Things to keep your carpet fresh between cleanings

Retail Steam Cleaners Can Damage Carpet

Be careful with retail steam cleaners and your carpet. Too much heat is not good, and some retail steamer products can damage or destroy your carpet. Professional steam cleaners do not use steam to clean your carpet, despite the name. Instead, they use hot water extraction. Read more about tips and info on cleaning your carpet.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

A few quick carpet cleaning tips for Minnesota winters:

  1. Looking for health benefits? Use hot water extraction carpet cleaning instead of dry carpet cleaning.
  2. Avoid chemical buildup – steam clean carpets every month during winter months.
  3. Clean spills immediately to minimize chemical bonding with carpet materials.
  4. Blot spills, do not scrub them.
  5. Call Commercial Steam Team for a bright clean carpet.

Click here to read more about winter chemicals and cleaning tips.

When Should Office Carpets Be Steam Cleaned?

Do you manage an office building or are you in charge of having your office carpets cleaned? If so, do you know how often they should be cleaned?

Office buildings should have their carpets steam cleaned every 6 months to a year depending on the number of employees and the conditions they walk in on the way to the building entrance.

If you’d like to learn more about how often to clean commercial carpet, visit our page commercial carpet cleaning schedules.

Dog Feet and Carpet

Now that it’s summer you will be spending more time outdoors with your pets. Keeping your carpet clean after your outings is simple if you remember to remove your shoes before entering the house.

You can’t take off your dog’s shoes but you can have a prep area where paws can be cleaned.

When your dog comes back from an outing you can use a very soft paw brush and a clean cloth to remove debris before it is tracked onto carpet. If it is a particularly muddy or rainy day you can place a dishpan or low bucket by the door and dip each paw to get the mud off first.

Regardless of the weather, many homeowners, associations, and multi-unit managers spray herbicides and pesticides on lawns and around shrubs. Pesticides in particular are neuro-toxins, meaning that they attack the central nervous systems of any animals that breathe or ingest them. This mean that if your dog cleans it’s feet after walking across treated areas then it can be ingesting poisons that can cause brain damage, so you may wish to rinse your dog’s paws even on nice days to keep your pet safe. This will also help keep these same pesticides and herbicides from being deposited into your carpet where you or your children may be exposed.

A little prep work can help your pet’s paws stay clean and your carpet clean.

If we can help clean your carpet please call Russ or Ryan at Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222

Hotel Carpet Cleaning

It’s important to have a cleaning schedule for your hotel. Operating in a random-response format can not only shorten the life of your carpet, it can also adversely impact your business, since people often notice dirty carpet and go ‘on lookout’ for more evidence of a lack of cleanliness.

How often should you clean your carpet? According to Dalton Hospitality Carpet Mills, hospitality cleaning schedules should vary depending on traffic levels and types of contaminants.

Keep in mind that high-traffic areas like entrances and special locations such as in-house restaurants will require a different schedule than most hallways, for instance.

Here is a rough chart with vacuum and hot water extraction cleaning from Dalton:

Traffic Level   Vacuum                      Hot Water Extraction

Light                     2-3 times a week         Annually

Medium               Daily                              Twice a year

Heavy                   1+ times a day             Quarterly

Severe                   1+ times a day            Minimum Monthly / Weekly

Have You Checked Your Carpet Warranty?

Did you know that your carpet warranty requires you to do certain things?

For instance, Home Depot limited warranties require you to have your carpet cleaned every 12-18 months using the hot water extraction method (such as the one used by Commercial Steam Team).

They also recommend that you vacuum at least twice a week.

Stain and Soil Warranties can be even more specific, since coverage is limited to certain items that can cause the stain, and often exclude non-food and non-beverage items, for instance. Even here, many items that have strong dyes such as coffee, curry, mustard, and herbal tea are also not covered under soil and stain warranties. Be aware that bodily fluids are also typically excluded.

If you have a tough stain to get out or a carpet under warranty, call the professionals at Commercial Steam Team to make sure you can get the longest life for your carpet!

Mold Allergies and Carpet

Mold is present in most places indoors and outdoors and particularly grows where it can find organic food sources and in moist dark places. Carpet can hold material that mold likes to eat so it is important to keep your carpet clean.

Mold is a fungus that breaks down dead organic material. Mold lives by digesting organic plant or animal materials such as leaves, wood, paper, dirt, food and urine. It spreads by releasing mold spores in the air seeking new materials to feed on.

Carpet spills that are organic such as food, pet urine and backed up drains can cause mold to settle and feed on the organic matter making your carpet smell and stain from the fungus. Allergy sufferers need to pay particular attention to getting any spills cleaned up off of carpet immediately before the carpet fibers absorb the organic matter.

Scheduled regular carpet cleaning can help remove any built up debris and remove mold spores from your carpet.

Call us today to ask about how we can help keep your carpet mold and fungus free – Call Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222

Holiday Cleanup

Holidays are a great time for family, food, and spills on your carpet.

