5 Ways to Clean with Vinegar

Going green is more than just a trend it is a global movement to create a healthier living environment and when it comes to green cleaning, vinegar is one of the most talked about and versatile green cleaning solutions. White distilled vinegar, during its fermentation process creates acetic acid which is effective at killing bacteria, mold and breaking up deposits such as stuck on food or soap scum. Vinegar based cleaning products can even be found at your local supermarket. Here are four ways in which you can use vinegar to clean.

Odor Removal: Aerosol spray cans are good at masking odors, but they will not entirely remove an odor and they can be harmful to the environment. Vinegar is effective at removing unwanted odors because the acetic acid absorbs odors and dissolves them. You can apply vinegar to pet stains, bathrooms or your fridge to remove unwanted odors. Vinegar does not smell the best at first, but it becomes odorless when it dries.

Disinfectant: Vinegar is a great cleaning supply to keep in your bathroom as it is very effective at disinfecting and killing germs. You can clean a sink or toilet bowl by filling them with vinegar and letting the vinegar sit overnight. You can also use it in your bathroom to clean grout and remove soap scum. Pour some in your laundry to kill germs on those stinky shirts.

Surface Cleaner: As a surface cleaner, vinegar can disinfect and polish. The acetic acid will not only kill bacteria it will break down and remove dust and dirt particles. It is perfect for wiping your kitchen counter tops and cleaning the inside of your fridge. We recommend keeping your cleaning vinegar inside a spray bottle for convenience. Note* Do not use vinegar on surfaces such as marble, waxed floors, and the screens of your electronic devices.  The acidity can be damaging.

Stain Remover: The acidity of vinegar gives it the ability to loosen bonding molecules and proteins that cause most stains. When cleaning up a stain you should always begin by blotting the area to soak up as much of the staining solution as possible. Then soak the stained item in vinegar before laundering.

Calcium Deposits: Vinegar is great at getting rid of Calcium deposits too! Run it through your coffee maker to get rid of unwanted buildup or pour some in the bottom of your kettle for an hour and watch the build up disappear. Use a plastic bag with vinegar to soak your showerhead. Spray it on your faucets or better yet, soak a wash cloth in vinegar and let it sit on heavy deposits. Rinse and repeat until all calcium is gone.

We at Prestige always recommend using Vinegar and water after we clean Tile Floors and Showers for our clients. It prevents dirt buildup so you won’t have to have it professionally cleaned as often. I use it pretty much everywhere in our house. It’s cheap, it’s effective and it’s safe. How many other cleaners do you know of that you cook with??

Wet or Dry Carpet Cleaning?

 

Wet or Dry Carpet Cleaning? Which is better? Here’s my take.

Imagine your hair is dirty. So, you lather it up with shampoo and then………do NOT rinse it, but instead rub your hair with multiple towels until it is dry. Would you think your hair was clean? Probably not.

‘Dry Cleaning’ sprays a cleaning product onto your carpet and a circular rotating buffer with an absorbent pad attached is run over it. The soil attaches itself to the pad and the pad is changed with a clean one after becoming dirty.

This method doesn’t really extract the heavier grit and sand that damages carpet over time and their buffers wear carpet down. Plus residue is left behind, meaning your family can be exposed to these chemicals and some complain that carpets are extremely stiff after cleaning.

MANY times we have cleaned for someone after they have been using Dry Cleaning for a while. The carpet actually creates suds that have to be rinsed out by pulling the wand over the same area 3 to 4 times….or more!

On the other hand, ‘Hot Water Extraction’ or ‘Steam Cleaning’ sprays hot water under pressure onto the carpet and is immediately extracted with a vacuum source. The dirty solution is collected in a recovery tank and taken away.

This system flushes out large amounts of soil and contaminants in carpet and is the most preferred method by all of the major fiber producers, such as Dupont and Monsanto as well as carpet manufacturers like Shaw and Mohawk.

Because it removes more contaminants than the other carpet cleaning methods, hot water extraction is favored by the EPA and most higher quality carpets that have extended warranties require this type of cleaning in order to retain the warranty coverage.

Truck mounted machines have large independent engines which can develop up to 1000 pounds of pressure and heat the water to 180 or more degrees. These machines are expensive but they have very powerful vacuums which leave the carpets drier than with portable machines. Your carpet will only be damp and should dry within 4-6 hours.

