Archive for the 'General' Category

How often should I clean my carpets?

Mar. 13th 2016

To extend the life of your carpets, you should have them cleaned regularly. But how often should you have your carpets cleaned? Of course, to some degree, that’s a highly personal decision. It depends on how highly used your carpets are, whether they cover the most heavily trafficked areas in your home, and whether there are extensive stains. It also depends on whether you have pets, anyone in your family suffers from allergies, or whether you have kids.

Most experts agree that your carpets should be cleaned roughly every twelve to eighteen months, though it’s safe to say that lightly used carpets in homes with less traffic (or no kids or pets) might need to be cleaned less often. Incredibly high traffic areas, on the other hand, might need to be cleaned as often as every 3-6 months.

Why so often? You should think of professional carpet cleaning as preventative maintenance, just like you’d think of changing the oil in your car or the air filters in your house. If you wait too long to change them, you put unnecessary stress on your car or HVAC system. Not changing your oil often enough can damage your engine. Not changing your air filters often enough, on the other hand, can put strain on your HVAC system and affect the purity of the air your breathe.

If you wait too long to clean your carpets, the dirt, grime, and allergens that are already present in your carpets from normal wear and tear will be ground deeper into the carpet. More and more dirt, soil, and dander will gather on top of the ground in messes. Stains will have longer to set, permanently changing the color of the carpet’s fibers.

The longer the dirt and stains are present on the carpet, the harder it is to clean and, ultimately, the shorter its life span.

If you’re considering having your carpets professionally cleaned, make sure you thoroughly research your options. Most carpet cleaning companies either offer dry cleaning or steam cleaning, but they’re really very different.

In fact, dry cleaning has several major advantages over steam cleaning. Dry cleaning uses less moisture, which means that you’ll be able to walk on your carpets again right away. (After steam cleaning, on the other hand, you have to stay off your carpets for 24-48 hours!) Not only that, but there’s less risk of mold and mildew growing under your carpets. Not only that, but some of the harder to treat stains will reappear just a few days after steam cleaning, or require several treatments to be removed—which is not the case with dry cleaning.

Is it time for some preventative maintenance? Is it time for some routine service? Call us today at (816) 454-1010 to schedule your free estimate, in-home or by phone. Visit our website at DryCarpetCleaningKC.com to get a 10% coupon for all dry carpet cleaning.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on How often should I clean my carpets?

Steam cleaning dangers

Mar. 6th 2016

How much water is too much water? That’s a great question, because, according to the EPA at least, “moisture control is the key to mold control.” Compared with steam cleaning, dry carpet cleaning uses less than one teaspoon of water per square foot.

If you have kids with allergies, mold and mildew is a real issue. Carpets are a great choice for families with allergy issues, because they trap allergens, rather than allowing them to float freely through the air. Still, to keep up with the danger, allergens, spores, and dust mites, regular carpet cleaning is especially important.

When carpets are steam cleaned, tons of water is used. So much water, in fact, that you can’t walk on or use your carpets for an average of 24-48 hours after cleaning. (Talk about an inconvenience!) To speed things along, many steam cleaning companies bring along fans; some people even rent or borrow extra fans to encourage their carpets to dry out faster. Still, when the technician leaves, the carpets are soaked with dirty leftover wastewater. Moisture left in carpets, even in very small amounts, promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which can make you sick, have difficulty breathing, and irritate allergy sufferers.

Dry carpet cleaning, on the other hand, uses far less water, which, far from promoting the growth of mold and mildew in your carpets, actually removes mold and mildew. Not only that, but the Host system dramatically reduces other indoor allergens—making your home a healthier and happier place to be.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, the Host dry carpet cleaning system reduces dust mites by up to 78%, dust mite allergens by 75%, cat allergens by 85%, and mold spores by 85%. It’s also nontoxic, noncorrosive, completely safe for eyes and skin, and non carcinogenic.

Not to mention, it provides a deep clean that helps keep your carpets looking good longer and, unlike steam cleaning, doesn’t leave a soapy residue that attracts more dirt, dust, and allergens after cleaning.

What do you have to lose? If you’re ready to give Host dry carpet cleaning a try, I’m willing to give you 10% off. Want more information about Host products, or want to set up a free in-home consultation to discuss your professional rug and carpet cleaning options? We’re happy to come out to your house or chat with you over the phone for a free estimate. For more information, to talk to one of our trained representatives, or to schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call at (816) 454-1010.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on Steam cleaning dangers

Cleaning Rugs Made from Special Fibers like Berber, Oriental, Persian

Mar. 1st 2016

If you have a wool, Wool Berber, Oriental, Chinese, Persian, or other rug made with delicate fibers, you definitely want to tread carefully.