If you need some help cleaning up the spills, give us a call at 952-224-7222 so we can help get stains out before they set, and food particles out before they encourage mold and bacteria growth.

Have a great week!

How to Clean Area Rugs

carpet runner cleaning burnsvilleThe first step in cleaning area rugs is to vacuum them to remove dirt and debris.

Small pebbles and dirt can collect under the rug so vacuum the back of the rug as well.

If your carpet has fringes or decorative edges take care not to damage the fringe as you vacuum the carpet.

If you have pets or long haired people in your household the next step is to brush the carpet with a stiff bristled brush to remove hair left by the vacuum.

 

With smaller rugs you can take them outdoors and shake or beat it thoroughly to remove dirt.

Please let us know if we can help you with your carpet. Give us a call at 952-224-7222

What Kind of Rug Should I Use To Protect My Home and Office?

There are many beautiful rugs that you can put in your entryway to capture dirt and moisture.

One style is the carpet runner.

Here are some of the styles of carpet runner that they have in Home Depot. These entry and stair rugs are bound on the sides and can be cut and easily rolled up and taken home in your car.

Please let us know if we can help you with your carpet. Give us a call at 952-224-7222

 

4 Steps to Effective Carpet Maintenance

  • Prevent Dirt from entering the building. Keeping dirt out of your building is easier than and less expensive than removing it. Place mats, rugs and runners at door ways to collect dirt from shoes before the entry doors.
  • Regular vacuuming is the most important part of carpet maintenance. Removing dirt from the surface of the carpet before it gets ground into the carpet fibers will help keep the rug from wearing out.
  • Spills and spots happen and can be cleaned up quickly preventing stains. If you have any questions about stains and what to clean them with give us a call we’d be happy to help you prevent those stains from setting.
  • Regularly scheduled cleanings can help the carpet retain appearance and improve performance by periodically deep cleaning carpet using hot water extraction steam to remove any embedded abrasive soil.

Read more about how often you should clean your carpet here: When Should I Have My Carpets Cleaned?

New Carpet and Warranties

Remember when you talk with the carpet salesman that he or she is there to sell you carpet. As a result, things can go so fast that some topics may or may not get discussed, so it’s a good idea to have your questions ready and written down before you start the discussion.

If you are looking at new carpeting make sure that you read the warranty restrictions from the manufacturer. Some of the manufacturers have guidelines that if not followed will void the warranty.

Also check to see if there are any warranty guidelines regarding having your carpet cleaned by a professional. If professional cleaning guidelines must be met do you need to have the cleaning bills to prove you have met the guidelines?

There are many other guidelines to note on the warranty including high traffic areas voided such as stairs and hallways. Certain types of stain warranties are voided if they were caused by vomit, foods that contain dyes, bleach, urine, etc.

Is your carpet due for a cleaning? Give Commercial Steam Team a call 952-224-7222

Restaurants, Smell, and Trapped Grease

 

One of the first impressions customers get when they visit your restaurant is how your business looks and smells. If hungry customers walk through the door and can smell a heavy odor of old cooking grease build-up it is likely to subconsciously affect their whole experience and satisfaction.

In a perfect world restaurant carpets should be professionally cleaned at the frequency carpet industry leaders and carpet mills suggest. By following carpet manufacturer cleaning specifications frequently and removing grease, spilled liquids and dirt, you can make your carpet smell better and last longer.

Do you know a restaurant that could use our help? Commercial Steam Team  952-224-7222

Bathroom Products Cause Stains on Carpets

Some of the products that you use in the bathroom can cause stains in carpet that permanently change your carpets color. Be careful when using toilet bowl cleaners that contain acid or drain cleaners as these products will discolor and stain carpet. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to splash and then track contaminated liquid into the rest of your home or office.

If you use acne facial cleansers and hair dyes try to keep these away from carpets. If you’ve washed your face with acne medication and the wash cloth touches the carpet you will find that to be especially damaging.

Spilled something on your carpet that you’d like us to take a look at? Give Russ a call at 952-224-7222

Kids, Recliners and Carpets

If you have kids then you know that every time you clean you find the craziest things in the most unusual places. When doing the weekly vacuuming you can find all kinds of stuff under the couch from fruit snacks to toys.

Another piece of furniture that is a collector of debris is the recliner. Not only do things drop into and through the recliner, but each time you recline you release whatever is stuck in the chair. Crayons are an extreme example of things you want to keep out of the recliner.

Over time, recliners move around quite a bit when they are in use. Anything that gets dropped into a recliner has a good chance to work its way under the frame where it can then be ground into the floor. On your weekly cleaning make sure you tip the recliner over and remove the great collection of things that have dropped down under the chair.

