Category Archives: Cleaning Tips

Cleaning tips for carpets, rugs and upholstery

Upholstery Cleaning, Completely Different than Carpet Cleaning

Cleaning Upholstery takes a level of expertise way beyond the typical carpet cleaner. This is due to the different fabrics used for upholstery, the type of dirt involved and the different shapes of furniture.

Upholstery uses many different types of fabrics than carpet or rugs ranging from natural materials like silk and wool, synthetics like nylon and blends. If the upholstery cleaner doesn’t really understand materials, real problems can occur. For example, if silk is not cleaned properly, the potential for splotching or streaking can occur. Also, if not properly cleaned, white furniture, especially cottons and wools, can turn brown.

Upholstery dirt is primarily people and pet issues. People shed dead skin cells, hair and hair dander along with sweat and body oils through exposed skin. Cosmetics, hair sprays and other beauty items get on upholstery. Plus, children and parties increase the likelihood of spills. If you have animals, their hair, body oils and dander are probably getting on your furniture. Over time, all these tend to accumulate into the fabric.

Furniture designs and styles contribute different degrees of difficulty to clean. An easy working surface is a flat one. However, furniture has many corners and edges which make the application of cleaning solutions and the removal of the associated dirt very difficult. Skill and experience are required to effectively clean these areas.

So, make sure to hire an upholstery cleaner that knows what they are doing. For information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Removing Candle Wax from Carpets & Upholstery

You’ve set up a relaxing evening at home. You have the lights dimmed, soft music playing and scented candles burning. You drift off to sleep in the peaceful setting. The dream is over when you wake up. Your wax candles have melted all over your carpet! OR –  your teenage kid burns candles in their room and never pays attention to the wax spilling onto the carpet. Don’t panic, your carpet isn’t ruined.

To get the candle wax out, here is all that you will need. Seriously, a paper bag and an Iron.

First try and break up the wax and chip as much off as you can. Use a dull knife or other hard flat edge object. You can also put ice in a waterproof bag and lay it on the wax. By allowing the wax to freeze, it will chip away easier. However, make sure the bag does not leak or condensation puts water on the spot. The water could make the color in the wax set.

Second, tear large pieces of the paper bag so that they are single layers. (if you do not have a paper bag, clean terry cloth can work). Spread the paper piece over the wax stain. And make sure there is no print from the bag against the carpet.

Third, heat your iron to a very low setting like around 3. It only needs to be hot enough to melt the wax and not the fibers of your carpet.

Finally, run the iron over the paper on top of the wax, but DO NOT let the iron touch the actual carpet fibers. You will notice that the wax will transfer to the paper. When you do it, don’t hold your iron in one spot for too long. Little pushes and moves of the iron around the wax should work really well. Keep moving the paper over the wax until it is all removed.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Removing Red Wine Stains

A red wine glass spills onto the carpet. Yikes! The sooner you act the better. Attacking the red wine stain before it fully sets into the carpet gives you a better shot at getting rid of it.

The following are good stain removal remedies, but remember, to ensure color fastness, I always suggest you test any removal method on a discreet spot of carpet before treating the stain.

 First, BLOT. Time is of the essence, so grab a clean white cloth (towels and paper towels work just fine) and press the cloth to the stain. Soak up as much of the red wine stain as you can by moving dry parts on the liquid. Be careful not to rub, rubbing can push the stain deeper into the carpet’s fibers. After you finish blotting, you can pour a bit of cold water directly onto the wine stain (Be sure not to pour too much at a time). This helps dilute what remains, making blotting a bit easier. Continue blotting until no more of the stain will come out.

Two, If You Can’t Treat It, Salt It. Don’t have time to treat while playing host to your guests? After you’ve finished blotting, pour salt onto the affected area. The salt helps absorb the stain and can be quickly removed with a vacuum when you’re ready to treat the stain. Don’t have salt? Baking Soda can also be used.

Three, Treat It (presented are two different options)

  • Home Remedy #1 – Plain Club Soda is a good home remedy because of it’s carbonation and sodium components. Apply club soda to the red wine stain and blot. (Be sure not to pour too much on at a time).
  • Home Remedy #2 –Mix 1/3 of a cup white vinegar with 2/3 of a cup water. Saturate red wine stain with the vinegar solution and blot with a clean towel. (Be sure not to pour too much on at a time).

Four, Attacking what is left. After blotting either the soda or white vinegar mix, combine 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish detergent (Dawn® is a good choice) with 4 cups of luke-warm water. (Note: Make sure your dish soap is free from bleach and lanolin). Spray or gently pour a small amount of the dish soap solution on the stain. Using a gentle blotting motion, work the detergent into the stain and continue as needed until stain is gone. Then remove the soap by spraying the treated area with water and blotting.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Pet Accidents, What do you do?

