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Household Cleaning Tips

Pro Cleaning Tips

Wow it’s been a little while since our last post so I’ll try and make it a good one! Lots of great cleaning tips here.

Being a busy professional carpet cleaner in Fredericksburg Va we see the insides of many homes. A lot of our customers do a great job of maintaining their homes, but I won’t lie… some do not for one reason or another. Some homes we go in are like museums and are so clean we sometimes wonder what we are there for, and others well…OMG do they not see it? do they not care? or do they feel they are too far behind and don’t know where to start? The worst we see are usually rentals, some folks like to rent and clean once a year when their lease is up and they have to, and sometimes they don’t even do it then…just walk away and let the property management deal with it.

Lets face it, nobody likes to spend there whole weekend cleaning and quite honestly they should not do that. I am going to share some tips on how my wife and I take care of our own home, and hopefully it inspires you to get on a program that makes you feel better about your cleaning habits.

Get a good vacuum!

First and foremost I recommend getting a quality vacuum cleaner with an upgraded attachment package. Having the right tools for any job is critical. We have a Riccar that we got just before the last good independent vacuum guy closed up in Fredericksburg. There is a quality vacuum shop by Potomac Mills that still carries the Kirby’s, Royal’s, Riccar’s, ect… worth the trip.

Having the right tools makes the job a little more bearable, one thing I noticed out in the field is that very few people vacuum their stairs regularly, probably because they don’t have the right attachments to make it easier on the back.

 

soft brush attachment for base molding. or other delicate surfaces.

soft brush attachment for base molding. or other delicate surfaces.

Crevice tool, a must for the carpet edges to prevent permanent black filter lines.

Crevice tool, a must for the carpet edges to prevent permanent black filter lines.

a long telescoping attachment for reaching high spots and getting those cob webs.

a long telescoping attachment for reaching high spots and getting those cob webs.

 

 

 

 

Break it up into manageable pieces

The next tip is to not do it all in one day. We have a big house and it would take at least a whole day if not a couple of days to do a top to bottom cleaning. So we attack it by levels, it only took me an hour to do my whole finished basement. That included doing the full bathroom, and using all my attachments to get along the base molding and the crevices of each stair tread. I still had the whole day left to do fun stuff. This particular day was Labor Day and we went out on the boat and enjoyed the beautiful Potomac River. You could also choose to do a little on the weekdays after work. It is also a good idea to vacuum under the furniture from time to time. Now that would take a long time to do all at once so just do a couple of pieces each week and keep rotating throughout the year.

The Bathroom

Now we move into the bathroom, first thing is to vacuum real good. You will need to use the attachments in there too because hair will hide under the shoe molding. It will come out to frustrate you when you start to mop. My favorite bathroom cleaners is Bon Ami and Armstrong floor cleaner. Nothing comes close to the Norwex water only microfiber cloths for streak free glass cleaning.  I actually put an ounce of the Armstrong right in the sink and use a sponge to wipe down everything, then clean my way out with the mop right from the sink. The rubber Norwex toilet bowl cleaner is the best for cleaning toilets and never get nasty like other bowl brushes. Where can you get these Norwex products you ask? The one and only…Leona Vangee 

My favorite go to's...Armstrong floor cleaner and Bon Ami

My favorite go to’s…Armstrong floor cleaner and Bon Ami

Just a capfull of Armstrong floor cleaner is all you need, right in the sink!

Just a cap full of Armstrong floor cleaner is all you need, right in the sink!

Norwex microfiber and water will clean and sanitize better than anything else...believe it!

Norwex microfiber and water will clean and sanitize better than anything else…believe it!

No bucket needed!

No bucket needed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Norwex bowl brush will never get nasty like the store bought brushes.

The Norwex bowl brush will never get nasty like the store bought brushes.

Getting Organized

The last thing  I would like to touch on is organization and breaking the cycle of clean. Before you can start a good cleaning regiment your home needs to be free of clutter. Lets face it you can’t effectively wipe down a counter top or dust the top of a dresser if it is completely covered in junk mail and other useless household clutter. There is nothing quite like having your home totally organized and knowing exactly where every single thing is at all times. This alone is a huge time saver. Before I got organized I spent half my life looking for things that I could not find so I went out and bought another. No more people! get organized!!! Handle the mail every single day…right in the recycle bin. You don’t need it, handle all your bills electronically. Get with everyone you do business and choose paperless!

