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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Be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise with Carpet!

Carpet is a great way to decorate your residence or place of business because of the textures, colors and patterns available. Not only does carpet look good, but it provides many benefits. Carpet’s insulation can provide increased energy savings. Carpet absorbs sound, making a house quieter and more relaxing and it’s safer, reducing the occurrence of slips and falls.

Did you know that carpet is economical requiring little maintenance and it’s good for your health too!

Little Maintenance Required

Carpet requires less maintenance than hard surface floors such as hardwood, vinyl and tile. Typically your carpet only requires routine vacuuming and prompt attention to spills in between professional cleanings. By contrast, hard surface floors require sealers, waxes and polishes to keep clean, not to mention the time it takes to sweep and mop.While it is true that hard surface floors are easier to clean in the event of a liquid spill, properly maintained modern carpeting has protectors such as 3M Scotchgard and DuPont Teflon which helps them clean-up well.

Carpet is Good for Your Health Too!

Carpet that is properly maintained actually improves indoor air quality. How? Carpet acts as a filter, trapping pollutants such as dust, pollen, dander, smoke, and dust mite contamination as air passes through it. Carpet acts as a “sink” trapping pollutants, instead of allowing them to be distributed up into the breathing zone. The result? Homes and buildings with properly maintained carpets have better air quality in the “breathing zone” than those with other flooring types. So, as these contaminants build-up in the carpet, they simply must be removed by professional cleaning. This creates a cycle of cleanliness.

So to reap the financial and health benefits of your carpet, give B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning a call for proper maintenance and periodic, professional cleaning.

 

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Why Do We Clean In Spring?

Have you ever wondered why we are annually seized by a sudden urge to air out the house, banish dust, organize closets, clean out cabinets, scrub floors, wash windows and organize our garages, attics and basements?  It turns out there are biological, social and psychological reasons for the spring cleaning ritual… and that’s a good thing.

Biological Reasons

During winter, days are shorter and melatonin production (the hormone that produces drowsiness and enables us to fall asleep) is increased, making us want to relax and sleep more.  Our mood tends to be more subdued and energy levels are lower.  Housekeeping habits may slip.  We spend more time indoors, added indoor activities, coupled with the fact that we tend to keep doors and windows closed results in soil and contaminant build-up.

Park In Spring Desktop Background

Then, the first day of spring comes in late March.  When it arrives most of us are ready for the renewed energy and freshness that spring brings.  Days get progressively longer and nights are shorter.  The additional daylight suppresses production of melatonin.

The more daylight we are exposed to, the less melatonin we produce and the more alert, energetic and active we feel.

Emotional Reasons

Once the winter doldrums pass, we become more aware of the less than ideal condition of our surroundings.  The energy and optimism of spring prompts us to improve our environment.  It’s easier to be enthusiastic about cleaning and organizing in the springtime.  You feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing a task.  Your self-esteem increases.  Endorphins are released into your body increasing your sense of well being.

In addition, you feel pride of ownership when your home is clean and organized, further improving your mood.  Few things make you feel more positive than living in a home that is clean, fresh and neatly organized.

Logical Reasons

Spring has always been a time of change.  Americans tend to have two distinct wardrobes: one for warm weather and one for cool weather.  Since closet space is limited, we often clean and organize closets this time of year.

The types of work and play activities change, so we put away winter toys and tools and get out the ones for warmer weather.  Now we need to clean out and organize our garages, basements and attics.  An organized home is more efficient, resulting in less wasted time and frustration.

Health Reasons

A clean home is a healthy home.  Cleaning is the process of removing soils and contaminants from an environment or material.  This results in better indoor air quality, a reduction of microbial growth and the added benefit that your carpet and other furnishings will last longer.

 

 

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Your Carpet Can “Look” New Again

Many people get their carpets cleaned and suddenly they see their carpet through new eyes, saying, “My carpets look like new!”  It’s true, cleaning your carpets can make them look so much better that it almost feels like you have new carpet all over again.  But, like everything else, carpet ages.

carpet19Color is usually the most important factor in how a carpet looks.  As long as the color looks vibrant and there are no major spots or stains, most of us are quite happy with the look of our carpet.  But why does the color start to look tired after a few years even after our best efforts at cleaning?  Why can’t we make it look new again?  Isn’t that dull lifeless appearance in the traffic areas just dirt?  No doubt, dirt is a contributing factor, but there are three other factors that cause carpet to look old:  abrasion, crushing and pile distortion.

carpet45ABRASION – Dirt is loose particulate soil tracked in from outside, including mud, pollution, pollen and gritty minerals that scratch and dull the surface of carpet fibers.  This abrasion changes the way light reflects off of the scratched fibers so colors are muted.  We call this permanent condition loss of luster.  This is the primary reason that colors lose vibrancy.  No amount of cleaning can bring back the luster.