Accidents do happen

You know your pet has had an accident on the carpet (or rug) because you can smell it. The quicker you can address the accident the better, so look for spots or discolorations. However, sometimes the accident is not visible, so what do you do then? A black light can be used. Darken the room, turn on the black light and scan it over the floor. You will be able to identify the urine because the urine salts become fluorescent in the ultraviolet light. However, the most available and practical method is to use your nose. Don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees to find it.

If the spot is still wet, blot, blot and blot some more to remove as much as possible. After blotting, you can sprinkle baking soda on the area. The baking soda will help absorb the urine and also neutralize the PH of the urine. (Note: baking soda may sometimes discolor fabrics, so you should test it on a non-conspicuous area of your carpet or rug). Let the baking soda dry on the spot then vacuum it up. If the spot is dried up, then mix 1/3 white vinegar with 2/3 water and spray it on the spot. let it sit a little bit than remove the vinegar/water solution by blotting.

If you would like more information, visit my website at http://www.graysoncleans.com

Do It Yourself Spot Cleaning

You have an accident on your carpet and want to get it up. I do not recommend using something you buy from the store. These products tend to leave a residue that will attract dirt. Also, if it does not remove the spot, it could actually set the stain so a professional cannot get it out.

I recommend using white vinegar and water. Mix around 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water in a spritz bottle. then spritz the spot and blot it up with a white rag. Here is a link to a video that will show this process. Spot cleaning video

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Cleaning Upholstery Dirt, Different than Carpet or Rug Dirt

Cleaner w-chairCleaning Upholstery takes a level of expertise way beyond the typical carpet cleaner. This is due to the type of dirt involved, the different shapes of furniture and the different fabrics used.

Upholstery dirt is primarily people and pet issues. People shed dead skin cells, hair and hair dander along with sweat and body oils through exposed skin. Cosmetics, hair sprays and other beauty items get on upholstery. Plus, children and parties increase the likelihood of spills. If you have animals, their hair, body oils and dander are probably getting on your furniture. Over time, all these tend to accumulate into the fabric.

Clean Furniture ChairsFurniture designs and styles contribute different degrees of difficulty to clean. An easy working surface is a flat one. However, furniture has many corners and edges which make the application of cleaning solutions and the removal of the associated dirt very difficult. Skill and experience are required to effectively clean these areas.

Upholstery cleanedUpholstery also uses many different types of fabrics than carpet or rugs ranging from natural materials like silk to synthetics like nylon. Having a cleaner who knows what they are doing is extremely important. For example, many companies will not clean silk because of the potential for splotching or streaking to occur. Also, if not properly cleaned, white furniture, especially cottons and wools, can turn brown.

Typically, people clean their furniture to look better. However, if it is something you plan on keeping, periodic cleaning to remove the impacted dirt is advised. It is like your clothes, even though they may not look dirty, you wash them to remove the dirt and soil from use.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

 

Do It Yourself Cleaning

Concerns with Home Cleaning Equipment

do It Yourself Cleaner    If you have ever purchased or rented a residential carpet cleaning machine, this article is for you. This equipment can be of a benefit for interim spot cleaning between professional cleanings. However, if you are not careful, the Do-It-Yourself machines can do more harm to your carpets than good.

If the machine’s directions have you adding a shampoo to your water tank, we suggest not using it. The shampoo residue left on your carpets acts as a big magnet pulling dirt from the bottom of your shoes. The result is you will have clean shoes and even dirtier carpets. Straight water is a good cleaning agent and should be used without any shampoo. However, if you feel you need the shampoo, after shampooing, fill your machine up with water and try and rinse the shampoo out. Also, be aware that the suction on these machines are not very strong and will probably not get all the shampoo out of the carpet.

cleaner    Over wetting of carpets is another potential problem. Therefore, go sparingly with the water and use the vacuum portion multiple times to remove as much of the liquid as possible. The problems resulting from over wetting the carpet can be subfloor damage (especially if it is hardwood). Also, carpet pads can prematurely fail due to getting wet and the carpet itself can be damaged and fail prematurely due to over wetting. The impact of over wetting does not show up immediately. It becomes apparent at a later time by reducing the life of the carpets or seeing the damage to the sub floor when you replace the carpets. Also, if it takes more than 24 hours for the carpet to dry, then the possibility for mold and/or mildew to begin greatly increases.

For more information, please visit my website, www.graysoncleans.com

Pet Accidents, What do you do!

