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How to Get Kool-Aid Out of Carpet

The colored dyes koolaidin most sports drinks and Kool-Aid are usually acid food dyes. These dyes are very similar to the dye that is already present in your carpet, so they are difficult to remove without damaging the natural color of the carpet.

There are 4 basic ways to remove these dyes from carpet:

1. Ironing – This method takes some patience but is very effective.

  1. Wet a washcloth with water and lay it on the stain.
  2. With a warm iron on the lowest setting, iron the cloth. Do not press down on the iron or raise the temperature.
  3. Leave the iron on the cloth for 15 minutes.
  4. Once the stain is gone, blot the area and allow to dry.

2. Ice Water with Borax

  1. Spray the stain with ice water, then cover it with Borax.
  2. Moisten a towel with cold water then lay it on top of the Borax.
  3. Blot and repeat as necessary.
  4. Rinse with water to remove excess Borax and water.
  5. Leave a towel on to dry and apply a very heavy object over the towel for 8 hours.
  6. Leave it to air dry and vacuum once completely dried.

3. Salt

If the colored stain is still wet, pour a large amount of salt over the stain. Allow it to sit and soak up the stain, then vacuum up the salt. If the stain is still there, repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

4. Vinegar and Dish Soap

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.
  2. Spray the stain and allow it to soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Blot with a cloth until the stain is removed.
  4. Blot to dry.

Please note it is very important to take your time and blot stains when cleaning the carpet. Never rub or scrub. You should also work the stain from the outside toward the center. Also only attempt these procedures on synthetic type carpet, never on natural fibers such as wool, cotton, or silk.

The Benefits of Scotchgarding (Fabric Protecting)

Scotchgarded

Scotchgarding is a process that is used on fabric, carpets, and upholstered furniture to protect it from staining. It also helps keep grime and dirt from attaching to the fibers by acting like a protective seal, and is often used after furniture or carpet cleaning to prolong the benefits of these services. Fabric has tiny “dye sites” that hold the coloring of the fabric, and the Scotchgard or Teflon protectant fill those open dye sites and put a small microscopic protective seal on the top of fabric.

Scotchgarding is very beneficial for several reasons:

  • It protects the carpet and furniture.
  • It protects the life of your carpet and furniture.
  • It saves you money (you need to have the fabric cleaned less frequency as compared to fabric that is not protected).
  • It makes your job easier when you are spot cleaning the fabric.
  • It prolongs the “freshly cleaned” look after carpet and upholstery cleaning.

Scotchgard was discovered by accident by a lab technician who was working on a project and spilled a drop of Scotchgard on her tennis sneakers. After some time she noticed a clean spot on her now dirty shoes, thus the invention of Scotchgard.

Although most companies don’t use actual Scotchgard and Teflon protectants, they are considered generic terms like “Kleenex” or “Coke”. Many protectants are safer and greener than the original kind developed in the 1950’s. There are solvent based and water based protectants. The solvent based ones are a type of “fluorochemical polymers” and the water based ones are just water based protectants. There are benefits and drawbacks to both kinds.

Come back next week to read our blog about the History of Scotchgard.

Steps to a Healthy Carpet

Healthy CarpetThe longer your carpets remain dirty, the sooner they’ll wear out… and the longer you and your family will be breathing in any dirt, dust mites, allergens, mold spores, chemicals, and pet oil and dander hidden in your carpet! What are some steps you can take to make your carpet clean and healthy?


List Your Objectives

If you just want the surface dirt removed, you can rent a cleaner from your local Shop Rite! But if you want all the bacteria, fungus, dust mists, and chemicals removed, you’ll want to hire a professional carpet cleaning company that uses a safe, non-toxic, organic, “green” cleaning system.

Ask Questions

You can learn a lot from a carpet cleaning company by asking these questions:

1. What method of cleaning do you use?
2. Are your cleaning solutions pH balanced, green, organic, and biodegradable?
3. Does the owner do the cleaning, or is it the cleaning at least supervised by the owner of the company?
4. What type of equipment do you use to clean the carpet?
5. What type of practical and technical training do you and your cleaning technicians have?
6. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?
7. What will be removed out of the carpet when they are cleaned?

Ask for an Onsite Written Quote

Once you have picked out which company you feel you are comfortable with, have them come out to your home or business to give you a written quote. This will ensure there won’t be any miscommunication with the job scope or the price.

How to Avoid Carpet Cleaning Rip-Offs

carpetscamBait and Switch

It’s very common for a consumer to be quoted a price on the phone for carpet cleaning, not realizing the company may have a “dual-process” cleaning method. This means they may charge one price for a one-step cleaning process, and a higher price for the better “dual process”. When the cleaning technician comes to the home to start the job, they may try to upsell you on the higher priced cleaning which is often 2 to 3 times more expensive than the one step cleaning process they quoted you on the phone.

Unbelievably Low Price

Many carpet cleaning companies (particularly some of the larger franchises) bait you with an unbelievably low price like 2 rooms for $69, or the whole house cleaning for $149, only to “forget” to mention about all the extra “hidden charges” that may be tacked on, such as “travel fees”, extra charges for dirty carpets, and charges for moving furniture. It’s like buying a home and then finding out that the builder charges extra for windows, walls and a roof!

