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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Caring for Your Outdoor Rug

Using an outdoor rug on a patio, deck, or porch or in a sunroom is a great way to compliment an outdoor seating area, and it allows you to extend your entertaining and family space far beyond the walls of your home.  Most outdoor rugs are made of synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester, and polypropylene and are designed to withstand the elements, but they still need regular attention and care.  Below are some cleaning tips to help you keep your outdoor rug looking like new.
  1. Just as with your indoor rugs, the number one thing you can do to keep your outdoor rug looking nice and have it last longer is to vacuum it regularly.  This will keep the dirt and grit from becoming embedded in the fibers, resulting in fiber abrasion and color loss.
  2. Occasionally pick the rug up and clean underneath to prevent damage or abrasion from the bottom.
  3. Clean all spills as quickly as possible so that they don’t become permanent stains.  Because it is an outdoor rug, it is likely water-resistant, but be sure to check the care label before using this method to remove a spill.  Start by blotting up as much of the spill as possible using a clean, white cloth or paper towel.  Next, mix up a gentle soapy solution using cold water and a mild detergent like Woolite.  Gently blot the soapy water onto the area using a clean, white cloth.  Be sure not to scrub or rub too firmly.  Finally, rinse the area thoroughly with plain water and blot dry with a clean, dry, white towel.
  4. If you plan on storing your rug away during colder months, be sure to clean it before putting it away.  Again, be sure to check the tag for water-resistance.  To clean your rug, place it on a clean hard surface, and mix up a gentle soapy solution using cold water and a mild detergent like Woolite.  Use a soft, white cloth to gently clean spots, stains, or dirt, and then hose off the rug.  Hang it over a clothes line or railing to allow it to dry.  Make certain it is completely dry before placing it back on the floor or before rolling it up for storage to prevent mildewing.
Of course, if cleaning an entire rug seems like a daunting task, A Cleaner World Carpet and Rug Cleaning will be happy to take care of it for you and run it through our 6-step rug cleaning process.  Simply contact Greg at 336-804-0045, and he will gladly come pick up your rug and return it to you once it has been cleaned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Dying Art of the Persian Rug

I worry that in our fast-paced, mass-produced society, we’ve lost interest in and sight of quality.  Let’s take furniture for example.  Every time we look for a new piece of furniture, it seems like so much of it is lightweight, not durable, and made of inexpensive wood veneer.  I am thankful that my husband is quite the craftsman because on a number of occasions when I’ve seen something I like but discover it is poorly made, Matt builds it for me.  How about appliances?  Recently, we had to purchase a new refrigerator.  Matt, being the curious guy that he is, started asking the delivery man lots of questions about home appliances.  I mostly tuned out the conversation because, well, I’m a woman, and I’m really not interested in how an appliance works – I just want it to work.  But I do remember him saying that they don’t build things like they used to.  He told Matt some story about a 1950’s refrigerator and ended by saying that refrigerators these days last about 8 years.

Now it seems that same mentality is impacting the handmade premium rug industry.  According to an article Greg Henderson, General Manager of A Cleaner World Rug & Carpet Cleaning, sent me, this holds true at least for the Persian rug market.  Below are a couple of excerpts from The New York Times article entitled, “The Persian Rug May Not Be Long for This World.”

‘But now, Mr. Sedghamiz said, the end is near. Ultimately he said, it is modernity — that all-devouring force that is changing societies at breakneck speed — that is killing the Persian carpet, Iran’s pride and joy. “People simply are no longer interested in quality.”  Or in paying for it, he might have added.’

‘“These days, everyone is seeking quick satisfaction and simplicity, but our carpets are the complete opposite of that,” Mr. Sedghamiz said.’

Just like the countless hours Matt has spent and the numerous tools and materials he has purchased to build my end tables, buffet table, and entertainment unit, an authentic Persian rug also requires a significant investment in labor and materials.  Rugs.tenthousandvillages.com stated that the amount of time invested completely depends on the type of rug, but they gave an example of a 9’ x 12’ Persian rug that has 500 knots per square inch, saying it would take 4-5 artisans working 6 hours a day 6 days a week roughly 14 months to complete.

The coolest piece of furniture Matt has ever build was an entertainment unit for the family farm house.  But this unit isn’t your ordinary piece of furniture; it is a hand-crafted work of art, made of wood salvaged from an old cabin on Matt’s uncle’s farm.  Priceless.  It is a piece that will stay in the family for generations.  He will be proud to pass it on to Gray, along with its story.  A hand-crafted Persian rug is also a timeless piece, each one with its own story, and it can add color and excitement and enhance a room’s décor like nothing else.  More importantly, it will be a cherished item that you will be excited to hand down to your children.  If you are in the market for an Oriental or a Persian rug, before you head to Rugs R Us and purchase a mass-produced rug, think about these reasons for buying an authentic Persian rug:
  1. Because they are really well constructed, they will last for years.
  2. If it is properly cared for, it will increase in value over time.
  3. It will enhance your home’s décor and will never go out of style.
  4. It is something you will always be proud of.
  5. Not only will you have a beautiful rug, you will also have a story and a piece of history to go along with it.
  6. Someday you can hand it down to your children, and they will be excited to receive it.
If you’re thinking about purchasing an authentic, hand-crafted Persian rug but you don’t know where to start, email Greg or give him a call at 336-804-0045.  He will gladly answer any questions you might have and help you get started.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Commercial Apron Rental

