Most carpet powders that are manufactured to freshen up your carpet and fabric may, in the long run, do more harm than good.
Most powders are made to make the carpets smell betters and to supposedly get rid of odors (by deodorizing) in the carpet and other fabric in your home. In most cases these powders don’t always completely disappear from the carpet when you vacuum. They are also not completely biodegradable or pH balanced. If the carpet powder is not pH balanced at 6.0pH, it can actually void your carpet warranty as well as remove or lessen the effectiveness of any protectants already on the carpet. Since the carpet powders are not biodegradable, they can actually attract dirt in the long run, resulting in a larger stain and possibly more odor, creating a vicious cycle.
My advice is to never use fabric or carpet powders on your carpet, upholstery, or any other fabric, unless the powder is pH balanced and completely biodegradable. The powder should also be eco-friendly and organic, for safety reasons and to help the environment. If fabric in your home smells bad, then clean, wash or replace it, but avoid carpet powders.
There are many ways to find a maid service, such as word-of-mouth, referrals, and online searches. Angie’s List is a particularly good site to start your search. Make sure you check the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, as well as other online ratings, for local cleaning companies. The company should offer a 100% money back guarantee. Make sure the company is “legitimate”, as they will have access to your home.
Often when there is a complaint about a maid service company, the problem is more likely due to a lack of communication and misunderstandings. Sometimes clients expect things to be cleaned and/or furniture to be moved when these items were not discussed when hiring the company.
When hiring a maid service company or any cleaning company, make sure to meet them face to face in your home after you have checked their credentials. They should also give you a complete, detailed proposal. You must be proactive about the work you need them to do. Go room by room with the person doing the cleaning and describe in detail what you would like cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, etc., the frequency that you would like it cleaned, and what you do not need cleaned. Be specific and make sure both of you have a copy of the notes so you can avoid misunderstandings in the future.
There are two main types of vacuum cleaners: upright and canister.
Canister vacuum cleaners are mostly used for industrial or commercial applications. They are not very popular for residential uses, as they can be hard to maneuver because the tank stands still and the actual vacuum portion is attached to the tank with a very long hose.
Upright vacuum cleaners are the most common types of vacuum cleaners, and are also much better.
There are two main types of upright vacuum cleaners: bag and bagless.
Bagless vacuum cleaners (or ones with a dust cup) were very popular for awhile, due to the novelty of being able to actually see the dirt and hair being vacuumed out of the carpet. The lure is purely psychological; since you can see the dirt in the clear plastic cup, you know the carpets are getting cleaned. However, dust cup vacuum cleaners generally lose suction strength when the dust cup gets filled up with dirt.
I find the best upright vacuum cleaners are, instead, the ones with cloth bags. With newer technology, vacuum cleaners now have stronger suction and do a better job of trapping dirt, dust, hair, and other debris into the bag. The bag also acts likes a second filter to the air coming back out of the vacuum cleaner. Bags are easier to replace and less messy than dust cups when changing them.
Most vacuum cleaners offer additional HEPA filtration on the disposable vacuum cleaner bags, which helps to filter out dust and other allergens.
Check out Consumer Reports listings for vacuum cleaners and visit your local Vac/Sew center to discuss your vacuum cleaner needs. Many vacuum cleaners have many sizes and many different options. Some have attachment such as brushes and crevice tools for vacuuming corners and edges in your home.
Choosing a carpet cleaner can be frustrating because there are many cleaning systems to choose from. In our last blog we discussed the common, “outdated” methods of cleaning carpets. In this blog we will discuss a better, newer carpet cleaning technology, one that is safe, environmentally friendly, effective, and does not cause stains to reappear after cleaning.
As we discussed previously, most other carpet cleaning methods use some type of soap, shampoo, detergents, or solvent and sometimes can over wet and over-saturate the carpet. It is virtually impossible to remove all the soap and shampoo out of a carpet after it has been cleaned this way, so the carpet feels stiff, sticky, and attracts dirt faster. This means you will have to clean your carpets more frequently.
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.
There are many types of carpet cleaning methods, but many of these methods are outdated in their application and can cause harm to the carpet or fabric. These common cleaning methods fall under three main categories:
- Steam Cleaning
- Dry Cleaning
Steam cleaning is also called “Hot Water Extraction”, and it entails the use of super heated soaps, shampoos or chemicals. This mixture is heavily sprayed onto the carpet, then extracted out with a suction unit, leaving most carpets wet for many hours to several days. This of course can cause mold, odors, and water damage to your carpet and floors. The “cleaned” spots ultimately end up attracting dirt more quickly, causing the stains to “reappear”. This is because it’s very difficult to remove soaps, shampoos, and detergents from the carpet, as they leave residue behind that attracts new dirt more quickly. Steam cleaning can also cause the carpet to feel “different” after cleaning. This is because the hot temperatures can remove the natural oils from the carpet, making it feel dry or coarse after it is cleaned.
Shampooing generally uses many different types of cleaning equipment, but leads to the same result as Steam Cleaning. Stains “reappear” because the shampoo residue attracts new dirt more quickly, and the carpet can feel dry after cleaning.
Dry Cleaning is the least popular of the carpet cleaning methods, and is not used as often as it once was. All dry cleaning methods use a type of dry cleaning solvent in the carpet cleaning process (similar to solvents used to dry clean clothes). This system is very safe, but not very thorough, and it too may leave residue behind that attracts dirt.
A BETTER CARPET CLEANING METHOD
In my next blog I will discuss a newer technology for carpet cleaning, one that is safe, eco-friendly, effective, and does not cause stains to reappear after cleaning.