Steam Carpet Cleaning Information

Despite the name, steam carpet cleaning does not use steam. Instead it uses hot water. The water is not at the boiling temperature but is hot enough that some steam is generated during the cleaning process and makes it look like steam is being used. Hence the name, even though that gives an incorrect impression of how it works. Thanks to Steve of Annapolis Clean Carpet (https://www.annapoliscleancarpet.com/) for help with information on this topic. He has been in the business over 20 years, and we appreciate his expertise and knowledge.

Steam Cleaning vs. Chemical or Dry Carpet Cleaning

Steam cleaning uses hot water and detergents. It gets all the way down and cleans the pile of the carpet that the carpet fibers are attached to as well as the carpet fibers themselves. Steam cleaning removes 97% of dirt and bacteria, so if you have allergies, this method is probably the choice for you.

Dry or chemical cleaning uses a cleaning solution. It is still wet, but uses much less liquid than with the steam cleaning method. The chemical solutions do not get as deep and tend to just clean the top layer of the carpet. Therefore, if you have deep stains, you probably want to use steam cleaning.

There will be some residue left in the carpet so you should make sure that the carpet cleaning company tell you what chemicals are being used so that you can do your own research if you want.

Carpet Drying Time

The drying time will take longer with steam cleaning than with chemical cleaning. The drying time is impacted with how efficient the extractor is that the carpet cleaning company uses. Because it can take several hours, sometimes more, you should choose a time to get the carpet cleaned when it will get little to no traffic immediately after cleaning.

Professional Carpet Cleaning vs. Rental machines

You can do a decent job with rental machines but they are not as powerful and do not clean as deeply and thoroughly. So, you can use rental machines normally, but from time to time you really should get your carpets cleaned by a professional.

Carpet Cleaning Preparation

A professional can do all of the following steps, but you can save yourself some money by doing the following in advance.

Clear Out the Room

The cleaning will be much more effective if you take everything that is on the floor out of the room. That means all the furniture and anything else that is in the room. If some of the furniture is too heavy, you may need to leave it in place or perhaps get the carpet cleaners to help you move it. If it can’t be moved, you can put foil, plastic wrap or wax paper under the legs to protect from the moisture.

Or, you can move all the furniture in one spot, get the carpet in the rest of the room cleaned and then, after it is dry, move the furniture to the other side and repeat the process.

Clean the Baseboards & Ceiling Fans

By dusting the baseboards and ceiling fan you will limit any dust which might fall while the carpet cleaning process is going on.  Or even worse, after the cleaning is over.

Vacuum the Carpets

If you are cleaning the carpet yourself, you should do this. If you have a professional cleaning the carpet, they should vacuum first. The reason is that the vacuum will pick up larger dirt. The steam cleaning process is designed to remove smaller dirt wedged down in the fibers. It is preferable to vacuum twice before cleaning. Vacuum in one direction and then the second time vacuum in the opposite direction or at a 90-degree angle to the first time. Even though you are going to vacuum twice, vacuum more slowly than usual to maximize the amount of dirt you remove.

If there are any stains, you or the professional will pretreat the spots with a stain remover.

We hope you found these tips useful.

How Professionals Clean Draperies and Curtains

Draperies and curtains create a decorative shield against the sunlight and prying eyes. However, they can also collect a lot of dust. A stain on one spot can also render it unsightly. Even when your guests do not notice the effects of accumulated dust yet, you will feel it as a tickle in your nose and express it through a series of sneezes. Those with allergies will get the worst end of it. Those who want to get their draperies cleaned professionally, we highly recommend Annapolis Clean Carpet if you are in the area.

So, You Probably Wonder: How Many Times Do You Need to Clean Them?

Heavy Curtain
Cleaning a curtain like this can be arduous and time-consuming

If you are cleaning your draperies and curtains yourself, you have to do so every 3 to 6 months. It does not sound so bad, right? However, the work can be arduous and time-consuming, considering how heavy draperies and curtains can be. Add the stains and the possible hidden allergens, and sometimes you don’t know what strategy to use.

