History of Commercial Steam Team

Commercial Steam Team Carpet Cleaning Process

Top 10 reasons to hire a professional carpet cleaner in the Twin Cities

Are there Bed Bugs in Your Carpet?

Have you been experiencing little bites or unexplained rashes? Are you noticing damage to your carpets, textiles, and clothing?

You may want to read this article and see if you might have one of these common annoying pests.

Carpet Cleaning Testimonial CPM Property Group

We recommend Commercial Steam Team for your carpet cleaning needs. We have been using their services for a number of years. They do an excellent job, are always punctual and offer competitive pricing. Not only is Commercial Steam Team great at what they do, but the staff is friendly and professional. Thank you for all you do!
John Scheffert
CPM Property Group, LLC

Hot Water Extraction Cleaning Environmentally Friendly

If you’re looking for green tips for cleaning up after pets, this method is one of the most friendly. All of our cleaning agents are biodegradable and hypoallergenic as stated in the Material Safety Data Sheets on every product.
Read more about how friendly our carpet cleaning is.

Testimonial from Erik M

We had these guys out to clean our carpets and Arlando impressed my impossible to please wife! Ryan and Russ are two great people who have built an extremely reputable business with essentially no advertising. Only way to do that is by executing at a very high level and these guys do! In my business I refer clients to Commercial Steam Team several times a month.
Erik M.

Steam Carpet Cleaning Rated Superior to Others

An independent research team found in 1972 that the “steam extraction method” using hot water was superior to all other types of carpet cleaning. In fact, in 1988 DuPont required that this method be used for their Stainmaster carpets. Read more here.

Testimonial from Kari Mortensen

They did a fantastic job. My carpets look great and Arlando, our tech, was fantastic!
Kari Mortensen.
Shakopee

Carpet Cleaning Testimonial from Mortgages Unlimited

This company does an incredibly thorough job – I recommend them to all of my clients who purchasing a new home with existing carpet. They are outstanding! I love the positive attitude, professionalism and attention to detail of this company’s employees!
Jackie LaLonde
Mortgages Unlimited

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.

Testimonial from Derc T

I have a home office and was dreading having someone come in to clean my carpets because I thought it would interfere with my day. To my surprise, the Commercial Steam Team was in and out and I almost didn’t even notice they were here. They did a great job and even spent extra time on my high traffic areas. My white carpets looked new when they were finished. The best part was they were able to schedule me exactly when I wanted them here. Their team was clean and professional. A+!!
Derc Teschler

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.

Testimonial from Mary C

I give them high ratings! (5 stars on Service, Total Experience, and Will Recommend)
Commercial Steam Team was wonderful. They came to help clean up after my dog multiple times because she had diarrhea from her medication. They had to come three times.
Mary C.
Farmington MN

Road Chemicals Are Dangerous

Keeping your carpet clean during a Minnesota winter can be a lot more important than you might think.
In particular, road de-icing chemicals are a health and safety hazard waiting to happen.
The dust from magnesium chloride, one of the road de-icing agents used by the MDOT, has been cited in articles as a cause of electrical arcing on electrical systems and wiring failures on trucks. In home and office environments this chemical and others can blow into the air where it can settle on electrical components or be sucked in by computer fans, potentially causing failure.
Another de-icing chemical, potassium acetate, can cause serious health and safety issues.

Read more about these and other topics here.

Keep your carpets clean and safe with regular steam cleaning.

College Street Beverage Testimonial

To Whom It May Concern: We would like to introduce you to the Commercial Steam Team people. They have been cleaning the carpets in our office area for the past several years. Their service has been impeccable and they always meet the schedule that has been agreed upon.

We are writing this recommendation in the event you need to have any carpet cleaning done in your establishment. This is an unsolicited voluntary endorsement. If you are considering having any carpet cleaning done at this time we would highly recommend Commercial Steam Team.

Commercial Steam Team has agreed to give you the same pricing they have given us. They will also provide free deodorizer for you establishment if you decide to utilize their carpet cleaning services. They can be reached at 952-224-7222.

If you would like to speak to us regarding their service and and desire to satisfy their customers please contact us.

Christopher Sawyer, President
Jim Sawyer, CEO
College Street Beverage
(507) 645-4106
Dundas

ECM Publishers Testimonial

Russ, I wanted to let you know how impressed I was with the professionalism of Joseph and Ryan who cleaned our carpets recently. Many carpet cleaning companies can do a good job with the cleaning, but it’s rare to find employees like yours who are friendly, informed, and so obviously enjoy doing the work. You are very lucky to have both employees. I look forward to working with you again next year.

Ginny Lee
ECM Publishers, Inc.
Specialty Publications
Coon Rapids

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

According to the Mayo Clinic cold or flu germs can live outside of the body anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours or more. Germ droplets from a sneeze or cough can be deposited on a hard surface like stainless steel, plastic or wood and stay active longer than germs on fabric, carpet and other soft surfaces.

A handshake is the most common way to catch a cold or the flu, but there are many other ways of catching a cold or flu, including touching a surface that an infected person touched and then wiping your nose, rubbing your eyes, biting your nails or eating something without washing your hands.

The easiest way to prevent catching germs are frequent hand washing with soap and water and using an alcohol based sanitizer.

Let us know if we can help keep your carpet germ free and healthy for your family and guests – Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222.

Candles and Carpet

In the fall and winter we tend to make our homes cozier by burning candles. Candles come in wonderful holiday and winter scents such as cinnamon, pine, and pumpkin and can make your house smell holiday fresh.

It’s a good idea to use a glass plate under a candle called a charger to prevent wax from overflowing and ruining furniture and carpet.

Most candle makers say not to leave candles burning unattended. Leaving a candle to burn unattended can cause a variety of undesirable outcomes such as fire or wax dripping on furniture, fabrics or carpet.

If you have an area where wax dripped onto your carpet give us a call and we can tell you the best way to handle this dilemma. Call Russ or Ryan at Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222.

Happy Kwanzaa

Happy Kwanzaa from now until Jan 1.

Happy Chanukah/Hannukah

Happy Chanukah/Hannukah from Commercial Steam Team!

Winter Carpet Care for Facilities Managers

Now that it is cold outside more people are catching colds, the flu and viruses. If you manage a commercial building where many people visit every day such as a medical building, school or daycare it is important to steam clean carpet in the building to kill bacteria and germs to keep visitor and employees of the building healthy.

By regularly steam cleaning commercial carpets you also prevent the buildup of dirt and smells.

Thinking of having your commercial carpet cleaned? Give us a call for a free estimate and ask about our after business hours scheduling. Yes, we clean carpets at night when it’s more convenient for you at no extra charge.

Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222.

Vikings Giveaways, Free Gear and Prizes

Lots of great stuff going on if you are a Vikings fan. Follow the following links for free Vikings gear, promotions and cool prizes.

Win Vikings gear – # PURPLEFRIDAY just submit your photo here http://www.vikings.com/fans/purple-fridays.html

Fan promotions and cool prizes page http://www.vikings.com/fans/promotions/all-promotions.html

The Vikings official website is http://www.vikings.com/

For Vikings game schedule visit http://www.vikings.com/schedule/season-schedule.html

Today is Pearl Harbor Day

Please remember the valiant sacrifices that our men in uniform have made and continue to make.

New Challenges Testimonial

“Hi Russ, Your team is doing a fabulous job cleaning our carpets! Thanks so much for your consistency and perfection.”
Sue Fries
Eagan, MN

Fresh Cleaned Carpet For Holidays

As it gets colder your family spends more time inside your home. If you have kids they usually like to sit on the floor and play video games or watch TV. Now is a good time to clean your carpet since you’ll be spending so much time inside. With the holidays coming up your home will smell clean and fresh.

Give us a call before our winter rush Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222.

Embassy Suites Testimonial

“Thank you again for doing such a great job cleaning the carpeting in our restaurant, bar and banquet space – it looks awesome! Pat, the Chief Engineer for our hotel, took notice as well and he asked me to pass your contact information on to him to possibly do work for the hotel side.”
Tonya Underdahl
Bloomington, MN

Fireplace Safety

Many of our customers have fire places in their homes and when the air outside gets chilly there is nothing like getting cozy next to a warm fire. Before you start using your fireplace or wood stove for the season it is a good idea to call a chimney sweep to clean your chimney. Soot, sap and carbon ash build up in chimneys so they need annual cleaning. If they do not get cleaned there is danger of a chimney fire.

Soot and ash can also be spilled on carpet next to the mantle and resist being vacuumed. We can help get the stains out of your carpet with steam cleaning. Give us a call for a free estimate; we’d love to talk to you. Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222

Juan R. Testimonial

Great, very good.

This is not the first time that Commercial Steam Team has provided their carpet cleaning services. They do a good job with everything every time, so I know that we hire them that they’re going to do quality work.

The people who come do a good job and they’re friendly. If something happens to go wrong, I know that we can always call them back and they’ll come back and fix it without any problems. Overall, it’s always been a great experience with them.

Juan R.
Minneapolis, MN

Eric M. Testimonial

They even impressed my wife!

Commercial Steam Team does a wonderful job. They came in to do my carpets, and did so on time. The technician was very courteous, and he really knew what he was doing. Their work even impressed my wife, and she has some pretty high standards. I have already recommended them to my friends, and would recommend them to anyone else!

Eric M.
Shakopee, MN

CST Quality Control Means The Best Job For You

Did you know that we have a Quality Control System in place at CST? Aimed at making sure that every job we do is the BEST job, our Clean Carpet Quality Control (CCQC) System has been in place for years, and monitors every aspect of each project.

From initial calls and scheduling, through the actual project itself and even to follow-up calls to ensure everything met or exceeded your expectations, CCQC is here to make sure that you are completely happy with our work.

Since we build our business based on referrals, its critical to us that everything is perfect for you. How else can we get more referrals!

Read about our CCQC program here, and please send us referrals – it helps us grow even stronger and better at what we do!

Zander Real Estate Testimonial

“My sellers used Commercial Steam Team and [you] did an awesome job! She can’t stop talking about how much better her carpets are than when they used Zerorez a few months ago. Thanks for making me look good – yet again Russ!”

Zander Real Estate Team
Eagan, MN
Cathy Zander

Massage Envy Testimonial

“Hi Ryan,
Thank you for doing a great job cleaning our carpets again! Your company always does excellent work and makes the process easy for me.
Thank you.”

Laura
Massage Envy
Lake Calhoun

Making Fleas Flee

Fleas are an annoying and dangerous pest that can make life miserable. Not only can they be difficult to get rid of, but in some cases the cures can seem almost as bad as the proble. Of course, since fleas carry a number of diseases such as typhus; pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic plagues; spotted fever; bacteremia; endocarditis; bacillary angiomatosis; and peliosis hepatis, as well as being a carrier for the Hymenolepiasis tapeworm, getting rid of them is a priority.

Fleas are often brought into the home on a pet and they rapidly set up housekeeping. Within 10 minutes they can decide to infest other animals and people, and then it can be no time until a full epidemic is under way.

Most treatment strategies involve insecticides, which should immediately inspire you to caution, since insecticides are generally neurotoxins, which means they attack the brain and central nervous system. This can be especially problematic in households with pregnant mothers and children.

For other treatments, including some that are non-toxic, read our article on What’s Living In Your Carpet?

Performance Office Papers Testimonial

Hi

As you know we had our carpets cleaned this past Friday.  They were a “mess” to say the least and I want you to know that we are pleased with the job that was done.  The carpets look great.

I was not here when the carpets were being cleaned, but I was told by my co-worker that the cleaning techs, Jeff and Louie,  were very nice, thorough, and professional.

Thank you and them for the good job!

Jo Knutson

Performance Office Papers

Lakeville, MN

Best of Rosemount Award

We recently won the 2014 Best of Rosemount Award for Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning!

bestofrosemount2014

Are You Under Attack By Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are an often overlooked pest that can cause a range of problems.

The greatest impact that carpet beetles have is on products of animal origin such as furs, woolens, and feathers. Overall, in most cases they are much more common and more damaging to fabrics than clothes moths.

Carpet beetles also can infest dried food products in your pantry. They are generally less damaging than many other pests in this area because they reproduce slowly (about one generation per year), they can nevertheless be a recurring problem since annual migrations can bring them back year after year.

Carpet beetles can also cause red bite-like welts on your skin. Since the beetles are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, they are often found in beds, particularly feather pillows. Unlike bed bugs, carpet beetles do not bite. The reason for the welts is that some people are allergic to carpet beetles. In particular, the long hairs on carpet beetle larvae can penetrate into the skin and trigger the allergic reaction. These hairs can even go through fabric. If other people live in your house and they are not experiencing these welts, this is a good indication that the problem could be carpet beetles rather than bed bugs, since bed bugs would tend to bite everyone indiscriminately.

Treatment:

  • Discard clothing items that have been heavily damaged
  • Wash clothing in hot soapy water
  • Steam clean your carpets

For more information on pests that can live in your carpet, read our article on What’s Living In Your Carpet?

Ellis Properties Testimonial

Ryan,

Good afternoon!

I just wanted to say Thank You again for the flawless service! The guys did a fantastic job yesterday and ‘field’ Ryan was kind enough to give me a little walk-through when they were done to let me know how everything went. They did fantastic and quick work and I think my boss is going to be very pleased with the results. (Your dad was perfect in his guess on how it would go!)

So I just wanted to say thanks again for yours and everyone’s time, we really appreciate it! If there’s any way I can be of help, please just let me know, otherwise I look forward to getting the chance to work with you again!!

Thanks,

 

Michael Erickson
Ellis Properties, LLP

How to Vacuum Litter

Start by using the hose with the corner attachment. This will give you the highest suction power possible. Hover over the area to be cleaned to pull up as much material as possible. (Avoiding contact with the carpet will avoid driving the litter deeper into the carpet.)

Do not use the broom or brush attachment, since these will also drive the litter deeper into the carpet. Similarly, a hand vacuum is to be avoided if possible.

When done, apply a carpet deodorizer so that the kitty won’t decide that this is a new litter box.

If your cat does decide to use the floor as a litter box, give us a call so that we can get out those deep-rooted smells!

For more information on cat litter and your carpet, read our article!

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

Things to Do with Kids in Minneapolis

There are lots of fun kid things to do all over Minneapolis and the Twin Cities. We’ve put together a list that we hope you’ll enjoy!

 

Minnesota Zoo May 24th – September 1

Big Bugs exhibit featuring giant robotic bugs and a live bug display showcasing how bugs live and why they are important. Visit mnzoo.org

 

Science Museum of Minnesota – Open Tuesdays through Saturdays

It’s Dinosaurs in the exhibit galleries and Omnitheatre. Visit smm.org

 

Three Rivers Parks – Open Daily

Beaches, dog parks, boating, disc golf, geocaching, biking, fishing, hiking, nature education and play areas. Lots of activities to do for free in Hennepin County. Visit threeriversparks.org

Commercial Steam Team wishes you a fun filled summer!

Restaurant Bathrooms Shine

Have you ever been to a nice restaurant where every detail went into the presentation until you walked into the bathroom? Restaurant bathrooms are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Customers notice little things like the bathroom and often form an opinion on the cleanliness of the kitchen based the cleanliness of the bathroom. This can determine whether they want to visit your restaurant again.

Many finer restaurants understand that restrooms should shine and make a good impression. Grease, food and dirt can build up on tile and grout and take on a pungent smell making bathrooms less than pleasant.

Did you know that Commercial Steam Team can clean grout and tile and make them sparkle? Better still, we can do this while we’re cleaning your carpets, upholstery, and cubicle walls!

Call us today at 952-224-7222 for a free estimate!

Commercial Carpet Emergencies

This time of year is when you get heavy traffic on commercial carpets and exposure to more dirt, spills and stains. It is good to know that in case of a carpet disaster you can count on us to save the day! Whatever your emergency we can help, even scheduling cleanings in the evening during less busy times.

Call the carpet cleaning experts at Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222

Commercial Carpet Cleaning Satisfaction Guaranteed!

We are a family owned and operated business and we pride our service with high quality control standards. Quality control is critical for Commercial Steam Team, in fact a few days after we clean your carpet we will call you to check and see if you are satisfied with our service, your carpet is clean and you are happy with our work.

Want to learn more about the Commercial Steam Team Quality Control System? Visit this page to learn more.

We provide a totally different experience and reward our employee which keeps our performance standards high. Take a minute and check out the main Commercial Steam Team website at http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/ or call us for a free estimate on commercial carpet cleaning at 952-224-7222

Buffet and Banquet Carpet Cleaning for Motels and Hotels

Banquet rooms get used for seminars, parties and corporate events that usually involve food and drink. Spills and accidents from guests happen frequently and may not get cleaned up right away leaving the banquet room carpet dirty and stained. It is important to have buffet carpet cleaned periodically to remove the food and drink spills. Check out our video of a buffet cleaning: click here to watch!

Commercial Steam Team has offered commercial carpet cleaning since the company began over ten years ago. We understand that it is important to have clean carpets and equally important that your business is not disrupted by carpet cleaning.

We use the highest quality equipment and have professional trained staff to guarantee your carpet is cleaned to the highest standards. We also have flexible hours that include nights and weekends.

Give us a call today for a free estimate 952-224-7222

Hotel Carpet Cleaning At Your Convenience

As summer approaches hotel carpets get heavier usage and dirt, spills and debris can be tracked in on footwear and luggage rollers. Most commercial grade carpets are durable and stain resistant but hotels get much more traffic compared to a typical office building and may need more frequent cleaning during the busy season.

We understand that taking time during your busy season to clean carpets can be difficult – that’s why we offer commercial carpet cleaning on both on and off hours. We work with your schedule so your business and your guests are not disrupted while we make your carpets clean.

Call the professional team at Commercial Steam Team for a free no obligation estimate at 952-224-7222 or learn more about our company by visiting http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/

 

Why Does a Restaurant Smell Bad to Some People? Part Two

In our last post we talked about restaurant carpets trapping spills, grease and bacteria and producing bad smells. But there are several other areas of a restaurant where bad smells can come from such as mops, cleaning cloths and upholstery.

One of the biggest mistakes restaurants make is to use a mop that has been standing in a mop bucket that is not clean. Mop buckets should be prepared with hot water and proper degreasing cleaner before use. When done mopping the floor, mop buckets and mops should be rinsed in hot water to get all the grease and dirt out of them or else they quickly develop a rotten smell.

Another odor-producing place is dirty wiping cloths used to clean tables and booths. Cleaning cloths should be clean smelling and the bucket of sanitizer should be cleaned before the start of every shift or whenever dirty. Cleaning with a dirty cloth can make a restaurant smell bad and spread bacteria and germs.

Upholstery is another area that gets overlooked and where smells build up from grease, spills and bacteria. Restaurants that have upholstery on booth seats and walls require periodic steam cleaning as well to keep the restaurant clean and prevent those bad smells.

Remember that people get used to a smell and after a short period of time don’t even notice it any more. This means that your staff may be completely unaware of odors that may cause customers to leave or to never come back. Translation: make sure to use cleaning tools that are themselves kept clean, even if you think your customers won’t notice.

