Rob

Rob McLeod served in the Canadian Military for over twenty years, has been married to his lovely wife Marilyn since 1987 and is the author of "The Dollar Club"

3 Rules for Internet cures and fixes.

A few days ago, sitting in a coffee shop, I overheard two women talking about getting stains out of a dress.  One woman mentioned that she had gone on-line and found out how to concoct a homemade stain remover, which she then used on the dress.  Instead of removing the stain, the stain remover actually made it worse and she had to throw out the dress.  She went on to tell her friend that she always checked the internet for everything, and often used the tips and tricks she found on line so she couldn’t understand what went wrong this time. 

Listening to them chat, I started to think about how often we get phone calls here in the office from people asking for a little advice.  They have a small problem, a stain or a mess on their carpets or upholstery, and they want to fix it themselves.  It’s usually a small problem and they don’t want to pay for us to come out and clean it for them, they just want a suggestion or a tip or two to make the problem go away.   Most times we know exactly what the problem is, know the best product for fixing the problem and send them on their way armed with enough information to alleviate the problem.  Sometime however, we can’t help and then I will often refer people to the internet to look for a solution.  When I tell people to look on the internet for a solution, I caution them not to accept everything they read as gospel.  They should follow these simple rules to make sure that they actually find the right solution to their problem, rather than make that problem even worse.

 Stain removal techniques - Lemon and salt bag 2

 

1.  YouTube.

YouTube is the best medium for addressing your problems, whether it’s a cleaning problem, a computer problem, or anything else, someone has posted a solution to your problem on YouTube.  It is very easy to find a video showing you step by step how to do whatever you need to do.  I always recommend YouTube as the first step in finding a solution.

2.  Find more than one solution.

If you are using YouTube, always try and find two or more video’s that show how to fix the same problem.  The video you find may have been made in Europe or Asia, or even in parts of the US where the products they are using cannot be found or have a different name than we use here.  Watching more than one video will help you decide on what way to go.

3.  Don’t trust the recipe.

When you get the ingredients and start using the recipe for making that stain remover or odor remover, don’t automatically assume that it will work in your situation.  The woman in the coffee shop should have tried her homemade stain remover on a piece of fabric identical to her dress.  If it worked on that then she could try it on the dress.   Use the corner of a closet, or under the bottom of a chair to test your new cleaning concoction.  That way if it doesn’t work you haven’t wrecked anything out in the open where everyone can see it.

There are a million tips and techniques you can find on the internet.  Most of them work, and are often easy to make, easy to use, green, and safe.  Just be sure that you use the information cautiously.  Once you find the right formula, go for it. 

 

Thanks for listening.

owners

Getting the house clean after renovations

It seems that in the last few years house prices in Edmonton have gone through the roof.  With high house prices, and inexpensive rental units few and far between many people are turning to renovations as an affordable means of upgrading their home. Exterior renovations, especially in a place like Edmonton are usually done in the summer time, although some work can be done in the colder months.  Michael at Nord-Alta says that they do sometimes replace exterior windows and doors in the wintertime.  When it comes to interior renovations, because of our extreme winters, many are scheduled and completed in the winter months.   This means that there is often a lot of work going on in an enclosed area.  Once all the renovations are complete and all the tradesmen have left, a few problems remain for the homeowner to deal with.

 

Apartment Living Room

Apartment Living Room

No matter how scrupulous the contractor has been in cleaning up after their work, it seems there are always a few issues that need to be resolved by the homeowner.  Newly painted walls still have that new paint smell, sawdust, and other particulate matter can get into the most inaccessible of places, onto furniture, the carpet and more.  Pets often take exception to strangers in the house and will often mark their territory in protest.  With half the house being worked on, the other half of the house gets a harder than normal workout.  Not to mention there is always that workshop, newly remodeled smell you get in the house when renovations are complete.

 

Whether you hire a contractor or are a DIY kinda person here are some tips to help get rid of that smell and ensure that the house is clean here are a few hints and tips.

 

  • When planning the project with the contractor ask them to use low or no VOC paints and other products to reduce the smell and make the work more environmentally friendly.

