Having Some Natural Stone Woes?

Removing crystallization on travertine
Removing crystalization on travertine

20180613_095700Travertine, granite, and marble bring a majestic beauty to your home that doesn’t quite compare to other types of flooring.  However to keep up with its luster, it calls for consistent maintenance.  The porous travertine is made of calcium carbonate which should have been sealed prior to interior and exterior use.  If it was not, then it is vulnerable to scratching, staining and damage by acidity.  Travertine and other natural stones do require a special cleaning solution.
Here is your do not do list:

  • No vinegar, acid-based cleaners
  • No citrus oils, fruit drinks, acne cream
  • No standing water for long periods of time
  • No direct heat on stone surfaces

The picture above shows years of build up that created a layer of crystalized dirt and debris.   Mopping helped with the build up that distributed the dirt.  A safe and eco-friendly cleaning solution was successful in delivering beautiful results.  (see the right side of the picture)

Take a look at the marble below.  The proper use of equipment and knowing the chemistry of solutions are needed when polishing marble.  The bottom line to cleaning natural stone is to effectively bring out its natural beauty and longevity!

3 Simple Tips To Getting Your Home Clean For Spring Entertaining

 

With Easter just around the corner, you might be planning to have friends and family in your home! If you are, you know that your house has to be extra clean for all the bunnies you are welcoming into your home.  Don’t stress about cleaning for your upcoming gathering because I have some helpful tips on how to get a clean home just in time:

1. Clean Your Furniture

 

Why furniture?  Well, everyone is going to be looking at where they sit, right?  You want to show off that you have nice clean furniture.  Plus, it’s an easy place to start cleaning and it will make the greatest impression on your guests.  For fabric, give your furniture a good vacuum to get rid of dust particles and spot treat any stains so that they do not appear dirty.  If you have leather furniture, make sure you use a cleaner that properly cleans and conditions leather so that your furniture looks as good and clean as the rest of your home. 

2. Dust

 

Get rid of dust and dirt with a damp cloth. Be sure to go over areas that are in your line of vision.  For example, fireplace mantel,stairs, counters, and banisters.  Or areas where you might be hiding an Easter egg.  

3. Clean Your Floors

 

If you are vacuuming furniture, might as well vacuum your floors.  If you have stubborn carpet stains, you should get your biannual carpet cleaning.  If you have natural stone and tile, you should clean up debris in the corners of your rooms.  The biannual cleanings for stone and tile will greatly reduce the accumulated dirt that seeps into your grout.  The sooner you address it, the easier it is to remove.

* Maybe Clean Your Yard (Optional)20170211_174657

If your guests will be outside, in your backyard, you’ll have to make sure that it’s clean and presentable.  It would be good to blow out yard clippings and patio area.  Plus, it reduces the amount of dirt that enters your home.

Ring out the Dirt this New Year!

holidaymess

Holiday fun left some lingering dirt and allergens around the house.  This year, how about adding to your home’s overall cleanliness as one of your New Year’s resolutions!  Here’s some tips for success: 

1. Shoes Stays in One Place

shoes

Taking your shoes off as soon as you enter your home, greatly reduces the debris in your home.  Just think your shoes have walked everywhere!  Even public bathrooms!  You don’t want to bring unnecessary bacteria, dirt, dust, and allergens to your home.  These particles are very attractive to insects who will enjoy residing in your flooring and comfy carpets.  This year, you might start by having a designated area to place them.  (Kudos to you if you already do this!)

 

 

2. Vacuum/Sweep More Often

Just a little pick up is helpful!  Try vacuuming/ sweeping or using your iRobot more rigorously in areas where there is heavier traffic on the weekends.  These are areas in front of the doors and walk ways.

 

3. Sweep before Mopping

If you don’t sweep before mopping, the dirt and debris can just get pushed around rather than actually cleaned.

4. Clean Up After Your Pets

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Ava Kissel and Kitten

Sometimes it’s too late to clean up after your pets.  You might find the smell of dry urine in your carpet days later.  Especially with a new liter of kittens.  How can you get upset at any pet that adorable!  Pet urine can ultimately damage your carpet.  If you can’t remove the odor and stain on your own, then it’s a good time to call Elite Floor and Furniture Cleaning.

5. Mats, mats, mats

While there’s no way to fully keep debris out, you can start with a mat inside as well as outside.  People need a place where they can brush off their shoes before tracking debris inside.  Mats at every entryway in your home are the best.  The more mats, the better.

Don’t skimp on choosing cheaper mats, either. You need thick mats and keep a backup mat, in case you need to switch out when one set gets too dirty. Clean the mats weekly.  Pictured below are some durable mats I cleaned.  Before on the left and after cleaning on the right.

