Helpful Articles
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Pet Oils on Carpet

Pet oils will make carpet look dirty, dingy, or dull, and they attract and trap dirt in carpet, rugs and furniture fabric.  Soils which build up in carpet or upholstery from the air, or being walked on can usually be removed with your vacuum cleaner.  However adding pet oils to the situation allows dirt and other dry soils to better attach to the fibers of your carpet or upholstery and the dirt cannot be released with regular vacuuming.  Now we have a compound problem.  This is where a professional is needed as they have the required equipment. Our truck-mounted steam cleaning system is the best way to remove not only the oils from your pet but the dirt that oil has attracted as well.  A professional cleaning allows us to break down and , leaving you with a cleaner, softer, fresher look and feel to your home!

We would love to help with any issue you may have related to your carpet or upholstery!  Same day appointments are often available.  Call today to schedule your appointment!

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Why Do Some Carpet Stains Come Back?

We sometimes see a carpet stain which reappears after the carpet has been professionally cleaned.  There are two causes for this common problem.

One is commonly referred to as “wicking” and another is “residue spots”.

Wicking sometimes occurs when a large volume of some liquid is the source of the stain.  Some examples of this type of spot include soda spills, pet urine, etc. where the high volume spill saturated the carpet and was able to get into the backing of your carpet into the pad.

When the spot is cleaned some of the spill remains in the backing or in the pad underneath. Since carpet releases moisture from the surface this residual left in the backing or pad can work its way back to the visible face fiber.

The name of this process comes from a similar process of letting a candle wick sit just dipped in dyed water, the dye would eventually work its way all the way up the wick coloring all of the wick.

Wicking is relatively minimal when you have your carpet professionally cleaned when the techs are using truck mount machines due to the volume of water used to flush the spot out as well as the high vacuum used to reclaim the water from the carpet.

When professional cleaning is not enough to solve the problem there are additives and additional procedures that are used to eliminate the wicking problem. These would not normally be used unless there reason to believe there is a good potential for wicking to occur.

The other cause of spots reappearing is a “residue stain”.  Leftover residue from  the stain or excessive cleaning agent used.

Common causes of residue stains can range from, oily residues from spills such as lotions, sticky adhesive residues, or failure to completely rinse the area of residue during spot cleaning.

In both cases the residue by its self is not generally visible, however the dirt and dust that sticks to it and doesn’t release to your regular vacuuming becomes the visible spot.  Proper spot cleaning techniques and proper chemicals are important when attempting to eliminate residue spots.

Whatever the cause of the wicking issue, our trained technicians have the know how and will remove your stains for good!  It’s not always possible to know there is going to be a wicking problem at first cleaning.

When we suspect an issue, we treat it then, when we come back to clean again just let us know you suspect a wicking problem and we will be glad to take care of it. Call us to schedule your cleaning today!

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Mold and mildew embedded in your carpets can give them a musty odor, and breathing these odors in can have harmful effects on your health. Mold and mildew are often the primary reasons behind allergic symptoms such as runny noses, sneezes, nasal congestion, headache, fatigue and watery eyes that plague some families.

Infants and children, the elderly, people with low immune system, and those with existing respiratory conditions are often even more susceptible to the harmful effects of these allergens.

It is important to make sure the home is kept free from molds and mildew that may cause serious harm to our family’s health. Molds are generally airborne and can easily spread to other areas of the house through the air. Prolonged exposure to molds and mildew will be hazardous to anyone’s health.

If you notice a musty odor in your home look around to determine the source of where the smell is coming from. It is most often coming from either the air conditioning ducts, the bathrooms or the carpets. Be sure to identify the source so that once you eliminate the allergens, they don’t return.

Mold and mildew thrive in humid and damp places and carpets can be one of their favorite breeding grounds. Damp conditions combined with soil can serve as food that helps the microbes to multiply.

