You invested a lot in your area rugs. Make sure that the folks that are cleaning them know what they are doing. Our team has the training and experience, we can handle even the toughest job. Give us a call at 349-0911.
Do you know the difference between a spot and stain when it comes to your carpet? Troy visited with Renee Scott with Channel 2 News, KTUU.com to explain the difference. Take a few moments to make sure you are cleaning the spot and not making it worse. Watch here to find out how to treat spots and stains.
Cleaning carpets is about more than vacuuming. There is a lot of chemistry at work when it comes to properly caring for area rugs and carpets. Our team has the education, training and experience you should trust. Anchorage KTUU Moms Everyday. Watch here to hear the full story.
You have invested in a beautiful, artistic rug to serve as the focal point of your guest room or living room. As gorgeous as this piece may be, it is going to eventually need maintenance! People are going to walk on it, mistakes are going to happen, and the natural wear and tear of daily life will reduce the quality of your rug without professional help.
The process of properly cleaning a rug is a bit more complicated than a wash and dry cycle. In order to maintain the day one look of your rug, you will need professional tools and a steady hand to operate them.
The cleaning process will change depending on the materials that your rug is made from – wool, cotton and silk are cleaned slightly differently in order to preserve their original look. Special cleaning products that are less abrasive than over the counter detergents help to ensure that the color of the rug is preserved while lifting dirt and grime from the materials. A professional cleaning also uses a process that does not allow dirt and sediments to attach themselves to the rug after the wash cycle. This helps your rug to stay cleaner for a longer period of time.
Getting your rug cleaned on a consistent basis helps to do more than keep up the look of your home. Rug cleanings help to remove allergens from the home, and the small bugs and parasites that naturally make their way into your home will find a home in your rug if you do not clean it consistently. A good, consistent cleaning will also ensure that any big spills do not fully embed themselves into the architecture of your rug.
If you are in Anchorage, then J&S Steamway is the carpet cleaning company that can help to preserve and beautify your home. Give us a call us today! 907 349-0911
Special Report #1
Ugly Black Lines Along My Baseboards and Under My Doors
If you have light-colored carpet, you may have experienced dark lines that appear on the carpet. This soiling is called filtration soiling because it comes from air passing through the carpet as it is attempting to get through the crack between the carpet and the baseboard.
As the air passes through the edge of the carpet pile, microscopic soiling is deposited there (hence the term filtration soiling). This occurs over a significant period of time and is not noticed until a buildup has occurred.
This type of soiling is difficult to remove because the soil particles are so fine that they penetrate deep into the carpet pile, even sometimes into the backing of the carpet. Can filtration spoiling be removed? Sometimes. With special products, time, and effort, reasonable results can be achieved.
To help prevent filtration soiling, vacuum and wipe the edge of the carpeting on a regular basis. Be careful around the tack-strip on the edge of the carpeting; it could nick your fingers!
Special Report #2
Cleaning Raw Plant Material
Jute, sisal, sea grass, coir and hemp are names associated with floor coverings made form raw plant materials. Ranging from mats to wall-to-wall, some with backings, some without, this type of material is in a very raw state. Therefore, an understanding of how the fibers react to everyday soiling and how they respond to cleaning is helpful. One of the unique characteristics of this type of floor-covering material is the tendency to develop mysterious dark spots when cleaned, regardless of the method used. Generally, efforts to bring a “worn” sisal back to its original state are a lost cause. Also, sisal stains very easily. One of the best things to do is have a protected with a solvent-based fabric protecter, providing some resistance against spots that result from any type of spillage. In addition to developing dark spots, sisal may also “lighten” when cleaned. The best way to clean plant materials is with a low-moisture approach. The bottom line is that these products are not very spillage, traffic or cleaning friendly. However, you can’t beat the look.
Place this type of floor coverings in non-traffic, non-spillage areas to prevent over use. Have a light, maintenance cleaning done about once a year to remove surface soils, pollen, asphalt, exhaust, and other foreign matter that finds its way into our homes.
A final note about sisal: some wool carpets come in a “sisal style.” These products are made to look like sisal, but are actually an entirely different material.
Special Report #3
What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose?
