Archive for May 2015

Get Your Car in Shape for Summer

Get Your Car in Shape for Summer

As the weather gets warmer, there are some steps you can take to protect your car and keep it running its best. Take time to give your vehicle a summertime checkup before things really heat up!
}} A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by up to 50 percent. With gas prices rising, you can save more than a few bucks by giving your car a full tune-up, including an oil and oil filter change. You will also save on engine wear and tear.
}} Check your tire pressure. Be sure to wait until your tires have cooled down (at least three hours or after it has been driven less than 1.5 miles). If you test your tires when they are warm, you will get a false reading. Fill your tires to the recommended pressure.  Underinflated tires wear faster, waste fuel, and are unsafe. Having just one tire underinflated by eight pounds per square inch can reduce the life of that tire by over 6,000 miles and increase fuel consumption by five percent.
}} Give your air conditioner a check up. Check for leaks and other needed repairs. Remember that using an air conditioner in stop-and-go traffic can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.
}} Don’t top off your fuel tank when filling up, especially during the summer months. Fuel naturally expands as it heats, causing excess fuel to spill out. Save money and protect the environment by only filling your tank until the pump handle stops automatically

More Carpet Cleaning Methods

More carpet cleaning methods you should consider. A great cleaning service will tell you your options and make a recommendation that meets your needs!

Method 2: Absorbent Pad

Also known as bonnet cleaning, this method employs a round pad that spins across the surface of the carpet, absorbing the soil. A solution is applied to the carpet or the pad to aid in releasing soils. This is a method that some may classify as “dry cleaning” although water-based products are used in almost all “dry cleaning” systems; therefore the term dry cleaning is not technical and would not be desired. Absorbent pad cleaning is not a deep-cleaning method. It should only be used to clean lightly soiled carpet and upholstery.

Method 3: Dry Compound

This method uses a powder that has been treated with detergents, water, and solvents. The powder compound is sprinkled on the carpet and a brush with cylindrical brushes is used to work the powder into the carpet pile. The solution in the powder releases the soil. The soil is then absorbed into the absorbent powder. This method should only be used to clean lightly soiled carpet and upholstery, and for maintenance cleaning.

Method 4: Shampoo or Dry Foam

In this method, a shampoo or foam is generated and worked into the carpet with a rotary brush or cylindrical brush machine. The shampoo or foam releases the soil. The soil is then vacuumed with the machine or allowed to dry and removed with a conventional vacuum cleaner. When using shampoo, great care should be taken to avoid leaving a sticky residue on the carpet. This method should only be used to clean lightly soiled carpet and upholstery, and for maintenance cleaning.

While the above  are three more methods of cleaning carpet, carpet cleaning has come along way.

Encapsulation Cleaning has pretty much taken over the three methods listed above!

Encapsulation cleaning is a low moisture, fast drying type of cleaning to be done between hot water extraction cleanings or in places hot water extraction cannot be performed. It continues to encapsulate soiling after the cleaning for a time that you can vacuum up during regular housekeeping.

Our company is experienced in all methods of carpet cleaning. Give us a call to consult with us about your needs.

Should you go with “dry cleaning” or “steam cleaning”?

Let’s get technical, shall we? We’re about to tackle some serious stuff when it comes to carpet cleaning techniques.

Should you go with “dry cleaning” or “steam cleaning”?

Is one method better than the other? Are these even the right terms? Well, as usual, these terms only hint at part of the issue at hand. Both “dry” and “steam” are incomplete and inaccurate terms. Neither are technical terms that properly describe carpet cleaning methods.

There are actually four methods of carpet cleaning approved by the IICRC, the world’s most recognized body of certification for carpet and upholstery cleaners.

Method 1: Hot Water Extraction

Otherwise known as “steam cleaning,” hot water extraction is the process most people are probably familiar with. Hot water extraction is the correct technical term, not steam cleaning. Actual steam is not used at all. A hot water solution is produced and immediately recovered, creating a “flushing” action on the carpet.

The smallest portable machine rented at the grocery store could be called a “steam cleaner,” but a powerful truck-mounted machine is obviously more capable of doing a thorough cleaning job.