Free Estimates are available for all kinds of mishaps! Give us a call at 952-224-7222

Car and Truck Carpet Protection

 

Salt and chemicals that melt ice and snow can leave a white ring of chemicals in your automobiles carpet and can damage the metal underneath. Ice melting salts are caustic to metal so if you let it build up in your vehicle’s carpet it can start rusting and eating away at the metal in your car or truck.

It’s a given that ice melt chemicals will get on your shoes and then be deposited in your vehicle as you drive unless you have something placed down as a barrier. A thick rubber mat with deep grooves and a lip that runs around the edge can collect the melting snow and chemicals from your feet. By collecting the chemicals and winter sludge from getting in your carpet you protect the carpeting and the metal beneath.

Remember to periodically clean the mat off as it becomes filled with melting snow, sand or ice melt crystals.

If we can help you with any carpet questions please call our team at 952-224-7222

Commercial Office Buildings and Carpet Cleaning

It is important to try and protect your commercial carpet from salt and chemicals in the winter. Corrosive chemicals get deposited in the carpet and start to damage the carpet almost immediately. To protect your entrance carpets put down large mats outside the door to first collect the salt from people’s feet then place mats inside to collect any water or additional chemicals.

 

Mats with loose pile texture or nubs that stick up like fingers remove more sludge than tightly packed pile mats. Make sure you have someone clean your mats as they collect dirt and sludge and a dirty mat is not as effective at collecting salt and chemicals. Regularly have your carpet steam cleaned by a professional to make it last longer.

If we can help you clean your carpet please call us for a free estimate 952-224-7222

Superbowl Party Planning

Next Sunday is Superbowl 46 between the New York Giants and The New England Patriots. Its also one of the best times for a party!

Make sure that you have all your food and beverages ready, and plan carefully. If you also plan to have food, beverages, or snacks that can stain your carpet, you may want to place runners or area rugs down for the high-traffic areas to minimize potential damage to your carpet.

If you need help with pre- or post-party carpet and upholstery cleanup, remember to call your friends at Commercial Steam Clean at 952-224-7222!

Direct Sunlight and Carpet Damage

Even though it is winter you should still protect your carpet from the sun’s damaging rays. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause a bleaching effect and will change the color of your carpet and furniture.

Sunlight damage to carpet can be prevented by drawing blinds, shades or heavy drapes when the sun is shining directly on your carpet. You can also purchase UV resistant types of carpet but drawing the shades is the best form of preventing sunlight damage to your carpet.

There are also special types of window film that you can apply directly to the window that blocks the ultra violet rays but allows other light through. Using window film is a great way to let in light and stop the suns damaging rays from bleaching your carpet and furniture.

If replacing your windows is under consideration, many windows now have UV protection built in. Ask your dealer or contractor about windows with UV protection.

Ice Melt, Doors, and Commercial Carpets

If you decide to use salt or ice melt crystals on your parking lot or sidewalks you should also use something to remove the crystals before people step onto carpet. Salt and ice melt rocks can get into carpet and break it down. Removing chemicals and abrasives from your shoes and boots will save the life of commercial carpeting.

Ice melt is typically made from Calcium Chloride, a chemical that melts ice and leaves a slimy residue.  Ice melt is corrosive to metal and will damage metal door thresholds and door moldings. Rock salt is made from sodium chloride and is also corrosive to metal.

 

The solution to keeping ice melt and rock salt off commercial carpet and away from metal doorways is using a special rug that brushes salt from the bottom of shoes. These types of rugs have deep rubber pile or bristles that brush the salt from the bottoms of footwear and collect debris in the mat.

Placing such a mat both outside and inside the door will help prevent winter chemicals from being tracked into your carpet. Remember to periodically shake outside mats in particular to keep them fully functional. Runners from the doorway down the hall will help collect any additional debris.

Preventing Stains from Indoor Plant Water

House plants make beautiful additions to any indoor space. Having house plants indoors can clean the air, adding oxygen and reducing toxins by acting as air filters. House plants also add humidity to the air.

As with most good things, there are some cautions. One in particular is to avoid overwatering.

Plant water from the bottom of a plant pot contains dirt, minerals and fertilizers washed from the soil. These can collect in the bottom of the plant saucer.

Subsequent watering of your plant can result in the water picking up the minerals, dirt, and fertilizer. If you overwater, or jostle the plant pot, this laden water can then spill over from the saucer and stain your furniture, woodwork, or carpet.

If you have larger plants such as trees or palms that are sitting directly on carpet or flooring, having a larger than usual tray under the pot is necessary.

Boot Trays Help Save Carpet

Guests who enter your home know that they should be taking off their boots or shoes before entering your home. You can help keep the melted snow and ice melt chemicals from soaking into your carpet by using door mats and runners, but in an active home this may not be enough.

When you get a few pairs of shoes or boots on a runner or mat and the snow melts, the puddle still dribbles over on your carpet.

Here’s a solution: A boot tray with a high lip or edge can trap the melting snow, sand and chemicals and keep them from getting on your carpet. Remember to empty the tray often before the melting snow and sludge overflow the tray.

