Tag Archives: carpets

Odor? Call us over!

Odor? Call us over!

Steam Action Removes Offensive Odors From Your Home

It’s a fairly common situation for homeowners; you walk into a room and an unidentifiable odor singes the tip of your nose. Reactions to this situation are also similar; you go to the nearest convenience store and stock up on Febreze, Lysol, and Air Wick in hopes of masking that offensive odor—and your embarrassment.

But the reality of this “masking” process is that you will not be helping your cause—except maybe your nose—because the real problem could be getting worse as you hide it with Sweet Pea Petals, Moonlit Lavender, and Warm Milk & Honey. Often, odors are deeply rooted in carpet, upholstery, and other areas, and can be highly difficult to pinpoint with the naked eye. Without knowing the source of these odors and simply hiding them with fragrances, you are essentially wasting money and allowing time for mold and mildew to grow, and for bacteria to spread. When an unidentifiable odor presents itself, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Carpet Layer

Liquid wastes often seep down into the base layer of carpets, resulting in mold growth and offensive odors.

Most cleaning companies simply spray a topical solution on areas that they believe to be the source of the odors. This is ineffective for two reasons: a) because many odors work their way into carpet fibers, backings, paddings, and ultimately the ground floor—topical sprays only treat the face fibers while the bottom layers are left to grow mold and bacteria; and b) because there is no guarantee that the area being sprayed is the actual location of the odor, or that the entire odor-causing location is attended to. Topical solutions, which are often touted as the “cheapest” solutions, are only estimated to be about 20-30 percent effective.

Odor Deodorization Process

At Steam Action, we have many odor deodorization services to ensure that no odor-causing problems are left untreated. All of them involve a process that very few companies in the

Odor Deodorization

By utilizing UV Technology, we can eliminate odors at the source.

industry have implemented into their services: Ultra Violet Technology. As we stated before, many odor-causing areas are invisible to the naked eye. As our trained technicians make their way around the dark room, the UV Technology brings those problem areas to light.

The first of these methods is to “recreate the scene.” Essentially, when liquids or wastes seep into a carpet, there is a path that they take as they travel through the carpet layers. What we do is estimate the amount of waste in the material, and mirror that with an equal amount of our deodorizer solution. We then inject this solution in a similar fashion to the way the waste entered the carpet or upholstery. As this solution travels through the carpet backing the same way the waste did, the enzymes in the solution feed on the odor-causing bacteria. Once the solution has made its way down to the base floor, we extract it similarly to our carpet cleaning processes and allow the area to dry.

Carpet Padding Replacemtn

We can eliminate deeply-rooted odors by replacing the carpet padding and sealing the base floor.

The next method involves a more in-depth process. When an odor has made its way down to the base floor and has been left to sit for too long, we will identify the problem areas, pull the carpet back, and cut out the affected padding. We then thoroughly clean both sides of the carpet, seal the base floor to prevent future odor gases, and replace the old padding with entirely new padding. This method is virtually 100 percent effective.

 

Through our systems, we can successfully prolong the life of your carpet and furniture by eliminating specific odors such as:

  • Biological Waste Produced by Pets
  • Fire or Cigarette Smoke
  • Moldy, musty smells

Our Odor Deodorization processes will effectively save you money by eliminating odors at the source, and taking preventative measures to ensure that mold and mildew cannot prolong the odor. If you’ve been troubled by an offensive odor in your home or business, call Steam Action today!

 

 

 

Red Wine

Cleaning Tips: The Five Toughest Stains

Stains are such an expected part of life that it can be easy to poke fun at people who fuss over the tiniest blemish on their carpet, wall or upholstery…until that stain is marking up our own home. Wanting to preserve the integrity of our investments and keep them blemish-free is human nature. That’s why the slightest drop of red wine on white carpet, chocolate on the couch cushion, or doggie mess on the area rug induces shouts of panic and a mad rush to find a clean towel and/or bucket of warm soapy water.