Breaking the cycle of soil

Now to the last topic…breaking the cycle. This means cleaning the outside of your home and unfinished areas of the basement and garage. Preventing soil from entering your clean home in the first place is important. Every week after I cut my grass I grab my leaf blower and take five minutes to blow off the driveway, walkways, patios, decks and garage. Some may call me a nut, but occasionally I even use my Shopvac to vacuum the unfinished areas in the basement. Doing all of this as well as keeping good doormats at all entrances will greatly reduce dust and allergens from entering the home.

Having some rules in the home such as no shoes, or food stays in the kitchen will go a long way in extending the life of your carpet and floors. Owning a small Bissell soptter machine is a must have for small accidents and spills, but be sure to have a professional carpet cleaner out annually for a good deep clean.

All Done! Basement looking good in no time!

All Done! Basement looking good in no time!

These high quality rubber mats are at the entrances of my home. They catch an enormous amount of soil, are easily dumped out and are also 15 years old and still look new. They are a little commercial looking but I don't care, they are effective.

These high quality rubber mats are at the entrances of my home. They catch an enormous amount of soil, are easily dumped out and are also 15 years old and still look new. They are a little commercial looking but I don’t care, they are effective.

Keeping your things well organized and off the ground will make cleaning easier, protect it from floods and you will know where everything is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As promised, here we are having fun after we got our responsibilities knocked out... LOL

As promised, here we are having fun after we got our responsibilities knocked out… LOL

The best carpet cleaning machine

New truck mounted carpet cleaning system

Unsurpassed Power of the El Diablo Truck Mounted Carpet Cleaning Machine

The best carpet cleaning machine

Carpet Cleaning Machine

Introducing the El Diablo truck mounted carpet cleaning machine!

As with any business, levels of service, knowledge, and equipment can vary greatly. At Pristine Tile & Carpet Cleaning we take great pride in making sure we deliver the best we can in all aspects of our business. That’s why we choose the Master Blend El Diablo truck mounted cleaning system. Tile and grout cleaning is a large portion of our business so we needed a cleaning system that could deliver the heat, vacuum and pressure needed to clean hard surfaces such as tile and concrete yet also adjustable to clean very delicate items such as upholstery and carpet.  The El Diablo fits that bill.  We did not just go out and buy any old equipment, we did countless hours of research on the internet forums and talked to many other owners and concluded that this is the right machine for us. Now after using it for just a few jobs I’m even more confident we made the right choice, the heat and suction it produces makes easy work of even the dirtiest carpets, and they dry remarkably fast.

The El Diablo is equipped with a diesel fired burner that delivers just the right amount of  heat we need on demand, without wasting any water or fuel. Heat exchanger truckmounts can’t control temperature like the diesel fired units can,. When it gets too hot the burner shuts off, if it needs more heat it comes on, simple as that. The Vacuum is powered by a Roots 45 blower, the best in the industry providing extreme vacuum even on very long hose runs.  The cleaning solution is pumped by a 3000 psi 3cp Cat pump, again Master Blend used the best pump in the industry.

This El diablo machine is mounted in a Chevy Express 2500, and is complete with a 75 gallon waste tank as well as a 100 gallon fresh water tank. Having fresh water on board is new to us as our other truck does not have this. Having the van and water on board will make cleaning apartments and towne homes much easier as parking is tough and water is not easy to find. The downside to the van as compared to the trailer that we are used to is room, the trailer has plenty of space and we are able to stand up inside of it as well.

Having a second cleaning rig on the road is definitely a step in the right direction, we always felt bad when we couldn’t be in two places at once. Having to tell long time customers or property managers that we could not get to them on their desired day was always downer. We can now get to most cleaning  jobs in a day or two, or even the same day now that we have two very experienced carpet cleaners and two of the best cleaning machines in Fredericksburg Virginia.

Power, heat, vacuum, pressure... this truck mount has it all.!

Power, heat, vacuum, pressure… this truck mount has it all!

Chevy Express 2500, equiped with all the tanks and tools.

Chevy Express 2500, equiped with all the tanks and tools.

