Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Four Simple Steps to Tile and Grout Maintenance

1. Sweep or Vacuum high traffic areas daily and everywhere else according to a weekly schedule. 

2. Mop Regularly, minimum once per week, more for families
over 2-3 people or pets. Use fresh hot water, a clean mop head, and a detergent cleaning solution mixed according to the directions. Agitate the grout lines and any textured tile areas - that's where grease and oils are dissolved. Rinse with fresh hot water (you may add a couple ounces white cleaning vinegar to counteract detergent ph balance). 

3. Dry Quickly with fans if necessary

4. Have Tile and Grout Professionally Steam Cleaned at least ever 5-7 years, eliminating ground in dirt, oils and contaminants. Have premium grout sealer professionally applied, protecting the natural color for years to come. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Four Simple Steps to Maintain Clean Carpets

1. Vacuum High Traffic Areas daily and everywhere else according to weekly vacuuming schedule, using HEPA-filter certified, powerful vacuum. 

2. Clean Spots and Spills quickly by blotting with a clean rag and hot water. For a safe spot cleaning solution, try our Pro Spotter! ONLY spot clean with products designed for carpets and ALWAYS follow directions. 

3. Have Carpets Professionally Deep Steam Cleaned every 12 to 18 months, removing embedded dirt, pollen, fungus, bacteria, and air pollution (cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust cling to our clothing). 

4. Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking your shoes off when you enter the house and changing your air filters to reduce airborne dust particles. 

Upholstery needs the same attention plus get under those cushions! Also, move furniture and sweep or vacuum under it occasionally. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Top 5 Carpet Cleaning Myths


Carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion with consumers. Here are some of the leading myths about carpet cleaning and the actual truth behind the misconceptions.

Myth: Cleaning carpeting too often can ruin it.

This is a misconception we hear frequently. Dirt left in carpeting breaks down carpet fibers and accelerates wear. Because dirt is abrasive, every time you walk on carpeting, dirt cuts into the carpet fibers, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps — by itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.

Myth: The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.
Outside air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust — and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up — you guessed it — in your carpet.
If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems — one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your carpet.

In addition, as you may know, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compounds, 43 of which cause cancer. And even if you don’t smoke, those chemicals get on your shoes, you track them in to your home and you leave them in your carpet.

If you’re sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you’ll breath easier after you hire a company to get those harmful chemicals out of your carpet.

So in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.

Myth: Steam cleaning your carpeting will cause mold.
With the steam cleaning method, water does not go beyond the backing of the carpeting or into the pad, which means that there are no conditions for mold to grow. A professional carpet cleaning company, like Old West Cleaning, that utilizes the proper cleaning equipment and techniques will remove all excess moisture.

Myth: Carpets will be left wet for days.
When carpet is cleaned using the hot water extraction method with the proper cleaning techniques and equipment, it should be dry (in most cases) within a few hours. In some instances, where
humidity is high or other conditions that might slow drying exist, the carpet might take longer to dry.

Myth: Dry cleaning does a better job than steam cleaning.
The truth is, the hot water extraction method (also known as steam cleaning) is the recommended method by carpet manufacturers. Why? Steam cleaning provides the most thorough cleaning available because it uses hot water to help clean and sanitize and removes dirt, bacteria and contaminants from the base of the carpet fibers.

The dry cleaning method still uses some water, but only cleans the top surface of the carpeting, not deep down into the base of the carpet fibers where the majority of dirt, bacteria and contaminants settle over time. Another issue with dry cleaning is that the solution being used to clean the carpet is neither rinsed nor extracted which means that residue is left behind. If a spot is deep down in the carpeting, which many tend to be, the spot will often reappear shortly after being cleaned since it was never actually removed in the first place.

Check with your carpet manufacturer for the recommended cleaning method. Choosing a method of cleaning other than what the carpet manufacturer recommends could actually void your warranty.

Tips from DirtyArmy.com

Friday, May 11, 2018

Preparing for a Carpet Cleaner


What should you do to prepare for a carpet cleaner?

Getting your carpets cleaned freshens up the appeal of your home and lengthens the carpet's life span.
While part of the joy of hiring a professional includes having someone else do the dirty work, taking these pro-active steps can help make sure you get the cleanest carpet possible and the biggest bang for your buck.

