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How should I clean and maintain my area rugs? Fort Worth, TX

Area rug cleaning is a topic with very little accurate information readily available on the web.  Below are just a few of the questions we see regarding rugs.

•   Can my rugs be spot cleaned the same as my installed carpet?
•   Can I use the same products and procedures to maintain my rugs as my installed carpet?
•   Can urine and stains be removed from area rugs?
•   Can my rugs be cleaned in home?
•   What does it cost to clean my area rug?
•   What should I look for when buying an area rug?

First, let’s break rugs into 2 general categories – synthetic and natural fiber (including blends).

Synthetics:

One of the most common synthetic fiber used in rugs today is polypropylene.  Nylon and polyester are also common synthetics.   Many of the rugs from a Home Depot, Lowe’s and other big box stores are manufactured with one of these fibers.  We can perform burn tests with a sample fiber to confirm, but start with the manufacturers tag typically located on one of the corners on the rug backing to identify fiber type.  Most synthetic rugs can be cleaned with the same chemistry, temperature and technology as a residential installed, nylon, polyester or olefin.  Care must be taken with edges and fringe, but spot removal and cleaning is typically accomplished through hot water extraction (steam cleaning) and can be performed in home.  While more expensive than cleaning installed carpet, synthetic area rugs are relatively inexpensive to clean.  Lifespan and characteristics are the same as synthetic installed carpets.

Natural Fibers:

Wool, silk and cotton are some of the more common natural fibers used in rug manufacturing for 100’s of years.  Hand-knotted, Machine Woven and Hand-Tufted rugs are the most common.  There are some semi-synthetics that must be treated as natural fibers as well that are outside the scope of this article.  Dense natural fiber rugs, unlike synthetic, have the ability to hold pounds of dry soil while looking clean.  Natural fiber rugs are also more prone to dye bleed and color loss when subjected to heat or alkalinity and sometimes moisture.  These characteristics affect how these rugs are cleaned.  See more detail about Ripley’s Rug Revival System here!  This means only wool safe products should be used on wool fiber rugs.  Most grocery store spotters should NOT be used on your natural fiber rugs.  Risk of color loss, dye bleed and fiber damage are real considerations.  While maintaining these rugs is more complicated and more expensive, this is because they can last a lifetime.  Wool is naturally fire-retardant, wear resistant and simply a different caliber of textile.  It is more of an investment than a polypropylene rug.  Unfortunately, the manufacturing process of these rugs is not regulated or restricted, so low quality copies have sprung up in import stores everywhere.  While the look may be similar to a high end rug, cleaning can be a real challenge and should be left to the experts.  A $500 Pottery Barn Rug may be more challenging and risky to clean than a 50 year old antique rug worth $10,000.  Purchase cost does not dictate clean cost.  A relatively inexpensive wool tufted rug may cost close to replacement value to clean because of what’s involved, but remember you likely spend more dry cleaning your dress shirt over it’s lifetime than the shirt cost, without thinking twice.  If it’s an inexpensive rug that you’re not particularly crazy about, you may choose to treat is as disposable.  But if you value the time you spent hunting for that perfect color mix and pattern for your decor, it may make sense to bite the bullet and have it professionally cleaned to avoid the hassles of disposal and replacement.  PLEASE don’t have your wool rugs steam cleaned.  Professional cleaning can range from $3-6++ per square foot and should only be trusted to a company that knows how to handle your investment properly.

ALL RUGS should be vacuumed frequently.  If you’re curious how much dry soil your natural fiber rug is hiding, flip it face down and vacuum the back.  You will be amazed at what that minor vibration from the beater bar will shake out of your rug.  This means it’s time for a professional clean!  Synthetics show their soil much more readily.  Spot cleaning for any type of carpet is difficult unless the carpet or rug has just been cleaned.  Too often, after the rug dries, customers see a nice clean spot where the spot was removed and a full clean is needed.  It’s also important to rotate your rugs to vary the traffic pattern and exposure to sunlight to balance the wear.  A quality felt rug pad will extend the life of your rug and provide a more “quality” feel.  We can treat most stains and odor including urine if you don’t wait too long.  When selecting a rug, keep in mind that synthetics are cheaper to maintain and more stain resistant, but have a much more limited lifespan and lower quality feel.  Kids rooms and patios are more suited for synthetics.  Natural fiber rugs can compliment a decor like a piece of fine furniture without breaking the bank.  From $200-$20,000+, these rugs can vary in quality and craftsmanship but will typically outlast a synthetic fiber when properly maintained.  It’s not uncommon to see a hand-knotted wool rug passed through 3-4 generations.

Give us a call for a free estimate on any of your rug cleaning needs.  We can also offer advice on what type of rug to purchase for various uses.  817-438-7RUG (784)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the best way to clean hardwood floors? – Fort Worth, TX

Hardwood flooring is a popular residential and commercial flooring option that, if properly maintained, can offer many years of service.  Unfortunately, there’s not much good information on how to properly maintain your floors.  Many flooring manufacturers have paid relationships endorsing different product lines leading consumers to believe a particular brand is the only product that “works” on their floors.  I’m here to clear up some of the myths and misconceptions and give some real world advice on how to properly care for your investment.

