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Simple Steps you can take to extend the Life of your Rugs

4 Feb

In the Northeast section of Pennsylvania the harsh snowy and wintery weather can wreak havoc on your Carpets, Fine Area Rugs, Furniture and Health. You have been closed up in the house with all the salt, ice melt, bacteria and other allergens that can cause damage to your valued possessions and trigger allergies.

Vacuuming carpets at least three times per week, if not daily, can aide in containing the mess until you start your SPRING CLEANING. Particulate soils can build up causing abrasion and an early demise to floor coverings. It’s best to use a HEPA filter vacuum to capture and prevent these contaminants from affecting your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Proper entrance mats outside can assist in removing some of the slop from shoes prior to entering the home. Be sure and purchase a mat that is specifically designed for this purpose. Be sure to clean out the mat often.

Rotating your rugs frequently will allow area rugs to wear more evenly and prevent one area from becoming sun bleached. A good pad under the rugs is a good way to soften the blow from traffic too.

Mountaintop PA, Berwick PA, Hazleton PA and surrounding area residents can contact Services Etcetera Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, an “IICRC Certified Firm”, by visiting www.nepacarpetcleaning.com.

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How to Remove Cranberry Sauce from your Carpet

3 Dec

The Holiday Season is here and there will be plenty of cranberry sauce spills.   Tending to the spot as quickly as you will give you a better chance at removing this stubborn matter before a permanent stain sets in.   Always pretest any cleaning agent on an inconspicuous area first to make sure no adverse reactions occur such as color bleeding.

For best results you should use a spoon to gently remove as much solid material as possible without tamping it further down into the rug.   Mix up a small quirt of dish soap and some water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the area until moist.    Use a white absorbent towel and blot the liquid up.   Look at the towel and continue this process until there is no more transfer of color.

Using a spray bottle rinse the area with plain water and blot again. If there are still trace of color mix a  1/3 cup of isopropyl alcohol with 1 tbsp. white vinegar in a small bowl. Moisten another absorbent cloth with this solution and blot the stain.   Try leaving the solution soaking on the stain for about 5 minutes.   Blot dry.  Using a spray bottle rinse the area with plain water and blot dry again.

If a stain persists there are professional remedies offered by your trusted “IICRC Certified” professional carpet cleaner.   Services Etcetera Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning offers service in the Mountain Top, Berwick, Drums, Hazleton and surrounding areas of northeast Pennsylvania.   For basic spotting tips check out the following YouTube video http://youtu.be/AyZR8fhipK8 .

Rug Maintenance Tips for the Winter Season

24 Sep

With the winter season approaching, there are a few simple things you can do to improve the life, look and health of your fine area rug or carpet.

Carpets are much like a big kitchen sink.   All the garbage collects at the lowest point, usually the drain.   So you now have summers soils, air pollution and other nasty junk nesting in your carpet but no drain.   And now you are closing the house for the winter!   Mountain Top and Berwick, PA residents know this all too well.

Vacuuming regularly is the most effective way to maintain your expensive investment and control the air quality in your home.   This can be very important for asthma and allergy sufferers.   There carpet protector applications available for wool carpets that can make vacuuming more effective.   Contact your trusted professional carpet cleaner for more information

Vacuum your rugs and upholstery at least once per week.   If your area rugs are used more for walk off mats rather than interior design then vacuuming once every day or two is a good idea.   Removing the dry particulate soil will keep your floor coverings looking brighter and newer while adding years of life.   Your lungs will thank you too as studies have shown the air in your home is more toxic than outside.

In addition, rotating your rugs once every month or so will keep a more uniform look as the rugs age.   Traffic, sunlight and air movement can all create unsightly wear patterns over time.  This can become especially noticeable on fringes.

Take care when using ice melting products as they may contain caustic and destructive materials such as salt, brine, corn, liquid magnesium, alcohol and chlorides.   The nature of these products can cause color loss, distorted color, color bleeding, rot and other undesirable reactions.   There are neutral PH products available but prevention is the best option.

How to Remove Ink from Carpet

13 May

Removing ink from a carpet can be accomplished with a little time, patience and preparation.   It’s a good idea to have a few items on hand before starting.   Gather up a teaspoon, a few white cotton or absorbent towels, lighter fluid or denatured alcohol, white vinegar and some liquid laundry detergent.

Before putting anything on the carpet its best to pre test for potential damage or discoloration in a small inconspicuous area.   Ink can be water or solvent based and I find it best to try and attack the stain with a dry cleaning solution first.

If you are using lighter fluid apply a few drops to the spot using the tip provided on the container.   If you are using denatured alcohol apply a half teaspoon to a small area.   It’s important to watch for the ink to disperse or start to spread.   Also blot the fluid up with a white towel and check for any transfer of the ink.   Continue the process applying and blotting until there is no more transfer.   Blot up as much of the solvent as you can and let dry.

If the solvent has little or no affect you can treat the ink as a water base spot.   In a small bowl mix up 2 ounces of water, a quarter teaspoon of laundry detergent and 2 ounces of white vinegar.

