Cleaning Tips for Different Types of Tile

Tile is a versatile and popular choice for flooring and walls, offering durability, aesthetic appeal, and easy maintenance. However, the cleaning requirements for different types of tile can vary depending on their composition and finish. In this guide, we’ll explore the best cleaning tips for different types of tile to keep them looking pristine and prolong their lifespan.


Ceramic Tile

Ceramic is one of the most common types of tile found in homes and commercial spaces. It is relatively easy to clean and maintain, requiring regular sweeping and mopping with a mild detergent solution. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the tile surface. For stubborn stains, a mixture of baking soda and water can be applied and gently scrubbed with a soft brush.


Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is known for its durability and water resistance, making ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas. To clean porcelain tile, sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris. For routine cleaning, use a neutral pH cleaner diluted in water. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners, as they can dull the tile finish over time. For tougher stains, a paste of baking soda and water can be applied and left to sit before scrubbing with a soft brush.


Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tile, such as marble, granite, and travertine, requires special care to maintain its beauty and integrity. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners that can etch or scratch the surface of the stone. Instead, opt for pH-neutral cleaners specifically formulated for natural stone. Sealing natural stone tile regularly can help protect it from staining and water damage.


Glass Tile

Glass tile adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space but requires gentle cleaning to avoid scratching the surface. Use a non-abrasive cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to remove dirt and grime from glass tile. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers or harsh chemicals that can damage the tile finish.


Quarry Tile

Quarry tile is a durable and slip-resistant option commonly used in high-traffic areas such as entryways and commercial kitchens. To clean quarry tile, sweep or vacuum regularly to emove dirt and debris. For routine cleaning, use a neutral pH cleaner diluted in water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the tile surface.


Maintaining the beauty and longevity of your tile flooring and walls requires understanding of the unique cleaning requirements of each type of tile. By following these cleaning tips and using the appropriate cleaning products, you can keep your tile surfaces looking pristine and enhance the overall appearance of your space.


Unraveling the Artistry: The Intricate Art of Making Persian Rugs

rug cleaning asheville

Persian rugs, renowned for their exquisite beauty and intricate designs, have captivated admirers for centuries. Handcrafted by skilled artisans in Iran (formerly Persia), these rugs are a testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic tradition of the region. In this article, we delve into the fascinating process of making Persian rugs, from the selection of materials to the intricate weaving techniques passed down through generations.

Material Selection
The journey of creating a Persian rug begins with the careful selection of high-quality materials. Traditionally, Persian rugs are crafted from natural fibers such as wool, silk, and cotton. Wool sourced from local sheep is prized for its durability, softness, and ability to hold dyes beautifully. Silk, known for its lustrous sheen and luxurious texture, is often used to highlight intricate details in the design. Cotton is used for the foundation and warp threads, providing strength and stability to the rug.

Design and Pattern
Once the materials are gathered, the artisan begins the painstaking process of designing the rug. Persian rugs are renowned for their intricate patterns and motifs, which often draw inspiration from nature, geometric shapes, and historical symbols. Designs are meticulously sketched on graph paper or drawn directly onto the loom, serving as a guide for the weaving process. Each rug design is unique, reflecting the artistic vision and cultural influences of the weaver.

Knotting and Weaving
The heart of Persian rug-making lies in the skilled art of knotting and weaving. Using a loom, the artisan meticulously ties individual knots by hand, following the predetermined design and color scheme. The two primary knotting techniques used in Persian rug-making are the symmetrical Turkish knot and the assymetrical Persian knot, each producing distinct patterns and textures. As the knots are tied row by row, the intricate design gradually emerges, layer by layer, creating a breathtaking tapestry of colors and shapes.

Finishing Touches
Once the weaving is complete, the rug undergoes a series of finishing touches to enhance its beauty and durability. The edges are carefully bound or fringed to prevent unraveling, and the pile is sheared to achieve a uniform height and smooth texture. The rug is then washed, rinsed, and left to dry in the sun, allowing the colors to deepen and the fibers to set.