However, the biggest and most important difference is in the person cleaning the carpet. A trained technician will know what pressure to use, what cleaning products to use, and how to get maximum soil removal and maximum spot removal without over-wetting the carpet or leaving a sticky residue behind. The horror stories of carpet being wet for days are due to operator error, not because “steam” or hot water extraction caused it.

Hot water extraction applied properly will remove more soil than any other method. Further, anything that has seeped into the backing such as coffee, other beverages, or urine can be “flushed out” with hot water extraction. This method can also be used in lightly soiled and maintenance situations, as it is very versatile.

More methods to come in our next blog!

Pet Dental Health

Pet Dental Health

Dogs and cats can benefit from good oral care. You should plan on examining your pet’s mouth regularly. Your dental routine should include teeth brushing and regular visits to your vet. To make sure your pet has a life of good oral health, keep these tips in mind.

1. If you smell bad breath, your dog or cat may have tooth-related trouble. While dogs and cats do not have perfectly smelling breath all the time, if you notice a particularly strong odor or the sudden onset of a different odor, something may be amiss.
2. Once a week, examine your pet’s teeth and gums. If you notice any discoloration, inflammation, swelling or bleeding of the gums, you should be concerned. You should also look for any discolored, chipped, loose, or missing teeth. If you see any of these conditions, it’s time for your pet to see a vet.
3. You can get toothbrushes and toothpaste made especially for your dog or cat. Human toothpaste should not be used on your pet’s teeth. It may be difficult to brush your pet’s teeth at first, but after some regular practice, he or she will get more used to it, and it will be easier for both of you. Plan on brushing your pet’s teeth at least
once a week.

4. Let them chew safe and healthy products. Chew toys and chew treats are good for your pet, satisfying their urge to chew and providing good stimulation to the teeth and gums. They also help scrape plaque from teeth and massage their gums.

Beware the High Co$t of a Cheap Pri¢e

Beware the High Co$t of a Cheap Pri¢e

Sometimes bargain hunting nets you a great deal, but other times the gamble is simply not worth the risk. The 19th century social commentator John Ruskin
probably said it best, “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too
little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. If you deal with the lowest bidder,it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.” This is often the case when we are hiring the services of another person or company.  While it is true that we want to get the lowest possible price, we still expect quality and performance.
There is a saying that when you hire the services of another you can have two of the following three things: You can have it on time, on budget, or done right. You
can never, the saying goes, achieve all three of these at one time. Cheap carpet cleaning requires cheap equipment, cheap chemicals, and cheap labor. Even one of these would cause a problem, but specifically, how does each of these budget cutting measures affect you?

Cheap Equipment
To be effective, a cleaning machine must remove maximum soil and allow the carpet to dry in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, the equipment must not damage the carpet. The best machines do a superior job of removing soil and recovering cleaning agents and waste water. Naturally, these machines are more expensive. A  carpet cleaner who uses cheap equipment simply cannot get the carpet nearly as clean as you really need it to be.
Cheap Chemicals
The best cleaning agents are formulated to remove soils and leave behind little or no residue. Sticky detergent residues will cause rapid re-soiling. Cheap chemicals are often harsh, and can damage your carpet fibers and dyes. In addition, the carpet’s soil and stain resistance will be compromised by harsh chemicals. So, although the carpet looks clean, your carpet will re-soil faster and become susceptible to permanent stains from common food and drink spills.

Cheap Labor
Unethical operators hire inexperienced workers and pay them extremely low wages or commissions. The only way that the worker can make a decent living is by “upselling” additional services. In many cases these additional services such as “deep scrubbing”, “traffic lane preconditioning” or “sanitizing” are steps that reputable companies include at no charge in every cleaning.  Additionally, the underpaid “technician” must often resort to high-pressure selling to get you to spend more money. In the end, you don’t get the cheap price that you were promised.  Finally, these companies are like a revolving door, hiring and losing employees every week. They never take the time or spend the money to train and educate workers to become competent certified professionals.
Protecting Your Carpet
When all is said and done, cheap carpet cleaning can cost you plenty. After all, what can you expect when an inexperienced worker using harsh, ineffective chemicals, and inferior equipment rushes through the job?  You really do get what you pay for.  That’s why Hansen Steam Way, while perhaps not the cheapest, provides the best value for your carpet cleaning dollar. You get dedicated, certified technicians, using superior equipment and the best cleaning agents every time. Isn’t that what you really want?


