Professional Rug Cleaning Tips
Providing high quality professional rug cleaning & uphostery services in Santa Cruz and surrounding areas since 1945
Expert Tips for Cleaning Rugs in Santa Cruz
Vacuum rugs regularly. 80% of soil in rugs is dry particulate matter that acts as sandpaper and wears out the rug.
Address spills and pet accidents immediately by absorbing as much of the liquid as possible. Then apply a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar and blot – do not rub – the area with white tissue or white towels. Resist the temptation to use over-the-counter spot removers. Most are too aggressive and contain some type of bleach. Also, spot removers applied directly to the rug can leave soap residue and cause rapid soiling.
Hand-made rugs should be professionally cleaned every two to four years according to the Oriental Rug Importers of America. Rugs used in heavily trafficked areas, such as an entry hall, may need to be professionally cleaned every year. Waiting too long between cleaning makes deeply embedded soil impossible to remove completely, especially with thick rugs.
Never have your rugs cleaned in your home unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as excessive size or weight. In-home cleaning leaves soap and dirt residue in the rug that causes it to resoil quickly. Additionally, the fringe cannot be cleaned in home, and the rug may mildew on the floor because of inadequate drying.
Protect your wool rug from stains and soil with a stain protector. Our fabric protector has been independently and scientifically tested, which has confirmed it as safe and effective in protecting wool rugs.
Call us at 831-423-5235 to schedule your oriental or area rug cleaning appointment today.
Rental Property Management: 5 Steps To Minimizing The Damage From A Water-Related Emergency
Caring for your rental property requires working with your current tenants to prevent potential catastrophes. Often, just a little maintenance and communication can go a long way toward preventing major damage. However, emergency situations can still sometimes happen that allow water to seep into your rental home. As you create your property management plan, include these steps for handling a water-related crisis that will minimize the need for major restorations that pose an inconvenience to your tenants as well as a major hit to your profits.
Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Many water emergencies are completely preventable, and it is important to stay on top of your building maintenance to ensure that minor repairs are not overlooked that can ensure that your rental home stays dry. Work with your tenants to arrange for seasonal maintenance and inspections such as having your roof checked each year before the storm season hits. The time after a tenant moves out is also ideal for you to inspect the windows and doors for signs that the caulking and weather stripping needs to be replaced.
Know When to Replace Old Plumbing
For older homes, you may replace the fixtures to stop leaks, and consider having plumbing systems that are over twenty years old professionally inspected to see if the pipes are in need of replacement. Water heaters that are over ten years old are another common source of water damage. Have a plumber service it regularly, and ask them to let you know when it is time for replacement.
Teach Your Tenants Water Damage Prevention
- Once your tenants have moved into the property, you will have fewer opportunities to access your building to check for problems. Talk to your tenants about how to prevent common causes of water damage such as avoiding frozen pipes or contacting you at the first sign of a developing problem such as noticing moisture seeping through a vent. Keeping the house at the proper humidity level is also important, and your tenants should know to vent bathrooms after showering to avoid moisture building up.
- Show Everyone Where The Shut Off Valves Are Located
- It is also important to teach your tenants what to do if a rush of water does begin to enter the home. Make sure that they are shown where the shut-off valves are in and out of the building as part of the move-in process. Since it is always best to turn the water off at its source, make sure to walk them through each room with plumbing so that they can stop problems such as an overflowing toilet faster than it would take for them to go outside.
Treat All Water Damaged Materials As Toxic
When water enters a home, it can look deceptively clean. However, there are varying levels of contamination that can occur when you are dealing with storm or sewage water, and trying to manage the cleanup yourself can spread mold spores and other toxins. Ask your tenants to leave water soaked materials alone until your house has been professionally inspected. Then, let the pros handle the removal of any materials before the drying out process begins.