A do it yourself home remedy sometimes works as long as the problem is minor. To remove the mold and mildew, first use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much of the mold and mildew as possible. Purchase a fungicide, that also specifies that it kills mold and mildew, from the hardware store and mix a solution of the fungicide, a mild detergent, salt, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide at a ratio of 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 5 parts hot water.

Use a sponge to scrub the suspected area with the solution and vacuum as much as will come up. Using a spray bottle, spray the area with undiluted fungicide. Apply fans over the area to dry the carpet as quickly as possible. They should be dried within 8 hours.

After a thorough cleaning and drying you may find that the odor goes away. If not, spray the area with a fungicide spray again.

After removing the mildew or mold, the final step is to sprinkle baking soda over the carpet. Let baking soda set on the carpet overnight then vacuum it up the following day. Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes the odor.

If the odor is still present, it is best to have a professional clean and disinfect your carpet appropriately. Be sure they know they are treating for mold and mildew and that they are using a commercial grade fungicide.

Thanks for reading!

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Proper care and cleaning of your oriental rugs is important since they typically cost hundreds to even thousands when you purchase them. Oriental rugs are beautiful and expensive so it’s very important to care for them so they last. Adding padding underneath helps to extend the life and beauty and also cushions the rug.

They are typically made of silk, rayon, wool, cotton, or a combination of non-synthetic fibers and use a broad range of dyes. Some are woven on a loom and the more expensive rugs are hand woven. The fabric and the dyes that are used are what make the rugs so delicate.

The fibers collect dust and dirt, so vacuuming them regularly is a good idea but vacuums can stretch and wear out the fibers over time. Vacuum the rug lightly every few weeks and avoid any vigorous cleaning.

If you have a stain, use vinegar to prevent fading and bleeding. Regardless of how well you care for the rugs, cleaning them becomes necessary at some point. Cleaning oriental rugs is not like cleaning other carpet they are more delicate.

Steam cleaning is the most recommended cleaning method for fiber material that can handle water but water can damage some fabrics and dyes.

It’s best to test a small hidden area first to make sure the fabric doesn’t wick and the dye stays put.

When it comes to cleaning oriental rugs it is important that the rugs be cleaned properly so that they are not damaged in the process.

The steam cleaning method is accomplished by spraying a heated solution with warm water into the rug fibers at a high pressure and then raking the solution into the rug. The solution and water are then quickly extracted along with the suspended soil.

It is important not to over saturate the rugs with too much water and that the water be extracted quickly. Also the water should not be too hot. For dyes that bleed, it is important to use the right chemical and temperature. One hundred twenty five degrees is the correct temperature to avoid possible color bleeding.

For carpets that have braids, they are often difficult to clean. They should be raked and passed over with the wand a couple times but not excessively.

Professional equipment should be used to ensure a good deep cleaning and a high extraction vacuum so that as much of the water is removed as possible to ensure quick drying. The three most important elements for cleaning oriental rugs are that a mild cleaning solution(in California) is used that does not cause the colors to bleed, proper water temperature and a high extraction vacuum.

Any solutions and chemicals used on oriental rugs should first be tested on a small section of the rug before using it. While drying they should be dried flat so that the weight of the rug keeps the rug flat.
When selecting a professional to clean your rugs be sure you use ones who are trained specifically in oriental rug cleaning.

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Pets are great but let’s face it dogs and cats that go outside are a haven for fleas simply because fleas thrive on these animals. If you have pets and they’ve brought in some unwanted guests there is an easy way to solve the problem.

For many people, they would rather hire the services of a professional to get fleas out of carpet.  An alternative for the do it your-selfer is using a carpet shampoo additive to control fleas. For better results use steam cleaning and keep in mind there is no comparison to hiring a professional with the right equipment.

When using shampoos to get fleas out of carpet there’s no need to worry about by-products in the shampoo. Many flea control products on the market today are free of dangerous chemicals so just make sure the one you use has low or no toxicity. Another advantage of carpet shampoos aside from eradicating fleas is that they retain the color of your carpet even though they are being deep cleaned. Special carpet shampoos also remove urine stains, vomit and feces left behind by pets.