But before you start scrubbing away,

Consider these tips for cleaning five of the toughest stains to ensure you clean your carpet properly and preserve it for years to come:

Kool-Aid

Cleaning Kool AidNothing makes a kid happier on a hot summer day than a tall, cool cup of Kool-Aid (did you know they make Rhubarb flavor?). Unfortunately for parents, the rugrats can sometimes have the coordination of one of those wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men. Follow these steps to successfully to get that artificially colored sugar water out of your carpet:

  1. Immediately blot the stain with a clean, dry towel. Be careful not to rub, as this may smear it and work it deeper into the carpet fibers, even down to the carpet pad underneath.
  2. I’m a HUGE proponent of those cheap, plastic spray bottles you can buy at any hardware store. Fill one of those with a mixture of ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 TBS liquid dish soap (I prefer Dawn), and fill the rest of the way with water. Spray the area liberally and let it soak for about 5-10 minutes. Proceed with blotting with a clean, dry towel until the stain is removed.
  3. If the stain is stubborn, repeat this spritz method until the stain has vanished. Some commercial carpet stain cleaning products may help as well, and we recommend any that use oxygen bubbles.

Pet Stains

Clean the mess…keep the dog.

Clean the mess…keep the dog.

If you have pets, make no mistake…your house smells like animals. Accept it, and try these tips to help get rid of the odor of your best buddy’s little accidents.

  1. Of course, clean up the mess immediately (that should go without saying, but I’m saying it).  If it’s a Number Two, pick it up with gloves and dispose of it. If it’s just a wet stain, use the blot method from above and continue until it’s quite dry.
  2. Sometimes Spot’s spot will go unnoticed for a while, leaving it to dry in the carpet fibers. If you smell something foul, it’s time to go CSI! Turn off all the lights in the room and search for the stains using a small black light (again, you can usually find these at a hardware store). Moisten the spot with a cleaning agent specifically designed for pet stains.
  3. To neutralize the odor, avoid using ammonia, as that is a prominent ingredient in dog urine. Smelling that may encourage Rover to continue marking that area. Instead try a mixture of half white vinegar and half warm water. Spray it liberally onto the stained area and allow it to soak for several minutes, and then use the trusty blot technique until the stain is gone and the area is nearly dry.
  4. While the area is still a little damp, sprinkle a handful of baking soda over the soiled area. Mix half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of mild liquid detergent (liquid dishwasher detergent works too), and slowly pour the mixture over the baking powder. Put on some gloves and work the dissolving baking soda into the carpet, first with your fingers then with a scrub brush. Let the area dry completely then vacuum.

Coffee

If you don’t get at this stain properly, it can leave a dirty, yellowish brown stain that’s painfully obvious. After immediately blotting the dampness and coffee from the carpet, follow these steps:

  1. Try the vinegar mixture from the Kool-Aid section and use the spritz method. Be sure to rinse and repeat.
  2. You can try using a product that’s specifically designed for coffee stains, but only AFTER you’ve tested it on a less visible patch of carpet to make sure it doesn’t damage your carpet. Use as directed and wear gloves.

Blood

Bloodstain_main_0714_0Provided that it isn’t a Dexter-esque crime scene, blood isn’t as tough to clean as you might think. Quick response is key, and the faster you act the more effective these tips will be:

  1. Wear rubber gloves! It’s blood.
  2. Use cold water. Heat makes blood coagulate, and cold water will keep the blood from permeating into the carpet fibers.
  3. Mix two teaspoons of liquid, grease-fighting dish detergent into a full bottle of cold water and spray liberally on the blood stain. Spray until the stain is entirely submerged in the cold water solution. Use a paper towel to blot, or a dry cloth so that the blood is transferred to the cloth. Rinse with cold water and repeat as needed.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide is ideal for bloodstains. It takes some doing to dissolve it in cold water, but mix it as well as possible and apply with either a spray bottle or pouring it directly onto the blood spot. Blot until dry, rinse and repeat as needed.