Persian rug-making is a labor of love that combines time-honored techniques, artistic skill, and cultural heritage. Each rug tells a story, weaving together centuries of tradition and craftsmanship into a masterpiece of beauty and elegance. From the selection of materials to the meticulous knotting and weaving, the artistry of Persian rug-making continues to inspire awe and admiration around the world.

Cigarette Smoke Odor Removal in Asheville

cigarette smoke odor

Over time, we’ve been contacted by many former smokers who have successfully kicked the habit and improved their health and well-being. However, despite their efforts, they continue to struggle with a persistent issue: the lingering smell of cigarette smoke in their homes. This unpleasant odor can quickly become overwhelming and unbearable, prompting them to seek out solutions. As a result, Five Step has established itself as a leading provider of cigarette smoke odor removal services in Asheville.

The consequences of indoor smoking are not limited to just the immediate smell. Research has revealed that exposure to residual cigarette smoke, also known as “third-hand smoke,” can pose significant health risks, particularly for young children. Even after months of not smoking indoors, the lingering residues can contribute to respiratory issues and developmental delays in infants and children.

While some may attempt to mitigate the odor by airing out the house or using deodorizing products, these measures often provide only temporary relief. Merely deodorizing carpets and furniture are superficial solutions that fail to address the root of the problem. What’s needed is a thorough cleaning to eliminate the embedded residues from carpets, upholstery, and rugs.

While well-meaning advice may suggest replacing affected items, the truth is that professional cleaning can effectively eliminate both the odor and the harmful residues left behind by years of smoking. If you’ve recently quit smoking, congratulations on taking a positive step towards better health! Now, it’s time to tackle the lingering effects of your former habit by addressing the stubborn odors and residues in your home.

If you’re dealing with lingering cigarette smoke odors in your carpets, rugs, or upholstery, we’re here to assist you. Located in Asheville, NC, our team is equipped to provide comprehensive odor removal services. Give us a call at 828.237.3237 to schedule an appointment today!




Furniture Care 101: How to Prevent Fading in Upholstery

Upholstered furniture adds warmth, comfort, and style to our living spaces, but prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fabric fading and deterioration over time. Protecting your upholstered furniture from fading is essential to maintain its beauty and longevity. In this guide, we’ll explore effective strategies to prevent fading and preserve the vibrancy of your upholstered furniture.

  1. Choose fade-resistant fabrics. When selecting upholstered furniture, opt for fabrics that are specifically designed to resist fading. Look for upholstery fabrics labeled as UV-resistant or fade-resistant. These fabrics are treated with special coatings or dyes that help minimize the effects of sunlight exposure.
  2. Position furniture away from direct sunlight. Place your upholstered furniture away from windows or areas with direct sunlight exposure. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can accelerate fading and deterioration of fabric fibers. Consider rearranging your furniture layout to minimize sunlight exposure.
  3. Use window treatments. Install window treatments such as curtains, blinds, or shades to block out sunlight. Choose window treatments with UV-blocking properties to reduce the amount of UV radiation entering your home. Keep curtains or blinds closed during the sunniest parts of the day, especially in rooms with high levels of sunlight exposure.
  4. Rotate furniture. If you can’t eliminate sunlight exposure completely, consider rotating your upholstered furniture regularly to ensure even exposure. Aim to rotate furniture every few months or as needed.
  5. Maintain proper humidity levels. Maintaining optimal indoor humidity levels can help prevent fading and deterioration of upholstery. Dry indoor air can accelerate fabric fading, while high humidity levels can promote mold and mildew growth. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain humidity levels between 40% and 60% for optimal furniture preservation.
  6. Professional Upholstery Cleaning. Schedule regular professional upholstery cleaning to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can contribute to fabric fading. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized equipment to deep clean and revitalize upholstered furniture, prolonging its life and appearance.

Preventing fading in upholstered furniture requires proactive measures to minimize sunlight exposure and maintain proper care and maintenance. By following the tips in this post, you can preserve the beauty and longevity of your upholstered furniture for years to come.