Carpet Spills in the Office

In all the years we’ve been cleaning carpet we have seen some very interesting spills on office carpet that could have been prevented.

Cleaning a spill as soon as it happens helps prevent the spill from soaking in and staining. Facilitate quick clean up by placing a bottle of multipurpose cleaner and an instruction sign on the counter of your break room where spills happen all the time and behind the front counter in your common or reception area. Put a smiley face or other goofy picture on the outside of the bottle to create interest and most people will read and use the bottle.

You will also want to make sure you include instructions on the bottle on how to clean up carpet spills.

 

To prevent spills from setting in:

  • Use paper towels to sop up spill
  • Blot up spill with clean paper towel, Do not rub
  • Keep changing paper towels and blotting until no more liquid is absorbed
  • Use cleaner from the bottle to lightly spray down surface
  • Blot and redo until any color from spill is removed

Winter Carpet Defense For Commercial Buildings

Fall is the perfect time to do a walkthrough of your building and evaluate your carpets’ high traffic areas. Inspect around your doors and make sure that your runners are properly placed. Fall is when leaves and plant matter get tracked on to your carpet.

 

By placing special debris-collecting runners in the entryway of your building you can trap leaves, dirt, salt and ice melting chemicals and prevent them from being tracked into the building.

Carpet runners also help collect the wet snow and ice which melts into the mat instead of your carpet at the entryway.

The best kind of carpet runner or Industrial mats is the one that has protruding scraping fingers that remove dirt and debris. For outdoor use, choose rubber mats that have a ribbed backing so that it is slip resistant.

Mats and runners will keep your carpet cleaner in between cleanings and extend the life of your carpet.

Sand and Salt: Safe for Minnesota Roads, Harsh on Minnesota Carpets

If you live and work in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota like I do, you are aware that MNDOT, part of the Minnesota Government that is responsible for the roads, is plenty liberal with sand and salt on our streets and highways.  This is good for safety on our roads, however, sand and salt damage carpet.  This debris is both sharp and abrasive.  The sharp corners of the dirt and salt latch onto the bottom of our shoes and turn them into walking sand paper, sawing right through the tiny carpet fibers.  This causes discoloration when light tries to reflect off of the carpet in these worn out areas.  Should this damage occur, the area can be clean as a whistle, but still appear discolored.  Because of these harsh conditions, it is very important to have your carpets professionally cleaned and protected at least once a year.  Between professional carpet cleanings, it is important to vacuum your carpet on a schedule appropriate for the amount of traffic your carpet receives (anywhere from once a week to once a day).

Which Carpeted Areas Are Most Susceptible To Damage

What areas of a home are the most important to clean in a home?  As a carpet cleaning expert here in the Twin Cities, I recommend cleaning all carpet at least once a year.  However, some areas may need more attention.  These areas include:

  • Stairs
    • Stairs take a heavy beating because we slide our feet over the nose of the stairs as we walk down and kick them as we walk up.
  • Halls
  • Halls wear out quickly because we have only a narrow width on which our feet can walk, forcing us to concentrate all of our steps on a single stretch of carpet.  Also, we make turns at the same specific points as we pivot to enter rooms.
  • Path from main living space to kitchen or bathroom.
    • Because we travel to the kitchen and bathroom every single day, this path becomes routine.
  • Entrances
    • Especially if you live in a climate that requires sand and salt to be spread on the roads, areas where people enter your home can be one of the most soiled areas of all.  I recommend taking your shoes off at the door.  Even so, these areas tend to receive the most soil.
  • Around beds and in front of sofas
    • Any time I move a bed or sofa, I see a matted area of carpet that is worn out from people getting up and down off of the furniture.

If you can’t afford to clean all of your carpet, make sure these areas are cleaned and protected at least once a year.  Said areas might require more than once a year, depending on the number of residents and guests you have in your home.

Vacuuming Carpet is Important

Vacuuming carpet is essential for several reasons, but not everyone does this.  Whether they are too busy, lazy, or think it is unnecessary, many people neglect the maintenance of their carpet.  Vacuuming is important for multiple reasons;

  • Allergens reside in the carpet and vacuuming greatly decreases their volume.
  • Dirt and dust are sharp particles and saw through the carpet fibers as people walk across them.  The greater the volume of these sharp materials, the faster this fiber damage will occur and the traffic areas become discolored.
  • Dust recycling through the furnace can filter through the carpet fibers and cause permanent discoloration around furniture, bedspreads, underneath doors, and especially along baseboards.

Vacuuming the carpet removes these dusts, allergens, and abrasive dirt from the carpet.  Here are a few tips to help maximize your effort:

  • At least once a week, be sure to vacuum the areas where people walk.
  • Vacuum along walls and under furniture as needed.  In dusty homes, this means once a month.  You can get away with only quarterly or less in homes that don’t get very dusty.
  • Clean out your vacuum filter whenever it gets full, as it not only loses suction, but can actually begin dispersing the dust throughout the air.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed.  This filter cuts down on the amount of airborne dust and allergens that cycle through the house as the furnace runs.
  • Run your furnace fan in the “on” position.  The furnace filter can only do its job when the fan is running.

