Cleaning Myth: Cleaning Carpet Before It Looks Dirty. Harold Williams Fine Services of Windsor/Essex County, ON.
Clean It — Don’t Cover It. Harold Williams Fine Services of Windsor/Essex County, ON.
Odors. They are everywhere. When pleasant, we might call them “scents.” When not-so-pleasant, we might call them malodors.
Odors are caused by a variety of sources. Some odors are pleasant, welcoming, such as from a fresh-cut batch of flowers or a nice, home-cooked meal. Others are not pleasant, “malodorous,” such as from an unattended cat litter box or rotting garbage left too long in a trash bin.
And when something is malodorous, you must do something about it. Sometimes, the urge is to just cover it up. That can be a very bad idea as odors just keep getting worse and worse and you eventually have a difficult situation to deal with.
You want your home to be neat, clean, and odor-free, except for odors (scents) that you introduce because they are pleasant and welcoming, such as air fresheners, perfumes, scented candles, etc. A rule of thumb is this: When it is clean and dry, there should be no odors.
Your carpet, furniture and other absorbent materials in your home, over time, become soiled and often collect odors. Normal “dusty” odors are part of life between cleaning, and routine chores keep them manageable. Yet odors from urine, feces, body perspiration, and other sources are offensive and must be removed.
There are three principles to follow when it comes to keeping your home clean and odor-free.
Remove the source
When something is deposited, spilled, or has come into contact with a surface, the first step is to remove contamination. This means scraping, rinsing or otherwise removing any odor-causing sources. The sooner you do this, the easier the job will be. An example would be blotting and removing a fresh pet “accident”, as odors will quickly become worse over time.
Clean affected areas
Once the source is removed, there is still some contamination on the surface. A thorough cleaning is important to remove any residual matter that can cause odors. Using hot water is best, if the surface can handle higher temperatures. Some furniture fabrics are heat sensitive, for example.
Deodorize and disinfect
Now it’s time to use odor-removing products, such as an approved deodorizer and/or disinfectant. This should be the final step in odor removal. Follow manufacturer directions exactly, as using too little or too much product can be counter-productive.
And never forget, your favorite cleaning professionals know how to clean and tackle tough odors. Let them do the dirty work. It pays to call a pro!
Floor Cleaning Basics. Harold Williams Fine Services of Windsor/Essex County, ON.
Floors. You can’t avoid walking on them. You can’t avoid looking at them, either.
The condition of your floors really affects the appearance of your entire home. When you have visitors, they notice…whether your floors are clean and tidy and in good condition, and if they are soiled and dirty and in need of repair.
There are all types of flooring in homes today, from carpet and rugs to ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile, natural stone, wood and more.
It’s generally accepted by most that carpet and rugs are easy to care for, regarding routine maintenance. Regular vacuuming does the trick. As a basic rule, vacuum your heavy-use areas once per week per occupant. Yes, your pets count as occupants. That means if you have a family of five with a dog and a cat, you would vacuum every day. Not the entire house, so don’t panic, but perhaps the living room and any other common-use areas that are trafficked each day. The other rooms can be vacuumed perhaps twice per week.
Ceramic tile is also easy to maintain. It needs swept and mopped frequently to avoid soil build-up. Use neutral cleaners and follow directions. If you notice any streaking after you clean, follow your normal cleaning with a clear water mopping and get it as dry as you can.
Luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, can be cleaned like ceramic tile, but consider a two-bucket system. One with neutral detergent and another with clear water.
Wood flooring is another matter. Be safe and obtain an approved wood cleaning product from the manufacturer, or you can inquire of your favorite cleaning service as to what you should use. After cleaning, you may need to do a light buffing with a soft cloth, especially high traffic areas. Wood is a bit more sensitive than other flooring types, but small surface scratches can often be buffed out. Larger scratches and damage might need to be professional repaired.
There are other flooring types, of course, and each one will respond well to proper cleaning. Floor cleaning can be challenging, as well as hard work. Why not leave it to the pros and spend your valuable time doing something else you enjoy?
Call your professional cleaning service today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Urine Odor Removal 101. Harold Williams Fine Services of Windsor/Essex County, ON.
Phew! What is that smell?
You might have uttered those words a few times, and when it happens, it is often from pet urine in carpet or perhaps some clothing attacked by a baby or toddler.
When left untreated, many problems can arise, the most noticeable being by the nose.
With carpet and other surfaces in the home, one of the toughest chores in urine odor removal is the first one — finding the location of the odor. Following your sense of smell often helps, and keeping an eye on the offending pet(s) and tracking them to the source can also work. Professionals, like your favorite carpet cleaner, have special detection devices that locate exactly where urine contamination is located.
Then you must clean and treat the area. A small spotting machine with water and a small amount of detergent can remove what’s in the carpet pile, but there’s really no way to get deep down in the backing or pad where some of the urine might have penetrated. That’s something only the pros can do. But getting to a urine spot while still damp and using lots of blotting with disposable towels is a great urine removal 101 tip. Once it dries, it becomes much more challenging.
Remember this: If left untreated, especially if the pet continues its accident-prone activities, and urine builds up in carpet, it doesn’t really dry out. Urine crystalizes and a salt-like substance forms, which attracts moisture from the air. That’s why you notice urine odors in the summer more so than in the winter, because winter air is drier.
What about clothing?
If fresh, a normal laundering should suffice. You might want to wash separately from other garments. Wash with cold water if colorfastness is a concern, although hot water does clean better.
But occasionally, urine odors can persist in clothing because of the age of the contamination or other factors. When this happens, a pre-soak is necessary. Fill a sink or tub (or use a bucket if the item will fit) and fill it up with hot water. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar per gallon of water that you are using. Soak the clothes for two hours. The vinegar, being acidic, will counteract the aging urine salts that have built up.
Bottom line? Fresh urine contamination in carpet or clothing is easy to remove. Get to it quick. Blot the carpet, rinse with a spotting machine, but never apply products to the area because that can just make it worse. Don’t be tempted by those products on the shelf at your grocery store. For clothing, put it in the laundry right away.
But if odors persist and urine contamination and related odors are ruining your day, it’s time to get some help. Don’t delay — call your cleaning experts today. After all, it pays to call a pro!