Ink

Trying to clean an ink stain improperly could spread the problem around. Like blood, the faster you act the easier it is to clean. Be sure to follow these effective tips:

  1. Dampen a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol and dab the location of the stain. The higher the percentage of alcohol the better.
  2. Do NOT rub or scrub. This could spread the ink.
  3. Treat the carpet with alcohol again as needed. Rinse the area with water and blot, then vacuum dry with a wet vacuum until the spot is dry.

While these home remedies can be effective if cleaning stains quickly, the longer the stain sits the less effective they will be. Professional cleaning companies like Steam Action have the equipment and experience to treat your carpet and return it to a clean, healthy condition. Take a look at this stain removal tutorial by me, Bob Goodrich. When all else fails, be sure to give us a call!

Steam Clean Your Carpets for Spring

For Clean Carpets, Steam’s a Dream…

Steam cleaning reduces the amount of dangerous bacteria and viruses in your carpet.

Steam cleaning reduces the amount of dangerous bacteria and viruses in your carpet.

Did you know that the human body sheds about 1.5 MILLION dead skin flakes every hour? Yuck! What’s worse is that those flakes make up about 90% of what we call “dust.”

Add that to the dirt, animal dander, food, and random odors that get trapped inside carpets during the winter, and you’ve got a pretty good reason to seriously consider getting your carpet steam cleaned this spring…because it sure needs it!

Why steam clean your carpet?

For starters, it cleans deeper than your vacuum ever will. Vacuuming helps eliminate some surface dirt, but it won’t put a dent in the stuff embedded deep in there…not to mention any number of microscopic dust mites feasting off your debris.

Steam cleaning your carpet will also greatly improve your indoor air quality. It reduces the amount of dangerous bacteria and viruses in your carpet, which harbors about 200,000 bacteria per square inch. For a point of reference, that makes it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat.

It will also protect your carpet and ensure it has a nice, long life. Dirt is very abrasive and will scratch your carpet’s fibers as well as your delicate upholstery fabrics. Over time, the dirt will change your carpet’s color and degrade the fibers, leading to premature wear.

What about other cleaning methods?

There are many ways to clean a carpet, but some don’t clean as well as steam, nor are they as gentle on your carpet. Simply put, steam cleaning is the ONLY method that will give you a true deep cleaning.

Steam cleaning uses hot water extraction that works great on stains, offers the best penetration, and can kill most germs and viruses. The water reaches a minimum temperature of 130°F, which can rejuvenate the carpet fibers and return some spring and curl to your carpet. Compare this to some other methods:

  • Dry foam machines have rotating brushes that may damage your carpet fibers and leave behind residue from the cleaning chemicals.
  • Dry compounds are absorbent mixtures that work well as a supplemental cleaning, but don’t penetrate near as well as steam cleaning.
  • Like dry foam, bonnet cleaning is highly labor intensive, but isn’t as damaging to your carpets. The downside is the fact that it gets down to only the top third of the carpet material, leaving the deeply embedded mold, mites, dirt, and germs to fester.
  • Shampooing is still around despite the popularity of steam cleaning because it’s economical. While it cleans deeper than the dry cleaning methods, shampooing uses a ton of water and, if the carpet isn’t rinsed correctly, can leave behind shampoo residue. If you’re cleaning by hand, it can be difficult to remove all of the water, leaving wet surfaces under your carpet that can lead to mold and rot. And if you don’t use a special formula shampoo, you’re guaranteed to leave behind residue that will attract new dirt.

If there’s a downside to steam cleaning, it’s that the carpets can take up to 24 hours to dry completely. However, Steam Action Carpet Cleaning uses special dryers to speed the drying process. In most cases, your freshly cleaned carpets will be dried before we leave.

Now that it’s staying warm and sunny outside, there’s no better time to get those carpets cleaned. Call Steam Action today and let us improve your indoor air quality, maintain your carpet’s integrity, and get you on your way to enjoying clean, beautiful carpets all summer long!