As a carpet cleaner in the Twin Cities Area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, I have cleaned all kinds of properties.  Those that vacuum and follow these steps tend to remain in much better condition than those that don’t.

Blood Removal in Carpet Cleaning

Whenever I tell someone that I know how to remove blood from carpet, usually without a residual discoloration, they usually ask me if I do crime scene cleanup.  Although I have cleaned up after crime scenes, those are not where this skill comes in most handy.

 

The most common occurrences of blood in carpet seem to come from children and pets.  A cut on the underside of a paw or a bloody nose after a rough game of basement football is all it takes to track that reddish-colored liquid onto a light-colored carpet.

 

But what does someone do to get this out?  Blood is one of the most difficult things to get out of carpet.  I’ve discovered that the iron in our blood rusts when it comes into contact with the oxygen in the air around us.  Naturally, that rusty discoloration is best treated best with rust remover.  I get odd looks when I first break out my rust remover to get the discoloration of blood out, but once people see it work, they are fascinated.

The only catch is that this has to be done by a professional with a top of the line direct drive truck mounted carpet cleaning van.  Rust remover is a spot treatment that is not meant to be left in the carpet.  It needs to be thoroughly rinsed out of the carpet after applied.

The Importance of Carpet Cleaning in Rental Properties

Carpet cleaning is important to rental properties for multiple reasons:

  • Carpet costs money to replace and cuts down on profit
  • It is easier to find renters for a home with clean carpets
  • Odor is a huge deterrent to potential renters

There is a lot of competition among property managers to lure in potential renters as square footage and location dictates most rates.  Clean carpet can definitely be the deciding factor between two potential properties.

Salt Build-Up In Carpet

If you live in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota, or any community that salts their icy roads, then you know that salt coats your car and needs to be rinsed off regularly to avoid rust.  The truth is that this salt coats the bottom of our shoes as well.  We don’t notice how much salt is on our shoes because it is most abundant on the part of our shoes that we don’t see very often (the bottom).  That surface has tread that is designed to grip the surface that you are walking on.  The better the tread works, the more it also grips sand and salt.

Salt is especially harsh on carpet for several reasons;

  • Salt is coarse and abrasive;  It can wear out the carpet fibers.
  • The salt from roads is coated in smog which can transfer to the fibers and dye them a darker color.
  • The chemical make-up of salt is harsh on the carpet fibers and can break them down.
  • As salt gets damp it dilutes and re-crystalizes around the carpet fibers holding fast in place.

The problem with salt that has re-crystalized around the carpet fibers is that it has to be diluted into liquid form to release itself from the carpet.  This is done through the method of hot water extraction.  The heat and water injected into the carpet dilutes the water and the vacuum sucks that salty liquid out of the carpet.  This is why The Commercial Steam Team uses powerful truck mounted hot water extraction (steam cleaning) unit.  Weak vacuum strength will leave the carpet soaked since it takes large volumes of water to melt the salt down.  Also be sure after the salt has visibly disappeared to continue rinsing the carpet as the diluted salt is invisible and may still be in the carpet.  Extra rinsing is essential.

Spring Carpet Cleaning in Minnesota

“Since it’s May of 2011 and we don’t seem to get a spring this year, do I still have to get the carpets cleaned?”  I know the weather here in the Twin Cities has been mimicking Seattle lately, but yes even their businesses need to have their carpets cleaned.  In fact, the extra moisture this year poses an extra risk of mold and mildew in carpets.  This happens because of the humid air as well as moisture being tracked in on people’s shoes.  A thorough carpet cleaning and an enzyme deodorizer treatment is very important after the winter is over.  The enzyme in the deodorizer feeds on the bacteria kills the source of smells and allergens.

Salt and sand are also tracked in from the Minnesota roads, parking lots, and sidewalks.  They don’t affect houses as much since people usually take their shoes off at home.  However, employees and customers rarely take their shoes off in a commercial setting.  The more sand and salt gets trampled on the more damage it will do to the carpet.   A powerful commercial carpet cleaning will clear this out of the carpet fibers allowing the carpet a fresh start.  New debris will always get tracked onto the carpet, but keeping the overall amount of sand and salt at a minimum is crucial.

My Very Own Testimonial!

