A Neat Appearance Isn’t Why You Should Keep Your Carpets Clean

Just about everyone can agree that carpets ought to be vacuumed. A carpet that hasn’t been vacuumed recently can look unkempt and unsightly, covered in the tiny pieces of debris that we constantly track into our homes. In contrast, a just-vacuumed looks neat and clean – even the telltale pattern of the vacuum’s up and down path can be pleasing.

Maintaining a neat appearance is what drives most of us to vacuum regularly. But appearance isn’t everything. In fact, appearance isn’t the most important reason to keep your carpets clean. A much more important reason is your health. Carpets that aren’t vacuumed and cleaned regularly can capture a wide range of substances that are just plain unhealthy for you and your family.

Think of all of the places you and your pets go each day. How many surfaces do you walk over that you would rather not touch? You and your pets track in grime from these surfaces every day: Oils, dirt, germs, pollen, mold, feces, chemicals, cleaners, bacteria, and more. Your carpet gathers them all. And you and your family and your pets don’t just walk on that carpet – you live on it, and breathe it in. If you’re suffering from asthma or allergies, your carpet could very well be the cause.

Your first line of defense against everything you bring into your home is your vacuum. When you vacuum regularly, you keep dirt and debris and allergens and toxins from penetrating deeper into your carpet. But make no mistake: Vacuuming won’t pick up everything. Every week, substances will be left behind to sink deeper into your carpet fibers – too deep for your vacuum to reach. Removing these requires a more powerful solution: a professional carpet cleaning.

Carpet cleaning is generally a much more intensive process than vacuuming. Specialized cleaning solutions are used to break down substances trapped in the carpet fibers. Powerful brushes work the fibers, helping to free up trapped materials. Then powerful suction devices are used to pull up all of the loosened dust and oils and allergens that we’d rather not be touching or breathing.

Because carpet cleaning is an intensive process, it’s not something we should do as regularly as vacuuming; regular cleanings (and the relatively harsh brushing and suction) would cause premature wear on the carpet. But cleaning should be performed on a schedule; the generally accepted best practice is schedule a deep, professional carpet cleaning once a year.

If it’s been more than a year since you had your carpets cleaned, now is the perfect time to schedule a cleaning. Your house will look cleaner and more inviting. But more importantly, you’ll be doing something to improve the health and well-being of you and your family. And in the meantime – don’t stop vacuuming!

Preparing An Organic Carpet Cleaning Solution

Preparing An Organic Carpet Cleaning Solution

Many home owners want to keep their house’s interior fresh and vibrant at all times of the year. In some cases, you may not want to use a store-bought carpet cleaning solution, because it may have lingering chemicals, toxins, or other potentially hazardous products that could affect you and your family’s health, let alone they may have lasting residue or weaken your carpet’s fabrics over time. In these cases, you may want to purchase an organic, green carpet cleaning service through an eco-friendly company such as Kasandjo’s Chem-Dry, who uses a carpet cleaning product called The Natural, that is made from ingredients that won’t harm your home or health.

Carpet Cleaning Post 2

If you decide to take the do it yourself route, and want to create your own organic cleaning product, there are some general tips and guidelines you can follow, along with some minor tweaks and edits to personalize your product exactly how you like it. Most homemade carpet cleaning products utilize a combination of a mild dish detergent, such as Dawn or Dial, along with a cleaning product such as distilled white vinegar (NOT apple cider vinegar, because the coloring of the product can cause further staining and damage to your carpet’s fabrics), along with some water to create a great, non-toxic solution.

The rule of thumb for mixing a fabric cleaning product is half water, a few drops of dish detergent, about a cup or so of distilled white vinegar, and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. The last part is up to you, some individuals prefer not to have a scent from the product, while others may want to mix and match scents to create a pleasing aroma. A personal favorite is to include about 5-10 drops of lavender essential oils with a few drops of rosemary essential oils. This creates a pleasing, relaxing, not too pungent smell that is perfect for fabric cleaning. You can store this homemade cleaning solution in a variety of plastic or glass spray bottles, just make sure that the plastic is BPA-free to avoid any potential chemicals leaking into the solution.

