Cleaning Tips

 

Cleaning Marble and Granite Floors 

If polished marble or granite is protected with floor finish, the finish must be buffed or burnished and periodically replaced to keep the surface protected and looking good. Because marble and granite are sensitive and porous, they need to be cleaned with a neutral cleaner solution and then polished dry. Scratched and dull surfaces can be revived with a marble restorer (available from janitorial supply stores). Cultured marble and certain types of granite are stronger than real marble and stone, but they do lose their luster after being cleaned for years. Clean with a spray bottle filled with all-purpose or disinfectant cleaner and a soft cloth. Always keep the area wet while working. Never use powdered cleansers, steel wool, metal scrapers or colored scrub pads on cultured marble or granite. If the surface is worn and looks dull even after cleaning, polishing compound may bring back the glow. A little appliance wax, car wax or silicone sealer will also help fill fine scratches and restore the shine. 

Pet Stains 

To remove pet stains from carpets, first, blot up any liquid by putting towels or absorbent rags over the spot and stepping on them. Start with gentle pressure and increase it up to putting your full weight down. Change to fresh rags or towels, until no more liquid comes up. For fresh stains, apply a bacteria/enzyme digester from a pet store, following the directions – it’s the only way to deal effectively with both the stain and the odor. Bacteria/enzyme digesters work slowly, so leave the solution on as long as the directions say. Urine has probably penetrated into the carpet and pad, so use enough solution to reach as far down as the stain. Apply the solution, put plastic over it, and step on the spot several times until the area is well saturated. Then, leave the plastic on the whole time the digester is working to make sure the spot doesn’t dry out. Old or dry stains are hard – sometimes even impossible – to remove, but try the bacteria/enzyme digester. If it’s a popular accident site, the bacteria may produce enough ammonia in the course of breaking down the stains to create a super-alkaline situation that interferes with its own action. In this case, you may need to neutralize the spot after the digester has been working for about four hours. Mix a solution of one cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Rinse the area with this solution and apply a fresh batch of bacteria/enzyme solution. If the stain or odor remains, call a professional deodorizing specialist. A complete cure will probably involve cleaning the entire carpet by extraction and replacing the pad underneath, if not replacing the carpet.  

 

Carpet Cleaning

Although vacuum cleaning can remove a majority of the dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a frequent basis to remove the oily, sticky soil that builds up in the pile as a result of odors and dirt that is tracked in from outside. 

If you can clean the carpet before it becomes too bad, the cleaning chore will be easier to do and alot more successful. There is a myth that is totally false, which states that cleaning the carpet before it is necessary will get it dirtier faster. The carpet with the typical household should be cleaned every 12 – 18 months depending on the number of people living there and the amount of traffic that walks on the carpet.
The choice of the right vacuum is important as well. There are some vacuums that will leave residues behind, which will promote re-soiling and basically defeat the whole purpose of household cleaning. 
Professional carpet cleaners It is in your best interest to use professional cleaners simply because their experience will enable them to do a much better job than you can do yourself. The equipment they use has more extraction power than the units available to you, and the carpet will dry faster as well. They know the cleaning agents to use, and they know the differences in carpet construction and fibers.

Doing it yourself:
If you have made the decision to rent a steam cleaning machine and do the job yourself, you should check on several systems before you make a selection. Most of the units available for rent don’t clean well enough and may end up damaging your carpet. Therefore, you should always consider the following:

– Several rental companies offer cleaning equipment that is similar to what the professionals use. The equipment should have enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry within 12 hours of cleaning. You should always avoid rental units found in retail and grocery stores that don’t have the power to extract the cleaning solution from the carpet fast enough, as it can actually damage the carpet due to over wetting.

– Make sure you avoid over wetting the carpet. Any prolonged dampness can lead to mildew growth and bacteria in the carpet, or cause a separation of the backing. A wet carpet that stays this way for longer than 24 hours can develop problems. You can control this by using proper equipment and the right training.

– Carpets that have stain resistant treatments have to be cleaned with products that are formulated for this very purpose, or the stain resistance will be impaired and the warranty will be voided. Never use cleaning or spotting solutions that contain bleaches as they can mess up the color of the carpet.

– Never use any silicone based treatments on the carpet. 

– You can help to reduce the drying time by using several fans to move the air around the carpet. You can use a dehumidifier as well, as it will pull moisture from the air. 

Hot water extraction:
The hot water extraction system is highly recommended, as it considered to be one of the best methods for carpet cleaning. Also known as steam cleaning, the process consists of spraying a mixture of water and detergent into the pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum that puts it into a holding tank. You can use a truck mounted unit or a portable self contained unit as well. This method is easily one of the best, and is ideal for soiled carpets or pet stains that you have yet to get out of the fibers. 






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