Spring Into Freshness: Spring Cleaning Tips for Upholstery

spring cleaning upholstery

As the warmth of spring beckons, it’s the perfect time to embark on a revitalizing journey of cleaning and decluttering. While tackling the floors and windows may be on your spring cleaning checklist, don’t overlook the importance of refreshing your upholstery. Here are some expert tips to help you rejuvenate your upholstery and breathe new life into your living spaces this spring.

  1. Vacuum First. Begin your upholstery spring cleaning routine by thoroughly vacuuming all upholstered surfaces. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the fabric. Pay special attention to crevices, seams, and tufted areas where dirt tends to accumulate.
  2. Spot Clean Stains. Address any stains or spills on your upholstery promptly. Prepare a gentle cleaning solution using mild detergent or upholstery cleaner diluted with water. Test the solution in an inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with the fabric. Then, blot the stained area with a clean cloth dampened with the cleaning solution, working from the outside toward the center to prevent spreading.
  3. Deodorize naturally. To combat odors in your upholstery, opt for natural deodorizing methods. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the fabric and allow it to sit for several hours or overnight. The baking soda will absorb odors effectively. Vacuum the upholstery thoroughly to remove the baking soda residue.
  4. Steam clean. For a deeper clean, consider steam cleaning your upholstery. Steam cleaning penetrates the fabric fibers, loosening embedded dirt and grime. Use a handheld steam cleaner or hire a professional upholstery cleaning service for optimal results. Ensure proper ventilation and allow the upholstery to dry completely before using the furniture again.
  5. Rotate cushions. Extend the lifespan of your upholstery by rotating the cushions regularly. Flipping and rotating cushions helps distribute wear and tear evenly, preventing premature sagging and flattening. Aim to rotate the cushions every few months or as needed.
  6. Protect from Sun Damage. Prolong the vibrancy of your upholstery fabric by shielding it from direct sunlight. Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause fading and deterioration of the fabric fibers over time. Consider using curtains, blinds, or UV-blocking window films to minimize sun exposure in your home.
  7. Professional Maintenance. Schedule professional upholstery cleaning at least once a year to maintain the cleanliness and condition of your furniture. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized equipment to deep clean and sanitize upholstery effectively, prolonging its life and freshness.

Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to show your upholstery some much-needed love and attention. By incorporating these tips into your cleaning routine, you can refresh and revitalize your upholstery, creating a clean and inviting living space to enjoy throughout the season and beyond.


Perk Up Your Carpets: A Guide to Banishing Coffee Stains

coffee stain

For many, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee is the perfect start to the day. However, in the midst of this ritual (and the hurry of getting ready for work and school), accidents and spills can happen, leading to stubborn coffee stains on your beloved carpet. Fear not, for with a few simple steps, you can bid farewell to those unsightly stains and continue to savor your coffee worry-free.

Swift Action for Success:

  1. Act promptly. The first rule when dealing with a coffee spill is to act promptly, before the coffee has a chance to soak all the way into the carpet and underlayment.
  2. Absorb excess liquid. Place a clean, dry cloth over the stained area and press down gently to absorb excess moisture. Repeat this process until you’ve removed as much liquid as possible. Remember to blot, don’t rub!
  3. Create a cleaning solution. Mix a solution of one tablespoon of liquid dish soap and two cups of lukewarm water. Stir the solution until it forms a slight lather.
  4. Apply the solution. Using a clean cloth or sponge, apply the soapy solution to the coffee stain. Blot the stain gently, working from the outside toward the center. Continue until the stain starts to lift.
  5. Rinse with water. Rinse the treated area with a cloth dampened with plain water to remove any soap residue. Blot the carpet to absorb excess moisture.
  6. If necessary, use a vinegar solution. For persistent coffee stains, you can create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply the solution to the stain and blot with a clean cloth. Follow up with a water rinse and blot dry.
  7. Dry completely. Allow the treated area to air dry completely before walking on it. Ventilate the room to expediate the drying process.