The first few hours of dealing with a water emergency are critical since it only takes a day for major damage such as mold to set in. While prevention goes a long way toward protecting your property, you should still always have a backup plan for when emergencies happen. Give us a call at the first notice you receive about water damage, and let us treat your property with the same care that we would give our own.
Caring for Your Area Rugs
Wall-to-wall carpets aren’t the only type of flooring that needs care. Your area rugs may be removable, but that doesn’t mean that you should toss them and buy new ones when they get dirty. Obviously, you knew this. But sometimes those smaller rugs might seem like they don’t need the same level of care and cleaning as your larger, or continuous, stretches of carpet.
If you have area rugs, you also need to know the ins and outs of caring for them. Proper care can extend the life of your area rugs and make them look newer longer. Whether you just bought a new rug or you’ve had one for years, you need to start a care and cleaning routine pronto.
What do you need to know about caring for your area rugs? Take a look at the top tips for keeping your carpets looking like new.
Turn the Rugs
There’s a traffic pattern in your home. You walk in the front door after work and immediately traipse over your living room area rug. You tend to walk on one side and not the other. Your other area rugs are also getting a workout but in different ways. If your rug has a shape and design that can switch from one direction to another, turning the whole thing to its side can reduce the wear and tear.
Try turning your area rugs at least once, possibly twice, each year. Rugs that get more foot traffic may need a few extra turns. This helps to space out the pressure and wear on them and may make the rug last longer. Think of turning your area rugs like rotating the tires on your car. It makes them wear evenly and can extend their overall life.
Shake It Out
Smaller areas rugs are easy to pick up and clean. Instead of lugging heavy equipment in to keep them dust and dirt free, all you need to do is take them outside. Bring the rug outdoors (away from your deck, outdoor furniture, swing set and plants) and shake it — vigorously.
Keep in mind that the idea isn’t to get the gunk and grime off of your rug and onto you. Shake the rug away from your body and make sure that the wind isn’t blowing the dust and debris back on you.
Vacuuming is a simple way to keep your area rugs clean every day. If the rug is too large to take outside and shake, vacuuming gets the loose debris (such as pet hair or chunks of dirt) and dust off. Don’t forget to change the pile height for different rugs. If your rug has fringe on the ends, avoid catching it in the vacuum. You can use the nozzle tool to clean under the rug or have a helper pick up one end as you vacuum underneath.
Not every carpeting material acts the same when it comes to vacuuming. For example, wool loop carpets may fuzz and fray with constant vacuuming. Try the attachment tool instead of running the entire vacuum over the carpet. This will help to loosen and remove dust and dirt without pulling or damaging your rug.
Call the Pros
Some stains, marks and other issues require a delicate touch. Yes, there are commercially available cleaning products that you can pick up at the local grocery store or a home-improvement retailer. But if you don’t know how to use them properly, you run the risk of ruining your area rugs.
Carpet cleaning professionals don’t just handle the wall-to-wall type. If your area rugs need a serious refresh, your pet had an accident or your toddler just spilled her grape juice, calling in the pros is a safer way to get your carpets clean.
Call us at 831-423-5235 to schedule your area rug cleaning appointment today.
3 Carpet Care Mistakes that Lead to Premature Wear & Aging
Rugs should never be cleaned at your home unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as size or weight, that prohibit them from being transported to a plant for cleaning. This is generally not an issue when doing business with qualified,
A dingy carpet can make your whole room look disheveled. While all carpet will eventually show wear and need to be replaced, many homeowners make carpet care mistakes that accelerate this wear and cause their carpet to age more quickly than it should.
Take a look at these common carpet care mistakes – and if you’re making any of them, change your habits to keep your carpet looking like new for longer.
Mistake #1: Using the Wrong Vacuum Brush Setting
Your vacuum’s height should adjust to bring the brush closer to or further away from the carpet. If you don’t adjust the height properly, you may actually do more harm than good when vacuuming.
The most common mistake is homeowners setting brushes too low for a long-fibered carpet. With the brushes set too low, the bristles reach too deep into the fibers and cause them to fray. Setting the brush too high is also problematic because you won’t remove dust and dirt as effectively.