 

 

 

 

Iron transfer of a difficult stain

Removing stains and spots from carpet

Removing stains and spots from carpet is not always an easy task, but with the right tools and spotters most will come out. This is what separates a good cleaning company from…well… a not so good cleaning company. There are a few different reasons that I know of for sure as to why some companies don’t carry all the different spotters, and there are many. Many smaller companies struggle, trying to keep up with their equipment payments, mortgage payments ect.. so when money gets tight the first things to go are the very expensive spotters, pre-sprays and rinses. Having the right products on the truck makes all the difference. Another reason that some of the larger companies don’t utilize what’s available to them is because they don’t trust that there own technicians will use them right, putting the wrong chemical  on the wrong stain or the wrong carpet type can make matters a whole lot worse, not to mention they can be dangerous if mishandled. The last reason I will mention is just poor organization, running out of stuff and forgetting to re-order.

Now lets say you did your homework, checked reviews, and found a great carpet cleaner. Great! the hard part is done. There are so many stains and spots that we as carpet cleaners run into throughout our work days, some are very easy to remove and some are not. Many stains we just look at and know just what to do… rust, red stains, grease, oil, wax to name a few. Where we struggle is the unknown, we are in a empty rental, tenants long gone, who knows what some of those spots are, they all look the same. So, with that being said if you have a carpet cleaning scheduled always let the cleaner know what was spilled, if you know, it can be the difference of  weather or not it will come out. There are spotters and chemicals made specifically for almost every different stain and using the right one will do the trick where as using the wrong one can likely set a stain in worse or damage the carpet fibers. My carpet cleaning company here in Fredericksburg Virginia maintains an inventory of spotters for almost any situation, to give us the absolute best shot of getting everything out.

We are always well stocked with the proper spotters for each job

This picture shows a red stain being transferred to a white towel with an iron, but the trick here is a specialized 2 part red dye remover. It must be mixed at the time of use.

 

 

 

Why hire a professional carpet cleaner?

Eliminate the need to rent a machine

This is probably the biggest reason to hire a professional rather than go at it yourself. When you add up the cost of the carpet cleaning machine, the cost of the cleaning chemicals and the additional tools you may need to do stairs or upholstery you are not saving all that much and the rental or homeowner cleaners are no where near as powerful as professional carpet cleaning systems.

Different types of carpet

There are many different types of carpet on the market, nylon, berber, wool and so on. Professionals have the skills and knowledge to determine what type of carpet you have and what type of cleaning agents will work best without damaging the carpet.

Sanitizing

A true professional will  be using powerful truck mounted equipment capable of producing extreme heat, the heat that is needed to kill germs, dust mites and other contaminates found deep in the carpet pile.

Difficult spots and stains

There are many different types of stains, some can be very challenging such as urine, red dyes found in kool-aid. These types of specialty spotters are just not available to the public.

The physical aspect

Carpet cleaning is very strenuous work, just lugging the machine to and from the store is enough to cause back pain and the actual cleaning is even harder work.

Inferior cleaning 

The portable equipment available for sale or rent is with out a doubt leaving dirt and soil behind. The vacuum motors in this type of equipment are no comparison to the what the pros use. Not only is dirt being left behind but usually too much water and cleaning agents are left behind as well. Over wetting can cause mold, mildew and odors. Leaving chemicals behind will cause faster re soiling from sticky residue.

Leases and security deposits

Most leases state that the carpets must be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner, and they will ask for a receipt to prove it. They know that a professional job is far superior to the  do it your self jobs.

 

 

The importance of cleaning the clothes dryer vents

Cleaning the dryer vents, why must we do this?

Dryer vent cleaning is probably the most important thing that  needs to be done around the house every year or so, depending on use. It may be a good idea to mark your calendar with this task, along with other periodical tasks such as changing furnace filters or water filters.

Always amazing how much lint we get out of peoples dryer vents

To Prevent Fires

The most obvious reason is to prevent fires. Dryers with excessive lint buildup are one of the most common causes of house fires. When the dryer vent gets clogged it puts more strain on the dryer causing it to run hotter making it more likely for that fine lint to catch on fire.

prevent long dry times

If you notice that your laundry is taking longer to dry than it used to, that is an indication that air flow is being compromised, drying time can be reduced by a staggering amount of time. How do I know this? When my wife told me we needed a new dryer because the jeans were taking 2 cycles (140 minutes to dry) I knew it was time for a cleaning, to protect my wallet… I have been accused of being a tight wad more than once.

