Imagine you’re taking a shower…

Soft, luxurious...and CLEAN!

Soft, luxurious…and CLEAN!

Yes, that’s right. I said imagine taking a shower, because cleaning carpet correctly is extremely similar to washing your hair in the shower. Just the other day I was at a client’s home, and they were complaining because they’d had another cleaner in about a year before, and he was in and out, zip, zip, zip. Now, when I’m in there, they’re showing me this one room that really hadn’t been used very much at all, but the whole carpet looked bad. They just were not happy with it.

This is my favorite kind of client, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because they are looking for quality work to be performed! There are a lot of myths out there about carpet cleaning, such as once you get it cleaned, it’s going to look worse, quicker. Some people think that having your carpet cleaned is actually BAD for the carpet. These are not true, if your cleaner is conscientious, and careful.

So you might ask yourself, why do these myths exist? It’s because, quite often, of the processes used during the cleaning. Many cleaners run a last step chemical injection system, and they’ll put one of two things in their rinse water. They’ll either have an acid rinse, which is supposed to neutralize any residue they might not completely rinse out of the carpet (this usually occurs when they’re moving the wand really quickly, and not enough time is taken to flush all the residue out of the carpet), or they’re running a detergent that will provide a boost of cleaning power. I’ve tried both, and I’m not really a fan of either method.

The detergent will help get the really dirty stuff out of carpet by giving an added boost of “cleaning power” to the water coming out of the cleaner’s equipment. Sounds like a GREAT idea, doesn’t it? Take a moment, and imagine that you have soapy water coming out of your shower head. So you get in, and you get cleaned up, rinse hair out with that soapy water, and get out. Towel it off, and you’re gonna feel slightly sticky…bleh. You’ve got all that soapy residue in your hair for the rest of the day, and it’s actually going to be ATTRACTING dirt by “cleaning” everything it comes in contact with, so that by the end of the day your hair will be dirtier than it was to begin with! Same thing with carpeting. When a cleaner does this, he’s usually trying to avoid steps like prespraying the carpet, and increase his speed on each job, to make more money per hour at a lower price point.

No thanks.

The acid rinse is better than the detergent, because it is designed to neutralize the cleaning agents put down during the prespray process, and keep them from getting dirtier, quicker, as described above. When the residue is neutralized, it will no longer actively clean other surfaces. This is a somewhat more widely used process, and still allows the cleaner to move quickly, and provides a “fudge factor” for if and when they’re moving TOO quickly. Imagine getting your hair all lathered up, and then running it under the shower for just a few seconds. What’s that? You didn’t have time to rinse out all the shampoo? Don’t worry…the water coming out of you shower head has a shampoo neutralizing agent that will keep it from attracting dirt.

I think this is a better method than the detergent, because your carpet won’t ACTIVELY clean your shoes off every time you walk across them, but I still don’t like it. Can you imagine leaving stuff in your hair, like that?

Last is the clear water rinse. No additional cleaning agents, or anything in the water, and the idea behind it is to put the water in the carpet and suck it back up at the same time. Just like standing under the shower head, with nice and clean water coming out, and letting it rinse all the shampoo out of your hair, if your cleaner takes the time to do it correctly with a clear water rinse, your carpet will be SO soft and clean when they’re done…

I feel better already. ūüôā

Posted in Carpet Cleaning Tagged with:

Shower Stall Cleaning

It might seem counter-intuitive, right?  The shower is where you go to get clean, so why does IT need cleaning?  However, here in the New River and Roanoke Valleys, we tend to have hard water.  The minerals in the water, over time, can create deposits on your tile, grout, and shower door that dull the finish and are particularly difficult to clean off!

The lady that lived here was actually embarrassed for me to see this.  The rest of her home was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!  It looked like she employed a full time cleaning crew everywhere except in this shower.

The lady that lived here was actually embarrassed for me to see this. The rest of her home was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! It looked like she employed a full time cleaning crew.

The lady that owned this home called me because she was simply at her wit’s end. ¬†She told me she’d done everything that she could think up, up to and including using a wire brush on the floor, but she could NOT get it clean. ¬†The rest of her home was immaculate, too. ¬†She was a great housekeeper.

Ceiling of the shower.  Look at the light, and you'll see a ring of mildew around fixture on the tile.

