Carpet Cleaning for Small Businesses: Why is it Important?

carpet care for small businesses

Being a small business owner isn’t easy! There are so many things on your to-do list: hiring, billing, customer service, marketing, delivery, equipment maintenance, accounting…the list is never-ending. It’s understandable that sometimes more minor tasks are forgotten or put off until later. One of those possibly minor-seeming tasks might be carpet cleaning for small businesses.

But it’s not a good idea to make professional carpet cleaning one of those “back burner” tasks. If you have carpet in your business location, keeping it fresh and clean is important. The way your space looks and smells helps your customer to form their first impression of the business. But, perhaps even more importantly, professional carpet cleaning protects your health as well, not to mention the health of your employees and customers.

Over time, carpets will accumulate pollutants that could pose a health hazard. These contaminants come into your business through foot traffic, drafts from open doors or windows, HVAC systems, spills, and even coughs or sneezes. Regular vacuuming can eliminate some of the toxins, like mold spores, pollen, and dust. But other health hazards–like bacteria, viruses, harmful chemicals and pesticides–can only be extracted using professional cleaning methods.

To make sure your business space is both clean and healthy, it’s a good idea to commit to routine professional cleaning.

How often should you have your carpets cleaned? Well, it depends.

  • If you do not receive clients at your location, and you have relatively little foot traffic, you can probably get by with yearly professional cleanings.
  • If your business location does receive clients, or has moderate to heavy foot traffic, two to three cleanings a year are recommended.
  • Restaurants, hotels, and nursing homes should have carpets cleaned more frequently in order to maintain a healthy environment. Monthly cleaning is recommended.
  • Elementary and high schools should have carpets cleaned on an every three to six months schedule.
  • Carpets in kindergartens or day care centers require extra attention. Small children are built low to the ground and attract a lot more dirt and dust than adults, as well as bacteria and viruses. Their developing immune systems are also much more susceptible to illness from bacteria or viruses. Therefore, it is recommended that daycare centers have carpets cleaned monthly.

Carpet cleaning for small businesses requires maintenance! In between professional cleanings, follow these tips to keep your small business’s carpets looking their best:

  • Stick to a regular vacuuming schedule.
  • When having work done inside your location (like remodeling or plumbing), put down adhesive carpet protection strips where the heaviest foot traffic will be.
  • Place welcome mats both inside and outside all entrances so customers and employees can wipe their feet before entering the space.
  • When small spills or stains occur, you can blot (not rub) with a dry paper towel to remove as much of the moisture as you can, then apply a spot cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Before using any spot cleaner on your carpet, do a spot test in an out-of-sight location to ensure the cleaner won’t result in fading or damage to the carpet fiber.

If your business is located in the Asheville, NC area, give Five Step a call at 828.237.7233 or contact us to discuss your carpet care needs.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

spring cleaning checklist

Flowers are blooming and the days are growing warmer. Spring has arrived in western NC, and with it, the urge to shake off the dust of winter. It might be an ancient instinct, passed down from humanity’s cave-dwelling days, or maybe it’s just ingrained in us from an early age by culture and media. But in these early days of spring, it’s not uncommon for people to start feeling an itch to clean house. Spring cleaning is upon us!

Don’t let the prospect of spring cleaning overwhelm you. Delegate some chores to other family members—even small children can take part. Put on some music to make the time go faster, and put in a pizza order so you don’t have to deal with dinner when you’re done.

Spring cleaning can also be made simpler and more efficient with a checklist. It’s a bit more involved than your regular cleaning session, with focus placed on tasks that don’t need to be done as often and areas you might have let go over the past year. Each household’s needs will be different, but the checklist below should give you some good ideas of where to start.