After I thoroughly cleaned the vent and the dryer, the next load of jeans took less than 40 minutes to dry, that is a difference of 100 minutes or 250% faster.

Reduce the amount of  energy usage

Dusty house?

The second complaint my wife had for today, was that our house was very dusty despite the fact that she dusts regularly( I get this all the time from my customers). Well… she was right! (and usually is).  After close inspection I did find that the dryer connection was leaking, I am betting the strain from the reduced airflow might have caused this. After securing the vent and taping all seams with duct tape, we have noticed much less dust, leading to less sneezing and allergy attacks.

Who cleans dryer vents?

DIY

Dryer vent cleaning can be a little tricky, but can be done ambitious  home owners.  They do sell dryer vent cleaning kits in the home centers that can be used with a cordless drill, a shop-vac with a good filter should also be on hand.  Wearing a face mask or respirator for this project is a must as very fine particles will be circulating around your face. It is important to pull the dryer out and clean from both sides making certain it is clear all the way through. All connections must be re-secured well.

For the less ambtious

Dryer vent cleaning is also done by some carpet and tile cleaning companies, duct cleaning companies or handymen. A good time to have this done is while your carpets or floors are being cleaned, it can be less expensive, if a special trip is not needed for small jobs like this.

Thanks for reading!

 

Owner/Operator

Pristine Tile & Grout Restoration in Fredericksburg Va. He is a master carpet cleaner as well as the leading expert in tile care in the greater Fredericksburg area. You can find out more at Prisitinepete.com or follow Pete on facebook.

 

Read our google 5 star review

 

Carpet Cleaning Results…Using the Big Truckmounted Machine

These are some shots of carpet cleaning jobs in and around the Fredericksburg Virginia area. There are many factors that determine the quality of the carpet cleaning job, such as the machine being used, the cleaning agents, and the experience level of the person doing the cleaning. When choosing a carpet cleaner one must consider what they are getting for their money, choosing the lowest priced cleaner is surely going to lead to disappointment. We all know how much it costs for gas, cleaning agents, insurance, labor ect…  companies advertising ridiculously low prices are either cutting corners or using unethical bait and switch tactics don’t fall victim!

Cleaning Your Carpetfilter

Consider this, most of us wear our clothing once and then place it into the laundry for washing, we wash our bedding frequently, yet our carpets and upholstery go unwashed for as much as 1 to 3 years or more. Can you imagine wearing the same pair of socks for a week? Or sleeping on the same bedding for a year? Let alone 2 to 5 years? Your carpets and upholstery are subjected to far more pollutants on a daily basis, yet most of us do not clean the carpet regularly, or sometimes not at all!!

Also think about the deposits left behind by pets!!! Sometimes we lose the pet battle from time to time. Not only does it smell and make spots and stains, the odor associated with pets and accidents is actually decaying bacteria off-gassing ammonia gas as it decays. With “sick” carpets or floors, the only prescription is a super good cleaning and our sanitizing product that digests and destroys odor, not covering it up like Glade. Odor & bacteria must be extracted and eliminated!!!

My carpet doesn’t have a filter, does it? well, not really , but it does function like one. Our carpets mechanical design as a filtering device is very beneficial. It keeps the indoor air cleaner! Have you ever thought about what is really being collected, tracked through and spilled into your carpet?

The most common household pollutants are; dirt, dust, pollen, proteins, hair, pet dander, asphalt,sand, smoke residues, hydrocarbons,dead skin,live and dead dust mites & fleas that feed on dead skin cells, tar, bacteria, food soil,drinks,fungus, and sometimes even viruses not to mention body soils and fluids. Many of those common, everyday pollutants are in your carpets and upholstery this very minute. Not a pleasant thought, is it?ou might say…not my carpets, they look clean! Perhaps, but carpets are designed to hide soil from your eyes, keeping it trapped below the surface, where it does most harm by cutting and scratching the fibers. Not Sure? Place a new bag inside your vacuum cleaner, thoroughly vacuum all of your carpets. When done remove the bag and cut it open and take a look what was inside your visually clean carpet!!!