Steam cleaning is the only method known to remove up to 97% of dirt and bacteria from carpeting. It is also the only method that reaches all the way down to the lowest layer, or “pile”, of your carpeting to clean it thoroughly. This makes it the best method for dealing with ground in or difficult stains.

We at Prestige ONLY use Hot Water Extraction. We have found it to be the best way to completely clean carpets without leaving dirt attracting residue or excess moisture in the fibers. Give us a call! I think you will agree. 830-248-1264 www.prestogefloorcare.com

CLEANING UP CARPET SPILLS

When I was in my twenties I moved into a one bedroom apartment all by myself. It was SO exciting. Everything was new and perfect and clean. I spent a few days unpacking and getting everything just the way I wanted it.

It was amazing! I felt like I was living in a model home! I couldn’t be happier! My apartment was perfect and I was going to keep it that way!

Wine spillTHAT NIGHT I was watching TV and drinking a glass of cool-aid………… did you just cringe?? Can you feel what’s coming?

YES! I knocked over my glass and spilled red cool-aid onto my brand new beige carpet!! My perfectly perfect carpet in my perfectly new apartment! UUGGG!!!

In a flash I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a towel and my heavy duty carpet cleaning spray! I then proceeded to frantically scrub as hard as I could to try to bring my beautiful carpet back to its pristine condition.

Guess what? It didn’t work and I spent the next 2 years in a lovely apartment with a light pink spot on my rug.

Sadly, this didn’t have to happen! Now that I own a Carpet Cleaning business I know that the VERY BEST product you can use to clean up spots on your carpet is……wait for it……….WATER!!

That’s right! Hot water is perfect for cleaning up spills and unlike cleaners you buy at the store it won’t mess with the PH of the spill leaving you with a lovely permanent stain on your carpet. EVEN Cool-aid!

Detergent also leaves a residue that attracts more dirt. Think about the last time you cleaned up with a detergent. Did it get dirty looking soon after? Did the spot come back?

Next time you have a spill, quickly soak up the excess with a towel, heat up some water in the microwave and douse the area.

Clean carpet with water!
Clean carpet with water!

Then put a new folded up towel on top and step on it to soak up the water.

DON’T RUB!

Then repeat until the stain is gone.

PLEASE TRY IT!

It Works!

Especially if you have Scotch Guard on your carpet. This protector is a barrier on the carpet fibers that gives you time to wash away the spill before it can even sink in.

So throw out your sprays and embrace your carpet’s new friend! WATER!

Say it with me, “WATER”! I know it sounds too simple to be true, but PLEASE, PLEASE just try it next time you have a spill.

How to Clean Mud Out of Your Carpet

With all the rain we have been having, I am sure you have had your share of Mud being tracked into your home. The problem is even worse if you have children or pets. Pets need to go outside, yet it can be difficult to completely towel dry them every time they come back into the house. Children often forget to take their shoes off or to clean them properly. The result is the same: muddy prints on the carpets.

How to Get Mud Out of Carpets?

vacuum mud on carpet1. The first step is to let the mud dry. This might seem counter intuitive, but the mud will be much easier to remove dry and you want to avoid rubbing the mud deeper into your carpets fibers. If the mud is VERY wet, you can blot gently with a towel to prevent the moisture from soaking unto the carpet pad. No rubbing! It is much better to simply allow the mud to dry.
2. Now that the mud is dry, slowly vacuum the affected areas to remove the dirt. Vacuuming slowly will remove more dirt then making quick passes. Vacuum for two or three times longer then you normally would. Make at least 16 passes over the muddy area, being sure to vacuum in all directions. The more vacuuming the better.
water blot carpet3. After you have removed as much dirt as possible with the vacuum, it is time to move on to cleaning. What should you use? WATER! Simply heat up some water in the microwave and douse the areas. Why Water?? See why Here.
4. Use a folded up towel to blot the water out of the carpet. You can stand on it to increase absorption. A white cloth will allow you to see the stain lifting.
5. Continue the process of water and blotting, switching out the towel as necessary until the stain is gone.
towel blotting6. Gently blot with a clean cloth or paper towels to dry the area.
7. If the carpet still has mud stains, consider getting the carpet professionally cleaned. Prestige has powerful vacuums that can often remove stains that are impossible to get out with home spot removal treatments.