How Does the Cleaning Get Professionally Done?

With professional cleaning, your draperies and curtains can get intensively cleaned. Not only do professional cleaners get rid of dust and surface stains, but they also get rid of possible health hazards without snagging the fabric. With professional cleaning, every 3 to 5 years should be fine.  This is a good thought if you want to decide between sending it to the cleaners or doing it yourself.

However, you should also think about other factors. If there are people with allergies, smokers, pets, and even those who have been recently sick, cleaning should be done more often.

Here Are Some Ways You Can Maintain Your Curtains and Draperies Like The Professionals

  • Take them out and use a leaf blower to get rid of accumulated dust every few months
  • For stains, use a spot treatment. If your fabric is not acetate, silk, or wool, then blot with a wet sponge and then dab with alcohol. Test first in an inconspicuous spot to make sure the colors are fast.
  • For wrinkly fabrics, press using the tag’s instructions on the particular material. If you are not too sure, then you can use a cool iron or place a towel between the iron and the fabric. The latter is to be done to avoid direct contact with heat.
  • Use a fabric freshener on a spot that people will not see to check if it will damage the fabric. If it turns out okay, then you can use the freshener to spray all over the material. This procedure is for emergency solutions, such as getting rid of the smell of smoke. There are some fresheners that also double as antivirus disinfectants.

Whatever you do, however, do not vacuum your draperies and curtains. Vacuuming can be very dangerous for your fabric. A thread can get snagged and unravel. You cannot do this even with the attachment.

Another thing that you should not do is to put in the washing machine or dryer. It may seem like a quick solution, but you would not want to see your fabric scattered everywhere. If all the do’s and don’ts above are impossible to consider at home, there is always the option of going for professional cleaning. There are options where they can come to your house and do the work there or take down the draperies and take them to their work place to do the job and then rehang them.

Tips on Cleaning Pet Stains from Carpet

In the busy, demanding, and harsh lifestyle many of us lead today, having a pet is arguably one of the most effective stressbusters. Pets are rightfully called our best companions as they’re so pure and selfless and bring so much love and positivity to our lives.

pet stains and how to clean
I am sorry I stained the carpet.

That said, most pet owners have faced the issue of their furnishings getting soiled due to the occasional accident pets are susceptible to despite the best of training. So, it becomes essential to equip ourselves with the knowledge about how to clean these stains from carpets and other such furnishings.

Timing

The quickest and easiest way to clean a stain is to get rid of it as soon as you notice one. Don’t let the material (poop/urine/vomit) dry. The longer the stain is allowed to languish, the harder it is to remove, and the odor also worsens over time.

Steps for cleaning fresh stains

  1. Wear gloves.
  2. Pick up the solids in the poop/vomit with a scraper or a dustpan, before it settles deep into the carpet bed. Alternatively, a wet vacuum can be used for convenience.
  3. Dab with a cloth/paper towel multiple times to lift off the watery residue, as much as possible, working from the outside towards the center of the stain. Take care not to scrub the area vigorously, else you might push the stain deeper into the layers of the carpet.
  4. Sprinkle some baking soda on the stain. Then place another cloth/paper towel over and below the affected area and put firm pressure, preferably for an hour or two, by placing some heavy objects (e.g. a pile of books) over it.
  5. Once most of the stain has been lifted off, put some fresh water on the affected area (don’t soak with too much water) and repeat the process of dabbing with a cloth/paper towel a few more times. In the case of urine, you can use water and dishwashing liquid in equal proportions.
  6. Use a good quality odor neutralizer on the carpet once you’ve performed the steps above and the affected area has dried-up.

Steps for cleaning dried stains

Cleaning dried stains require extra patience and effort on your part. The above-mentioned steps have to be repeated a significantly greater number of times to get the desired result.