Carpet Cleaning Post 1

Creating your own fabric cleaning solution rather than going through a company or renting out a steam cleaner and solution from a major department store can be an easy way to save some money on your spring cleaning. A typical steam cleaner, along with its solution, can run over $100 for just a single clean. The average cost of filling up a spray bottle of your homemade solution? Around $1.00. This cost of course goes down if you happen to make your cleaning solutions in bulk. For the most part, this recipe of water + vinegar + soap + essential oils is used for a variety of cleaning products, on both fabrics, tiles, grout, wood, and other surfaces. One easy way to differentiate between different scents or cleaning products is to use a label maker for the bottles, or put in a single drop or two of a food coloring solution, so that the products are different colors. If you decide to use food coloring, only put a drop or two – too much of the coloring can cause additional staining or problems to arise.

Dealing with Pet Stains? Urine Luck!

Anyone who owns a dog can tell you that pet accidents in the home are an unfortunate inevitability. That’s why all pet owners should have a few tricks up their sleeve for dealing with accidents when they occur.

pet accident

Green Cleaning Solutions

There are several methods for cleaning up dog urine that only require some common household items and are completely non-toxic for both your dogs and your family. Here are a few easy green cleaning options:

  1. Dish Detergent – If the spot is still fresh, blot it dry as much as you can with paper towels, then put a few drops of dish detergent and a little bit of water on the area. Cover the area with an old towel and step on the towel to make sure it absorbs as much as possible.
  2. Vinegar & Baking Soda – There are a couple of different ways to use vinegar and baking soda to clean up pet stains. For stains that are a few hours old, sprinkle them with baking soda and let it sit overnight. Once the area has dried overnight, give it a good spray with distilled white vinegar. The carpet should bubble up some as the two compounds interact to clean. The bubbles produced in the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda help to break up the urine particles and remove them from your carpet. You can also mix up baking soda and vinegar in a spray bottle and use it like you would Resolve, or a different carpet cleaning solution. A good proportion to mix is one cup of distilled white vinegar, one cup of water, and two heaping tablespoons of baking soda. Just shake the bottle up and spray onto the affected area, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then blot it up gently with a cloth or paper towels.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide- It’s a good idea to test this one on an area of your carpet that isn’t usually visible to make sure that it doesn’t discolor your carpet. To use hydrogen peroxide to clean up stains, all you need to do is spray the area, let it bubble up and break down the components making up the stain (usually about 10-15 minutes), and then blot it up with a rag or paper towels.

These methods are totally safe, and work well on fresher stains. If you’re potty training a new puppy, or your dog has predictable accident behaviors (like peeing when they greet visitors, etc.), it might be a good idea to keep a bottle of vinegar & baking soda solution handy. The mixture stays potent in the bottle for several months and is much cheaper than buying specialized cleaning solutions.

Enzymatic Cleaners

The majority of store-bought pet urine removal cleaning solutions fall under the category of enzymatic cleaners. Enzymatic cleaners work by introducing natural enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of urine molecules and the bacteria that likes to feed on it.

Enzymatic cleaners are super easy to use, and generally don’t even require blotting. Most of them are a simple spray and forget application. Once you spray the solution on the stain, all you have to do is wait for it to soak into the area and dry. The length of time can vary depending on the brand of cleaner.

One thing to note with Enzymatic cleaners is the fact that sometimes the smell can get worse before it gets better, but don’t get discouraged, that’s just the enzymes at work.

Refrain from using solvent based cleaners of surfactants, as these often contain chemicals that can be dangerous to you or your pets, such as chlorine and ammonia. In fact, ammonia cleaners can cause dogs to resoil the area because it smells like something else has marked its territory there and they want to reclaim that area.

Professional Cleaning Services

In some cases these pet stain removal tricks may not work, especially for stains that have set in. If you have old stains that have been dry for some time, it’s best to call a carpet cleaning professional like Curtice Chem-Dry to get rid of the stain and odor. Carpet cleaning professionals have their own arsenal of specialized pet stain removal solutions. Chem-Dry in particular has specialized equipment to find stains you might not even know you have.

In serious cases where an area has been soiled over and over, you could have mold growing or damage to your subflooring. Professional carpet cleaning companies are familiar with these kinds of situations and can help take care of your carpet and all of the layers of your floor underneath to make sure that the area is thoroughly cleaned all the way through.

If you’re potty training your dog, or have an old dog that has frequent accidents, use these tips to keep your home smelling fresh, and your carpets looking nice. Always remember to check the label of any cleaning solution you buy to make sure that it is non-toxic for your pets before using it in your home.