Because your rug is a treasured possession, you have it proudly on display in a prominent room, like a living room, dining room, or study. There’s a fair amount of traffic, so it endures its fair share of wear and tear. You want to make sure you take care of it so that it can occupy a special spot in your home for years to come.

Whether you’re interested in a do-it-yourself fix, or you’re planning on calling in a professional, the more you know about getting your carpets clean, the better decisions you can make. We use the Host dry carpet cleaning products. Host is the green, dry, chemical-free, plant-based alternative to traditional steam cleaning (which uses lots of water and harsh chemicals). Host is super effective and helps you get your carpets cleaner, keep them clean longer, and also extends the life of the carpet itself.

I’ve said it before,and I’m sure I’ll say it again. The Host Dry Carpet Cleaning system is awesome—it’s the highest quality carpet dry cleaning system in the world, which is why we use it. In fact, I insist on it! It’s top rated by Consumer Reports, has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and even meats Green Seal’s super high standards. There’s no other carpet cleaning product like it out there.

There are in-home products you can use, as well as services administered by professional technicians. It’s up to you but, whatever you choose, you should be aware that different materials should be treated differently for best results.

As with most any do it yourself attempt, you should start small. Choose a small, inconspicuous area, and test with a smallamount of Host product. Brush it through the carpet. If you notice a color change or a distortion in texture, stop. Discontinue use of the product. Let’s discuss.

Wool and Wool Berber

Host Dry Carpet cleaners carry the WoolSafe seal of approval. Still, you should be sure you test for colorfastness first. Also, while you’re cleaning your wool rugs, make sure you don’t brush too aggressively. This can cause the wool to get fuzzy, which distorts the overall look of the rug.

Cleaning wool is pretty challenging. It tends to fuzz, which is unsightly and distorts the texture. Brush carefully, only in the direction of the loops, and never across the loops.

Delicate Fibers

Most Oriental, Chinese, and Persian rugs are made with wool or silk fibers. Be aware of the texture and color, so that, if any change occurs, you don’t do further damage. These fibers may require additional brushing, but if any texture distortion occurs, stop! Test for colorfastness on a small, inconspicuous spot. Never brush any fringe.

Natural Fibers

Rugs made from natural fibers, like sisal, coir, jute, and sea grass, are very absorbent. Permanent discoloration from any spills may occur, and can be permanently affected by any type of cleaning.

Many fibers react differently, especially depending on the dyes or other treatments that they have received. Some have polymer or other coatings, which can react unpredictably to cleaning products. It’s important to always test for color fastness on a small area, like the back, before committing to an overall clean. If you’re worried about causing damage, enlist the help of a professional. Want more information about Host products, or want to set up a free in-home consultation to discuss your professional rug and carpet cleaning options? We’re happy to come out to your house or chat with you over the phone for a free estimate. For more information, to talk to one of our trained representatives, or to schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call at (816) 454-1010.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on Cleaning Rugs Made from Special Fibers like Berber, Oriental, Persian

3 things NOT to do before dry carpet cleaning

Feb. 26th 2016

You’ve having company over, and it’s time to start getting your house in order. Either that, or it’s spring cleaning time (or summer or fall), and you just can’t stand to let it go on any longer. The stains on your carpet are driving you crazy, and it’s time to have a professional in to help you get your carpets clean, once and for all.

You’ve called a dry carpet cleaning company, had the initial in-home consultation, and were super, duper impressed with all the details. Now, your technician is on the way, and you’re wondering what you should be doing. Vacuum: check. Move the furniture: check. You’ve got time to spare, and you want to make sure you make things as easy on the technician as possible, so that he can get to all the different spots on your carpet, and so that you truly get your money’s worth. Hey, you should be thinking about getting as much value as you can for your dollar!

Still, no sense wasting time and effort on things that just don’t matter. Right? Because, after all, aren’t we all about efficiency? If you’re wondering what to do before your dry carpet cleaning technician arrives, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for more information about what to do before he arrives, check out this article on what to do before your technician comes, click here. (LINK to earlier article.) Today, we’re not here to talk about what you SHOULD do before your technician arrives; we’re here to talk about the things that you don’t need to waste your time worrying about. Dry carpet cleaning is a little different from steam cleaning, and it may require a different approach. Today, let’s talk about 3 things you should definitely NOT do before dry carpet cleaning.