 

  • Before the work begins, take the time to cover up or remove objects that might end up covered in dust, sawdust or face the possibility of getting stained.

 

  • Replace your furnace filter before the work starts, and then again after it is completed.

 

  • Install filters in each of your floor vents to help the furnace filter keep the dust out. Filters can be purchase at any of the main self help stores.

 

  • Use a swiffer duster to wipe down the walls, especially the newly painted ones.

 

  • Roll up and store,any area rugs you have or send them out to be cleaned .

 

 

Once all that has been done, after all the last minute touch ups are completed, then it’s time for the carpet cleaners, even in the winter months, to come in and clean both your carpets and your upholstery.   With quick drying solutions like ours at EKO, cleaning in the winter months is not a problem.  You asked your renovator for low or no VOC products whenever possible and you should be able to expect the same from your carpet cleaning professional.  Not only should you have the carpets and any stain removal done, the upholstery should be done as well.  If you follow these tips when having interior renovations done and once the carpets and furniture are cleaned, the house will be fresh, clean and ready to enjoy.

 

Thanks for listening.

allsiteimages_0008_mcleods

3 Winter cleaning Tips

It’s the beginning of Oct. and the snow looks like it’s here to stay.  If it does melt and go away, it won’t be gone for long.  The snow brings a number of hassles and problems when it comes, not the least of which is the mess it makes as it gets dragged into the house.  Here are a few tips to help keep the carpets and furniture in your house clean this time of year.

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Being good Albertans most of us have a good sturdy matt on the floor in front of the door and the idea is that everyone is required to tamp the snow off their boots outside, before coming into the house, and no one gets past the entranceway with their boots on.  If you need something from the house or your children’s friends are waiting for them to come out, everyone is meant to stand on the matt and not make a mess in the house.  Sounds great in a perfect world but we all know it doesn’t happen that way in real life.  Here are a couple of things to remember to help keep the carpets clean during the winter months.

Cleaning the entranceway matt.

Most small entranceway matt’s can be put in the washing machine.  If they are small enough and light enough then there is no problem with washing them in the machine. Check the underside of the matt, if it has a rubber backing on it do not put it in the dryer.  The rubber backing will crumble and fall apart in the dryer, so just hang it up to dry.  If there is no rubber backing and it’s not too heavy then you can put it in the dryer.  If the matt won’t fit in the washing machine take it down to your laundry sink and spray it off and let it air dry.   Either way this should be done at least once a month.

 

Get a Spot Machine

Even though the snow may look clean and white it’s anything but, and you’d be amazed at the type of things that we drag in on our boots, the cuff of our pants, on your pet’s paws, etc.  Everything from sand and salt, anti-freeze, grease and oil, and whatever the dog was rolling in out in the back yard.  Don’t forget that just because you put your pet outside doesn’t mean they went and did their business, or that it was cold enough that they didn’t finish completely.   Once back inside where it’s warm and friendly they often finish what they didn’t want to do out in the cold.  Go to one of the big box stores and buy a spot machine.  You don’t need an expensive one, you just need a good easy to use spot cleaning machine.  They can be used to clean up any spills, messes, pet accidents on a daily basis and you can use them on your furniture, mattresses, carpets, area rugs and vehicle interiors.  No home should be without one.

 

Have the carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year.

As we talked about earlier, there are a myriad of things that can get on your carpet and although a spot machine will help immensely in keeping it cleaned, getting it professionally cleaned annually is the only way to ensure every inch of it gets cleaned.  Professional cleaning will help your carpets look feel and smell cleaner, work towards a healthier home environment for your family and pets, and help keep your carpets lasting longer.