DON’TS

First, let’s cover some things NOT to use on your floors.

NO ACRYLIC WAX.  (Wood Floor Products Requiring Stripper)

Never use anything containing acrylic wax.  Although it is often referred to as a “wax,” it is not like the Johnson’s Paste Wax discussed below.  This class of products is more similar to the glossy hardening waxes used on vinyl square tiles seen in schools and department stores.  These products require routine maintenance, stripping and re-waxing.  Many of the Orange Glo and Quick Shine type products rely on this type of coating to revive tired floors.  Unfortunately this coating is not a urethane like was applied to the floors initially.  While it may look ok in the beginning, it can cloud, scratch, peel and look terrible in no time.  These products have to be stripped before a proper clean and urethane coating can be applied often doubling the cost of your maintenance.  Anything that adds a sheen to your floors should be a red flag.  Look closely at the picture below.  The rug has been shifted back diagonally to reveal the effects of Bona, a popular hardwood product sold in big box stores.  The matte finished area that was under the rug is what the floor is supposed to look like.  The shiny coating in the foreground is product buildup from routine Bona usage.  No other product had been used on the floor.  It was recommended by the homeowner’s flooring manufacturer.  It will have to be stripped before any professional cleaning and coating can be done.  The buildup clouds, holds onto footprints and gets dirt embedded into the coating that is very difficult to clean.

NO PASTE WAX.  (Wood Floor Products Requiring Stripper)

While you may have seen your grandmother polish her floors with a small buffer and some Johnson’s Paste Wax, it is definitely NOT recommended any more.  The wax buildup behaves similarly to the acrylic wax coatings holding onto dirt and footprints.  Unfortunately, once floors have been waxed with a paste wax, the only real option is to keep waxing or completely sand down to bare wood and refinish.  This won’t be possible with many of the engineered hardwoods, so avoid the hassle and don’t apply paste wax to your floors.

DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOUR FLOORS ARE TOO FAR GONE.

Wood floors should be professionally cleaned and coated every 1-2 years.  Proper maintenance can extend the life of engineered floors significantly and can extend the time between refinishes on solid hardwoods.

DO’S

So what CAN you do to maintain your floors?  Below are some things you SHOULD DO to maintain your investment.

SWEEP AND VACUUM ROUTINELY.

Dry soil is like sandpaper on your flooring.  Routine removal is required to slow the wear on the floor’s urethane coating.  More sweeping and vacuuming means less wear.  Even if the floors look ok, they should be routinely swept or vacuumed.  The same goes for carpet.  Modern robotic vacuums can be a real help with hardwood maintenance.  If you have a significant amount of wood flooring, I would seriously consider a robotic vacuum.

DAMP MOP WITH NEUTRAL FLOOR CLEANER

A simple neutral pH floor cleaner labeled for hardwood use should be used with a microfiber mop to maintain your floors between professional cleans.  Always sweep first.  We recommend and carry the Squeaky Floor Care System.  Avoid anything that ADDS SHINE.  The only “shine” should be the original floor sheen that is revealed by effective removal of dulling soils.  Squeaky will never have to be stripped.  We use Squeaky as a part of our professional floor cleaning process prior to applying a urethane coating.

Squeaky Floor System

PROFESSIONALLY CLEAN AND COAT.

Our process rejuvenates tired floors and extends the time between refinishes.  Many modern engineered hardwoods are actually a hardwood veneer that may not even be possible to refinish.  Proper maintenance with our “Clean and Coat” process replenishes the urethane layer you are wearing off with each passing day, effectively turning a 7 year floor into a 10-12 year floor with none of the dust and delays of a full “refinish.”  Utilizing state-of-the-art machines and a multi-step process, we clean embedded dirt from deep within the grain of the wood and apply a thin urethane coating to replace the layer you have worn off.  The floors are usable almost immediately without the dust, delays and headaches of a refinish.  But don’t wait too long.  Cleaning and Coating every 1-2 years will greatly extend the life of your floors.  The picture on the right is dirty cleaning solution extracted from a 2 year old hardwood floor!  The picture on the left is some typical before and after results.

Hardwood Cleaning Hardwood Cleaning
Fill out our FREE ONLINE ESTIMATE REQUEST on the top right of your screen for a free quote on your hardwoods or other cleaning needs!  Or just give us a call at 817-56CLEAN (25326).