  1. Make a space in your driveway for big trucks with big water pumps. Those big steam cleaning vans take up a ton of space! So that they’re able to reach their houses from their vans to your front door, many steam cleaning technicians will ask you to let them park in your driveway! With dry cleaning, because we don’t pump gallon after gallon of water into your carpet (hello, mold alert!), we don’t drive massive trucks. We don’t need to take up residence in your driveway. And you won’t risk the nasty aftereffects of all that water in your house, either. Win/win.
  1. Make a plan to keep your family and furniture off heavily trafficked areas.  As you can probably already imagine, pumping all the water into your carpets (they’re absorbent, you know) means that they won’t be dry when the technician’s truck leaves your driveway. You’re free to walk on it if you want, but you know that wet things tend to attract and trap dirt and debris, so your once-clean carpet won’t take long to dirty up again! You may have to stay off of it for a full 24-48 hours for it to really have an opportunity to dry, which means that your family’s routine will be totally disrupted. Carpet is often found in the most heavily trafficked areas, so it can be difficult to totally avoid them. With dry carpet cleaning, you won’t need to wear weird booties around, avoid watching TV in the living room, or frog hop from one room to another to avoid setting foot in the hallway. Your carpets will be immediately dry and useable—no disruption to your daily life.
  1. Rent extra fans. I don’t know about you, but fans drive me crazy. Not ceiling fans, but floor fans. That whomp-whomp whirring sound gives me a headache; I think it’s something about the way it changes the pressure. In an effort to get back to normal faster, many people who have their carpets steam cleaned rent or borrow extra fans. With a dry carpet cleaning system, your carpets are ready to use right away, so there’s no need to drive across town picking up fans, or listen to the noise as they dry the carpets.

With dry carpet cleaning, a lot less work is required both before and after the technician comes, which is awesome. Not only that, but we use the Host cleaning products, which are greener, cleaner, and non-chemical. They’re plant-based, so they’re great for the environment, don’t break down the fibers in your carpets (allowing them to last longer but still be clean), and don’t expose your children and pets to dangerous harsh chemicals.

Want more information about Host products, or want to set up a free in-home consultation to discuss your professional carpet cleaning options? We’re happy to come out to your house or chat with you over the phone for a free estimate. For more information, to talk to one of our trained representatives, or to schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call at (816) 454-1010.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on 3 things NOT to do before dry carpet cleaning

The best way to clean carpet

Feb. 16th 2016

Imagine all the things that you do on your carpet every day. Imagine all the furniture that sits on your carpet every day. Imagine how much time that you spend on your carpet every day.

It’s not just something that you walk on. It’s a place where you live your life, where your dog rolls around on her back, and your toddler crawls around (putting everything in his mouth as he goes).

Imagine, now, the inconvenience of waiting 24-48 hours while your carpet dries after steam cleaning before you can use it again. Imagine the constant whirring of the fans set there specially to help it dry. Imagine the chaos, as you try to avoid using your most heavily trafficked areas by spending more time on your less trafficked areas—along with the furniture that was also displaced from those same heavily trafficked areas.

Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, does it? Not only that, but steam cleaning doesn’t help you get your carpets clean and keep them that way. In addition to exposing your children and pets to dangerous chemicals, steam cleaning leaves a nasty, grimy residue that actually attracts more dirt post-cleaning!

And yet, people still seem to think that steam cleaning is the way to get your carpets professionally cleaned. It’s like they don’t even know there’s a whole other way, one that doesn’t leave your carpets wet; use harsh, abrasive, environmentally unsafe chemicals; promote the growth of nasty mold and mildew; or leave a soapy, grimy residue on your carpets after cleaning.

Help! I don’t want to steam clean my carpets, but I don’t know a better way! I want them to be clean!

Dry carpet cleaning is the alternative solution to steam cleaning, and it’s better by far. Not only does it help you get your carpets clean and keep them clean, it reduces the risk of growing mold and mildew (because it uses minimal amounts of water), and keeps your family safer because it doesn’t place tons of harmful chemicals right within reach.

If you don’t use steam to clean my carpets, how does it work?

Actually, it’s not the steam that’s cleaning your carpets in a steam cleaning method anyway; it’s actually the detergent that does the cleaning! By calling it “steam” cleaning, these carpet companies make it sound like it’s a greener and cleaner method than it actually is.

Dry carpet cleaning works a lot like dry cleaning on your clothes. Instead of using harmful chemical detergents and a ton of water to clean, most carpet dry cleaning services use dry cleaning chemicals, which are activated with small amounts of hot water.

I’m really concerned about bringing all those nasty chemicals into my house!

I don’t know about you, but it really matters to me what chemicals in bring in to my home. After all, just because you want to keep your home clean, disinfected, and sanitized doesn’t mean you have to compromise on safety and use dangerous chemicals! That’s why we use the Host cleaning solution. It’s the green, dry, chemical-free, plant-based alternative that is super effective and helps you get your carpets cleaner, keep them clean longer, and also extends the life of the carpet itself.

The Host Dry Carpet Cleaning system is awesome—it’s the highest quality carpet dry cleaning system in the world, which is why we use it. In fact, I insist on it! It’s top rated by Consumer Reports, has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and even meats Green Seal’s super high standards. There’s no other carpet cleaning product like it out there.

