Understanding Your Carpet and How to Solve Problems!

When selecting carpet, choosing the right color is often the most difficult part of the process. Most people choose neutral colors such as beige, taupe, gray and even off white because they blend with any decor. Carpets in bold colors like burgundy, deep, rich browns, regal blues and even multi-colored patterns are not uncommon either. The interesting thing is that the color itself is not what protects a carpet from stains. How the color is dyed is what really matters! When you know how your carpet was colored, you can make more informed cleaning and spot treatment choices.

Extrusion and Coloration

Many carpets are created through extrusion. This is the process of melting plastic balls of certain colors, then extruding the liquid through small holes to create strands. When the color goes all through the thread, it’s called “solution dyeing”. This creates the most colorfast carpets which are highly resistant to fading and bleaching. These carpets, polyester and Olefin, are not very absorbent so they are highly stain resistant.

Fiber & Yarn Dyeing

Sometimes material is extruded, turned into rough fibers, before color is applied. Then various methods are used to apply dye to these fibers before they are spun into yarn. This type of dyeing provides great color penetration but it’s expensive. It’s typically used on wool and other high end fabrics. If the fiber is spun into yarn, then dyed, this is yarn dyeing, a common way that multiple colors of fibers are woven into carpet to make a variety of patterns.

Print and Continuous Dyeing

In print dyeing the carpet is made without color variety. Then, dyes are sprayed or painted on the carpet using stencils.

Continuous dyeing is the most common technique. After the yarns have been stitched into the backing material, the carpet passes through jets that spray hot dye into the yarn. This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to dye carpet.

How Do You Keep Your Carpet Looking Good?

The dyeing process of a carpet determines how it resists color loss, fading and bleaching. An experienced cleaning company will know what chemicals and processes to use in order to get the best cleaning and maintenance results from a particular carpet. Using the wrong cleaning agents or process could result in fading, loss of luster and other issues. To maintain your carpets, be sure to have them cleaned by B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning!

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Maintaing Carpets Keeps Your Family Healthy!

According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study, carpet actually helps to clean out the air in our homes and offices. The carpet acts as a filter, trapping soils, gasses and pollutants such as pet and human dander, pollen and even air pollution. This is great since nearly every American home has wall to wall carpet installed in one or more areas.

Despite this study, some people still believe that carpet is bad for indoor air quality. Properly maintained carpets actually improve indoor air quality. The key to keeping the air in your home healthy is to have a maintenance routine for your carpet.

EPA Guidelines for Cleaning

Periodic professional carpet cleaning is a major part of eliminating contaminants that build up over time and maintaining satisfactory air quality. Confused about how often you should have your carpets cleaned? The EPA is there to help with some basic guidelines for a total carpet maintenance plan based on your lifestyle and usage.

  • In a two person non smoking home, the EPA recommends that carpets are cleaned every 6 – 12 months. If you smoke, the carpets should be cleaned every 4 months.
  • If you have kids or pets, carpets should be cleaned at least every 3-6 months. If you live in a very contaminated or dusty area, the recommendation is every month.

While this may seem a little excessive, remember the source of these recommendations is the Environmental Protection Agency. These recommendations are based on cleaning for health, not simply appearance.

Looking Dirty vs. Being Dirty

Carpet is designed to hide soil, so it can hold a lot of dirt before it begins to look “dirty”. Unseen contaminants build up in a carpet over time to the point where they may have a negative effect on the occupants. The key is to avoid letting the carpet get to the point where this happens.

Maintaining Your Carpet between Cleanings

These guidelines are just that, a guide. There are things you can do to reduce the frequency of professional cleaning. First, make sure you vacuum often; the more the better. Also be prompt about cleaning up spot and spills. Use doormats at entrances. Don’t wear street shoes in the house.

Regardless of how neat and tidy you are, there comes a time when you need professional carpet cleaning. Call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to schedule your next cleaning. Your family will breathe easier and your carpets will look better and last longer!

 

 

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Spend a little now…save a lot later!

Fall is the perfect time to do some maintenance on your home’s exterior. Warm weather and the higher humidity of summer can cause materials to shift and expand, then as the weather cools and the humidity decreases, the process reverses. Now is the time to act.

As Winter Approaches and the weather gets cooler, materials like paint, caulk, shingles, wood, rubber and vinyl siding tend to shrink and harden. The air is drier, rubber seals around doors and windows become brittle. Caulk separates from siding and trim, allowing outdoor air and damaging mositure to enter.

The wood around doors and windows can rot. High moisture levels encourage insects and termites to make your home their home. Hidden mold growth on porous surfaces can cause expensive structural damage. Moisture is the primary cause. You can take a few easy steps to ensure your home is in good shape as winter approaches.