When purchasing a carpet, the biggest questions is, “how long will it last?”
In asking that question, one must consider the clean-ability of that particular carpet. Even though the construction of the carpet plays a significant role in the life of the carpet, the fiber type is extremely important.
Before getting into this report, let it be made clear that this advice is NOT to override the recommendations of your carpet retailer. This report simply states some of the characteristics of three fiber types commonly used in carpeting, in order to provide an understanding of how fiber plays a role in soiling and particularly in wear.
There are many fiber types used in carpet manufacturing; however, for the purpose of this article we will focus on the three main players.
Olefin has become extremely popular in recent years. The first attraction to olefin is the price. Olefin is generally-although not always- less expensive than other fibers. The second appeal is that this fiber will not absorb any liquid. If you were to take a yarn from an olefin carpet and place it in a glass of water the fiber would float on the top of the water. Nylon and wool would not, since each would absorb a certain amount of water. The point is this: when something is spilled on olefin carpet, it will not be absorbed into the fiber. The value is that permanent staining from spillage is reduced. In addition, olefin carpets are solution dyed, which means that the color is introduced into the molten plastic before the fiber is made.
The characteristic of being non-absorbent can present unique cleaning challenges. Sometimes when spillage occurs, it runs down the side of the yarn into the backing of the carpeting. Many times this can cause wicking problems as the spill gets trapped in the backing of the carpet and is not effectively removed. Therefore, it continues to wick up the surface over time. In addition, if an inexperienced carpet cleaner leaves too much liquid in the carpet after cleaning, it simply slides down to the backing of the carpet with the soils, and as the carpet dries, it wicks back to the surface.
The second challenge with olefin is a characteristic that is often over-looked: Olefin fibers are less resilient than others. What that means in plain and simple terms is that when a fiber is crushed, it doesn’t “bounce back” as well as other fibers. It also “scratches” very easily. A very common occurrence with olefin installations is the traffic areas begin to look dingy or worn. In fact what has happened is the fibers have been scratched from foot traffic. Imagine a plastic toy that has a scratch on it: there is nothing you can do to remove that scratch. It’s permanent. The same is true of an olefin fiber-once it is scratched, nothing can be done to correct it. In high traffic area, the carpet may appear completely different then the edges against the wall.
The third interesting characteristic of olefin is that it is an “oil-loving” fiber. In other words, in the same way that is repels water-based soils, it absorbs and accepts oil-based soils, making it difficult to remove common oil-based soils in a household, such as lamp oil, lotion, body oils, and cooking oils. This can be especially important to keep in mind when choosing covering for floors just outside a kitchen area. Some of the higher-quality carpet mills “scour” the olefin to attempt to reduce the oil-attracting properties. Our company uses special cleaning agents manufactured for effectively cleaning olefin carpets.
Nylon has definitely been the most widely used fiber in the residential environment, and for a good reason. Nylon is very resilient, has good dry soil resistance, and doesn’t present as many cleaning challenges.
Nylon is also very resistant to spillage. Since most residential nylon is not solution dyed, but dyed after the carpet is made, it is not impossible to stain; however, if the spot is attended to in a timely manner, one can expect excellent spot removal results. Residential nylon carpets are also treated with a fluorochemical such as 3M Scotchgard or DuPont Teflon which helps tremendously with dry soil resistance and stain resistance.
According to a Consumer Reports article in the August 1998 issue, branded nylons performed better than non-branded ones.
Wool is more resistant to foot traffic than any other fiber. This is the reason that you see Oriental rugs that have lasted for so many generations. Wool hides dry soil naturally and is not adversely affected by it for quite some time. Another wonderful aspect of wool is that it is a great insulator. In the winter your home will be warmer inside and in the summer it will be cooler. However, the cheaper wool stains easily and may not be the choice where children and pets are present.
Maintaining the proper care for your carpet requires care and time. J&S Steamway Carpet Cleaning not only advises their customers as to what damages their carpets but also explain how they will restore your carpets to their natural color. Here are four steps to get you started:
- Banish Dirt
- DIY Correctly
- Clean Messes Immediately
- Hire a Pro
To keep your carpets from getting too dirty use mats inside and outside the threshold. Dirt becomes embedded into your carpet when you walk on it. Use your vacuum cleaner to get off the top dirt. When the dirt begins to make brown stains on the carpet it is time to call an expert.