Unlike with steam cleaning, dry cleaning with Host products is the greenest, cleanest way to get (and keep) your carpets clean. Want more information about Host products, or want to set up a free in-home consultation to discuss your professional carpet cleaning options? We’re happy to come out to your house or chat with you over the phone for a free estimate. For more information, to talk to one of our trained representatives, or to schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call at (816) 454-1010.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on The best way to clean carpet

3 ways to prepare before your carpet cleaning service

Jan. 27th 2016

I remember when I was a kid, whenever my mom brought in help around the house, she cleaned furiously for hours before they got there. I always asked why, if we had hired someone to help clean, we had to clean BEFORE they came….to clean. I totally didn’t understand at the time, but, as I grew older, it began to make sense.

Now, when I bring in help around the house, I clean ahead of time. I’m always trying to do the last two or three things that will clear away the clutter and allow my housekeeper to do a really, really good job. Because it’s difficult for her to do her job when she’s vacuuming around piles of dirty laundry, right? At ten years old, that didn’t make sense to me. But now that I’m older and a little bit wiser, I can appreciate my mom’s wisdom.

Many of my clients think along the same lines as my mom. One of the most common questions I get is, “What should I do before your crew gets to my house?” It’s a great question, and one that I’m always happy to answer.

It’s really simple to get ready for us to come visit. Here are three super simple things you can do to make sure that you’re totally ready to get the most out of your dry carpet cleaning.

  1. Clear the carpet. Make sure that the carpeted areas (or, at least, the areas you want cleaned) are clear. Anything that normally sits on the carpets, like lamps, tables, and chairs, will need to be moved out of the way. The more carpet the technician can easily access, the more carpet will be cleaned. (And that’s what you’re paying for, right?!) For larger furniture items, the carpet cleaner will let you know in advance what furniture they’ll move. Some companies charge an extra fee for heavy items, but you should definitely be sure to ask beforehand, just to make sure you’re prepared. Remove any items that are fragile or easily breakable, too—just in case.
  1. Find the stains. If you haven’t already, you should take inventory. Inspect your carpet, and find any trouble spots you can identify. Your technician will also inspect your carpet when he arrives, but it’s a good idea to get a quick lay of the land first. Pay particular attention to anything that was covered up by furniture. Make a list of spots and stains and their locations. Now, you’ll be in a great position to give your technician a “tour” and indicate exactly what you want to be cleaned.
  1. Make an appropriate pet plan. You should let your technician know that you have kids, so that your technician can come prepared to treat pet-related spots. You’ll also want to make a plan for your pets while your carpets are being treated. As much as our technicians love pets, it’s difficult to do an awesome job with Fluffy hanging out right in the way. Our chemicals are super safe and the carpets are immediately dry (because we don’t use a ton of water to clean them), pets will need to be safely kept away until after cleaning is complete.

It’s easy! Just those 3 things will go a long way towards maximizing your technician’s level of efficiency. It’s a lot easier to prepare for a dry carpet cleaning company to come in, because you don’t have to make room in your driveway for a lot of big, heavy equipment, worry about lots of strong chemicals being used in your house near your kids and pets, or make an alternate plan to avoid walking on or using high traffic areas that were recently treated. You also won’t have to deal with a bunch of fans drying to dry out the wet mess in your house, or an icky slick residue left on your carpets (which attracts MORE dirt and grime after you’ve paid to have your carpets cleaned).

Three simple steps, and you’re ready for us! Ready to get started? Call us today at (816) 454-1010 to schedule your free estimate, in-home or by phone. Visit our website at DryCarpetCleaningKC.com to get a 10% coupon for all dry carpet cleaning.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on 3 ways to prepare before your carpet cleaning service

What can I expect when I get my carpets dry cleaned?

Jan. 15th 2016

Whenever you consider bringing someone into your home, you have a lot of questions. It’s important to know exactly who you’re bringing into your home and what you can expect ahead of time—that way, you’ll know if there’s any funny business.

I can’t tell you how many terrible stories I’ve heard from customers who initially used another carpet cleaning company. They ended up with scary looking people tramping through their home, listening to loud music, behaving disrespectfully, and making them generally uncomfortable in their own homes. In the worst cases, I heard stories about services that were shoddily provided and even, in the worst case scenarios, about property stolen.

If you’re going to bring someone into your home, you want to make sure that you’re prepared and know what to expect ahead of time—both in terms of the technician who will show up at your door and also in terms of the product(s) and methods used.

When I hire Hostess Dry Carpet Cleaning, what can I expect?

When you set up an appointment with us, we’ll let you know exactly what time to expect us—and whom to expect. All of our technicians are trained, insured, and thoroughly background checked, so you don’t have to worry about who might be coming into your home. We take your privacy, safety, and property seriously, period.