 

Thanks for listening.

 owners

Cleaning your work space carpets

It always amazes how often people tell me that they haven’t had their carpets at work cleaned in years.  More and more people are becoming concerned with how healthy their home environment is, how clean and safe their house needs to be for their family, friends and pets.  Then they turn around and tell me it’s been years since the carpets at work were cleaned.  To me there is nothing more disheartening than walking into a messy, soiled workspace every day.  I’m not talking just about offices, but about all kinds of commercial spaces.  I was in the men’s department of a major retailer a couple of weeks ago and the carpet was so filthy that I couldn’t stop staring at it.  This was a national chain that should know better.  Not only was there distinct pathways of dirt between the displays but there were so many stains I doubted I could count them all.  Not only do the employees have to see this day in and day out, but so do all their customers.  You have the janitor come in at night and clean everything including the hard surface floors, but all they can do is vacuum the carpets.  As much as we recommend you vacuum your carpets regularly, it is impossible to vacuum up stains.

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Service industry companies, places tire shops, service centers or plumbing shops have carpet in their office areas and often, when we go in to clean we find that many employees can’t remember the last time the carpets were cleaned, and in most instances they have never had their desk chairs professionally cleaned.

Here’s the thing, cleaning the carpets in your retail or commercial space has a number of benefits, and no downside.  First of all, like I said before, it can be downright demoralizing to walk into work and look at a dirty, stained carpet day in and day out.  People drag all kinds of things in on the bottom of their shoes, dirt, tar, chemicals, nicotine, you name it chances are you can find it on the carpet.  Not only does that make the carpet look dirty but it can make them smell as well.  You may not notice the smell because you’ve become nose blind to the problem, but I bet your customers can tell.  The same goes for any fabric office furniture you may have.  Coffee, tea, coke, food of all kinds can get on your chair no matter how vigilant you are.  Then there is the cat/dog person working in the next cubicle or across the room who constantly comes to work covered in pet hair.   That’s always fun for employees and customer who suffer from allergies.

Cleaning the carpets and upholstery in your commercial work space has the benefit of making the area look better.  Not to mention the lift to employee moral when the walk into a clean fresh workspace.  It is a much healthier work environment when the carpets are cleaned regularly, especially in the winter months when everything is closed up 24/7.  At EKO we use all-natural carpet cleaning products and that helps eliminate any harsh chemical smells.  It also works toward a healthier, safer work environment.

So the next time you walk into the office, have a look at that carpet and give us a call.

Thanks for listening.

owners

Four Cleaning Tips for Fall

Finally school is back in session and, at least through the day, the volume in the house is down to a manageable level, and the couch is no longer a full time fort and defensive position against the hordes of Zombies, and the sectional downstairs is no longer a full time theatre for all the neighbourhood kids.  Finally mom and dad can reclaim the bonus room for themselves and the big screen TV gets to be used for something other than X-Box 24/7.

Having the kids back in school and not wearing out everything in the house on a full time basis is the time to start thinking about cleaning up for winter.  We got the plastic on the windows, the furnace and ducts cleaned and maybe even the carpets done professionally.  Now it’s time to think about the other smaller items in the house, time to get a few other things done before you close up the house for winter. 

When was the last time you had your mattress cleaned professionally.  A great many things can get on the mattresses in your home.  Everything from pet/human urine to wine, coffee, tea, make-up, dead skin cells, dust mite feces etc.  We recommend you have your mattresses cleaned once a year and fall is a good time to get it done.  Don’t forget to buy new pillows as well, dead skin cells, insect feces etc. collect on your pillows all year long.  Replace them regularly, especially if you or someone in the family has breathing problems.

matress-before

Upholstery should be cleaned annually.   Not the sitting room chair that never gets used but the sofa in the basements the kids watch TV on and play on all the time.  Even though you vacuum it all the time, even under the seat cushions, and use the crevasse tool between the cushions, the fabric still gets dirty.   Sweat, food, make-up, oils, dirt all get ground into the cushions.  A good professional cleaning once a year will keep that expensive investment and childhood playground looking good.

 MicroFiber Couch - Before

Area rugs are often forgotten or ignored when the professional carpet cleaners comes to the house because they are buried under tables or furniture and the homeowner doesn’t want to be bothered with moving everything to have them cleaned.  Well now is the time.  Like anything else that the family uses, area rugs get dirty too.   Often they reside under the dinner table and become a repository for all the crumbs and spills the family generates.  Pets seem to love area rugs and can often be found using a particular rug for a bed.  Like the rest of your carpets, area and oriental rugs should be cleaned annually depending on their use.