Maintaining the color and cleanliness of your rug is a top priority. Light cleaning can be done yourself provided you use the right tools and solutions correctly.
Stains should be removed right away before they soak into the carpet fibers. Depending on the strength of the stains, Kool-Aid, pet stains, coffee stains, etc. you may have a real problem on your hands. Bleach discolors your carpets as well. This causes pale yellow or orange spots on your carpet.
J&S can restore your carpets color to its original, vibrant color. We have a variety of colors and shades that will get your carpet looking brand new. Or, if you want a completely different color change we can do that too.
- Carpet Stain Removal
- Carpet Color Restoration
- Carpet Dyeing
Carpet Stain Removal
We don’t consider stains just uneven color, we consider them to be color issues. We can guarantee that stains and discolorations are removed from your carpet for good.
Carpet discoloration can result from overexposure to sunlight, chemical spills or fade spots from furniture or over cleaning. We can find the perfect color match no matter what shade or tone your carpet is at present.
We are expert at coloring a variety of rug makes with intricate patterns such as Persian and Oriental Rugs for example. You don’t have to live with unsightly and unfashionable carpets with outmoded colors. Our services also extend to adding runners to your hallways and any other high-traffic areas as well.
At J&S, we provide quality service and are experts who have restored hundreds of wonderful rugs of all grades and makes. Our custom airbrushing tools create beautiful artwork to achieve new decor. All our solutions are environmentally friendly and non-toxic. Our dyes are guaranteed never to fade and the rug coloring process dries so fast you will be able to walk on your rugs within the same day.
There is hardly another company that can match our services and standards in rug cleaning and dyeing. Call us today to schedule your appointment! 907 349-0911
How to Clean Up a Spill
Cover spill with a WHITE napkin or paper towels. DO NOT use colored paper! It might transfer onto the carpet. Be sure to use a THICK stack to absorb as much of the spot as possible.
Blot by stepping on the stack of towels. REPEAT THIS PROCESS UNTIL NO TRANSFER TAKES PLACE. Do not rub!!
Apply spotting agent. Warning: Do not use over-the-counter spot removers! They can leave a sticky residue that attracts soil and may discolor your textiles. Instead, call us to find out what spotters we recommend.
REPEAT steps 1 and 2. If the spot does not come out, do NOT attempt any further action, as you may set the spot and/or damage your textiles. Instead, give us a call. Do not over-wet the spot. Keep blotting until dry to the touch.
Why Spots Return After Your Cleaning?
Have you ever wondered why spots return after having your carpet cleaned? There are two reasons why spots return.
Reason 1: Wicking
Many times, the spot that is being removed has seeped into the backing of the carpet. This is common with pet urine, beverages, and anything spilled in “volume.” The material dries in the backing and in the cushion (pad) of the carpet. When the spot is cleaned, only the material in the “pile” of the carpet is removed. However, moisture is introduced into the backing of the carpet. As the spot dries, the material in the backing of the carpet “wicks” back into the pile of the carpet much like wax into a candlewick.
Even traffic area soil that is embedded can wick back. This is especially common in glued-down carpet that is heavily impacted with soil. When the carpet is cleaned, it looks good. When it dries, the spots and traffic area soil come back.
The good news is if a spot actually wicks back, it can be removed. When you spot clean, place a folded white terry cloth towel over the spot just after you clean it while the spot is still moist. Place a heavy object on top of the cloth. Be sure to use a non-porous object that won’t transfer color onto the carpet. For example, a paper book cover could transfer color. Use a brick, a planting pot, or something like that.
When you have our carpet cleaned professionally, be sure to point out spots that have wicked back in the past so they can be treated properly.
Reason 2: Re-soiling
Resoiling is caused by a sticky residue that has been left behind. The residue may be from the spot itself, the cleaner that was used, or both. Some common residue causes are over-the-counter carpet cleaners purchased at the grocery store. Avoid using these cleaners altogether. If you have to use one of these cleaners or you have to use dishwashing detergent, use as little as possible and rinse with water thoroughly.
