized, professional carpet odor removal services are increasingly popular, aimed at achieving the difficult goal of fully extracting deep-seated odors from carpet.
  • Professional Upholstery Cleaning and Odor Removal – Carpets aren’t the only surface in the home that is affected by pet stains and odors. If pets utilize upholstery and furnishing in the home, it’s likely that these furnishings will also be subject to pet hair, urine, saliva, feces, and dander as well. Professional upholstery cleaning and deep odor removal is a service that’s becoming increasingly popular and important for pet owners as they strive to keep their home clean and hygienic.

The Impacts of Home Cleaning on Pets

For homeowners with pets, keeping the home clean at all costs isn’t the only consideration. Where pets are living in an environment, they are also going to be affected, so it’s important to consider the impact of cleaning on pets.

  • Some cleaning products can be extremely dangerous and poisonous to pets. Just like children, they don’t know or understand the difference between what is ‘safe’ and ‘dangerous’ so cleaning products should be kept away from where pets can access them.
  • Because animals are naturally closer to the ground, they will be more heavily impacted by the cleaning products and processes that happen to your floor. Even just casual exposure to these chemicals through the environment in your home can negatively impact their health.
  • Pets ingest chemicals from cleaning products when the chemicals rub off onto the pet’s fur or feet. When the pet licks and cleans themselves, they ingest these chemicals.
  • The worst culprits for pet poisoning are bleach, laundry detergent, and phenol-based disinfectants. Some carpet cleaning agents are known to be irritating or unsafe for pets.
  • There is an upside: Pet-safe cleaning products that are known to be safe for both pets and children are available and help to keep homes beautifully clean, while furry friends are kept healthy.

How The Cleaning Industry Is Innovating

The cleaning industry is responding to the need to make home cleaning pet-friendly and pet-safe. Professional carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning companies are now more aware of the impact of cleaning solutions on pets, as well as cleaning techniques that help to produce a better result for your home, while also keeping your pets healthy. You will now find a wide variety of innovations available that make professional and home cleaning safer for our animals.

Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

One of the most significant developments of the cleaning industry in relation to pets is the development of non-toxic, pet-safe cleaning products. This gives homeowners peace of mind when undergoing professional cleaning or cleaning their own homes. Not to mention that many homeowners, especially those with children, prefer to use non-toxic cleaning products in their homes.

  • Pet-safe cleaning products – For home cleaning, you can look for products that specify they are pet-friendly on the label or bottle. Keep in mind that just because a cleaning product says it is ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, does not necessarily mean that it is pet-safe or non-toxic for pets. Many natural substances can still be toxic to pets so always check for pet-specific information on the label.
  • Correct product use – It’s important to also know how to use a cleaning product correctly to ensure that your pets stay safe. For example, if a product specifies that you should keep children and pets away from the area until dry, you need to follow these directions for pet safety.
  • Pet-safe professional cleaning – When booking professional cleaning, you should ask if your cleaning company uses pet-safe cleaning solutions and techniques or practices that help protect pets.
  • Adjusting expectations – Keep in mind that some cleaning products and techniques that are safer for pets may not be as effective as stronger chemicals. This may leave you with a different result than you were hoping for. To balance your expectations and your pets health and safety, ask about all the options available.

Safer Cleaning Techniques

It’s not just the cleaning solutions that have been innovated in relation to pet-safe cleaning. Professional cleaning companies have also developed specific techniques to address pet related home hygiene issues while keeping pet’s safe.

  • Pet-safe cleaning techniques – If you need more thorough carpet cleaning with traditional cleaning solutions, don’t despair. Carpet cleaning companies have developed techniques that allow for more deep and thorough carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal, while also minimizing chemical residue. That’s one big reason why it’s best to choose a professional carpet cleaning company for home cleaning rather than trying to do it yourself. With the proper truck mounted, hot rinse carpet cleaning machine, and expert can cleanse and lift traces of cleaning solution from your carpet, and your flooring is left with low chemical residue and no impact on your pets.
  • Knowing how to handle pets – professional carpet cleaners are now trained and knowledgeable with dealing with pets and understanding how they need to be treated in the home. Just as you and your family need to vacate the house during professional carpet cleaning, tile cleaning or upholstery cleaning, your pet also needs to be kept safe from the cleaning process, and surfaces should be allowed to fully dry before pets use them again.

Home Cleaning Plans

Not only are the tools and techniques for cleaning houses being innovated to better accommodate companion animals, cleaning companies are also adapting to provide better service to homes with pets.

  • Professional cleaning plans – Cleaning plans and packages are available to help households with pets stay on top of keeping the home hygienic and safe. These plans can be annual or semi annually, and provide specially tailored cleaning services to keep homes with pets clean, including carpet cleaning, stain removal, tile and grout cleaning and odor removal. The best aspect of these plans is that they save organizing and remembering on the part of the homeowners. With cleaning already arranged and scheduled, you can keep your home safely clean and pet-safe at all times.