Unsupported Claims

Many companies claim to be the “best” and have high ratings and reviews. But do your homework and research the carpet cleaning company you’re considering hiring. Don’t just go by reviews on a company website, as they may not always be legitimate. Look at all ratings and reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and other reputable websites.

Outdated Beliefs

Many companies rely on old-fashioned, outdated cleaning methods and products. This is sometimes because the company or franchise they purchased used those methods, and that may be all they know. Other times it’s because the outdated methods are often easier and cheaper, but they are also much less effective.

Outdated Carpet Cleaning Methods

There used to be only three main types of Carpet Cleaning methods: Hot Water (Steam Cleaning, also called “Hot Water Extraction”), Dry Cleaning, and Shampooing. These methods are still used today, and are very common. Most of these systems may clean sufficiently, but most have drawbacks, and in some cases can actually damage the fabric being cleaned.

Steam Cleaning utilizes soap or shampoo added to hot water. This mixture is injected heavily onto the carpet, then immediately extracted out with a suction unit. There are various complaints with this method. The carpets tend to feel stiff or crunchy after it’s dried. This is because the hot temperatures used can remove the natural oils from the carpet. Also, dirt and spots may reappear more rapidly after the carpet has been cleaned. This is because not all of the soap, shampoo, and detergents can be removed, and the chemical residue left behind attracts dirt.

outdatedcarpetShampooing generally uses many different types of cleaning equipment, but the same result is the same. Shampoo cannot be completely removed from the carpet, causing the same problem with residue that attracts dirt more quickly.

Dry Cleaning is the least popular and is not used as often these days. However, the many different types of archaic cleaning equipment all use a type of dry cleaning solvents in the cleaning process, similar to those used to dry clean clothes. This system is not very thorough and may leave residue behind that attracts dirt.

The best carpet cleaning system is one that is both safe (for you, your family and pets, and of course, your carpet!) and effective. The safest cleaning solutions are organic, pH balanced, biodegradable, and environmentally and eco-friendly (“green”). The most effective cleaning solutions do not use any type of soap, shampoo, detergents, or surfactants, as these types of cleaning compounds are difficult to remove from the carpet and actually attract dirt more quickly. Also using a low moisture cleaning system will ensure that the carpets dry within a few hours. This is much better than archaic methods where copious amounts of water are flooded into the carpet, which can take days to dry and can cause mold, odors, and water damage to your floors.

Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning at http://www.delawarevalleycarpetcleaning.com utilizes up-to-date, safe, organic, pH balanced, environmentally friendly carpet and upholstery cleaning methods.

Choosing a Carpet Cleaner

Delaware Valley Carpet CleaningThe best way to find a carpet cleaner online is from Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, or just searching on Google. Angie’s List is the best because it uses true, independent testimonials and reviews from customers. Look for a company that has an A rating and read the testimonials and reviews. Make sure to also check that you’re located within the company’s service area.

It’s always good to choose a company with a long, consistent track record of good customer service.

Many companies are franchises, but local, independent family owned companies are in most cases better for personalized customer service. If you can find a company where the owner does or at least supervisees all the work, that is a great added bonus.

It’s best to choose a company that guarantees their workmanship with a 100% money back guarantee; this will ensure that you have limited risk.

When possible, choose a carpet cleaning company that uses “green”, organic cleaning solutions. It’s better for the carpet and fabric, safe for your kids and pets, and friendly to the household environment, the community, and the environment.

Make sure the company is using cleaning solutions that are pH balanced and biodegradable. Soap, shampoos, detergents, or surfactants are very difficult to remove from the carpet once cleaned, and can attract dirt more quickly.

Also choose a company that uses a low moisture cleaning system where the carpets dry within a few hours. Archaic methods use large amounts of water which flood the carpet and could take days to dry, possibly creating water damage to the floors underneath, as well as mold.

What to Expect from your Carpet Cleaning Experience

Carpet CleaningWhen I do carpet or upholstery cleaning work for a new customer, this is a general description of what you should expect from me (and in fact from all cleaning companies).

First, I come out and give you a FREE quote and carpet evaluation. The goal of this visit is to see exactly what you want me to clean and what furniture you need moved in order to clean behind it, what types of stains your carpet or upholstery may have, and to discuss if those stains will or will not be removed depending upon if they have damaged the carpet or not. I also charge per square foot, so while I am there I can measure the area to give you an exact price to have your carpets cleaned. This visit avoids any miscommunication that just a phone consultation would create.

If you choose to make an appointment, I will work around your schedule for your convenience, and I make provisions for clients who cannot meet me during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00-5:00). I schedule cleaning starting at 6:00am with blocked times throughout the day and some selected Saturdays in the spring and fall.

After you have made an appointment for me to clean your carpet or upholstery, I will mail you a letter confirming your appointment and explaining in some detail what I will be doing and what I need you to do to prepare for the cleaning.

Then I call you two days before to confirm the appointment.

