Did you know?

According to a study conducted by the Proctor & Gamble Company, 74%-79% of soil in a carpet is dry particulate and can be most easily removed by dry vacuuming. Vacuuming once a week especially with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bag vacuum cleaner will improve the indoor air quality of your home. This is a big deal as we spend 90% of our time indoors.

Basics of cleaning with the PH scale

Although there are many aspects to cleaning, one of the most important is PH. Most carpet soil is acidic therefore the products commonly used to clean carpets are Alkaline based. Alkaline penetrates, emulsifies, and breaks surface tension in order to rinse away soil. At Esteam, after cleaning with alkaline based products, we then use a slightly acidic fiber rinse to leave carpets PH neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline) and residue free.

Wine Spills: Quick Tip

Carpet Protector

Is your carpet 3-5 years old? Have you noticed it getting dirtier faster between cleanings?

When a carpet, such as Nylon, is produced in a carpet mill it is treated with a special Stain Blocker (acid dye resistor). Stain blockers are the heart of the advanced generation technology. They can best be described as large colorless dye molecules that are applied at the mill, making the fiber less susceptible to attachment of food dyes commonly found in artificially colored foods and beverages.

This stain blocker will last 3-5 years before it starts to wear off from foot traffic and normal vacuuming. At this point it becomes necessary to apply a carpet protector to the heavy traffic areas of the carpet to maintain stain resistance and longevity.

Carpet Spotting Products & Pet Stains

Anyone who owns a new puppy or kitten understands that accidents will happen. As a carpet cleaner, I see on a daily basis, the harmful results of improperly treated dog and cat urine on carpet. Though there are numerous carpet cleaning products on the market today, many have the potential to do more harm than good when it comes to the issues of pet urine and feces.

So here are a few tips to remember when cleaning up accidents:

1. When you identify a stain, act fast.

The sooner you can soak up the moisture from the carpet the better. If urine gets into the carpet-pad or the sub-floor it will be very difficult to eliminate the smell. In situations where it does soak into the sub-floor the cost for extraction and treatment can be exponential. In extreme cases, complete carpet replacement is the only solution. Something to consider if you are a renter and concerned about reclaiming your entire security deposit when you move.

2. When you select a carpet spotter, be sure to test it in a closet or inconspicuous area at least 8 hours before using it.

Many spotting products these days have “oxy” in them. Although “oxy” helps to eliminate stains it can also oxidize the carpet leaving it slightly bleached. The other day I cleaned for a family that had two small Chihuahuas. I found many areas with urine issues. The husband informed me that his wife used a popular carpet spotter with “oxy” to treat the stains. Immediately, I noticed the carpet was lighter in areas where the product was used. I knew from experience that when I cleaned and extracted these areas the spots would become more visible. As expected, on completion of the job, there were numerous bleach spots visible throughout the house where the product had been applied to the urine stains.

Bleach spots are considered by most cleaners to be permanent damage. Always test in a closet as though you were cleaning an actual spot. If a product is going to damage your carpet it’s better in a closet than in the middle of your living room.

3. Always read and follow the instructions carefully. Then rinse.

I have yet to read a spotter bottle that says “thoroughly rinse” as its last step. I recommended following the instructions on your product to the letter, then rinse with a small amount of water before using a wet/dry vacuum to extract the product and excess moisture. If you do not have access to a wet/dry vacuum, dry with a clean hand towel. Repeat the rinsing and drying process for a minimum of three times. If not properly rinsed, some spotters will leave residue in the carpet which will attract soil.

Never leave your carpet wet for more than 24 hours as this can lead to the growth of mold!

These few tips should help you to avoid some costly carpet repairs. Although the best way to avoid these problems is to have your pet properly trained.

Tile & Grout Cleaning

Tile and grout cleaning without the proper equipment can be very difficult. In my experience people would rather attempt it themselves or even hire a house cleaner to perform the work. Unfortunately, if it has been years since the last true cleaning of the tile and grout the results will most likely be unsatisfactory; I have witness this more than once.

If neglected the acidity of the soil and grease will literally eat the grout. The problem is soil and grease are very tough and require a combination of procedures to be removed.  A strong chemical and a course brush will only go so far.  For the best results nothing beats hiring a professional steam cleaner. Steam cleaners can clean tile and grout at 1000 psi. That means pressure washing the surface and the grout. That in combination with brushing, heat and industry strength chemical (usually an alkaline) results in a much deeper,faster and thorough cleaning.

At this point sealing grout with a high grade sealer will have the greatest effect. Grout and tile sealer is the first and last line of defense. A good sealer and proper maintenance will give tile and grout longevity and will preserve appearance. Sealer helps prevents moisture, stains, and soil from seeping into the grout and destroying it. It also makes for easier cleaning by hand. Sealer should be applied ever 1-2 years in high traffic areas or areas exposed to constant moisture i.e. bathrooms and kitchens. Other tile areas such as floors should be resealed every 2-3 years.