Archive for July 2015

Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Carpet: Part 1!

Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Carpet: Part 1!

1. Check the Warranty

Copies of specific warranties from your carpet purchase may be available from your carpet retailer. Stain resist warranties can vary from 5 to 20 years. ALL STAIN RESIST WARRANTIES REQUIRE REGULAR CLEANING AND IMMEDIATE SPOT REMOVAL.

2. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum!

It is said that the three most important rules for maintaining carpet are vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Vacuum your carpet often; once or twice a week at least. Vacuuming removes the sharp soil that can cut and slice the fiber, causing premature wear. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Remove any loose particles such as food, leaves, pieces of crayon, and bugs, as these items can cause a spot on the carpet. Be sure to use a quality vacuum cleaner that is well maintained. If you have any questions about what type of vacuum is best, please ask us.

3. Have Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned Often

Most people don’t clean their carpet often enough, perhaps due to the cost or the hassle factor, or because they do not realize how important regular professional cleaning can be. For example, if your traffic areas are visibly soiled, you have already waited too long! Traffic area soil is somewhat oily and bonds to the carpet fibers, eventually staining the carpet. Once this has taken place, even though professional cleaning will make it look much better, the traffic pattern will still be visible. In addition, traffic area soil is sharp—like sandpaper—and it abrades the carpet fibers. To keep this to a minimum, clean your traffic areas before they look visibly soiled.

Making a Clean Break

Making a Clean Break
There is never a better time to give your belongings a good going-over than when you are moving. Packing and unpacking can be a big hassle, but this process is a perfect opportunity to get rid of the clutter and unwanted items in your life. So, the first step when getting ready to pack should be a thorough house cleaning.
Go through every room of your home and discard any broken items.  If it can be fixed, either fix it yourself or take it to a repair shop. If it cannot be fixed or is too  expensive to repair, simply toss it.
Next, remove all those items you don’t want or don’t use anymore. You can give them to friends or a charitable organization, or you may decide to have a garage sale to raise some extra cash for all those moving expenses.
Another option is to haul your things to a consignment shop. This is an especially wise move for any big ticket items you may have, like stereo equipment, exercise gear, designer clothing, or sporting equipment.
Remember that hazardous wastes, including motor oil, leftover paint, batteries, and some household and lawn chemicals, must be disposed of properly. Most communities have designated drop-off facilities for such wastes.

Your Carpet Represents a Significant Investment

Your carpet represents a significant investment. Just like any investment, maintenance is required to get the best return on it. Think about your automobile. You change the oil in your vehicle so the engine will last longer, to avoid costly repairs, and to get top performance from it. The same is true for your carpet, or any floor covering for that matter. By properly maintaining your carpet it will look better, last longer, and contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

Soil is corrosive by nature. It breaks down the fibers of your textiles. Soil that cannot be removed by vacuuming bonds to the carpet; it can then only be removed by professional cleaning. Even though your floors and fabrics may look clean, that doesn’t mean they are clean. Especially if you have pets and children. Soils, pollens, bacteria, asphalt, insecticides, and all sorts of invisible enemies are transferred to your furnishings daily. Not to mention the unmentionable: urine or fecal matter. (I know that’s yucky!)

Every day “environmental oils” attract abrasive soils: Carpeted traffic areas coming out of the kitchen collect cooking oils. Sofa arms collect body oils, and hard surface floors collect film from cleaning agents. The grit then eats away at the surface like sand paper.

The solution is to have your carpets, upholstery, and hard surface floors cleaned at least every 12 months; more often in high traffic areas.

You have probably heard that cleaning your carpets and floors too often is harmful. This is simply not true IF your floors and fabrics are cleaned according to proper standards. This myth came from uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous cleaners leaving a sticky residue behind, which made the attraction to harmful soils worse instead of better.

Internet Tidbit: TwoFoods

Internet Tidbit: TwoFoods
When you are trying to eat healthy, it can sometimes be hard to know which foods to choose. The website TwoFoods.com makes it easier to do just that. You enter two different foods, and the website will compare them, showing you the healthier option. Besides food you have at home, you can also enter restaurant selections. You’ll be
shown total calories, carbs, fat, and protein. The simple interface and large database makes it the perfect tool to use when you aren’t able to access nutritional information easily or when you are making food from scratch.

“How Do I Best Care for My Carpet?”

An effective carpet cleaning company will give its customers the best advice it knows to keep their carpets refreshed and attractive for months (years?) on end. So don’t be shy to ask your prospective cleaning service this: “How Do I Best Care for My Carpet?”

There is much discussion in our industry about how often carpeting should be cleaned. Surely you have heard “wait as long as you can before you clean your carpet” or “once you’ve cleaned your carpet, it’s never the same.”

These widely used comments have stemmed from unfortunate encounters with uninformed cleaners who have left the carpet with an overload of detergent residue. The unfortunate consumer has assumed this will happen with all carpet cleaning and resolved to wait until the carpet is in dire straits before cleaning it.

The good news is that a properly-cleaned carpet will not re-soil quickly and will actually last longer. Why? Because damaging soils are removed with effective carpet cleaning. Soil that is not removed by vacuuming, even though it can rarely be seen by the naked eye, cuts and slices the carpet fibers as the carpet is walked on, breaking down the carpet yarns in the traffic areas. The result is that even with restorative cleaning at that point, it will not correct the damage that has been done to the fiber. Not to mention that a carpet that is not cleaned on a regular basis is an unhealthy carpet. Carpet is like a sink. It collects pollens, insecticides, exhaust, and other undesirable substances that get tracked in or blown in from the polluted outdoors. Carpet manufacturers state that a residential carpet should be professionally cleaned at least every 18 to 24 months for best performance. More often if pets and/or children are present and perhaps more often if you are a smoker. The EPA published a guide that suggested regular cleaning frequencies based on number of occupants and other factors.