The longer your carpet fibers, the higher you should set the brushes. To find the proper height for your vacuum, start with the brushes in the highest position and lower it one setting at a time until you can feel it pulling through the carpet fibers.
Mistake #2: Rubbing Stains into the Carpet
When you spill something on the carpet, your first instinct may be to scrub it away. But in fact, rubbing a stain just drives the spilled material deeper into the carpet. The rubbing action can also fray your carpet fibers, leaving behind a patch that looks frayed and worn. Here’s the proper protocol to follow when you spill a liquid on the carpet:
- Place a thick towel over the spill and press straight down to remove as much liquid as possible. Repeat with new towels until you’re not seeing any more liquid on the towel.
- Apply whatever stain-removing spray you are using, and let it sit according to the instructions on the bottle.
- Blot up the stain-removing spray in the same manner you blotted the original stain.
- Repeat with another application of stain-removing spray if needed.
Make sure you keep a stain-removing spray that’s compatible with your carpet on hand. If you have a darkcolored carpet, look for a cleaner made specifically for dark carpets. If you have pets, look for a pet-safe formula. Spot test the spray, according to instructions on the package, as soon as you buy it. This way, you don’t have to guess whether or not it will work properly when you’re facing an emergency spill.
Mistake #3: Not Cleaning the Carpet Often Enough
You should have your carpet cleaned when it starts looking dirty, but if your carpet is starting to actually show dirt, that carpet has probably been in need of a cleaning for some time.
A better strategy is to have the carpet cleaned more often before the dirt accumulates to the point of showing. By the time you can see the dirt, there’s enough of it to cause friction between the fibers as you walk over the carpet, which can lead to permanent damage and wear.
Most carpets should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months. If you have pets or kids, you may even want to have carpets in the areas they frequent cleaned every six months.
While today’s home steam cleaners can do a decent job, your best choice is still to hire a carpet cleaning professional. Powerful commercial equipment is better at extracting water from the carpet, so you won’t have to deal with mold growth as the carpet dries.
If you adjust your vacuum height properly, treat stains without rubbing, and have your carpet cleaned more often, it will stay looking fresh and new for many years.
Call us at 831-423-5235 to schedule your wall-to-wall carpet cleaning appointment today.
5 Common Issues When Cleaning Upholstery
From stains to odors, there are a lot of issues that can arise with upholstered furniture. But no one wants to throw their furniture out just because it has a stain. So what can you do?
Most issues with upholstery tend to arise when the wrong cleaning methods are being used – or when the upholstery simply isn’t being cleaned as thoroughly as it should be. With that in mind, here are some of the most common issues you’re likely to encounter and how to fix them.
1. A Persistent Odor
Smokers and people with pets may find that scents seem to linger on their upholstery, and often these scents persist no matter how often the upholstery is cleaned. Scents pervade the entirety of an item, which means the smell will go through cloth and even cushions.
Because of this permeation, upholstery often needs to be deep cleaned to be entirely treated. For a light odor, use baking powder on the entirety of the upholstered item. Let the baking soda sit overnight, and then vacuum it off. If the odor persists, the furniture will need to be treated with special enzymatic cleaners by a professional.
2. Returning Stains
Have you ever cleaned a stain off a couch or chair only to see it rise up again? Stains will periodically return because they have actually penetrated all the way through the item. Though you can clean the surface, the stain will just rise up again when the area gets damp – even if the issue is just due to moisture in the air.
The only way to fix this problem is to continue blotting the stain until it disappears entirely. Saturating the entire area, and then gently dry it with a cloth. If the stain still comes back, you’ll need a professional extraction device, which will reach down deep into the upholstery.
