Category Archives: Maintenance Tips

Maintenance tips to keep carpets, rugs and upholstery looking nice longer

The Biggest Vacuuming Goofs

Vacuuming carpets and rugs is very important to prolong their life and beauty. Therefore, it is wise to make sure the vacuum is working at its peak performance. Here are some situations you should avoid to take care of your vacuum cleaner

  1. Not changing the bags. When your bag or bin (for bagless vacuums) is 1/2 full, suction power is reduced by at least 50%. This means you need more strokes over an area to clean it and it is making the motor work harder. It is best to change the bag or empty the bin when 1/3 to 1/2 full.
  2. Using the brush on bare floors. A powered brush is critical for deep-cleaning carpets. But the revolving bristles can scatter debris while scratching the finish on hardwood and the plastic wear layer on laminate floors. Most of the newer vacuums let you switch off the brush when needed. If your vacuum cleaner is not able to switch off the beater bar, it would be good to get a vacuum for bare floors that does not have a beater bar.
  3. Vacuuming hard, sharp objects. Nails, screws, coins and even paper clips can rip bags and damage the machine. Either pick them up or sweep them up with a broom before vacuuming.
  4. Sucking up water or wet messes. Had a flood? Avoid the risk of electrocution by leaving your upright or canister in the closet. Use a wet-dry vacuum with a ground-fault interrupter for standing water or even damp debris.
  5. Tossing it when it loses suction. Full bags aren’t the only reason a vacuum’s suction can suffer. Check the hose to see if it is clogged. If the hose is clear, check the filters found on bagged and bagless vacs. Also, if the brush roll barely turns, check it and the drive belt for tangled string or hair.
  6. Assuming the motor has blown. Many models have a thermal switch that cuts current to the motor if it begins to overheat. If your vacuum shuts off during use, check for a full bag or bin or a dirty filter. The switch should reset itself, though some models have a reset button for that purpose.

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

5 Steps to Create a Cleaner Allergen-Free Home

If you have asthma or allergies, this article is for you. Asthma impacts more than 34 million people, and one of the main asthma triggers is an allergen found in dust mite droppings which can also induce allergic reactions in some individuals.

So, what are dust mites? They are microscopic creatures that thrive in the indoor environment provided by homes, specifically in bedrooms and kitchens. They survive well in mattresses, carpets, furniture and bedding. Dust mites shed skin and feces which become a major part of house dust. For most people, this type of dust is not harmful, but it does affect asthma sufferers and people with certain allergies.

The following are good tips provided by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC.org.

  1. Vacuum with a hepa-filter bag on a regular basis and frequently remove dirt from vacuum bags: One of the best ways to remove dust mites is to empty vacuum bags more frequently. It is best to empty the bags when dirt levels are 1/3rd to 1/2 full. Besides getting the dust mites out of your house, frequent vacuum bag emptying will make your vacuum function more efficiently
  2. Dust and dust mop regularly: Microfiber dust cloths have been found to be very effective at attracting and removing dust.
  3. Increase carpet cleaning frequency: Have carpets deep cleaned at least once a year and more often in high-traffic areas.
  4. Limit mold growth: Increased cleaning frequencies will also help limit mold growth. Mold produces the same allergens that impacts asthma sufferers.
  5. Focus on overlooked areas where people spend time: For example, home offices and chairs. These can become a breeding ground for dust mites.

For more information, please visit our website at www.graysonclean.com

Ever noticed a dark line along the walls on your carpets?

You probably do not want to know this, but it is not a defect in your carpet. It is called soil filtration which is a term used to describe dark, gray (sometimes black) lines that appear on carpet. Soil filtration occurs because the carpet acts as a filter to dust and other airborne particles resulting from a concentrated flow of air over the carpet. It is most commonly found around baseboards, under doors and along the edges of stairs.

