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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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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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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