In short, a carpet that is maintained on a regular basis will not only last longer but will also provide a healthier indoor environment.

For the Love of Cotton

You may not know this, but cotton is the most popular fiber in the world. Why?  Because it’s durable, easily dyed, absorbent, soft and comfortable to touch. These
characteristics make it the fabric of choice for clothing, towels, bedding and more.

We’re not the first people to recognize the virtues of this versatile fiber. Cotton has
been cultivated globally for thousands of years. From underwear to overcoats, clothing continues to be the most common use for cotton.

The same features that make cotton ideal for clothing make it perfect for upholstery.  Like your clothing, all upholstery – including cotton– must be cleaned periodically for appearance and health.  Furniture manufacturers recommend cleaning every 12-24 months. Failure to do so can result in an unwanted appearance change called soil staining. Soil staining occurs when soils, oils and pollutants adhere to the fibers and oxidize. This can result in permanent dulling of colors and changes to fabric texture.

Aside from a certain amount of normal shrinkage and potential wrinkles, most cotton clothing can be washed without any major problems. The fabrics used in upholstery differ in a number of ways from clothing, including how we clean them.

When used in upholstery, cotton may be blended with other fibers that have different characteristics and dye systems. Often the fabric is made up of multiple layers and can be quite thick. This creates challenges when cleaning. Ripples and distortion to the fabric texture are not uncommon.

Second, while most cotton clothing is designed to be washed in the laundry with lots of water, detergents and agitation, upholstery fabric is not. Lighter colored cotton upholstery may turn brown or yellow as the cellulose material in the cotton breaks down. Dyes may bleed or run. With some cleaning agents, cotton fabrics can actually degrade and become weak or even split.

There is also the potential that the fabric will shrink. This leads to cushion covers not fitting properly, skirts and dust ruffles curling or wrinkling and other appearance  problems.  That’s why you should never remove cushion covers to launder them.
You can hang your clothing on a line or put it in a dryer to dry. Not so with upholstery. The multiple layers of fabric,batting and cushion can cause slow drying, which could cause browning and dye bleed. We prevent such damage by using high velocity air movers to encourage rapid drying and carefully controlling the amount of moisture while cleaning.

Most fabrics can be cleaned safely with the right equipment, cleaning agents and proper training. One of the most important steps is to test
the fabric for dye stability, browning and potential shrinkage, as well as inspect for other possible issues.

Taking all of this into account, some fabrics will require low moisture, controlled pH, and the gentle hand of an experienced upholstery cleaner to avoid damage. A fabric protector application should follow every cleaning. Your fabric will stay cleaner longer and resist permanent staining.  How can you tell which fabrics are problematic? It’s hard to know without experience and training.  That’s why it is important to trust your upholstery cleaning needs to Hansen Steam Way. Regardless of the fabric, we can clean it safely.
Call us at (865) 453-5624 to
schedule your upholstery cleaning

Choosing a Great Pet Bed

Choosing a Great Pet Bed
Most pets enjoy having their own bed. If you are deciding on a bed for your dog or cat, be sure to choose one that will provide warmth, support and a sense of security.  What makes a pet bed great?  Keep these tips in mind when shopping.
A good pet bed should be made of durable and washable material.  Natural fibers are best and the fabric should not be treated with chemicals such as flame-retardants or stain-protectors.
The bed should have a non-skid bottom to help keep it in place.
Get a bed that will comfortably fit your pet even when he or she is stretching.  But if you have a dog or cat that only sleeps curled up, you may need to get a smaller bed to provide a cozier feel.

There are a variety of beds for special needs: hypoallergenic materials for allergic pets, orthopedic beds for animals with arthritis, and waterproof beds for pets with incontinence problems.

“So what happens if I don’t apply carpet protector?”

“So what happens if I don’t apply carpet protector?” you might ask. When you apply carpet proctor, you’ll avoid five key carpet problems:

More permanent stains.
A great-looking carpet can be ruined by an ugly spot. Unprotected carpet doesn’t repel spillage as well as protected carpet. Being able to remove spots and spills more effectively, avoids permanent staining.

“Uglied-out” traffic lanes.
Traffic area soil is very abrasive and cuts carpet yarns like a knife. This damaging soil can easily bond to an unprotected carpet. By applying protector, you will increase the life of your carpet dramatically. When you vacuum your protected carpet, the soils will release from the carpet pile much more effectively.

Difficult spot removal.
The easier a spot is to remove, the less cleaner you will have to use, the less agitation you will have to use, and the less time it will take. With a protected carpet, many spots can be removed easily with just water or the free spot remover we provide you with.

Next professional cleaning not as effective.
Because of the first three items in this list, not having protector can reduce the effectiveness of your next cleaning. Having protector applied to your carpet will enhance your next cleaning. More soil will be removed the next time your carpeting is professionally cleaned.

Costly service calls.
Although you want to call us out to handle any spot you cannot remove immediately, carpet protector helps you remove more spots than you could without protector. You may be able to save a minimum charge by removing the spot yourself.
Here’s the answer to the question of whether to have carpet protector applied: You should always get carpet protector on nylon or wool carpet. Olefin carpet can even benefit in the abraded areas. So, make it your goal to always get carpet protector applied when having professional cleaning done.