Dryer Vent Cleaning Keller

Dryer Vent Cleaning in process

Removed from another dryer vent

SYMPTOMS OF A DIRTY DRYER VENT

  1. Extended dry times (running your dryer for longer cycles to get the same results)
  2. Recent thermostat replacement (always clean as a precaution after dryer repair)
  3. New dryer that STILL doesn’t seem to dry right
  4. Excessive dust or lint around the dryer
  5. Lint piles noticed where the dryer vent exits the house
  6. Unusually hot in the laundry room when the dryer runs (blockage may be preventing the exhaust of hot air)

Dryer vent cleaning AND air duct cleaning are two things often overlooked until there is a problem.  The first thing that typically happens when lint builds up in the dryer vent is dry times are extended.  Most people either don’t realize or just think their dryer is getting old.  If you continue to operate without cleaning, the next thing to go is typically the thermostat in the dryer.  This repair alone typically far exceeds the cost of a professional dryer vent clean and we aren’t even considering the increased utility costs from running your towels through extended cycles to get them dry.  Keep in mind, you don’t have to have a complete blockage for there to be a problem.  In fact, I would say that is fairly rare.  If your dryer isn’t on an exterior wall where it immediately exits the house, you NEED to have it professionally cleaned EVERY YEAR.  It’s a major fire hazard, wastes electricity and prematurely wears your dryer components.  I can’t tell you how many times we are called in AFTER a customer has purchased a new dryer only to find out the problem all along was the dryer vent.  Don’t make the same mistake.  CALL NOW 817-563-5326 or fill out the FREE online estimate form to the right and give as much detail as you can about your problem.  We will thoroughly clean your dryer vent, the hose connecting your dryer to the wall and the back of the dryer.  Plus, we will inspect your setup for other problems.

If you experience ANY of the above symptoms or if you have recently purchased an existing home, PLEASE CALL NOW to discuss.  Advice is free.  Not following it, could be costly.

Natural Allergy Relief Treatment Options

Anyone that lives in the Dallas – Fort Worth area knows that it is one of the worst places for allergy sufferers.  We are constantly faced with customers looking for natural allergy relief treatment options that are safe and effective.  Good news!  You don’t have to move to get some relief!  We have several remedies for allergy and asthma sufferers.  A thorough Air Duct Cleaning with our state-of-the-art equipment is a good place to start and probably our most common request from homeowners plagued with breathing problems and excessive dust.  While this is an important step in reducing airborne allergens, it is only one component in our whole house ALLERGY ATTACK PLAN.

Carpet and Upholstery are major contributors to indoor air quality.  Dust mite feces, pet dander, pollen and bacteria trapped in your carpets, rugs, mattresses and furniture are too often overlooked when formulating an effective allergy relief plan.  You spend as much as one third of your life in bed, but when was the last time you had your mattress professionally cleaned?  We offer a thorough, high-heat steam clean that penetrates deep into your carpet and upholstery.  Utilizing the world’s most powerful truck mounted equipment and a soap free GREEN cleaning process, Ripley Services attacks your allergies at the source by removing embedded soil, dust, pollen, bacteria and dust mite feces.  After a thorough clean of your carpet, area rugs, upholstery and mattresses we deploy the final weapon in our fight against allergies.  Our Allergy Relief Treatment is an all natural, botanical extract designed to denature the structure of any remaining allergens, making them “invisible” to the body’s immune system.  This process alleviates the body’s allergic response (an allergy attack).  With up to a 6 month residual effect, the treatment keeps working after we leave.

New Carpet Cleaning Packages!

We’ve simplified our carpet cleaning options and now offer 3 Packages –  Silver, Gold & Platinum.  We still offer anything you want a la carte, but the packages combine the most commonly requested options at a discount!  Silver is our standard soap & residue free clean, comparable to most DELUXE cleans at places like Dalworth.  The Gold package is our most popular and adds Green Guard Carpet Protector to all areas PLUS a room of choice speed dried!  Platinum adds edge cleaning (with a special tool) as needed, drying fans on ALL rooms PLUS a 6 month Spot & Spill Warranty.  So even if YOU spill something after we leave and can’t get it up with our free spotter, we’ll come back for 6 months for FREE!  Fill out the free online estimate form and indicate which package you prefer in the additional information section and we’ll shoot you a quote asap.

Southlake green carpet cleaners

What is GREEN carpet cleaning?  Unfortunately, the term isn’t regulated in any way, so what some companies call green may surprise you.  Organic cleaning is another unregulated and improperly used term in the cleaning industry.  Organic DOES NOT MEAN SAFE when it comes to cleaning chemicals!  Arsenic can be organic, but I sure wouldn’t want it used to clean my home!

What Ripley Services means by GREEN cleaning is that our pre treatment chemical is Green Seal Certified.  The Green Seal organization is an independent third party that tests products for environmental impact and toxicity.  It is a difficult badge to earn and an important part of our process.  Interestingly, we didn’t choose the pre conditioner (years ago) because of it’s green properties.  We chose is solely on it’s cleaning ability when tested in real world situations.  It flat out, outperformed everything else we tried.  With the green movement, it’s been a huge plus that it is not only Green Seal Certifies, but also soap free.  The soap free nature of the product means your carpets stay cleaner, longer because there is no sticky soap residue left behind to attract dirt.

It’s a very good idea to ask some specific questions about the cleaning process of any cleaner.  We have prepared an easy to follow list you can print and have on hand prior to calling any cleaner.  Click here for the question list.  Don’t rely on unsupported claims or unregulated terms over used by too many cleaners in the industry.  Educate yourself before letting anyone in your home.

Free Estimates - Call Today
817-562-5326 for Ripley Services or 817-438-7784 for Ripley's Rug Cleaning
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