The only drawback with the shampoos is you need to avoid repeated application more than a few times. The shampoo will leave a slight residue behind which will build up with repeated use. The residue tends to gum up and will begin to attract dirt more readily.

The best advice is to clean carpets with shampoo a couple times then have them cleaned with professional grade equipment where they use a prespray and hot water spray using an extraction tool or wand. The wand is is coupled to a pump-vacuum power unit. The cleaning solution is injected under pressure into the carpet through water-jet nozzles.

This water penetrates the fibers all the way down to the primary backing. This action loosens embedded soils, removes oil and grease deposits, also emulsifies the old shampoo residue all of which are immediately extracted by extremely powerful vacuum systems.

Just make sure you don’t use a company that only uses shampoo as this method will just leave behind more residue.

To Your Success!

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Dust mites feed on shed skin flakes from pets and people. Since they feed on dead skin, beds, upholstered furniture, carpets, and stuffed animals are the most common homes for dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in these spots in even the cleanest homes.

Fortunately dust mites have a short life span of 45-90 days but they reproduce quickly making them difficult to completely rid your home of them. The life span of the mite is approximately 4 months in which time it produces about 200 times its own body weight in excrement and lays approximately 300 eggs. Over time they leave concentrations of allergens in areas you most frequent (since they are feeding off shed skin).

They are too small to be seen without a microscope, feeding mainly on shed human skin scales, fungi and bacteria. They leave tiny fecal droppings everywhere and these droppings which contain left-over enzymes the mites use to digest their food, cause itching allergic reactions. Mites are also attributed to be one of the main causes of asthma.

Unlike other flooring, carpet keep these allergens locked and trapped inside the carpet pile fibers. Although tile or hardwood floors are easier to remove the allergens they also allow allergens to become airborne with each footstep. Allergy sufferers should be diligent when cleaning their carpets as to not disturb the allergens and release them into the air, making the situation even worse.

Dust mites are easily removed using a commercial grade carpet cleaning solution made specifically to kill dust mite. If you decide to tackle the job yourself though, you may have trouble locating the right chemicals to use and because of how quickly the mites spread throughout the house.

The big advantage of a commercial grade hot water extractor is that these machines can tackle a large surface area effectively and quickly. If you have a large area of carpet to clean, and want to use a hot water extraction unit, consider a ‘dust mite’ additive in the cleaning solution. There are also special additives for other allergens like pet allergens.

Steam and vapor steam are the best ways to clean carpets for allergy sufferers because they use hot water to kill mold and fungi as well as other allergens effectively.

Using cleaning chemicals or powdered carpet cleaners designed to pull up particles to the surface can settle deep into the carpets and can be difficult to remove. These chemicals can gradually release into the surrounding air, further aggravating allergies.  For this reason health care professionals recommend steam and vapor steam as the best ways to clean carpets.

If you find that you have other allergens besides just the dust mites you can also buy sprays that will inhibit mold, mildew and other allergens that can be applied after cleaning.

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Cleaning your upholstered furniture will cause it to last longer and continue to look beautiful as long as you continue to take proper care of it. Here are a few ways to care for and clean your furniture upholstery so that it continues to remain clean and look beautiful.

Spill prevention is of course the best way to care for your upholstered furniture, but spills do happen, just do your best to keep them to a minimum. When they do happen the best action is to clean the spill as soon as possible.

When a spill occurs cleaning your upholstered furniture quickly is the best approach. Use a towel, sponge or pourous cloth soaked in hot water to blot the area immediately. The sooner you take care of the spill, the less chance that it will stain.

If that doesn’t cure the stain use a home made water based mild detergent solution. Always use hot water as it loosens the stain better.

