When the days start getting shorter and your thoughts turn to sitting around the fireplace instead of standing around the outdoor grill, it’s time to invest a weekend on fall cleaning.
With holiday entertaining in mind, we thought the following tips may be of interest to you. It seems that when food and beverages are served, spills on your carpet and rugs often follow. If you’ve dealt with the resulting spots – during or after a holiday gathering – you’re in good company. Our top three holiday spills and cures are listed below.
Spill #3 – Gravy
People often ask:
How does gravy get on the floor anyway?
Doesn’t everyone pay attention when passing the gravy boat?
Gravy somehow finds its way to your carpet and area rugs, and gravy has edged out whipped cream to make it onto our list of holiday spills.
Spill #2 – Coffee
Coffee and “holiday party jostles” go together like cream and sugar, so coffee drips are almost expected. We have two cures for coffee spills, one for coffee and one for coffee with cream.
Spill #1 – Red Wine
Between making toasts, friendly hugs and general high spirits, spilling wine seems to be a part of every good holiday get-together. Red wine can leave a permanent stain on textiles, caused by both naturally occurring color and added dyes. (White wine spills are just as common … they just don’t become obvious until they become sticky and darker as they start attracting soil.)
Knowing what to do can help alleviate your holiday gathering “carpet spill stress”. Here’s what you need to know:
Gravy and whipped cream spills share similarities in how they are handled:
– Spills with a heavier consistency like creams, butter or gravy can sit on top of the fiber for a short time before soaking into the carpet nap. If the spill is still on the nap and not in the nap, work from the edge to the center using a dull knife, spoon or spatula to get under the goo and remove it before it sinks in.
– Keep transferring what you pick up to a container or disposable towel. Removing semi-solids in this way will make removal of what’s left a lot simpler.
– Apply warm water. At this point making the last of the spilled residue thinner makes it easier to remove.
– Blot up the warm water and residual gravy using absorbent paper or cotton towels.
– If any residue remains, mix a mild detergent solution: ½ teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent in one cup of warm water.
– Apply the mild detergent solution.
– Blot until you no longer detect a transfer of moisture.
– Apply warm water to rinse.
At this point you may want to fold a pad of whitepaper or cotton towels and place them over the spill, then add weight. Change absorbent pad as necessary. Just make sure the weight will not transfer color to the carpet as water is drawn into the toweling.
If the gravy has dried, use the same dull-edged tool to break the residue up and vacuum. Sticky residue can be treated starting with the addition of a mild detergent solution.
– Blot until there is no more liquid being absorbed into white, absorbent paper or cotton towels.
– If coffee color remains, apply warm water.
– Blot up the warm water using paper or cotton towels.
– If color remains, use the detergent solution noted above (½ teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent in one cup of warm water).
– Blot until you no longer detect a transfer of color and moisture.
– If color remains, mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water to make a mild acidic solution. The acid solution can work to make the stain less visible.
– Apply the mild acid solution.
If the coffee contains cream it may be necessary to apply a protein-dissolving enzyme. Enzyme products are available at most supermarkets; make sure the product is appropriate for the fiber content of your carpet. Apply the enzyme product, blot, apply water to rinse, and blot again.
– As with coffee, blot the spill to remove as much liquid as possible.
– Skip applying water and go right to applying the detergent solution.
– Blot, apply water, and blot again.
– If the stain remains, mix 1 tablespoon of household ammonia with a 1/2 cup of warm water. Ammonia can help release coffee dyes from the carpet fiber.
– Apply the ammonia solution to the coffee stained area.
– Blot with white absorbent paper or cotton towels until you no longer detect a transfer of color and moisture.
– Apply the mild acid solution (1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water) and blot. The acid solution can work to make the stain less visible.
– Apply clear water and blot.
Heard the online tip about getting red wine out using white wine? It can work, as wine contains acetic acid. Wine is just a lot more expensive than white vinegar.
Additional tips for all carpet/rug spot removal:
– For removing spills on any rug or carpet, remove as much of the spill as possible before adding water or cleaning solutions. For these stains and those that have sat for a while, professional help will be needed. Call us today or visit our website at www.rugcleanerfortworth.com.
– With all stain removal, think blot, don’t rub. Rubbing a spot can distort the fiber, so even if you get the spill out you could be left with a texture-distorted, fuzzy area.
– A small trigger sprayer can be used to apply any of these solutions and will help control the amount of liquid being applied to your carpet.
