Archive for August 2015

Assistance for Seniors

Assistance for Seniors
If you are a senior citizen, or have an elderly loved one, take a moment to review whether you are getting all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Over five million elderly Americans are not taking advantage of benefits provided by state and federal government programs. These benefits range from health care coverage to supplemental income to help paying utility bills.

Check out benefits checkup.org. This website, sponsored by the National Council on the Aging, offers a way for seniors, their families and their caregivers to access information on over 2,000 federal, state, and private programs. All states are covered and the information is easily accessed over the Internet. You’ll find information on prescription drugs, nutrition, energy assistance, health care, Social Security, housing, transportation, employment, volunteer services, and more.

Problem! Ugly Black Lines Along My Baseboards and Under My Doors

For customers new and established… we offer you this SPECIAL REPORT.

Problem! Ugly Black Lines Along My Baseboards and Under My Doors
If you have light-colored carpet, you may have experienced dark lines that appear on the carpet. This soiling is called filtration soiling because it comes from air passing through the carpet as it is attempting to get through the crack between the carpet and the baseboard.

As the air passes through the edge of the carpet pile, microscopic soiling is deposited there (hence the term filtration soiling.) This occurs over a significant period of time and is not noticed until a buildup has occurred.

This type of soiling is difficult to remove because the soil particles are so fine that they penetrate deep into the carpet pile, even sometimes into the backing of the carpet. Can filtration soiling be removed? Sometimes. With special products, time, and effort, reasonable results can be achieved.

To help prevent filtration soiling, vacuum and wipe the edges of the carpeting on a regular basis. Be careful around the tack-strip on the edge of the carpeting; it could nick your fingers!

Why Spots Return After Having Your Carpet Cleaned – Part Two

Have you ever wondered why spots return after having your carpet cleaned?

There are two reasons spots return. Here’s the second.

Reason 2: Re-Soiling

Re-soiling is caused by a sticky residue that has been left behind. The residue may be from the spot itself, the cleaner that was used, or both. Some common residue causes are over-the-counter carpet cleaners purchased at the grocery store. Avoid using these cleaners altogether. If you have to use one of these cleaners, or you have to use dish washing detergent, use as little as possible and rinse with water thoroughly.

Other residue causes are oily spots, duct tape, body oils, lotions, and other sticky or oily substances. If the entire oily residue is not removed, it will attract soil as the carpet is walked on. Even quality professional cleaning may not remove all oily residues the first time.


Cheap carpet cleaners use cheap products that are loaded with optical brighteners. Optical brighteners create an illusion of clean that causes the soil or spot to appear to be removed. The spot is still there. The soil is still there. Optical brighteners create a film that reflects light so that the carpet looks incredibly clean. It’s an optical illusion.

A stark illustration of this can be seen at a flea market or home show. Someone will be demonstrating a miracle cleaner on a small rug. The rug is saturated with motor oil. The salesman then scoops off just the foam of the miracle cleaner and presto, the motor oil is gone! This is physically impossible. Notice that the salesman has several bright lights shining on the demo rug to create the illusion.

How to Easily Lose One Pound a Week

How to Easily Lose One Pound a Week
It only takes a reduction of 500 calories a day to allow you to lose one pound a week. You can easily achieve this goal with some simple food substitutions.  If you are motivated, you can also add some exercise to your week to make it even easier to lose the weight. Here are some ideas that you can use to cut those daily calories:
Instead of a fast food lunch, which can range from 600 to 1500 calories, opt for any number of frozen entrees that have under 300 calories. Great ones to try are Weight Watchers Smart Ones and the South Beach Diet line.
When having pasta, rice, or potatoes as part of your meal, cut the amount of these carbohydrates in half and substitute some sautéed vegetables.  Add broccoli to your pasta, some onions and red peppers to your rice, and have a smaller serving of those mashed potatoes while adding a tossed salad. You can save 300 to 400 calories in one meal.
Instead of high calorie desserts like ice cream or brownies, choose lowfat yogurt or diet sparkling flavored water to satisfy your sweet tooth. Many ice creams now come in sugar-free varieties as well. You will save another 300 calories this way.
To dress up your sandwich, choose lower calorie condiments instead of high calorie mayonnaise or dressings. Light mayo has only 50 calories per tablespoon. Even lower calorie choices include spicy brown mustard at 5 calories per teaspoon, Tabasco sauce at 0 calories, and relish at only 5 calories per teaspoon.
If you want to walk away the pounds, use these guidelines: A moderate pace of 3-4 miles per hour for one hour will  burn 200-300 calories.