  1. Decluttering. The first step to any successful spring cleaning project is to spend some time decluttering your home. This is the time to throw out broken items, gather ill-fitting clothes for donation, organize the closets, and find places for anything you’ve brought into the home recently. Out with the old and in with the new!
  2. Cobweb patrol. This is a great job for your teen or tween. They’re tall enough to reach crown molding and ceiling fans with the vacuum extender, and they’re young enough to not have back problems. So put them to work finding any cobwebs and dustbunnies that might have evaded your normal cleaning routine. (Pro tip: do this first after decluttering. Remember: always clean top to bottom to avoid having to clean things twice!)
  3. Clean appliances. Start in the kitchen by cleaning out your fridge and freezer, tossing anything that’s no longer useable. Then give your fridge a good deep clean, taking all the shelves and drawers out and washing them with warm, soapy water. Clean the interior of your oven and microwave, and last but not least, pull your refrigerator out and dust the coils. This will make your fridge more efficient and save a little money on your monthly electric bill!
  4. Replace filters. Spring is a great time to change the air filters in your home’s HVAC system, as well as cleaning or replacing the filters in space heaters and air purifyers. If you have an inline water filter from your well, now might be a good time to take a look at it, as well.
  5. Curtains, drapes, and blinds. Once a year or so, it’s a good idea to pull down your curtains and drapes to have them laundered, or dust and steam clean them in place. You probably dust your blinds more often than that, but spring cleaning is a good time to do that, as well.
  6. Porches and outdoor areas. One of the great things about spring is we get to spend a lot more time outside! Prepare for games of tag, cookouts, and other outdoor activities by paying a little attention to your porches, decks, and patios. You’ll want to clean seat cushions, wash glass table tops, beat any outdoor rugs, and sweep.
  7. Linens, mattresses, and mattress pads. In the bedroom, strip the linens off the mattress and let them air out for a couple of hours before flipping the mattress. If you have a guest bed that doesn’t get used very often, now’s the time to launder the sheets and change out the heavy winter comforter for a lighter one.
  8. Carpets, rugs, upholstery. Carpet, rug, and upholstery cleaning can be a pain in the neck if you DIY it. Since you’ve already got a lot on your spring cleaning plate, why not save yourself the hassle by hiring a professional carpet or upholstery cleaner? If you live in the Asheville area, Five Step has got your back!
  9. Cabinet Clean-out. Spring is a great time to clean out your cupboards, cabinets, and pantries. Throw out any stale foods, re-organize the canned goods, and consider whether those old rusty baking pans are worth hanging onto. Once you’ve taken everything out, but before re-organizing and replacing the items on the shelves, let the cabinets air out for an hour or so. Then, clean the shelves or replace the shelf paper before putting everything back.

 

 

9 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

allergy proof your home

Did you know that over 50 million Americans suffer from some type of environmental allergy each year? Or that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the American population? If you or a family member suffer from environmental or seasonal allergies or asthma, you might want to know how to allergy-proof your home.

One of the most important things for allergy sufferers to do is to keep their home environment as free from allergens as possible. You might not be able to control what you come into contact in the outside world, but at home, there’s a lot you can do to prevent allergic reactions.