Know a restaurant that needs our help? Get a Free, no obligation estimate on carpet and upholstery cleaning from Commercial Steam Team and make your restaurant shine! Call us today at 952-224-7222

Why Does a Restaurant Smell Bad to Some People? Part One

After reading restaurant reviews in Minneapolis you’ll find that customers not only judge service, quality and selection of food at a restaurant they also judge cleanliness. If you have bad smells in your restaurant it can ruin people’s dining experience. Smells can build up over time and you may not even notice it. It’s easy for your staff to get used to a smell and after a short period of time not even notice it any more. This means that they may be completely unaware of odors that may cause customers to leave or to never come back. Aside from that, people have different smell sensitivities and can be offended by smells.

There are preventative measures that restaurant managers can take to prevent smell buildup and provide an excellent dining experience.

The biggest part of a restaurant that can produce smells is the carpet. Food, drink and grease spills can get trapped in carpet and build up a terrible smell. One way to prevent this is to have your carpets steam cleaned periodically to remove all the grease, food, dirt and bacteria.

Steam cleaning under the tables and in the high traffic areas around the kitchen will not only prevent bad smells but also extends the life of restaurant carpet.

Check out how Commercial Steam Team cleans this restaurant buffet area: click here to watch the video./

Carpets can be steam cleaned after you close your restaurant and be ready to use within a few hours.

Wondering how much it would be to have restaurant carpet steam cleaned? Give Commercial Steam Team a call for a no obligation estimate at 952-224-7222

Time to Get Rid of the Winter Buildup

After a long hard winter there are many things in your carpet. Food spills, skin cells, pet detritus, and de-icers are only the tip of the iceberg. This is quite literally true, because most of the damage is hiding invisibly down among the fibers of your carpet, down where it can feed mites and bacteria, creating health hazards and bad smells that you probably don’t even notice by now. Trust me, people that don’t experience your carpet every day can notice those smells.

A deep extraction steam cleaning is the diagnosis for this condition of winter yuck buildup. Steam cleaning will flush out those contaminants and leave your carpet fresh and clean.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to take care of the worst of spills without damaging your carpet. See our article on Carpet Stain Removal to learn more, but remember that the longer a stain lies on and in your carpet the more likely it is to become permanent.

Call Commercial Steam Team today at 952-224-7222 to see how we can help make your carpet clean and fresh!

Hotel Carpet and Vacation Season

Minnesota has had a late spring and that has put most businesses behind schedule with getting the winter salt and sand out of their entrance ways and carpets. June is just around the corner; once schools close for summer people start traveling and the peak season for hotels start. It may be a good idea to get the winter salt out of your carpet before the busy season kicks in.

It’s also a great time to set up a regular cleaning schedule for your carpets! See our article on hotel carpet cleaning for help with scheduling.

Get a Free, no obligation estimate carpet cleaning from Commercial Steam Team and make your hotel shine! Call us today at 952-224-7222

Protecting Hotel Carpet

Having your carpet treated with a carpet protector is a great investment. Once we clean your carpet have us apply a protector and if you act quickly you will be able to remove many stains that would otherwise set in.

Keep in mind that the longer it is before you act the more likely that the stain will become permanent, even with a protector applied, and no carpet is completely stain proof.

If you do have a spill, blot the stain with a dry white absorbent cloth or towel. Do NOT scrub the area!

Work from the outside-in to minimize spreading the stain.

If your spill is dry, vacuum the spill before trying other methods. If it is semi-solid, gently lift the staining material with a round spoon.

Carpet protectors will help improve the effectiveness of these strategies.

Carpet is Made in America

Did you know that, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, 98% of carpet in use in the U.S.  is manufactured in the United States? Remember to keep your American-made carpet clean with a local American company – Commercial Steam Team!

Pet Odor Removal

Dogs and cats can bring such joy into your family and also some of the most difficult carpet odor, hair and stain problems.  We train our pets to behave indoors but occasionally there are accidents which have us looking for how to remove dog odor from carpet and asking, how do I get urine smell out of carpet?

There are many methods of pet odor removal and getting cat urine out of carpet so choosing the right carpet pet odor removal is important. For instance using ammonia when you are getting cat urine out of carpet only encourages the cat to urinate in that spot again. Ammonia is already in urine so you would not want to make this spot smell familiar by using more ammonia. There are many home remedies and products being sold that simply just don’t work.

When a cat or dog urinates on your carpet it’s best to act fast with an absorbent cotton cloth like a towel or if you are in a hurry a wad of paper towels. Wad up the towel and step on it to absorb as much liquid as possible change towels until there is no more liquid being absorbed. Next mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar to rinse the area so it penetrates to the fibers. Take a clean colorless towel or rag and blot out all the liquid until dry. Changing rags when they get wet will help soak up the spill quicker and prevent it from getting moldy when it dries.

Pet hair removers for the carpet such as a rubber fur removal brush sweeps pet hair away and can keep the majority of hair off furniture and carpets but it does not get it all off. Cat hair or longer dog hair is resistant to lint brushes so they do not work as well as a big piece of duct tape. Take a piece of duct tape and wind it around your hand and use it like a lint brush. You have heard that duct tape sticks to anything and it is the best quick hair removal tool. Pet hair has oil and dander on it and can cause odor if left unattended. By removing pet hair from furniture with a brush and by vacuuming carpet frequently you can keep carpet smelling cleaner.

The best way to remove pet odor and stains from pet urine is with a professional carpet cleaning from Commercial Steam Team. Call us today at 952-224-7222 to learn more!

Kids, Carpet, and Spring

It’s spring time, and with the welcome weather comes an unwelcome party crasher: mud! Oftentimes this unwelcome intruder brings along another unwanted guest when road salts and de-icers combine with dirt to make a particularly toxic mix.

Make sure you keep as much as possible of this unwelcome combination out of your home by encouraging children to use entrance mats, taking off footwear by the entrance, and quickly vacuuming what gets past these cautionary measures.

To further ensure that your home is healthy and safe, call Commercial Steam Team at 952-224-7222 to make sure your carpet is as clean as can be with our environmentally safe carpet cleaning!

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

Pet Owners – How To Cut Back on Litter

kittysmCats can be a joy and a comfort, and unfortunately they can also be a problem on occasion. One such occasion is when they track litter around the home or office.

Litter that is no longer ‘fresh out of the box’ is as we know not very sanitary, and having that spread around is not good. Clumping cat litter in particular is very trackable. Litter can spread germs and smells, and if enough builds up can be an inspiration to start a new kitty bathroom. Besides, it hurts to walk on litter in bare feet.

A quick solution for reducing most of this litter problem is simply to have a carpet remnant or sample on the approach to and under the litter box. These remnants are much easier to clean. (Just take them outside and shake and beat them out.) A medium length cut pile carpet is generally best for this purpose.

For more ideas on controlling litter issues, visit our page on Cat Litter and Carpet.

Dusty Drapes and Your Carpet

It can be frustrating to clean a carpet and have it be seemingly full of dust within a few days.

Many of the things in your home can collect dust and when you walk past that dust it gets stirred up in the air where it then falls back on furniture or on your carpet. Your carpet collects the dust that falls from the air and it gathers there until it’s vacuumed up. It’s a good idea to try to clean up these dusty areas before you vacuum.

One place where dust collects is on your drapes and curtains. Dusty drapes often get overlooked when we clean our house because they still often look clean. If you stand in the sunshine when you open your drapes you can see all the dust that is swirling in the air from the drapes.

Curtains and drapes collect a huge amount of dust and dirt over time and distribute it every time the drapes are moved. By regularly cleaning your drapes you can help cut down on dust on your furniture and dust build up on carpets.

It’s important when cleaning drapes to follow the manufactures directions on the tag on how to clean them. Curtains typically can be machine washed but always follow the directions on the tag as well.

Road Salt Stains In Carpet

In Minnesota we get lots of snow and ice so we use chemicals to melt ice on our sidewalks and roads.  Those winter chemicals can build up on your carpet leaving distinctive white rings when it dries.

Have you ever looked at your boots half way through winter and noticed a white chalky substance? This is from the chemicals used on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots to melt snow and ice. These chemicals build up on your footwear and get tracked in on your carpet. Calcium chloride and sodium chloride, also known as road salt, melt the snow and ice on the road. They also promote corrosion and rust on your car, so you can imagine what road salt will do to the carpet in your home.

Road salt or sidewalk de-icer is gritty and when in chunks can collect on the bottom of your shoes and be tracked indoors onto your carpet. Add melted snow and ice and these chemicals dissolve, allowing them to invisibly coat your shoes and boots. In this liquid form they then soak into your carpet and then leave a crusty white ring when they dry. Add road sludge to the mix and now you have dirty brown or black stains.

The best way to prevent road salt stains on carpet is by removing your shoes before entering your home.

One of the easiest ways to encourage this is to buy a boot tray. Then either buy a small rug that will fit inside the boot tray, or use a dark towel that you no longer want or need. Place the rug or towel inside the boot tray. This will absorb the water from the shoes and boots, wick it away, and allow the water to evaporate. That way you won’t have as much dirty residue deposited around the tray when you put your footwear back on.

Prevent Problems With Cat Litter in Carpet

cat on carpet cleaningThe simplest way to keep your kitty from tracking dirty cat litter into your carpet is to change the litter frequently. Once a cat’s litter becomes dirty the clumps may stick to their fur or between their toes and be tracked throughout the house.

To further minimize the spread of litter, place small carpet remnants or carpet samples under and around the litter box for at least a three foot distance. Whenever these carpet pieces become dirty with litter take them outside and shake and beat them out, or if this is not possible, then vacuum these pieces frequently.

For more great ideas read this article on keeping litter out of your carpet.

For the best in pet safe carpet cleaning call Commercial Steam Team today at 952-224-7222

How often should you clean your carpet?

Fiber producers and carpet manufacturers recommend that a residential carpet should be professionally cleaned at least every 6 to 12 months for best performance.  Soil that is not removed from the carpeting cuts and slices on the carpet fibers, breaking down the carpet yarn. The result is that even with restorative cleaning, it won’t correct the damage that has been carried out to the fiber.

If you are someone who has heard the phrase “Wait as long as you can prior to having your carpets cleaned..” or “Once you’ve cleaned your carpet, it’s never the same..”, these comments are a result of carpet cleaners that have left  the carpet  with an overload of detergent residue and heavy oils, that do not get completely extracted with some cleaning systems.  As a result, the new dirt is attracted back to the ‘old dirt’ and heavy oils that were brought to the surface during the cleaning process.  Once you walk around in the space for a few weeks, the carpet looks dirty again because the new dirt is attracted back to the old dirt.

In conclusion, carpet that is cleaned properly, every 6 to 12 months, will last longer and be healthier for the environment of your home.

Red Wine in Carpet

A red wine spill on carpet is very common. There are many do-it-yourself ways to remove red stains from carpet, but there are also many DIY solutions that can damage the carpet fibers or set the stain and ruin the carpet. Most carpets these days are stain resistant but you still need to treat the spill to minimize the damage.

Learn how to treat stains in your carpet by reading our article on Carpet Stain Removal.

Carpet Styles – Twist

This is actually a cut loop style of carpet, but with extra twist added to the fibers.

Also known as frieze carpet, this style gives a ‘modern’ look.

Frieze carpet is casual and durable.

See our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.

Carpet Styles – Cut Pile

Often called “cut loop” carpet, cut pile carpet is available under a wide range of names and brands.

Cut loop carpet is made by cutting off the tops of looped carpet. It provides a more refined loop than looped pile carpets. It also offers more options for the amount of twist in the carpet fibers.

There are different styles of cut loop carpets. Here are a few:

Textured provides a casual look, often with alternating twists of material providing a two-tone carpet. Because of this textured appearance it hides footprints and vacuum marks more readily than other styles.

Frieze carpet is tightly curled due to the extreme twisting of the fibers.

Saxony offers a refined look for traditional interiors.

Plush is dense and luxurious, but readily shows footprints and vacuum marks.

Textured Plush provides the benefits of textured carpet to the luxurious feel of plush.

See our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.

Carpet Styles – Cut and Loop

Also known as patterned carpet, this style combines loops and cut loops to allow for the creation of patterns in the carpet surface. This style of carpet is also sometimes called tip sheared or random.

More durable than cut styles and more elegant than most loops, patterned carpet represents a combination of elegance and practicality. It also hides stains and soil well and stands up to traffic.

This is a popular style of carpet and is available in a wide range of patterns.

See our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.

Carpet Styles – Loop Pile

Also known as Berber carpet, this is a great choice for high-traffic areas. This is because there are no exposed fiber ends to capture and wick dirt and contaminants.

Loop pile carpets are made using yarn that is uncut and looped at the same height. Although loop carpets can and do have different loop heights to create patterns, all loops within a pattern section typically have approximately the same height.

Different colors and types of carpet fiber can also be used to create patterning and vary durability and cost.

Loop carpets are generally easier to clean than carpet fibers that have been cut, because spills and soil tend to remain on the surface of the carpet rather than penetrate.

See our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.

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!

Carpet Materials – Wool

Looking for a carpet material that is elegant and luxurious? Then wool may be the carpet for you. Wool is more expensive than any other carpet, and is usually made from the hair of sheep, although alpaca, goats, and llamas are also used.

Wool carpet has an excellent “memory”, largely because the hairs grow in spirals allowing them to link together well when twisted into tufts.

Wool has several other advantages. Dust mites do not seem to care for it, it insulates well, and because it absorbs and releases moisture it can act somewhat as a natural humidifier. It is also made from a sustainable resource meaning that it is wool carpet is better for the environment than other carpet materials.

While wool carpet can last for decades, it requires high maintenance. This usually means professional cleaning as well, in order to catch and abate problems before they permanently damage the carpet.

Wool can absorb protein-based stains such as blood and meat. It’s also sensitive to coffee, tea and wine stains. On the other hand, the fibers tend to bend light, which can help hide mild stains.

Wool is more fire-resistant than synthetics, which can make it a good choice where there are smokers present.

Wool is susceptible to static-electricity, so wool is not a good choice for a room with computers.

Most wool carpets are now moth-proofed, but you should check with your supplier to make sure this is the case.

See our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.
As noted earlier, wool absorbs and releases moisture. In a moisture-rich environment this can be a decided disadvantage, as wool can absorb up to ten times its weight in water. This makes it susceptible to mold and mildew. As result it can pick up odors as well. If it does get wet it can shrink. It is often best used for area rugs rather than full-room carpeting.

Wool is best used in low-traffic areas, and is not a good choice for locations where children and pets are present.

Carpet Materials – Olefin

If you need a great indoor-outdoor carpet, then olefin may be the best option for you. The second-most common carpet in American homes, olefin, also known as polypropylene, is a stain-resistant, fade-resistant, moisture-resistant, and static-resistant colorfast synthetic carpet.

Olefin is often used for entryways. Because it is moisture-resistant and fade-resistant, olefin carpet is a good choice for porches and patios, and the moisture aspect also makes it a good choice for basements.

The static-resistance makes this a good selection for a room with computers.

Olefin is chemically inert and resists acid and bleach well, making it a good choice for laundry rooms and rooms with home aquariums, and for areas leading to or adjacent to swimming pools, such as changing rooms.

Olefin can be challenging to keep clean, because it attracts dirt. Even after drying, olefin tends to wick dirt from the base causing streaks and spots to reappear.

Olefin is very susceptible to heat, so much so that even dragging a piece of heavy furniture across olefin can leave scorch marks.

When choosing olefin, look for a carpet with loops. The loops can help avoid matting. Whether you choose loops or pile, look for a low carpet (loops or pile). This can help it resist crushing.

Olefin is generally the cheapest carpet available.

Trying to choose the right carpet? Read our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.

Carpet Materials – Acrylic

If you’re looking for a carpet that looks and feels like wool but is less expensive, you may want to consider acrylic carpet. Popular in the 1960’s, acrylic was marketed as a wool substitute and can be used for family rooms, recreation rooms, and finished basements. It is springy like wool and feels luxurious.

Acrylic carpet is moisture-resistant and fade-resistant and resists stains, soiling and mildew. It also resists static which can be a benefit in rooms with computers or other electronics.

On the other hand, acrylic is less durable than wool. It is easily stained by grease and oil. The fibers have a tendency to deteriorate resulting in pilling and a “fuzzy” appearance. These drawbacks make it most useful in low-traffic areas.

Acrylic is often blended with some degree of wool. You may see it with brand names such as Creslan, Acrilon, and Orlon.

For more information to help you find the right carpet, see our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.

Carpet Materials – Nylon

Looking at new carpet for your home?

Nylon carpet is the most common form of carpet in American homes today. This synthetic fabric is resilient, durable and stands up well in high traffic areas. Because nylon is the hardest synthetic carpet fiber it resists wear and abrasion.  This makes it a great choice for entryways, living rooms, and finished basements, yet it shows well and is an excellent carpet for sunny areas, particularly with solution-dyed nylon which is colorfast.

Nylon carpet also holds its twist, (this is called yarn memory) so it won’t begin to look ‘frizzy’ for quite some time if ever. It’s both stain-resistant and crush-resistant, and is available in a wide range of colors, making it generally easy to match to your look you want for your home in general or for specific rooms.

Nylon carpet is also available unbranded. Unbranded carpets generally have less robust guarantees and warranties but still offer you the value and benefits of nylon carpet. Unbranded carpets are often selected by people planning to sell their home soon.

This is the third installment in our series on Choosing Your Carpet. Click here to see the entire series.

Carpet Materials – Polyester

Polyester carpets are good for low traffic areas such as bedrooms, family rooms, and living rooms. It is a plush carpet that is soft and comfortable.

Polyester carpet is particularly stain-resistant and fade-resistant, making it a good choice in an environment where spills and stains may be frequent. This is a good choice for homes or pet hotels where pet urine may be an issue. Make sure to look at your warranty to find out which stains are covered. Hair dye, for instance, is generally NOT covered.

A large percentage of polyester carpets are made from recycled materials, particularly recycled water and soda bottles.

Polyester carpets retain their bright colors well.

This is the second in our series on Choosing Your Carpet. Click here to see the entire series.

See How Steam Cleaning Your Carpet Can Wow You

We recently cleaned a buffet and while we were there we shot this video of the actual cleaning.

No the video isn’t doctored and the scene wasn’t staged. In fact, we’d already started cleaning before it occurred to us that we could take a video!

Click here to see our Buffet Cleaning Video!

 

 

Choosing the Right Color for Your New Carpet

This article on carpet colors begins our Choosing Your Carpet series. In the weeks ahead we will cover carpet materials, types of carpet, padding, and many other important topics to help you find the right carpet to install in your home.

We have a few tips for you when planning your new carpet that can help you get the perfect carpet for you.

Of course, an important considerations is color. Aside from picking a color you like, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • If you’re planning to sell soon, then you may wish to choose a neutral color. It’s easier for people to visualize their furniture and style with a neutral carpet.
  • Do you like to redesign your decorating frequently? The neutral colors are the way to go. You’ll find it much easier to change furniture and accent pieces with a less polarized neutral color.
  • Carpet often (but not always) looks lighter when installed than it does in the store. Types of lighting, lighting orientation, volume of visible carpet, wall colors, space size, and much more can affect this. Keep this in mind when trying to match color depth and lightness.
  • Darker carpet can make a room feel smaller, while lighter can enhance a sense of openness and space. Do you want cozy or more space? Coming back to preparing to sell, buyers may not see the same ideas that you have in mind, so it may be better to give an impression of a larger room with lighter carpet.