Accidents do happen
Accidents do happen

Pets have accidents and it is good to address them as soon as possible. Urine is probably the biggest issue because it soaks into the fabrics. Urine is also a rather sophisticated problem with respect to removal. When it is wet it is acidic and needs to be approached one way. When it dries, it turns into urine salts, an alkaline, and should be addressed in a different method than when wet. Also, when it is dry, the uric acid crystals absorb moisture from humidity in the air giving off the foul odor. That is why on humid days, a house can smell worse.

blottingDealing with Urine while it is wet — Blot, blot, and blot because removal is the first approach. Find a dry white towel and apply to the wet spot (colored or patterned towels run the risk of bleeding onto the carpet, rug or upholstery). Keep moving dry parts of the towel over the wet spot to remove as much as possible. After blotting, sprinkle baking soda on the urinated area. Baking soda will help absorb and neutralize the urine ph. After the baking soda has dried, vacuum it up thoroughly. (Note: baking soda may sometimes discolor fabrics, so you may want to test it on a non-conspicuous area of your rug, carpet or upholstery).

Spritz Bottle
Spritzing area

Dealing with dried urine — first identify the spots. Look for visible evidence like spots or discolorations. Also, a black light can be used to find the source. In a darkened room, the urine salts become fluorescent in the presence of ultraviolet light. However, the most available and practical method of locating urine problems is your nose. Don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees to find it. Once the spots have been identified, using 1/3 white vinegar with 2/3 water, spray it on the spot. You want to apply enough to get to the contamination in order to liquefy the urines salts. However, do not over wet the carpet especially with wood sub-floors. After applying the vinegar/water solution, remove as much of the moisture as possible by blotting as described above.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Upholstery Spot Cleaning

When there is a spill on your upholstery,Panic Face
DON’t PANIC.
However, act promptly before it spreads or dries.

For liquid spills:     Blot lightly with a dry towel to start. Increase pressure and use a fresh towel until no more liquid is absorbed. DO NOT RUB! Do Not Add Liquid to a Liquid Spill

If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.

For solid or semi-solid spills (such as foods):     Gently lift the substance from the upholstery with a spoon or dull knife, scraping carefully toward the center of the spill. Treat any wet residue as a liquid spill.

If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.

For dry spills (such as ashes or dry cosmetics):     Adding any liquid to a normally dry substance, such as ashes, may cause a permanent stain. Vacuum, beat the area with a ruler or similar implement, vacuum again, then use the adhesive side of masking tape to remove any residue.

If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.

For wax or bubble gum:     Freeze it by placing ice in a plastic bag and setting it over the area until the wax or bubble gum becomes hard (Avoid letting the bag perspire and get water on the stain). Use the back of a knife or other flat dull edge to gently remove the stain.

If residue remains, see the stain removal guide below.

Stain Removal guide
The key is knowing which type of cleaner or stain remover to use, which depends on (1) the type of upholstery and (2) the type of stain.

Type of Upholstery:     To know what types of upholstery cleaner can be used on your upholstery look at the upholstery cleaning tag code.

  • If your code says “W” you can use a water based cleaner on the upholstery, and if it says a “S” you can use a water-free product, such as a dry cleaning solvent.
  • If it says “WS” you can use either a water based cleaner or a dry cleaning solvent — whichever is more appropriate for the type of stain you are trying to remove from the upholstery.
  • Hint: If your code says “X” do NOT use any of the cleaners below, because it means only a professional should clean your upholstery.

Type of Stain     Once you figure out what types of upholstery cleaners you can use on your upholstery, next you need to know the type of stain you have on your upholstery. Each group of stain is treated slightly differently:
Remember: First follow the type of upholstery code. If it is coded “S” (water-free cleaner) do not use one of the water cleaning solutions mentioned below.

  • Most food and beverage stains – use a solution of 1 teaspoon of detergent to 1 cup of luke warm water. (Non-alkaline detergent not containing bleach, such as used for washing delicate fabrics). Spritz the cleaner on the stain and blot with a dry white towel. You should see the stain transferring to the white rag.
  • Berry and fruit stains – use a solution of 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water. Spritz the cleaner onto the stain and blot with a dry white towel. You should see the stain transferring to the white rag.
  • Greasy and oily stains – Use dry cleaning solvent by putting it onto a white rag and then dabbing the stain. You should see the stain transferring to the white rag.

For more good tips, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

 

Removing Candle Wax from Carpets, Rugs or Upholstery

candlewax Candles can provide an ambience and pleasant odor. But, what to do when Candle wax drips onto the carpet, rug or upholstery?

First, wait for the wax to cool, then try to scrape off as much of the hardened drips as you can, using a dull knife. Next place a clean white rag over the remaining wax and run a wcandlewax1arm iron over the area. Once again, use the iron on warm setting. If it is too hot, you could damage or melt the fibers. You should see the wax transferring to the white towel. Repeat the process by putting a fresh part of the clean towel over the wax each time, until all the wax is gone. If wax residue remains, apply a small bit of dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

For more good tips, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com