  1. Pets: If you have allergies or asthma, but you also have furry friends living in your home, it’s a good idea to keep them out of certain areas. For instance, bedding, carpet, and upholstered furniture can attract and harbor pet dander, as well as any pollen or mold spores that your pets happen to bring in from outside. Keeping your pets out of those areas can help cut down on cleaning and keep your allergies at bay.
  2. Flooring: If possible, opt for hard, smooth, flooring surfaces in your home. Hardwood and tile floors are excellent because they contain no potential allergens from the manufacturing process, do not harbor pet hair, dander, or pollen, and are easy to clean. Be aware that vinyl, linoleum, and wood laminate flooring options sometimes contain chemicals, such as formaldehyde, that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. If you are unable to replace carpets with hard surface flooring, make sure to vacuum regularly and have your carpets periodically cleaned by professionals who do not use harsh chemicals in their cleaning process.
  3. Dust: Pay special attention to dusting if you have allergies or asthma. Dust mites may be the culprit, and you have to keep your home free of dust if you don’t want to give those little pests a place to live. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove dust from tables, picture frames, and décor. Regularly vacuum curtains, blinds, and ceiling fan blades, and don’t forget to edge along the crown molding. This will go a long way toward helping allergy-proof your home.
  4. Air filtration: Using high quality air filters in your home’s heating and cooling system, and changing those filters on a regular basis, can prevent a lot of suffering from allergies! In addition, you might want to use standalone air purifiers with HEPA filters in rooms where you spend the most time.
  5. Bedding: Use dust mite-repelling mattress and pillow covers, and wash your comforter and sheets once per week. Avoid wool, feather, and down bedding materials in favor of cotton, linen, or synthetic.
  6. Upholstery: In addition to regular vacuuming, it’s a great idea to commit to periodic professional upholstery cleaning. Vacuuming alone can’t extract allergens that might be hiding deep underneath the upholstery fabric, but a professional cleaning will leave your furniture healthy and allergen-free, both inside and out. Make sure the service provider you choose does not use any fragrances or harsh chemicals in their cleaning process.
  7. Household chemicals: Many common household cleaning products contain chemicals that can cause problems for allergy sufferers. Ingredients like ammonia, bleach, sodium laureth sulfate, and triclosan can worsen your allergies or even trigger an allergic reaction themselves. And, believe it or not, these ingredients can even be hiding in all natural cleaning products. D-limonene, a natural citrus oil and common fragrance, can be particularly problematic for some people. Using fragrance-free products or products labeled “non-allergenic” can help. You might also switch out your glass and surface cleaners for plain old white vinegar and replace scouring powders with baking soda.
  8. Cleaning routines: Staying on top of house cleaning is very important if you want to allergy-proof your home. Make a schedule and stick to it. If you find that certain cleaning chores aggravate your allergies, you might want to ask a family member to do it, or hire a professional house cleaner.
  9. Ventilation: One common cause of allergies is mold and mildew. Since these fungi tend to grow in damp places, the bathroom is the most likely place to head them off. Use a fan while showering or bathing to force the warm, humid air out of the room. When you are done using the shower, you can also dry the walls with a towel to prevent mildew growth.

Why is Upholstery Cleaning So Important?

upholstery cleaning is important

 

Professional upholstery cleaning is probably not at the top of your mind when it comes to important tasks around the house, but maybe it should be! Here are a few reasons why upholstery cleaning is so important for your furniture, your family, your wallet, and even your mood.

 

Upholstery Cleaning Promotes Better Health

Did you know that health hazards could be hiding in your furniture’s upholstery? From bacteria to viruses to mold spores, the fabric on your couch or lounge chair can harbor a lot of microbes and allergens if not cleaned periodically. This is especially true in homes with small children, who are liable to bring home germs from school and smear them indiscriminately on every surface they come into contact with. Cold and flu germs may only live for a few hours or days, but those mold spores, pollen, and other allergens can remain in your furniture’s upholstery for much longer. If you or any of your family members suffer from asthma or allergies, having your upholstery professionally cleaned can really improve your family’s health!

 

Clean Upholstery Increases Your Enjoyment of Your Home 

Most of your upholstered furniture is probably in the room you use the most for relaxing: the living room or den. But when your furniture is dirty, it can be difficult to relax. The upholstery might have a sticky or grimy feel, or it might harbor a slight unpleasant odor. At the very least, the lackluster appearance of dirty furniture can increase your level of stress and prevent you from enjoying your relaxation time at home. Hiring a professional upholstery cleaner can seriously brighten your mood!

 

Spend a Little Money Now to Save More in the Long Term

One thing that sometimes prevents people from committing to routine upholstery cleaning is the price. You might wonder, is it even worth it? The truth is that periodic deep cleaning helps prolong the life of your furniture, which can save you big bucks over time. And, just to put your mind at ease, professional upholstery cleaning doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Five Step’s upholstery cleaning services are quite affordable!

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for a top-level, professional upholstery cleaner, Five Step has got you covered. For a quote, give us a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today.

Tile Cleaning Before and After

Check out this photo we snapped of a recent tile cleaning job!