Also, any dried excreta/vomit must be scraped carefully before cleaning with liquids.

Household cleaning aids

Some common household chemicals can be used for cleaning pet stains as well as stains caused by other accidents.

  • Lukewarm water and white vinegar work well in a 50:50 ratio. However, avoid using vinegar when dealing with a wet stain as it may lead to an acidic reaction.
  • Baking soda and white vinegar can be used to lift off more stubborn stains.
  • Pet enzymes are known to be very effective stain and odor removers. They can be easily found in stores selling cleaning products.

Nowadays, most carpets/furnishings come with instructions on dealing with such situations and also mention the ideal cleaning aid and supplies to be used. If not, those can be enquired about/purchased from the maker of the carpet.

Professional help

If the stain appears to be too deep/widespread or isn’t coming out despite following the above process, you need to get in touch with a professional carpet cleaner.

Dealing with Water Damage of Carpets

Hopefully Your House Doesn’t Look Like This

The type of flooring in a house reflects the lifestyle preferences and tastes of its dwellers. Carpet is a popular flooring choice along with other options like wood, marble and tile. Available in a large variety of materials and textures, carpets give a warm and welcoming feel to any space they cover. Tastefully and diligently done carpet flooring can help elevate the general décor and aesthetics of a house several notches higher.

However, not only are carpets on the more expensive side of the available flooring options, they are also high maintenance and very prone to damage, especially from water. Therefore, ensuring the carpets remain damage-free should be part of your preventive maintenance plan for the house.

But accidents do happen. What if your carpet does get damaged by water despite your best attempts to prevent that from happening?

Act fast!

The first and foremost rule of water damage control is to act fast. Carpets are highly absorbent due to which they soak moisture really quickly. Acting at the first sign of trouble can limit the area of carpet affected and minimize damage.

Below are the steps you can take to address water damage of carpets:

  • Identify the cause of damage / leak
  • Identify the type of water involved
  • Assess the area of damage

Identify the cause of damage / leak

Determine whether the cause of water damage is a single point leakage e.g. an inadvertent spill, a leaking tap or an overflowing bath tub, etc. In such cases, as the wet area is small, damage control is easier. Drying out the carpet after addressing the leakage of water, wet/dry vacuuming and fan/heater air drying will usually suffice.

On the other hand, if water damage is due to flood, leaking roof, bursting of sewage pipe, etc., the area of carpet affected is usually significant. It can sometimes affect the whole house. In such cases, calling professionals for the job or simply pulling out and discarding the carpet is recommended.

Identify the type of water involved

Fresh water damage: Carpets damaged by fresh water are comparatively easier to restore. Water from tap or non- contaminated rain water can be wet vacuumed. Fans have to be used 24 hours a day for around a week. If possible, owners can get industrial fans on rent for the job.

Black water damage: Damage from sewage or the so-called black water is much more difficult to address. In such cases, it is advisable to call a professional disaster restoration contractor from the area. Industrial bleaching and professional drying may also help salvage the situation.

The biggest concern in such cases is the growth of mold and mildew in the affected carpet. Unattended, this may pose a health hazard in the form of allergies and respiratory distress in individuals prone to those ailments.

Besides being annoying, treatment of a black water affected carpet can sometimes prove to be more expensive than replacing it. Despite best efforts the flooring may have to be entirely pulled, discarded and re-laid.

Assess the area of damage

As discussed earlier, small area of water logged carpet is easier to get cleaned and dried than the entire floor of wet damage. Also, in case of excessive damage, contact a professional service to assess and know how much of the cost can be recovered in case a relaying of carpet is needed.

Cleaning Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs are generally hand-knotted rugs from Iran, India, China and some surrounding countries. However, there are also some Oriental rugs that are woven such as the kilims. These are usually more rustic because they were often made by nomadic tribes and the looms they are made with are portable. They are broken down, moved and rebuilt whenever the tribe moves. Therefore, the looms are not as high a quality.