Enjoy your new carpet, and when it’s time to clean and protect carpet, come to Commercial Steam Team. We know carpet!

The New American Carpet Industry

It was not until the late 1950’s that carpet began to be affordable for most people.  In 1950 most carpets were made out of wool on looming machines in carpet mills in the Northeast US. By 1960 that had changed completely and most carpets were now made out of tufted synthetics in the southeast US. This was in large part due to the development of Dupont BCF nylon – an inexpensive durable product that quickly achieved dominance in the US flooring market.

By 1970 there were over 400 carpet mills in production. The 1980’s recession changed that, and by 1992 there were only about 100 mills remaining, and about 80% of all production was consolidated into 4 companies led by Shaw Industries and Mohawk.

Today carpet remains the most popular floor covering choice in America.

American Carpet in the Early Years

The American carpet industry started in 1791 with William Sprague’s carpet mill in Philadelphia and for most of the next century skilled workers produced carpets with hand looms. Congress first began protecting the industry in 1816. By 1834 there were about 20 carpet mills producing about 1 million square yards of carpet. By 1850 that amount had risen to 116 mills producing 8 millions square yards. Carpet became greatly popular in the early years due to the poor quality of home floors at the time. The first power loom was created in 1839 by Erastus Bigelow, but it wasn’t until after 1870 that power looms began to replace hand looms and began to make carpets more affordable. Even then you needed to be fairly well off – at least part of the upper middle class – to be able to afford carpet.

Stay tuned for our next post to learn more about the history of carpet in the US.

Summer Baseball Fun

ballfieldIf you like to get out and play ball, do you know how many fields are in your community?

Here is a great directory of Minnesota ball fields from isport: Baseball Fields in Minnesota

Guess who shows up as having the most fields?

Disc Golf Season is Here!

It’s summer with sunny weather and great temperatures, and that means it’s a great time to play disc golf!

dgcarverIf you haven’t tried this great sport, you should know the cost of entry is minimal, there are courses everywhere, and it’s lots of fun!

Here are a few disc golf posts we made last year:

History and Resources
CST Loves Disc Golf!

Here is a directory from Disc Golf Scene: Minnesota Disc Golf Courses

And here is a search tool from the Pro Disc Golf Association: PGDA Disc Golf Search

Have a great disc golfing summer!

Trish Graham Testimonial

Chad and Joseph cleaned the carpet in my son’s townhouse. I was pleasantly surprised that they were able to remove all the spots. The carpet looked wonderful. I will recommend the Commercial Steam Team to all my family and friends. Thank you for a job well done.
Trish Graham
Lakeville

JBL Property Management

This recommendation is from JBL property management (Daniel Bridges) (completely unsolicited)

Danielle Bridges has recommended your work as Owner at Commercial Steam Team carpet cleaners.

Dear Ryan,
I’ve written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.

Details of the Recommendation: “We have worked with Ryan multiple times over the last several years. Ryan’s flexibilty and willingness to work with our tenant’s schedules makes his service incredibly valuable to us. If I call him for a job, I know the work will be done quickly, efficiently and with little disturbance to our tenants.”
Service Category: Commercial carpet cleaning
Year first hired: 1999 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Good Value, High Integrity

 

Spring Planting

The ground is still wet from all the rain and there are many plants available from local garden centers, so it’s a good time to put in a few annuals if you haven’t done so already.

Large retail chains usually carry plants from one or two national suppliers. These large suppliers provide massive numbers of the same plants year after year. As a result their plants and the soil they arrive in are often infested with pests and disease which can contaminate the rest of your garden. It’s usually a good idea to buy your plants from local garden centers to avoid these problems.

Here are a few:

Bloomington Garden Center
9407 Old Cedar Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425
www.bloomingtongardencenter.com/?

Holasek Greenhouses
8610 Galpin Boulevard, Chanhassen, Minnesota 55317
www.holasekgreenhouses.com/

Tangletown Gardens
www.tangletowngardens.com/
5353 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis

Mother Earth Gardens
3738 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis
www.motherearthgarden.com/

Uncommon Gardens
5750 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
www.uncommongardens.com/

Cal’s Market and Garden Center
6403 Egan Drive, Savage, MN 55378
www.calsmarketandgardencenter.com/

Leitner’s Garden Center
945 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
http://leitnersstpaul.com/

Lilydale Garden Center
941 Sibley Memorial Hwy, West St Paul, MN 55118
www.lilydalegardencenter.com/

Linder’s Garden Center
various locations
www.linders.com/?

A Few Days Without Rain?

Are we finally going to have a few days to dry out? If so, this may be your best time to get the mud out of your carpets!

Winter de-icing chemicals, mud, dust mites…lots of unpleasant things can build up in your carpet over the winter and into a wet spring.

Now is a great time to clean out the built up goop! Give us a call and we can bring your carpets back to fresh and clean and ready for summer fun!

More Rainy Day Ideas

It looks like yet another wet day in the Minnesota. Here are some more ideas for wet days!

If you like Euro Games like Settlers of Catan, then visit the Fantasy Flight Event Center.
You can find games for sale and you can rent a game to play there. There are frequently lots of people playing games and you may be able to join a game.
Where:  1975 Oakcrest Ave #10, Roseville, MN 55113, (651) 379-3801
More info: Fantasy Flight Games Website

If you love art, visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where you can see “The Age of Truthiness”, or attend the session on “Thinking Globally: Exploring Indian and Southeast Asian Art” this Thursday night at 7 PM.
Where:  2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612) 870-3000
More info: www.artsmia.org/

Want an evening of fun music? Want an opportunity to dance? Check out the music calendar at Famous Daves Calhoun BBQ & Blues Club for live bands such as the Root City Band and Lamont Cranston and events such as Free Swing Dance Lessons and Salsa Night.
Where:  3001 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55408
More info: http://www.famousdavesbluesclub.com/music_events.html

Looking for somewhere to go with the kids? The Minnesota Children’s Museum is full of interactive learning and fun!
Where:  10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102 (651) 225-6000
More info: www.mcm.org/

Rain Rain Rain

It looks like most of the next week will be wet throughout the Twin Cities. Do you have your rainy day activities planned?

Here are a few great theater companies to check out…

Chanhassen Dinner Theatre – ?www.chanhassentheatres.com/?

Children’s Theatre – ?www.childrenstheatre.org/?

Fitzgerald – fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org/

Guthrie – www.guthrietheater.org/

Ordway – ?www.ordway.org/?

Orpheum Theater – www.orpheum-theater.com/

Paramount Theatre – www.paramountarts.org/

Southern Theater – www.southerntheater.org/

Mother’s Day Next Sunday!

Mother’s Day is coming up fast.

Dinner, breakfast in bed, a nice gift, have you made your plans yet?

Think about treating mom to some nice clean carpets and upholstery!

In any case, enjoy your time with mom!

 

Has Spring Sprung?

Finally after several days without white stuff falling from the sky can we assume that spring is finally here?

It’s time to celebrate the arrival of warm weather!

Let’s put the last of winter behind us and start our spring cleaning both outside and inside.

This is the perfect time to get all the winter grunge out of your carpet with a fantastic cleaning job by Commercial Steam Team!

Call us today to start getting ready for summer fun!

Day Care Carpet Cleaning

It is important to have your carpets cleaned regularly in a childcare facility because of the high volume of spills, mishaps and germs. People track in all sorts of dirt and debris on their shoes which collect in the carpet, not to mention all the coughs and colds in spring and winter. Children tend to play directly on carpet when at daycare and even lay or fall asleep on carpet during story time so it is important that the carpets be clean.

A thorough steam cleaning will remove the buildup of dirt, spills, stains and germs in the carpet making it look new and smell new again.

Call Russ 952-224-7222 for a free estimate for daycare facilities in the Twin Cities.

Visit our website to see how we steam clean commercial carpets www.commercialsteamteam.com

When Should You Clean Office Carpet?

To help determine how often your carpet should be cleaned think about how many people come into your office and what your parking lot looks like. In winter the salt and chemicals can build up and get tracked in and deposited on you buildings carpet. In the spring water and dirt get tracked in during spring thaw and penetrate your carpet.

If there is an area in your carpeted office area such as a break room or café you have food spills to clean as well. A good steam cleaning can clean up all that weather brings your way!

Give us a call today for a free quote on your next commercial carpet cleaning job. Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222 of Burnsville, MN

Grease and Oil Attract Dirt on Commercial Carpet

Commercial carpets can get really greasy with high foot traffic from greasy or dirty areas. Restaurant kitchens, auto repair shops and manufacturing facilities track grease in and out from work areas. The grease is deposited on the carpet and then dirt gets tracked in and it builds up. Not only do you have grease and dirt to deal with your carpet will have developed a bad smell as well.

A regular steam cleaning by Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222 can solve that problem!

For a list of how often businesses should clean their carpets read more… http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/carpetnews/when-should-i-have-my-carpets-cleaned/

Russian Meteor Fragments?

It almost seems like an April Fools event of interstellar magnitude.

The meteor that landed in Russia is stirring up quite a lot of modern day prospectors looking for pieces of the shattered meteor. Whole families travel to the Chelyabinski region of Russia to hunt for the meteors fragments. A local homeowner at the crash site found three 1cm space stones.

The internet is running wild selling so-called Chebarkul meteorite fragments.

If you’d rather stay more down-to-earth you can call Commercial Steam Team to clean all the microscopic meteor fragments out of your carpet!

Commercial Steam Team – Your Minnesota Carpet Cleaners

We’re a family owned and family operated business here in the Twin Cities, MN

Our team is dedicated to provide you with superior service and high-quality work at an affordable price. We offer carpet cleaning for residential and commercial businesses throughout the Twin Cities Metro area of Minnesota.

We service all of Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, most of Dakota, Anoka, and Washington Counties, and significant portions of Scott and Carver Counties. (We also do larger projects outside these areas.)

Call us today for a free quote on your carpet cleaning 952-224-7222 or learn more about us at http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/

Couch and Sofa Cleaning Minneapolis

Just as your carpet collects dust and odors, so does your furniture. The most common piece of furniture in your home that needs cleaning is your upholstered couch. Just think of how many people sit on your couch and how much use it gets. Most sofas get a funky smell from things collecting on it like dust, oils, dead skin cells, hair, and food particles.

You can fix that with our sofa and chair steam clean. Steam cleaned upholstery can smell clean and fresh again.

Give us a call today and ask us about upholstery cleaning for your furniture. Commercial Steam Clean 952-224-7222

Energy Rebates – Commercial and Residential

It’s important to take advantage of rebates when they are available for your business or home. For a current list of rebates that Excel Energy is offering go to http://www.xcelenergy.com/xe-en/Save_Money_&_Energy/Find_a_Rebate

For a list of rebates for efficient natural gas equipment from Centerpoint Minnegasco visit http://www.centerpointenergy.com/assets/promo/minnesotarebates/MN/

From the guys at Commercial Steam Team

Twin Cities Post Strong Gains in Housing Prices

An article in the February 26 edition of the Star Tribune reports that in December there was a 12% increase in the housing prices in the Twin Cities. That may be good news for people who have postponed selling their home due to a soft market. Nationally home prices peaked in 2006 and in December 2012 prices in the Twin Cities were up to the average of 2003 prices.

But is the housing slump over yet? Probably not. According to the National Association of Realtors there are less homes on the market today than the last seven years leaving a big gap in the supply of available homes.

For more information on housing prices in the Twin Cities visit The Builders Association  Of The Twin Cities.  http://www.batconline.org/

Call us to help you clean your carpets before putting your house up for sale, or to help keep your new home carpets clean!

Office Chair Cleaning in Minneapolis, MN

Did you know that office chairs can get really dusty and grimy from being used for many hours each day? As people sit in chairs at their desks they shed skin cells, hair, oils and other particles like eraser fodder. This can collect and build up on upholstered furniture like office chairs and cubicle walls. This is turn can result in bacteria retention and growth, which in turn can result in illness and lost productivity.

Having your upholstered office furniture and cubicle walls cleaned periodically will make your office smell cleaner and give your office a cleaner look.

Commercial Steam Team steam cleans carpet, chairs, sofas, and fabric cubicle walls. Give us a call for a free quote 952-224-7222

Cheap Carpet Cleaners

Many carpet companies send out flyers in the mail, ValPak or newspapers advertising a very low price. Often the deal seems too good to be true… and it is. Carpet cleaners that offer coupons for a cheap price often hit you with plenty of additional charges once they are doing the cleaning. Bargain priced carpet cleaning companies don’t do a good job because they don’t care about doing a good job.

When a carpet cleaner advertises 3 rooms cleaned for $99 and in small print (max 450 sq ft) be aware that they often make their money on extra charges and up-selling. Even in a small home 450 square feet is often no more than one or two rooms. Extra charges are charged at their discretionary price… and often these prices are not written down and come as a surprise to the customer.

Here are some of the things that cheaper carpet cleaners charge extra for:

  • Stairs
  • Hallways
  • Spots and stains
  • Larger rooms
  • Carpet protectors
  • “Heavy duty” cleaning

Commercial Steam Clean builds its business on reputation and performance. When you pick up the telephone to call us you will get a real live person that cares about everyone of its customers as if they were family. Call Commercial Steam Team today at 952-224-7222 and get a free quote.

How to Pick a Carpet Cleaning Company

When you pick a carpet company to come into your home to clean your carpet you’ll need to pick a reputable company that will give you personalized service and have good work ethics. When you are looking for a carpet cleaning company always ask for references and check out their website.

You are letting someone in your home or business so it is important to check and see what type of employees a company hires by checking them out.

At Commercial Steam Team we are family owned and operated. Our employees have been hand selected based on their personalities and work ethic. See a short video on how we treat our employees as family. 

Super Bowl 47 Info

On February 3, 2013 the NFL will host the 47th Super Bowl at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Coming up are the Divisional Rounds on January 12-13th. The AFC & NFC conference championships take place January 20th. Here are some links to help you plan your Super Bowl schedule:

http://www.nfl.com/news – Official NFL website

http://www.nfl.com/standings – NFL Standings

http://www.nfl.com/teams – NFL Teams

Beer Spilled on Your Carpet?

Now that we’re coming down to the football playoffs it’s inevitable that someone will spill beer on the carpet.  Whenever there is a touchdown the audience can get so excited that can send beer flying across the room. To combat the smell of beer in your carpet, sop up the beer as soon as possible with plain white paper towels. Don’t use printed paper towels as the dye can come off leaving a colored stain.

If it is a larger beer spill you may want to soak up as much of the beer as possible then mix some warm water with clear liquid dish detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Apply mixture to carpet with a sponge a little at a time and blot the spill with a clean absorbent towel each time you apply the solution.

Call Commercial Steam Team and schedule an appointment to have your carpets cleaned. Give us a call today at 952-224-7222

All Canada Show Minneapolis – Discount Tickets

If you’ve ever dreamed of going to Canada and needed resources for lodging, outfitters, hunting and resorts the Canada show is a great resource for everything Canada.

The All Canada show runs February 15-17th, 2013 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55430.

For discount tickets visit http://www.allcanadashow.com/html/minneapolis/

How to Get Pine Needles Out of Carpet

The Holiday season may be behind us but if you had a real Christmas tree this year you may still find pine needles in your carpet. Pine needles tend to get stuck in carpet and don’t want to come out. Vacuuming pine needles does not always work but some of our customers say that a shop vac can be more powerful than your regular vac. Steam cleaning can be even better as it can soften and loosen the needles, allowing them to come loose more easily.

If you have an area that has multiple needles you can wrap a piece of duct tape around your hand and use it like a lint roller. Press down hard on the tape over the needles and it should pick them up. On last resort get down on your hands and knees and pick up any remaining needles with your fingers.

Happy New Year!

Commercial Steam Team wishes you a fantastic 2013!

Be safe tonight and enjoy welcoming in the new year!

Merry Christmas

Commercial Steam Team wishes you a merry, happy and safe Christmas!

Winter Solstice Today!

Today is the winter solstice: the shortest day of the year. In Minneapolis, that means there are 8 hours, 46 minutes, and 9 seconds between sunrise and sunset.

Just think, from now on it only gets better as the daylight get longer every day!

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

Top 5 Germ Places

Microbiologists have identified the top 5 places in the home that have the highest number of germs.
• Dish sponges
• Kitchen Drains
• Bathroom Toilets
• Kitchen Trash Cans
• Air exhaust from a running vacuum cleaner

To prevent germs from being blown back into the air while vacuuming make sure your vacuum cleaner is working efficiently, change the bag often and schedule regular cleanings.

Give us a call if we can help with your carpet – Commercial Steam Clean 952-224-7222

Happy Hanukkah

Commercial Steam Team wishes you a happy and safe Hanukkah! For those that don’t know, Hanukkah is celebrated this year from today through the 16th.

Soil in Your Carpet?

Did you know that soil and dirt can build up underneath your carpet and padding? Most people replacing carpet find layers of dirt under their old carpet and padding. If dirt and detritus is allowed to accumulate on carpet it is ground in by simple foot traffic, and the dirt and dry organic material leaches down past the carpet fibers and into the padding below.

To prevent dirt infiltrations in your carpet have people remove their shoes, vacuum your carpet frequently and get your carpet steam cleaned at least once a year.

Please give us a call if we can schedule a thorough cleaning for you 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!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Commercial Steam Team would like to extend our wishes for a warm, happy, and comforting Thanksgiving for everyone.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday, and keep us in mind if you need any pre-holiday or post-holiday cleanup!

Pet Odor Indoors

Now that the colder weather is upon us were spending more time indoors and keeping the windows closed which can make your home smell pretty stuffy. If you have an indoor pet they can shed dander, hair and oils which can accumulate in your carpet and cause odor.

Because you live in this environment every day, you probably don’t smell anything unusual, but you can count on having your visitors smell it.

To prevent the buildup of smells and odors in your carpet schedule regular steam cleanings to leave your carpet fresh and clean.

Call Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222

Carpet Trivia – Commercial Carpet Materials

How much do you know about carpet?

Besides wool and natural fiber carpet there are 3 main materials that commercial carpet is made from. Can you name them?

The 3 types of man-made carpet are:

  • Nylon
  • PET Polyester
  • Polypropylene

Read more about carpet cleaning http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/

Fall Leaves and Boot Trays

Many people think that winter and spring are the seasons that can result in the most damage to your carpet. Autumn completely falls under the radar, yet fall can set the stage for mold and mildew growth throughout the winter.

Dry fallen leaves are easily crushed by shoes and the resulting small debris and dust then get tracked indoors where they can make their home in your carpet.

If autumn leaves and decomposing material along with dirt and dust have gotten tracked into your carpet you may be providing fuel for mold and fungus growth. Your shoes can track organic material onto your carpet along with mold and setup a perfect breeding ground to feast on. To prevent material from being tracked in, remove shoes before walking on the carpet and install runners or mats at the doorway entrance to collect dirt and debris.

Boot trays are a great way to store dirty shoes to avoid getting debris and water on carpet. Boot trays come in many colors styles and prices ranging from $8 for plastic trays to $68 designer steel boot trays.