Lots of cleaning service companies make empty promises, but at Five Step we believe our work should speak for itself. Here you can see side-by-side evidence that our cleaning process works wonders on dirty, old-looking tile and grout.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and you’d like to see some tile cleaning magic like this in your home or office, give Five Step a call at 828.237-3237 or drop us a line today!

Can You Spot the Error in These 4 Hardwood Floor Cleaning Myths?

hardwood floor

When you’ve been cleaning hardwood floors professionally as long as we have, you encounter a lot of erroneous information about cleaning wood floors. Not all hardwood floor cleaning advice is created equal! Some of it is just…wrong.

In this post, we’ll address some common myths regarding hardwood floor cleaning. See if you can spot the error!

  1. A shiny floor is a clean floor. Not always. It is true that a clean floor should have a shine to it, but actually, the shine of your floor has as much to do with its surface texture as with cleanliness. Dull floors can result from tiny scratches or scuffs on the wood’s surface. To restore shine to a floor like that, refinishing is usually required.
  2. Wood floors must be cleaned or treated with oil. For most wood floors, this is outdated advice. The wisdom of applying oil soap to wood floors was perfectly fine when wood floors were sealed with wax, which dehydrated the wood. But nowadays, most wood floors are sealed with polyurethane, which does not allow moisture to escape. Therefore, for most wood floors, no oil is needed. Modern sealants create a barrier that prevents any oil from soaking into the wood itself. Applying oil soap to these floors only makes the floor slick, and, rather than keeping it clean, is liable to attract dirt and grime.
  3. Add vinegar to your wood floor cleaner. This is another bit of outdated advice. It used to be sensible in the old days, but not any longer. Time was, people used all-purpose, lye-based soaps for cleaning…well, just about everything. These lye-based soaps were corrosive. Much harsher than our modern, wood floor-specific soaps. So people added vinegar to the mop bucket, lowering the PH of the solution and thereby reducing the harshness of the soap. Modern wood floor cleaners are formulated to have the ideal PH level for cleaning wood floors, so adding vinegar is no longer necessary.
  4. Water’s just as good as cleaner. Water can work for a quick, superficial cleaning, but it really depends on how deep of a clean you need. You can damp mop most wood floors with just plain water. This will pick up dust and debris, and leave your floors looking cleaner than before. But for a real deep clean, you need a liquid floor cleaner formulated specifically for wood floors. We recommend Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. No matter what cleaning agent you use, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions!

 

We hope this post helps to demystify the process of caring for hardwood floors. Of course, we’re here to help if you’ve decided DIY isn’t going to cut it. Check out some of our before-and-after pics to get an idea of what we can do with wood floors. If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for professional wood floor cleaning, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form today!

 

Oriental Rug Cleaning in Asheville, NC

Asheville Oriental Rug Cleaner

Buying an oriental rug can be a serious investment in the look and feel of your home. And maintaining a fine rug is a lifelong commitment. So when it comes to cleaning your oriental rugs, don’t make a snap decision. You want to be sure your investment is in safe hands.

To help you make an informed decision, Five Step Carpet Care is committed to honesty and transparency about our cleaning process. When you choose Five Step’s professional rug cleaning service, you can rest assured that:

  • We use a gentle, effective process for cleaning oriental rugs and other fine rugs.
  • We never use bleach or bleach-based cleaners.
  • Our prices are affordable.
  • We can eliminate stains caused by ground in dirt, food spills, mold and mildew, pet stains, and even fire damage.
  • We don’t use enzyme-based cleaners.
  • Our cleaning agents contain no harsh chemicals.
  • We won’t wash your rug in a tub with other rugs.
  • Our cleaning solutions will not cause the colors on your rug to fade or bleed.
  • Our cleaning process is completely safe for wool fibers.
  • We offer convenient pick up and delivery service.
  • Our products and process are entirely non-toxic, safe for your family and pets, and environmentally conscious.
  • Our team is professional and reliable. You can trust us to take good care of your fine rugs.

Want to see for yourself? Check out this video of our rug cleaning process.

Check our website for current pricing.

We look forward to being your trusted source for green and sustainable oriental rug cleaning. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 828.237.3237 or send us a message via our contact form.