 

One last thing I want to mention is cleaning touch points.  Touch points are those places that people touch constantly.  Things like door handles, toilet handles, faucets, counters etc.  We always recommend that those areas get cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.  There are lots of sanitizers on the market to choose from and most are fairly effective.  No matter how clean the house, people will still spread germs.  To slow down the spread of germs, and to help keep the family healthy try cleaning all the touch points regularly with a sanitizing agent.

 

Well that about all for now, remember that the cleaner the home the healthier the home.

 

Thanks for listening.

 R and M

 

Coupons season is upon us

Fall is here and winter is just around the corner, and for those of us in the carpet cleaning business work starts to slow down a little.  Most people still cling to the notion that cleaning your carpets or upholstery in the winter isn’t a good idea, or it’s a pain to have guys coming in and out of the house when the weather is freezing outside.  Even though this isn’t true and professional carpet cleaning in the winter is a good idea, getting new customers is harder for us in the cold weather.  So of course this is the time of year when we all start working on our specials and deals to try and get some extra work and bring more customers into the store. 

I got a couple of carpet cleaning coupons in the mail the other day and I thought that seems like a pretty good special.  The company in question was going to clean a number of rooms in my house for a price that was less than EKO could do it.  Then I looked a little closer at the coupon and in very tiny print it said, “Some restrictions apply” and that “some services not available in some areas”. 

I was kinda curious, what restrictions?  What areas?    I looked at another competitor whose coupon was good for cleaning several rooms for you and they had all kinds of restrictions, and those restrictions are written in such small font that I had a hard time reading them.  Restrictions like rooms that could only be a certain size, a combined Living room and Dining room was considered two rooms, travel charges could apply, not valid for businesses and apartments, waste fee, taxes and energy charges were extra.  Man I’ve been in this business for over a decade and I have no idea what an energy charge is.

With all those restrictions, what exactly are you getting?  Does the person answering the phone have the same information as the tech who is actually writing up the invoice?  Who do you talk to? Do the restrictions apply to you?  What happens if you want more than the rooms covered by the coupon?   At times it can be a daunting task just finding out the answers you need to know.

All of these companies, my competitors, are honest hard-working fellows who are only looking to get your business, and they will honour those coupons when all the restrictions are met.  Just remember that it’s up you to look at the fine print on the coupon, to ask questions and find out exactly what you will receive for using that coupon and what restrictions apply to you.

Me, I’m an old fashioned kind of guy and I like to keep things as simple as I can.  As a professional carpet cleaner I try to stay away from coupons.  We prefer to give set discounts for certain things all year round and let the other guys hand out those deals that are all wrapped up in restrictions and maybes.

So as I have said time after time, whenever you need a professional carpet cleaning job done, remember to call the company and ask questions.  Learn all the things you need to know before the technicians get to your door, that way you don’t encounter any problems and you know before you start what it’s going to cost you.   You can never go wrong by asking questions.

 

Thanks for listening.

 owners

Winters coming. Are you ready??

I thought that with the wet weather we’ve had during the summer of 2016 it is probably a good bet that we will have a wet, read snow-filled, winter. That being the case I thought it might be a good time to repost this blog I posted in 2014, just to remind all of us that now is the time to start thinking about getting ready for winter, to start thinking about getting your home ready for the cold months ahead.

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder day by day.  There really isn’t a lot of time left to start working on all the little things that are required to have the house ready for those long cold winter months.  Remember that it’s the little things that can sometimes have the biggest and most costly effect if they are not taken care of.  So take the time to plan and ensure that everything is done before it’s too late.  This is true for both inside and outside the house.  How many of us have killed at least one garden hose because we left it outside in the cold weather.

Heating bills skyrocket this time of year because we don’t have our furnaces checked and cleaned, or our doors and windows sealed to help keep in the warm air. Aside from the cost to you, it certainly doesn’t do the environment any good when we use twice the fuel to heat our homes as we really need. Think green all the time, even in winter.  Have the professionals come in and check your furnace and if need be clean the ducts in your home.   There are a lot of great companies in Edmonton you can contact for furnace and air conditioning maintenance but I recommend Always Plumbing at www.alwaysplumbing.ca.  Glen and his crew will do a great job and look after you.

