Helpful Hints & Home Remedies
Carpets and upholstered furniture will not age gracefully if not maintained properly.
Tracking soil in your home from outdoors is the biggest problem because it is carried throughout the house. If you can keep tracked-in soil to a minimum, you can reduce the dirt build up and ultimately decrease the frequency of periodic professional cleanings.
We recommend the following helpful hints to reduce the "aged look," keeping your carpets looking clean and fresh longer.
We always recommend the use of entry mats/rugs that collect and absorb soil and moisture. Mats and Rugs should always be placed adjacent to high traffic areas and entryways. (It is not recommended you lay a mat directly on top of carpet). Rugs and Entry mats should be vacuumed, shook and/or cleaned on a weekly basis.
Light traffic area: Vacuum at least twice a week.
Moderate traffic area: Vacuum at least 3-4 times per week.
Heavy traffic area: Vacuum daily.
Typical Traffic Patterns:
Hallways and Stairways: Heavy Traffic
Living Areas: Moderate Traffic
Bedrooms: Light Traffic
Routine vacuuming with properly maintained equipment is the most important step you can take to extend the life and appearance of your carpet.
Use a top-fill vacuum with an agitation brush system OR a canister with a "power head" that also has a brush agitation system.
Soil should be collected in the vacuums recovery system (avoid re-entry into the air which can contribute to indoor air pollution).
Make sure you always use a bag in your vacuum, or if the unit is bag-less, make sure it has a high efficiency HEPA filtration system.
Carpet Care Tip
Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet is one of my cleaning home tips. Leave it overnight to allow time for it to work. The following day vacuum up the baking soda.
This should remove most of the carpet smell. If this does not work, have your carpet professionally cleaned and deodorized.
Read all labels and tags carefully. Always follow manufacturer's recommendations for the proper care and maintenance of your upholstered furniture.
Always re-apply 3M Scotchgard® to your furniture after you have a professional cleaning. This will extend the beauty and useful life.
Make sure you only hire industry standard (www.iicrc.org) trained professionals who have experience with different types of fabric. (Ex: Haitian cotton, leather, linen, etc.)
Spills and Stains
- Wet Stain: Blot the area with a white cloth or paper towel.
- Dry Stain: Scoop up all of the loose material and vacuum any residual particles.
- Always test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area to determine if discoloration will occur.
- Never rub, scrub or brush the area being cleaned.
- Work from the outside to the center of the stain to prevent spreading of the stain.
- Always allow the area to dry thoroughly.
Sometimes the stain persists even when you think it is gone, it may re-appear. This is called "wicking."
Groom the cleaned area by hand brushing or vacuuming to restore the pile's original appearance.
Too many times, our office staff hears customers say, "I used an over the counter product or oxygenated product to try to get the stain out before you came...". Many times, because of science and pH levels, over the counter products and stains/spills react to each other, setting the stain in permanently. AMERICA'S BEST DOES NOT RECOMMEND ANY OVER THE COUNTER PRODUCTS UNLESS THEY ARE ALL NATURAL AND NEUTRALLY pH BALANCED. We sell an all-natural, in-expensive product, Home Pro Spotter®, that will help you touch up those spills and stains in between cleanings.
Kool Aid Stains on Carpet
When you get kool aid stains on carpet it can be difficult to get out. The color soaks in to the fibers of the carpet. Club soda is a great emergency spotter. It is great for cleaning up spills on carpets.
It is important to act quickly, to prevent the spill becoming a stain. Pour club soda on the kool aid stains and blot with paper towels until all the color is removed. Soak the stain well with the club soda.
The carbonation in club soda brings the spill to the surface so that you can blot it up and it also prevents staining of the carpet. Blot dry with paper towels.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a good choice for removing carpet stains. Pour 3 percent hydrogen peroxide on the spot. Wait 30 minutes and blot up with paper towels.
Rinse with 1/4 cup of white vinegar mixed with 1 quart of water. Blot with paper towels. Rinse again with clean water, and blot dry. Always test in an area that will not be seen before you clean the stain.
Freeze with a bag of ice, then chip up all you can. How does gum get on the carpet you may ask? Well, you can always blame the kids!
How to remove Chewing Gum from Carpet:
- Place ice cubes in a bag and seal it closed.
- Put the bag of ice on the chewing gum.
- Wait about 30 minutes until the gum freezes solid.
- Break the gum into pieces.
- Remove the pieces from the carpet.
Lemon juice or a citrus cleaner will break down the stickiness of the gum and make it easier to remove.
Mustard stains are one of the toughest stains to clean. It has dyes in it that soak deep into the carpet fibers.
First scrape away as much excess mustard as possible. Make a solution of 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and 1/2 cup of warm water.
Blot the stain with the solution using a clean towel. Blot dry using a towel or paper towels. If all of the stain does not come out, try blotting with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water. Rinse with clean water, and blot dry with paper towels. Do not use laundry detergent because it contains ingredients that may bleach carpet colors. Before using any cleaning solution, test it in an area of carpet that will not be seen.
