Cleaning Up ‘Accidents’. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
Our pets. We love them. No matter what.
No matter if they hack up hairballs. No matter if they barf up their breakfast. No matter if they mistake the corner of the living room for the litter box or the grass patch outside.
Dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds… the list goes on as to the types of pets that people have in their homes and subsequently treat like family. Or even better than family.
With owning a pet comes responsibilities. Some obligatory, such as taking them to the vet for annual checkups. Others more of a necessity, such as cleaning up after they make a mess, from turning over the food dish to the previously mentioned hacking or barfing — or other issues that create a smelly, visible mess that must be dealt with.
Pet accidents. They happen to every pet owner. And are they really “accidents” — as if the pet didn’t really mean to do it? That’s another story entirely.
Here are a few basic steps to consider when cleaning up “accidents”.
Scrape or wipe it up — all of it
No matter the mess, whether tossed up tidbits from the food bowl to a hacked-up hairball to urine or feces in the carpet, the first order of business is to clean up excess residue. There’s no point to applying cleaning product or deodorizer to substance that you can remove with a few paper towels.
Blot and blot… and blot some more
Now is the time to get as much moisture (gross!) out of the carpet or off the flooring material, or even off furniture. Using white, absorbent paper or cloth towels, push down on the affected area. Do not scrub. The idea is to absorb as much contamination as you can.
Apply product — and clean!
The final step is to clean up all remaining residues from the surface. Always pretest colors and fabrics before adding cleaning products, although most surfaces are fairly durable and can handle mild cleaning agents. Get some ideas for the best products from your local carpet cleaning company. Control the amount applied with a flip-top bottle or adding the product to a white, absorbent paper or cloth towel. Work into the area and clean away the contamination. If you remove it when fresh, there should be no residual issues.
Sounds easy, right? It’s not always this easy. When you have difficult cleaning challenges, do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning the Air Conditioner. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
It’s summertime. And if it isn’t that hot yet, it will be really soon. If hot weather isn’t in the forecast right now, give it time… it will warm up.
When hot weather strikes, most people work hard to be comfortable, and that means turning down the air in the home, using their trusty air conditioning system. For some, that means 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For others, 70. Others… like it even colder. It’s all about personal preference.
But when your air conditioner doesn’t perform adequately, or even worse, stops completely, panic strikes as the heat and humidity increases.
How can you avoid a sluggish or broken air conditioner? A few preventative maintenance steps can help tremendously.
Keep it simple — and clean!
Any part of your air conditioning unit, whether it is a portable window variety, mini-split, or central air, it’s important to keep all working parts, filters, everything clean of dust and debris.
All this means is a regular inspection, perhaps twice a month, and taking steps to clean dirty areas. If your air conditioner is portable and has a water collection tank, empty it regularly.
What comes in handy for removing dust and debris, especially from filters you can’t remove and aren’t washable, is a can of compressed air, such as you might use for your computer. But remember that when you blow dust off one surface, it will land on another.
And, if you aren’t sure about filter location or any aspect of your AC unit, ask a professional and take notes so you can refer to them in the future.
Call the pros
As with any electronic and complex piece of equipment, there are limits to what you can do yourself. Consider calling a professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company come in annually and perform an inspection. These are usually very inexpensive and, if you ever need repair service, they will respond faster if you are a regular customer (usually).
Once in a while, an air conditioning unit malfunctions or spills over, making a big mess. If that ever happens, it’s time to call your favorite cleaning company to take care of the issue. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Caring for the Commode. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
It’s no fun. It’s un-delightful. But someone must do it.
Cleaning the commode — aka “the toilet” — is a task that must be done on a regular basis, because if you don’t do it… well, you know.
Over time, grime can build up but also very-difficult-to-remove hard water, lime, and calcium deposits. Rust stains can also accumulate.
And there is no “one way” to take care of each situation. Frequency of usage, the quality of your water, and other factors can dictate more frequent or less frequent cleaning.
