Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Secret to Cleaning Grout

The secret to cleaning grout is Oxygen bleach.Oxygen bleach is nontoxic, doesn't produce harsh fumes, and is color- and fabric-safe. It removes all food and grease stains with no or minimal scrubbing. The oxygen ions attack the stain molecules, breaking them into pieces that rinse away with little effort.

To clean floor tiles, mix any high-quality oxygen bleach with warm water and stir it until it dissolves. Then pour the solution onto the floor tile so the grout lines are flooded with the solution. It's best to apply the oxygen-bleach solution to dry grout so it soaks deeply. Let the solution sit on the grout for at least 15 minutes. If it completely soaks into the grout, add more solution, making sure there is always plenty of the cleaning liquid on the grout.

The longer you let the solution sit on the grout, the less work you have to do cleaning tile flooring. The oxygen ions work for up to six hours. To get maximum cleaning results, it helps to scrub the grout lightly after 30 minutes. Always pour new solution onto the grout as you scrub.
An oxygen bleach solution will remove red wine stains in minutes. Beet juice is not a problem. I've not discovered one stain it can't remove. Friends have tried the tile cleaning machines, but they say the oxygen bleach does a much better job. You have to always scrub a little, but that's how anything gets clean.

Once you have clean floor tiles, you can keep the grout looking like new by adding oxygen bleach powder to your mop water. Apply a liberal amount of mop water to the floor, scrubbing the tile surface with the mop. But leave the mop water in the grout joints without rinsing the floor. The oxygen ions clean the light dirt in the grout without scrubbing. Come back 30 minutes later and rinse the floor with clean water. If you do this each time, you'll never be on your hands and knees again with a scrub brush.

It's always best to work on stains while they're fresh, if at all possible. But tile floors that have been dirty for years will come clean in no time if you use oxygen bleach.

Courtesy Of: Tim Carter    The Washington Post

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s that time of year again: Time to scour the Internet for spring cleaning tips as fresh as we want our homes to be – and in my case, my carpets are looking a little dull. (Okay, a lot dull.) Keeping carpets clean and stain free is a challenge, especially in high traffic areas that become the stomping ground for winter’s mix of slush and sand.
Before you know it, your carpets are shades darker than they were just one season ago. Here are my favorite natural spring cleaning tips to liven up your carpeting:

1.) Always vacuum first

It is important to vacuum regularly which keeps deeply embedded dirt, sand and dander to a minimum. Use the changing seasons to do a thorough, detailed vacuum of the nooks and crannies: Under furniture, around furniture legs and across your baseboards.

2.) Get rid of stains

While we all do our best to deal with carpet stains as they happen, there are always those pesky spots we didn’t have time to tackle or that take several treatments.
One of the coolest spring cleaning tips I came across last year helped me remove stains I thought I was stuck with forever – and all you need is an iron.
  • Throw a solution of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water into a spray bottle and spray the stain.
  • Place a damp rag on top of the spot.
  • With your iron on the steam setting, iron the rag for about 30 seconds.
  • Voila!
Depending on how long the stain has been there, you might have to repeat these steps, but it’s an impressive transformation!

3.) Bust out the steam cleaner

Mix equal parts water and vinegar and add to your steam cleaner just like you would any cleaning solution. Add a few drops of your favorite oil if you’re concerned your carpet’s going to smell like salad dressing. For high traffic areas that need more power, use a higher ratio of vinegar to water.

4.) Keep your carpets fresh

Between deep cleans, you can prolong the freshness of your carpet by creating your own carpet freshener. Mix the below ingredients and store in a shaker:
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil
  • If you have pets, add ½ cup of borax to keep fleas at bay
Before your subsequent vacuuming sessions, lightly sprinkle the mix onto your carpet, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuum as per usual. (Just make sure to do this on a dry day so the baking soda doesn’t pick up any moisture.)
Who knows? After taking these spring cleaning tips for a spin, you might even enjoy cleaning your carpets! (Okay, that’s probably a stretch.)

Courtesy of: Organic Authority

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Allergies and Carpets- The Facts

Health professionals sometimes recommend that allergy and asthma patients remove carpet from their homes. But those recommendations are generally based on faulty assumptions. In fact, clean, dry, well-maintained carpet actually improves air quality.