As a company we have so many testimonials from people all over the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  From Britt, the building services field supervisor for the City of Brooklyn Park, to Alex Shapero at J.N. Johnson in Edina Minnesota we have posted testimonials complete with pictures describing why we are the company best suited for cleaning the carpet and upholstery for their companies.  When it comes to their experiences with carpet cleaners they are the experts.  I decided though, that after 13 years of carpet cleaning I would give my own testimonial.  Not just for the carpet cleaning work we do, but by how much easier it is to do a great job when the carpet was protected the time we cleaned it before.  Time and time again I have had the same experience.  Carpet that had been previously protected is not as dirty when we arrive.  This is because the interim vacuuming’s lift far more dirt and dust from the carpet.  The fiber damage in the high traffic areas isn’t as bad, both from less dirt and dust, to saw into the carpet fibers and the fact that those particles have to wear through the protector before wearing through the fibers themselves (like wax does for car paint).  Dyes from spills have a harder time finding their way into the dye sites of the carpet.  Dirt, spots, and spills seem to strip away much more easily the next time we clean.  My favorite thing about carpet protector is that it makes our great work look better and last longer.  Our results are that much better than when we didn’t previously protect the carpet.  So my very own super special testimonial is “I, Ryan Zakariasen owner of the Commercial Steam Team in Burnsville Minnesota says, “Carpet protector not only works, but works consistently well.  The difference between protected carpet and unprotected carpet is a noticeable difference.”

When Should I have My Carpets Cleaned at My Home?

When should I have my carpets cleaned at my home?  Good question.  If you ask any random person on the street you will get a full range of answers from every month to never. Who is right? I have been cleaning carpet in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota for over 13 years and I wish I could give one blanket answer for all customers, but I can’t.  I can however, do the next best thing.  I have created a list of options based on different factors that affect that timeline.  These are specific to the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and may not apply to the climate and practices of other states.

  • Residential carpet should never go longer than a year without being cleaned for health reasons such as allergens, and mold.
  • Light carpet such as white or off white, even light shades of other colors has more room in the dye sites to take on dyes and needs to be cleaned and protected more often than other carpets and should be cleaned before traffic areas are  visible for best results.  Fiber damage and traffic wear patterns show up more noticeably on light colored carpet.  For light colored carpet, we recommend every 6 months to a year.
  • If you wear your shoes on residential carpet we recommend cleaning and protecting every 6 months at the very least.
  • If you have residential carpet that is a darker color you are more susceptible to the carpet looking lighter in the high traffic areas than looking darker.  This comes from actual fiber damage.  Dark carpet should be cleaned once a year for health reasons but if based strictly on looks you can go from a year to up to 2 years depending on the amount of traffic.
  • Even dark carpet needs to be cleaned at least every 6 months if shoes are worn in the house as that speeds up the fiber damage in high traffic areas considerably.
  • Wheel chairs and walkers are very hard on carpet.  This carpet should be cleaned and protected every 6 months at the very least.
  • Variables such as amount of foot traffic, spills, and age of the owners can affect the frequency of the carpet cleaning as well.  Not every household is the same.
  • One reason for all carpet to be cleaned and protected as well is the sun itself.  The sun’s rays will fade carpet color.  Carpet protectants help protect the carpet from this.  This fading is usually noticeable when the furniture is moved.  The area where the furniture sat didn’t receive any sunlight and appears darker and richer as a result.

Please keep in mind that this is based on my 13 years of experience as a carpet cleaning expert in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  Experience has also taught me that there will always be exceptions to these rules and people should keep an eye on their carpet and if it starts to appear dirty or dingy before the recommended time of cleaning then the safe choice is to have it cleaned and protected sooner rather than waiting for the scheduled date to come up.

How Often Should My Business Have It’s Carpets Cleaned?

How often should businesses clean their carpets?  I am asked this question all the time.  One would think after focusing on commercial carpet cleaning for 13 years I could give a definitive answer to this question.  Unfortunately, I can’t.  There are many variables that alter the frequency in which the carpets in Minnesota businesses need to be cleaned.  Here, in the Twin Cities Area, we deal with a lot of sand and salt.  This increases the frequency of cleanings needed considerably compared to other areas of the country.  These cleaning schedules listed below are for Twin Cities and surrounding areas of Minnesota companies only and based on my personal carpet cleaning experiences:

  • If you are a retail store with lots of foot traffic.  You should be having the carpets cleaned and protected every 3 months to every 6 months depending on the amount of people who come in off of the street and the cleanliness of the parking lot.
  • If you are a restaurant or Bar you should be sure to have the carpets cleaned and protected quarterly.  This is important because of how often people spill and as well as the grease that gets tracked in from the kitchen.
  • Office buildings should have their carpets cleaned every 6 months to a year depending on the number of employees and the conditions they walk in on the way to the building entrance.
  • Automotive and trucking companies tend to be heavy in oil.  This oil attracts dirt and will cause the carpet to rapidly soil. I recommend that these companies clean and protect anywhere from quarterly to twice a year.  Falling behind on this causes the oil to compound exponentially, meaning the longer it goes without cleaning the faster the damage will occur.
  • Churches should have one thorough cleaning and protecting a year on all carpet.  However they should have certain areas like their entrances or narthex cleaned multiple times a year depending on their size.
  • Industrial companies rarely clean as often as they should.  Metal shavings and oil from factory machines and forklifts do a real number on carpets.  They often accept the fact that they will need to replace their carpets eventually and let it go.  This is not necessary however.  Cleaning and protecting quarterly will almost always prevent permanent damage from forming in the high traffic areas and although the carpets will still get discolored eventually between cleanings the fibers themselves should stay sound and the cleanings will provide a night and day change.