Call us today at 952-224-7222 so we can help you have a mold-free winter!

Minnesota Vikings Football – Weeks 8,9 & 10

If you are a Minnesota Vikings fan there are some exciting games coming up.

Week 8: Thursday, October 25th, 2012 – The Vikings play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a home game at The Mall of America Field.

Week 9: Sunday, November 4th, 2012 – The Vikings play against The Seattle Seahawks during an away game at CenturyLink Field.

Week 10: Sunday, November 11th, 2012 – The Vikings play against The Detroit Lions during a home game at The Mall of America Field.

Grab your purple jersey, turn on the flat screen and pass the buffalo wings!

Here is the Vikings Football schedule for the rest of the season: http://www.vikings.com/schedule/season-schedule.html

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?

Home Cleaning Tip – How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

As you cook foods grease is deposited into the air and collects on kitchen cabinets and can build up over time. The cabinets directly above the stove will be the worst as grease rises up and collects along the tops of the cabinets.

You can easily clean grease by using Murphy’s oil soap natural cleaner on wood cabinets.

Read step by step directions at ResourcefulRemodeler.com

If you have any food stains on carpet we can help. Give us a call at 952-224-7222

Cleaning Up Carpet After Kids and Pets

If you have a pet or kids you can expect accidental stains on your carpets every so often. There are many homemade remedies for pet stain removal but they don’t get down into the carpet or are ineffective in other ways, and that can leave a source for bacteria, dust mites, and other things to feed on and grow.

Isn’t it good to know your carpet can be cleaned with a hot water extraction cleaning from Commercial Steam Team!

Learn more about cleaning up after pets.

Please give us a call if you have a carpet that needs special attention 952-224-7222 Commercial Steam Team – Your Carpet Cleaning Experts in Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota!

Meet the Team at Commercial Steam Team

We provide the best service possible by offering you thoroughly trained staff, high quality equipment, superior service and a nice clean carpet!

Meet our team of skilled professionals and see how we can improve the look of your carpet. Our company has such pride in the job that they follow up with a phone call after the job to make sure that you are satisfied.

Visit our team page at http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/ and give us a call if we can be of service 952-224-7222

How Often Should You Get a Business Carpet Cleaned?

Well that depends on what type of commercial business you have and how much dirty foot traffic there is. Commercial buildings with paved parking lots tend to be cleaner than a building at the end of a dirt road with an unpaved parking lot.

For a list of business carpet cleaning schedules based on business type visit http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/carpetnews/when-should-i-have-my-carpets-cleaned/

Traveling Pet Lovers – Bring Fido Review

We’d like to share a pet travel site that has a giant database of pet friendly hotels & motels, bed & breakfasts and vacation rentals. If you are a traveling pet owner then Bring Fido is the info site for you! You can browse pet friendly destinations worldwide and find the best pet friendly places to stay, eat, play, walk and even get a groomer or other resources.

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10% Off Carpet Cleaning

For our Facebook customers only – now for a limited time get 10% OFF* your carpet cleaning job with the award-winning team at Commercial Steam Team! Call us at 952-224-7222 to find out how!

*Offer expires September 4, 2012. Offer applies to carpets within our service area and must meet conditions as described when you call. Carpet cleaning must be scheduled by September 4, 2012 for a cleaning to occur no later than September 30, 2012. Limit one per customer or business. Other conditions may apply. Offer subject to change without notice.

Pet Show Minneapolis MN – March 2013

The largest Pet Expo is coming to Minnesota!
The Twin Cities Pet Expo will be held March 23-24th, 2013 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. There will be 300+ vendors, world class entertainment, demos and contests to educate and entertain you.  For more info visit http://www.twincitiespetexpo.com/
Have a fun day watching dogs and other animals compete, perform and show off!

Frisbee Golf History and Resources

We love disc golf at Commercial Steam Team so we’d love to share some disc golf facts with you.

Did you know that the Disc Golf Association was established in 1975 by Ed Headrick the guy that invented the Frisbee? The first disc golf park was opened in 1974 in Oak Grove Park, in Los Angeles, California.

There is a fascinating profile on the guy who invented disc golf and it’s history at http://discgolf.com/disc-golf-history/

Here is a blog post about our love of disc golf http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/carpetnews/2012/06/cst-loves-disc-golf/

Here are some disc golf resources:

How to play Disc Golf http://discgolf.com/how-to-play-disc-golf/

Disc Golf Association http://discgolf.com

Professional Disc Golf Association www.pdga.com/

Have a great day from Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222

 

Hot Links for Football Season

August 5th started off the football pregame season with Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints at Fawcett Stadium. With football season quickly approaching you’ll find these links to the NFL’s preseason and season game schedule handy.

NFL Preseason Schedule http://www.nfl.com/schedules/2012/PRE0 August 5th

NFL Regular Season http://www.nfl.com/schedules/2012/REG1 September 5th

 Sunday Night Football http://www.nfl.com/schedules/2012/SNF September 5th

Monday Night Football http://www.nfl.com/schedules/2012/MNF September 10th

Thursday Night Football http://www.nfl.com/schedules/2012/TNF September 13th

Keep our phone number handy in case you have any football party mishaps on your carpet!  – 952-224-7222

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

Free House Repair Calculators

Just stumbled across some free calculators that help you estimate the amount of materials you’ll need for remodeling projects. Some the online calculators include carpet, ceramic tile, drywall, grass seed, insulation and paint material calculators.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=Calculators&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&cm_sp=project_guides-_-left_nav-_-calculators

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

Free July Weekly Workshops at Home Depot

Home Depot features weekly workshops on home improvement. Learn how to do home improvement projects from the pros through their workshops and live demonstrations. At the Burnsville Home Depot, for instance, this July’s workshops include closet and storage systems, interior paint and installing laminate flooring. Most Home Depot locations hold workshops on Saturdays and each store is different so go online and set the location of your closest Home Depot then look at the upcoming schedule of free classes.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=HT_WS_WeeklyWorkshops

How Long Does Carpet Last?

Carpet being sold on the market today comes in varying quality and different lifetime ratings of between 5 to 15 years.  A nylon fiber carpet will most likely have a 5-10 year warranty whereas polyester may be rated for only 5- 7 years and BCF Olefin fiber has a mere 5 year warranty.

Of course these carpet life numbers are conservative ranges. How you use and maintain your carpet can increase or decrease your carpet’s life.

Having people remove their shoes before entering your home, frequent vacuuming and an annual steam cleaning will make carpet last a lot longer than the numbers mentioned above.

Is it time for your cleaning? Give Russ a call at 952-224-7222

How to Make a New Carpet Last

You spent a lot of money on your new carpet so you’d like to protect your investment. There are two things that you can do to extend the life of your carpet. First, have a strict policy of removing shoes at the entry of your home to prevent dirt from coming indoors on the bottom of shoes. If that’s not likely to work, then at least try to make it apply on or just after rainy days.
The other thing that will make your carpet last longer is regular vacuuming. Carpet manufacturers recommend carpets get professionally cleaned every 12 – 18 months depending on foot traffic and usage.
If you don’t wear your shoes in the house and if you do vacuum regularly and have your carpet cleaned annually your carpets will stay cleaner and last a lot longer.

Do your carpets or upholstery need of a cleaning? Give us a call at 952-224-7222

CST Loves Disc Golf

Saying they are passionate about disc golf just can’t describe the love that Ryan and Russ have for their favorite sport. Ryan and Russ love to compete against each other and hold bragging rights until the next face off!

Disk golf is better exercise than regular golf – the course is not flat like a golf course you have to climb and hike between holes. Each disk course is different in terrain, scenery and skill level.

Here are some of the favorite Disk Golf Courses in Three Rivers Park District:

Bryant Lake Regional Park – 18 hole course has short and long tee boxes, scenic lake views and infamous hole #17 where golfers throw their disk off a cliff to reach the basket.

Elm Creek Park Reserve – 18 hole course that follows the sledding hill and terrain portion of the park. The course features 2 par 4s, multiple signature holes and other champion caliber holes.

Hyland Lake Park Reserve – 18 hole disk tournament course at Hyland ski area has one of the best views in the twin cities. Climb up steep elevations and descend for a fun and challenging course.

For more info visit The Three Rivers Parks website http://www.threeriversparks.org/parks.aspx

Grease on Restaurant Carpet

Over time grease can build up on commercial carpets and cause an unpleasant odor that your customers will notice, even if you do not. Even if you are careful to only place carpet in specific areas your staff will unknowingly track grease from the kitchen.

Food and grease buildup under tables is also how grease builds up in carpets and it happens frequently in restaurants that regularly have teenagers and guests under 12 years old.

Having the carpet in your restaurant steam cleaned to remove stains and odor will make a huge difference in the air quality of your restaurant.
Remember, Commercial Steam Team is here for you. Call us today at 952-224-7222 and see how we can help improve the positive impact of your carpet on your overall image!

Clean Vomit from Carpet

Whether you are cleaning up vomit from carpet at home or office you have 2 types of mess to remove – sight and smell. Cleaning up vomit requires both an odor remover and a stain remover. The key is to act fast and get it cleaned up as quickly as possible because you don’t want it soaking into your carpet. Here are a few tips to help you get both.

This may sound gross but remove as much of the solid materials as possible using a dustpan or piece of thick cardboard. Get old rags or absorbent paper towels and blot up any liquid or moisture. Use a second rag over the spot and step over the cloth to absorb any more moisture.

Put down baking soda, corn starch or commercial type moisture and smell absorbent powder. Wait 15 minutes and vacuum up the powder completely. To treat the odor and stain you’ll need to use an enzyme cleaner that will break down the protein in the vomit. Enzyme cleaners are available at pet stores and in supermarkets. If you don’t have any cleaners on hand you can mix water, vinegar and soap as a temporary cleaner. Make sure you blot up all the cleaner and liquid with a clean rag, water will make the bacteria grow if you don’t remove all the moisture.

It is very important that you get all the vomit out of your carpet so there is no odor or stain, and top then remove all remaining residue so that you don’t end up with a re-occurring stain. We can help with that! Just give us a call at Commercial Steam Team and we’ll help remove the remainder 952-244-7222

Have You Seen Our New Website?

If you have not been to our website lately come meet our team and learn more about Commercial Steam Team. We’ve added new sections on how to care for your carpet and our new search feature lets you search for information more easily. For example If you search for “pet urine” you will find a article on how to clean up after pets. Click on the title to expand the story and you can read all the tips and information we have on cleaning up pet urine on your carpet and other pet accidents.

Check out our website at http://www.commercialsteamteam.com/

Sagging Outside Door?

Hardware that needs maintenance can cause a door to sag. Depending on how frequently your front or back door gets used your door hardware gets open, shut, and slammed. Inspect your exterior door hinges to make sure they operate properly. Quite frequently people find that the door hardware is loose, a screw is missing or the hinge is not properly aligned. If you have a squeaky door your door may need lubrication.

Get a screw driver and tighten any loose bolts and screws and lubricate hinges with oil. Make sure to wipe the excess oil up quickly so that it won’t drip and make a mess that can be tracked throughout your house.

Cleaning Your Computer Screen

Computers are delicate machines but they sure do get dirty.

To clean your computer screen, first turn off your computer and monitor.

Dampen a clean, soft, lint-free cloth with plain water and wring it out.

Wipe the screen with the cloth. Do not spray Windex or other sprays on the screen of your monitor.

After you clean the screen wipe down the outside of the monitor frame and then the rest of the monitor.

Cautions:

  • Be careful not to get water into the grooves of the monitor cabinet.
  • Never clean a monitor with alcohol, ammonia, finger nail polish remover, or other types of cleaners as they can damage the plastic.
  • NEVER use a spray dust remover to clean a monitor, especially CRT monitors which have stored electrical charges. These canned sprays are flammable and can ignite.

Cleaning Ceiling Fans

One of the hardest to reach places is your ceiling fan. If you are tall enough to use a chair and a dust attachment on the vacuum cleaner it is the easiest way to remove dust and not spread it around.

If you cannot reach the blades you may have to invest in a long handled dust mop. When using a dust mop you’ll find it is less of a mess if you spread an old sheet or piece of large plastic under the area you are working to catch all the big gobs of dust that will fall from the fan blades.

Recommended cleaning is at least once a year in early spring before you start to use the fan.

Reaching Cobwebs

Spiders spin webs that collect dust and make a room look messy. You can go get yourself a fancy cobweb-removing telescope extension duster or you can make one at home that gets you into the high places to collect cobwebs.  Keeping your home free of cobweb buildup will make it cleaner and healthier to live in.  Whether you have straight walls or decorative ceilings they need cleaning at least every six months.

If you have shorter ceilings you can make a cob web cleaner by taping a thick rag over top of a broom.

For taller ceilings you can buy a cobweb duster or you can make your own rod by connect 2-3 pieces of PVC tubing and 1-2 connector tubes for the middle. You’ll have to measure your tallest ceiling and break that down into manageable pieces for storage when not using it. Duct tape a large rag on the end of the rod and change the rag often.

The cobweb cleaners sold in stores and online are usually made from poly fiber material similar to a plastic broom. Most manufactured cobweb dusters have round 8 inch heads.

Keep the cobwebs at bay by dusting as soon as you see more spider webs appear.

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

Types of Carpet

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Spring is here and now is the time to start planning for that new look. Selecting the right type of carpet for your lifestyle can be easy if you know a few simple facts about the types of carpet available. There are 7 main types of carpet to choose from.

  • Textured Carpet – cut pile and suitable for every room of the house.
  • Plushes – smooth, soft and thick more elegant for formal settings.
  • Friezes  – tightly twisted loose yarns for casual settings, does not show footprints.
  • Berbers – tight loop carpet with extra durability, does not show footprints or vacuum marks.
  • Loops – tight loop carpet perfect for high traffic areas as it is durable.
  • Wool – natural fiber carpet, high quality, soft and durable, naturally stain resistant.
  • Indoor/outdoor – mildew and fade resistant good for porches, pool, workshops and basements.

Most carpets are made from synthetic fibers of nylon, olefin, acrylic or polyester. Natural fiber carpets are made from wool, cotton or bamboo. Each fiber has different points that you should know when it comes to durability and absorbency of liquids and oils. Here are a few factors to weigh when making your decision:

  • Olefin & polyester fiber carpet will retain soil and stains if they are not treated promptly.
  • Sunlight may fade some types of carpet and cause it to deteriorate if not treated to resist ultraviolet rays.
  • Wool carpet will mildew if damp or soiled.
  • Synthetic carpets have different flammability ratings depending on what they are treated with.

When choosing carpet talk with your carpet store professional about the types of fibers in carpet and its strengths and weaknesses. If you have kids and pets you may also want to inquire about protective treatments.

If you have any questions about carpet cleaning please give us a call 952-224-7222

Protect Your Hardwood Floors

If you protect your hardwood floors from dirt, oils and water they will last longer. If you have hardwood floors you should use floor mats at each of your entry doors to collect dirt and debris from shoes. Tiny particles of dirt can scratch wood flooring and damage the finish. Place mats near any work areas such as the kitchen sink where water can splash on the floor. Floor mats without backing can cause slips but be careful when choosing mats: remember that rubber or plastic type mats can damage your floor, so it’s important to buy rugs especially made for hardwood floors.

The three most common things that leave big scratches in hardwood flooring are moving big pieces of furniture, women’s high heels, and sand and gravel beneath entry mats. Be careful when moving heavy objects across your floor to avoid scratches. By removing shoes before you enter an area with wood flooring you avoid dents and scratches made from wearing heels indoors. Finally, shake out your entry mats frequently and clean the floor beneath carefully.

To maintain your hardwood floor…

  • Sweep your floor regularly to remove dirt and dust.
  • Use a vacuum without the beater bar to get into cracks and between thresholds.
  • Clean up spills with a damp towel or sponge, minimize water spills and clean up water immediately.
  • If your floor has a urethane finish don’t use wax on it.
  • Don’t use a wet mop or use excessive water on your hardwood floor.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your hardwood floor.

Indoor Waterparks – Fun and Swimming During Winter and Spring

It’s still a little cold outside but you can still enjoy a little swimming in Minnesota’s water parks. If you have been cooped up all winter and have cabin fever this is a great way to spend the day. Most of the indoor water parks are at hotels and resorts and require a day pass. This is a great activity for little kids as most water parks have special kiddie pools with fountains and slides. Other water parks are designed for older kids and adults and have long tube slides, floating inner tube rides, and whirl pools.

Some of the local Twin Cities water parks include:

Tropics Indoor Waterpark and Playground – St. Paul – adult $8, Youth (1-17 yrs) $7, family $28

The Grove Aquatics Waterpark – Inver Grove Heights – single $7.50, 4 person family $19.50

Safari Island Waterpark – Waconia – adult $8.75, Youth $7.75

Water Park of America – Bloomington – Prices start at $15 each

The Depot Waterpark – Minneapolis – Prices start at $20 each

Static Cling, Static Electricity and Carpet

The air is very dry and cold in winter and makes the perfect environment for static electricity to strike. You can walk across your carpet and reach for something made of metal and get a static shock.  If you come inside from the cold and remove your hat and your hair stands up straight it’s due to a positive charge of static electricity. Static electricity is the buildup of electric charge on the surface of objects like your shoes or your hair.

One of the most common tips to remove static electricity is to increase the moisture in the air with a humidifier. Here are some other great tips:

  • Touch something with a quick, solid grasp. Larger points of contact allow the charge to transfer with less current at any single point, reducing the chance for a painful shock.
  • Synthetic fibers such as polyester carry more static so try switching to natural fiber clothing such as cotton.
  • Shoes usually collect the most static so try walking barefoot on your carpet or wear leather soled shoes.
  • Avoid sliding your feet; the friction between your feet and the floor will build up a static charge in your body.
  • Try touching metal objects with the back of your hand or fore arm first to discharge the static. This is not as painful as touching things with your fingertips, which is more painful because your fingers contain more nerves.
  • Using hand lotion will put more moisture on your skin and may help cut down on static zaps when you touch objects.
  • If you get zapped every time you get out of your car try rubbing a fabric softener sheet on your car seat.
  • When petting your pet, first try a firm solid touch on its back to discharge the static without a shock.

Have some static electricity fun by rubbing a balloon in your hair for 15 seconds and sticking it on a wall. Try brushing your hair in the dark and you can watch sparks fly from your hair. Taking your wool sweater off in the dark can also provide an interesting spark light show.

If we can help you with your carpet in anyway please call Commercial Steam Team 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

Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

Got cabin fever? Well get out of the cold and attend the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show from February 29th – March 4th, 2012 inside at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Home Show will run for 5 days and feature celebrities Chip Wade of Curb Appeal on HGTV, Mark Brunetz of Clean House on Style Network , Yigit Pura Dessert Chef on BRAVO network and Sasha Andreev of Curb Appeal and Decorating Cents on HGTV.

During the Home and Garden show you can experience the latest’s trends in home, gardening, remodeling and home décor. Order tickets online and save $2 a ticket. Visit: www.homeandgardenshow.com

Watch Your Footing

It may seem silly to take precautions before going out the door on your way to the car but it can be more important to be careful at this time than at almost any other.