12 Step Cleaning Program

Our 12 Step Cleaning Program

Step 1: Pre-Cleaning Inspection
The carpet or upholstery should be inspected and tested so the cleaner can inform you of the expected results and any potential challenges. This inspection should include identifying the fiber type as well as any potentially permanent stains.

Step 2: Dry Soil Removal
Up to 85% of soil in a textile is dry particulate soil that has bonded to the surface of the fabric. Household vacuum cleaners don’t always remove all of the dry soil. If not completely removed, it may “wick” back upon drying.

Step 3: Furniture Moving
Find out what furniture is recommended to be moved, what is included under the regular pricing structure, and what stays in place.

Step 4: Pre-Conditioning Traffic Areas
In this step, a solution is applied that loosens the soil and spots for more effective removal.

Step 5: Pre-Treat Spots
Some spots require special solutions and special care for complete removal and to avoid the stain “setting.”

Step 6: Pre-Cleaning Grooming
The carpet or upholstery pile is gently massaged to further loosen the soils so that aggressive, harmful cleaning is not needed.

Step 7: Extraction
Now that the soil has been properly “suspended,” it can be extracted without over-wetting or leaving a sticky residue behind.

Step 8: Neutralizing
A common problem is that some carpet cleaners don’t neutralize the carpet. Not balancing the pH can cause the carpet to be stiff and attract dirt like a magnet.

Step 9: Specialty Spotting
Stubborn stains sometimes require specialty stain removal processes. Because many cleaners do not train themselves, they do not know about these processes. Those who do sometimes gouge customers for these processes by offering a low price to hook you, intending to up the price by charging for “extras.”

Step 10: Post-Cleaning Grooming
The pile of the carpet or upholstery should then be “finished” so it dries and cures in the proper direction.

Step 11: Speed Dry
Proper drying should be insured with high velocity air movers.

Step 12: Post-Cleaning Inspection
A thorough walk-through should be done to insure that you are completely satisfied with your cleaning job.

Trusting More as We Age

Trusting More as We Age

Researchers at Northwestern University have published the results of two studies that show that trust of other people increases as people age,
which can be good for general wellbeing.  The first study, conducted over 26 years, showed that older people had higher levels of trust of other people than younger people. Those study participants who had higher levels of interpersonal trust also reported higher levels of wellbeing.  The second study was conducted to confirm these results. Participants were followed for four years and compared across age groups. This study also showed that interpersonal trust increased as we age.
There is a stereotype of the elderly becoming more cynical and suspicious, but these studies show otherwise. The researchers did not look to see why this might be, but
they did speculate that it could be due to a number of factors. Older people tend to be more optimistic and forgiving of the small clashes of personalities they have with others.  They also tend to be better judges of character, with this perhaps coming from a lifetime of experiences with both trustworthy and deceitful people.
There can be a downside however, such as when a senior citizen gets duped by a fraudster trying to steal from them. But overall, an increase in interpersonal trust has significant benefits to overall health and feelings of wellbeing.

The 12 Step Cleaning Program

The 12 Step Cleaning Program

Have you ever had a carpet cleaner race through your cleaning job? You wonder how he could have possibly cleaned the carpet in such a short amount of time!

It “looks” clean, but what will resurface in the near future?

We have identified 12 vital steps in the carpet cleaning process that result in maximum soil and spot removal without over-wetting the carpet or leaving a sticky residue behind. These 12 steps also insure that you are satisfied. Most carpet cleaners don’t apply even a fraction of these steps.

When a cleaner rushes through the job, insisting that his “super-duper” cleaning machine does all the work, soil that could have been removed is left behind. In the worst cases, a sticky residue that attracts dirt like a magnet is left on your carpet. And to top it off, it takes three days to dry! That means it is now susceptible to mold and mildew.

Most of the 12 steps are required by the IICRC, yet many cleaners ignore that fact, leaving you holding the bag. Up next, the steps!