Quality is also super important to us, which is why we use The Host products. It’s a lot like a ton of tiny sponges and it provides a superior clean to other carpet cleaning products—whether steam or dry clean. Not only that, but it’s a plant based derivative (plus water, of course), and it’s totally safe to use. (Which is probably pretty important to you if you’ve got kids or pets!) It’s also environmentally friendly, so you can feel good about that, too!

When your technician comes, what will happen?

Your technician will start with a prep spray, which will help soften the topical soil. This just makes the cleaning process easier and faster. Then, the Host compound will be sprinkled on the area(s) that will be cleaned. The Host machine will be worked in and through the carpet, gently lifting any stains and soil that may be present there. How will you know that it’s working? You’ll see the compound getting darker, as it absorbs the soil that was formerly just sitting in your carpet!

When we’re done, the Host compound is just vacuumed back up. Hostess Carpet Care then starts crevice tooling along the edges of the room, dusts the baseboards, and vacuums the entire room. The best part? Your carpet is immediately dry and useable, and, since there’s no water, there’s also no mold or mildew.

Is this the right choice for me?

The Host Dry Carpet Cleaning system is awesome—it’s the highest quality carpet dry cleaning system in the world. It’s top rated by Consumer Reports, has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and even meats Green Seal’s super high standards.

We use it because it’s safe, high quality, and good for the environment. There’s really no reason to use tons of water (eww, gross—mildew and mold!), soap, and harsh chemicals—not only is that unsafe for your pets and kids, it’s also bad for the environment, and yields poorer results! Chemicals, hot water, steam, and constant wetting and drying weakens and stresses carpet.

It’s our goal not only to get your carpet clean but to help you keep it clean. If you’re tired of the time and mess involved in a wet carpet cleaning system, you’re not alone. Looking for an alternative? Look no further. Call us today at (816) 454-1010 to schedule your free estimate, in-home or by phone. Visit our website at DryCarpetCleaningKC.com to get a 10% coupon for all dry carpet cleaning.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on What can I expect when I get my carpets dry cleaned?

How to clean pet stains and smells on your carpets

Jan. 4th 2016

Pets wreak havoc on carpets. Whether it’s a matter of accumulating pet dander or stains from potty training a stubborn puppy, carpets often take a serious beating. I hear it all the time, “But I vacuum every day!” Still, pets track in dirt, mud, and goodness only knows what else, and it makes a mess on your carpet.

And it’s not only the stains—it’s the smells. Dogs and cats “mark” their territory, release pheromones, and, in the worst cases, develop bad habits that are difficult to break. Remember: dogs and cats have a better sense of smell than we do and, often, if they can smell their “scent,” they’ll continue to relieve themselves (or worse!) in the same spot.

Vacuuming and spot treating help with day-to-day maintenance, but some of those more stubborn pet stains need a little more attention. You semi-regularly steam clean your carpets, but you can’t do that as often as you’d like—what can you do in between professional cleanings, to help make sure that your carpets stay in nice enough shape that you don’t live in constant fear that someone will pop by unannounced?

  1. If it’s urine…If you’ve found urine on your carpets, you should start by soaking it up with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. It’s especially important to act quickly, before the urine dries, because that makes it a lot easier to remove the smell. Putting pressure on the spot will help you to soak up as much of it as possible. Put a layer of paper towels on the floor, and stand on them. Remove and repeat until the area is barely damp. Rinse with water, being sure to soak up as much of the water as possible (you don’t want to encourage mold or mildew to grow there!)—you can blot the same way as you did the urine, or you can even use a wet vac.
  1. If it’s a set in stain…If you have a wet vac, it may be time to pull it out. Wet vacs are great, as an intermediate measure, to help remove traces of heavy pet stains in your carpets. Make sure you only use water, though. Most wet vacs are only designed to be used with water. Be sure you don’t use an in-home steam cleaner, though, because, without professional help, the heat can cause the proteins to stick to the carpet (and become nearly impossible to remove). If you don’t have access to a wet vac, you’ll want to use a good quality carpet cleaner. Follow the instructions on the label. For most pet messes, we like _________.
  1. Find the areas that the pets use, and clean them thoroughly. Begin with a product that neutralizes odor. Clean the affected area, and apply an odor neutralizing product. Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean your pet can’t! (We like ________. It makes those terrible pet smells disappear!) It probably should go without saying that, once you clean and neutralize, you should also make an effort to make the “scene of the crime” unavailable or unattractive to your pet, so he or she doesn’t repeat the same behaviors. After all, no plan for improving the pet stain problem would be complete without targeting the behavior that keeps making them messy! Right?
  1. Avoid super chemical-y cleaners. Anything with strong odors can have unpredictable effects on your pet. Even though you may not be able to smell it, your pet may still be able to smell it—encouraging your pet to continue to use your carpet as a bathroom!