One good way to prevent mud from staining carpets is to create a mudroom or landing pad at your main entryway. You can use this area to remove shoes and towel off muddy pets before they track mud into the home.

Tips to take care of your Carpet between Cleanings!

I have come to realize…..after 13 years in the Carpet Cleaning business… that a lot of our success in bringing Carpets back to life depends on what happens before we arrive. Carpet is expensive to replace! Use these tips to keep it looking great and make it last longer.

  • Walk-off mats should be used at the exterior of all entrances. They can help trap the excessive dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil that would otherwise be tracked into your home. Mats should also be cleaned on a regular basis so they don’t become sources of soil themselves.
  • Use walk-off mats in High Traffic areas Inside too. Any place you have lots of traffic will wear your carpet fibers more. Places where Tile meets Carpet, in front of Dad’s favorite chair and hallways can really take a beating. You can always pick them up when company comes over revealing the lovely clean carpet underneath.
  • Use a quality pad under your carpet, particularly on stairs. A good carpet pad not only gives better resilience and comfort underfoot, it can extend the life of your carpet.
  • Move heavy furniture occasionally to avoid excessive pile crushing. Also, use floor protectors designed for carpet under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight.
  • Protect carpet when moving furniture (pianos, buffets, etc.) by using furniture movers. Placing a protective barrier of heavy cardboard or putting plywood between the wheels and the carpet can prevent damage.
  • Protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight with blinds, shades or awnings.
  • The most important step in caring for your carpet is vacuuming. Vacuum carpet thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high-traffic areas. Realize that walking on soiled carpet allows the soil particles to work their way below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage the carpet fibers. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before problems occur. Also, change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.

Finally…….and you knew this was coming…..but it is true……. Having your Carpets professionally cleaned regularly will always extend their life. New carpets today are made to last…and can if you take care of them. Don’t let your carpet “ugly” out long before it “wears” out. Use the tips above and call us when you are ready to Clean.  830-248-1264  www.prestigefloorcare.com

 

How to Clean Your Shower Grout!

Shower Tile is beautiful, durable, and generally easy to clean, but cleaning grout? That’s a different story.

Because of its (typically) light coloring and porous composition, grout is prone to staining. Also, soap, mold, and mildew make it difficult to maintain clean grout in bathrooms.

Sometimes, cleaning grout effectively yourself is possible using only common household products but it takes a LOT of elbow grease.

 

Here are some tips for Cleaning the grout in your showers yourself.

 

Shower Cleaning
With any cleaning project, it’s always best to start off with the mildest cleaning solution. When in doubt about a cleanser, test it in a hidden spot—behind or under an appliance, for example.
The following suggestions for cleaning grout are ranked from the mildest to the strongest:

  • The best way to begin is with plain water and a stiff-bristled brush; most home centers and hardware stores carry an assortment of brushes specifically designed for this purpose. Simply spray warm water on the grout lines and scrub in a circular motion, then let dry.

 

  • For heavier dirt and mild stains, turn to that trusty old standby, vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water. Spray on the grout, let it stand for five minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
  • To bring even more cleaning power to the party, make a paste of baking soda and water, cover the grout lines with the paste, then spray on the vinegar solution. Once the mixture stops foaming, scrub with a brush and rinse with plain water.
  • For moderate stains, you may want to use hydrogen peroxide, which is available in most drug stores. You can use the product straight or make a paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Chlorine bleach and commercial cleansers can be usedsparingly in extreme cases.One of my go-to products when all else fails is Clorox Clean-Up spray. Again, these products should be used on a limited basis. Long-term use of caustic cleaners will your erode grout and can cause permanent damage.

 

To keep your grout clean and stain-free, it’s a good idea to spray it with vinegar and wipe it down once a week. Use a small squeegee after each shower to reduce water left on shower walls and floors. You can also wipe grout with alcohol to keep mold and mildew at bay. In any case, just a few spritzes and wipes a week can save you a lot of time and effort cleaning, preserving the attractive appearance of your home in the process.

 

Finally, if you find these methods don’t work or you would like us to come do the work for you J…..please  Give Us A Call!  830-248-1264 We use the same Tile & Grout Cleaning method to clean your showers that we do on your Tile floors. Powerful extraction from our truck mounted equipment leaves your showers looking clean and fresh!