Moisten the area with the mixture by using the teaspoon to avoid over wetting.   It’s important to watch for the ink to disperse or start to spread.   Some dwell time may be needed and you can use a hair comb to gently work the detergent into the carpet yarns.  Again blot the liquid up with a white towel and check for any transfer of the ink.   Continue the process until there is no more transfer.   Blot up as much of the cleaning agent as you can.

Rinse the area with some plain water and blot dry.   If you require the assistance of a professional carpet cleaner the www.iicrc.org is a great resource for locating qualified firms in your area.

A Lesson Learned About Wool and Reducers

10 May

Everyday there is something new to learn and this week I learned a valuable lesson.   While cleaning a gorgeous oriental wool rug of unknown origin I applied a reducing agent onto a what looked like a coffee stain.

And yes I did pre test and I monitored the spot for just over three hours checking for fugitive dye and adverse reactions.   Everything seemed OK until I went to the shop the next day.   I had plenty of white residue from the reducer which I did anticipate but there was a violet/purple hue around the area I moistened. Oh no, a carpet cleaners worst nightmare.

After vacuuming the residue it was apparent that the halo was still there.   I knew the product I used was acidic, somewhere around a PH of 5, but I decided to use a mild acidic rinse to flush the area with my extractor.   I then called the best guy in the industry I know, Jim Pemberton.    I’ve had the pleasure of being his student for several IICRC courses and miscellaneous functions.

Jim instructed me to try a peroxide solution and possibly reverse the effects of the reducing agent.   The rinse I performed did remove about 75% of the purple nightmare and the peroxide spotting did the rest.   That plus a little ink.

The lesson learned is that reducing agents work over time and this was more than 3 hours after the application.   Thankfully I was able to correct the problem I caused.   Unfortunately the customer rubbed the stain when they attempted spot cleaning and there was irreversible pile distortion.

29 Apr

Wet or dry, removing egg from a carpet is best accomplished using an enzyme based product.   There are many types of enzymatic digesters on the market that clean various types of stains so make sure to get one specifically designed for cleaning food protein.

It is a good idea to consult the manufacturer information before starting any cleaning.   Check to see if they provide cleaning instructions or that you are not voiding your carpet’s warranty.   Consult a professional carpet cleaner should you need to have the stain protector reapplied after cleaning.

Dry egg can be gently scraped using a spoon from the kitchen drawer to remove any excess solid matter.   The dull rounded edge will help prevent you from causing more damage.   Move on and skip the next step

Fresh wet egg can be blotted or scooped up using a clean white towel working the spot from the outer edge toward the center.   This will prevent you from making the spot larger.

Read the directions on the spot cleaner you have decided on using keeping in mind these basic spot cleaning methods.   Never rub always blot, if you have to tamp or scrape use a spoon and always pretest any cleaning agent in an inconspicuous area first checking for adverse reactions

After cleaning I highly advise rinsing the area by misting a small amount of water on the carpet and blotting with your white towel.   Please read the instructions on any spot cleaner you choose because some products require a dwell time and should not be rinsed immediately.

Be sure and check out my other spot cleaning tips.

How to Remove Gum from Carpet

16 Apr

Spring is in the air and the White Haven and Pocono Mountain area of Pennsylvania will soon experience an influx of tourists.   From hotel housekeeping to retail stores the amount of gum on the floors will definitely increase.

Removing gum from any carpet or area rug can be achieved with the proper tools and a little patience.   There are several ways this can be done.   As with any spot or soil removal attempt you don’t want to cause more damage than you already have.   So don’t rub, always blot, work the spot from the outside toward the center and pre test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first to see if there will be an adverse reaction with the carpet or rug.

One of the two methods that can be tried are freezing the gum and lift or chipping away the pieces.   I don’t usually recommend this approach as there is too much of a chance to disturb the face yarns and cause abrasion of the area being cleaned.   However if the wad of gum is large enough this method can be employed to remove a good portion and then you can proceed with the second method.

Freezing the gum spot on your rug can be accomplished by applying ice cubes directly to the gum until it becomes hard and workable.   You can also purchase a can of spray refrigerant from an electronics repair store which usually comes in an aerosol can.   The contents are normally used to cool down electronic components for troubleshooting but will freeze the chewy goo quickly.

The other method which I use and recommend is the application of a jelly like citrus solvent commonly referred to as gel solv or citus gel.   This may need to be purchased from a janitorial or specialty supply company.  Using a gel prevents the active ingredients to remain on the surface without quickly running through the primary backing.

You will need to use a dull object such as a spoon to try to remove most of the substance that has not attached itself to the fibers.   Carpet cleaners carry a specialized tool known as a bone scraper.

Apply enough gel to cover the wad and gently tamp with the back of your spoon then let it sit for about five minutes or so.   Work the outside of the gum toward the center checking to see if the piece will start to lift off or if it can be worked into a slurry.

After converting the lump into a slurry you can use a white absorbent towel to extract the mess from the yarns.   If needed you can repeat these steps but rinse the area with plain water between attempts.   Your final step should be a fresh water rinse with a dab of dry cleaning solution to ensure the removal of any soapy residue.

For more helpful tips visit my blog at http://procleaner.biz/blog/spottips/blog.html.  Have a specific question, drop me an email at info@procleaner.biz and we just might blog about it.