When you go outside your shoes or boots have been indoors and are warmer than the temperature outside. This means that the warmer material of your footwear can melt a very thin layer of ice or snow when you walk. This layer of water between the snow or ice and your shoes then acts like grease, allowing your feet to slide over the snow or ice and making each step into a slick balancing act.

Make sure when going outside you use handrails on walkways and take it slow going over ice patches. When choosing footwear for outside use boots or shoes with good tread. Flat soled footwear surfaces do not grip and are more slippery than treads.

Even when your shoes are already cold, remember that ice melt helps break up ice around entryways, sidewalks and driveways and can sometimes be slippery as well.

Before you go outside be aware that ice and snow may be hazardous and watch your footing.

Visit our website: www.commercialsteamteam.com

Lake Home & Cabin Show

If you are really missing summer and have cabin fever you may want to head out to the Lake Home & Cabin Show February 10-12th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. If you want to decorate your home in Northwoods décor this is a great place to get ideas and pick up a few tips on lake home and cabin lifestyle. This show will feature products, services and how to seminars and demonstrations on everything about owning and having fun at the lake or cabin.

Some of the stuff you’ll find at the show include rustic and specialty furniture and furnishings, sports gear, outdoor equipment, landscaping and lakeshore maintenance and marine products.  There will also be architects, builders, remodelers, real estate and finance professionals to answer any questions you have about cabins and lake homes.

More Info: www.lakehomeandcabinshow.com

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!

Remove Animal Stains from Carpet

Protein stains from animal accidents can be very difficult to get out of your carpet unless you deal with them right away with the correct extraction method.

The first step to cleaning up animal accidents is to pick up all solids with a paper towel and then blot up any liquids from the spill. If cleaning vomit pour an inch of baking soda onto the wet spot. The baking soda will wick acidic digestive juices up and neutralize the vomit. Pick up the clumps of baking soda when done and throw them away.

For wool or natural carpets always read the manufacturer’s directions to clean a spill.  If you have a synthetic carpet you can use use an enzymatic pet urine remover product next. The enzymatic will digest animal proteins including urine, feces, blood and vomit. Because it works on all proteins it cannot be used on wool which some carpet is made from. If you have a natural carpet made of wool or cotton you need to use baking soda and vinegar to remove protein spills.

Of course, you can achieve even better results with no worries by calling Commercial Steam Team . Our powerful and safe equipment relieves you of any worries from using rental equipment and is so much more powerful than any equipment on the market.  We leave your carpet fresh, clean, and safe for pets and family. Call us today at 952-224-7222 and let us show you how easy it can be!

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.

Family Gatherings and What to Do in Winter

Family gatherings can get boring after everyone has visited for a little bit. Here are a few suggestions to keep things lively.

  • Tell everyone to bring warm clothing and plan a few outdoor activities such as sledding, ice skating, snowman building or a nice walk around the neighborhood.
  • Provide paper and scissors and have a paper snowflake making contest. Each person will need a pair of scissors so ask your friends to bring some along. Precut some paper into squares or circles and fold them for the younger ones as they seem to have the most trouble with the folding part. After everyone is done making a few snowflakes you can hang them up in the windows and vote who has the best snowflake.
  • Mingle amongst your guests and introduce them to each other mentioning a little about what they may have in common. Get the conversation started and then excuse yourself to the next person who looks bored. Continue introducing people and starting conversation until everyone is busy socializing.
  • Provide a few games in the gathering area where people can see them. Games like cards, checkers, chess and board games are old time favorites. You can also have group games like Pictionary, charades, Cranium, Buzz word, Apples to Apples and knowledge-based games.
  • Plan a few interactive games such as Wordball to get everyone involved and excited.
  • Write a list of general topics to discuss and questions to ask before the party so when things slow down you can spark a lively conversation.

You can come up with your own activities too. The key is to watch your guests and when boredom strikes start and activity and get people involved.

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.

Party Survival Plan for Carpeting

If you are planning a party and you’re worried about your new carpet, one of the best protections is to have a plan.

Let’s face it, people spill things when you serve food or beverages at a party so the best solution is to be ready if a spill happens.

Here are some ideas to plan for in you Spill Recovery Plan:

  • Prevent messier food spills by serving foods that are lighter and non staining
  • Prevent spills by using thicker plates so they do not bend
  • Provide sit down seating near food buffet to encourage people to sit down and eat
  • Place rugs and runners near high-spill areas such as tables
  • Use clear or lighter colored beverages for children
  • If you use candles make sure they are placed on a stable surface
  • Have a spray bottle of water and some rags handy in case there is a spill and tackle it quickly

By developing a plan for your party you can enjoy your party even more because it takes the worry off your mind.

Holiday Parties, sigh…Holiday Spills

Inviting family and friends to visit over the holidays can be lots of fun. It’s a great time to get together and share family memories. Holiday gatherings usually include great food and beverages and enjoyable conversation.

Unfortunately, holiday celebrations can get a bit messy when people are walking around with food. Spills happen but there are ways you can prevents those spills from becoming stains on your carpet.

Foods that leave the worst stains contain grease and food dyes so try not to serve BBQ wings or foods that have drippy red sauces. Red wine is another spill that is common during the holidays. If you have children at your celebration try to serve clear beverages instead of heavily colored fruit drinks.

Another trick to prevent spills from becoming stains is to keep a bottle of water with a little liquid soap and a few rags handy. When a spill occurs try to absorb as much liquid from the spill in a paper towel or other absorbent cloth then rinse the area with water and blot the spill to remove any liquid. Change the rags or paper towels when they get wet and keep blotting until all the liquid is absorbed.

Holidazzle Parade in Minneapolis Minnesota

The Holidazzle parade in downtown Minneapolis started November 25th and continues every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until December 18th. The parade starts at 6:30pm but you’ll want to get there early to get a good viewing spot. The parade lasts about 30 minutes so dress warm and remember to bring your camera.

For directions and parking visit the Holidazzle website.

You can also find information on the Holidazzle Facebook Page.

Dents in Carpet Under Furniture

If you’ve just moved your furniture you will notice dents in the carpet where heavy furniture legs compressed the fibers. You can fluff up the dents in carpets by using a steam iron or a steam cleaner. If you are using an iron don’t touch the carpet with the iron, simply hold the iron so the steam penetrates into your carpet. Fluff up the wet carpet with your fingers. If you place furniture back on wet carpet it may leave a stain of rust from the furniture leg. Remember to let carpet dry before placing any furniture back onto the carpet.

The best trick for removing dents in carpet is to place a small ice cube in each dent and let it melt overnight. Of course, too much moisture wicking deep into your carpet may result in ideal conditions for mold growth, so don’t do this with larger dents.

Of course, you could also simply schedule your next carpet cleaning with Commercial Steam Team by calling us at 952-224-7222 and let us take care of smoothing and cleaning your carpet at the same time!

Commercial Steam Team uses steam cleaning to clean carpets and places leg protectors under your furniture until the carpet is dry.

Kitchen Carpet Solution

Most people do not put carpeting in the kitchen because of spills. Kitchens have airborne grease and cooking smells that absorb in the carpet. Most things like spilled milk, broken eggs, grease, sauces, condiments and beverages are hard to get out of carpet and in some cases can actually destroy part of the carpet.

There are alternatives for people who still would like carpet in their kitchen.

Traditionally carpet is installed in one big piece so, when you have a stain it’s with you until you replace the carpet. A better option may be to use modular carpet tiles which are 18” to 24” square. If you get a stain in your kitchen carpet just replace a small section.  Square carpet tiles are easy to install and the edges blend in seamlessly. The smaller tiles are easier to transport in your car and to keep in storage until you need them.  Remember to buy extra tiles and store them so you have them whenever you need to replace a small section of carpet.

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.

Do you know what is living in your carpet?

Children using a notebook while their parents are watching

The causes and effects of allergies have long been known and can be a serious health threat. Allergies are a menace to the immune system, resulting in inflammation of the eyes, nose (rhinitis), lungs (asthma), and skin (eczema).  It is estimated that allergies affect some 50% of the population.  One controllable culprit in the battle with allergens is the dust mite, a microscopic insect which is found in our indoor environment. We shed skin scales, which in turn, feed the dust mites.  Rooms that are used most in the home, for example, your bedroom, are ideal breeding grounds for the dust mite.

Steam cleaning your carpet is an excellent way to kill and remove dust mites from your carpet and upholstery is to have Commercial Steam Team steam clean your home or office. Call us today at 952-224-7222 to see how we can help keep your home healthier!

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).

Carpet Cleaners And Good Choices

Everyone has seen the cartoons where the angel sits on one shoulder and the devil sits on the other fighting over the conscience of a wishy washy mind.  Carpet cleaners, like everyone else, are not immune to temptation.  I own a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area (Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding areas) of Minnesota.  My crews and I can be spotted cleaning bowling alleys and bars until 5 or 6 in the morning.  It is so tempting for carpet cleaners who are out that late cleaning to cut corners and not do a quality job.  How do I prevent my crews from taking the easy way out at 4am?

  • I start by hiring idealists.  Idealists, by my definition, are the kind of professionals who would do a great job whether anyone is looking or not.
  • Next, I make sure to pay well enough that my employees value their jobs and don’t want to risk losing them.  (employees that are paid poorly don’t want to lose their jobs but won’t go out of their way to make sure they keep them either)
  • Bonuses should be won and lost based on customer satisfaction.  The rewards and penalties should be big enough to be a big deal to the technicians.
  • I give 10% of our profits to my employees at the end of every year.  This ensures that my technicians take every client seriously for the sake of ongoing business and referrals.
  • Lastly, these professionals should know that if they cut a corner today, they will be back to correct it soon after.  They will not get out of work, instead they are creating more work and inconvenience for themselves

Temptation is a fact of life for everyone.  I don’t believe life is about avoiding temptation or shielding people from it.  I believe it is about understanding the temptations and making that temptation unappealing.  These policies have really worked well for my company and also protected my employees from making decisions that could cause us no choice but to lose a good employee.

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.

Horse Power in Carpet Cleaning

Wouldn’t it be great if carpet cleaning equipment was powered by actual horses?  This might not be the best thing for the horses, but at least you could actually see the difference in power between the different companies based on how many horses pulled up in front of your home or business.  My family owns a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area of Minnesota.  One of the difficult tasks we have is educating prospective clients as to why we are the best choice in carpet cleaning.  While our track record speaks for itself when it comes to equipment, the general public doesn’t know the difference between one cleaning unit and the next.

The honest truth is that almost every single carpet cleaner, no matter how it sounds in their advertisement, uses hot water extraction.  They might spout magic water, or low moisture, but that’s all fancy ways of saying hot water extraction.  It’s the oldest and most effective method.  The jargon is simply what the radio stations marketing team says to make the equipment seem to be something new, even when it’s not.  The process is the same from one machine to the next, but there are two areas that they differ:

The first is maintenance.  This is determined by how easy it is to maintain the equipment and how often will it break down.  This part only affects the odds that something might go wrong during or before a job, not necessarily the quality.

Secondly, and most important to the consumer, is the power source that the equipment runs on.  Portables almost all run on electricity.  The issue with electricity is that they run on circuit breakers that would trip if you draw too much power.  Next, is the Kubota style cleaning units, these are a 4 cylinder engine separate from the trucks engine.  This is far more powerful than the portable.  Finally, is the direct drive carpet cleaning unit.  Direct drive means that the carpet cleaning unit is powered by the actual engine of the vehicle that houses the equipment.  These are almost always vans with V8 engines in them.  These direct drive carpet cleaning units are the most powerful and effective units on the market because V8 engines have 8 cylinders, which create far more horse power than 4 cylinder engines.  Horse power translates directly to vacuum strength for drying time, solution pressure for rinsing, and heat for releasing tough stains and stripping away grease and oil.

I recommend always asking if your carpet cleaner uses a direct drive carpet cleaning system that runs on an 8 cylinder engine.  This is also important because companies may have several different types and you may not know which one will show up for the actual cleaning.

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.

Ryan Zakariasen of the Commercial Steam Team Joins BNI Minnesota

As a company that has always relied heavily on referrals, my family and I decided to join the Business Networkers International (BNI) Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin Chapter.  My father, brother, and I own the Commercial Steam Team carpet cleaning company.  Our reason for joining BNI was simple; Anyone who experiences our technicians, customer service, and sees their results, refers us to all of their friends.  BNI is a community where word of exceptional work spreads very fast.

I have been attending the BNI South Metro chapter in Edina Minnesota for a few months now and as the members told me when I joined, “BNI works.”  Our technicians have already cleaned for several of the BNI members and their testimonials continue to encourage even more people to use our service.

What I like most about BNI is that everyone in the group knows they are accountable for the service they provide to their fellow members and their referrals.  I feel confident that I can use and refer their services to my friends, family and colleagues.

I definitely recommend BNI to any and all small business owners that provide excellent service because in BNI, great work does not go unnoticed.

Reliability in Carpet Cleaning

I own a carpet cleaning company in Dakota County, Minnesota.  The other day, the head of public works for the city of Hopkins informed me that the last company he hired to clean the carpets stood him up.  This was a job large enough to send two vans out.  Neither van showed up.  He was surprised because he hears their commercials on the radio several times a day and they claim to be the best in the industry.  City accounts are very large and lucrative accounts.  I don’t understand how any company, no matter how large or how fast they grew, could overlook any account, let alone one as large as a city government.

The problem with standing up a client is not as simple as just losing that account.  Everyone he speaks to about carpet cleaning now will hear about his negative experience.

There needs to be checks and balances to make sure that no account gets overlooked.  Phone calls should be made at the earliest sign that crews might be late to a job, even if only by a few minutes.  Waiting and wondering if a vendor will show up on time, or at all, is not a comforting feeling.  This anxiety leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the client, even if the job does end up being completed in the end, and the carpet cleaning turns out well.

At the very least, being late or standing up a client removes any chance for referrals, though usually the account is also lost forever.  To large franchises that advertise to get their business, this may appear less important, however, to any growing business referrals and satisfaction is a matter of survival.

Gum Removal From Carpet

 

If you were to search the internet for ways to remove gum from carpet, and maybe you are, you will find countless remedies.  This is because there truly are countless ways to remove gum from carpet.  You can freeze it and smash the gum.  You can use lemons, peanut butter, and any number of chemical concoctions.  You can scrape, poke, prod, pinch, and pull.  The truth is that when removing them yourself, any number of these will work.  However some of these methods have a risk involved; Using utensils, brushes, and rags can all wear out the carpet around and under the carpet fraying the fibers.   Any method using natural or unnatural chemicals can bleed, bleach, or leave an oily residue that will attract dirt.  Pulling on gum can pull fibers out of the carpet leaving a hole or fibers that stick out higher than the rest of the pile.

The best method of course is to have a respected professional carpet cleaner with a direct drive truck mounted carpet cleaning unit remove the gum.  These professionals will use citric acid on the gum to loosen the bond of the gum or “emulsify” it.  After emulsifying, this professional will use the heat and pressure from their cleaning solution to strip away the gum and also rinse any potential residue away.  This cleaner should rinse thoroughly and use extra vacuum strokes to dry the carpet as much as possible.

In extreme cases, due to the type of carpet, volume of carpet, type of gum, or a combination of the three, the complete removal may be not feasible.

Who Starts Carpet Cleaning Companies?

To understand the carpet cleaning industry in Minnesota, it is important to understand the different types of people who start carpet cleaning companies.

  • The first is the most common type of carpet cleaning company owner.  This is an easy industry to get started in.  For as little as a few thousand dollars, anyone can buy a small portable carpet cleaning unit and start charging their friends, family, and acquaintances to clean their carpets.  These are often people who have either been laid-off or have quit their jobs, and want to be their own boss.  Despite the best of intentions, carpet cleaning is easy to get into but very hard to succeed at.  The term, “fly-by-night” is used quite often in this industry for this reason.  Sometimes the very qualities that made them want to be their own boss, are the same qualities that keep them from succeeding on their own.
  • Second is the investor.  Investors have the money to start a carpet cleaning company.  They might be a lawyer, dentist, real estate mogul, etc.  They intend on starting a company, watching it grow through mass-advertising, and then selling it off.  This can be successful for the purpose of profit, but causes very poor quality-control since they don’t intend on being around when the complaints start coming in.  It then becomes the next owner’s job to try to fix the problems caused by the original owners.
  • Third are the franchises.  Someone who invests in a company with the pure intention of having a successful business.  The franchise, however, takes their cut whenever they can, leaving the owners of the franchise the need to find profits where they can.  These tend to be heavy marketing companies that stress sales at all cost.  It is very common to see the crew chief go an entire day without touching a carpet cleaning wand because he is too busy selling to the customer, while his assistant does the cleaning.  These companies would classify as sales and marketing businesses more than carpet cleaning companies.
  • Finally, is the independent, specialized, carpet cleaning company.  This company is started by someone who has experience in the industry, found their niche, and for some reason or another decided to break out on their own doing what they believe they do best.  This can be anything from upholstery specialists to commercial carpet cleaning specialists.  As with all companies, the goal is to be profitable.  However, without the franchise’s hand in their pocket, it is possible to turn a profit without cutting costs or high pressure sales.  While not all of these companies live up to their potential however, this is the most likely business owner to find his company both profitable and respected in their field.

One thing I recommend asking when hiring a carpet cleaning company is whether or not the company shares its profits with its employees.  This says a lot about the owners of the company.  I believe it is both a smart move in motivation and what every business owner should do to be responsible in the community.

Tips for Reducing Minnesota Allergy Symptoms

Allergens are everywhere in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota. These Allergens can be nearly impossible to avoid on a daily basis.  However, you can greatly reduce the volume of allergens you breathe in within your home.  The majority of allergens that we breathe every day reside in the carpet and upholstery in our homes.

Tip 1:  Clean your furnace filter regularly.

Tip 2:  Run your furnace fan on the “on” setting instead of “auto”.

Tip 3:  Hire a professional carpet cleaning company to clean and deodorize the carpet.

Tip 4:  Have your upholstery professionally cleaned and deodorized.

Tip 5:  Have your Mattress professionally cleaned and deodorized.

Please note: You will want to have your carpets, upholstery, and mattress cleaned by a professional company using a truck mounted direct drive hot-water extraction cleaning system.  You will still come in contact with some allergens, but the less you breathe in, the lesser your symptoms will often be.

Sales Force or Carpet Cleaners?

Carpet cleaners have earned themselves a bad reputation for several reasons.  Many of the reasons, like rusted white vans, are not practiced by a large portion of the industry, but still affect this perception.  One behavior, above all others, is practiced by nearly every carpet cleaning company.  Whether you call it shotgun sales, overcoming objections, or simply upselling, the difference between a financially stable carpet cleaner and one scraping by is their ability to achieve difficult sales bonuses.  These bonuses are usually based on an average increase in the size of a customer’s bill.  This means the main focus of each carpet cleaner is getting the customer to pay more money than they originally were quoted.  This is the job of a marketing company or sales force, not the job of a carpet cleaner.

This also means that once a carpet cleaner has realized that his sale is not going well, he either tries to overcome the objections of the client, or move on to the next client as fast as possible.  Often on two man teams, the crew chief can be found acting as a salesman nearly the whole job while his assistant does all the cleaning.  This is not conducive of ensuring they provide the best service possible.

