Back To School Cleaning Tips

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My daughter is already back to school and that means we have to get our home ready for family and friends coming over this fall.  Here are some extra clean-up duties, we do as school gets back in session.

1.     Use a dustbuster or hand vacuum for soft surfaces; like curtains and pillows.  They can trap allergens and make the air inside your home unhealthy.  In addition to the environmental allergens in the Phoenix area, we take some extra steps to eliminate them in our home.   20180823_174110

 2.     Wash your child’s stuffys and other soft items.  Stuffed animals attract pet dander and dust mites, especially since these items are not washed as often as we like.  Make sure the stuffed toys are durable to handle a wash with hot water (should be at least 130 degrees F) in the washing machine.

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*Try FREEZING stuffed animals.  Really, place soft toys in a plastic bag, then freeze for 24 hours and say goodbye to dust mites.

 3.     Clean underneath.  Often times, I find food, small toys, and even clothes in the couches I clean.  So move around the furniture from the walls and clean underneath to remove any unwanted debris. 20170405_112612 (2).jpg

 4.     Replace air filters.   Too bad we don’t have timers to tell us when air filters need to be replaced.  Just take a look at your filter and compare it to a new filter.  Most likely, you need to replace it.  Try to replace your air filters every 3-6 months, depending on the condition of them.

Alright, here’s to a busy, fast-paced school season!  We love the fun-filled holidays, school events and extracurricular activities.  Hope you get to fit in some of these cleaning tips!

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!

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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!

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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.