I’ve mentioned before that my son likes to dress the part – no matter what he’s doing.  Perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  While I don’t normally concern myself with those kinds of details, I might make an exception when it comes to cooking.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve become a bit of a foodie.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and I always wear an apron when cooking.  I wear one partly because I am messy and I don’t want to ruin my clothes, but also because it makes me feel more official – like I could actually be The Next Food Network Star.  I have a bunch of aprons, mostly thanks to my mom who likes to keep me supplied in cute kitchen gear.  But if I’m to be completely honest, I’d love to come up with some sort of logo and name for my home kitchen and have it embroidered onto a commercial-grade apron.  So imagine how excited I was when on a recent visit to A Cleaner World Uniform and Commercial Services, I saw these:

It’s funny because I’ve seen these aprons worn by the staff at Cheesecakes by Alex, and I had no idea that we were the ones supplying them.  I’ll admit that I was a bit excited.  Mike, the General Manager of A Cleaner World Commercial Services, is not only passionate about what he does, but he too can be a bit of a foodie.  So we started having a little fun with all of A Cleaner World’s food-related supplies, and my son Gray was a really good sport about the whole thing.
And as we had him try on different items, I asked questions and before you knew it, I actually learned a few things.  Here are 5 reasons why your restaurant, bar, bakery, or candy making business might want to consider using A Cleaner World’s commercial apron service:
  1. We offer a wide variety of styles including full aprons, which are upper chest to mid-thigh length and half aprons, which start at the waist and can be as long as you’d like – even to the floor.  They come in 5 assorted colors, with or without pockets, so you can match your restaurant’s décor, and we will be glad to add your company’s logo if you wish.
  2. We will set up a rotation based on your needs – once a week, every other week, or once a month.  You tell us what works best for you.
  3. Front of the house aprons help with branding, give your business a more polished appearance, save your employees clothing, and keep things more sanitary.  Plus, if an employee spills something down their apron – no worries, they can simply change aprons and continue working.
  4. Not only do we have front of the house aprons, we can also provide chef’s aprons, pants, and coats, with or without logo and can add a name or title as well. 
  5. As a restaurateur, you and your staff don’t have the time or supplies to try and remove all the food stains that can get on an apron or chef’s clothing.  A Cleaner World can get out stains that the average home washing machine can’t.  We’ll return all these items to you spotless, in like-new condition.
If the foodie in you needs some help with restaurant-related aprons, towels or uniforms, give Scottie Springer a call at 870-6299 or 992-0700.  He will be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wedding Gown Preservation Really Works

This is Glenn Batts, Manager of the A Cleaner World on Leesville Road in Raleigh.  Glenn is a garment care miracle worker.  With 35 years of experience in this industry, he’s seen and fixed just about every problem you can imagine. 

I called Glenn several weeks ago because I wanted to verify that some information I was about to put on our website was indeed correct.   My questions prompted him to share this story with me, and I thought it was a story worthy of repeating.  It proves that properly preserving a wedding gown is really worth it.

Roughly 10 years ago, a bride brought in her recently worn wedding gown for cleaning and preservation.  Glenn cleaned, preserved, and placed the gown in our special chamber box, according to our customary procedures.  Not too long ago, the bride brought the dress back in, still in the box, to be freshened up because her niece wanted to wear it at her wedding.  Glenn offered to remove the dress from the box, examine it for any stains that might have oxidized, re-clean it if necessary, and then re-press the gown.  When he removed the dress from the box, he said it looked just exactly as it did 10 years ago when he originally placed it in the chamber.  There was absolutely no need to re-clean it, so he simply pressed the gown and had it ready when promised.  The niece wore the gown, and then after her wedding, they brought it back to his store to be re-cleaned and preserved and placed inside a new chamber for another someday wedding.

I hear stories like these and I think, “Wow, how amazing. Why did no one tell me?”  Well, no one told me because our store managers do this kind of stuff every day; to them, it’s just business as usual.  I started drilling Glenn with questions to which he pointed out that his focus is always on taking care of the dress and the customer, not snapping photos.  So no photo to share – just the story, along with one piece of advice from Glenn: “It does matter where the wedding gown is stored.  Never place them in an attic or basement where they are subjected to extreme temperature changes, humidity, and insects.  The best place, I think, is to slide it under your bed.”

If your wedding gown has been sitting in a closet covered in plastic for far too long, drop it off at one of our locations and let one of our skilled managers take a look at it.  You never know who might want to wear your gown someday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Commercial Bathroom Supplies

There’s a relatively new show on the Disney Channel called “Stuck in the Middle”.  You might be wondering why a grown woman is familiar with the line up on the Disney Channel – well, I have a 9 year old.  Translation:  I don’t get to watch many ‘grown up’ shows these days.