3. Fading or Dulling
If your upholstery seems to be losing its sheen, it’s likely that you are using something too mechanically abrasive to clean it. You may be using corrosive cleaning agents or just a particularly rough cloth. The solution is to start cleaning your upholstery more frequently but also more gently. A frequent cleaning will stop stains and dust from becoming too ground in, allowing you to clean with less abrasive materials.
4. A Musty Scent
After cleaning your furniture, you may find that it has a musty scent. This musty scent builds up when the furniture has been cleaned properly and then left to air dry. If the furniture doesn’t air dry fast enough, it will start to develop bacteria and an odor.
After you clean furniture, make sure the room is well-ventilated, preferably with a fan pointed at the furniture. The faster the furniture dries, the less likely there is to be any resulting scent.
If you’ve had to saturate your furniture thoroughly to remove a stain, the area should be blotted as dry as possible. If you can’t get the spot completely dry, a professional extraction device may be able to remove the majority of the water.
5. Warped Cloth
After you’ve finally gotten rid of the staining, you may realize that your upholstery has warped. This warping is one reason it’s usually preferable to get expensive furnishings cleaned by a professional. Wool and other natural fibers may warp when they are wet and may never dry taut again. In this situation, the fabric may need to be tightened by an upholsterer. In general, most issues with your upholstery can be safely dealt with without professional help. You just need to make sure that you use a gentle cleaner and don’t scrub the fabric too harshly. But for more serious issues, you may want to contact a professional cleaning company.
Call us at 831-423-5235 to schedule your upholstery cleaning appointment today.
Kids & Carpet Care: How to Get Messy Stains Out
Carpet cleaning when you have kids takes on a whole new meaning. Whether you’ve always been meticulous when it comes to flooring maintenance, or you’ve let carpet care slide, now that you’re a parent you want to make sure absolutely everything in your home is 100% clean.
Even though you try your best to keep your carpets grime-free, it isn’t always easy. Mud-covered sneakers, spilled grape juice, and ground in crayons can make messes that don’t clean easily. But these aren’t the only mess-makers that kids bring into the house – and onto your carpets.
If you have kids, and you have carpets, take a look at what you need to know about the most common child created messes and how to clean them.
Jumping in a mud puddle, making mud cakes, and playing in the muck are all part of being a kid. When else can you stomp through a dirt-filled puddle and not have people stare? Encouraging your children to get playful and explore the great outdoors on a rainy day can help them to make discoveries, build motor skills and use their imaginations. But it can also help them to make a mess.
When the kids come in from their muddy day, they won’t necessarily stop, take their shoes off, and clean up at the front door. It’s more likely that they’ll barge into the house, run into the living room, and track mud over your carpets.
What can you do to clean the mud, gunk, and other outdoor grime from your flooring? Even though it’s tempting to grab a washcloth, soak it, and rub the mud away, this may do more harm than good. You’re making an already wet substance even wetter. Beyond that, you’re grinding the mud deeper into your carpet.
Let the mud dry. If there are puddles on the carpet, gently blot them (lifting up) with a clean paper towel. After the mud dries, vacuum the remnants up. Dip a clean cloth into a mild soap and water mix and blot anything that remains. Always spot-test any cleaning product on an inconspicuous area first.
Sippy Cup Spills
The purple grape juice that your child favors is covering the carpet. Again, don’t rush to rub the spill. While this might seem like the best way to get the stain out, it will only make it worse. Grinding the juice (or food product) deep into the carpet’s fibers only adds to the mess.
Before the liquid sinks into your carpet, gently lift it up by blotting it with a paper towel. A mild dish soap and water mixture can help to remove a light stain. A heavy stain, one that is deep into the carpet or one that is dark, may require professional help. Juices such as purple grape, cranberry, or cherry can quickly create noticeable stains.
A professional carpet cleaner has the experience, products, and equipment to lift the stain the proper way. Spraying store-bought cleaners on the offending area may discolor your caret, destroy the fibers or in some other way damage it.
Your creative kid crafts almost all the time. Removing art-created stains requires different techniques for different materials.
