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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Can Carpeting Impact Your Health?

According to the American Lung Association, if it’s not properly cared for – yes.

Over the last few years, we’ve shared a number of tips on Facebook, Twitter, and G+ to help you properly care for your carpet.  One such tip was this: “Did you know that carpet acts as a trap for allergens? Regular vacuuming, using a high-efficiency filter and regular cleanings, removes most of the allergens.”  Most but not all.

Carpet traps stuff like dust mites, pet dander, allergens, pollution, mold spores, dirt, and dust.  Simple things like walking across the carpet or your children playing on the carpeted floor can disturb that stuff and cause it to become airborne.  According to everydayhealth.com, “If dust and allergens are deeply embedded in your carpets — or circulating in the air throughout your home — allergy symptoms can become worse. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, and itchy eyes may occur, depending on the specific pollutants.”  They went on to list other health problems like irritated skin, frequent headaches, difficulty breathing.

We’re not anti-carpet.  There are lots of benefits to having carpeting in your home – reduces noise, lowers the chance of slips and falls, adds beauty to your home.  If you do have carpeting, The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends the following:
  1. Vacuum high traffic areas daily, and elsewhere on a set schedule, using an SOA/Green Label-approved vacuum.
  2. Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause it to re-soil.
  3. Professionally deep clean carpets every 12 to 18 months.
  4. Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking shoes off when entering the house, and changing air filters regularly.
We’d also like to give you another option to consider, especially if you are in the market for new flooring.  The American Lung Association suggests that instead of carpeting, choose hard-surfaced flooring and rugs that can be removed and cleaned outside the home.  If you are considering rugs for your home and have questions, please feel free to contact Greg Henderson at 336-804-0045.  He’ll be glad to talk with you.  If you already have rugs in your home that need cleaning, simply call Greg, send him an e-mail at acwcarpet@earthlink.net, or schedule an appointment through our website.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Meet Mike Smith

You may never meet him or see him at one of our stores, but trust me, his fingertips touch everything A Cleaner World related.  Who is this mystery person, you ask.  It’s Mike Smith, and given how much I’ve talked about him, I’m guessing you feel like you already know him.  But let me tell you a few things that you may not know.

He came to A Cleaner World at the age of 24 because he needed a job.  It was one of those situations where someone’s mom knew Mike’s mom, and someone else knew his wife.  Thirty years later, it’s more than just a job to him.  He’s driven by providing both the best customer service and delivering the best quality for every customer on every single visit; therefore, he seeks to hire folks with the same philosophy and then takes the time to invest in them properly.

Mike has coined the phrase: “We have to be smarter than the label.”  Garment manufacturers and importers must provide a ‘reasonable basis for all care instructions and warnings’, but Mike has learned over the years that cleaning only by the label’s instructions can result in undesired outcomes.  When he started in the business thirty years ago, 95% of the garments he saw were dry clean only.  Today cleaning clothes is much more technical, so he’s constantly training staff and educating himself to ensure every garment receives the best care.

He’s on his phone more than most teenagers.  There are times when I think his phone is glued to his ear, but that’s because he’s simply in demand.  He knows everything – from how to handle a problem garment to how to fix a piece of machinery to how to boil shrimp.  He’s like superman in khakis.

He repels dirty.  Seriously.  I’ve never seen him dirty, in anything less dressy than khaki pants and a golf shirt, or without his shirt tail tucked in.  He’s always so put together that he’s earned the name “Mr. Clean”.  Fitting.  In fact, Steve Plantone once told me that Mike can fix a greasy piece of equipment and still look freshly pressed and spotless.  I believe that dirt is afraid of him.  And the truth is – it should be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Laundry Guide for College Freshman

My niece graduated from high school a few weeks ago.  It can’t be; it seems like yesterday I was teaching her to play look-y with her food, giving her Mt. Dew before bedtime, and taking her to see animated movies.  But nevertheless, she heads off to college in August.

She’s a super-smart girl - graduating Valedictorian of her class while playing basketball and participating in track, being involved in community projects, and working part-time jobs.  Because she was so busy, my sister tended to do a lot of stuff for her – like laundry.  Back in April, I told Monica that she needed to let Kaysie start doing her own laundry, otherwise she’d be in for a rude awakening once she was on her own.  Either that or she’ll bring her laundry home for her mom to do every weekend.

I suspect Kaysie’s not the only one that needs laundry practice.  Here’s a guide to give your college bound kids so that they don’t bring their dirty clothes home to you every weekend.

1. Check all care labels.  Separate out items that need to be hand washed or dry cleaned.  This would also be a good time to check pockets.
2. Keep bath towels and bed linens separate.  They can withstand the highest temperatures and most aggressive cycles. 
3. Separate remaining items into darks, lights, and whites.
4. Separate lint generating items (like sweatshirts) from lint draws (like corduroys).
5. Turn treasured items and blue jeans inside out.  This will reduce the chance of color loss.
6. Be sure to zip all zippers.
7. Place any delicate items to be washed separately into mesh bags.
8. When sorting, be sure to pre-treat any spots or stains.
9. Loosely place items in the washing machine.  Never overload the machine – clothes won’t come clean if there isn’t enough room to agitate.
10. Select cycle, water temperature, and detergent according to the care label’s directions when washing garments.
11. Once garments have been washed, check to see if spots have been removed before placing clothes in the dryer.  If the spot is still there, do not put the item in the dryer.  The heat will set the stain.  Instead, place it to the side to treat and wash again.
12. Clean the lint trap before putting clothes in the dryer.
13. Select dryer time and temperature according to the care label’s directions.
14. Since garments dry at different rates, keep like drying requirements together.
15. Be sure that they dryer isn’t overloaded.  If the dryer is overloaded, it will cause some items to over dry and others to remain damp.  
16. Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as they are finished and either fold properly or hang on appropriate hangers so that wrinkles don’t start forming.

Of course you can always do what I did when the laundry basket was full and the closet wasn’t – go shopping.  Though I suspect that my sister will cut this part off before giving the list to Kaysie.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Number Five Most Common Rug Stain -- Soda

I am a Diet Coke addict.  I know it’s bad for me, but I just love the stuff.  I have one every day, and if I’m being completely honest, most days I have two.  I am usually drinking the first one while sitting at the computer in my office around 10:00 in the morning.  Thankfully, I’ve never spilled this dark, sticky drink……yet.  But never fear, as clumsy as I am, it is bound to happen at some point.

Whether it’s brown, red, or orange, a soda spill can leave a nasty stain on your rug.  Plus if the drink
contains sugar, not only will the area attract bugs, but dust and other particles will also settle leaving a dirty, nasty spot.  Here’s the key – as with any spill, you need to act quickly.  Before beginning, be sure to test any products or solutions in an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no dye bleeding.
  1. Blot up as much of the spilled drink as possible using a clean, white cloth or paper towel.
  2. 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.
  3. Rinse the area thoroughly with plain water and blot dry with a clean, dry, white towel.
  4. Another option is to use a store-bought spray cleaner.  Use caution if choosing an oxygenating carpet spotting product.  They are made from diluted hydrogen peroxide so if the area isn’t rinsed thoroughly, the product will continue working and eventually pull the color from your rug.
If you’ve read our previous blog posts discussing the first four most common rug stains, you’ll notice the method of attack on all is similar.  While these steps may work on many stains, for deep or set-in stains, we recommend you contact a professional rug cleaner like A Cleaner World Rug Cleaning.
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