The first rule of thumb is clean based on appearance. Don’t wait until you notice the commode needs cleaned. Schedule it and clean it even when it doesn’t look like it needs it. This may be weekly or bi-weekly. But put it on your calendar to-do list.
The first item you need is a good quality toilet cleaning brush. If your water quality is considered “hard”, purchase one that can provide some mild abrasion, such as a wire brush. This will help with the difficult task of removing mineral deposits. But don’t overdo it; you can scratch the surface of the commode, inside the bowl.
Now you need a quality cleaning product. This is where you really need to consider your best options.
A commercial-grade cleaning product is obviously the best choice, as it will handle most residential cleaning challenges with ease. There are no doubt some supply houses in your area that have these types of products, and most big-box stores also carry similar brands. If you neglect cleaning for a period of time, you will need one of these stronger products, usually a potent acid-based cleaner. If you keep your commode clean on a schedule, a milder household product should suffice.
Choose a cleaning product that has a spout you can use inside the bowl, applying the product up high under the rim of the bowl. Grime and mineral deposits like to hide there. Apply your cleaning solution thoroughly, using your brush to agitate the surface inside the toilet, and allow a few minutes of contact time for the product to work. Then agitate again and flush. Inspect, re-clean if needed… and you should be happy with the results.
As always, using cleaning products is partnered authomatically with a few warnings. Don’t allow it to contact your skin, so use gloves. And don’t forget the eye protection glasses or goggles. Safety first!
Never forget, however, that the absolute best cleaning of your home, whether in the bathroom or the living room, from hard floors to carpet, and more, let your favorite cleaning company do the work. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Clean Car Catharsis. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
There are so many things to clean up after a long, messy winter, and bringing your vehicle back to life is probably at the top of the list.
Running it through a car wash occasionally helps keep the grime from building up on the exterior of your vehicle, but you want to give some attention to the entire car, inside and out. A clean car makes you feel really good. Until you encounter the next mud puddle, of course.
So as you stand there looking at your really dirty car, the question that might be on your mind is, “Where do I start?”
It makes sense to washing the exterior completely, using a sudsing detergent and water. Mix up your solution in a bucket, using warm or hot water if possible, and apply the sudsy mix to the exterior and allow it a few minutes to soak. Then scrub with a soft sponge or cloth, and rinse. If your water is hard, you will need to hand dry after washing.
The toughest part of cleaning the exterior of often the front of the vehicle, such as the bumper. Bugs, road tar, and other debris can build up and be really challenging to remove. Use your cloth vigorously, along with some dry solvent solution for the tar, but be very careful not to rub too hard or use too strong a solvent as that can damage paint. When the car is clean, consider a wax treatment, following manufacturer directions.
The tires will need some special attention. A dishwashing sponge with a handle is a good tool to use to get in the tight areas in wheel hubcaps and other sections of the tire. Following cleaning, you can use a tire shine product to really make your car look sharp.
This is where cleaning gets rough. All those details in the car need cleaned. That’s why they call it “automobile detailing” after all.
Start off with a thorough vacuuming of everything. The seats, carpet, nooks and crannies, under seats, between seats. You get the picture. A lot of stuff will be in there, and a vacuum with a crevice tool is the best way to reach debris.
Lay out your car mats and vacuuming them with an upright vacuum, as that will break free and remove more dust.
Mix up a sudsing detergent solution in a bucket, and using soft cloths, begin to clean all hard surfaces. You will need dry cloths as well, as you work through the vehicle. Some cotton swabs will work for reaching in smaller areas, such as air vents.
After all that is done, it’s time to do the windows. Use lint-free cloths and window cleaner, and inspect with a flashlight to see if there are any streaks remaining.
There’s more you can do, obviously, such as shampooing the fabric and cleaning any leather you may have. But these basic steps will get you started on your pathway to clean car catharsis.