6. Cleanliness is Healthy!

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Whatever your method is for eliminating dirt in your home, it’s important to keep it clean at all times.  Vacuuming removes dirt and dust, but many problem areas do not get the attention they deserve.

Problem areas are breeding grounds where dust and pollen accumulate which can trigger allergies and asthma.  Deep in your carpet or flooring, allergens and bacteria get trapped, thus, exposing you to them.

If you are someone who is sensitive to environmental allergens, biannual carpet or flooring cleanings would definitely be helpful to you!

Clean Floors and Happy Pets

You Can Have Clean Floors and Happy Pets!

Your house will always be clean with regular preventative floor cleaning.  It’s a matter of staying on top of the pet hair and dirt.  Once you have had your initial deep clean, in order to achieve a benchmark level of cleanliness, we can manage the rest with maintenance.  Really, even pets will get use to the cleaning routine and enjoy scurrying around your clean floors.

You want to live in a hygienic living environment.  A clean floor, or a not so clean floor says a lot about a home’s environment.  It’s not just about appearances; it is also about reducing allergens and pathogens to levels that don’t pose risks to your health. A trained and experienced cleaner knows exactly where to look for these potentially damaging problems.  Plus, it’s Arizona, you don’t want to breathe in the debris.  Especially, as we approach this gorgeous weather, which means a very dry air; meaning drier skin.  Thus, there will be more DUST or dead skin cells around your house compared to the summer.

Fun Fact: The percentage of dust in our homes is actually from dead skin cells, about 75% to 90%.  

 

So, have your home ready for visitors!  The biggest floor cleaning jobs can take up several hours, so you want to plan ahead and get your floors cleaned before your house guests arrive.  Instead of living in a constant state of panic, you can ensure your home is always presentable by hiring a professional floor cleaner. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or week it is, you will never be embarrassed about your floors again.  And believe me, Thanksgiving is going to sneak up on you sooner than you think!

thanksgivingtable

Grout Repair-Labor of Love

This Labor Day, enjoy yourself!  Have fun entertaining your friends and family.   Before inviting them over, I bet you’ll be tidying up your house.  Maybe, you’ll start to notice that your tile grout needs a deep cleaning.  It’s tough to clean tile grout because it’s a porous compound which allows dirt and contaminants to seep down inside the grout.  And the result looks kinda of bad, an ugly discoloration that’s going to resists a regular cleaning with a mop.

Recently, I cleaned and sealed tile grout for a new home.  See pictures below.

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So on your Labor Day, relax and save your valuable time.  Grout cleaning, repair, and sealing are my labor of love.  I would be happy to help you out.  Over the years, I have spent much time on understanding what extraction cleaning method works best on natural stone.

If you are looking for a longer lasting clean on your tile grout, ask me about grout sealing….

 

Most Common Summer Stains

Yeah it’s summer!  Tis’ the season to be the most active during the year.  However, if you live in Phoenix, you are most likely to stay indoors.  These summer months are when your carpets are the most susceptible to stains due to the dust and debris that is brought into your home.  For example, left over sand from visiting San Diego’s beaches,  sugary drink spills,  ketchup, and melted popsicles (yuck).   Unless, you have a responsive friendly pet that will lick up your messes, you will need to act fast on these stains so they do not become permanent.

Keep the following top 3 cleaning solutions on hand for these types of messes:

  1. Hydrogen peroxide –  you can get it at Walgreens.  Works great on stains like blood, chocolate, and sugary products .
  2. White vinegar –mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water, start blotting and then rinse.  Best for strong stains like pet urine.
  3. Rubbing alcohol – it’s awesome on grease and makeup. No need to dilute it, just apply to stain.

If you feel unsure in the application or the exact cleaning process, send me a line at justin@eliteclng.com  I’m happy to give you my insights.

 

One Generation to the Next passes…

down Kissel family values in the floor care and repair business.  Now, I’m glad to be the 2nd generation benefiting from my father’s 40 years of experience.  On his recent visit here, we worked on a few jobs together.  He told me, “It is possible for your customers to clean carpet well with a rental machine. But they could not do a better job than you!”  

Timothy Kissel
Recently, my dad and I worked on a job together when he came to visit Arizona.

He added, “With all of the different options out there on deep cleaning equipment, your customers would have to invest their time to figure out what’s the best cleaning method for their floors.”   I thought about what my dad said.  Figuring out what are the best cleaning solutions and the cleaning methods that will really work is MY JOB!  Just like problem solving, I consider if I will need to buff the fibers of the carpet with absorbent pads or use hot water extraction first?  I clean all types of floors day after day and I have found what will boost a detergent’s effectiveness to get cleaner furniture and floors.  It was awesome to reaffirm our family values with my dad again!