Your Guide To A Safe and Clean Pet Loving Home

So how can you formulate your own plan to not only keep your pet-friendly home clean but to keep your clean home pet-safe?

  • Do Your Research – Find out about pet-safe cleaning solutions and pet-friendly cleaning companies. Conduct research about which chemicals in cleaning agents affect your pets, and avoid using these products. Ask your vet for recommendations if in doubt.
  • Ask Your Professional Cleaner – It’s a great idea to talk to your professional carpet cleaner or upholstery cleaner about the type of products and techniques they use and the outcome you expect. This can help you understand the process they’ll use, as well as helping them understand your needs and the needs of your pet.
  • Start A Cleaning Plan – A cleaning plan from a professional cleaning company helps you save money on keeping your flooring beautiful longer, while also ensuring your home stays clean and healthy for the family. A cleaning plan can be specially developed to target some of the issues affecting households with pets, such as pet hair removal, stain and odor removal, and regular carpet cleaning.
  • Pet Accident Cleaning Kit – For homes with pets, preparation is key. It’s more than likely that at some point, your pet will have an accident or create a mess that needs cleaning. Homeowners should be prepared in advance to provide a rapid response that minimizes damage and prevents the accident happening again. Put together a kit with plenty of clean blotting cloth and a pet-friendly carpet and surface cleaner so you can quickly clean up accidents to prevent odors and stains. Promptly and thoroughly cleaning the area of a pet accident is essential to prevent the pet from ‘marking’ the same spot again.

Creating an inviting, healthy home that is pet-safe is a focused recent innovation of the cleaning industry, achieved thanks to pet-safe cleaning products and techniques. Develop your plan for a clean, pet-friendly home with the help of your local professional carpet and floor cleaning company.  

How Water and Flooding Can Damage Your Home and Your Health: How To Protect Your Flooring

Flooding and Water Damage, flooring mold, hardwood and carpet cleaning

 

Flooding can occur in your home due to adverse weather events, plumbing failure or more. While flooding can be detrimental to your whole house structure, one place that flooding always affects is the flooring. Flooding and moisture can weaken or damage your flooring, affect the foundation underneath your floors or create the conditions for mold growth or other damage to occur in the future. Not to mention that the effects of flooding such as mold, bacteria and mildew in your floors can pose a risk to your health. Here we look at ways to protect your flooring and the health of your home and family against the risk of flooding.

Act Fast

When it comes to protecting your flooring from a flood the most important thing is to act fast. Mold and mildew can start growing in your flooring, furniture and walls within 48-72 hours after it first gets wet. This means it’s important to stop the flow of water into your home and begin cleanup as soon as possible.

Send Area Rugs and Removable Items Out

Cleaning up flood damage is very different from handling a small spill or stain. It’s best to send any area rugs or removable carpets out of the home for professional cleaning. This ensures they receive the care that they need based on their unique properties and are dried quickly to prevent damage. It also helps to reduce the cleaning burden for you.

Cleaning and Drying Carpet

Heavily soiled or damaged carpets may need to be removed and disposed of quickly. Calling in a professional carpet cleaner to evaluate the damage is a good idea to allow you to get an expert opinion. Carpet contaminated by raw sewage, oil, or other toxic waste will need to be immediately disposed of.

You can begin drying out your carpets by using a wet dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible and opening windows or using a dehumidifier to begin drying them. After you have removed as much water as possible, call in a professional carpet cleaner to clean and rinse the carpet using an extraction method to ensure all traces of contaminated water have been removed. If carpet is deeply flooded it may be necessary to pull up the carpet to dry the padding and floor underneath. Your professional carpet cleaner can also help advise on a safe and effective way to dry your floors effectively.

Drying Wood Floors

Wood floors can be vulnerable to flooding as the wood absorbs water, expands, and becomes permanently damaged. Wood can also harbor bacteria or mold. Lift as much moisture as possible from the wood floors as soon as you can. You will then need to ascertain how to salvage the flooring pieces and determine whether water has collected under the wooden flooring. If you’re unsure of how to thoroughly dry the wood floor yourself, seek professional advice from the manufacturer or call a professional hardwood floor cleaner.

Preserve Furniture As Well

 

Flooring is not the only item at risk in your flooded home. If water has reached upholstered furniture and been absorbed, your furniture will also need professional cleaning. Professional upholstery cleaning can force your furniture dry faster and prevent it becoming moldy.

If your home floods, it’s essential to act fast to preserve your flooring. Seek professional carpet cleaning and professional hardwood floor cleaning assistance as soon as possible to protect and preserve your floors.