The primary reason for this concentrated flow of air is pressure changes within a room. Pressure changes occur within a room from either the effect of warmer air rising or from your heater or air conditioner blowing air into a room without a return vent. Because of the pressure change, air tries to flow either in or out of the room. For walls that are not sealed to the floor, air moves in and out of the room at these areas and that is why you will see it along walls and stairs. For these situations, unless the air leakage areas are addressed, the soil filtration will continue to occur.

Also, have you ever noticed a grayish or dark line at the doorway of a room? Especially a closet or a room that is rarely used and the door is always shut. Once again, soil filtration. It is quite common for dirt and dust to accumulate under doors when they are shut. Due to pressure differences between rooms (as described above), air will flow from the high pressure room to the lower pressure through the largest available holes. With the door shut, the undercut of the door is generally the largest available hole. Therefore, as the air passes between the door undercut and the carpeting, the carpet acts like a filter taking out dirt and dust particles from the air. For these situations, you might consider leaving the door cracked so air can move through the doorway and not under the door.

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

Preserve Your Carpets

Replacing carpets can be expensive so here are some tips on making them last. Believe it or not, carpet appearance deterioration comes from the sticky stuff in your life. Dirt can have a sticky component. So can people, air systems, food and drink, smoking, foreign matter (including smog), pets and residue from “do-it-yourself” cleaning products. The answer; preventative maintenance and periodic commercial cleaning.

Preventative maintenance is the least costly and the most effective means of maintaining a carpet’s appearance. There are two goals of maintenance. One is to limit the amount of soil that comes into contact with the carpet through the use of walk-off mats. The other is to limit its accumulation through routine vacuum cleaning.

Walk-off mats should be placed at all entrances to reduce the soil that comes into the home. It is best to have an outside mat and an inside mat at each entrance. Outside mats should be capable of scraping debris off of shoes. Inside mats are needed to remove the smaller particles of dirt as well as oils and other liquids that can be tracked inside.

Routine vacuuming is necessary to reduce the amount of soil that can accumulate. There are many types of vacuums available but the best one is the one that you will actually use. Make sure it has a beater brush to get the soil to release. It is also important to empty your bag when it is ¼ to ½ full. Once the bag gets over 50% full, its efficiency diminishes dramatically.

The final aspect is periodic professional cleaning. The commercial grade equipment and expertise associated with reputable companies provides removal of the deep down dirt and removal of spills and spots. In fact, most major carpet manufacturers require professional cleaning every 12 to 18 months to maintain the carpet’s warranty.

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

The biggest Vacuuming Goofs

vacuuming ladyVacuuming your carpets and or rugs is extremely important but to do it effectively, you need need to take care of your vacuum. So, to help out, here are some of the biggest vacuum cleaning goofs.

  1. Not changing the bags. When your bag or bin (for bagless vacuums) is 1/2 full, suction power is reduced by at least 50%. This means you need more strokes over an area to clean it and it is making the motor work harder. It is best to change the bag or empty the bin when 1/3 to 1/2 full.
  2. Using the brush on bare floors. A powered brush is critical for deep-cleaning carpets. But the revolving bristles can scatter debris while scratching the finish on hardwood and the plastic wear layer on laminate floors. Most of the newer vacuums let you switch off the brush when needed. If your vacuum cleaner is not able to switch off the beater bar, it would be good to get a vacuum for bare floors that does not have a beater bar.
  3. Vacuuming hard, sharp objects. Nails, screws, coins and even paper clips can rip bags and damage the machine. Either pick them up or sweep them up with a broom before vacuuming.
  4. Sucking up water or wet messes. Had a flood? Avoid the risk of electrocution by leaving your upright or canister in the closet. Use a wet-dry vacuum with a ground-fault interrupter for standing water or even damp debris.
  5. Vacuum filterTossing it when it loses suction. Full bags aren’t the only reason a vacuum’s suction can suffer. Check the hose to see if it is clogged. If the hose is clear, check the filters found on bagged and bagless vacs. Also, if the brush roll barely turns, check it and the drive belt for tangled string or hair.
  6. Assuming the motor has blown. Many models have a thermal switch that cuts current to the motor if it begins to overheat. If your vacuum shuts off during use, check for a full bag or bin or a dirty filter. The switch should reset itself, though some models have a reset button for that purpose.

