Ways people can handle carpet issues themselves

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Holiday Home Remedy For Red Wine Spills

The holidays are wonderful in so many ways, from stockings filled with drug store impulse items to selections of food and drinks that we don’t even consider consuming the rest of the year (eggnog / lutefisk), but for some reason find irresistible while high on Christmas cheer.  That being said, there are staples at nearly all celebrations, the least of which is definitely not red wine. Whether a dry merlot or a soaking wet port the variety is endless, but the problem is always the same.  What is this sneaky Grinch always hiding one sip, or one out of tune “White Christmas” away?   This problem is; the more wine you drink the more likely you are to spill it.  If you were lucky enough to read this blog before you tripped on your aunts cocker spaniel (poor Buddy), then, you sprang to action like a marvel super hero.  If not, at least you can salvage your friendship with a shameful return to the scene and save their white carpet, or blouse.  Hopefully, saving your invitation to next year’s celebration at the same time.  This remedy is simple.  If you want to get red wine out of nearly any material; simply clean it with white wine.  Yep, in some twist of Gods sense of humor white wine is the cure for the red.  Always blot excess moisture first with a throw away rag and then apply white wine a little at a time until the red wine is gone.  Always be gentle with the rag as you can wear the fibers out if you rub too hard.

  I’ve used this method on both clothing and carpet successfully.  Nothing in carpet cleaning or clothing is 100%, especially since there are so many different varieties of both carpet and wine out there, but this is the closest I’ve seen thus far.  It either gets rid of it completely or to the point that it is barely visible.   One thing that sets this method apart is that some leave behind a yellow color.  This method does not, at least in my experience so far. 

Nothing can take the place of a professional carpet cleaner with state of the art equipment and knowledgeable crew chiefs, like Commercial Steam Team.  However, not everyone can afford to hire the experts every time Uncle Leo has a few too many and forgets the glass in his hand as he re-enacts his hail Mary pass to win the 1967 Hopkins little league football championship.   That is precisely when home remedies are wonderful tools.