Category Archives: Good Advice

Good advice on buying considerations for carpets, on wear characteristics and general aspects of carpets, rugs and upholstery

Vacuum Cleaner Selection Tips

In past articles, I have stressed how important it is to vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly. Since that is something we harp on, I am consistently asked “What is the best vacuum to get?” I do not have a specific brand to recommend but here are some tips on what to look for or consider when buying a vacuum.

Beater Bar Brush

For carpets and rugs, this is important. The beater bar brush is needed to loosen up the dirt during vacuuming.

vacuum cleanerUpright vacuum or a canister vacuum

Upright vacuums do a better overall job on carpets, though canister vacuums are easier to maneuver, especially on stairs. Also, top of the line canisters typically have a motor-driven Vacuum Cannisterhead for better carpet cleaning.

Bagless vacuums verses bagged vacuums

Bagless vacuums save you the cost of bags, but like bagged models they still require filters. Emptying a bagless vacuum is also a dustier process, a concern if you have asthma or allergies.

Other features to consider.

vacuum draperies, lady Edge-cleaning tools help at corners and baseboards. If you will use your vacuum to vacuum draperies, make sure it has a suction control feature in order to protect the drapes. If you will use your vacuum for both bare floors and carpets, get one with a brush on/off switch. This will help safeguard from scratching bare floors and prevents scattered dust and debris.

Most Important, give it a spin before buying.

vacuuming ladyEven if you order your vacuum online, visit a store first. Push, pull, turn and lift any models you’re considering. The bottom line is, you may have the most expensive, fanciest vacuum, but if it is heavy, awkward to use or move around and you do not use it, it is a horrible vacuum. The reality is that the best model for you (whether cheap or very expensive) is the one you will use.

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

Do your wool carpets and/or rugs shed when you vacuum?

Wool carpets and rugs are very durable but have you noticed that the fibers are getting picked up by your vacuum. Are you worried that the carpet or rug is degrading? Don’t worry. This is a natural characteristic of wool carpets and rugs.

Some pilling and shedding can occur with all wool carpets and rugs. This is a natural characteristic of wool because wool carpets and rugs are made from short “staple” fibers. A staple fiber is a short length of fiber generally ranging from 4 to 8 inches long which is then spun into a yarn comprised of these short lengths. As we all know, wool is sheared from sheep. The result is short lengths of fiber which is then woven into a yarn. Because the yarn is made up of millions of short fibers, there are millions and millions of ends of these fibers in the carpet. Kind of like split ends in a person’s hair. It is impossible to remove all of these loose ends in the construction process. The result is these ends come out or shed when vacuuming.

Once again, no need to worry. Wool carpets will not wear out from the loss of fiber. Just like any carpet/rug type, they can “ugly out” from use and abuse but they won’t fall apart.  Also, the thicker the carpet yarn, the more likely you are to see shedding. Once again, no need to panic. The shedding should diminish with time but it will never go away completely. There will always be some fiber in the vacuum canister. Remember, this is normal.

For more information on carpet, rug and upholstery care, visit my website at  www.graysoncleans.com.

Sisal Rugs – The Do’s and Don’ts

Sisal RugSisal Rugs are woven from natural plant fibers. They are strong, durable and due to their unique advantages, can be a lasting addition to a living room, bedroom, office or hallway. However, moisture and humidity can create problems on sisal rugs. If a large amount of liquid is introduced to the rug, the rug may actually shrink and distort. Also, the plant fibers absorb a liquid very easily and result in a large stain. For this reason, a sisal rug should be used in a dry place which is unlikely to be subject to spills. It is also important to keep this in mind when you clean a sisal rug. Be very careful with the amount of moisture used.

 

blottingIf liquid is spilled onto a sisal rug, it needs to be removed immediately. To remove the liquid from a sisal rug, blot the rug with a dry cloth and keep blotting with dry parts until there is no more transfer of liquid to the cloth. Also, make sure not to rub the spill because this can drive the liquid into the fiber. If possible, you may find it helpful to lift the rug up and blot from the underside as well. If a staining liquid such as juice is spilled, clean a sisal rug with one-half white vinegar and one-half water solution. Dip a cloth in the solution, blot the rug, and then blot with a dry cloth. You may need to repeat this, but remember to use a small amount of water to clean a sisal rug so that the rug does not absorb the liquid. For dry materials, you can scrape it off with a blunt edge, such as a wooden knife. Finally, the sisal rug should be vacuumed regularly to take up accumulated dirt. If you vacuum a sisal rug on a frequent basis, you will also prolong the life of the rug, since embedded dirt tends to damage its fibers.

 

If you are going to have a sisal rug in an area prone to spills, you may want to consider treating it with a fabric protector. However, pick a fabric protector that does not use water as its application medium.

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

Good Tip for Dealing with Spills Quickly

Parties are fun but they provide an increased chance of spills. Kids are a blessing but they typically raise the chances for a spilled drink here and there and just life in general creates spills.

It is best to get to a spill as soon as possible and remove it. The problem is you can never find a towel when you need it. So here is the trick. Find some old towels and put them under your sofa seat cushions and chair seat cushions. If you fold them neatly, no one will know they are there and then, when the spill happens, a towel is nearby ready for use. Just reach under the nearest seat cushion, pull blottingthe towel out and stand on it to blot up and remove the spill. Periodically move the towel so a non-wet portion of it is on the spill. Keep this up until you do not see liquid transferring to the towel.

For additional tips, visit our website at www.graysoncleans.com