Easy Fall Checkpoints. Take a slow walk around your house and check the following:

  • Visually check all windows and doors. Look at the wood trim to ensure it is not rotted or pulling away. Check the caulk to ensure it is flexible and well sealed.
  • Check weather stripping to ensure pliability and good seal.
  • Look around windows, doors, soffits and other areas for water intrusion.
  • If you have a basement, check it for leaks by touching the wall, especially where it meets the floor.

If you think that you may have had a water entry, call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning. We can assess if there has been any damage to your floor.

As the old saying goes…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can also save you a ton of money in the long run as well!

 

 

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What do Those Codes on Furniture Tags Really Mean?

If you look under the cushions of a typical piece of upholstered furniture you will probably find a fabric care tag. This tag should include recommended procedures for maintaining and cleaning that particular piece of furniture. However, to find out how to keep your furniture looking its best, you will need to find the “cleaning tag”.

The Cleaning Tag

These tags will list cleaning codes that serve as a guideline to assist you in spot cleaning. The tag also informs the professional cleaner on how to avoid color loss, bleeding, browning or shrinkage during cleaning.

Fabrics are made from a variety of fibers including cotton, polyester, silk, rayon, nylon, polypropylene, acetate, acrylic, wool and blends thereof. Improper selection of cleaning agents or methods can lead to permanent damage to fabrics. An example of this is crushed velvet. If it is treated improperly, it can lose its softness, luster and crimp. Unfortunately, damage like this is irreversible. Many floral or multicolored patterns are printed on the fabric rather than woven into it. Extra care must be taken when cleaning these as colors are only on the surface. The wrong chemical can actually remove the printed dyes, or destabilize them to the point that the colors run into each other. Again, this is irreversible.

Effective and safe cleaning of your upholstered furniture means knowing how to clean it. Part of that requires deciphering the code. For example – W means spot clean with water based upholstery cleaners, avoid over wetting the cleaning area; S means spot clean with a water free dry cleaning solvent, be careful not to oversaturate the cleaning area or use any water; WS or SW means spot clean with mild detergent or mild dry cleaning solvent; X means clean only by vacuuming or light brushing, never use water or solvent based cleaners.

No matter what tag you see remember to: Always clean spills promptly and never rub, but rather blot up liquids to avoid damaging your furniture. Of course if you are in doubt, we recommend that you call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning!

 

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Is it okay for me to use those miracle stain removers I see on TV?

Whether you watch television during the day or at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep, you simply can’t avoid them: commercials and infomercials, trying to convince you that some liquid in a bottle will magically remove any spot or stain you have on your carpet, no matter where it originated, how long it’s been there, or what type of carpet you have!

Every carpet fiber is different. Every spill is different. So there is simply no one-stop solution to clean everything. And, unfortunately, using some of these “miracle” stain removers in the wrong place can cause irreversible damage to your carpet.

Miracle Oxygen Cleaners

One popular product that people tend to try, is the “Oxy” cleaners seen on infomercials. If you choose to use these cleaners, do exercise caution! Professional carpet cleaning companies are seeing more and more damage being done to carpets by the oxygen bleaches in these cleaners. Damage can range from minor color loss to large permanent yellow stains caused by the chemical reaction with the carpet fibers.

Theoretically, these products should be safe if used according to the manufacturer’s directions but when the chemical reaction is affected, cleaning results can vary greatly. For instance, the exact nature of the spot matters. Some stains do not react well to oxygen bleaches, and can even become permanent if you use these products. Sunlight can also be a problem. Under sunlight, the oxidizer becomes more chemically active and aggressive, resulting in heightened bleaching action.

Remember, anything that has the ability to remove food coloring has the potential to destabilize the dyes used to give your carpet its color!

Other Product Promises

There are other products that use high ph detergents in conjunction with the oxygen bleach to help break down greasy spots and spills. While these products can be quite effective in removing the offending spots, they can also leave behind a residue that destroys the stain resistant properties of your carpet.

Also, these highly alkaline residues are often quite sticky attracting dirt. So even though the spot goes away, the area keeps getting dirtier and dirtier. So you apply more cleaner, which leaves more residue and the frustrating cycle repeats.

If you had the ability to thoroughly extract the chemicals, it wouldn’t be so bad but that can be difficult! So what can you do?

Your safest bet when you have a difficult stain is to call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning before attempting to remove it yourself. As an experienced carpet cleaning company, we can give you options as to the best way to handle the situation while avoiding damage to your carpet. We’ll also share with you tips for removing small spots in the future!

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Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

“The fact is, any home can have bedbugs… even yours.”

Once they get into your home, bedbugs have clever ways of escaping detection. They rarely come out into the light, hiding in nooks and crannies in or near the places that humans sleep, such as beds. Unlike lice, fleas and ticks, bedbugs quickly leave the host after feeding and return to their hiding place to digest their meal.photo_of_woman_sleeping

Mattresses and box springs are favorite hiding  places since they are closest to the food source.  However, as the bedbug population increases, the infestation spreads outward onto adjacent furnishings and carpets. They hide until a  meal arrives and only then do they come out to feed.