Now, all of your soils and allergens are in your carpet, and more is being brought in everyday, eventually the carpet will become full. As soil loads increase it may trigger histamine production in the body and elevate allergy symptoms like dry cough, itchy skin or even rash, sneezing and runny nose or throat irritation and sometimes sleeplessness. As you walk across your full carpet you re-distribute the dust and pollutants back into the air that you and your family breathe. As a result of being full, your carpets will also begin to appear visibly dirty. This visual soil may take upwards of 1 to 2 years before it finally shows itself, but by then you may have done considerable damage to your carpet, and surely have contributed greatly to having poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

What can be done?

For starters you really should clean your carpets more often. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer , recommends that you have your carpet professionally extracted every 6 to 12 months, just to maintain the warranty. Comprehensive scientific studies have proven that by simply cleaning your carpets, you will drastically improve the indoor air quality of your home, making it  a healthier place to be for you and your familiy!

View your carpets for what they are, a soft, warm, cozy, comfortable pollution filter that requires regular maintenance and cleaning, In addition to frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning, carpets should be professionally cleaned at least every 12 months!

Pristinepete.com

 

Cleaning a Travertine kitchen floor in king george va

Cleaning, Before & After Photos

Awesome Results

This was a great week at Pristine! Even after years of cleaning with our powerful truck mounted equipment I am still amazed myself at the results we achieve. Thanks to today’s technology I am able to snap some quick photos with my smart phone and share them with the world. In this particular post I am sharing photos from a concrete cleaning job, a tile & grout cleaning job, and a carpet cleaning job.

Concrete Driveway Cleaning

Concrete Cleaning

Driveway cleaning

This photo is of a concrete driveway at a residence out in King George, Virginia. The owner stated that he has never had it cleaned in the 14 years he’s been there. Our concrete cleaning system is far superior to ordinary power-washing in many ways. It is a contained cleaning system with powerful vacuum, so there is no over spray or run off. This was especially important on this job because the homeowner had the driveway surrounded with some very nice plantings. If you’ve ever power washed, you know what happens when you hit that flowerbed with the wand, dirt everywhere!

Using powerful truck mounts also enables us to clean at temperatures well over 200 degrees, everyone knows heat is critical for achieving outstanding cleaning results. You can view great concrete cleaning video on our website.

Tile Floor Cleaning

Tile and Grout Cleaning

This second picture is actually from the same home in King George, Virginia. It is obvious from the photo that the grout had turned completely black over the years. It is extremely difficult for a home owner to achieve these results from scrubbing alone. There are 4 components that work in harmony that give us this type of clean. They are heat, vacuum, pressure, and emulsifiers.

After this floor was cleaned we applied a sealer to the grout. In this case only the grout will benefit from a sealer, ceramic and porcelain tiles are non-porous and will not accept sealers. Sealing the grout protects it from permanent staining as well as makes it a little easier to clean. Our tile & grout cleaning footage on our site is quite Impressive.

Carpet Cleaning in a Preschool

Pre School

This rug belongs to one of our great customers, it is a local preschool here in Stafford, Virginia. It is important for daycares and schools to have their carpets cleaned on a regular basis to avoid the spread of germs. Again, this is where the heat comes in. When you clean with steam you are enhilating the germs and bacteria that lurk deep down in the carpet fibers. Regular carpet cleaning is key for any carpet to keep it looking great for years.

After the carpet has been cleaned we do recommend Scotchguard protection to help the carpets resist permanent damage from spills and soil. We also offer deodorizers and odor treatments for folks that may have pets.

According to Shaw Industries you should have your carpets cleaned every 12-18 months, this will help keep the carpets looking new for many years and is actually part of the warranty requirements for the Stainmaster line.

This last shot is of a berber carpet in a rental property down in Lake Land Or.  Another fantastic customer that counts on us to restore their carpets in their many rental properties as the tenants come and go. We were successful in removing several stains and spots as well as greatly improving the appearance of a noticeable traffic lane.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit us at Pristinepete.com to find out we can help you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More shots of our work

 

carpet cleaners stafford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Carpet Cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning a Travertine kitchen floor in king george va

Tile floor cleaning in Stafford virgina

This travertine kitchen floor in King George Virginia was heavily soiled from dogs and years of foot traffic. As you can see there was no problem getting this floor to look new again.

 

 

Kitchen floor tile with white grout in Stafford Virginia, no problem for our advanced cleaning techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

Bait and Switch Carpet Cleaners

Unbelievable…. and that’s all I have to say about that.

Just Remember, If it’s too good to be true ….it probably is.

Pristinepete.com