 

Here are a few videos that explain much better than I can about prepping for winter.

 

 

Windows, doors, furnace, humidifier, and a myriad of other things need to be done inside, but there are probably just as many things that need to be done outside as well. Hoses, patio furniture, garden plants the list can go on and on.   Cleaned your Eves trough lately?  If it’s clogged with leaves it can cause an ice dam during the winter and your house could end up being flooded in the spring.   Good for me if you end up calling us to come out and clean the carpets after a flood, but not so great for you.

 

 

 

 

Even though we’ve all been through this more than once, it’s always a good thing to be reminded of what to do and how to do it. There are a number of YouTube videos out there that show you everything you need to do.  While I have attached a few to this blog you should take the time to browse through You Tube and find out for yourself just what you need to do to prepare for winter.

 

Well that’s all for now, thanks for listening.

R and M

When not to clean your rugs.

Around here when

our phone rings, we chat with the customer and with any luck book another customer for our environmentally friendly residential or commercial carpet cleaning.  Nine times out of ten the client we get needs their carpet cleaned, but occasionally we run across a situation where cleaning the carpet just doesn’t make sense.  As professional carpet cleaners we have an obligation to our customers.  An obligation to tell them that maybe they shouldn’t get the carpets cleaned.   Sounds like a contradiction in terms but sometimes rather than just clean the carpets and walk away with our customer’s money we have to stop and say no.

We have a great number of repeat clients, a fact we take great pride in.  With residential clients, given normal day to day activity and life around the house, we recommend that they have their carpets cleaned annually.  Rarely do most of our clients need their carpets cleaned more often than once a year, so when a client calls us back in three to four months to clean her carpets again, we wondered, but assumed that she had something going on at the house and wanted the carpets freshened up, even though they looked good when we got there, we cleaned them.  When she called again three months later to have us clean her carpets again, well, the red flags naturally went up.  When we got to her home and the carpets were clean and in great shape, those red flags went right to the top of the flag pole.  I talked to about needing the carpets cleaned and in the course of our conversation found out that she was on disability for a bad back and was bored and had nothing to do all day, because she couldn’t move around much because of here injury.  Turns out she would lay of the sofa and look at the carpets and after a few months decided she needed them cleaned again.    I told her not to spend the money, that the carpets were fine and left.  She has stayed a customer for years, but now we only clean once a year.

 

Apartment Living Room

Apartment Living Room

We work with a number of real estate investors who purchase, fix up and then sell or rent houses in the Edmonton area.  Often the homes are in rough shape and need a fair amount of TLC to get them ready.  Dirty windows need a thorough washing and they look great, dirty, dungy walls need a good bright coat of paint and they are just like new.  Floors, and carpets in particular ore not like that.  The longer a stain stays in a carpet the harder it is to get out.  Stairs not only get dirty they get worn down from all the feet that step on the same spot every time someone goes up or down.  Liquids like coffee, coke, or pet urine spilled on older carpet usually soaks through to the underlay leaving a smell as well as a stain.  Finally wear and tear from constant use and neglect often ruins a carpet.   We get called in to see if we can salvage a carpet and get it clean enough to make it livable.  We assess the carpet and let the owner know if cleaning the carpet is a waste of time and money.  It is a service we provide to all our customers whether they ask for it or not.

 

We get calls all the time about flood damage, and we end up saying no more often for this type of customer than any other.  This is pretty simple, if you have a flood because of rain water or perhaps your hot water tank ruptured, we can clean your carpets.  But, if you have been flooded, or the sewer backs up, then there is nothing we can or will do.  Whether you have insurance or not, if sewage or flood water soaks your carpet it needs to be replaced.  Even if it dries out and looks good, it still needs to be replaced.  Your underlay as well as the carpet will be soaked with bacteria, fungus and all kinds of nasty things.  Get rid of the carpet and the underlay.  No truly professional carpet cleaning service will simply clean your sewage soaked carpet and tell you it’s clean.