Hope this helps and happy vacuuming. To learn more, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Carpet & Premature Wear

Sulpted Wear Pattern verbageEver wondered why your carpet looks dull and extra dirty at the entrance to doors and why dull looking paths appear on your carpet. The answer is that the carpet is actually wearing away and is called a wear pattern. What creates this? People tend to drag their feet when they walk which creates wear. Especially at doorways where carpet and a hard surface meet. This is because the carpet is typically higher than the hard surface. Not only do we drag our feet a little more here but the carpet is also cleaning the dirt from our feet that accumulated on the hard surface.

The reason wear patterns appear through rooms is that we tend to go the same way through a room. The walking and the dragging of our feet create the resulting wear. This becomes very apparent in rooms with lots Grit in Carpetof activities such as dens. Another factor that contributes to premature wear is dirt in your carpet. When we walk, the dirt grinds against the sides of the carpet fibers like sand paper and weakens the fibers. The result, at these high use areas, is that the carpet fibers get physically worn away and create a dull appearance. Also, because the fibers are frayed, they will absorb dirt, spills and such easier than the non-worn fibers.

We live in our homes and carpet wear is natural. However, there are things that can be done to help reduce the affect. The biggest and best thing you can do is vacuum regularly. More than 70% of dirt in your carpet is dry particulate which vacuuming can remove. You can also look at buying higher grades of carpet which have a higher fiber count (more material per square inch just like “thread count” in linen). This can actually be a cost savings in the long run if you properly maintain the carpets. They will maintain their appearance and last longer than a lesser grade carpet. Also, avoid textured carpets in high use areas. Sculptured CarpetWhile they look beautiful new, the textured carpets have high and low spots. The high spots will wear away quicker because there is less material to support them. The result is that traffic patterns stand out sooner. Finally, non-slip walk off mats at entrances to carpets help by capturing dirt before it hits the carpet. This will help reduce the doorway wear described above.

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

 

Removing Furniture Dents in Carpet

Are you planning on rearranging your room but worried about furniture dents in the carpet. Here are a few things you can try. Fill a Carpet dentspray bottle with water and sprits it over the dents. Then use a blow-dryer, on a hot setting, to blow air over the moistened areas. (The heat helps wool and nylon carpet rebound.) Then, fluff up the fibers with your fingers or spoon. Another option is to steam away dents: Place a clean, damp cloth over them and hold an iron, on medium heat, several inches above the cloth for about 30 to 60 seconds. Don’t let the iron touch the carpet — it could burn! Brush up fibers with a dull object like a coin or a spoon. One more technique is to put an ice cube in each indentation, and let cubes slowly melt. Wait 12 hours, blot up wet spots and then use the edge of a spoon to lift carpet fibers back up.

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

When should you clean your carpets?

This is a frequently asked question which deserves attention in a newsletter. There are two sources of advice, that from the industry and that based on our experience in the “real world”.

 Institutional Advice

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration’s (IICRC) IICRCstandard reference guide for professional carpet cleaning, recommends cleaning for normal soiling in a home every 6-12 months for high use areas and annually for the remainder of carpet. Most carpet mills require carpet cleaning from 18 months to 2 years to maintain the CRIcarpet warranty. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends deep cleaning either quarterly, every 6 months or annually depending upon traffic levels.

As you can see, they are all over the place but they all agree that;

  • Proper professional cleaning will extend the useful life of the carpet
  • If the carpet looks dirty, it is already past the time it should have been cleaned
  • Cleaning for health has a bigger impact on people’s lives than merely cleaning for appearance.
  • The carpet in most homes would benefit from cleaning more often than it is being cleaned now.