Carpet acts as a trap for airborne particles grounded through natural gravity.

Professional Testing Labs studied the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities on hard and soft flooring surfaces. Their findings showed that walking on hard surfaces disturbed more particles. These particles became airborne and entered the breathing zone. In contrast, carpeted surfaces trapped more particles so that walking disturbed fewer particles. Result: less dust in the breathing zone over carpeted floors.

Here are two articles that provide more information on the relationship between carpet and allergy symptoms:

1.) Click here to learn about the Swedish study that showed an increase in allergy cases as carpet use declined.

2.) Click here to read the results of a Solutia study on airborne allergens.

Courtesy of: The Carpet and Rug Institute

Friday, March 28, 2014

Carpeting Pet Owners Have Been Waiting For

We've always had pets, and while we love them, they can be incredibly frustrating to clean up after *especially on carpeting. And surely we are not the only ones who knows this plight. In fact, the American Pet Product Association found that more homes in America have pets than children. That’s a whole lot of carpet damage just waiting to happen.

But there may be hope: Stainmaster has introduced a new PetProtect carpet system, designed especially for cat and dog owners. Stain master touts the line as taking on pet messes in three smart ways.

First, unlike many carpets, PetProtect builds dye and stain-resistance directly into the fibers, which means you can scrub and scrub (because, as pet owners know, accidents and muddy paws do happen) without  fading your rug or diminishing its resistance to stains.
The new carpeting is also designed to reduce pet hair cling, making it easier to vacuum away.

And finally, the carpet cushion has a moisture barrier that keeps pet accidents (or any other spills) from penetrating the padding and subfloors. This could be big for those of you housetraining a puppy: no more hidden stains that cause lingering odors.

PetProtect carpet comes with a lifetime warranty, is available in many styles and colors, and typically retails for $2 to $7 per square foot.

Courtesy Of: Lexie Sachs * Good Housekeeping

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Kind of Rugs are Good for High Traffic Areas?

Most well-made wool rugs are quite durable, so you have many options. But there are some types of rugs that are not well suited to high-traffic areas. Graham Head, vice chairman of ABC Carpet & Home, recommends steering clear of sisal and other natural materials like sea grass. “Those are not hard-wearing materials,” he said. “They will absorb any water spills and deteriorate.”You should also avoid silk, which is not durable, and shaggy carpets, which “will lay flat and wear out because you’re walking on the side of the pile and not the top,” Mr. Head said.

Most wool rugs will hold up well for a relatively long time, but there is a simple step you can take to extend their lifespan. “The critical thing is to put a pad underneath,” Mr. Head said. Most rugs do not wear out from the top, but from the bottom, where the knots rub against the floor. A pad “works as a shock absorber,” he said, keeping the knots away from hard surfaces and holding the rug in place.

Color and pattern are also important considerations. There is no point in buying a long-lasting rug if it is going to be stained by foot traffic. That means no whites or creams and no dark solid colors (think of how quickly a car with black paint appears to get dirty). Your best bet is to go with a hue somewhere in between. Search out either a solid that has specks of color in it or something with a pattern that will camouflage pet hair, spills and dirt.

                                                                                    Courtesy of : Tom McKEOUGH   NY Times 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do Carpets Help to Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Carpet can be wrongly blamed for contributing to asthma and allergy and for emitting high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Studies have shown that carpet is better at trapping allergens than hard surface, such as tile or hardwood, because carpet fibers catch particles and allergens that fall to floor. When allergens are trapped in the carpet, they cannot circulate in the air for you to breathe. Proper cleaning effectively sucks up the dirt and dust from the carpet, locks it in the machine and keeps it out of the air.

New carpet may also have a “new carpet smell.”  Scientific studies show that new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs into the indoor environment. In fact, carpet emits less VOCs than other products such as paint.  Further, these emissions clear very quickly. The low-level VOC emissions and the harmless odor from new carpet dissipate within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation — even sooner with open windows or doors.

So if you are concerned about asthma, allergies or VOCs, be sure to ask about Green Label and Green Label Plus carpet, cushion and adhesive options.

                                                  Courtesy of: The Carpet and Rug Institute