 

These are just a few of the scenarios we come across in our day to day operations where we think it best not to clean your carpets.

 

Thanks for listening.  

allsiteimages_0008_mcleods

 

EKO Carpet and Upholstery Care can be contacted at 780-486-1022 or visit our website at http://ekocarpetcare.ca/

 

 

 

Being Green, Going Green, Staying Green.

AT EKO we are proud to call ourselves a green company.  Now what does that mean?  Is our equipment colored green?  No.    Are our uniforms green?  No.  Is our paperwork green?  Well yes but it wasn’t by design.  What we at EKO Carpet and Upholstery Care are, is a company that understands that being green is not only a good thing for the environment but is most definitely way we are all going to have to be in the future.  Being a green, environmentally conscious company was more a business decision than anything else.  We understand that people just like us, do not want harsh chemicals or soaps and oils left in their carpets and furniture.  Do not want to live with chemicals in their homes or offices.  So green seemed like the logical choice, it just so happened that in our case that business decision was aligned with our environmental ideals and sentiments. 

 allsiteimages_0014_plant

When I went into business for myself, one of the first thing I did was to ensure that all our products and equipment were as green as possible.  I spent a lot of time and effort on researching the best natural, environmentally friendly products on the market.  Research that we continue all the time.  When we started we looked at ways to stay as green and environmentally friendly as possible.  One way was to find the right equipment.  We stayed away from using van mounted equipment so that we don’t run gas or diesel engines out of our vans for two or three hours at a time while cleaning, we use electric equipment and try to be as gentle on the environment as possible.

As a member of the Canadian military I was stationed in Europe for several years back in the eighties, yes I am old, and even then the Europeans were recycling and practicing good environmental habits.  We started to recycle and learned a bit about helping the environment and have always maintained those ideals back in Canada. 

On our street most of our neighbours have one or maybe two blue bags out for pick up on garbage day, in fact some only put out a small cardboard box if any at all.  We will usually have three or more blue bags for pick up.  It’s not that we have more stuff or create more garbage; (although sometimes I wonder…) it is because we try to be diligent in separating and collecting our recyclable products.

Often when doing a residential cleaning project or visiting neighbours and friends I see all kinds of recyclables tossed into the garbage.  This is especially true for commercial carpet cleaning jobs, it isn’t unusual to see cardboard, paper, cans, bottles, etc. tossed into the garbage beside a desk, just because it’s easier than getting up and walking over to the recycle bin.  People mean well and they try to recycle whenever they think about it, but they often miss the mark. 

We are the green option for those people who need the work done, want a good job with great service and want to use an environmentally friendly professional carpet cleaner.  More and more you hear people talk about the environment, about Global warming, about the need or desire to go green.  Well at least for carpet cleaning we provide that option.

So when you hear me say we are a “green Company” you have an idea of just why we call ourselves that.

 

Thanks for listening.

owners

A Clean house is a sellable house!

These days there is a lot of doom and gloom out there about the economy.   With the oil patch hit hard a lot of people have had to cut back or slow down their spending.   Just because oil prices are down doesn’t mean other prices are down.  It seems like everything from gas to food to movie tickets cost more every week.   The cost of houses in Edmonton hasn’t gone down either, and with people being more cautious with their money, some houses are staying on the market for a long time.   With so many homes up for sales these days in Edmonton the competition is tough, and it’s hard to not only make the sale but get the price you want or need to get. 

When people are searching for a new home they want to buy a place they can picture themselves living in.  If they walk through the door and can’t see themselves living there they won’t buy.  Just ask my wife if you don’t believe me!  Sellers need to make the house look and feel comfortable to as many people as possible. 

One of the best ways to do this and keep the value of the house up is to stage it.  

Staging can be done in a variety of ways, some a little more expensive and time consuming than others.  For older, lived in family homes, not everything in the house needs to be changed.  The house may need more than just a touch up here and there to make it saleable, it may requires some paint, maybe a new door, a cabinet or perhaps a new countertop to make look a little better, but sometimes it’s as simple as de-cluttering a room or two or placing a few silk plants around the house to green things up.