PILE CRUSH – Areas that are subject to a lot of foot traffic will crush down and lose some pile height.  The carpet loses its soft, fluffy appearance and feel.  How severely depends on the fiber type and yarn density, pile depth and quality of carpet pad.

PILE DISTORTION – When pile yarns lose their twist or the yarns are aligned in different directions, high traffic areas can appear dull and dingy.  Once the carpet pile has become distorted it cannot be corrected.  Some carpets are more prone to this type of appearance change than others.

 

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So What’s the Big Deal About Pet Urine?

Our pets don’t understand why we make such a big deal of a little urine on the carpet.  To animals, urine is an important social tool that is used as a calling card, mate attractant or a territorial warning.  Urine lets other members of the species know important information regarding their gender, age and health.

pets

Animal urine is a rather benign substance.  When it leaves a healthy animal it is sterile.  In small amounts and low concentration, the odor and appearance may be undetectable.  Still, any urine deposit on carpet should be treated appropriately.

If you are lucky enough to catch the animal in the act, you can pour salt liberally onto the urine while it is still wet.  Use enough salt to completely cover the spot.  The salt will absorb and neutralize the urine.  Let it dry for 8-12 hours and vacuum it away.

Most of the time, the urine is already dry by the time we find it.  Applying a neutral carpet cleaning agent, gentle agitation and a thorough rinse may be enough to treat light urine deposits.  Finish the job by placing a folded white towel on the area.  Set a weight, such as an unwanted book on the towel and leave overnight.  The remaining moisture and residue will wick into the towel.

B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning has several techniques available to clean and deodorize pet contamination.  In addition, there are different cleaning and deodorizing agents in our arsenal.  The decision of which methods and agents to use will depend on several factors; the amount of contamination present, the depth of penetration, the construction of the carpet, the fiber content, the installation method, the sub-floor type and the size of the affected area must all be considered.

If you have a pet odor problem the best action is to call us for a professional assessment of the situation.  We are experts at handling difficult odor problems and can help you choose the solution that is right for you.

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CARPET PROTECTOR – Does It Really Work?

 

Unfortunately there is probably as much confusion in the carpet cleaning industry about carpet protectors as there is about cleaning. Uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous carpet cleaners cause a great deal of confusion by giving out false information or intentionally misrepresenting the product.

A nylon stain-resist carpet is made with two protective properties: The first is an acid dye blocker that is basically a clear dye that fills the extra dye sites in a fiber that helps keep “foreign” dyes (such as red dye in a beverage) from penetrating the carpet fiber. The second property is called a “fluorochemical.” It is commonly known as 3M Scotchgard® or DuPont Teflon®. These help keep spillage from actually getting to the acid dye blocker. But their biggest job is to resist dry soil. By resisting dry soil, less soil bonds to the carpet and is consequently picked up by your vacuum. Not having enough “soil resistor” on the carpet leaves your traffic areas exposed to gritty soil that cuts and slices the carpet fibers.Dupont Teflon Koolaid Drops

5 Reasons to ALWAYS Get Carpet Protector

1.  Reduce permanent stains. A great looking carpet can be ruined by an ugly spot. Unprotected carpet doesn’t repel spillage as well as protected carpet. Being able to remove spots and spills more effectively helps you avoid permanent staining.

2.     Help save traffic areas from being destroyed. Traffic area soil is very abrasive and cuts carpet yarns like a knife. This damaging soil can easily bond to an unprotected carpet. By applying protector you will increase the life of your carpet dramatically. When you vacuum your protected carpet, the soils will release from the carpet pile much more effectively.

3.     Make spots easier to remove. The easier a spot is to remove, the less cleaner you will have to use, less agitation you will have to use, and less time it will take. Many spots can be removed easily with just water.

4.  Next professional cleaning more effective. Having protector applied to your carpet will enhance your next cleaning. More soil will be removed the next time your carpeting is professionally cleaned.

5      Avoid service calls. Although you want to call us out to handle any spot you cannot remove immediately, carpet protector helps you remove more spots than you could without protector. You may be able to save a service charge by removing the spot yourself. Having protector applied to your carpet will make it look better and last longer

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Carpet Spot Cleaning

 

Immediate spot removal is key to a clean carpet. Great care also must be taken in how spot cleaning is performed. When a carpet is new, or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. However for those spots that will not move easily with water, you must use a spot cleaner. Select a spot cleaner that is recommended by the carpet manufacturer or your trained, certified professional cleaner. Most spot removers that are purchased over the counter leave too much soap residue and can cause yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product that is not made specifically for carpet.

 Apply spot cleaner sparingly to white terry cloth and gently massage spot causing it to transfer into the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. If the product that you are using seems to cause the spot to re-soil after a few weeks, discontinue use. Any spot that you are not able to remove, and for pet urine or feces, call your professional cleaner immediately.

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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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