And remember, your favorite cleaning company knows all about how to clean any surface, including your car. Call them today. After all, if pays to call a pro!
How to Remove Hard Water Stains. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
Spots and stains, no matter where they land, are unsightly and ugly, and you work hard to remove them.
A spot is easy to remove, as it is a deposit of substance that sits on top of a surface. Examples include chocolate, milk, or ketchup. A stain is a different challenge altogether, as it means the substance has penetrated or is strongly attached to a surface. Examples include mustard, curry, or Kool-Aid.
Hard water stains are common occurrences, yet often challenging to remove. And if you don’t get to them quickly, they can become even tougher to tackle.
What are they?
Hard water stains, often called lime deposits, are basically limestone, calcium and magnesium, among other mineral substances. They all come from ground content. The more minerals in the ground, the harder the water.
Certain areas of the country have more mineral content than others, and without a water softening system in a home or business, the result is a buildup of hard water stains anywhere water stands and dries, such as around sinks, underneath water fountains, and on bathroom floors.
They can also be a problem in toilets and other receptacles that hold water. Mineral deposits can also affect appliances, such as coffee pots.
If you have ever washed dishes, your car, or other shiny surfaces, and the water is hard, you can easily see the issue. White “scales” of minerals are a problem.
How to remove them
Obviously, the best way is prevention. Wiping up water from surfaces before it dries keeps water stains at bay.
But when they do occur, you need to consider which type of cleaning product will react with the mineral stains.
The most common mineral stain cleaning product is white vinegar, which is acidic. Since mineral stains are alkaline, like rust, an acid-based cleaning product is required. White vinegar is safe, easy-to-use, and effective for most mineral deposit issues. Use it as you would any cleaning product. Apply, allow a minute or two of contact time, and wipe away.
But if the mineral deposit is heavy, and white vinegar doesn’t do the trick, then a formulated product from your department or hardware store is your next choice. These are stronger acid products and you must follow directions when using them. Applying them to certain surfaces can damage those surfaces so be sure to read the fine print.
Always wear protective gloves and glasses, as skin and eye contact with any cleaning product can be hazardous.
And, as you know, when you have cleaning questions or need professional cleaning services in your home, do the smart thing. Call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Is Your Microwave… a Crud Collector? Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s super convenient. Without it, some of us couldn’t survive in the kitchen. No way.
Yes, the microwave oven is an indispensable appliance.
The microwave oven is a modern invention. The first microwaves were around in the mid 1940s, but were mainly for restaurants and reheating food on airplanes. They were massive devices that had to be cooled continuously by water flow. By the 1950s they were introduced to homeowners and some did indeed purchase them, but they were approximately $12,000 in today’s dollars. The popularity along with more affordability began in the 1980s and microwaves as a common fixture in the kitchen is now here.
Virtually everyone has one. If you don’t, you are in the minority. What all microwave users have in common is cleaning up the mess that inherently comes with using these handy ovens that can cook snacks or complete meals in seconds or minutes instead of hours.
To ensure your microwave oven not only looks good but also operates efficiently, you must keep it clean.
As with any cleaning task, scraping up as much as you can before applying cleaning agents is smart. Food particles and residue that resulted from an “explosion” of food can easily be scraped away from the walls and ceiling of the inside of the oven.
When you have scraped up as much as possible, use an appropriate cleaning solution and liberally spray the interior of the microwave. Give it some time for the solution to work, perhaps five minutes, and then wipe away the grime. But if there is a lot of grime, continue reading and do this…
Fill a microwave-safe bowl about two-thirds full of water. Put it inside the microwave and heat it up on high for about three to five minutes, or until it is boiling. Don’t open the door! Let the bowl sit in there for approximately 10 minutes, allowing the steam to loosen up the grime. Then…
Spray the moist interior of the oven with more cleaning solution, and use paper towels to wipe all interior surfaces. Even the toughest grime should come off after all your prep work.