Other residue causes are oily spots, duct tapes body oils, lotions, and other sticky or oily substances. If the entire oily residue is not removed, it will attract soil as the carpet is walked on. Even quality professional cleaning may not remove all oily residues the first time.
Schedule an appointment with one of our consultants today! 907 349-0911
Five Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Carpet
1. Check the Warranty
Copies of specific warranties from your carpet purchase may be available from your carpet retailer. Stain resist warranties can vary from 5 to 20 years. ALL STAIN RESIST WARRANTIES REQUIRE REGULAR CLEANING AND IMMEDIATE SPOT REMOVAL.
2. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
It is said that the three most important rules for maintaining carpet are vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Vacuuming your carpet often; once or twice a week at least. Vacuuming removes the sharp soil that cut and slices the fiber, causing premature wear. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Remove any loose particles such as food, leaves, pieces of crayon, and bugs, as these items can cause a spot on the carpet. Be sure to use a quality vacuum cleaner that is well maintained. If you have any questions about what type of vacuum is best, please ask us.
3. Have Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned Often
Most people don’t clean their carpet often enough, perhaps due to the cost or the hassle factor, or because they do not realize how important regular professional cleaning can be. For example, if your traffic areas are visibly soiled, you have already waited too long! Traffic area soil is somewhat oily and bonds to the carpet fibers, eventually staining the carpet. Once this has taken place, even though professional cleaning will make it look much better, the traffic pattern will still be visible. In addition, traffic area soil is sharp- like sandpaper- and it abrades the carpet fibers. To keep this to a minimum, clean your traffic areas before they look visibly soiled.
As a general rule, professional cleaning by a professional certified firm should be done about once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, cleaning may be required more often. Proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as many times per year as needed. MANY STAIN RESIST WARRANTIES REQUIRE PROFESSIONAL CLEANING EVERY TWO YEARS. Professional cleaning removes the damaging soil that vacuuming has not been able to remove from the traffic areas.
4. Remove Spots Immediately
Spots that are not immediately removed can turn into permanent stains very easily. When a carpet is new or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. However, for those spots you can’t remove easily with water, you must use a spot cleaner. Select a spot cleaner recommended by the carpet manufacturer or by your trained, certified professional cleaner. Most spot removers purchased over the counter leave too much soap residue and can cause yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product not made specifically for carpet.
Apply spot cleaner sparingly to white terry cloth and gently massage the spot, causing it to transfer onto the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. If the product you are using seems to cause the spot to re-soil over a few-week period, discontinue use. For any spot that you are not able to remove, and for pet urine or feces, call your professional cleaner immediately.
5. Have Carpet Protector Reapplied
Residential nylon stain resistant carpets are treated with stain resist properties and soil resistors known as Dupont, Teflon or 3M Scotchgard. After a period of two or three years, some of the soil resistor wears off. At that point, you should consider having a professional carpet cleaner reapply the protector after the professional cleaning. The soil resistor will help soil slide off the carpet more easily when vacuuming, spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.
Unprotected carpet soils faster, doesn’t last as long, and is prone to permanent staining.
To get your carpets professionally cleaned, call J&S Steamway today! 907 349-0911
How Do I Best Care for My Carpet?
There is much discussion in our industry about how often carpeting should be cleaned. Surely you have heard “wait as long as you can before you clean your carpet” or “once you’ve cleaned your carpet, it’s never the same.”
These widely used comments have stemmed from unfortunate encounters with uninformed cleaners who have left the carpet with an overload of detergent residue. The unfortunate consumer has assumed this will happen with all carpet cleaning and resolved to wait until the carpet is in dire straits before cleaning it.
The good news is that properly cleaned carpet will not re-soil quickly and will actually last longer. Why? Because damaging soils are removed with effective carpet cleaning. Soil that is not removed by vacuuming, even though it can rarely be seen by the naked eye, cuts and slices the carpet fibers as the carpet is walked on, breaking down the carpet yarns in the traffic areas. The result is that even with restorative cleaning at that point it will not correct the damage that has been done to the fiber. Not to mention that a carpet that is not cleaned on a regular basis is an unhealthy carpet. Carpet is like a sink. It collects pollens, insecticides, exhaust, and other undesirable substances that get tracked in or blow in from the polluted outdoors. Carpet manufacturers state that a residential carpet should be professionally cleaned at least every 18 to 24 months for best performance. More often if pets and/or children are present and perhaps more often if you are a smoker. The EPA published a guide that suggested regular cleaning frequencies based on the number of occupants and other factors.