Adult bedbugs can survive for over a month without feeding, so leaving the room unoccupied for a period of time is not a reliable way to get rid of them.

The most proactive thing to do is check periodically. Bedbugs leave clues that belie their presence. When you change the sheets, take a careful look at the mattress for telltale signs such as brownish discolorations or black fecal pellets (digested blood) and their shed skins. Eggs are extremely small and very difficult to see. Look carefully at the seams of mattresses and even behind headboards. Check between mattress and box springs as well as on the bottom of box springs and on nearby wood furniture.

What should you do if you suspect that your home may have bedbugs? Call a professional pest control company.  They can do a thorough inspection and  come up with a control plan to eliminate the infestation.

Then, call us to thoroughly clean your carpets, draperies, upholstery and even your mattresses to remove residual contaminants left by the bedbugs. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to replace a mattress and box spring, but usually they can be treated and cleaned. Remember, there is no need for embarrassment; bedbugs can happen
to anyone.

 

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Ceramic Tile Cleaning & Grout Sealing

How to Care for Your Ceramic Tile

Purchase a good quality dust mop and sweep your ceramic tile floors daily. This is especially important in new installations where the grout has not fully cured. Dirt, mud, and sand tend to ground into the grout mortar from heavy foot traffic.

Dirt collecting carpet mats should be placed in frequently used entrance and shaken out weekly.

We do not recommend the use of floor waxes as they can be difficult to remove from ceramic floors. As long as your floors is properly sealed and maintained, you should find no need for these products.

"Clean enough to walk on barefooted"

“Clean enough to walk on barefooted”

Shower stall and tub enclosures should have proper ventilation. Stagnant water breeds stain causing mildew as well as other fungi.

Many tile cleaners are acid based and their use should be limited. Always read the manufactures label to find out. All acids, no matter how weak, will etch marble surfaces. Natural marble is commonly installed as thresholds in doorways and is also installed in window sills and shower curbs. In addition, avoid any cleaner that contains harsh abrasives.

Mop or sponge your tile down 2 to 3 times weekly. Mix 1 capful of dishwashing liquid per gallon of hot water. Mop up excess water and allow to dry. Buffing with a dry towel will help to reduce spotting.

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How To Care For Your Oriental Rug

Rotation – To Insure even wear, your rug should be rotated once a year. Depending on the traffic, the rotation may vary from six months to two years.

Vacuuming-  Oriental rugs, like most carpeting, should be vacuumed on a regular basis to remove dirt and restore life to the fibers. Be sure not to vacuum the fringe with your beater bar! Use the end of a vacuum hose from a canister vacuum.carpet12

Padding – A quality pad used under your rug helps protect it from dirt, wear and slippage.

Spots And Spill Procedures- Make sure that you safely and immediately clean up spots and spills before they set.

A) First, soak up the excess liquid by blotting with a clean absorbent material. Do not     brush or rub the stain.

B) Then spot-clean with a mild detergent- white vinegar- water solution. Do not over-wet

C) Rinse area thoroughly with water and a small amount of vinegar. Avoid wetting the rugs     backing.

D) Blot dry until most of the moisture has been adsorbed.

E) Allow to air dry. A fan or cool hair dryer can be used to hasten the drying process.

F) For stains that do not come out using these methods, ask our cleaning specialist.

 

 

 

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Removing Spots The Same Way It Got In!

Spot CleaningIf a carpet or piece of furniture has been stained for a long period of time, a simple, quick cleaning may not suffice. The longer it is soiled, the harder it can be to remove.

If hot coffee is spilled, no doubt the coffee expanded the fiber and worked its way into the fiber, making cleaning more difficult. By using hot chemicals, you are removing the stain the same way it got into the fiber. But by not succeeding during the process, you may be “pushing” the stain “deeper” into the fabric. It’s smart to completely finish a stain removal step when you resort to high heat.

As in odor control, you have to ‘recreate the crime’ in many stain removal projects. If a spot of oil is on fabric, you can’t expect to remove it with a tiny amount of solvent. The solvent has to be in such quantity to completely dissolve the spot. But don’t start dumping chemicals on spots or stains. Use flip-top bottles and open them part way, thus controlling flow. Or use a spotting towel and don’t put chemical directly on the fabric.

Removing spots on carpet can be as simple or as difficult as you make it . Spot removal is best performed when the spot is new. Visit our website at www.bpcarpetcleaning.com for additional spotting advice.

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Our Blog is live!

The B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Blog is now live and we’re so excited you’ve stopped by to check us out.  B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning specializes in carpet cleaning24hr emergency flood and water removal and restoration Oriental rug cleaning and area rug cleaningupholstery cleaningcarpet protection and upholstery protectionodor controlurine damage treatmenttile and grout cleaning and sealingnatural stone cleaning and sealing,  flooring inspection and mattress cleaning.  Contact us today to schedule your cleaning – (914) 667-4880.

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