Maintenance Tips

MAINTENANCE TIPS ON CARPETING

Carpeting has come along way over the years. Most products have some sort of stain protection added to them or are inherently stain resistant. There are four easy steps to cleaning carpeting.

1. Vacuum high traffic areas daily using a vacuum that is SOA/green label approved.

2. Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause residue to be left to resoil the carpeting. I would suggest buying some Capture by Milliken. It is one of the best products I have found on the market to work on everything.

3. Professionally deep clean your carpeting every 12 to 18 months. Carpet companies require it to be professionally cleaned so keep the receipt for proof.

4. Minimize the dirt being tracked in by taking shoes off at the door or using mats inside and out. Change air filters regularly to reduce airborne dust particles.

CAN A STEAM MOP BE USED TO CLEAN FLOORS?

I have been asked this question numerous times since these products have been put on the market. I did a little research myself and found an article by Consumer Reports that DOES NOT recommend using a steam mop to clean your floors. The article talks about how you might expect the steam mop to be more convenient and to loosen dried food spills and perhaps even sanitizing the floors. But these expectations did not match the test results performed by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports coated a vinyl floor with catsup, hairspray, toothpaste, pasta sauce, olive oil, cat food, pancake syrup, mustard, barbecue sauce, and other household stuff and let it sit over night to harden. They admitted that this was a tough spill then what is usually done in a small kitchen spill. some of the smaller spills were almost gone after two passes, others such as the mustard clung to the surface. Cleaning up the larger mess was a little more challenging for the steamers. Eventually even the best steamer pushed aside more of the grime then they were picking up. The result looked like a lawn where a lawn mower missed narrow strips of grass along the way and left a dull looking floor behind. Consumer Reports retested the floor using a $15.00 sponge mop and some mild detergent. The sponge mop cleaned the floors better then the steam mop. So overall the recommendation from Consumer Reports is to save your money on a steam mop and buy a sponge mop to get cleaner looking floors.

HOW DO YOU CARE AND MAINTAIN CERAMIC OR PORCELIAN TILE?

Glazed floor tile and wall tile are pretty simple to maintain, on the floor simple sweeping and damp mopping with clean water and a mild solution of a neutral cleaner formulated for tile is sufficient.  Over time if you use a cleaner that leaves a residue on the floor it will cause the tile to be a little harder to maintain, especially the grout.  It this is the case, then using a stronger cleaner with brushes might be needed to clean the tough areas.

Glazed wall tile will usually consist of simply just wiping with a dampened sponge or cloth.  Shower applications will require periodic cleaning in order to remove soap scum, body oils, and hard water deposit build up.  Usually spraying these areas with a neutral cleaner and letting it sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse is sufficient enough.  If the tiles have been neglected then a stronger solution maybe necessary to use.

Glass tile should be cleaned with a soft cloth with warm water and a non abrasive glass cleaner.  Using abrasive cleaners can mare the surface and scratch the tile.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF NATURAL STONE

Sealing in new installations of natural stone is highly recommended. Selecting a high quality sealer such as Miracle, Dupont or Aqua mix sealers to provide maximum surface stain protection. Pre-sealing natural stone prior to grouting can make the grouting application much easier and will help protect all the natural stone surface from grout pigment staining during the installation and grouting process. Once the grout has properly cured it is recommended to seal the stone and grout again. Stone sealers are designed to penetrate the stone leaving a no-sheen, natural look and provide protection from liquids that would otherwise absorb and possible stain the stone. Various maintenance products are available to enhance or highlight the character and beauty of the stone depending on the look you want to achieve.

Regular Stone Care

Interior natural stone floors should be frequently cleaned using a non treated dry dust mop to remove dirt and dust that may scratch the surface. Mopping with a professional strength akaline stone cleaner is recommended. Never use vinegar or cleaners containing bleach or acids.

DO’s
Dust mop frequently
Clean surface with mild detergent or stone cleaners
Thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after cleaning
Blot up spills immediately
Protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats or area rugs and countertop surfaces with trivets or placemats

DON’Ts
Use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, travertine, limestone or onyx surfaces
Use cleaners that contain acids such as bathroom cleaners
Use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleaners or soft cleaners
Mix bleach and ammonia, this combination creates toxic and lethal gas
Ever mix chemicals together unless direction specifically instruct you to do so