On the day of your appointment I will call you with an exact time of arrival. So if I am scheduled to arrive between 12:00 and 3:00, then before 12:00 I will call you with the exact time of arrival so you do not have to wait around unnecessarily.

When I am finished cleaning your carpet or upholstery, I will ask you to inspect the job, and I will leave you with instructions if necessary, as well as a free bottle of our internationally known Caret Cleaning Spot Cleaner.

All work is completely guaranteed, so if you have any questions please call. If any spots come back (which would most likely be due to soap or chemicals in your carpet from previous cleanings), I will re-clean any spots free of charge.

After the job is done, I will send you a thank you letter and follow up a few weeks later by phone to ensure your complete satisfaction with the cleaning job.

I take my job and the rapport I have with my customers very seriously. I have clients allow me to come into their home, move their furniture and clean (sometimes) very expensive area rugs, upholstery, and wall to wall carpet. There is a high level of trust involved. Providing outstanding customer service sets Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning apart from many other carpet cleaning companies and ensures that I will maintain that rapport, trust, and integrity.

Filtration Lines

blacklinesMany clients have black lines on the carpet around their baseboards, doorways and air vents. These lines are called pollution filtration or air filtration lines. Many professionals believe these lines come from the heater system in your home, but actually they do not. Forced air HVAC systems just blow the pollutants around until they settle on the floor and are filtered out of the air by the carpet.

The reason why this occurs is that there are tiny pollutants from your HVAC system smaller than a micron in size. Because they are that tiny they usually go through any type of filtration system that you may have on your HVAC system.

There is much debate why some parts of the US have this problem worse than other parts. The generally prevailing theory is that these pollutants are usually produced in densely populated areas and in areas of the country where there are older power plants spewing these pollutants into the air. The weather pattern also may have to do with it. Since many power plants are in the Midwest, that weather pattern brings the pollutants west to east to the mid-Atlantic states.

The lines generally can only be seen on lighter carpets, especially white carpets. Many carpet cleaning companies over the years have come up with products that say they can remove these lines, but generally they cannot be 100% successfully removed safely from any carpets

And on a side note, burning candles in your home can also add to these lines.

Dry Compound and Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning Methods

drycompoundMany companies have developed different types of an absorbent dry cleaning compounds that get evenly spread onto the carpet, brushed and then scrubbed in, then vacuumed off. These dry chemicals are usually some type of surfactant or solvent. The theory is that these dry cleaning compounds, once worked into the carpet, attract the dirt which is then sucked, vacuumed or absorbed off. The main benefit when cleaning with dry compounds is that the carpet is not wet. The main drawback is that for moderately to heavily soiled carpets, this method does not clean thoroughly, and if you are not using an organic product you are sometimes left with chemicals in your carpet that later attract dirt.

Encapsulation was developed as an option for cleaning with no moisture, but a deeper more thorough cleaning job than the dry compound methods mentioned above. Encapsulation carpet cleaning uses polymers that literally encapsulate (crystallizing) dirt and soil particles into a dry residue that can be extracted or vacuumed off the carpet. The encapsulating solution is sprayed onto the carpet, brushed in, then vacuumed out immediately along with the dirty particles. Some cleaning machines do all this at one time while others have different machines to do each individual step. This method is very dry and you also avoid all the pitfalls of other wet cleaning methods. More and more companies are using this type of carpet cleaning technology as it is becoming more perfected.

Carpet Dry Cleaning

drycleanMany Carpet Cleaning Systems that utilize dry cleaning solutions usually rely on specialized machines. The advantage is that they all tend to be low moisture systems relying on dry compounds and/or chemical solvents to clean without over-wetting the carpet. The amount of carpet cleaners that use these methods have increased over the years due to the amount of dissatisfaction with traditional wet methods.

Dry Cleaning systems generally tend to be quicker to use in cleaning the carpet and less labor intensive than hot water (steam cleaning) systems. This allows the areas to be used very quickly after the cleaning, sometimes within 1-2 hours.

A drawback with dry cleaning, however, is that heavily soiled areas may need to be pre-spotted or pre-treated with pre-conditioners or traffic lane cleaners. These cleaning products tend to be surfactants that break down the heavily soiled areas, emulsify the dirt, and separate it from the fibers in a very short time.

There are different kinds of extraction methods associated with dry cleaning. Some methods suck or vacuum out the cleaning agents, some use synthetic extraction bonnet pads to absorb the dirt out of the carpet, and some use the “encapsulation” method. Many other cleaning methods use a combination or hybrid of extraction methods.

Encapsulation is a newer type of hybrid dry cleaning system that, once the carpets are cleaned, vacuumed, and completely dried, they need to be vacuumed again very thoroughly to get the rest of the dirt that is encapsulated on the tips of the yarn out of the carpet. Mechanical agitation is a key component to correctly and thoroughly cleaning the carpets with most dry cleaning systems.

One main drawback with most dry cleaning systems is that, like the shampooing method we mentioned in our last blog, most chemicals and solvents used with these methods are not biodegradable and are virtually impossible to get completely out of the carpet. They tend to leave residue behind that attracts dirt quickly, resulting in the carpet tending to re-soil rapidly and needing to be cleaned more frequently.

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