5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Winter brings so many wonderful things along with it – the holiday season, beautiful snowfalls, and the chance to bust out your favorite cozy sweaters, scarves, and coats. While there are great things about winter, we all know that winter is also the peak time for colds and the flu. No one wants to spend the holidays sick in bed or taking care of a loved one who has come down with a virus. Here are five tips that will help you stay healthy this winter.

Wash Your Hands

This is an obvious one, but it bears repeating. Washing your hands regularly is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of diseases like the common cold and the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to effectively reduce the number of viruses and bacteria that have accumulated on your hands. Check to make sure you have anti-bacterial soap in your office and home to cut down on disease transfer even further.

Drink Water

When it’s cold outside, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. During the summertime when you’re hot and sweating, it’s second nature to make sure you’re replenishing your fluids, but it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the winter time. Try setting reminders on your phone or computer to drink water periodically throughout the day. If you can’t stomach cold water in the winter, go for some hot or warm water with lemon or find a hot tea that you love. If you don’t do caffeine, herbal teas are a great option and have even been shown to improve your overall health.

Eat Well

It’s perfectly natural to indulge in sweets and rich food during the holidays, but it’s also important to maintain a healthy diet in the wintertime. Try incorporating seasonal fruits and veggies into your diet. Grapefruit, oranges, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are all in season during the winter and will help you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and feeling great.

Get Outside

We know how hard it can be to get yourself to go outside and exercise during the winter when all you want to do is curl up by the fire and relax, but it’s essential that you get some exercise and exposure to sunlight in the winter. The days are shorter, and we tend to spend so much time inside during winter daylight hours that it’s easy to become deprived of the vitamin D we get from the sun or to feel sad, depressed, or unmotivated during the coldest months of the year. Even taking a short walk around the block a couple of times a day can make a huge difference in your mood. Set goals for yourself or find a buddy who will brave the cold outdoors with you.

Clean Your Carpets

Getting your carpets cleaned this winter can have a huge effect on the overall health of your home and your family. Carpets trap a ton of dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria that would otherwise be circulating throughout your home’s air. If your carpets are not cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning company on a regular basis, they will become so saturated with contaminants that they won’t be able to filter any additional bacteria or allergens out of the air, and you and your family will be left to breathe it all in. Because we spend so much more time inside during the winter, it’s even more vital that you maintain a clean, healthy home and have your carpets cleaned by a highly-rated carpet cleaning company.

carpet cleaning, TNT Chem-Dry

Carpet Cleaning in Nashville, TN

To find a quality carpet cleaning company in Nashville, TN, look to TNT Chem-Dry. Chem-Dry uses a unique carpet cleaning method called Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) that cleans deeper and dries faster than other common carpet cleaning methods like steam cleaning. TNT Chem-Dry’s HCE method is designed to remove allergens, bacteria, dirt, and dust from deep within your carpets without using all the excess water used by other carpet cleaning companies. With TNT Chem-Dry, your carpets will dry in just two hours or less, and you’ll be left with a cleaner, healthier home for the winter.

Improving My Indoor Air Quality

I had my carpet professionally cleaned last week. Before the Chem-Dry technician arrived, I vacuumed my floors thoroughly. But after the technician arrived, he insisted on vacuuming the floors again with his own equipment – a commercial-grade vacuum with a HEPA filter. I’d never heard the term, HEPA, before, so I was curious about it.

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, and if you’re anything like me, you have no idea what this means. What HEPA does is more efficiently pull particulates out of the air. That’s something I can understand. A typical vacuum will suck in tiny particles like dust or dander, and then expel them out again through the filter. But a HEPA filter is fine enough to capture all of these particles and more.

I have heard the term, indoor air quality, quite a few times. I’ve also heard that indoor air quality can be much worse than the air outside. A HEPA filter can greatly improve the air quality in your home. In fact, a true HEPA filter can remove all of the common allergens found in your home – even particles you can’t see like some, dust mites, and even bacteria and viruses.

As the technician and I chatted about air quality, it occurred to me that even the best vacuum can only do so much. Was there anything else I could do to make the air in my home cleaner – and give me a little more relief from my allergies? The technician had a couple of good suggestions:

Use a quality air filter and change it regularly

I’ve changed my HVAC air filter enough to know that it pulls a lot of bad stuff out of the air I breathe. But truth be told, I always get the cheap air I can find at my local supermarket. A better option is to go to a home improvement store, like Lowes or Home Depot, and purchase a finer (albeit more expensive) filter. Unlike my old filters, a premium air filter will remove mold, smog, and odors as well as bacteria and viruses.

