Rusty's Carpet Cleaning Blog

Rusty's Carpet Cleaning Blog

Automobile Cleaning: Maintaining a Healthy Vehicle

by Rusty Simpson on 08/23/11

When I was younger, before I went to college, I worked my tail off so that I could start my college career driving a beautiful, brand new, midnight blue Chevy Camaro with t-tops and leather interior. Not only was it rediculously fast and just amazing to look at...the freshmen college girls thought it was pretty cool too.

So, you can imagine my horror when one 100 degree summer day in Pittsburg, KS, after a trip to the grocery store the night before, I realized I had left a whole gallon of milk in the trunk.  As I opened the door to my car to pop the trunk, I could already smell the awful putrid stench of rotten milk. The gallon had expanded in the heat and burst all over the carpet and interior of my car.  Awesome.

I never did completely get the rotten milk smell out of that Camaro.  When I sold it a couple of years ago, I was sure to do it in the winter time when the heat couldn't warm up the reminents and bring the odor to the buyer's attention. 

Now that I operate a carpet and textile cleaning business, I know that the best option would have been for me to have it steam cleaned by a professional.  We, as a society, are in our vehicles almost every day. They are basically an extension of our home.  We eat, sleep, socialize and spend a lot of time here. So, one could argue that it is just as important to have your automobile carpet and upholstery cleaned as it is to clean the carpet in your home.  Just like your indoor carpet, the carpet in your vehicle acts as filter to the air that your family is breathing.  Once it is full, it can't filter anymore.  If you have kids or pets, you know that spills, stains and "mystery smells" are also inevitable.

Having your vehicle interior professionally steam cleaned not only can help with removing odors, coffee spills, pet stains and fruit-loops, but the high temperature actually disinfects your fabrics killing harmful toxins and bacteria. Not to mention, having the abrasive dirt removed will help minimize wear and tear.

I do know two things for sure: 1) I'll never put the milk in the trunk and potentially forget about it again. 2) Going on a road trip or even just driving around town is a lot more enjoyable if the vehicle I'm driving doesn't wreak of stinky feet and coffee spills.  With flu-season approaching, do a favor for your kids and family, and get that mini-van steam cleaned!


New Carpet: How to choose?

by Rusty Simpson on 06/24/11

Being in several customer homes every day, we get to see and care for pretty much every type of carpet you could imagine.  Depending on the fiber type and construction of the carpet, we can immediately get a pretty good idea of how easily the carpet will be to clean up and maintain.

So what does this mean for you?  Choosing the right type of carpet for your home and family can make a huge difference in how much time and maintenance you're spending to keep your carpet looking clean.

When it comes to carpet fibers, the type you want will depend on the area you are carpeting.  Nylon is by far the best selling type of carpet fiber.  It tends to be a little more expensive than Olefin or Polyester, but it resists mildew and does well in high traffic areas because it is more wear-resistant and holds the weight/movement of furniture well.  Nylon is generally good for all traffic areas. 

Olefin (aka polypropylene) tends to resist staining, moisture, abrading and color fading well. However, it does tend to be attracted to oily soils. This might be a good option for a playroom, basement or even an indoor/outdoor area because if its resistance to moisture.   

Polyester is stain resistant to most water-soluble stains and is easily cleaned but doesn't stand against wear and tear like the others.  For the "green" minded person, this might be a good option because some polyester carpet is made from recycled soda bottles.

Wool fiber is more luxurious and can be pretty expensive compared to sythetics, but it pretty much holds the standard to which other carpet fibers are compared.  It has great resilience against traffic and wear, is very soft under your feet.  However, wool does not resist stains well and can turn a yellowish color when in direct sunlight for an extended period of time.

Blends are a great way to combine quality characteristics of different types of fiber. 

Another important thing to consider is the Cut Pile of your carpet, which basically means how the loops of the fibers are cut and put together.  Plush/Velvet is a more formal look for level surfaces.  Saxony also has a smooth level finish but you can see the yarn ends so it doesn't look as formal as the Plush look.  Frieze, the yarns are really twisted which creates a textured surface.  This is a good option to minimize foot prints and vacuum marks.  Level Loop means that the yarns are looped and are all the same height.  This is more of an informal look, and is common in Berber styles.  Multi-level loop pile has loops that are all different heights and they create a pattern effect.  Although this is durable, it is more difficult to remove dirt from this carpet, even with regular vaccuming.  Cut and Loop is a combination of loops and cut yarn.  This can result in many different surface textures.

Quality of the carpet can also be added by the density of pile yarn (the denser the better), the twist of the yarn (tighter twist gives greater durability), and Heat-setting which is the process that basically makes the yarn hold its twist over time.