My mom told me that a simple combination of vinegar and baking soda can work wonders, and it’s a recipe I still use for pet stains today! These two things together have awesome cleaning power and, not only that, but you probably already have them around your house! (Don’t you just love it when you can take action without having to make a separate trip to the store?) Just soak the stain with vinegar, and then cover with baking soda. Leave it for a day or two, so it can completely dry out (bonus: you can watch the yellow soak it’s way into the baking soda on top), and then vacuum up the rest.

Pet potty stains are a big pain, no doubt about it. But if you catch it quickly, take preventative steps, try to stop the behavior, and effectively neutralize the odors, you can help take care of your carpet (and keep it looking newer longer) in between professional cleanings. When you’re ready for a little extra help, call us at (816) 454-1010 for your free estimate, in-home or by phone. Visit our website at DryCarpetCleaningKC.com to get a 10% coupon for all dry carpet cleaning.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on How to clean pet stains and smells on your carpets

Dry Carpet Cleaning: Essential for People Suffering from Allergies

Dec. 15th 2015

Allergy sufferers like to blame their allergies on any number of things—the weather, pollen, grass, dust, pet dander—you name it. Still, there are allergens lurking in all sorts of unexpected places, many of which are causing us to get sick more often and stay sick longer, partially because they’re hidden away where we can’t see them.

Carpets are one of those hidden sources of allergens. Sure, you regularly vacuum, and you definitely spot treat when you end up with a mess on your hands. But is it enough? What kinds of things are sinking into your carpet—ground in by your shoes, rubbed in as your pets roll around on the floor, or pressed down deep as your kids slide around under their blanket fort?

Carpet is a great flooring choice for allergy sufferers because, instead of floating around in the air, like it would in a house with hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or tile floors, allergens float down and stick to the carpet. It’s good because it keeps the allergens out of the air where you would breathe them in, but it’s bad because, if your carpets aren’t regularly and properly cleaned, you can wind up with an even bigger mess on your hands than you realize.

Allergens aren’t the only problems! Mold and mildew can also grow silently under your carpet. In areas where leakages have occurred, from spilled juice boxes to broken or leaky pipes and even poorly performed carpet cleaning, the extra water provides an ideal breeding ground for harmful fungi to grow.

Mold can cause all sorts of problems, like muscle and joint pain, difficulty breathing (and other respiratory system conditions, like asthma), headaches, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and more. The presence of mold can even weaken your immune system, causing you to get sick more often.

Having your carpets regularly dry cleaned (as opposed to steam cleaning, which uses a lot of water and, especially when poorly or inexpertly performed, can cause mold to grow rather than preventing it) can help prevent mold from growing under your carpets. Dry cleaning, as opposed to steam cleaning, uses minimal amounts of water—so little water, in fact, that you can walk on them immediately after the cleaning is complete!

At Hostess Carpet Care, we can clean your carpets using Host chemicals—the greenest dry carpet cleaning chemicals available on the market. We’re a woman-owned, woman-operated, local Kansas City business, and we’ve been specializing in dry carpet cleaning for over 25 years. Our system, which is 100% green, 100% clean, and 100% dry, is not only good for you and your carpets, but cleans better than hot water, steam, or shampoo methods offered by other carpet cleaning companies.

Call us today at (816) 454-1010 for your free estimate, in-home or by phone. Visit our website at DryCarpetCleaningKC.com to get a 10% coupon for all dry carpet cleaning.

We know how important it is that your home be a clean and healthy environment for everyone in your family, and we’ll help you keep it that way. This allergy season, protect yourself by cleaning your floors—you’ll be glad you did.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on Dry Carpet Cleaning: Essential for People Suffering from Allergies

Steam Cleaning v. Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dec. 8th 2015

Which is the best choice for me?

Your mother in law is coming to visit, and you’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, but those pesky carpet stains are still there. Most of the time you turn a blind eye (after all, spot treated and vacuumed, so it’s not like it isn’t clean enough, right?), but when you think about having house guests, you start to feel a little more critical. All those high traffic areas look a little worn, plus there are spots where, well, who knows what even happened there? There may be nail polish, red wine, or even various bodily fluids that, at some point, were spilled on your carpets, causing unsightly stains and making you wonder what is lurking underneath your carpet, too.

Having your carpets cleaned regularly extends both the life and improves the appearance of your carpets. But how do you make sure you get them “mother-in-law clean?” Do you buy some products and do it yourself? Of course, there’s a risk that you’ll do more harm than good, especially in terms of damage to the carpet and furniture that may be nearby. If you hire a professional, whom do you hire? There are tons of carpet cleaning companies; you can barely turn the TV on without hearing an ad about “steam cleaning” your floors and 4 room “specials.” But what does that mean? Is steam cleaning the best option? Which is the best choice for me?