Vacuum, if needed
Removing as much debris and dirt from the carpet fiber prior to a cleaning can help ensure your carpet cleaner focuses on the deep down soiled-in dirt. Some carpet cleaning services vacuum the carpet prior to beginning their work. Others rely on you, the homeowner, to do so. Ask your carpet cleaning professional whether or not you need to vacuum before they arrive.

Dust and clean baseboards and HVAC registers
While not dusting or cleaning your baseboards of HVAC registers prior to the carpet cleaner's arrival won't inhibit their job in any way, you should still complete these tasks. Clearing these areas of dirt and debris can help ensure the carpet doesn't become dirty quickly following a cleaning.

Remove fragile and valuable items
Porcelain knick-knacks, fine china, collectibles and any other potentially fragile or breakable items should be removed from the cleaning area and placed in a safe area.

While many carpet cleaning companies thoroughly screen and vet their employees, it's also a good idea to remove any items of value from rooms with carpeting you hire them to clean. Store your valuables behind a locked door or in your car's trunk.

Moving furniture is not necessary
Some carpet cleaners may offer a discount for focusing on high foot traffic areas or cleaning a room
that's empty. On the other hand, you may want to ensure your carpet is totally clean from wall to wall. Some companies charge a fee for moving furniture, and others won't move your furniture at all, so ask about furniture when making an appointment. Please make specific request if you would like furniture moved during a service with Old West Cleaning.

Remove smaller items from the floor
Floor lamps, waste baskets, toys and clothing or shoes should all be moved out of the area that requires cleaning. It's also a good idea to lift up and secure things like bedspreads, drapes or dust ruffles with a clothespin to prevent them from getting in the way of a carpet cleaner's tools.

Free up a parking spot
If your carpet cleaner uses truck-mounted equipment, they'll need to park their vehicle as close as possible to an entry door in order to run hoses for their cleaning equipment. Make sure your family's vehicles aren't obstructing their work.

Point out areas of concern
Showing a professional carpet cleaner the stains, spots or high traffic areas you're most concerned with will help make sure the carpet cleaner won't miss those areas during the cleaning process.
 Tips from Angieslist.com

Saturday, January 13, 2018

"Carpets won't dry fast...."

Let’s play Mythbusters! We know that our unique 7-step Steam Cleaning process gets carpet and upholstery fibers clean and recovers 95% of the moisture used during the high heat, low moisture, high vacuum process, using the best truck-mounted machines and cleaning solutions. However, clients can be reluctant to use these services when the weather is cold and wet outside, usually stating that it will take too long for the materials to dry. The myth says “Carpets won’t dry fast because it is cold and wet outside”.

The trick to drying anything is this: Force the humidity into a lower humidity environment. For this situation it is relatively easy. Set the forced air heating in the home or office between 76-78 degrees after the cleaning and use any/all ceiling fans (or small box fans on floor if you don’t have ceiling fixtures). Humidity wants to rise off the floors and into the warm, dry air you are providing, just keep it moving. If the humidity is high outside, then keep it a closed system. If the humidity is low and temps are high outside, then open some ventilation points.

Now, each type of fiber has a different reaction to moisture, which will affect dry time no matter what environment you create. Wool and some modern polymers (Olefin, Polypropylene, Microfiber, etc.) can hold onto moisture much longer than cotton or nylon. Those types of fibers will need more time to dry, usually at least 24 hours, sometimes twice as much.

Finally, when dealing with an empty home or office having no Heat/AC available, it will take longer to dry unless adequate ventilation is provided with the right temperature. Plan on more time than a day if a closed empty home has been cleaned with temps of lower than 70 degrees and zero ventilation. It will simply take longer for the moisture to evaporate out of the fabric.

Finally, during hot, humid, monsoon type weather, fabrics can also take a little longer to dry because the air might be above 82 degrees and higher than 25% humidity. In that case, it is best to use the AC to lower temps into the 76-78 degree range, closing the home or office to the higher humidity outside, still using as many fans as available to circulate air within.