Professional Help:
If your coffee stain persists or you’re dealing with a delicate carpet material, it might be prudent to seek professional carpet cleaning services. Professionals have the expertise and tools to tackle tough stains without causing damage to your carpet. If you live in the Asheville NC area, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237!

Coffee stains on your carpet need not be a cause for panic. By acting swiftly, using a gentle solution, and following the steps above, you can enjoy your coffee without fretting over accidental spills. With a little care and attention, your carpet will be as resilient as your morning coffee ritual is comforting.


What’s With the Doilies?

In the annals of upholstery care, doilies have played a crucial yet often overlooked role. Originally introduced during the Victorian era, doilies on chair and sofa backs were not just ornamental pieces; they served a practical purpose. Armchairs were adorned with delicate doilies as a strategy to protect upholstery from the damaging effects of sweat, natural hair oils, and pomade residue.

In times when central heating and air conditioning were not commonplace and showers weren’t a daily ritual, normal perspiration could easily (and quickly) cause permanent stains and discoloration to the fine upholstery fabrics. Plus, they didn’t have professional upholstery cleaning companies back then! So the intricate patterns of doilies were not just a show of affluence or for aesthetic appeal; they provided a barrier, absorbing and shielding furniture from the oils and sweat produced in long hours of leisurely lounging. Once the doilies started to show signs of grease and discoloration, they could be washed and replaced.

Nowadays, we have central air and most of us wash our hair regularly, so we don’t have much need for armchair doilies. But upholstery can still suffer the effects of too much contact with the back of our heads. That’s because people still use hair products. It may not be as oily and greasy as the hair products of yesteryear, but over time, it can leave a residue on your cherished upholstery.

Modern upholstery, with its diverse materials and finishes, requires a tailored approach to cleaning and maintenance. If your favorite chair is showing stains from everyday use, particularly in areas where sweat and hair products come into contact, it may be time to call in the pros. Thankfully, we don’t live in the Victorian era, and Five Step is just a phone call away!

Remember, consistency in cleaning and maintenance is key to preserving the beauty of your upholstery. While doilies may no longer be a widespread trend, the principles of protecting and caring for your furniture endure.

If you’re in the Asheville, NC area and need help with keeping your upholstery clean and fresh, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237

Sweet Success: Removing Chocolate Stains From Upholstery

chocolate spill

Indulging in a chocolate treat, especially during the holiday season, can bring immense joy. But accidental spills on your upholstery can quickly turn the sweetness into a sticky situation. Fear not! With a few simple steps and the right approach, you’ll have no trouble removing chocolate stains from upholstery.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Act Quickly. The key to effective stain removal is to act promptly to deal with the mess. As soon as the chocolate lands on your upholstery, grab a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to blot and lift as much of the chocolate as possible. Be gentle to avoid spreading the stain.
  2. Scrape off the excess. If the chocolate has solidified, use a blunt knife or spoon to gently scrape off the excess. Be careful not to damage the fabric, and scrape in the direction of the fibers.
  3. Prepare your cleaning solution. Mix a solution of mild dish soap or laundry detergent with warm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can set the stain. Stir the solution until it forms a gentle lather.
  4. Pre-test the cleaning solution. Before applying any cleaning solution, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the upholstery to ensure it won’t cause discoloration or damage. This is especially important for delicate or vintage fabrics. The mild dish soap solution we are using in this method should be safe for most upholstery fabrics, but you can never be too careful!
  5. Apply the solution. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy solution and gently blot the chocolate stain. Work from the outside of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading. Avoid vigorous rubbing, as it may damage the fabric.
  6. Rinse and blot. After treating the stain, rinse the area with a clean cloth dampened with water. Blot the upholstery to remove any soap residue. Continue blotting until the fabric is no longer soapy.
  7. Absorb excess moisture. Place a clean, dry cloth or paper towels over the cleaned area and press down gently to absorb excess moisture. Allow the upholstery to air dry completely.
  8. Consider professional cleaning. If the chocolate stain persists or if your upholstery is made of delicate or vintage materials, consider consulting professional upholstery cleaners. They have the expertise and tools to tackle stubborn stains without causing damage. If you’re in the Asheville, NC area, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237

‘Twas the Night of Clean Carpets

‘Twas the month of December, the holidays near,
The time for togetherness, laughter and cheer.
The tree was adorned with baubles so bright,
But the carpets and tile weren’t looking quite right.


