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.
- 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
- Dust and dust mop regularly: Microfiber dust cloths have been found to be very effective at attracting and removing dust.
- Increase carpet cleaning frequency: Have carpets deep cleaned at least once a year and more often in high-traffic areas.
- Limit mold growth: Increased cleaning frequencies will also help limit mold growth. Mold produces the same allergens that impacts asthma sufferers.
- Focus on overlooked areas where people spend time: For example, home offices and chairs. These can become a breeding ground for dust mites.
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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.
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Having wall-to-wall carpeting offers distinct benefits, but sometimes walking on it can become hazardous and its appearance can deteriorate due to buckling or rippling. The reasons for ripples across the floor can range from improper installation to excess humidity to long term wear.
To understand why ripples happen, it is good to understand how carpets are fabricated. Most residential carpet is manufactured by inserting yarn into a backing material to form the face material. The yarn/face material and primary backing is then back coated with a synthetic latex adhesive to lock the fibers in place. Finally, a secondary backing is applied to provide dimensional stability. (See diagram).
Improper installation methods almost always guarantee carpet rippling and can range from the installer not using a power stretcher or only power stretching in one direction. Also, padding with improper thickness or density for the carpet can also cause rippling. Therefore, make sure to purchase the proper carpet pad for your carpet and to use a qualified carpet layer for installation.
Excessive water from humidity or improper steam cleaning can break down the latex adhesive and cause premature rippling. Stretching the carpet can help the appearance but the carpet has probably been damaged and buckling will more than likely return. Replacement might be your best option.
Finally, buckling occurs overtime because the carpet stretches due to regular foot traffic and wear. Every carpet reaches an age when it must be replaced because the secondary backing and latex start to breakdown. Stretching the carpet can remove the ripples for a period of time but these areas will still be prone to buckling over time.
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When people ask me what is the best thing to do to take care of their carpets (or rugs), I tell them frequent vacuuming. Based on a Proctor and Gamble Company analysis of carpet soiling in the US, about 79% of dirt in a carpet is dry particulate. The composition of this dirt is about 55% from “Tracked-In” gritty particles (like sand and fine dirt), 12% from animal fiber from people, pets and fabrics and another 12% from fibers, indoor plants, and tracked in organic material.
Because most of this dirt is brought in from outside of the home, you should vacuum at least a minimum of 2 times per week.
To really understand the importance of vacuuming, watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNiMsB-4qtI&t=4s
For more information on taking care of your carpets and upholstery, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com