There! Hopefully now you can see that no matter the ambient temperature and humidity, there are easy solutions to drying those materials fast. However, always call us right away if you have water damage in an area, because materials such as walls, subfloors, padding, and insulation require very specific forced air drying or even removal and replacement, depending on the source and extent of the water damage.

Remember, Old West is the Best, Just put us to the Test!

Friday, October 13, 2017

7 Step Steam Cleaning Process Explained

OVER TIME THINGS GET GROUND IN, EVEN WITH DILIGENT CLEANING!  ALSO, FIBERS IN CARPETS AND UPHOLSTERY NEED THE INTENSE HEAT OF STEAM TO RETWIST AND REGAIN STRENGTH TO REPEL WEAR AND TEAR.. GROUT AND TEXTURE LINES IN TILE GET GRIMY.

YES, WE KNOW THAT THE STEAM WILL DISINFECT THESE SURFACES, BUT WHY A PROFESSIONAL?  IT’S NOT “THAT” DIRTY, RIGHT? WHAT ABOUT A “SHARK”?

If steam-cleaning products, such as the ones in the link below, are so available at a low price, usually around $100.00, why do homeowners need professionals?

http://steamcleanery.com/best-steam-cleaner-for-tile-floors/

Great Question!  Note how each product is marketed so smoothly with sparkling floors and perfect homemakers?  It looks so effortless to keep everything spotless, just buy the advertised cleaning unit.  However, many things keep these cute little tools from being truly effective.  Our best customers have clean homes to start with and we still see drastic results when using professional cleaning methods.  

Have you ever wondered why a professional would be willing to invest $30K-100K in equipment and in depth training to clean for customers?  Trust us, it’s not just for those who “can’t clean for themselves”.  The steam cleaning we use at Old West Cleaning is a unique 7-step process and requires powerful equipment, specific chemistry and intensive training.

STEAM CLEAN THESE SURFACES:  Carpets, Upholstery, Ceramic Tile & Grout, Saltillo or Terrazzo Tile & Grout or even Travertine and Stone Tiles.

1. Pre-treat
2. Agitate
3. Steam Clean/Extraction
4. Agitate trouble areas with specific solutions for each type of problem
5. Steam Clean/Extraction
6. Drying Extraction/Vacuum
7. Groom Carpets (except for looped nap), apply fabric protectant.  On Tile & Grout apply grout sealer or tile sealer depending on the need.

NOTE:  Restoration cleanings require additional steps.  All cleanings are done under the assumption that the client has already performed the regular vacuuming, however we can arrange professional vacuum before steam cleaning when necessary at a small additional charge.

WE DO NOT USE STEAM TO CLEAN:  Wood, Vinyl and Laminate

At Old West Cleaning, we use all biodegradable products, mostly made from citrus and low moisture, low volume, high pressure, high heat and high extraction with the right chemistry at the right moment to accomplish our professional results.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Simple Steps for Proper Carpet Cleaning

Carpet cleaning is just like exercise! If you get into a routine and keep it up, you will see great results and feel better for it. Products that rate highly on CRI's Seal of Approval (SOA) program are your assurance that you will clean correctly the first time (more on the SOA program below). Here are four simple steps to keep your carpet clean and looking great!

1. Vacuum high traffic areas daily and everywhere according to vacuuming 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 more quickly. TRY OUR PRO-SPOTTER!
3. Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime. WHO TO CALL? Old West! 417-1881
4. Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking your shoes off when you enter the house and changing your air filters to reduce airborne dust particles.
 
What about Upholstery?  Again, vacuum.  However, a lint roller can do wonders between vacuuming and may be necessary with some pets.  Or, sometimes a horsehair brush can do the trick as well.  Be sure to lift up and vacuum under the pillows, flipping them around regularly if have the same pattern, etc.  Also lift sitting furniture off the floor and sweep or vacuum underneath.
 
Tile and Grout?  Sweep or vacuum daily.  Mop regularly, minimum once per week, more for families over 2-3 people.  It is best to mop with a proper mixture of a cleaning solution in hot water.  Then come back and rinse, for best results rinse with a white vinegar and hot water mixture.  Be sure to agitate the grout lines and any textured tile areas when mopping with your cleaner-that’s where grease & oils are dissolved.  The rinse takes away any film left by cleaning products.  Dry quickly with fans if possible.