It’s actually a pretty cute show based on a family with 7 children; you can imagine the chaos that fills that house.  Recently I watched a repeat episode with Gray about Mother’s Day.  Each child had their own idea of what would make a great Mother’s Day gift – and my favorite one of the mix was the homemade automatic toilet paper re-stocker.  I actually thought it was a clever idea.  I can only imagine how often the name “Mom!” would be hollered from the bathroom of a home with 7 children followed by these words, “We’re out of toilet paper.”  A mother of 7 has a long list of things to keep up with; checking toilet paper re-stocker off the list would be a huge help.

Business owners, managers, and employees also have a long list of things to keep up with; that’s where A Cleaner World’s Commercial Services Division comes in.  Our Commercial Services Division stocks, delivers, and installs all the bathroom supplies your Greensboro, High Point, or Winston-Salem business needs to keep your restrooms clean and well supplied.  Here’s a list:
  • Toilet paper dispensers and toilet paper
  • Paper towel dispensers and paper towel – there are 4 versions of paper towels with associated dispensers
  • Soap dispensers – there are also 4 versions of this product
  • Hand soap, anti-bacterial soap, moisturizing soap, and heavy de-greasing soap
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers and hand sanitizer
  • Air fresheners
  • Toilet seat covers with dispenser
  • Toilet seat sanitizer with dispenser, which is typically mounted with the toilet paper dispenser
  • Toilet bowl and urinal bowl sanitizers
  • High absorbent carpet drip mats that fit around toilets, urinals, and sinks – these carpet floor mat rentals are similar to our carpeted entryway mats
  • Disposable drip mats that fit around toilets, urinals, and sinks – these may be purchased and placed for up to 1 month before needing to be replaced
  • Trash can liners for bathroom trash cans
  • Commercial mop, handle, and bucket rentals for keeping floors clean and dry
Besides delivering and changing out all the supplies your business might need at whatever interval you request – weekly, biweekly, or monthly – we will gladly fill any empty dispensers and holders while we are there.

If your business is in need of commercial bathroom supplies assistance, give Scottie Springer a call at 336-870-6299 or 336-992-0700.  He’ll be glad to stop by your establishment and help you figure out what supplies you might need to keep your bathroom well-stocked and in tip-top shape.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Removing Ice Cream Stains

July is National Ice Cream Month.  Bless you Ronald Reagan.   The thing about ice cream is – when you have a 9 year old boy – it always ends up being spilled on something, and that something is usually what he is wearing.  You would think that ice cream would be an easy stain to remove and for the most part that’s true, but ice cream is a protein-based stain, and they can sometimes be contrary.  The key with this type of stain removal is to address it as soon as possible and to avoid using really hot water.  Here are some tips for removing an ice cream stain from clothing:
  • If you spill a big blob on yourself, use a blunt knife, spoon, or white paper towel to remove the excess.
  • Wash as soon as possible after the big spill, but check the care label to be certain the item can be washed.  If it is silk, wool, or a delicate fabric, you might want to consider leaving it to a professional.
  • If the item is safe to wash, rinse the area with cold water, running the water through the back of the fabric.
  • Treat the area with either a liquid laundry detergent that contains enzymes or a color-safe bleach.  Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Launder according to the care label’s directions, but avoid using hot water.
  • Check the garment to make sure the stain has been removed before placing it in the dryer.  If in doubt, let it air dry and then check. 
  • If it remains, try repeating the process.  If it has been removed, dry and press according to the care label’s directions.
Just a few reminders:
  • Never place a garment with a stain in the dryer.  Doing so will cause the stain to set, making it virtually impossible to remove.
  • Know when to say when; making too many attempts could cause color loss.
If you decide to give ice cream removal a shot and are unsuccessful or if you’d rather leave it to a professional, our trained staff will be glad to tackle it for you.  Just drop it off at any one of our locations, and we will gladly take care of it for you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Old Glory with Pride

Did you know that a 17 year old high school student designed the American Flag of today?  According to a number of sites, Robert G. Heft created the 50 star flag as part of a history project.  After receiving a B- for his work, he submitted the flag to Congress for consideration.  When President Eisenhower set up a committee to design a new flag, Heft’s congressman passed the flag to the committee, who then passed it on to the president.  On a side note, Heft and his teacher had an understanding that if his flag was selected, his grade would be changed to an A.  Sure enough, he ended up getting an A.  That’s because in August of 1959, President Eisenhower called Heft to say that his flag had been chosen.  In fact, this flag, on July 4, 2007, became the longest serving American Flag.

Here’s another interesting piece of information – outdoor American Flags that are washed or dry cleaned regularly will both last longer and maintain their vivid colors longer than those that are not properly cared for.  That’s because dirt and air pollution can both make the colors dull and cause damage to the fibers.  If you choose to clean your flag at home, wash it with a mild soap on the gentle cycle and remove it from the washing machine promptly to avoid having the colors run.  Never place your flag in the dryer; instead, lay it out flat and allow it to air dry.

But I have an even better suggestion than washing it yourself – bring it to A Cleaner World.  We clean American Flags free of charge – every day.
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