Another problem these actions pose is that these carpet cleaners are being trained in sales instead of carpet cleaning.  This valuable time would be much better spent training in the technical aspects of carpet cleaning.  Keep in mind: “service” should be the main focus of the “service” industry.  My family owns the Commercial Steam Team, a commercial heavy carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  Personally, I believe in training and rewarding carpet cleaners for cleaning carpets, not sales.  I do understand the temptation to become a sales-heavy company; everyone would like more money in their pockets.  I just think we can be a little more patient and let that growth happen through the volume increase associated with referrals and quality, instead of marketing through advertising and then marketing to them again in the home.  The more put off the public is from these bad experiences, the more difficult it is to overcome their objections.  This increases the sales pressure, which in turn, increases the negative outlook on carpet cleaners, and the cycle continues.  If we all did it the right way, the industry would have a much better reputation, there would be more consumers for our services, meaning we would all make more money.  It would not occur overnight, however, but as Obie Wan said,  “Patience, my young Pad Wan.”

Tips: Allergies and Mattresses

With fall approaching, it’s time to get serious about allergy control.  I live in Rosemount, Minnesota and I can personally testify to the fact that the Twin Cities can be an allergy knockout around here.  The pollen, dust, and dander that cause those puffy, running, painful noses and swollen eyes like to hide in the fabric of your furniture, as well as the fibers of your carpet.  Most of those that suffer from allergies know to have these cleaned in the spring and fall.  However, have you ever had your mattress cleaned by your carpet cleaner?  Every time you lay down on your mattress, it squeezes and forces air out.  This air contains dust, dander, and pollen, which cause many allergic reactions.  On top of that, you lay in contact with your mattress for 7-9 hours a night.

Having your mattress cleaned a few times a year can greatly reduce your allergies.  I recommend putting your pillow through the wash on occasion as well.  Also, turning the furnace fan from the setting “auto” to the setting “on” will encourage better air flow and utilize the furnace filter.

Equipment Maintenance is Essential to Quality Control

I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and quality of workmanship has always been my focus.  From proper hiring and employee management, to staying up to date on technology, there are many things that go into ensuring quality stays at the highest level it can be.  Quality control levels for most companies decline over time, and although there are a lot of factors involved, I believe one of these factors is overlooked by nearly all carpet cleaning companies.

The maintenance of carpet cleaning equipment is essential to keeping quality levels high.  I was speaking with our supplier who supplies most of the carpet cleaners in the area the other day; He said that we were the only company that does preventative maintenance on our vans.  I always assumed that a lot of companies slack off in this department because there are front end costs to this and a lot of tedious work involved.  To hear that we are the only company doing it shocked me!  Carpet cleaning vans are full of tubes and hoses.  If these tubes and hoses get clogged up, the strength of the vacuum drops considerably and the pressure per square inch of solution drops, causing the van has to work at higher rpms in order to try to keep up.  This drop in pressure and vacuum strength may not even seem noticeable to the technician, since it happens gradually over time, but this power is very important to the quality that a company can provide.  No business can afford to go out and buy new equipment every couple years when the power begins to drop.  Some technicians begin to try to boost their results by using more cleaning agents and altering the ph. levels of their solution.  This creates unbalance in the ph. scale and can cause rapid re-soiling.

This is why de-scaling the equipment and lubricating the machine is so important.  Checking valves and running water through the system every night is a must.  These machines are the constant in carpet cleaning.  No matter who you have operating the equipment, no one can do the best work possible if the equipment isn’t capable of producing the best results possible.  Well-maintained equipment gives the technician’s fair opportunity to do their very best work.

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.

Who Would You Like to Have Clean Your Carpets?

Commercial Steam Team

  • Career employees

  • Carpet cleaning technicians who make 10% profit sharing at the end of the year
  • Technicians who are trained to clean carpet

  • Crews who are supplied with everything they need to do a great job

  • Technicians rewarded for quality of work
  • Crews who make a living they can be proud of

Corporate Franchises

  • Short term employees (very high turnover)
  • Technicians who are treated like numbers

  • Technicians trained in marketing and sales

  • Crews who have to pay for their own cleaning agents

  • Technicians rewarded for how much they sell at each job
  • Crews who make just enough to get by


Everything in the Commercial Steam Team column of this article is the standards by which Commercial Steam Team treats our employees.  The Corporate Franchise column is a conglomeration of the different trends that they each individually make.  Not every franchise makes all of these mistakes with their employees, however each franchise is guilty of at least one of these.  Personally, I wouldn’t want to any company who makes any of these mistakes do work for me.  I would want a company that takes pride in their employees and treats them accordingly.

Property Managers Can Avoid Billing Headaches!

Businesses, especially property managers, tend to have a lot of problems setting up their billing with residential-heavy carpet cleaning companies.  Often, these companies force these property managers into yearly contracts.  Now these property managers can be stuck with these headaches for at least a year:

  • Bills being sent to the job site instead of the billing address.
  • Companies expecting to be paid on site or in advance, instead of 30 days out.
  • No understanding of budget restrictions.
  • Locations of cleanings not listed on invoices causing confusion about which locations have been cleaned or paid for.

These may not seem like big issues, but when you’re in the property management business these problems can happen over and over, even hundreds of times a year.  Even if they are minor headaches, they add up.  I own a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and surrounding suburbs.  I have found that it takes a lot of the stress away from property managers to know that they do not have to sign a contract and they can leave at any time.  After all, if we don’t make them happy then we don’t deserve their business.  Most residential companies do less than 10% of their business with other businesses.  As a commercial carpet cleaning company doing over 85% of our business with other businesses, we have learned the importance making billing simple and easy to reduce the stress and headaches that property managers face on a daily basis.

Meet the Team: Natalie Lande

My name is Ryan Zakariasen and my family owns the Commercial Steam Team carpet cleaners in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.  I feel the best way to get to know our company is to get to know our “team”.

Natalie Lande is our office administrator.  She helps to ensure that the daily operations of our company run smoothly and our customers are pleased.  Natalie lives in Bloomington, Minnesota, by way of Northfield, Minnesota.  During her free time she enjoys running, sports, watching movies, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

I thought I would ask Natalie a few questions to help you get to know her better:

Q.  How did you get into the carpet cleaning industry?

A.  I had never worked in the carpet cleaning industry before, so it was all very new for me.  Luckily for me, I learned from the best!

Q.  What do you like about the carpet cleaning industry?

A.  I like the carpet cleaning industry because it is a service that everyone needs and uses, so it challenges us to have the highest quality and professionalism to be the best in a large and growing industry.

Q.  Why office administrator?

A.  I love being an office administrator because I get to witness all of the positive feedback we receive.  My coworkers and I are all working towards the same goal of the best service we can provide.

Q.  What was most important to you when starting with Commercial Steam Team?

A.  It was most important to me to uphold the great values that this company is known for.  Providing great customer service is always my top priority.

Q.  What is it like working with a family?

A.  Working with a family is one of the biggest privileges an employee can have.  The Zakariasens provide a pleasant and friendly working environment which makes every day more enjoyable.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to introduce you to Natalie.  As one of her employers and co-workers, I can testify that she has been an amazing addition to our team.  She excels at keeping us organized, on track, and gives us the ability to do our jobs to the best of our abilities.  Her cheery personality also brightens up the office in a way that only she can.  I know I speak for everyone when I say that Natalie has been an important and integral addition to our Commercial Steam Team family!

Boycott Silent Letters!!!

As one of the owners of a family owned commercial carpet cleaning company South of the River in Minnesota, I write a lot of blogs based on the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry, especially about what is of particular concern to the Twin Cities Area.  Today I have stepped outside that direction to cover a subject that is of concern not only to the carpet cleaning industry, but a concern to every English speaking person on the entire planet.  Silent Letters!  Seriously, what is up with that?!  I don’t know who first started the trend of needless letters that make no sound, but I am even more appalled with those that encouraged and helped spread such an awful affront to the quality of life in English speaking countries.  Honestly, have you ever watched a six year old try to look up the word gnome in a dictionary?  His bright red frustrated face glowing over pages as he scrambles frantically through the wrong half of the book.  Perhaps these imaginary letters made some kind of sense back in the days when we believed in wizards and dragons, but in the 21st century, I think it is time to drop the act and admit that there is no point to adding letters that don’t adhere to the laws of phonetics (really, the word phonetics doesn’t start phonetically!), especially words that start with silent letters.  There is only one word that should start with a silent letter and that is the word pseudonym. This is only because the word is used when a fake name disguises a real name.  So it is fitting that the first letter disguises its real pronunciation.  That is the one and only exception to the rule.  No other words should begin with a useless letter.  “Knock knock…”,  “Who’s there?”  “The letter K”,  “Really I thought you were N.”  As I wrestle to write out these gnarly words, my knuckles wrinkle and my knees knock because I don’t know why these phonetics are wrong. And what is up with the word knight?  Six letters and half of them don’t have any purpose.  That is a waste of good ink if you ask me.  How many hours of education are lost while teachers and aids plead with children to understand the concept of silent letters?  How much quality family time disappears while parents try to make sense of this senseless issue.  Perhaps children wouldn’t hate homework so much if they didn’t feel backhanded every time they tried to pronounce a word that starts with the second letter.  Life isn’t fair, that’s true, this is because we have no control over so many things.  We do, however, have control over this.  We can make a difference.  We must take action.  I call every frustrated English speaking human being to take a stand and boycott silent letters!  From now on we avoid those words at all costs and when we can’t, we start to pronounce those camouflaged letters and call them out of hiding before we spiral into a collective psychosis. . . Doh!

The Importance of Responsible Driving in a Service Vehicle

I own a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and my crews are always on the road.  Usually, they are traveling from our shop in Burnsville, Minnesota to a carpet cleaning job at a Plymouth, Minnesota home to an upholstery cleaning job in Northfield, Minnesota then up to Roseville, Minnesota to clean the carpets at a restaurant and then back to Burnsville, Minnesota to pack it in for the night.  With all this driving it is so very important to drive carefully for several reasons:

  • A van with a logo and phone number is a moving billboard.  Every move made on the road can affect public opinion of our company.
  • Repairs after an accident can be very expensive.
  • You can’t clean carpet while the van is being repaired.  This lost time is lost money.
  • Employees can get injured in an accident.  This is bad on both a personal and business level.  These employees have families that love and depend on them.  Also they can’t clean carpets if they are too hurt to do so.
  • Injuries to others out on the road can be tragic and costly.  Although insurance should cover it, rates are sure to go up.  These people also have families and loved ones that can suffer for their injuries as well.

I’m sure there are many more reasons to be safe out on the road, but these stand out to me.  Nothing is more tragic than the loss of life or quality of life due to a senseless accident.  I am so proud that my employees have never had an accident, both for the safety of my employees and for the safety of everyone else in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding areas of Minnesota.  Keep up the great work guys.

Family Owned Carpet Cleaning Companies Vs. Corporate Franchises

It is true that corporate franchises have deeper pockets than independent family owned businesses.  This is definitely true in the professional carpet cleaning industry.  Other than that, what are the differences between corporate franchises and family owned businesses?

  • Franchises tend to pay closest attention to the “bottom line”.
    • Ideals, morals, employees, and customers usually take a back seat to the stock holders.
    • Since those that profit from the business are not usually present to see these employees and customers, it is easy for them to become disconnected from the people that their decisions effect.
    • Franchise owners have to pay their corporate parent company a percentage of their profits.
      • I am familiar with companies being charged 15% of their gross sales.
    • Franchise owners are usually forced to buy their equipment and cleaning agents directly through their parent company regardless of whether it is the best or most cost effective product.
    • Deep pockets often lead to expensive advertising campaigns that drive in business.  Sometimes so fast, that it reduces months of training to only a few days.
  • Independent family-owned businesses are run by the morals and values of their family.  Not all families are the same, but a strong morally-just family will most likely build a strong and morally-just company.
    • Without a parent company to answer to, family owned carpet cleaning companies are allowed to choose the best product on the market.
    • Without a 15% franchise fee to pay, family owned businesses can pay their employees more and buy more powerful equipment, resulting in better outcomes.
    • Because there is no board of directors to appease, family owned carpet cleaning companies can treat their employees the way great employees should be treated.  I recommend profit sharing as a means of doing this.
    • Without the money to hire large advertising firms to drive in business, family owned businesses rely on repeat business and referrals through hard work, expertise, and customer service.

Although it is true that not all family owned independent businesses follow these guidelines, it is true that corporate franchises have no choice but to adhere to the guidelines that their parent companies have set for them.  Franchises are more easily accessible due to their advertising, but once discovered, family owned businesses have the potential to provide far superior service than corporate franchises.

You Know The Price, But What Are You Paying For?

In the professional carpet cleaning industry, the term, “professional” can be a loose term.  This can be for many reasons, but the one I plan to focus on in this article are those with good intentions and training, but weak equipment.  What do I mean by weak equipment?

  • Equipment can be purchased for as little as a few thousand dollars or more than 50,000 dollars.  Why would anyone pay 1,000 times as much for equipment unless it is substantially more powerful?
  • Some portable carpet cleaning equipment is small enough to be transported in the trunk of a car and run off of low wattage circuit breakers.  In order to get the most power possible for carpet cleaning equipment, it is powered directly off of the van’s 8 cylinder engine.  To draw even a fraction of the power of an 8 cylinder engine from a circuit in a home or business, the circuit would pop in a matter of seconds.  The more powerful the carpet cleaning equipment, the more thorough the cleaning will be.

We all worry about price when we schedule service appointments, but we also have to consider that a very low price can mean very cheap and weak equipment.  Even the best of intentions can’t replace the power that is necessary to do the job right.

What is a Residential Carpet Cleaning Company?

What is a residential carpet cleaning company? What are the differences between a residential carpet cleaning company and a commercial carpet cleaning company?  What are some of the problems that come up when hiring a residential carpet cleaning company?

  • Carpet cleaning started in the residential districts and residential carpet cleaning continues to be the lion’s share of the carpet cleaning industry.  The reason for this is that the profit margin on each job is much higher in residential carpet cleaning.
  • By training salespeople to upsell in the home, split second decisions made under pressure can bring a residential company large dollars. Residential carpet cleaning companies usually pay very little for carpet cleaning; bonuses are instead given for add on sales.  Residential carpet cleaners can make a very good living if they are trained heavily in sales.  Budgets are already in place when businesses get cleaned, so training in sales are pointless to commercial carpet cleaning companies.
  • Customers can be placed into large vague time frames to minimize driving time and waiting between jobs.  By placing all of the jobs from Lakeville, Apple Valley, Eagan, and Rosemount Minnesota together, residential carpet cleaning companies can avoid gas costs.

Although this is inconvenient to the customer, it has been done this way for so long that most people accept it and take time off of work to get their carpets cleaned.  Commercial businesses need to be cleaned when they need to be cleaned so these time frames are irrelevant in commercial carpet cleaning.

  • Although commercial strength carpet cleaning equipment is better for cleaning residential carpets, it is not as necessary as this equipment is in restaurants, and trucking companies, etc.  Therefore this expensive equipment is usually not considered as cost effective for residential carpet cleaning companies.
  • Advertising is key for residential carpet cleaning companies.  Formula’s such as X amount of dollars spent on advertising equals a similar amount of customers received from the advertising and the profit comes from the up selling done once in the home.

Commercial clients don’t usually to find their carpet cleaners through advertising.  Businesses tend to find their vendors through networking and referrals.  Because of this commercial carpet cleaning companies don’t tend to spend as much money on advertising and instead focus on quality and repeat business.

  • Large corporate franchises are the driving force in the residential carpet cleaning industry.  What these franchises lack in quality control, they make up for in advertising dollars.  I am not currently aware of any commercial carpet cleaning franchises.  I am only aware of independent family owned companies in the area of commercial carpet cleaning.  Family owned independent companies tend to deliver higher quality because the owners are “present” and often maintain the ideals they were raised with.  If your profit comes from advertising, then you will focus your resources toward advertising.  If your profit comes from upselling, your focus will be on sales.  However if your profit comes from repeat business, then your focus will be on the hiring, training, and maintaining of career professional employees.  This is where commercial carpet cleaners stand apart.

What is a Commercial Carpet Cleaning Company?

What is a commercial carpet cleaner?  What do commercial carpet cleaners do?  What is the difference between commercial carpet cleaners and residential carpet cleaners?  These are all good questions. The difficult part of the explanation is that commercial carpet cleaners can clean residential and residential carpet cleaners can clean commercial carpets.  The question is, “who is best suited for each and why?”

  • Commercial carpet cleaners have more powerful equipment that gets far hotter than most residential companies because this is necessary to release the grease and oils that are often on commercial carpets.  That heat also does far better to release dyes in the carpet such as coffee.
  • Commercial carpet cleaners have more powerful vacuum strength as well.  This is because most businesses, especially restaurants, can’t have their carpets cleaned until their business day is over and that can be as late as 2:30am.  The carpet then needs to be dry by the time they open in the morning.  The stronger vacuum strength supplied by an 8 cylinder engine cuts the drying time down considerably.  This vacuum strength also increases the percentage of debris and particles that are removed from the carpet fibers.
  • Commercial carpet cleaners have a responsibility to do more thorough background checks and pay substantially more than residential carpet cleaners to ensure that they always have clean cut, professional personnel.  Government agencies and other secure businesses often require background checks on the vendors that will be entering their buildings.  Also, residential carpet cleaning relies on advertising to bring in a steady stream of new clients and commercial carpet cleaning companies rely on repeat business as the bulk of their business.  The quality of employees is the largest key factor in this equation.
  • Residential carpet cleaners hire and train salesmen because the person holding the checkbook is usually on hand to talk to.  Commercial carpet cleaning companies hire and train for quality instead because the decisions are usually finalized in a board room weeks before the job is completed so there is no point in trying to sell anything during the job. This is why commercial carpet cleaners train for cleaning, not for selling.
  • Residential carpet cleaning companies usually work a normal 9-5pm schedule.  Commercial carpet cleaning companies understand that the normal business model for residential carpet cleaning companies won’t work well for businesses. Commercial carpet cleaning companies may do a job at 5pm in Plymouth Minnesota and then head down to Apple Valley Minnesota for another job at 8pm.  A crew may finish a job in Roseville Minnesota at 7pm and have to wait for 2 hours to start a job in Shakopee Minnesota at 9pm.  Residential carpet cleaners want to use broad time frames like am or pm time slots in specific areas of the state.  Businesses simply need it to be done when they need it done.

The truth is that all of these characteristics that successful commercial carpet cleaning companies should possess are better for both commercial and residential carpet cleaning.  The difference is that these standards are absolutely necessary to do a great job in commercial carpet cleaning where as they are a luxury in residential carpet cleaning.  Personally, I would prefer a commercial carpet cleaning company at either my house or my business, but then again I am a little biased as one of the founders of the Commercial Steam Team in Burnsville Minnesota.