Remember that even the most expensive filter will stop working once it fills with enough material. So regardless of the filter you get, change it once a month.

Schedule a professional carpet cleaning

Did you know that carpet functions like a giant air filter, pulling particulates out of the air so you don’t breathe them in? Like an air filter, a carpet loses the ability to keep particles out of the air once it gets dirty. If you want clean air in your home, keeping the carpet clean is an important part of the process.

While vacuuming is important, it will always leave particles behind – not to mention ground-in dirt and stains. To keep your carpet truly clean, you should schedule a professional cleaning. My go-to carpet cleaning service is Dr. Chem-Dry.

Get your own HEPA vacuum

While Chem-Dry will always have a more powerful vacuum than I do, I did purchase a new vacuum with a HEPA filter. These vacuums are becoming more popular as more and more people become mindful of their indoor air quality, and you can find them just about anywhere for a reasonable price.

Carpet Cleaning Methods, Explained

As holiday season approaches, many of us are already planning to host traveling relatives or at least a get-together or two. And that means we’re scrubbing and cleaning and polishing in order to create a bright, welcoming home. When that happens, it doesn’t take long for us to cast our eyes downward to inspect our carpets. No wonder that many of these inspections lead to calls to a professional carpet cleaner. It’s a good time to get up to speed on the different types of carpet cleaning out there – and which one might be best for you.


One of the most popular methods of carpet cleaning uses the heat and pressure of steam to remove dirt, grime, and stains from carpets. In this method, a machine heats water to the water to a high temperature, and then injects it into the carpet under high pressure. The heat, pressure, and an accompanying soap or detergent work together to loosen dirt and other stain-causing agents; the heat also serves to kill germs or bacteria that may be living in the carpet. At the end of the application, an extraction machine removes the water, soap, dirt, and germs, leaving a clean carpet.

Steam cleaning can be very effective, but the heavy application of water and soap ensures that some moisture and residue will be left behind after extraction. It’s a solid option if a short drying time isn’t a requirement.

Hot Carbonation

Like steam cleaning, hot carbonated extraction uses heat and liquid to loosen dirt, grime, and stains. But instead of employing soaps, detergents, or high pressure, hot carbonated extraction relies on bubbles to work. Because high pressure isn’t required in this method, hot carbonated extraction drying times tend to be much shorter than for steam cleaning. Carpets cleaned using this method can be completely dry within a couple of hours.

Hot carbonated extraction offers other benefits as well. Because soaps aren’t used, they’re not left behind in the carpet; that’s a plus for homes with children or pets who spend more time down on the carpet. Some carpet cleaning companies, like Chem-Dry, take things a step further: They’re committed to using cleaning solutions that are kid- and pet-friendly, and completely non-toxic.


Carpeting shampooing is the oldest method of carpet cleaning. In this method, a cleaning foam is applied to the carpet, and then scrubbed in with a big, circular brush; this foam loosens and captures dirt and grime, and then quickly dries. Once dry, the foam is vacuumed away along with the dirt, grime, and other staining materials.

While its short drying times are a plus, carpet shampooing has decreased in popularity. Despite careful vacuuming, this method can be prone to leaving foam residue behind. That said, shampooing can be an effective cleaning method where carpets are particularly soiled and low-pile, which makes them easier to vacuum.

Dry Cleaning

At the other end of the carpet cleaning spectrum is dry cleaning. Here moisture is kept to an absolute minimum while soaps, detergents, or other cleaning agents are lightly sprayed into the carpet. These agents are often brushed into the carpet in order to help them penetrate more deeply. Dry cleaning agents work quickly to loosen dirt, grime, and other stains; after drying in as little as 15 minutes, the cleaning agents and the dirt can be vacuumed away.

This method of carpet cleaning isn’t labor-intensive, and can be budget-friendly as a result. While fast drying times are a clear benefit, some of the cleaning agents are not as child- or pet-friendly as other carpet cleaning methods.


The key to finding the right carpet cleaner is to understand what matters to you. Do you want the deepest-possible clean? Do you have children or pets to consider? Do you want the cleaning to dry as quickly as possible? Or do you want to save a buck? Once you understand your priorities, you’ll be well on your way to getting those carpets clean and ready for the holidays.

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

Carpet Cleaning Post 2

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.