Once the house looks good, sellers tend to think they’ve done enough, but usually they haven’t.  Here are a few things left to consider when staging or getting ready to sell.

One thing everyone will notice as soon as they walk through the door is the cleanliness of the place.  One of the great assets of a newly built home is that it always looks neat and clean.  The pristine kitchens, the waxed and shining floor, the blindingly white carpets all catch the buyer’s eye.  Not all occupied, older homes look like a show home. They are lived in and they tend to look like it.  Having a clean fresh smelling home will sell itself.  Some homes have a distinctive smell to them.  A smell that the homeowner may not even be aware of.  Pets, cigarettes, air fresheners, perfume, food and a myriad of other things all lend a distinctive odor to a home.  Even though the homeowner doesn’t notice it, buyers walking through the front door certainly will.  Cleaning the home from top to bottom will help remove any lingering odors and make it look and feel clean.

– start with dusting.  Once you have de-cluttered, painted etc., start dusting.  Dust everything, picture frames, lamps, books, shelves; fridge tops, every surface you can think of.  Once you’ve dusted everything you want to keep the dust to a minimum.  To do this change your furnace filter and install filters in your floor vents.  Most home renovation stores carry filters for your vents, or if you want put a couple of dryer sheets in them to help trap the dust.

– Along with dust comes pet hair.  A great many people are allergic to pet hairs, and too much hair or dander in the house may generate an allergic reaction.  People snuffling and sneezing as they tour the house are unlikely to feel comfortable.  If you have a cat or a dog you need to remove as much pet hair as possible.  Vacuum floors and furniture, and if that doesn’t work, try running a damp rag over the furniture to help pick up hairs.  The filters will help keep some of the pet hair and dander out of the air, but you will have to vacuum and clean on a regular basis.

– Remove any area rugs.  You are having a lot of people walking through your home.  This is a good time to have your Persian carpets and area rugs cleaned.  Have them picked up and cleaned off site and if possible have the carpet cleaning company hold on to them until you need them for your new home.  If not, leave them stored someplace out of the way.

-Once everything else has been done, you need to have your carpets cleaned professionally, and you want to use an environmentally friendly cleaning company like EKO, to get the work done.  You want green not only to have your carpets looking their best but you want to remove any chemicals and odors left in the carpet.

-Along with having the carpets cleaned, you need to have stains removed.  Those crayon marks from the grandkids, red wine stains from one of your wild parties, or perhaps wax from your Christmas candles.  All of those need to come out.  People won’t remember the colors of the walls, but they will remember the red wine stain in the middle of the living room floor. 

– If you have pets, invest in a black light.  Pet urine fluoresces under black light and you will be able to tell exactly where Fido has had an accident, and you will be able to mark it for your carpet cleaner.  Being able to find the exact spot where your pet has peed will help our technician not only eliminate the stain, but the smell as well.

– This is also a good time to get your upholstery cleaned.  Again, if you have pets, you will want to have the pet hair removed from the furniture and any odors, nicotine, coffee etc that have impregnated the fabric cleaned up and removed.  Once the furniture has been cleaned, spread a blanket or sheet on it if the pet sleeps or sits there, that way you can remove the sheet, and the hair, when there is a showing.

 

-Last but not least when staging and getting ready for tours of the house, you should consider having your mattresses cleaned.  Not only is it a good, healthy idea for your family to have the mattress cleaned but it will help keep the room smelling clean and fresh.

Carpets and upholstery are not the only place you should be using green, environmentally friendly cleaning solutions.  As a green company we recommend using natural cleaning solutions whenever possible. You should use a natural cleaner on any surface you clean.  Not only is it healthier, but natural cleaners don’t leave harsh chemicals and odors behind.  Although you can find green cleaners in most of the big box stores I always tell my customers to head out to Home Depot to get their cleaning products.  Every Home Depot store carries a large selection of green cleaners, they are always easy to find and the prices are usually pretty good.

Remember not to take offence if the realtor asks you to de-clutter, repair or replace items, or wants you to clean your carpets and upholstery.  The more appealing your home is to others, the quicker it will sell.

Thanks for listening

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