There are two reasons spots return.

Have you ever wondered why spots return after having your carpet cleaned?

There are two reasons spots return. Here’s the first.

Reason 1: Wicking

Many times, the spot that is being removed has seeped into the backing of the carpet. This is common with pet urine, beverages, and anything spilled in “volume.” The material dries in the backing and in the cushion (pad) of the carpet. When the spot is cleaned, only the material in the “pile” of the carpet is removed. However, moisture is introduced into the backing of the carpet. As the spot dries, the material in the backing of the carpet “wicks” back into the pile of the carpet much like wax into a candlewick.

Even traffic area soil that is embedded can wick back. This is especially common in glued-down carpet that is heavily impacted with soil. When the carpet is cleaned, it looks good. When it dries, the spots and traffic area soil come back.

The good news is if a spot actually wicks back, it can be removed. When you spot clean, place a folded white terry cloth towel over the spot just after you clean it while the spot is still moist. Place a heavy object on top of the cloth. Be sure to use a non-porous object that won’t transfer color onto the carpet. For example, a paper book cover could transfer color. Use a brick, a planting pot, or something like that.

When you have your carpet cleaned professionally, be sure to point out spots that have wicked back in the past, so they can be treated properly.

Stay tuned for the second reason you can’t beat always those spots!

Plant Your Garden This Fall

Plant Your Garden This Fall
It is a wonderful sign of spring when flowers planted in the fall begin to finally poke through the soil. The key to  having a colorful, early spring garden is to properly plant bulbs in the fall. These types of flowers are called  perennials, and they will keep blooming year after year.

To ensure the best results, choose a good place to plant your bulbs. They should be at least five feet from the foundation of your home, in soil that is well-drained and with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Each bulb should be
placed in its own hole, along with some bulb fertilizer. If your soil has clay in it, you will also need to add in some organic material or mulch.  Each bulb type should be planted at a specific depth. The packaging that your bulbs come in will specify how deep they should be planted. All bulbs should be planted with the pointed end facing upwards.

Different flowers will bloom at different times during the spring. To get a garden full of color for several months in a row, choose bulbs that bloom at different times. For example, plant crocus in the same bed as daffodils, along with some tulip bulbs.  You will have flowers from early spring to early summer.

Bulbs should be planted after the first frost, which varies depending on where you live. Your local nursery cantell you the best time to plant.

School is Never Out for the True Professional Cleaner

School is Never Out for the True Professional Cleaner
As kids return back to school, we are reminded of the importance of a good education. School doesn’t just teach facts and figures. You learn skills that allow you to accomplish many basic tasks. Math, reading, problem-solving and learning to work with others are skills that most of us learned in school.

Perhaps the most important skill that school teaches us is how to learn. We learn to read, ask questions, test theories and discuss ideas as a means of expanding our
knowledge. Imagine what would happen if a child was never taught these basic skills. It would be difficult to learn to drive, fill out a job application, read a menu, count money, use a computer or smart phone, travel abroad or shop without acquiring the skills you learn in school.

But learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from high school or college. You still need to acquire specific skills and knowledge in your chosen field of endeavor
in order to achieve excellence. That is when specialized training is needed. Can you imagine hiring a surgeon who only received on-the-job-training? What about an
automobile mechanic who watched some online videos to learn how to fix your car?  Professions like cosmetology, plumbing, home building, childcare and many others
require training, certification and in some cases, licensing. It should come as no surprise that training and certification are available for professional carpet and upholstery cleaners, too. This training and certification come from an organization called the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC.