 

10 Amazing Historical Facts About Tile!

It’s strange to think about these days, but the art of tile-making has been with us for a very, very long time! Here are a few fascinating historical facts about tiles and how they came to be one of our favorite floor coverings.

  1. Ceramic tiles were first made in China, around the time of the Chinese invention of pottery, circa 20,000 BC. The earliest Chinese tiles were made from white porcelain, and had stunning images hand-painted on them.
  2. The ancient Egyptians used tiles in their architecture, including in the pyramids!
  3. Of course, one of the original purposes for baked clay tiles was to use as roof coverings. Terracotta tiles are still used for this purpose today.
  4. The art-form of tile mosaic was developed in ancient Greece. Mosaics are made with small pieces and slivers of broken or cut tile, often placed in such a way that they form elaborate patterns. Ancient Greek mosaics often created images of gods or other scenes, and Greek tile artisans incorporated stones and shells into their mosaics.
  5. The Ishtar Gate, a magnificent brick-tile structure in ancient Babylon, was commissioned around 575 BC by Nebuchadnezzar in his bid to beautify his city. Tile imagery on the gate depicted lions, dragons, and bulls. The Ishtar Gate was once included in the Seven Wonders of the World.
  6. Over thousands of years, Persian traders brought pottery and tile-making knowledge from China to faraway points in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Eventually, kiln-fired pottery was an old-world staple, and basic clay tiles became commonplace nearly everywhere, though the fancier glazed and hand-painted tiles were reserved for the wealthy.
  7. A tile making method was developed independently in the Americas by Aztec peoples.
  8. Decorative tiles journeyed to the New World aboard Spanish ships, and were used in the beautification of mission churches.
  9. Tiles were first mass-produced for flooring by British factories in the 19th Now, for the first time, customers could order a shipment of more-or-less identical tiles with which to floor their homes.
  10. A 2,000-year-old Roman mosaic has recently been discovered. The owner apparently did not know what she had—the artwork had been used in her Manhattan apartment for over fifty years, as a coffee table!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Five Step!

Season’s Greetings to our customers, staff, and friends! 🎄🎅🏻🎁

We wish you and your family health, happiness, joy, and prosperity this Christmas and in the coming New Year. May your holidays sparkle with joy and laughter, may Santa Claus bring you your heart’s desire, and may all of your Christmas cookies be baked to perfection.

Warm regards from your friends at Five Step Carpet Care!

Is it Possible to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet?

hair dye on carpet

Maybe you cultivated the habit of providing your own hair care during the pandemic, or maybe your teen decided to dye their hair neon pink for a Halloween costume. Perhaps a little less than the advised amount of caution was taken, and now you have hair dye stains on your carpet. So now you’re asking yourself:  is it even possible to get hair dye out of carpet?

It may seem as though hair dye stains would be impossible to remove from carpet fibers, since the dye is designed to be, well, permanent. But the truth is that most types of carpet stains can be cleaned, no matter the strength of the stain-causing substance or the severity of the stain. You just have to apply a little creativity, patience, and elbow-grease. And, chances are, you already have everything you’ll need on hand.

Different hair dyes contain different chemicals and pigments, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to getting hair dye stains out of carpet. But there are a few simple household cleaners that you can try, and at least one of them is likely to work. Check out the list below for easy and non-toxic solutions to try.

 

Household Cleaning Agents to Try on Hair Dye Stains:

  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Rubbing (or isopropyl) alcohol
  • 3% Hydrogen peroxide

 

Method

 For each of the cleaning agents listed above, try the following method.

  • Saturate the stained carpet area with the cleaning agent (for dish soap and clarifying shampoo, add a little warm water and work up some suds.)
  • Let the product sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes.
  • Dab with a clean cloth or paper towel, rinse with warm water, and dab again until the cleaning agent is removed.
  • Blot dry.

If the stain is reduced, but still present, repeat this method with the same cleaner. If the stain has not improved at all, move on to the next cleaning agent and repeat the method.