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Monday, July 26, 2010


My parents (actually my mom) have a habit of buying my sister and me appliances for Christmas. Here's usually how it goes -- my mom discovers a new doohickey, decides we both need one, goes and buys two more, puts them back until Christmas, and then presents them to us as Christmas gifts. This past Christmas was no exception. The 2009 can't live without item -- a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

I didn't begin using it until the end of May as we were in the process of moving. When we finally moved into our hew house Memorial Day Weekend I (being the obsessively clean person that I am) had to give our new house the once over before I would move my stuff in. I took the opportunity to break out the new vacuum to use before and after the carpet was cleaned.

Low and behold, my mom hit a home run on this one. I cannot believe how much stuff that thing sucks out of my carpet. I was recently talking to Greg Henderson (Managing Partner of A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning) as I was curious about the Dyson. He used terminology that was not in my conversation realm, but what I did understand was that the commercial vacuum cleaner that A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning uses on a customer's carpet (he vacuums the carpet before cleaning it) has way more suction power than my little ole residential Dyson. That along with the Rotovac cleaner he uses explains why my carpets looked so good at my old house in North Carolina (without the Dyson).

Have you ever talked to Greg? If not, give him a call at 336-992-0700 or check him out on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/acleanerworldcarpet. He knows his stuff and is excited about it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mystery Stains Part 2

When my husband and I first got married, we lived in a 341 square foot garage apartment. We did have a washer and dryer, but they were installed in a utility room in the back of the pool house across the property. At first, I tried keeping our laundry caught up during the week. But after my prankster husband scared the life out of me by jumping out behind a tree late one night, I changed my habit to doing laundry on Saturdays only. So during the week, we placed our clothes in the appropriate place - either our A Cleaner World express bag or in the laundry basket. At the end of the week both would be stuffed.

It turns out that there was a flaw in that system. Did you know that stains can transfer from one garment to another? It's called redeposition, and there are a number of ways it can happen. For instance, you spill marinara on your shirt. That night you don't think twice and throw it into the hamper. Throughout the week more items get stuffed into the hamper and before you know it the marinara shirt has rubbed up against several things and you now have marinara on three pieces instead of one. Or you get a new workout shirt and it's red. You wear it to the gym and get it all sweaty. Then you throw it in the laundry with everything else and suddenly your husband's white t-shirts are marbled with pink. You get the idea.

So how do you solve the problem? Just take a few minutes to separate your clothes, even if you're not ready to do laundry. In our house, we've designated the top of the dryer as the place for special attention items. If I see something there, I know it needs special care. I've also made the habit of draping wet items, like for instance my sweaty running shirts and shorts or washcloths, over the side of the basket to dry if I'm not going to wash them right away. I know this takes a bit more time, but it's time well spent so that you don't have to wash those marinara shirts again or make your husband wear pink.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mystery Stains Part 1

I have a 3 1/2 year old. Translation - I examine every piece of clothing before putting it in the washing machine. I cannot tell you what percentage of items I have to pre-treat but I'm guessing it's pretty high.

Because I examine everything, I find myself being surprised when I see a stain I KNOW wasn't there before I put it in the washer. You know what I'm talking about - those mystery stains. Turns out there are a number of things it could be, and I will discuss others next week. For me, this particular one typically shows up on my tops, usually around the upper stomach area, is relatively small in size, and makes the color of the shirt look a bit darker. After picking the brain of Mike Smith, VP - Operations for A Cleaner World, I learned what it is - an oil based stain. When Mike started explaining it to me, it totally made sense. I cook a lot, and as I thought back about some recent stains, most of them came after I cooked a meal using olive oil. Here's also what I learned - the stain can be removed but not with merely a regular washing machine and regular detergent. The stain needs to be treated to be broken down.

My solution - I wear an apron when cooking. But keep in mind I'm getting stuff on mere t-shirts. It's good for you to know that if you spill something oil-based on your suit, dress shirt, blouse, or whatever -- A Cleaner World can get it out for you no problem!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Contagious Enthusiasm

Of all the things I miss about A Cleaner World, I think I miss the people most. There are some terrific folks working for A Cleaner World, and I had the blessing of developing many wonderful professional and personal relationships during my 14+ years there. I mention this particular employee because of some recent shopping and service experiences.

I don't remember my first meeting with Mike Feudale, District Manager over ten Triad stores, but I do remember my initial thoughts. "Who is this crazy guy that comes in the office like a whirlwind and that can't sit still in staff meetings?" It didn't take me long to figure out that he didn't have an eye for financial analysis or accounting rules -- something he readily admitted and poked fun at. Quickly I figured out that that didn't matter -- that was what I along with the rest of the office staff was there for. He was there to make sure his stores produced quality work and delivered excellent service, both of which he does have an eye for.

Of his many wonderful qualities (now I do need to interject here that he's not perfect), I found his enthusiasm and energy to be refreshing and contagious. I always loved it when he came into the office -- typically with hurricane force -- calling us by the nicknames he'd picked out and making sure he spoke to everyone. And when observing him with customers, I found him to be the same way. He knows most all of his customers by name, and if he happens to not know someone, he's not afraid to ask for the next time. Plus when thanking folks for their business, he absolutely means it, and they can tell. It is all truly genuine - a person with zeal, a passion for serving others well, and it comes out in his actions. As a result, his customers drive away feeling special. Now if only all of our shopping and service experiences were like that.
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