Steam Cleaning: The Process

Steam cleaning is a pretty popular carpet cleaning method, and people are always shocked when I tell them that it isn’t actually steam that cleans their carpets! The machines that you can use yourself or that carpet cleaning companies bring to your home do use steam, but it’s not the steam that cleans your carpets.

Steam cleaning machines use cleaning detergent to clean your carpets. The detergent is hot water activated, and then a wet vacuum sucks up the water after the detergent has done its job.

After you’ve steam cleaned your carpets, you have to stay off of them for 12-24 hours! If you’ve cleaned a high traffic area, like a living room or hallway, it’s difficult to stay off the floors for that long—after all, you still live there!

Steam cleaning can also leave an oily or sticky feeling residue on your carpets which attracts more dirt and grime, making them tricky to keep clean after steam cleaning. Is there a better way?

Dry Carpet Cleaning: The Process

Just like you can dry clean your clothes, you can dry clean your carpets! Instead of using detergent that is activated by hot water, when your carpets are dry cleaned, dry cleaning chemicals are placed on your carpets and combined with a small amount of moisture to deeply clean your carpets.

Dry cleaning has several major advantages over steam cleaning. Specifically, dry cleaning uses less moisture, which means two things: (1) that you can walk on your carpets again almost instantly, rather than waiting 12-24 hours for your carpets to dry, and (2) there’s much less risk of mold and mildew growing under your carpets from water that wasn’t entirely wet vacuumed back up again. (Gross!) Not only that, but some of the harder to treat stains will reappear just a few days after steam cleaning, or require several treatments to be removed—which is not the case with dry cleaning.

What kind of chemicals are used in the dry cleaning process?

The major criticism of dry cleaning is that harsh chemicals have to be used. In some cases, they can have strong odors, or be unsafe for use around pets and children.

That’s why we use Host carpet cleaning products. They are soft, natural, and environmentally responsible—completely safe for your children and pets to be around, and dry in minutes. In fact, Host Dry is Woolsafe Approved, A USDA Certified Biobased Product, and Green Seal Certified.

In fact, Host is the ONLY brand of dry carpet cleaners that are BioPreferred!

What does it mean that the products you use are Woolsafe Approved, USDA Certified Biobased, and Green Seal Certified?

To make a long story short, all these certifications mean that the products we use will not only help you get and keep your carpets clean, they’ll also keep your family safe. Host uses biological products and renewable agricultural materials that help us improve the environment and keep people safe.

Unlike with steam cleaning, dry cleaning with Host products is a greener, cleaner way to get (and keep) your carpets clean. If your mother in law is coming to visit, or you just want to make sure that you remove some of those pesky stains in your current carpeting, give us a call. We’re happy to come out to your house or chat with you over the phone for a free estimate. For more information, to talk to one of our trained representatives, or to schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call at (816) 454-1010.

Posted by laura | in General | Comments Off on Steam Cleaning v. Dry Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning: What Do the Experts Know?

Nov. 19th 2012

While your carpeting may not require the regular cleaning that other types of flooring demand, your carpet should be professionally cleaned once every year to 18 months, even if you vacuum regularly. Professional carpet cleaning extends the life of the carpeting and contributes to better air quality, reducing allergies and illness.

 Do-It-Yourself Carpet-Cleaning Damage

Ideally, your carpet should be professionally cleaned. However, to save money, many people alternate between the do-it-yourself cleaning and professional cleaning. While the do-it-yourself approaches are far less expensive, they are almost never as effective as professional cleaning and involve a considerable amount of time and hard work. Depending on the method used, it is also easy for the novice to damage the carpet.

Beware of the three most common ways do-it-yourselfers (and inexperienced pros) damage carpets:

  • Over-shampooing
  • Over-wetting
  • Failing to protect the wet carpet from furniture

Over-shampooing occurs when either too much shampoo is used or the carpet is not adequately rinsed. Both are practically inevitable with some wet do-it-yourself approaches. This is the biggest reason why even hard-core do-it-yourselfers should occasionally use a professional. If they don’t, the build-up of soapy residue can be impossible to clean out, leaving a carpet that is a virtual dirt magnet.

Over-wetting occurs when too much water soaks into the bottom of the carpet. Some backing materials cause the carpet to discolor if they get too wet. Some carpets will shrink, literally tearing themselves up from the floor. If the backing and pad get wet, it is very difficult to dry them, and you run the additional risk of mold and mildew problems.

The final carpet-cleaning hazard is stains caused by furniture coming into contact with wet carpeting. Many kinds of wood furniture will release some of the dyes in their stain if left in contact with a wet surface. Many pieces of furniture have feet that are at least partially metal. The metal can rust, leaving a stain in the carpet.do-it-yourselfers are more likely to encounter these problems because they often don’t remove all the furniture from the room when cleaning, and they often don’t have ready access to the foam blocks and foil-backed cardboard squares he pros use to keep the furniture off the carpet until it is dry.