Seeing Spots? Tips for Spot Removal...

by Rusty Simpson on 04/19/11

It never fails that after people have their carpet or upholstery cleaned there is an inevitable spill.  No need to panic!  Here are some tips for stain removal, as well as a link to a spot removal guide for specific substances such as chocolate, beer and coffee...

-Act Fast! The quicker you can get to a spill, the better.  This helps to eliminate it soaking in deeper and help prevent it from becoming a permenant stain.  Of course no carpet is completely stain proof.

-BLOT...don't scrub! Blot the spill with a white absorbant towel until it is completely dry.  Paper towels will work but our favorite is a cloth towel that has not had fabric softener used on it.  Scrubbing can damage the carpet fibers and make it look stained even if it isn't, so try to refrain from using the elbow grease.

-If you're going to use a cleaning solution, we recommend Home Pro Spotter to our customers as it is environmentally safe as well as safe for most carpets and fine fabrics.  If you choose a different solution, you'll definitely want to test it in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it won't damage your carpet fibers.  Warm water will do the trick most of the time!

-Start from the outside of the spill and work your way in to help prevent it from spreading.  Remember BLOT, don't scrub!

-Be may take repeating these steps several times before the spot is completely removed.  Your work will be worth it.

-If you used a cleaning solution other than Home Pro Spotter, be sure to RINSE the area with cold water and blot up completely after the spill is removed...even if the instructions on the bottle don't say to do so.  Some cleaners can cause rapid re-soiling if they aren't rinsed out of the carpet or fabric.

Info provided by The Carpet and Rug Institute

Tis the Season for Broken Pipes...

by Rusty Simpson on 01/11/11

The cold winter months are the perfect condition to cause broken or frozen pipes.  Unfortunately, this can cause major damage and be very expensive to fix.  If you suspect or can see that you have a broken pipe, here are some things you should do immediately...

Turn Off the Main Water Supply - Know how to locate and turn off the main water supply to your home.

Don't Touch Anything Electrical if Wet - You could get electrocuted!  If this seems like it may be an issue, turn off the main electrical supply as well.

Get Professional Help - Call a professional plumber to come in and diagnose the location and extent of your leak.  If you have any standing water or other saturated materials (for example drywall, insulation or ceiling), call a Water Damage Restoration company to come remove the excess water or moisture and properly dry out your home to prevent further damage.  Also, contact an electrician to repair any damaged electrical wiring.

Do not attempt to repair this problem on your own, as it could be dangerous or cause further damage.

Call your Insurance Company - Give your Insurance Company a call to submit a Home Owners insurance claim.  Documentation is helpful, so it doesn't hurt to take pictures of the damage as well.  They will probably also send out an adjuster to assess the damage in your home.

Caring for your Fine Oriental Rugs

by Rusty Simpson on 12/20/10

Oriental Rugs are truly works of art, and are an excellent investment to add character and warmth to your home. These rugs can be very valuable, and it is really important to know how to properly care for them. Here are some things that every Oriental or Persian Rug owner should be doing to maintain their rugs...

Vaccum: Vaccuming is important when it comes to caring for your rug, but should be done very carefully.  It is best not to use a beat brush vaccum at all, but if you do, make sure the brush is set so that it has as little contact with the fibers as possible. Another option is to use just the vaccum nozzle.  Vaccuming helps to protect your rug from wearing pre-maturely, and will also help keep dirt from settling deep within the dense fibers of the rug. Dirt is abrasive to the fibers, so it is best to keep as much dirt out of the rug as possible. It is also very important NOT to vaccum the fringes, as this can be damaging to those fibers.

Rotation/Inspection: To avoid wear from common trafficways on your rug, you should rotate it every 6 months.  Rotating also helps with areas that may be getting direct sunlight, and gives the dyes some protection from fading.  At this time, you can also be sure to examine for any damaging infestations including moths and beetles, which are attracted to the wool or silk proteins in these rugs.  If you do find evidence of an infestation, contact your cleaning professional immediately to have your rug deep cleaned.

Stain Removal: Spills and stains on your rug should be addressed immediately.  Stains can be addressed by blotting with a clean, white towel from the outside of the stain to the center.  Do NOT rub the stain, as this can be damaging to the fibers.  We also advise not to use any kind of water or club soda to clean the stain, as many rugs have dyes that can bleed. If the stain is not removed easily, it is best to call a trained professional to take care of it rather than taking other measures yourself. 

Professional Rug Cleaning:  Only have your rug deep-cleaned by a trained professional.  Do not attempt deep cleaning on your own, or trust it to someone who is not properly trained.  They will need to take your rug off-site to properly clean it. These rugs can have dyes that bleed easily, and are made out of fibers that need to be identified properly before cleaning.  There is no 100% guarantee that your rug won't bleed (colors run and mix), but a trained professional has ways of preventing this and getting the best results. This is a very important step in caring for your rug and adding longevity to its beauty.

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