Balandra Homes eNewsletter
At Balandra we are committed to helping owners maintain a happy, healthy and well-cared for home.
Here are some helpful hints for your own home…
The clocks have changed but spring hasn't yet sprung. That doesn't mean we can't keep on top of seasonal maintenance. Now is the ideal time to get the grime out of wall-to-wall carpeting after a winter filled with lots of time spent indoors. Thankfully there are now green options available which means the plush luxury of carpeting underfoot doesn't have to be toxic or troublesome.
Wall to Wall Carpet Maintenance
Keeping your carpet in top condition requires regular maintenance. Start with these guidelines:
- Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Daily vacuuming will keep grit and dust from working its way down into the fibres. Deeply embedded dirt is nearly impossible to remove. Invest in the best quality HEPA filter vacuum you can afford.
- Keep flooring adjacent to carpeting clean. This reduces tracking dirt, sand and grit onto your carpeting. Keeping a broom conveniently placed at hand encourages its use more frequently. Use mats at entry points.
- To clean and freshen carpets try blending 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup cornmeal. Sprinkle mixture over rug and rub with a cloth. Let rest for several hours or overnight, then vacuum.
- For spots: club soda will remove many acidic stains, like coffee, wine, or juice.
- To deal with big carpet spills, pour cornmeal on the spill, wait 15 minutes, then vacuum.
- Maintain a slight positive pressure inside the house with your HVAC system. This means that when doors are opened, air moves out instead of (dirty air) being pulled in.
- Use the best filters you can afford for your HVAC system. High-efficiency pleated filters, rather than inexpensive fiberglass filters, are recommended.
Wall to Wall Carpet Cleaning
While professional cleaning services are often the best bet, you can do it yourself, the green way, by making use of rental equipment and green products.
- Invest in or borrow a small pump sprayer such as those used for gardening. Ideally it should be small enough that you can comfortably carry it once filled with water.
- Rent a steam cleaner from a local grocery store. Rug Doctor is a common brand. You won't be using their cleaning agents or solvents though - you only need the machine for rinsing.
- Select an environmentally friendly, non-toxic cleaning agent. Or, mix your own: try equal parts of plain white vinegar and borax mixed into several litres of hot water. Try adding a tsp of simple castile soap for an extra boost.
- Spray the natural cleaning solution and water mixture onto your carpet. Ensure it is sufficiently damp, but do not soak the carpet.
- Allow the cleaner to work for 10 minutes and do any spot cleaning durning this time.
- Put hot water only (no cleaners) into the steam cleaning machine and go over the carpet evenly and carefully. The machine is forcing the hot water into the carpet, stirring up the dirt and then vacuuming it, the cleaning solution and the remaining water out of the carpet. This will leave the carpet free of any soapy residue which would become sticky and is responsible for attracting even more dirt and grime over time.
- Do not allow furnishings to sit on freshly cleaned carpets until completely dry.
- Circulate warm, dry air throughout the rooms to speed drying time.
Important: Always test these techniques and cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous area first. Treat wool and silk carpets professionally with the proper products.
Keep up with these care tips and your carpeting will not only be a pleasure underfoot for years to come but it will also be much less likely to irritate those with sensitive respiratory systems.
Clive Alladin, P. Eng