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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sometimes it’s the Little Things

When I lived in North Carolina and went into the office every day, I would pass by two Starbucks locations before stopping for my coffee at the third location. There was something about that third location that I just liked – they knew me by name, they knew how I liked my coffee, and they started it as soon as I walked in the door – before even ordering. With all the people that came through those doors, they remembered my preferences and that caused me to pick that location day after day.

I recently spoke with Warren Lackey, a customer of A Cleaner World on North Main in High Point, and asked him if there was something in particular that kept him coming back. “Veronica, the manager, is always smiling and calls me by name, which is so rare these days,” explained Mr. Lackey. “Not only is she friendly and helpful, but she consistently pays attention to those little extra details like how I like to have my shirts finished and the way I prefer to have my clothes placed in the car.” It’s those little things by both Veronica and her staff that’s caused Mr. Lackey to choose A Cleaner World week after week for at least the 17 years that I’ve worked for the company.

When you stop and think about it, many of the choices we make are based on such small things but that are somehow so important – at least to us. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known for his stories about Sherlock Holmes, was right when he said “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” Agreed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Opposites Attract

Last year I mentioned that I had this adorable little dog named Libby for around thirteen years.  She was a fantastic little dog – really well trained and behaved.  But on a rare occasion she’d have an accident in the house.  Shortly after we moved into our house in Jamestown, she had an accident on the rug in the hallway.  I cleaned it up using a store-bought carpet spotting cleaner.  Later I quizzed Greg about the best way to handle something like that – and before he told me how to fix it, he scolded me for using such a product.

He said that while it appeared that the stain was now gone, I needed to watch as a ‘gray’ spot will appear over time.  He proceeded to explain why.  But clearly it was too technical because I had to call him to get him to explain it again before sharing this with you.

Here it is simplified for my brain.  Carpet has a relatively neutral pH – around 7.  Store-bought carpet cleaning solutions are very strongly alkaline.  We took a look at a MSDS sheet of a well-known brand and it was 9.9.  Soil on the other hand, according to Wikipedia, typically is in the acidic range of 5.5-7.0.  When you spray the cleaner on the stain and don’t rinse it well to neutralize the pH the soil, which is an opposite, is attracted to that area.  As the detergent sits there, it just attracts more dirt over time.

How do you fix that problem?  Greg’s solution is to always give a sample bottle of spotter away to customers after they have their carpets or rugs cleaned by A Cleaner World Carpet and Rug Cleaning.  The pH in that cleaner is around 7.2, which is pretty neutral so it doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind.  But if you decide to use an alkaline product at home, then be sure to rinse well with something that is on the acidic side afterwards so it neutralizes the carpet.  And as always, please let us know if you have any questions.  You can always call Greg at 336-992-0700, leave me a message on Facebook, or tweet me @cleaner_world.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The American Flag

When my son gets fixated on a project, there is no stopping him until he is finished. He eats, sleeps, and breathes it. In fact, he’s been known to sleep with a work-in-progress art project and then bring it into our room around 3:00 a.m. wanting to know if he can work on it right then.

Since Friday is Flag Day, I thought this art project story would be a great one to share. On a recent rainy afternoon, Gray asked Matt to print some pictures of the American Flag off the Internet so he could make a special coloring book. Gray took the pages Matt printed, spread them out all over the dining room floor and spent the rest of the afternoon coloring the pages and then stapling them together to create a book. He then carried that book around for days talking about how special it was and asking all kinds of questions about the American Flag.

A Cleaner World thinks the American Flag is special too. That’s why we clean American Flags for free –everyday. We’re also happy to help out if you have a flag that needs repairing or if you need a worn or faded flag to be properly destroyed. So stop by one of our locations if you have an American Flag that needs some special attention.

“That piece of red, white and blue bunting means five thousand years of struggle upwards. It is the full-grown flower of ages of fighting for liberty. It is the century plant of human hope in bloom.” – Alvin Owsley, an American diplomat, lawyer, and soldier June 11, 1888 – April 3, 1967

Sunday, June 9, 2013

An Ink Load

It is standard practice for A Cleaner World to check every pocket before cleaning a garment. Recently I once again failed to check Matt’s pockets when doing laundry at home which resulted in this – an ink load. When I pulled the clothes out of the washer I was baffled. What in the world had I done to these white clothes to create such a streaky black mess? I fished around the front seal of the washer to find the culprit – a black pen broken in half.

At first I was mad at Matt for leaving it in his pocket. Then I was mad at myself for once again failing to check his pockets knowing his habit. (On a side note - when I shared this post with him he pointed out that if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have nearly as much to write about.) Then I got over myself and went to work trying everything I knew to get the ink out of a handful of items I wanted to salvage. I failed and so there were a few items I had to replace. I ended up spending about $150. Expensive lesson.

If the same thing happens to you, I have some suggestions that will hopefully help you spend far less than I did.

• Don’t tumble dry the items, instead air dry them – heat can set the ink permanently. If it does happen in the dryer, unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done.
• Find the pen and all its pieces. Be sure to clean or wipe out the drum of the machine. Don’t use any flammable cleaner in the dryer.
• Take the pieces to A Cleaner World. We have soaps formulated for ink removal and the technical knowledge that will increase the chances of a successful outcome.

If you have any questions about ink stains, please feel free to post a message on our Facebook page, send us a tweet @cleaner_world, or an e-mail at acwwildwed@gmail.com. We’re glad to help.

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