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Monday, April 21, 2014

If You're Gonna Do It, Do It Right!

Spring is finally here:  flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and everything just feels better.  Spring is "out with the old, and in with the new."  And spring is also time for spring cleaning. 

Here are a few tips as you spring clean your home:

Move your furniture so that you can vacuum under it.  Wipe down your baseboards and crevice vacuum while the furniture is moved.  Do not drag heavy furniture across the carpet; Berber carpet could snag and run; the heat and friction generated by the dragging of the heavy pieces can burnish the tips of all carpet fibers, leaving a permanent mark.

The warranties on most carpets require the carpet to be professionally steam cleaned (hot water extraction) every 18 months.  Many people do this in the spring to rid the home of all the winter grime that has been tracked in.  Make sure you are choosing a reputable carpet cleaner and save the receipt.  If you ever have to file a warranty claim, the manufacturer will require proof of regular professional cleanings.

TIP:  When you need to spot clean your carpet, first call the manufacturer of your carpet or the Carpet and Rug Institute to find out the appropriate product to use.
Mohawk Industries                         800-266-4295
            Shaw Industries                              800-441-7429
Beaulieu                                            800-918-6483
            Carpet and Rug Institute               706-278-3176

Many cleaning products can set in the stain, or worse, damage the carpet.  You will find that if you have a relatively new carpet most stains come up with just plain water.

Check your exterior door mats and replace as needed.

Also check for any wrinkles, buckles or ripples in your installed carpet.  Call to have the carpet restretched as soon as you begin to notice any ripples.

TIP:  Filtration soil is the dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways, or under doors.  Changing the filters regularly on you HVAC system and using vacuums with good filtration systems can help prevent this problem.

Have your area rugs professionally cleaned, either at your home or at the cleaner's facility.  If you are having your rugs cleaned at your home, be sure they are moved onto your driveway, garage or deck for the cleaning so the floor underneath is not damaged.

It is time to seal the granite.  First, clean your countertop thoroughly using a neutral cleaner.  Never clean with any product containing acid, lemon, or bleach.  Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will eventually etch and damage the natural stone.  Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.  Now apply the stone sealer.  Stone sealers will need to be reapplied as soon as you notice water no longer stands (beads up) on the surface.

TIP:  While dish soap will not hurt your granite, repeated and excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull the shine.  Also, don't use bathroom, tub and tile, or window and mirror cleaners.  The powders and even the "soft" creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull the surfaces.  Use only cleaners made specifically for granite and stone.

Ceramic and porcelain are very easy to clean.  Sweep or vacuum as needed and mop with a mild detergent (like Spic-N-Span or Mr. Clean) or ceramic tile cleaner.  Don't use harsh abrasives.

Now it is time to seal your grout.  Sealing your grout will make the grout less porous and more resistant to discoloration.  Manufacturers recommend sealing your grout once a year to keep it looking its best.  You can purchase grout sealer at Enhance Floors and More.

Also check any caulking.  Caulking is used where the tile is exposed to water.  Caulking prevents expensive subsurface damage.  Recaulk wet areas as needed. 

TIP:  Don't use bleach or ammonia based cleaners, as these products can discolor your grout.

Natural stone (travertine, marble, etc.) should be cleaned with neutral cleaners.  Never clean with any product containing acid, lemon, or bleach.  Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will eventually etch and damage the natural stone.

At least once a year you need to seal the stone and the grout.  Some products are multi-purpose, meaning you can use the same product on the stone and the grout.  Others are just for either the stone or the grout; be sure to read the instructions well to make sure you are using the proper product.

TIP:  Don't use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners or degreasers.  Don't use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners.  These products that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis, and other chemicals that can etch marble and degrade the sealer, leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.  Trying to save money by using these over-the-counter products only ensures that you'll be spending a lot more time and money in the long run.
Thinking About An Addition To Your Family?
Don and Elisabeth are now fostering a beautiful dog for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue until he finds his furever home.  Meet Ryelee.  He is a little over four years old and is a German Shepard mix.  He is great with kids and other dogs, and is doing just fine with the cats in the Stubbs household.  Ryelee walks well on a leash, does not pull at all, and is housebroken and knows how to use a doggie door.  If you or anyone you know is considering a new dog, please let us know and we will set up a meeting.  He is a sweetheart!

1 comment:

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