Our “Real World” Advice

Now for our advice, there are two primary factors to consider,

  1. Vacuuming frequency
  2. The environment within the home.

If you vacuum at least once a week, consider cleaning every 12 to 18 months. If you vacuum less, maybe clean every 9 to 12 months. However, if any of the following home environment conditions exist, consider professional cleaning more frequently. Home environment considerations would be smokers, pets, heavy use of kitchens and the family.

  • For smokers, tobacco smoke lingers and poses a health issue for children.
  • For pets, pet stains and their odors get worse with neglect.
  • For heavy cooking, especially with oil, the oil gets into the air and settles at entrances to the kitchen.
  • And, last but not least, a messy family or family member can MessyKid-240x360impact the cleanliness of the carpet.

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

 

Protecting Your Carpets with Door Mats

The two most important aspects of carpet care are regular vacuuming and walk off mats. With respect to walk off mats, there are 2 areas to address. Door mats for the entrance and exits from your home and internal mats for those transitions from a hard surface to a carpeted area.Doormat outside

Door mats at the entrances to your home are very important for keeping the outside dirt from tracking onto your carpets. They should be placed both at the outside entrance to your home and at the inside entrance. The outside mat’s purpose is to scrap debris off shoes and to hold it. Therefore, they should be made of a more abrasive material. Also, many people do not purposely stop at an outside mat and wipe both feet. Therefore, the mat should be the width of the door and deep enough that both feet land on the mat during walking, approximately 3.5 to 4 feet. The inside mat’s purpose is to remove the smaller particles of dirt as well as oils and other liquids that can be tracked from the outside. Area rugs can work well for this purpose but make sure there is a non-slip pad underneath. Once again, it should be the width of the door and deep enough that both feet land on the rug during a natural walk.

Doormat insideInternal mats are good to slow down wear patterns. They should be placed wherever there is a transition from a hard surface to a carpeted area. Internal matting addresses two concerns. One is the difference in height between a carpeted area and hard surface. Typically the carpet fibers are a little higher than the hard surface and as a result, feet scrape across the fibers creating excessive wear. The other consideration is the loose particles on the hard surface being carried into the carpet fibers. This is especially important if the hard surface is the kitchen. An internal mat, whether on the hard surface or the carpet, can minimize both concerns. While I talk about mats, an attractive area rug can also serve as a mat.

While the function of mats within the home is beneficial, they can sometimes create a conflict with the visual presentation and feel you want to achieve. However, outside matting should never be a problem. Remember, anything you can do, with respect to matting, will help prolong the appearance and life of your carpets.

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

Pet Hair in the House

Cats and dogs can bring joy to a household but they also bring shedding. While pet hair from shedding cannot be eliminated from a home, it can be reduced.

Reduce the amount of pet hair that sheds.

Bathing DogPet hair loss is normal. Animals shed seasonally, and indoors animals may shed more because their systems can’t detect changes in the seasons. Also, unexpected temperature swings may cause pet hair to shed and grow more often. Daily brushing removes loose hair before it sheds and helps keep your pet’s coat healthier. Bathing your dog also reduces loose hair.

However, some animals may have hair loss for reasons beyond seasonal changes. If your pet is shedding excessively, try changing their diet. If they are under stress, try alleviating the stress. There could also be medical reasons, so you might take them to your veterinarian to be checked.

Pet hair removal

For clothing, lint brushes and lint rollers can be used to remove pet hair. So can masking or packing tape wrapped around your hand or rolled into a ball. Make sure the sticky side is out and rub it along the fabric grain.

Animal HairFor furniture, remove as much of the pet hair as possible by vacuuming it with the hose attachment of the vacuum cleaner. After vacuuming, put on rubber gloves and dip them in cold water. Shake your hands so that the gloves are damp but not dripping water. Then, wearing the dampened rubber gloves, run your hands across the furniture fabric in one direction. This should gather the pet hair together in a little roll that you can easily pick up and throw in the trash.  Keep wiping all of the fabric in this manner until it is free of pet hair.

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