I’m sure it goes without saying that these are not concrete numbers.  Every business is different and the weather has to be considered as well.  A carpet will get dirty faster during winter months than summer months.  Total number of people, exits, and how often people go from the outside to the inside of the building are variables that I have had to average out.  The amount of sand and salt used on roads and sidewalks in your specific area are factors that affect Minnesota businesses as well.

Why Have Carpet In Minnesota Businesses?

My first apartment was on the border of Bloomington and Richfield Minnesota.  Although it has been overhauled since I lived there, it wasn’t the nicest complex to live in.  I remember looking at the carpet which had more visible dirt and stains than dye pattern and thinking “why don’t they just put in laminate?”

When I asked the office manager she said simply, “We don’t want to get sued.”  In Minnesota, we constantly enter buildings with wet shoes and boots.  Even when the floor is dry, the souls of our footwear are damp.  This is the same as if the floor itself was wet.  Comical as it is in the movies to go feet over forehead, it doesn’t feel very good when you hit the ground.  This goes for any business.  Even those businesses that just can’t have carpet, still put in extensive rugs in the entryways. This can cost nearly the same as carpeting those areas wall to wall depending on their quality.

Employees who get injured slipping as they walk inside the building, or by stepping into the spill in the break room can cost a company a lot of money in workman’s comp insurance and lost work days.

The other part that makes sense to anyone who has worked on hard floors is that it takes its toll on the feet, ankles, and knees.  Even that small amount of carpet makes a big difference on the barking dogs on the end of our legs.

Honestly, as long as a company cleans and protects the carpet on a schedule that makes sense for the level of foot traffic they get,  Minnesota businesses will be glad to have commercial grade carpet in their businesses.

Why Even Have Carpet In Minnesota Homes

Born in Edina and raised in Burnsville, I have lived my whole life in Minnesota.  With all the salt and sand, the sloppy slush, the muddy springs, why install carpet in our homes?  Before becoming a carpet cleaner I didn’t give it much thought, but I might have chosen hardwood or laminate flooring.  Hard floors don’t stain as easily and are easier to dry when moisture is introduced.  Still, the truth is carpet insulates in multiple ways.  I learned this cleaning for television studios.  In the control room they actually carpet their walls.  This reduces echo, and absorbs sound to help soundproof the room and keep those sounds from being picked up by the microphones in the studio.  Everyone who lives in Minnesota knows how cold it gets here in the winter.  Carpet creates a comfortable barrier between the frozen floor and our sensitive feet.  Personally, I like lying on the carpet in front of the fire with hot chocolate in the winter.

It’s my personal and professional opinion that as long as you clean and protect your carpet once a year and take your shoes off at the door, you will be happier with the cozy feel of carpet than chilly hardwood floors.

9 Reasons for Property Managers to Use Commercial Steam Team Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

*We make your job easier!

*We understand that our job is to make you look good!

*We do the scheduling and quality control for you!

*We pick up and drop off keys so you don’t have to!

*We go back to any job where there is a concern Free Of Charge!

*Only 11 out of 886 jobs asked us to come back last year (just over 1%).

*Our employees have a stake through profit sharing.

*We call every job a week after just to make sure they love it.

*Sharp looking direct drive truck mounted units (V8 engine).

*Licensed Bonded and Insured*

Minnesota Carpet Cleaning

Minnesota is a unique and wonderful market for carpet cleaning.  Everyone wants carpet on their floors because the floor gets too cold in the winter and it helps keep our toes warm and heating costs down.  However, our de-icing methods and sanding the streets, not to mention mud during the spring thaw, contribute to Minnesota being one of the harshest climates on carpet.

The sand we use makes ice less slippery but that same grit that makes our tires and shoes gain traction also acts like sand paper on the bottoms of our shoes.

When salt is allowed to build up in a carpet (commercial carpet more likely), it will form together into a single mass.  Especially when moisture like melting snow is added.  This mass not only adheres to the fibers but now has a much larger surface area to get through.  For this a portable carpet cleaning unit and dry cleaning methods are useless.  The salt needs to be melted through moisture and heat.  It then needs to be removed through large amounts of suction.  I recommend a top of the line direct drive truck mount unit. (Hydramaster 4.8 cds if possible).  For best results have the carpet cleaned on a regular schedule before the salt has a chance to combine with itself and the sand.  Also vacuuming regularly is helpful to get as much out as possible while still in crystal form.