Unlike those other professions, however, training and certification are not legal requirements for carpet and upholstery cleaners. That is why most professional carpet cleaning companies never invest the money and time in their employees to get this valuable training.

Hansen Steam Way technicians are different. We believe in the value of classroom learning in addition to our field training. In the classroom, technicians learn to identify the type of fibers they are cleaning. This is important so that they select the proper cleaning agents to assure safe, effective cleaning. They learn cleaning chemistry so they can choose the right products based on the type of soil and stains they are working on. They learn how fibers are dyed and how carpet and upholstery are manufactured.

In a typical 2- or 3-day IICRC course, our technicians get practical hands on demonstrations by a seasoned instructor with many years in the industry. This allows the students to reap the benefits of decades of experience without the risk of problems on the job.

There are separate courses for certification in each of several cleaning categories including: carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, leather cleaning, color repair, odor control, ceramic and stone tile cleaning as well as carpet repair and reinstallation.  Once the course is completed, our Technicians must pass a monitored 150-question exam to qualify for certification in that discipline.

But that is not the end of it. The IICRC requires ongoing education to maintain certification. So our Technicians keep learning even afterthey have achieved certification. This assures you, our valued clients that we are up to date on the latest in the cleaning industry.

As you can probably imagine, education is not free. It requires a significant investment of time and money to keep our team at the top of our profession. At Hansen Steam Way we believe you are worth it.

How to Clean Up a Spill

A good carpet cleaning company will give its customers that insider advice to keep their carpets clean and attractive. Here’s a little something you’ve always wanted to know!

How to Clean Up a Spill

Cover spill with a WHITE napkin or paper towels. DO NOT use colored paper! It might transfer onto the carpet. Be sure to use a THICK stack to absorb as much of the spot as possible.

Blot by stepping on stack of towels.

Apply spotting agent. Warning: Do not use over-the-counter spot removers! They can leave a sticky residue that attracts soil and may discolor your textiles. Instead, call us to find out what spotters we recommend.

REPEAT steps 1 and 2. If the spot does not come out, do NOT attempt any further action, as you may set the spot and/or damage your textiles. Instead, give us a call.

Do not over-wet the spot. Keep blotting until dry to the touch.

Boosting Your Brain Function with Exercise

Boosting Your Brain Function with Exercise
Brain function can diminish as we age. A report released by the Institute of Medicine suggests that maintaining physical activity can help preserve memory and attention as we get older. Studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental abilities. They also show a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers believe that the benefits come from increased blood flow and an increase in brain-protecting
chemicals. Exercise also seems to counter some of the reduction in brain connections that occur as we age. Doctors are not sure how these processes work or how effective exercise is in preventing mental decline, but they agree  that             exercise has many positive benefits for seniors and are hopeful that more research will lead to a better understanding of the mind-body connection.

Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Carpet: Part 2!

Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Carpet: Part 2!

4. Remove Spots Immediately

Spots that are not immediately removed can turn into permanent stains very easily. When a carpet is new, or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. However, for those spots you can’t remove easily with water, you must use a spot cleaner. Select a spot cleaner recommended by the carpet manufacturer or by your trained, certified professional cleaner. Most spot removers purchased over the counter leave too much soap residue and can cause yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product not made specifically for carpet.

Apply spot cleaner sparingly to white terry cloth and gently massage the spot, causing it to transfer into the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. If the product you are using seems to cause the spot to re-soil over a few-week period, discontinue use. For any spot that you are not able to remove, and for pet urine or feces, call your professional cleaner immediately.

5. Have Carpet Protector Reapplied

Residential nylon stain resistant carpets are treated with stain resist properties and soil resistors known as Dupont Teflon or 3M Scotchgard™. After a period of two to three years, some of the soil resistor wears off. At that point you should consider having a professional carpet cleaner reapply the protector after professional cleaning. The soil resistor will help soil slide off the carpet more easily when vacuuming, spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.

Unprotected carpet soils faster, doesn’t last as long, and is prone to permanent staining.