Other dirty surfaces
Microwave ovens aren’t the only grimy things that can be part of the modern household. When you need any of your surfaces cleaned, such as carpet, furniture, hard floors and more, call your favorite cleaning company. It pays to call a pro!
Hazardous Waste. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
Where’s is that trash can?
You know where it is. It’s in the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage. Trash cans (or garbage bins) are everywhere because in our normal routine during the day we generate waste. A lot of waste.
Most items we toss into the trash can are supposed to go there. Normal debris, paper items, leftover foods, among others. You know what we mean. Items like that paper filter full of coffee grounds that you just tossed a few minutes ago.
However, there are some items that shouldn’t automatically go into the trash can. Things that can contribute to the global issue of “hazardous waste.” No, not the nuclear or radioactive type. The hazardous waste that we all generate and should dispose of properly.
Common items that fall into this category are found throughout your home… in basements, under kitchen sinks, in the garage, in closets, and other places. These items can include cleaning products, paints, varnishes, automotive fluids, pesticides, batteries… even electronic items such as old computers that haven’t worked for years. A quick internet search shows a huge list of potential items you might toss in the trash can but should give second thought to doing so.
Some leftover household products that can be considered hazardous waste contain corrosive, toxic, flammable or other reactive elements. You might have, in the past, just thrown them away, to get rid of them. That’s human nature. You figure the disposal company knows what to do. You are right. But they don’t know what’s in the bags you set out. This means you can help by being a smart consumer.
Before throwing away items that could be potentially hazardous, think about how you can determine the best way of disposal. One way is to review labels on items you are throwing away. They should indicate the type of danger they pose and might even have disposal instructions. If the item recommends you wear gloves or eye protection, that’s a clue it could be hazardous waste. Another option is to ask your waste disposal or recycling company for instructions or perhaps contact information for appropriate local government agencies that can provide you with detailed information not only on what is common hazardous waste, but also on local disposal options, including locations you can use to take hazardous waste materials.
One thing you can be sure of. Your favorite cleaning company uses only safe, effective cleaning products when in your home. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Chewing Gum Dilemma. Carpet Pro of Coeur d’Alene, ID.
We’ve all had this happen.
Walking along and enjoying the day and we notice a bit of stickiness underfoot.
We stop, awkwardly lift the affected foot and inspect the bottom of our shoe. Yep, there it is. A glob of chewing gum. It has attached itself and has seemed to have taken up permanent residence underfoot.
Getting a bit of gum on the bottom of our shoe may be a common occurrence and yes, it is a little gross as well, considering it spent many minutes in someone’s bacteria-ridden mouth. Hey, we all have bacteria!
But the procedure for removal is easy, as you grab something to scrape it off and no doubt just go about your business, with the friction of the show hitting the ground eventually removing the residue.
However, when gum gets into clothing or other fabric, that’s a different challenge.
Removing gum when it is warm or room temperature is very challenging. Without special solvents that the professionals use, you might just make a mess of the chore. So you make the best of what you have. And that’s something cold.
With gum in carpet or an area rug, use an ice cube in a small, zip-lock bag. Rub the ice cube on the gum until it starts to harden and when it seems hard enough, break the gum off the fibers. Just don’t force the issue as you could physically damage the fibers. If you are successful in removing most the gum, you now need to deal with the residue. A very small amount of dry solvent, such as rubbing alcohol, on a white cloth can help remove the residues. Contact your favorite carpet cleaner for complete advice and to avoid damage.
For clothing or garments, you can be a little more aggressive. Put the affected item in a bag and stick it in the freezer for several hours until completely frozen. Immediately after removing the item from the freezer, break off the gum. Any remaining residue can be removed with typical laundry pre-treatment products and then, of course, put the item in the washing machine. Upon removal, before drying, make sure there is no remaining sticky residue. If there is, use a dry solvent on the spot and wash again.
Sounds like a lot of work? It is. That’s why when you need anything cleaned, it pays to call a pro!