Articles and Tips
I have a coffee stain on my carpet. How do I clean it?
Coffee is one of the most common carpet stains, yet one of the most difficult to remove. Removing the spot immediately is the best solution, because if it's allowed to remain on the carpet, the oils and dyes in the coffee will penetrate the pores of the carpet fiber and become a permanent stain.
Here are some tips for removing old coffee spots:
- If possible, extract the area with a portable extractor and hand tool.
- Apply a detergent spotter to the spot, agitate and rinse the area. This removes the oils from the carpet fiber.
- Apply a tannin spotter, agitate and rinse. This step is necessary because coffee beans are acidic. A strong, acid tannin spotter is needed to remove the dye stain left from coffee.
- Finally, use a detergent spotter or protein spotter to remove any mild or creamer stains, then rinse thoroughly.
- If you don't have the necessary spotters and/or equipment, call us!
I removed a spot on my carpet, but now it's come back! What can I do?
Sometimes when we remove a spot, it will reappear upon drying, or over time. This usually happens because residue from the original spot was not completely removed, or residue from the cleaner that was used was not thoroughly rinsed.
Sometimes spots will reappear due to "wicking". This means that the spot was not completely flushed out of the carpet's backing, and wicks back up to the carpet's surface.
If a spot reappears, re-wet it with a small amount of water and place a thick, dry, white cotton towel over it. Then place an even weight, such as a heavy book on the towel and let it sit overnight. This will cause the spot to wick up into the towel.
How do I know when my wood floor needs to have new finish applied?
Do you have the following conditions? If so, you'll need finish removal, light sanding, and re-application of finish:
- Finish in nonexistent or extremely chipped and worn.
- Finish is worn completely through on traffic areas. Finish is also gouged and scraped.
- Finish is there, but is chipped and has light scrapes and scars from moving furniture across the floor.
For the following conditions, you'll need to use a screen to rough up the surface, and apply a maintenance coat of finish:
- Light scratches, scuffs, dings, and worn or dull traffic areas.
- Finish is there, but looks dirty.
How can I check the condition of the wood on my wood floor?
You'll know you have extreme damage if you have warped boards, water damage, deep scratches, chips, or expansion cracks. You also have extreme damage if the floor feels loose or creaks when you walk on it. Floors in this condition will require deep drum sanding.
Uneven boards, scratches, scrapes, nail holes, and some cracks from expansion indicates minor warping. Floors in this condition will also require deep drum sanding.
Floors with scrapes, dents, worn areas from heavy wear, and a few expansion cracks will require finish removal by sanding.
Can using "green cleaning” products help indoor air quality?
Yes, you can limit the impact of chemicals on indoor air quality by using green cleaners. Green cleaners are defined as environmentally friendly and safe for human usage. When looking for green cleaners, consider the following:
- Water-based instead of solvent-based products.
- Hydrogen peroxide-based products.
- Products with the lowest possible VOC (volatile organic compounds)
- Products with little or no odor.
What else can we do to improve indoor air quality?
Whenever possible, use mechanical means rather than chemical means for cleaning. For example, use a microfiber cloth instead of a chemical-based dust control product. Also use a microfiber cloth instead of a feather duster, which causes dust to become airborne.
Use spray bottles instead of aerosols for applying chemicals if another means is not possible, and make sure you have proper ventilation when using chemicals. In the bathroom, turn on exhaust fans and open windows when possible.
- Never mix chemicals together
- Make sure to follow recommended dilutions
- Avoid over-wetting absorbent surfaces when cleaning
- Use dust containing equipment such as Hepa-filter vacuum cleaners
What can I do to make my vacuum cleaner last longer?
- Empty or replace the bag frequently. A good rule of thumb – if the bag is two-thirds full, it’s time to empty or replace the bag. This applies to both cloth and paper bags.
- Air flow is also important. The principle behind vacuuming is very simple: You move air through a carpet and suck the dirt into a bag. If you reduce the air flow, you don’t get the dirt. There’s another danger to restricting airflow. It can cause the vacuum motor to burn out. Plastic parts may melt when temperatures rise, following restricted air movement.
- Keeping the vacuum itself clean can help improve performance. Some manufacturers recommend routinely wiping the machine down, inside and out. Anything on the inside will eventually pass through the motor.
- Check the power cord and switch for worn cords and replace before they become a problem. Remind operators to pull from a vacuum's plug rather than the cord to reduce wire fraying.