Be careful to rinse out each cleaning mixture, with clean water before using the next one. Mixing different chemicals together, can be dangerous. Always read the labels on any product that you are using.
Hot coffee is like brown dye on the carpet, so pour on some club soda and blot. Then spray with white vinegar and let dry. Blot the area well so it dries fast.
Spray on hair spray or blot with rubbing alcohol.
It may require opening a new bottle of wine, white wine that is, and pouring it on the red stain.follow with club soda and blot dry.
Remove Wax From Carpet
How do you remove wax from carpet without ruining it? Once it gets hardened into your carpeting you may believe that the best way to fix the problem is to rip up the carpet and buy a new one, but there is an easy fix, to the problem.
To remove candle spills from your carpet, put ice in a plastic bag and lay over the top.
Allow it to freeze. Chip off as much as you can. Next, lay a brown paper bag on top and press with a medium iron. Move the paper as it absorbs so that you don't redeposit and stain the carpet.
Have patience and continue as long as it melts on to the brown paper bag. Use new brown paper bags until they are not absorbing stains any more.
The enemies of carpet are dirt and stains. Dirt is unattractive, and it causes premature wear. Stains look bad and they attract dirt.
Remove Smoke Odor
Is there a way to remove smoke odor from carpet? If you are not a smoker, the odor left behind in the carpet by a smoker can be too much to take.
This is why smoking is banned in most hotels. The smokey carpet smell lingers, and is difficult to remove. The same thing happens in your home when you smoke. You may not notice the smell when you live there, but everyone else will notice it right away.
Smoke not only causes an unpleasant odor but it also causes indoor pollution.
Indoor air is many times more polluted than outdoor air. Dirt and dust is tracked into your home by people and pets.
Air ducts circulate the same air around the house. If air ducts are not regularly cleaned, this can be a problem.
Indoor pollution can cause headaches and fatigue. It can also cause coughing and sneezing. Masking the smell with air fresheners will not work.
Emergency Water Damage Tips
- If the temperature outside is above 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers if available.
- Use a fan to circulate the air and assist in drying.
- Remove as much water as possible by mopping or blotting.
- Wipe furniture dry.
- Lift drapery off the carpets.
- Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
- Open furniture drawers and closet doors to enhance drying.
- Move photos, paintings and art objects to a dry location.
- Remove wet fabric and dry them ASAP. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- If damage occurs during a cool season, leave the heat on; if in the summer, use an air conditioner when available.
- Do not use a house hold vacuum to remove water.
- Do not use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or floors.
- Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Incorrect lifting could promote shrinkage.
- Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is on. Shut off power ASAP.
- Do not wait to call for professional help. Waiting could cause further damage. Damage from water and bacteria growth could begin within hours.
Tile and Grout Maintenance Tips
RULE #1 - If in doubt, don't apply any cleaner or cleaning technique to your tile and grout.
Some mistakes can be irreversible, always check labels on the product you are thinking of using. Then test in an inconspicuous area to see if there will be any effects the cleaning process or product(s) may have on your tile and grout.
Immediately wipe up spills and messes. Use pH balanced cleaners and soap-less detergents for daily cleaning. Agitate grout joints with a soft bristled brush to loosen debris. Thoroughly rinse, dry, and polish cleaned areas.
Acidic cleaners will eventually erode the grout in the joint making, cleaning and maintenance more and more problematic. This is especially true if using acidic cleaners on sanded grout installations.
This is due to the tendency of the acids to eat away the smaller aggregates first leaving the larger stain attracting aggregates in their place.
Grout haze is grout residue left on the tile face. Many times this haze can be cleaned off by simply using a scouring pad and water. The next progression would be a scouring cleanser or poultice and pad.
Mold in your home:
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors, ACT QUICKLY!
- If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after the leak or spill happens, in MOST CASES, mold will not grow. If you are already seeing mold or you have an ongoing water problem, bring this to our attention right away so we can give you the proper advice or treatments.
- Clean and repair roof gutters on a regular basis.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from your building foundation so water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioner drip pans clean and drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep your indoor humidity low. We recommend below 60% relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture meter or humidity meter.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, pipes or walls, ACT QUICKLY to fix the problem.
Effects of using bleach to treat mold
Chlorine (bleach) reacts by "adding" chlorine atoms. This can create trichloromethanes residue (food for mold) and dioxins (Any of several toxic or carcinogenic hydrocarbons that occur as impurities in herbicides), both known to be powerful carcinogens. What this means to you is, to kill any biological contaminates, the concentration of chlorine (bleach) would be so high, it could have adverse health effects or could be potentially deadly.
In conclusion, chlorine bleach has been widely accepted as a cleaner for many years in various areas of your home. It is still good to use when you are washing your clothing, dishes, or in your bathroom. Keep in mind you are constantly rinsing these areas or items so you don't get the harmful effects from its reactions.
An industry standard does not recognize chlorine as a good agent for eliminating biological contaminates such as mold and mildew. As an IICRC certified firm, we highly recommend you do not use bleach as an agent to try to eliminate mold and mildew in your home after your home has been affected by these biological contaminates.