– If you happen to have a wet-vac or home carpet spotting machine, you can use it in place of blotting. Most of these machines are more efficient at putting water down than they are at picking water up, so spend more time using the vacuum than adding water.
Tips for your Fall To-Do List: You probably give your home a deep clean in the spring, but you should also show it some love at the beginning of fall. Here’s where to start:
1. Perform a pantry audit.
First, remove all the cans and boxes from the shelves, and vacuum away any lingering dust or crumbs (a lot can build up in a few months!). Then, inspect each item, tossing anything that is expired or past its prime. Consult this shelf-life chart as a helpful guide and part of your fall to-do list.
2. Test smoke detectors and clean vents/ducts.
You already know to put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (doing it on the days you change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time is an easy way to remember). If any are more than 10 years old, replace them. But you also need to clean your dryer vents & air ducts, since dust that accumulates can cause them to underperform or start a house fire!
3. Flip your mattress.
When you turn back your clocks, turn your mattress over, too. If you can’t flip it because it has a pillowtop, rotate it 180 degrees to prevent body impressions form causing certain spots to slump. Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda to neutralize odors, and then vacuum it up.
4. Clean your rugs and carpet.
Get a jump on holiday party season by giving your rugs and carpeting a good scrub. We recommend getting a professional cleaning once a year to keep up.
5. Vacuum all upholstered surfaces.
You think your couch is clean until you plop on it, and a haze of dust appears around you. Give sofas and chairs a good vacuuming, making sure to hit both sides of the cushions, the back, sides, arms, and even the platform underneath the cushions. We also recommend getting a professional upholstery cleaning once a year.
Fall brings a kaleidoscope of colors, cooler temperatures and, for many of us, the onset of major allergy season. As the leaves fall and the season brings sometimes very wet weather there area few typical triggers for fall allergies. The biggest offenders are ragweed, mold and dust mites.
Ragweed is a major cause of fall allergies. In most parts of the country, ragweed will continue to release pollen into November. Mold is another major cause of allergy symptoms. Piles of leaves and damp areas outside and inside the home are places where mold can quickly grow. Dust mites, eager to get out of the cooler weather, will migrate into our homes and accumulate in all of our most comfortable places like furniture, beds, rugs, and carpet.
Luckily, with some planning and organization, it can be relatively easy to deal with these triggers and minimize the impact of fall allergy season. Here are several tips to keep you one step ahead:
- Clean all vents and air filters in your home prior to turning on heating units.
- Keep on a regular schedule of dusting your home and use damp cloths which help contain the dust instead of just spreading it around.
- Wash your sheets and bedding on a regular basis…weekly is recommended.
- Keep shower curtains clean. The bottom edge of fabric shower curtains is a prime spot for mold to grow.
- Vacuum as often as possible and use a HEPA-filter machine if you can.
- It’s good practice to have your carpets, rugs, and upholstery cleaned by a professional regularly. For carpets, 2-3 times per year is the recommended schedule. Fall is the perfect time to prepare your home for holiday festivities and remove built-up dirt, bacteria, and other allergens.
Contact Oriental Rug Cleaning Co. today at (817) 697-2727 and get this busy fall season off to a clean and healthy start.
Crumbs on the kitchen counter, dust on the TV, gunk in the bathroom sink — We can’t stand our houses when they are a mess. But the thought of spending an entire day cleaning it from top to bottom sends me running to the sofa for a nap. After all, in a week, it’s just going to get dirty again.
Here are three simple home cleaning steps to help curb those nagging feelings:
Set cleaning to auto or leave it to the professionals
Make friends with the latest effort-saving cleaning tools and products, such as robotic vacuum cleaners and floor washers, and self-cleaning cat boxes, which rake cat poop into cartridges that you replace every week or so. An automatic shower cleaner spiffs up your shower at the touch of a button, and self-cleaning toilet bowl cleaners scrub your toilet every time you flush. We also suggest calling in a professional to help with your cleaning needs, like your rugs, carpets, upholstery and tile & grout.
Sweat the small stuff & zap the dirt fast
Clean drips as soon as they occur, before they dry or soak into surfaces or carpet & rugs. When you spill on your range top or carpet, quickly run a damp sponge over the (hot) surface – before it stains. Dust often so it doesn’t have a chance to build up and harden in corners and crevices.
Pick a focus room & clean in short bursts
Spend another 10 minutes cleaning one room. Clean a different room every day, so eventually your whole house gets attention. Look at the top, middle and bottom of the room, and pretend you’re seeing it for the first time. Tackle the tasks you don’t always get to, like removing cobwebs and dusting plants.