Design Differences

The kilims, because they are woven, are more angular. It is difficult to get curves in the design when a rug is woven. The knotted rugs on the other hand can have a much greater variation in the design. This is particularly true of the rugs that have a high knot count per square inch. Most of the Oriental carpets are made of wool but some are made of silk.

Each tribe or region had its own characteristic design such as Tabriz, Heriz, Kashan, and Isfahan among others. There is variation between them but you get a sense that they are variations on a theme. Many of the designs are geometric but some include animals and plants and people. With new synthetic dyes the colors are now more vibrant compared to when natural dyes were used by necessity. Some people prefer one, some the other. China has patterns that are quite different than the Persian carpets although they are just as beautiful and the Indian rugs are different again.

Know Your Material

How you clean your rug will depend in part on what fiber it is made from. Look on the back of your rug and there will sometimes be a label with information about where it is from and what it is made of. If it is silk, take it to a professional. Most will be wool, but there are many rugs made to look like a Persian rug that are mass produced and made of cotton or synthetic fibers.

Vacuum Regularly

If you vacuum once a week it will keep dirt from getting worked down into the fibers. In addition, vacuuming prevents the fibers from getting matted down as much. But, never vacuum the fringe at the end of the rug. It will destroy it much faster if this is vacuumed. The other caveat is that you shouldn’t vacuum antique and silk rugs regularly.

Sunlight Is Not Our Friend

Sunlight is less of a problem with the mass produced Oriental rug copies. However the true Oriental rugs will fade if they are in direct sunlight over time. That includes sunlight coming through windows. One way to ameliorate the problem is to rotate the rug once a month so it at least fades more evenly.

Colorfast Rugs?

If you have real Oriental carpets, you should periodically take them to a professional to get cleaned. If you decide to try and clean them yourself with a machine you rent, you want to first figure out if the rug is colorfast or not. Test a small area. If you don’t do this first, you run the risk of ruining the rug when you clean it.

How to Clean Red Wine Stains out of your Carpet

Imagine that scary moment when you are relaxed and your red wine glass topples and spills on the carpet. It’s even worse if the carpet is white in color. The red wine stains are definitely one of those that know how well to leave their presence on the carpet. However, you shouldn’t worry much since there are products and techniques that you can use to remove the wine stains completely.
Act with Speed
Like most household stains, you need to act as fast as possible to remove the wine stains before they set. The sooner the better. If you are in a party and you can’t tend the spill, blotting up as much of the spill as you can will help. The next step is to sprinkle liberally with salt to keep the wine stains from setting as you tend to it.
Remember not to rub or scrub the stain as you will be forcing the wine further into the carpet. The proper method to stick to is blotting using a white terry towel or a thick paper towel.
Here is a step-by-step solution for removing red wine stains from your carpet

  1. Get a white terry towel or a thick paper towel and use it to blot as much red wine stain as possible. A white cloth can also be used. Blotting removes any wine that is not yet absorbed.
  2. After blotting, you can either pour warm water or cold water directly on the stain to dilute any remains of the stains. Blotting becomes a little bit easier. You blot once more until there is no more of the stain coming out. Warm water is in most cases used with vinegar.
  3. Baking soda paste is a classic remedy for removing stains at home. Mix soda paste with water in a one to three ratio and apply to the affected area of your carpet. Wait for the pate to dry before you vacuum the stain.
    Baking soda contains salts that prevent the wine stain from setting and therefore makes it easier to remove the red wine stain. You should, however, first blot up as much stain as you can.
  4. Alternatively, you can use vinegar. However, you’ll have to use warm water as described in stage (2). Mix white vinegar with dishwashing liquid in a one to one ratio and use a sponge to apply the solution on the stained area. Continue blotting until there are no more stains. White wine can also be useful since it will neutralize the staining components and help lift the off the carpet. You can also apply it by pouring some of it on top of the wine stain and blot away.