Blog Archives

Fabric Sprays for Carpet and Upholstery

Most popular fabric sprays for carpet and fabric are advertised to remove odors without cleaning the fabric. Does this really make sense, spraying something that smells bad with a truly magical product that removes the odor? This is a true testament to the power of intense, convincing, targeted marketing.

The reality is that most of these products “seem” to get rid of the odor, but they actually make the problem worse. Most of these sprays have two parts: fragrance and plastic.

The plastic parts are very tiny molecules that surrounds and “encapsulates” the odor molecules, preventing you from smelling the odor. The fragrance of course adds the benefit of having a clean smell take its place.

But the hidden secret is that is works temporarily; once theses sprays start to break down on the fabric, they attract dirt at a very quick rate, which creates more odor and the need to spray more of this product on the fabric. I find that the homes that use these products smell much worse than the homes that do not use them.

The solution for odor problems in your carpet, upholstery, or other fabric is simply this: It needs to cleaned, washed or replaced.

If you have any questions, please contact your local carpet cleaning professional to get more tips and information on getting rid of odors in your carpet and fabric.

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Treating Pet Urine Stains on Carpet and Fabric

Pet StainsUrine contains hydrochloric acid, urea acid, and ammonia, and it can be very difficult to safely remove the stain and odor from fabrics. Untreated, pet urine can take five years to break down and the smell to go away completely, which is why many homeowners have difficulty in removing it themselves.

Most store bought products that are made for pet stains either mask the odor and stain temporarily, and can actually make the problem worse in the long run. When the customer doesn’t get the results they want, they buy different products and combine several products on the pet stain. This usually leads to a chemical experiment on the carpet, permanent discoloration in the fabric, and odors that never completely go away.

You should never combine different cleaning products on the same spot, never use a spot cleaner unless you know it is a green (environmentally friendly) and/or organic product, and that it is completely biodegradable.

Never apply deodorizing powders or sprays on carpet or fabric. They can make the stain look worse by attracting dirt, permanently damaging the color of the carpet, and changing the pH balance of the fabric. Once these products are used it is hard to reverse the negative effects.

I recommend contacting your local carpet cleaning technician on advice on how to successfully clean and treat pet urine stains without additional damage to the fabric.

Carpet Powders

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.

Choosing a Maid Service

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.

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner

Carpet Cleaning Vacuum CleanerHow do you choose the best vacuum cleaner for your needs?

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.

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