Making Life Easier For Property Managers

Property managers have a unique business unlike any other industry I can think of.  Whether residential property management helping people rent and manage their rental units, or commercial property managers owning buildings and leasing out the spaces, or managing the tenants for a building owner.  What makes their jobs unique is that they are firefighters without the glory.  By that I mean they spend all day putting out fires.  Much of this I’m not aware of in specifics, but their tenants run into problems and look to their property managers to solve those problems.  Some of these problems effect the carpet or upholstery.  This could be a leaky ceiling, dripping down a chair onto the carpet.  An overflowing toilet seeping through a wall into the adjacent office.  The sippy cup that isn’t supposed to leak, but instead drips milk in a trail from the kitchen to his bedroom as he swings it back and forth.  When any of these things happen it becomes another in a long string of “help me nows” that I’m sure seem to happen all at once.  No vendor should add to these headaches.  Property managers also understand it is far cheaper to clean and protect their carpet as opposed to the massive cost of replacing it.

It is my belief that carpet cleaners should be the Aspirin for these headaches.  Making life easier for property managers by being upbeat and friendly.  Picking up and dropping off keys.  Always being on time.  Calling ahead to ease their mind.  Doing their best every time.  Using the top of the line direct drive truck mounted carpet cleaning vans.

Service industries across the board should understand that service is about making life easier.  Making life better.  I have found that everyone wins in this scenario.  My clients are happy because when a tenant tracks grease all the way down the first floor hall, they already know who to call and they know it will be painless.  I win because they won’t even think of going somewhere else.  I get more business and they get peace of mind.  That’s what I mean by making life easier for property managers.

When to Steam Clean Carpets

  • At least twice a year for light traffic, once in the spring to remove all the buildup of chemicals and molds and once in the fall to remove all the things tracked in all summer long.
  • Monthly for medium to heavy traffic and for light traffic in cases where a positive impression is important.
  • Weekly for extremely heavy traffic, for lighter traffic areas when a positive impression is critical, in circumstances where health and cleanliness are particularly important, and in cases where outside contamination is heavier due to construction or other adverse outside surface deposits.
  • Before open houses steam cleaning can remove odors from cooking or pets and make your carpet look new again.
  • Special events held at your business require making the right impression on your guests. Don’t forget to steam clean your carpet when you are sprucing the place up.
  • After any high traffic event it is a good time to steam clean your carpet to remove all the dirt brought in. Cleaning your carpet when it is really dirty helps prevent the dirt from being imbedded into the carpet.
  • If you have an area in your building that has heavier dirt or grease you may want to clean those areas more frequently than you would an office with less foot traffic.

Off The Shelf Commercial Spot Removers

According to a study sponsored by the Carpet and Rug Institute, an independent laboratory tested off-the-shelf spot removers and pre-spray solutions. 25 products were tested but ONLY 4 cleaned a soiled carpet sample better than water. Some caused the cleaned carpet area to re-soil faster, and some products even damaged the carpet’s color and texture.

In short, it’s better to contact a professional than to use off-the-shelf products to remove spots and stains from your carpet.

Why Should Your Facility Go Green?

According to Green Seal, there are several benefits to “Going Green”:

            Green Cleaning Helps Occupants Stay Healthy

? A clear link has been shown between poor indoor air quality and poor worker performance

? Many respiratory illnesses are caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air

Green Cleaning Protects the Health of Custodial Staff

? Usage of safer products helps reduce injuries, decrease Workers’ Compensation claims and lower insurance costs

Green Cleaning Increases the Lifespan of Facilities

? Proper maintenance extends the longevity and performance of materials and furnishings

Green Cleaning Preserves the Environment

? The cleaning industry currently consumes six billion pounds of chemicals

 

All of these things also save money both directly and indirectly.

Allergies, Asthma, and Your Carpet

Does someone in your family suffer from allergies or asthma? Allergies can be controlled by avoiding the triggers that cause attacks.

Vacuums are a necessary part of keeping a carpet clean and removing the largest part of dirt and contaminants from a carpet, but for allergy and asthma sufferers, a normal vacuum cleaner might better be described as a necessary evil.

This is because vacuum cleaner filter bags are notorious at letting dirt pass through the bag, whereupon it is immediately blown back into the air to be breathed in and to settle on other surfaces where it can be easily disturbed and put back into the air yet again. Don’t believe me? Try this experiment the next time you change filter bags. Step outside with the filter bag, close the top, and shake it gently. The amount of dust that you will see will be amazing. (To simulate the huge amount of air passing through you vacuum – try shaking it vigorously!)

Studies have shown that removing carpet isn’t a solution. In fact when carpet is removed, allergies increased! Air movement on hard surfaces actually disturbs more particles which then enter the air.

The solution is regular professional carpet steam cleaning of your home and workplace. This removes allergy and asthma triggers by actually removing them without placing large quantities back into the air. This means that the next time you vacuum you’ll be disturbing far fewer particles, and so you’ll have fewer health problems from these contaminants.