When cleaning the fabric, rub it gently. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously, as this may cause the fabric to pill.To evenly distribute the wear, it is best to flip over loose cushions and pillows every couple months.

Special stains will require specific cleaning solutions. It is important to choose the right cleaning products for your upholstery. Wrong formulas and inferior products can do more harm than good, causing damage to the fabric.

Grease or caramelized sugar spills, will release useing a solution made of fifty percent water and fifty percent white vinegar to spot clean the area.

These stains can also be removed using undiluted isopropyl alcohol. Blot the area and then wash with the homemade carpet cleaning formula. If that doesn’t get it all, apply a few drops of fresh hydrogen peroxide and wash again with the homemade carpet cleaning formula.

To treat odors, you can sprinkle baking soda on the upholstery and leave it overnight, then vacuum it the next day.

Routine care also includes vacuuming your upholstery regularly to remove dust. Use a vacuum cleaner that has the special upholstery attachments, since those without upholstery attachments may cause abrasions.

If your vacuum cleaner tends to snag on the fabric of the upholstery, you can put a non-metallic window screen such as cloth between the vacuum nozzle and the upholstery.

Slipcovers can be dry cleaned once a year. You should not attempt to wash them unless they are specifically labeled as “machine washable,” most are not.

Keep your upholstery away from direct sunlight and away from areas where it is hot. Direct sunlight and heat can fade your upholstery over time. We can’t completely prevent fading, but we can extend the beauty of the upholstery.

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Carpet manufacturers recommend regular carpet cleaning to get the full benefit of owning nice carpets. Carpets can build up stains, dust, dander, dirt, allergens along with many other microbes that can be unhealthy and this is where regular carpet cleaning comes in. The bottom line is, regular carpet cleaning will help your carpets look better, last longer, and are better for your health than poorly maintained carpets.

The professional carpet cleaning industry is educated and unofficially governed by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This is a nonprofit certifying body for the fabric cleaning industry that sets the standards for the carpet cleaning, and the fire and water restoration industry. The IICRC accepts five basic professional cleaning methods.

These methods that are approved by IICRC are high-pressure hot water extraction (“steam cleaning”, dry extraction cleaning,  dry foam extraction method, rotational brushes  and the absorbent pad method.

Of these five basic professional cleaning methods both carpet manufacturers and health professionals recommend the steam cleaning method over any other method.

The steam cleaning method involves a process as follows; after pre-treating the carpets with an alkaline agent, pressurized and applied with high temperature, and appropriate dwell time, a pressurized cleaning tool referred to as a wand passes over the surface to thoroughly rinse and vacuum all pre-treatment residue, and particles. An acetic acid solution additive is typically used to restore neutral fiber pH. The acid rinse thus neutralizes the alkaline residues, and can contribute to softening cleaned fabrics.

The steam cleaning system uses detergent based solutions that dry to a powder or crystal. The surface is dried using the suction of the vacuum and the high heat of the water that is used to rinse the carpets. It is important that the carpets be dried quickly to avoid any water related problems.

Drying typically takes 4-12 hours, dependent on the equipment and solutions used. Better quality equipment results in quicker drying times. The best equipment will usually have the carpets dried within 4 hours.

For substandard equipment a drying agent can be used to speed drying. A carbonated to dissolve organic material can be used as a drying agent to speed the process more effectively.

An anti-staining and anti-soiling product can be applied to resist stains and allow dirt to be easily cleaned, thereby extending the life of the carpet. Typically a “Scotch Guard” or “Fiber Guard” solution is applied over the entire carpet area after the carpets have been cleaned. Once the solution dries it forms a protective barrier over the fibers and resists stains, soils and other contaminants from adhereing to the fibers.

Random Testimonial

  • ~ Terri Jordan

    "Carpet Cleaning Plus did a really top job on our carpets and furniture! We have pets and children so clean is sometimes a challenge. We are pleased with the look and it all looks and smells so clean and fresh. We will use you again."

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