Who Will Be in Your Business

I own a successful commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  After scheduling a 100,000+ square foot carpet cleaning job for a large defense contractor in Plymouth, which will remain nameless, I thought to myself how glad I am that I can send in my employees’ background checks without worry.  This made me think about all the times that I have had service personnel in my business or home without the slightest clue what kind of past they have.  This sparked another thought; When I am searching for the lowest price I can find, am I increasing my chances of having a thief, or worse, come to service me?  Wages are a factor in the prices that we pay for services and the lower the wages the lower the possible price of service.  I won’t say that every high priced company pays well, but I think it is safe to say that the cheapest out there hire the cheapest employees they can find.  Sometimes this can be accomplished by hiring known felons who may have difficulty finding a better paying job.

Keeping this in mind, I will think twice about going with the cheapest bids.

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.

Employees Reflect Their Employers Values

How important are employees to a growing business?  I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but here in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota, employees are the “truth in service”.  What do I mean by that?

  • If a business owner is greedy, he won’t pay enough to get the best employees.
  • If a business owner doesn’t train his employees well enough, it shows in his employees’ performance.
  • Honest owners encourage their employees to be honest with their clients.
  • Employees who are treated fairly by their employer are happier and that will show in their demeanor.
  • Employers that pay attention will have employees who don’t cut corners.
  • Employers who reward hard work will have employees who go the extra mile.

These are all unavoidable ways that employees directly reflect the practices of their employer.  This is truth in service.  If your employees don’t give proper service, look at your practices first and see how they parallel the practices of your employees.

No Contracts in Commercial Carpet Cleaning

It seems impossible to get just about any service these days without being on a contract.  Contracts would be fine, but the way they are written these days state that you have no choice but to keep using a service even if the service provided doesn’t live up to the promises made by the salesperson who sold the contract.  Contracts should not be an excuse to give bad service.

My family and I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and we choose not to make our clients sign contracts.  Our family’s motto is “If we aren’t good enough to keep you happy, then we don’t deserve your business.”  This notion seems simple or idealistic, but I think the world could use a big dose of idealism right now.

Growing a Small Minnesota Business Through a Rough Economy

My name is Ryan Zakariasen and my family owns a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota named the Commercial Steam Team.  When we started the company out of my garage in Lakeville, the economy was booming.  Shortly after the birth of our company, the economy went from boom to crash.  This is not good for commercial carpet cleaning companies because we rely on company budgets to leave room for professional carpet cleaning.  Similar to the residential market, anything you don’t have absolute faith in goes in the “maybe-next-year-pile”.  I think this is where most companies have gone wrong.  While they were fat and happy gorging themselves on a plentiful economy they let quality slip.  Whether growing too fast to train their people or too much faith that advertising will replace any lost clients, they managed to create doubt in their client’s minds.  Doubts like; I think that’s the best they can do, but is it really?  Even if it is the best they can do, are the results really worth the cost?

After the economy turned, carpet cleaning company owners panicked and began cutting corners furthering the doubt in their clients minds.

I believe it is because we have left no doubt in our clients minds that they see the money we are saving them instead of the money we cost them.  The truth is that cleaning the carpet is far cheaper than replacing the carpet, especially when you factor in the cost of shutting down and moving all the furniture and equipment.  A downturned economy is the worst time to skip carpet cleanings because the cost of replacing could be real trouble for companies trying to walk a fine budget line.  Our clients sustain us through this quicksand economy because they have absolute faith in us, from our practices to our people. Our company was founded on this trust, and is the reason we are here today.

How Sand Affects Carpet Fibers

Sand is to carpet what saws are to trees.  I own a carpet cleaning company in the Minneapolis – St. Paul Area and Minnesotans track a lot of sand onto our carpet.  Carpet fibers are very thin strands; thinner than the hair on you head. The fibers are woven and spun together for strength in numbers. This is why we can walk on carpet without damaging it much while the carpet is clean.  The fibers rub against other fibers with limited friction.

Sand, on the other hand, has at least two ways of changing this.  These tiny grains of sand are like boulders to the tiny thin carpet fibers.  The sharp surfaces of the sand are more than enough to chop through a few individual fibers.  Another instance is when two pieces of sand rub together with a few fibers in between them. Eventually they rub right through those fibers.  This is like having sandpaper taped to the bottom of your shoes.

If this is your home then it is not too hard to have people take off their shoes.  This will cut down on the need to have the carpet cleaned as often.  In businesses, you can’t ask people to take their shoes off.  You can, however, have the carpets cleaned and protected on a consistent schedule that make sense for the volume of traffic your company receives.  The cleaning removes the sand and the protector coats the fibers and makes them thicker for the sand attacks that happen in between the cleanings.

The Truth About Carpet Protector

Did you know that every inch of Commercial and Residential Laid Carpet has Carpet Protector applied to it at the factory during the manufacturing process?  This is because the companies who make the carpets understand that their carpet will not live up to the warranties without this protector coating the carpet fibers.  Carpet manufacturers don’t want to spend any money that will not make them or save them money. I see this as proof that carpet protector not only works but works well enough to be cost effective to every single carpet manufacturer.

Benefits of Adding Deodorizer to Carpet Cleaning Rinse

I hear all the time: “I can’t believe how good it smells in here now.” I hear this when I call my clients to make sure they were totally happy with the carpet cleaning job we did for them.  Do I have a secret to achieving this?  Yes, I do! Every time we fill our rinse tank with water, we add Multiphase Deodorizer to the mix.  There are three major benefits to doing this.

  • This deodorizer contains an enzyme that feeds on bacteria.  We do not put enough in our rinse to treat problem mildew, mold, or urine areas.  However there is enough to ensure that even if the carpet takes longer than usual to dry there no worries of mold or mildew forming.
  • It helps reinforce the full strength application of deodorizer that we do use to kill the bacteria, mold, mildew, and urine.
  • Leaves your carpet smelling fresh and pleasant.

We have found that despite the extra cost of introducing this enzyme deodorizer to our carpet cleaning rinse, going the extra mile goes a long way in customer satisfaction. Not only making these Minnesota nice clients happy, but actually turning them into full-fledged fans.

My Experience With Multiphase Enzyme Deodorizer

I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota called the Commercial Steam Team.  I have been cleaning carpet for 13 years and one of the most effective products I use is Hydramaster’s Multiphase Deodorizer.  As in its name, Multiphase is a triple action deodorizer that covers a broad spectrum of odor causing bacteria.  I like to use this deodorizer because it is both powerful on bacteria while being gentle on carpet cleaners.  In my 13 years of carpet cleaning in Minnesota, I haven’t found anything that works nearly as well.

How Your Van’s Appearance Influences First Impressions

How many times have you driven by your neighbor’s house and seen a white van parked in the driveway covered in rust with hoses running into the front door of the house?  After seeing that beat up old van, your first inclination was probably not, “I should get their phone number so I can have them clean my carpet”.

This is because your subconscious makes certain assumptions when you see a poorly maintained van;

  • If the van looks that old, the equipment is probably out of date as well.
  • If they haven’t taken good care of their van, do they take good care of the equipment?
  • If they can’t afford a new van, can they afford capable employees?
  • If they don’t take pride in their appearance, do they care about generating positive word of mouth?
  • They don’t look like they care at all!
  • Are they too cheap to do a great job?

The truth is that one or more of these assumptions is probably correct.  If you want people to take you seriously as a capable and educated professional, you cannot let your first impression be a rusted out van.  A sharp, crisp, clean van lets people know that you take pride in being the best professional carpet cleaning company you can be.  After all, your van is a moving billboard.

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.

Uniforms Are Important In The Carpet Cleaning Industry

I can’t tell you how many times I have driven by someone’s house or business and saw work being done by someone wearing a sleeved or sleeveless white t-shirt.  Unless you’re a painter, that’s not a uniform in my opinion.  The questions that instantly pop into my mind are;

  • If they can’t afford uniforms, can they afford good equipment?
  • Can they afford to pay for good employees?
  • Can they afford the cleaning agents that are necessary to get the stains out?
  • Are they out of money, lazy, or cheap?
  • What kind of message are they sending their customers?
  • What kind of message are they sending their employees?

Sharp, clean uniforms tell your customers that you are a team.  It shows that you are dedicated enough to provide this for your employees.  More importantly is what not wearing a uniform says, Which is, “I’m not good at my job”.

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.

How Sand, Dirt, and Dust Wear Out Carpet

Have you ever had your carpets cleaned in your home or business and the carpet didn’t look as good as you had hoped in the high traffic areas?  This could be because your carpet cleaner didn’t do a sufficient job, but it could also be permanent fiber damage.  If it didn’t look like there was much of a difference after the cleaning then it was probably not a very good job.  That being said, carpet fibers that have taken on damage will appear dirtier than they really are because they no longer reflect light the same way that they did before this damage happened.  Similar to scratched-up Plexiglas, light is distorted and will appear much darker than the unscratched Plexiglas.  This happens because carpet fibers are essentially made of clear plastic.  These fibers are so thin you may need a magnifying glass to see them.  They are woven together like yarn to make thicker strands.  Sand, dirt, and dust are very small but compared to carpet fibers they are gigantic boulders with sharp edges.  The more soiled the carpet gets, the more power this sharp debris has to saw into the carpet fibers, sometimes severing them from their root completely.  Compare it to taking sand paper and gluing it to the bottom of your shoes.  That is the best analogy I can come up with though to describe what happens when these particles collect in large numbers.  Our shoes crush and mash the fibers together, scraping and slashing them with tiny sharp particles.  To be honest, it is pretty amazing how well carpet stands up to this, especially in commercial applications.  Even worse than dust and dirt are the metal shavings created in machine shops.  These particles are like tiny saws and our shoes are the lumberjacks.

The best defense against these microscopic belt sanders is to have the carpet cleaned and protected on a regular basis (minimum of once a year).  The cleaning lowers the numbers in the sand and dirt army while the protector creates a thin plastic layer over the fibers that will take the damage instead of the fibers themselves.  Much like how wax protects the paint job on your car from flying sand on the roads.

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.”

Networking in the Carpet Cleaning Industry

Why are networking groups wonderful for carpet cleaners?  For those of us carpet cleaners that “walk the walk”, networking is a forum for educating the public and also a chance to spread the word about what an amazing job we did for Bob’s mother in law’s sister’s cousin’s fiancé’s best friend’s boss.  First-hand knowledge is always the best evidence but when that is not available, the word of someone you trustworthy is a close second.

Indoor Oxygen Quality

More and more we hear about the importance of air quality in homes and businesses.  Air quality effects asthma, congestion, allergies, headaches, and many other medical conditions.  Air quality can cause problems and/or make current problems worse.  Some of us have air quality in the front of our minds but some people don’t think twice about it.  Why should they, some ask,  it’s just tiny particles they can’t see hiding inside an invisible gas.  Out of sight, out of mind.  When I hear the words “air quality”, I don’t feel that I hear the full impact of what is at hand.  This is why I like to call it “Oxygen Quality”.  Oxygen is the life blood of our respiratory system and very few people don’t understand the importance of oxygen.  Indoor “oxygen quality” affects every breath we take.  Even if the tiny particulates floating in the air didn’t harm us directly, they are still taking the place of and depriving our lungs of valuable oxygen molecules.

Allergies are often mistaken for colds or the flu and businesses with poor air quality report severely increased numbers of sick days to those who have good oxygen quality.  Productivity is also higher in employees who are not affected by asthma and allergies.  It has been proven that this oxygen quality is important but how can we effectively improve the quality of the oxygen we breathe in our homes and offices?  There are a few options to improve indoor air quality:  Air scrubbers and air filters are of course helpful to remove what is already in the air.  Running the furnace fan 24/7 helps cycle the air and replacing the furnace filter when it gets saturated with dust are also helpful.  But how do we affect the causes of poor indoor air quality?  In office buildings especially, a huge amount of dust and allergen particulates reside in the carpet and upholstery.  Every time we sit in a chair it expels the air that fills the foam seats and shoots those particulates into the atmosphere around us.  On a sunny day sit your chair between you and the window, slap the seat and watch the dust dance in the sunlight.  Similarly the carpet kicks up those particles as it’s walked on as well.  Dust treats these fabrics like a filter and sticks to them building up until they are jarred loose.  The longer between cleanings the more particles get expelled into the air.

Professional commercial carpet and upholstery cleaning is the best way to remove these particles from these materials.  Oxygen is important to us all and like anything important it requires some investment to receive its full effects.

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.

Who sets the standards for carpet cleaning industry in the Twin Cities?

Who sets the standards of quality in the carpet cleaning industry?  I wish I could answer that question by giving you a name of someone or some agency that holds those in our industry accountable.  However, there isn’t one.  It’s not like the NFL where a commissioner oversees the actions of the owners and players and fines those that step out of line accordingly.  In the past our reputations had been the best way to sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly.  If you did a good job for someone then you would clean for their whole extended family and friends.  People looked to each other for this info because they trust each other more than the advertising executives that wrote the commercial on their favorite radio station for piles of money.  Those days have seemingly ended.  Even here in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota it is hard to turn on the radio without being bombarded with inaccurate scare tactics citing 20 year out of date statistics.  As consumers we have grown dependent on T.V. and radio advertising to tell us what to buy and where to go.  Our first call is usually to the jingle bouncing around in our head, instead of to our parents or friends for references.  Our industry has accepted this as the standard practice for quite some time now and acts accordingly.  X dollars spent on advertising = Y dollars of new customers.  No need to do great work if there is someone new to fill the void whenever you lose a client to bad service.

So who does set these standards?  Who demands accountability?  Most people blame the consumer.  “You get what you ask for.”  On some levels that’s correct.  But how many times can you be disappointed after giving up your precious time researching without saying “what’s the point?”  It’s easier to be disappointed after calling the first company that comes to mind than to be let down after putting forth an effort.  Also, if there were enough companies out there worth referring then that is where our minds would first go.  I believe that it is the small businesses that set these standards.  We can choose to compete with the big national franchise moguls by cutting corners and slashing prices to eek out a living, or we can do what those huge companies can’t do by ensure quality stays at its highest level.  We accomplish this by hiring idealists as well as using profit sharing to ensure that they take as much pride in the company as we do.  We use our money on the best top of the line equipment instead of advertising.  We pass out bonuses for quality control instead of sales.  We train carpet cleaners instead of a sales force.

I may just be a small business owner in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota, but I believe that we can be an example to the public.  We can lead the way to higher standards in the carpet cleaning industry.

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.

The Key To Referrals For Twin Cities Carpet Cleaning

Born in Edina and raised in Burnsville Minnesota, I have lived my entire life among the “Minnesota Nice” and I have to say that it is not a myth.  This doesn’t mean that everyone in Minnesota is nice all the time.  It simply means that the base intentions of these Midwestern folks are to be cheerful and form bonds with those around them.  At least that’s what I’ve noticed.

This applies to carpet cleaning in the Twin Cities Area as well.  People in Minnesota hope and expect cheerful, capable people show up to clean their carpets.  We say to ourselves “I treat others with respect and a cheerful attitude.  Why can’t they do the same?”  If I wanted to be treated like I lived in New York City, I wouldn’t live in Plymouth Minnesota.  I want to believe my vendors abide by the “Golden Rule”.  If I get a good price I might accept that instead, but I won’t refer them to my friends.  If they do a good job with a bad attitude I might accept that, but I won’t refer them to my friends.  If their price is fair, if they do a great job, AND they make me feel comfortable with a smile on their face, then I WILL refer them to my friends with enthusiasm.  I become a cheerleader!  I become an advertiser!  I want to see them succeed and I want my friends to thank me for relieving them of their stressful decision on who to let in their home or business to clean their carpets.

People live in and move to this sometimes frigid climate for the warm hearts of the people who live here.  They feel let down when they don’t receive that kind of treatment, and I can’t blame them.  In my experience as a commercial carpet cleaning expert here in the Twin Cities, kindness and personality is often the missing ingredient in referrals for Minnesota carpet cleaners.

Why Do I Like Being A Professional Carpet Cleaner?

Why do I like being a carpet cleaner?  My answer is usually received with a look of disbelief.  When people think of carpet cleaning they often think of an overweight guy in a rusty van and a less than white t-shirt.  This is one of the reasons that I like being a carpet cleaner.  Confused?  I like being the best at something and the larger the gap between the best and second best the better.  For 13 years our motto has been “don’t just be the best in the carpet cleaning industry.  Be the best of any industry!”  This has worked wonderfully for me and I have enjoyed passing this on to my employees as well.  Demanding the same and compensating accordingly because they are worth it.

The other reason I love being a carpet cleaner is our customers.  Loyal fans are a more appropriate term.  Knowing that you are making a difference for people and seeing the smiles on their faces when you do is an amazing reward for any hard work.  Being greeted like old friends by our customers warms my heart.

Third is being in a position to offer bonuses for quality work and end of the year profit sharing for our employees.  Knowing that we are doing things the way they ought to be done, not just the easy way or the most profitable way is very rewarding.  Being successful with a clean conscience is rare in any industry, especially this one.  As a family owned business, we agreed that it is only worth doing if we can enjoy it.  I have to say that I have enjoyed it in so many ways.  So yes, I do like being a carpet cleaner.

Profit Sharing in the Carpet Cleaning Industry

Confucius said “The path to wealth is rich in hate.”  This is one of my favorite sayings, partly because it is so very true in most cases.  But also because I love challenges and proving that statement to only be solid wisdom instead of solid fact is a challenge worth taking on.

The carpet cleaning industry in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota is an industry that employers and employees can make a good living.  In most cases a bonus system is set up for “upselling”.  Raise the bill of your clients far enough above what it was when it was booked and you get a bonus.  This is not bad for the employee’s wallets but not always good for their conscience.  This can indeed breed “hate” from the consumers towards the companies and even employees who use high pressure sales tactics.  It also breeds an environment where sales training and skills outweigh quality control and technical training essential to doing a great job.

The best carpet cleaners are rarely the best salesmen.  I don’t think upselling should be rewarded that way.  Employees should understand the products and be knowledgeable about them enough to inform the client when asked or when it is obviously necessary.  Mentioning and selling are two different things.

There is another method that breeds “hate” even more.  This is the bait and switch method.  Everyone has seen ads for $5.95 a room or something along those lines.  If you check the small print you will see that it says something like “deep cleaning 40 cents a square foot”.   When the cleaner shows up to do the job he turns down his equipment and cleans a room with plain water.  Then he pre-sprays the carpet and turns his machine up to full power and cleans a stripe down the center of the room.  He then asks if the customer wants him to do that method over the whole carpet for 10 times what they were originally quoted.  By the time they leave the customer is left feeling cheated.  The employee makes a good living this way but only in the monetary sense.  That method leaves the customer feeling cheated and foolish.  The employee can’t take pride in how he makes his living.

There is only way that I have found makes sense to compensate employees well while also making the customer truly happy as well.  This method is simple profit sharing.  At the end of the year when the profit numbers are figured out the employees split 10 percent.  Each year at the company the employee is vested one more share in that percentage.  This rewards both loyalty and quality.  The more work the company does as a whole, the more profit there is to go around.  Yes the employer has to give up 10 percent of his/her profits but with the increased quality and attentiveness from the employees, I don’t doubt it adds more profit than it costs.

This way the employees can take pride in how they make their living as do their families.

This way the customer can take pride in knowing they got a great job at a fair price and that their money is going toward a company that treats their employees with respect.

This way the employer, in this case me and my family, can take pride in knowing that they are building a successful company without the expense of anyone involved.  Or rather without the “hate” that usually accompanies that success.