Ceiling of the shower. Look at the light, and you’ll see a ring of mildew around fixture on the tile.

We talked for awhile about what would need to be done, scheduled a time, and when all was said and done it looked like this:

Look how much BETTER that tile looks!

Look how much BETTER that tile looks!

As you can see the finished product turned out very well.  With some patience and the right products, tile and grout clean up very well.

Posted in Blog

Removing paint from carpet

So, you were working on touching up your rooms, or the budding artist in your family doesn’t quite understand the need for drop cloths…

Either way, you’ve spilled paint. ¬†On the carpet. ¬†What are you going to do NOW!?

Look at all that PAINT!

Look at all that PAINT!

First things first: ¬†Grab an old towel from the rag pile, and blot up (PLEASE don’t scrub, as that will spread the paint around) as much of the paint as you can. ¬†If it’s a minor spill, this is not so important, but it you’ve tipped over a bucket of paint and a large amount is in the carpet, it can soak into the backing and potentially the carpet padding.Now that you’ve blotted the paint up to remove excess, get some plastic wrap and use that to cover the spill. ¬†Keeping the paint moist until I can begin to work on it will make removal SO much easier. ¬†If it doesn’t dry, I can quite often just rinse it out of the carpet with my regular cleaning equipment.

So, now that you’ve accomplished those first two (very important) steps, it’s time to call a professional. ¬†This is not something that pouring a little bit of mineral spirits on will fix (imagine the smell, first, but that stuff could potentially melt the plastic in your carpet fibers!).

Halfway there!

Halfway there!

Upon arriving, I’ll take a look at how much paint is present and based upon what will need to be done, I’ll tell you what it will cost BEFORE I get started. ¬†That way there are no nasty surprises at the end of the job.

Oh, and in case the paint dries before you can cover it, don’t worry. ¬†It will still come out, but if we can prevent drying until I get to it, it’s so much easier to get it out!

All done!

All done!  Those bits of drywall to the left of the picture were removed during the cleaning that came afterwards.

Have a great day, everyone!









Posted in Blog

Upholstery Restoration

You know, I clean stuff.

All the time.

I do it for a living, and I see a lot of dirty carpet and upholstery, so every now and then when a really nice piece of furniture or carpet falls into my lap, then what I do becomes a real pleasure. ¬†Kind of like a mechanic who works all day long on grocery getters, getting to go home and restore his 1940 Mercury. ¬†It might have been beat up and in rough shape when he got it, but MAN do those things look good when they’re cherry!

I got that feeling the other day when a lady called me through Angie’s List, and asked me to come and clean 4 couches for her. ¬†We scheduled a time, and when I got there, it turns out they own a pretty big farm which her husband and two boys work. ¬†They had a beautiful old farmhouse, but as we all know, farming is hard work. ¬†Over time, her light cream colored upholstery with the floral print had gotten dingy, and she wanted it to be PRETTY again!

Look at the front lip of the couch, underneath where the cushions normally go.

Look at the front lip of the couch, underneath where the cushions normally go.


The couch was on hardwood flooring, so I set up a tarp underneath to prevent the floor from getting wet during cleaning.  You can see it in the bottom right of the picture above, actually.  With a little vacuuming to remove as much dry soil as possible, the couch was prepped and ready to go.

Next step was to spray it down with the cleaner (with a little bit of a natural degreaser made from orange peel as a booster to help break up all the greasy/oily soiling from arms, legs, and necks resting against the couch in various places), and give it a good scrubbing to break everything up, much like scraping the dishes off before putting them in the dishwasher in preparation for extraction.

Once that was accomplished, it was time to actually remove the soiling through the process known as “Hot Water Extraction”. ¬†It’s very similar to the process for cleaning carpet, just using a tool designed for upholstery. ¬†The soiling gets flushed out of the fabric as water flows through the fabric and is sucked back up by the machine. ¬†You can read more about the process in this article here. ¬†Take a look at the results:


Look at the difference a good cleaning made on the front lip of the couch!

Look at the difference a good cleaning made on the front lip of the couch!

Couch Cushion, halfway through cleaning

Couch Cushion, halfway through cleaning


Needless to say, the client was absolutely thrilled to see her upholstery looking like new.  If we can do the same for you, give us a call at 540-818-4073, and ask for a free estimate/consultation.


Posted in Blog, Quest Floor Care, Upholstery Cleaning