In short, a carpet that is maintained on a regular basis will not only last longer but will also provide a healthier indoor environment. Your carpet represents a significant investment. Just like any investment, maintenance is required to get the best return on it. Think about your automobile. You change the oil in your vehicle so the engine will last longer, to avoid costly repairs, and to get top performance from it. The same is true for your carpet, or any floor covering for that matter. By properly maintaining your carpet it will look better, last longer, and contribute to a healthier indoor environment.
Soil is corrosive by nature. It breaks down the fibers of your textiles. Soil that cannot be removed by vacuuming bonds to the carpet; it can then only be removed by professional cleaning. Even though your floors and fabrics may look clean, that doesn’t mean they are clean. Especially if you have pets or children. Soils, pollens, bacteria, asphalt, insecticides and all sorts of invisible enemies are transferred to your furnishings daily. Not to mention the unmentionable: urine or fecal matter (I know that’s yucky!)
Every day “environmental oils” attract abrasive soils. Carpeted traffic areas coming from the kitchen collect cooking oils. Sofa arms collect body oils, and hard surface floors collect film from cleaning agents. The grit then eats away at the surface like sandpaper. The solution is to have your carpets, upholstery, draperies, and hard surface floors cleaned at least every 12 months; more often in high traffic areas.
You have probably heard that cleaning your carpets and floors too often is harmful. This is simply not true IF your floors and fabrics are cleaned according to proper standards. This myth came from uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous cleaners leaving a sticky residue behind, which made the attraction to harmful soils worse instead of better.
Why Didn’t Carpet Protector Work?
If you had carpet protector applied in the past, and it didn’t work, here is why.
Four Mistakes other Cleaners Make in Applying Carpet Protector:
1. Not using high-quality protector.
Discount protectors are not as effective and sometimes void the warranty of the carpet. Use only the highest quality recommended protectors.
2. Not using a dedicated container.
Using the same container for carpet protector and for cleaners can contaminate the carpet protector, making it gummy and ineffective. Our vans have a dedicated container reserved only for carpet protector.
3. Not applying the product properly.
Some cleaners either under-apply or over-apply the protector.
4. Not grooming the carpet.
For the best performance, the product should be groomed into the carpet for maximum penetration. This ensures contact with all surfaces of the carpet yarn and proper distribution and drying. Our company thoroughly grooms the protector into the carpet pile.
What happens if I don’t apply carpet protector?
Five Things for You to Avoid:
1. More permanent stains.
A great-looking carpet can be ruined by an ugly spot. Unprotected carpet doesn’t repel spillage as well as protected carpet. Being able to remove spots and spills more effectively avoid permanent staining.
2. “Uglied-out” traffic lanes.
Traffic area soil is very abrasive and cuts carpet yarns like a knife. This damaging soil can easily bond to an unprotected carpet. By applying protector, you will increase the life of your carpet dramatically. When you vacuum your protected carpet, the soils will release from the carpet pile much more effectively.
3. Difficult spot removal.
The easier a spot is to remove, the less cleaner you will have to use, the less agitation you will have to use, and the less time it will take. With protected carpet, many spots can be removed easily with just water or the free spot remover we provide you with.
4. Next professional cleaning not effective.
Because of the first three items in the list, not having protector can reduce the effectiveness of your next cleaning. Having protector applied to your carpet will enhance your next cleaning. More soil will be removed the next time your carpeting is professionally cleaned.
5. Costly service calls.
Although you want to call us out to handle any spot you cannot remove immediately, carpet protector helps you remove more spots than you could without protector. You may be able to save a minimum charge by remove the spot yourself.
Here’s the answer to the question of whether to have carpet protector applied: You should always get carpet protector on nylon or wool carpet. Olefin carpet can even benefit the abraded areas. So, make it your goal to always get carpet protector applied when having professional cleaning done.