Professional Carpet-Cleaning Methods

One carpet-cleaning method, dry extraction, isn’t technically a “dry” procedure; it’s more a “moisture-controlled” process. That is, it applies a controlled amount of moisture to clean the carpet and still leave it dry. This process is similar to the do-it-yourself “dry” method, but the equipment is larger and much more thorough.

Though it uses the same cleaning chemicals, the dry process alters the amount of chemicals used and how they’re applied. A machine with two counter-revolving brushes moves the cleaning agents through the carpet’s material. The cleaner supplies enough liquid to dissolve the dirt, then re-absorbs the soil and liquid, which leaves the carpet dry for vacuuming and immediate use.

Some carpet-cleaning professionals spray a carbonated cleaning solution onto the carpet. The carbonation allows the cleaning agents to get to the carpet fibers with minimal wetting. The solution doesn’t contain the oil or detergents that typically leave a dirt-attracting residue. Dissolved dirt is removed with a machine that rubs soft cotton pads over the carpet.

When compared to wet systems, some suggest this method may not get as much of the deeper dirt out, but in fact the dry method does get into the fibers and the base of the carpet to clean. It does this without the risks of residue or over-wetting. Many businesses use this system because the carpet is usually dry and ready for traffic within an hour.

Otherwise, professionals use methods similar to do-it-yourself approaches, with two important differences. First, pros do this all day every day, and that experience helps them realize the maximum cleaning potential of each system and avoid the hazards of each.

Second, pros usually use much more powerful and sophisticated equipment and cleaning agents. Because they know what they’re doing, they can use all that extra power without succumbing to the risks that power entails.

For example, on heavily soiled carpet a professional might first use a power shampoo system and then follow it with hot water extraction. There is equipment that does both in one pass. Often, the vacuums used in hot water extraction systems are extremely powerful and are mounted on a truck that is parked in front of the home.

Professionals have two other advantages as well. First, they’re accustomed to moving the heavy furniture. Second, they usually know a lot more about how to handle specific challenges like heavily soiled areas and stains.

Carpet Stains and Carpet-Cleaning Extras

Carpet stain removal: Some firms include stain removal in the base price. Other firms charge extra for highly soiled areas or for individual stains. Ask about this up front.

Carpet pretreatment: Most wet-cleaning results can be improved by spraying a cleaning agent on the carpet a few minutes before cleaning. The chemicals help dissolve grease and oils so that the final cleaning extracts even more dirt. For some firms this is standard procedure; others may charge extra by the square foot or room. Be sure to ask.

Soil retardants: Most carpets are now factory-treated with a coating that helps the carpet fibers shed water and spills. The key is cleaning up the spills quickly. Once a carpet is five years old or so, you may need to have it retreated, at least in the high traffic areas.

The easiest way to check whether carpet re-treatment is necessary is to place a few drops of water on the carpet in the questionable areas and see whether the drops bead up or are absorbed quickly into the fibers. If they are absorbed, it’s time to retreat the carpet.

The best retreatment chemicals (and usually the only ones recommended by the manufacturers) are fluorochemical based. Scotchgard or any treatment containing Dupont’s Teflon are made from this material. The treatment should take place after cleaning and, for best results, should be gently brushed into the carpet while it is still damp.

Deodorizing and pet odor treatments: Most of the possible carpet odor reduction that can be accomplished will be accomplished by the cleaning itself. Many odors come from mold, mildew, or urine that has penetrated the carpet backing and pad. There is no practical way to get at the source without damaging the carpet through over-wetting.

Applying an anti-microbial agent (see below) will help slow the return of mildew and mold. Other than that, “deodorizing” is really nothing more than masking the odor with some stronger and more pleasing scent. Carpet perfumes have only a temporary effect and may be irritating to some people.

Anti-microbial treatment: The cleaning itself will kill most mold, mildew, yeast and other microbes, but it is practically impossible to kill all of them. The anti-microbial treatment creates a hostile environment for these microbes to reproduce and spread and will help control odor problems, extend the carpet’s useful life, and provide considerable relief to allergy sufferers

Anti-static treatment: Static electricity often becomes annoying in the winter, when heating systems dry out the air in our homes. Carpet manufacturers have responded by developing new finishes, fibers, and backings that prevent the build-up of static electricity. If you are having a problem with your carpet, the easiest, best, and healthiest remedy is to increase humidity with a humidifier.

Once the relative humidity gets above about 40 percent, the static problem disappears. There are several treatments and finishes that can be applied that reduce static electricity, but nearly all act as soil magnets, greatly speeding up the rate at which your carpet gets soiled.

Posted by laura | in General | No Comments »