Mama with her mop, and I with my broom,
Had just given up on cleaning each room,
When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.


Away to the window, I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a luster of cleanliness to objects below.


When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a van full of equipment and technicians so near.
With a passionate team, so lively they leapt,
I knew in a moment it must be Five Step!


More rapid than eagles, the crew they came,
And Scott whistled and shouted and called them by name:
“Now, Scrubber! Now, Sweeper! Now, Steamer and Blitzer!
On, Buffer! On, Duster! On, Rinser and Spritzer!”

“To the back of the sofa, to the end of the hall,
Now clean away, clean away, clean away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,


So up to the front door, the cleaners they flew,
With all their equipment and green uniforms, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard through the door,
The steaming and spraying of each dirty floor.


A wink of Scott’s eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
And cleaned all the carpets plus the tile, for a perk.


And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
Scott sprang to his van, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.


But I heard them exclaim, ere they drove out of sight,
“Happy Holidays to all, and to all a clean night!”


Unlocking the Benefits of Professional Upholstery Cleaning

professional upholstery cleaning

Upholstered furniture adds comfort and style to our living spaces, but daily use can take a toll on its appearance and cleanliness. Professional upholstery cleaning is a key investment in the longevity and health of your furniture. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top benefits of professional upholstery cleaning.

  1. Prolonged furniture lifespan: Professional upholstery cleaning helps extend the life of your furniture. By removing dirt, dust, and stains, the fibers of your upholstery remain in better condition, preventing premature wear and tear.
  2. Enhanced indoor air quality: Upholstery acts as a magnet for allergens, dust mites, and bacteria. Professional cleaning eliminates these contaminants, contributing to improved indoor air quality. This is especially beneficial for those with allergies or respiratory issues.
  3. Removes stubborn stains: Over time, upholstery can accumulate tough stains that are challenging to remove with household cleaners. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized products to effectively tackle stubborn stains, restoring your furniture to its original beauty.
  4. Preserves fabric colors and texture: Regular use can cause fabrics to lose their vibrancy and softness. Professional upholstery cleaning helps preserve the color and texture of your furniture, keeping it looking fresh and inviting.
  5. Prevents odors and mold growth: Upholstered furniture can harbor odors and be prone to mold growth, especially if you live in a humid climate, if the furniture is placed in a damp area of the house, or if it has been exposed to spills. Professional cleaning eliminates these issues, leaving your furniture smelling fresh and reducing the risk of mold.
  6. Maintains aesthetic appeal: Clean furniture enhances the overall appearance of your home. Professional upholstery cleaning revitalizes the look of your upholstery, making your living spaces more inviting and aesthetically pleasing.
  7. Tailored cleaning Approaches: Different upholstery materials require specific cleaning methods. Professional cleaners assess the fabric type and tailor their approach accordingly, ensuring that the cleaning process is effective without causing damage.
  8. Time and effort savings: Professional upholstery cleaning saves you time and effort. Attempting to clean upholstery yourself can be labor-intensive, and without the right equipment, you may not achieve the desired results. Professional cleaners bring the tools and expertise needed for a thorough and efficient cleaning process.
  9. Convenience and expertise: Professional upholstery cleaners offer a convenient solution to maintaining your furniture. With their knowledge of fabrics and cleaning techniques, they can achieve superior results, giving you peace of mind and saving you the hassle of DIY cleaning.

Investing in professional upholstery cleaning goes beyond aesthetics—it’s a commitment to the health and longevity of your furniture. From preserving fabric colors to improving indoor air quality, the benefits of professional upholstery cleaning make it a valuable service for any homeowner.

If you’re looking for the best Asheville has to offer in professional upholstery cleaning services, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 today!