Category Archives: Maintenance Tips

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

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

Have Your Carpets Lost Their Luster, Don’t Give Up On Them

You may look at your carpets, want to replace them but would rather not spend the money. With a little effort, you can extend their useful life and maintain your beautiful home. Typical situations that mar the beauty are spots and spills, wear patterns and rippling or buckling of the carpet. I have addressed ways to remove spots and spills in past blogs, however, sometimes they are permanent. For these situations, a strategically placed throw rug or piece of furniture may be your best approach. High use areas or traffic patterns are a result of concentrated foot traffic that is actually wearing the carpet away. Because the tops of the carpet fibers are being worn and frayed, they look dull. These frayed fibers will also absorb spills quicker and hold dirt more readily than non-worn areas. Therefore, more frequent vacuuming (daily would be great) of the traffic patterns will help them look better and last longer. Immediate blotting of any spills will help reduce the probability of them becoming permanent stains. Carpets that are rippling or buckling can be the result of different factors but they can be easily and economically remedied by having the carpets stretched.

Finally, periodic professional cleaning by experienced companies will restore and maintain their beauty.

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

Rug Care, Helping them look good and last longer

Whether you have expensive oriental rugs or just good everyday rugs, here are some tips to take care of them and make them last longer.

  • Vacuum rugs. This should be done at least once a week.
  • Turn or rotate the ends of a rug. This should be done once a year. Rug RotationHowever, it is a must to turn them at least every two years. Turning prevents more wear in one area than in another. It also helps to prevent “traffic patterns” from occurring as in carpeted rooms.
  • Moth considerations for wool and oriental rugs. Rugs regularly vacuumed or located in well used rooms are less likely to have moth damage. Moths work in secluded, undisturbed areas such as under beds, skirted sofas, or heavy furniture. Move furniture occasionally when vacuuming and clean under it. Also, homes not well ventilated or rooms closed for long periods of time are more likely to have moth problems, so once again vacuum rugs regularly.
  • Sunlight considerations. Direct, sunlight will gradually fade a rug. To avoid this, cover windows with drapes, curtains or shutters and use them to block strong morning and afternoon sunlight. Also, consider window glass treatments and rug treatments for UV light protection.
  • Plants or flowerpot considerations. Live plants requiring water Flower Potsshould never be placed directly on rugs. Dampness from the bottom of the pots will cause mildew and rot, gradually destroying the fibers of the rug and resulting in drastic damage. Plants should be in a stand, preferably on wheels. Also, there should be a space between the pot and rug for air to circulate. Use a container under the flowerpot to avoid water dripping onto the rug.
  • Storage considerations. Always store rugs inside the home at room temperature. Do not store in attics that can get too hot or in garages that can get damp as this could cause a rug to dry rot and become brittle. The rug should be inspected and vacuumed at least once a year.

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

Commandments of Carpet & Rug Care

Over time your carpets and rugs appearance deteriorates and becomes less attractive. This is due to abrasive soils becoming imbedded in your carpet or rug, which can cause damage to the fibers and reduce the carpet or rug’s life.

Therefore, vacuum frequently and thoroughly. Most wear is caused by dirt. Oily soils attract more oily soil and frvacuum cleanerequent vacuuming will reduce soil buildup. Vacuum high-traffic areas daily, less-traveled areas at least twice a week.

Institute a no-dirt policy. A no-shoes rule is always effective, but can be difficult to implement. However, you should definitely make sure there are doormats at each entrance to your home. Clean the mats regularly so they don’t become sources of soil themselves.

If furniture rests on the carpet, be sure it gets moved occasionally and use coasters under the furniture’s legs.

Address stains quickly: the longer a stain chemically reacts with the carpet or rug the harder it will be to remove it. Common stains usually don’t require any liquid cleaners stronger than water. Use as little water as possible and blot them clean instead of rubbing or brushing.

Bring professional cleaners in regularly. The commercial grade equipment gets the deeply imbedded dirt out and will make your carpet last longer. The frequency of commercial cleaning will vary based on living conditions. However, for homes with children or active families, it is a good practice to have them cleaned at least once a year.

For more information visit our website at www.graysoncleans.com