Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cleaning Up After Your Pets

I have recently received a rash of calls about cleaning up pet urine. So, that is the topic of this blog. As funny as it sounds, urine is a rather sophisticated problem. It requires slightly different approaches depending on whether it is fresh or had time to dry.

When Urine is fresh or still wet, the first step is to remove as much as possible
by blotting with a dry towel or rag. Once you have removed as much as possible by blotting, consider applying baking soda to the damp spot. Fresh urine’s PH is on the acidic side and baking soda will help neutralize it. The baking soda will also act as an absorbent to pull more of the urine out of the carpet (or rug). Leave the baking soda on the spot until it is dry. (However, before using baking soda on your carpet or rug, test it on a non-conspicuous area to make sure it does not affect the color.) To remove the baking soda from the carpet, you will probably need to vacuum it many times.

If your pet did not tell you they had an accident and you come across the spot after it has dried, white vinegar and water is your best approach. When urine has dried, the PH of the urine salts is on the alkaline side. Therefore, white vinegar is the best thing to use to neutralize and to remove the urine from the carpet or rug. To address the spot, mix 1/3 white vinegar with 2/3 water in a spray bottle. Spray the dried urine with the mixture, let it sit a few minutes and then remove it by blotting with a dry towel. This process will probably need to be repeated multiple times. Finally, the best way to determine if you have gotten the urine out is to actually smell the area.
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Removing Red Wine Stains

A red wine glass spills onto the carpet. Yikes! The sooner you act the better. Attacking the red wine stain before it fully sets into the carpet gives you a better shot at getting rid of it. The following are good stain removal remedies, but remember, to ensure color fastness, we always suggest you test any removal method on a discreet spot of carpet before treating the stain.

First, BLOT. Time is of the essence, so grab a clean white cloth (towels
and paper towels work just fine) and press the cloth to the stain. Soak up as much of the red wine stain as you can. Be careful not to rub, rubbing can push the stain deeper into the carpet’s fibers. After you finish blotting, you can pour a bit of cold water directly onto the wine stain (Be sure not to pour too much at a time). This helps dilute what remains, making blotting a bit easier. Continue blotting until no more of the stain will come out.

Two, If You Can’t Treat It, Salt It. Don’t have time to treat while playing host to your guests? After you’ve finished blotting, pour salt onto the affected area. The salt helps absorb the stain and can be quickly removed with a vacuum when you’re ready to treat the stain. Don’t have salt? Baking Soda can also be used.

Three, Treat It (presented are two different options)
     Home Remedy #1 – Plain Club Soda is a good home remedy because of it’s carbonation and sodium components. Apply club soda to the red wine stain and blot. (Be sure not to pour too much on at a time).
     Home Remedy #2 –Mix 1/3 of a cup white vinegar with 2/3 of a cup water. Saturate red wine stain with the vinegar solution and blot with a clean towel.

Four, Attacking what is left. After blotting either the soda or white vinegar mix, combine 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish detergent (Dawn® is a good choice) with 4 cups of luke-warm water. (Note: Make sure your dish soap is free from bleach and lanolin). Spray or gently pour a small amount of the dish soap solution on the stain. Using a gentle blotting motion, work the detergent into the stain and continue as needed until stain is gone. Then remove the soap by spraying the treated area with water and blotting.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Causes Wall-To-Wall Carpeting to Buckle or Ripple

     Having wall-to-wall carpeting offers distinct benefits, but sometimes walking on it can become hazardous and its appearance can deteriorate due to buckling or rippling. The reasons for ripples across the floor can range from improper installation to excess humidity to long term wear.

     To understand why ripples happen, it is good to understand how carpets are fabricated. Most residential carpet is manufactured by inserting yarn into a backing material to form the face material. The yarn/face material and primary backing is then back coated with a synthetic latex adhesive to lock the fibers in place. Finally, a secondary backing is applied to provide dimensional stability. (See diagram).
     Improper installation methods almost always guarantee carpet rippling and can range from the installer not using a power stretcher or only power stretching in one direction. Also, padding with improper thickness or density for the carpet can also cause rippling. Therefore, make sure to purchase the proper carpet pad for your carpet and to use a qualified carpet layer for installation.

     Excessive water from humidity or improper steam cleaning can break down the latex adhesive and cause rippling. Stretching the carpet can help the appearance but the carpet has probably been damaged and buckling will more than likely return. Replacement might be your best option.

     Finally, buckling occurs overtime because the carpet stretches due to regular foot traffic and wear. Every carpet reaches an age when it must be replaced because the secondary backing and latex start to breakdown. Stretching the carpet can remove the ripples but these areas will still be prone to buckling. Replacement might be your best option.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Preserving Your Carpets, Not Replacing Them

Money is always tight and making your carpets last as long as they can is always better than having to replace them sooner than is necessary.

It is the sticky stuff that causes a deterioration of the carpets appearance. Dirt can have a sticky component. So can people, air systems, food and drink, smoking, foreign matter (including smog), pets and residue from “do-it-yourself” carpet cleaning products. So what is the answer, preventative maintenance and periodic commercial carpet cleaning.

Preventative maintenance is the least costly and the most effective means of maintaining a carpet’s appearance. There are two goals of maintenance. One is to limit the amount of soil that comes into contact with the carpet through the use of walk-off mats. The other is to limit its accumulation through routine vacuum cleaning.

Walk-off mats should be placed at all entrances to reduce the soil that comes into the home. It is best to have an outside mat and an inside mat at each entrance. Outside mats should be capable of scraping debris off of shoes. Inside mats are needed to remove the smaller particles of dirt as well as oils and other liquids that can be tracked inside.

Routine vacuuming is necessary to reduce the amount of soil that can accumulate. There are many types of vacuums available but the best one is the one that you will actually use. Make sure it has a beater brush to get the soil to release. It is also important to empty your bag when it is 1/4 to 1/2 full. Once the bag gets over 50% full, its efficiency diminishes dramatically.

The final aspect is periodic professional carpet cleaning. The commercial grade equipment and expertise associated with reputable companies such as Grayson Smith Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning provides removal of the deep down dirt and removal of spills and spots. In fact, most major carpet manufacturers require professional carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months to maintain the carpet’s warranty.  

For more information or questions on carpet cleaning in Memphis Tn, visit the Grayson Smith Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning website at

Monday, January 14, 2013

Berber Carpets, The Good and The Bad

Berber carpets are an aesthetically appealing carpet that allows for unique designs and color schemes. It often has a flecked color scheme giving it a wonderful ability to adapt to multiple interior design schemes. However, berber carpets are not a style of carpet but a specific weave. It is a loop pile construction and can be made from many different materials and in many different qualities. The looped design does provide a cushiony feel under your feet and this is especially true with the wool and nylon varieties.

While berber carpets can be visually pleasing and comfortable, there are some aspects that need to be considered when either buying berbers or deciding in which parts of your home to install them. They can snag and unravel or run, similar to a run in ladies hose. Situations where this can be a real concern is with cats who use the carpet as a scratching post and dogs that like to dig on carpets. Also, this type of carpet is difficult to clean. Because of the loop weave and the twist of the loop being larger at the top than the bottom, It draws dirt to the bottom of the fibers and traps it there. This dirt, trapped at the bottom, is very difficult to extract with a vacuum cleaner. As a result, traffic patterns can develop prematurely. Finally, the less expensive berber carpets will also tend to show wear patterns quicker.

Therefore, you might want to reconsider berber carpets for high traffic rooms such as dens, stairs and halls. Especially if you are not able to vacuum them regularly. Also, if you have pets that like to scratch, you might reconsider the use of this type of carpet all together.

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