Profit sharing has worked great for my company in both employee retention and quality control.  To be honest the results have been immeasurable.

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.

Meet The Team: Russ Jr.

Russ Zakariasen Jr. cst shirt, desk

Russ Zakariasen Jr. –  President

Carpet cleaning can be frustrating, but it can also be the easiest thing in the world.  Getting to know who you will be working with can help ease the stress of deciding who to choose for your carpet cleaning needs.  Who better to get to know than the president of the company?

Russell Hamline Zakariasen III, or Russ Jr. as we call him, was born in Quincy Callifornia and raised in Burnsville Minnesota.  Athletic by nature he was the captain of the golf team for the Burnsville Braves, later changed to the Burnsville Blaze.  He attended business school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  Now of course he is president of Commercial Steam Team working with his Father, Brother, and his wife Angie.

Russ Jr. can often be spotted at Kaposia Park in South St. Paul playing disc golf with his brother Ryan or at Northfield Golf Club playing golf with his Dad.  His greatest passion has been coaching his sons basketball and football teams in the Rosemount Athletic club.

I sat down with Russ Jr. and asked him a little Q&A to help you get to know him better.

Q.  How did you get into the professional carpet cleaning industry?

A.  Like most kids I needed a summer job in High School.  I started telemarketing for a carpet cleaning company in Bloomington Minnesota.  I worked at that company through my last two years at Burnsville High School and through my four years at the University of Minnesota.

Q.  What do you like about the carpet cleaning industry?

A.  I love the daily interaction with our customers.  We have built such a loyal customer base over the years with wonderful people. They really show appreciation for the way we do business.  That positive reinforcement means a lot.

Q.  What was most important to you when starting this company?

A.  We wanted to create an environment where we found nothing but the very best employees, then treated them with appreciation, respect, and paid them well, so they would stay with our company long term, and treat our customers the way we need them to.  This really worked well!!

Q.  What is it like working with your family?

A.  I truly enjoy working with my family, working toward a common goal together.  We also are so lucky to have employees who feel like a part of our extended family.

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.

Why Did My Carpet Turn Yellow Beneath My Area Rug?

In my 13 years as a carpet cleaning professional in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, I have run into many cases where the carpet underneath an area rug has a yellow tint to it.  This discoloration is literally the size and shape of the area rug that was sitting on top of it.  It took some time but through my research I learned that the gases released from the glue that holds the carpet together can actually change the ph. level of the carpet.  This usually takes months of trapped gas to make this happen.  I would imagine humidity and airflow as well as other factors, contribute to this phenomenon.  Unfortunately there is no known method to reverse this problem.

How Mass Advertising Can Lower Quality

Have you ever been to a fast growing franchise restaurant and felt like the person helping you either doesn’t know what they are doing or just doesn’t care?  Of course you have, we all have.  Unfortunately this isn’t exclusive to the fast food industry.  It can happen in any industry when a company grows “too fast”.

The dream of just about any business owner is to have their company skyrocket to the top.  They look for gimmicks, advertising schemes, and even mudslinging to make this happen.  Some industries like law firms and investment companies have readymade employees to purchase from the well-stocked shelves of universities.  Industries that require on the job training don’t have that privilege.  Industries like carpet cleaning require mentor training, or apprentice training.  Reading a training manual only gets you so far.  Professionals need to pass their expertise down in person.

Mass advertising and gimmicks can lead to very rapid growth, especially when the new fad is creaming the market.  Going from 1 van to 10 or more vans in a couple years is wonderful in theory.  However, it takes at least 10 people to run 10 vans.  20 if the recommended 2 employees per crew are used.  In theory there would need to be 10 experts to train these 10 crew chiefs for several months.  One expert just can’t get that done properly.  In fact the rapid growth most likely takes that person out of the equation entirely as the responsibilities of the administration grow just as fast.  When does this training happen?

In a slow but steady growth model, driven through referrals, there is time for assistants to train under experts for 6 months or more.  Not only learning the basics, but also becoming very comfortable with all the variables they might run into in the field.  Mass advertising and excessively rapid growth would make this very difficult to do properly.

Thorough Rinsing Reduces Redo’s

Reputable carpet cleaning companies agree to return to their jobs any time a customer is unsure of the results of the work done.  The most reputable companies call every job a week after cleaning to make sure they are happy and offer what we call a “redo” to make sure the client stays a satisfied and loyal client.

As important as redo’s are, they also cost money to complete.  This is time and expense being used without extra compensation from the client.  For this reason and more, it is important to do the job right the first time.

Carpet cleaning, like many things in life is largely about balance.  In this case it’s about the balance of PH. levels.  The process starts with pre-spray and spot cleaning agents and finishes with a rinse to balance the Ph. out.  All professional carpet cleaners, no matter who they are, start off with an alkaline or acid pre-spray.  The next step is to rinse it out with a rinse that is opposite the pre-spray on the Ph. scale.  Spot cleaning agents vary in specifics, however, unless it is a leave in treatment, they all have one thing in common.  Cleaning agents need to be rinsed out as much as possible.  Cleaning agents that are not rinsed thoroughly can attract dirt back to the spot or spill.  This makes the spot or spill look like it has resurfaced and come back after the cleaning is done.

The best way to thoroughly rinse the carpet is to make sure you have the most powerful direct drive carpet cleaning truck mount available.  Second, make sure you are using a rinse that is opposite the Ph. of your pre-spray.  Third, simply do extra rinse strokes any time you clean over an area you spot treated.  The whole room doesn’t have to be done this way, just the spot where you used a spot treatment.  Fourth, you do extra vacuum strokes where you did extra rinse strokes.  Extra rinse means slightly higher moisture levels and requires “balance” when it comes do drying the carpet as well.

By maintaining balance in the carpet of both Ph. levels and moisture, the chances of a spot or spill appearing to return on you are nearly eliminated and so are your redo’s.  Out of the last 1814 jobs, my crews only had to return to 23 of them.  All 23 are still very happy clients.  This is one of the methods they practice at every job to make sure they keep their routes redo free and full of loyal, paying, repeat customers here in the Twin Cities.

Two Man Crews Vs. One Man Crews

In the carpet cleaning industry, you often hear of one man crews being better than one two man crews.  In truly selfish terms, the employer can make a lot more money with one man crews.  The cost to the employer is less with one man crews.  Also, they spend longer in the presence of the customer and build more of a rapport which helps in increasing on site sales or “up-selling”.

The flaw in this strategy is that it only benefits the company and in no way benefits the client.  The customer may believe that the extra time spent by one person means better quality.  However, between setting up the job, pre-spraying, cleaning, setting down the wand to pull the hose or go get the spot treatments, easily two thirds of the time is spent doing what the assistant would do while the crew chief keeps the wand moving.  The truth is this is all wasted time that the customer could be using to live their busy lives.

Two man crews are efficient.  It is easier for a crew chief to ask his assistant to go to the truck to get something, than to set the wand down and go get it himself.  This can lead to steps being skipped for the sake of time or fatigue.

One other important factor that I have found is accountability.  Two man teams rely on each other.  One person can’t sacrifice quality without it affecting the other worker.  It’s much easier to decide to slack off for one day or one job without personal accountability to another crew member.

Loneliness can also lead to depression.  There is no one to help spur the other team member on.  Honestly, cost to the employer and increased sales are the only benefits to having one man crews.  Solo routes will always be necessary in any carpet cleaning company.  That being said, for the sake of the customer, solo routes should be the exception, not the rule.

Rapid Re-Soiling After Carpet Cleaning: Professional Carpet Cleaners

 

Professional carpet cleaners stopped using oil based soaps or “shampoo’s” decades ago.  Some less experienced carpet cleaners still have a problem with rapid re-soiling.  Why is this?  Proper training and equipment eliminates this problem for those companies that understand how it works.

  • State-of-the-art direct drive truck mounts are important to get the carpet dry enough after the job.
    • If the carpet is left wet for days then the carpet will lose its ability to resist rapid re-soiling.
    • Ph. balances must be equalized.
      • Companies that rinse with water will leave the Ph. level of the carpet too high after cleaning. This can feel residue-free, but will attract soil none the less.
      • Companies that grow too fast through advertising tend to have a turnover of only a few months.  Proper training takes many months of assisting to an expert carpet cleaner to ensure that Ph. ratios get balanced.

Carpet cleaning is a science, but it is also hard work.  Training is important as well as hiring the right workers and paying well enough to keep them motivated and in your employ.  “Shampoo” may not be a factor in professional carpet cleaning anymore, but work ethic and training always will be.

Commercial Steam Team In Your Home

Did you know the Commercial Steam Team also cleans homes?  Many people don’t know this.  In fact if you don’t work at one of the many businesses they clean, you might not even know they exist.  The Commercial Steam Team has been cleaning for some of the dirtiest companies in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota for years.  Also cleaning the homes of the employees and owners of these businesses.

Already the leader in commercial carpet cleaning, from greasy restaurants to oily trucking companies, no one has had more success on the toughest, dirtiest jobs around.  Without advertising, business has grown for the Commercial Steam Team through this tough economy while the rest of the industry is down significantly.  This is because of the unheard of quality provided by the well trained carpet cleaning professionals in our employment.

In the last 2 years, the Commercial Steam Team only had to return to 23 out of 1814 jobs (every one of those clients is still a very happy client).  This amazingly low call back rate is in spite of calling every single client a week after cleaning and offering to go back if they have any concerns at all.  This is unheard of professionalism in our industry, as residential companies are not held to the same standards as those of us who clean the carpets for fortune 500 companies.

Businesses often clean on a schedule, sometimes multiple times a year and they don’t want to have re-occurring headaches each time the carpet needs cleaning.  The Commercial Steam Team has perfected our carpet cleaning methods and hires only the very best clean cut people.  With profit sharing and generous bonuses for customer satisfaction, Commercial Steam Team employees have kept even the most hardnosed managers happy for years.  Now this same commercial strength equipment and professionalism is available for residential clients.

Mention this post for a 10 percent discount on your home’s carpet cleaning!

Rapid Re-Soiling After Carpet Cleaning: Janitorial Companies and Handymen

Well intentioned as they are, janitorial companies are not professional carpet cleaners.  In my 13 years of carpet cleaning I have cleaned up after hundreds of janitorial companies who wanted to make a little extra money from their clients by cleaning their carpets.  This is a sound idea for them as a business model, however it often ends up with them disappointing their clients.  The main reason is rapid re-soiling. 

Unfortunately, janitorial companies typically cause the carpet to get dirty faster after they clean for their clients, meaning that they need to be cleaned more frequently.

Here’s why:

  1. Professional carpet cleaning equipment is very expensive, so they often try to use equipment they already have to do the job (Floor buffers)
    1. Floor buffers can unravel the carpet fibers and loosen the nap of the fibers leaving more room for soil to penetrate the surface of the carpet.
      1. Floor buffers do not remove as much soil or even their own cleaning agents from the carpet; rather they push it down into the carpet.
  2. Janitorial companies may rent equipment to do the job, and the more they spend on the rental equipment, the less profit they make on the job.
  3. Rental equipment is abused over time. As a result it takes so long to properly extract the moisture that few are willing to spend the long hours or days it takes to get enough water out of the carpet.
    1. Carpet left too wet can be sloshy and take days to dry.
    2. The longer a carpet is left wet after cleaning, the more time spills have to wick up through the carpet.
    3. Moisture in the carpet can begin to reduce the carpet’s ability to resist re-soiling if left wet for days.
    4. Moisture left too long encourges mold and mildew growth deep in the carpet.
    5. Training, specific to carpet cleaning.
      1. Janitorial companies rarely pay above minimum wage and as a result their employees are not motivated to learn and execute alternative job skills to the ones that they already do.  This is not the fault of the janitorial companies.  There is just too little profit margin in that industry to pay any better.
      2. It takes many months of working with an expert in the carpet cleaning field to learn the proper ways to mix the cleaning agents and to identify potential problems.
      3. It takes a carpet cleaning business owner years to perfect what he or she teaches their employees and for janitorial companies and handymen, there isn’t a seasoned carpet cleaning expert to pass this knowledge on.
      4. Professional carpet cleaners stopped using oil based soap or “Shampoo” decades ago.  Janitorial companies and handymen have taken longer to catch on.

The bottom line is that when carpets need to be cleaned, especially in a commercial environment, a commercial carpet cleaning expert is necessary.  Janitorial companies and handymen can be wonderful at what they do but they are not professional carpet cleaners any more than plumbers, electricians, and ballet dancers are.  Ph. levels need to be balanced to prevent rapid re-soiling and equipment and personnel are key in making that happen.

Employee Turnover In The Carpet Cleaning Industry

Employee turnover in the carpet cleaning industry is a very large problem.  In search of profits employees are often undervalued and under paid.  Expedited growth in a company due to things like mass advertising can also cause employee turnover as well as mass hiring which poses the same problems.  Carpet cleaning isn’t the hardest of all professions but it is manual labor and does require stamina and motivation to do a great job every time.  Employees require training and an apprenticeship of sorts in order to become experts in the field. 

Hiring and maintaining the best employees is crucial in this professional industry.

When someone hires a carpet cleaner they expect to have someone capable and experienced show up.  If that cleaner has only been working for a few weeks, many problems could occur.  Spill diagnosis, problem identification, mixing ratios, equipment repair and maintenance, even patience and wisdom come with experience.  The longer an employee is around, the longer he/she will feel vested in the company and want to do the best job possible.  I highly recommend profit sharing at the end of the year.  This boosts morale, especially since it lands in a crucial month in the slow part of winter. 

Also we can’t forget the obvious, pay employees a fair wage.  Don’t try to squeeze every dime out of them.  Make sure they can go home proud of themselves so their wife and kids will look up to them.  Carpet cleaners work hard and deserve fair compensation. 

Another big problem with some of the larger carpet cleaning franchises is that they charge their employees for the cleaning agents and equipment they use.  Any time an employee has to decide whether or not to use something that will help them do the best job possible, it is a hit to the pride.  They either give up the money or the quality but they can’t have both. In either case the quality of the job suffers.  Making someone pay for something the employer should pay for also makes people feel they are being taken advantage of.

My company, the Commercial Steam Team, has had almost no employee turnover since we started the company in 2003.  That’s because we believe in our staff, support them, and  treat them like family, not like tools to use and discard. In fact only one employee has ever left the company and the reason he did was to finish law school.  I am proud of how we have run our company and will continue to do so.

Rapid Re-Soiling After Carpet Cleaning: Do It Yourself

When you pull out your couch to get that tennis ball your dog knocked underneath it in a rousing game of repetitive catch.  You suddenly notice that the carpet underneath the couch looks completely different than the carpet in front of it.  A few months go by and either your conscience or your partner begins nagging you to do something about it.  “Don’t worry sweetheart, I will rent a rug doctor.”  Famous last words.  If it was that easy then everyone would do it.

This is one of the leading causes of rapid re-soiling in carpets today.  The three reasons being;

  • Operator error.
    • No one should be expected to know what they are doing when trying to do a professional job on their first try.
    • It takes days to do the best job possible with a rental unit.  Many people don’t realize this until they are in the middle of the job and rush through it after that (understandable).
    • Equipment power.
      • Rental equipment is limited by the electrical power source available and can’t risk tripping circuit breakers in the homes and apartments it is used in.
      • Rental equipment is designed with more emphasis on its durability than its effectiveness. After all if it broke every time it was rented, it would eat up all the profit. Meaning that it’s going to be underpowered.
      • When more than 5 percent of the moisture is left in the carpet, it takes a long time to dry and will affect the carpets resistance to re-soiling.
      • People tend to beat up rental units. After all, they don’t own them, and most people tend not to respect other people’s property. This means the equipment’s performance will likely be sub-par, something that a rental company is not as likely to be concerned about as long as it is still rentable.
      • Available cleaning agents.
        • Professional carpet cleaners stopped using “shampoo” or oil based products decades ago. The rental units often still use these.
        • Rental units often rinse with regular water which is not capable of balancing the Ph. levels of the cleaning agents that were used, even if they were not oil based.

The truth is that most people who attempt to clean their own carpets do not ever attempt it again.  Or they get stuck in an endless cycle of cleanings that become more and more frequent over time as the residue builds up in the carpet.  Most professional carpet cleaners know (and those that don’t, should) not to use oil based products or “shampoo’s”.  Few suppliers even carry those products anymore.  Also professional carpet cleaners are the only carpet cleaners that know the proper mixing ratios, have the expensive direct drive truck mount equipment to do the job (this varies from company to company).  Truck mounted  units are not limited by circuit breakers and some even run directly off of the V8 engine.

In summary, DIY carpet cleaning is a buyer-beware sort of thing. If you’re serious about cleaning your carpet, you should hire a serious professional to do so. Have a great day!

Too Good To Be True Carpet Cleaning Prices

Ask just about any Established Professional Carpet Cleaner in the Twin Cities, or anywhere for that matter, what makes it tough to make a profit and they will usually bring up the “low ballers”.  These are fly-by-night companies that pop up and offer bad work for low prices.  You see, the carpet cleaning industry is one of the easiest industries to get started in.  It is however one of the most difficult to compete in.

After people lose their jobs or even quit their jobs they figure they can buy some cheap equipment and enter the industry.  These people receive a crash course and a franchise or sometimes not even that.  They have good intentions but have no experience in either being a carpet cleaner or being a business owner.  They stick it out for 6 months to 2 years offering unrealistically low prices.

They eventually realize they are working hard but can’t make a profit even without hiring employees.  Just as fast as they disappear due to a lack of quality, no profit margin, or a bad reputation, another pops up to take its place.  This creates a constant stream of “low ball” companies that in some ways affect the industry as a whole.  Companies that have nearly perfect customer satisfaction are labeled with the same cloud left behind by the spotty work of these fly-by-nights.  Reputation is key to individual companies, but it is also key to the industry.  Some people lose faith that great carpet cleaning companies exist and they just stop looking.

Especially in a market like the Twin Cities Area, companies need both good intentions, and time to build knowledge and expertise.  It is also important for the company to offer incentives for good work like bonuses for customer satisfaction and profit sharing which never exist in the “low ball” companies.  “Too good to be true” just doesn’t exist in satisfaction run industries.  “Fair pay for great work” not only exists but is “fair” for both parties involved.

Email Chain Testimonial For Carpet Cleaning

This is a wonderful trail of emails that arose after cleaning all the occupied suites and the common areas in an office building for a property manager in Eagan, Golden Valley, and Bloomington Minnesota.  As it turned out a manager from another location was in the building and was so impressed they wanted to find out who cleaned the carpets so they could have the carpets cleaned by Commercial Steam Team at another location in Lake Elmo.

I scanned it into the computer “as is” so the email string goes from the bottom of the page to the top. I apologize if it is confusing.

 

Office Chair Cleaning Reduces Sick Days

Office chairs are extremely expensive.  The lowest end seems to be around $150.  Nice ones are often $250 and up.  Even if you only have 10 employees your bill is easily in the thousands to replace your office chairs.  You don’t even want to know how much if you have hundreds of employees.  Sometimes replacing is the answer when you have holes in the fabric and other actual damage. 

Far too many companies don’t realize that they can have their chairs cleaned on a regular basis for a small fraction of that cost.