A non-washable paint or a washable paint (such as tempera) that has a bold color may not come off your carpet easily. Like any other mess, rubbing the stain is likely to make it worse. Your best bet is to let the paint dry and vacuum up the crusty remains.
Luckily, crayons are waxy enough to rarely leave stains. They also tend to sit on the carpet in large pieces, making them easy to pick up. If your child manages to grind a crayon into the carpet, vacuum out as much as you can.
Permanent markers may leave (not surprisingly) permanent stains. Store-bought or natural cleaners can lighten the look of the stain, but won’t fully remove it. The same goes for dark or bold washable markers. To get these marks, or ones made by paint, completely out you need a professional carpet cleaner.
Do you need help cleaning your child’s carpet messes? Call us at 831-423-5235 to schedule your next cleaning appointment.
Things You’re Doing That Are Destroying Your Rugs
You’re not seeing things if your area and decorative rugs are starting to look dull and aged. Rugs do fade with time and other contributing factors and can wear out much sooner than they should.
You love the lustrous, colorful designs in your rugs and don’t want to have to replace them because your decorative carpeting isn’t standing out like before. Unfortunately, some of your rug care habits are actually doing more harm than good. Here are things you’re doing that are destroying your rugs and what you can do to keep them lasting longer.
The Way You Wash
Even hand washing your rugs can cause damage if your wring your rugs out to remove water or use harsh chemicals (including bleach) to keep your rugs clean. Hand washing should be done gently, using only a mild detergent: just enough to create a lather in your rugs will do. Hang your rugs out to air dry to retain their luster rather than placing the decorative flooring pieces in the dryer (which can warp rug backings).
Have your rugs professionally cleaned every time you have your carpeting cleaned. Your carpet cleaning professional will use steam cleaning and other non-harsh methods of cleaning rug fibers and bringing out the pretty colors in your decorative carpeting you love.
Putting Your Rugs in the Sun
Sunlight pouring in from your windows causes not only your furniture to fade and become unevenly toned, but has an effect on your rugs as well. Sunlight is a natural bleach and prolonged exposure to rays shining in your windows will cause the affected rugs to become dull in color.
To keep even color in all your area rugs, placement is key. Rotate your rugs often to limit exposure to the sun and try to keep your rugs out of direct sunlight. There is also a fluorocarbon protective coating you can have placed on your rugs when you have them cleaned to help limit the affect of direct sunlight on your carpets.
How You Vacuum
If you don’t shake your rugs out before vacuuming them and then vacuum on a low setting that pulls the material off the floor, you are doing more harm than good in your cleaning efforts of your rugs.
Rugs should be vacuumed on a higher floor setting, so the vacuum brushes and wheels don’t place too much pressure on the tender fabrics. You should never vacuum any rug fringe; rather, brush fringe out with your fingers or with a wide-bristled comb to remove stuck-in debris and hair.
Vacuuming should be done on your rugs regularly as well, and make sure you vacuum both sides of your area rugs to preserve their quality. Vacuum high traffic area rugs more frequently than rugs that see less abuse.
Where You Put Your Rugs
A hallway runner is best suited for high traffic than an Oriental rug is; a Persian rug is a more beautiful centerpiece in your living room than an indoor/outdoor rug. If you have random rugs placed throughout your home without thought to where they should land, you will not get the full benefit of each rug type’s useful qualities.
Decorative rugs should be protected in the home and proper placement of each rug will give your home harmony and help your flooring pieces last longer. Your carpet cleaning specialist will help you decide the best placement for all the rugs in your home.
There are many reasons why your decorative and area rugs are fading sooner than they should. The best way to preserve your rugs is to have them taken care of by a professional rug and carpet cleaning company.
With proper care, you can expect your rugs to last for many years in your home. Allow our experts at Santa Cruz Rug Cleaners to keep your rugs clean and beautiful.
Call us today at 831-423-5235 to schedule your next oriental rug or area rug cleaning appointment.
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