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!




Gratitude and Clean Carpets

Dear Customers and Friends,

As we approach Thanksgiving, we want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for you continued trust in our professional services. In the spirit of thankfulness, we reflect on the privilege of serving our community and contributing to the comfort and cleanliness of your homes and businesses.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation for the opportunity to be part of your home or business maintenance routine. Your trust inspires us to uphold the highest standards in our work, ensuring that our services contribute to a healthy and inviting environment for you, your family, your pets, or your employees and clients.

Thank you for choosing us as your carpet, upholstery, wood floor, and tile cleaning partner. We wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter, and the simple joys of a well-maintained home.

With Gratitude,

Your Friends at Five Step

How to Prevent Scuffs and Scratches on Hardwood Floors

prevent scuffs

Hardwood floors add warmth, beauty, and value to your home, but they are also susceptible to scuffs and scratches from daily wear and tear. However, with a few preventive measures and some care, you can keep your hardwood floors looking pristine for years to come. In this blog post, we’ll share effective tips to prevent scuffs and scratches on your hardwood floors.

  1. Use protective furniture pads. Attach felt or rubber furniture pads to the bottom of chairs, tables, and heavy furniture. These pads act as a buffer between the furniture and the floor, preventing scratches when furniture is moved or bumped.
  2. Keep shoes at the door. Implement a “no shoes indoors” policy. Shoes can track in dirt, sand, and small rocks that act like abrasives on your hardwood floors. Consider having an entryway or designated area for shoe removal.
  3. Use area rugs and runners. Place area rugs or runners in high-traffic areas, such as hallways and entryways. These can help protect your hardwood floors from scuffs and scratches and can also add a touch of style to your space.
  4. Regularly trim pets’ nails. If you have pets, keep their claws trimmed to prevent scratches when they run or play on your hardwood floors. A pet’s nails can leave marks and cause damage, especially during enthusiastic moments.
  5. Sweep and vacuum regularly. Dirt, dust, and small debris can act like sandpaper on your floors. Regular sweeping and vacuuming prevent these particles from scratching the surface. Use a vacuum with a hardwood floor attachment to avoid damage.
  6. Use soft broom heads. Choose broom heads with soft bristles rather than stiff ones. Softer bristles are gentler on your hardwood floors and won’t scratch the finish.
  7. Regularly refinish and maintain. Consider refinishing your hardwood floors as needed to restore their protective finish. Proper maintenance, including periodic resealing or refinishing, can help keep your floors looking new.

Preserving the beauty of your hardwood floors involves a combination of preventive measures and consistent care. By using furniture pads, removing shoes indoors, adding area rugs, and following a regular cleaning routine, you can prevent scuffs and scratches while enjoying the timeless elegance of your hardwood floors. Remember that prevention is key to maintaining your investment for years to come.

Top Myths About Owning Fine Rugs

owning fine rugs

Fine rugs are not just floor coverings; they are pieces of art that can transform a room’s aesthetics. However, there are several misconceptions about owning fine rugs that may discourage potential buyers or create unrealistic expectations. In this post, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths surrounding fine rugs to help you make informed decisions about owning and caring for these exquisite pieces.

  1. Myth: Fine rugs are too fragile for everyday use.
    Reality: While fine rugs are often associated with delicacy, many of them are designed for everyday use. High-quality materials and expert craftsmanship make them more durable than you might think. Regular care and proper placement can help maintain their beauty over the long term.
  2. Myth: Fine rugs are all extremely expensive.
    Some antique or collector’s pieces come with a hefty price tag, but there is a wider range of fine rugs available to suit various budgets. Beautiful and well-crafted options can be found at reasonable prices. And if you are looking for the best deals available, estate sales and yard sales are often great places to look!
  3. Myth: Fine rugs are high maintenance.
    Fine rugs do require care, but this doesn’t mean they are excessively high-maintenance. Regular vacuuming, occasional professional cleaning, and proper placement can keep them in great condition without an overly demanding routine.
  4. Myth: Fine rugs shouldn’t be used in high-traffic areas.
    While you may want to avoid placing an irreplaceable antique rug in a high-traffic zone, many fine rugs are designed to withstand daily wear. Using a rug pad and regular cleaning can protect them even in busy areas.
  5. Myth: All fine rugs are antique.
    Fine rugs come in a variety of styles, including contemporary and traditional. You don’t have to invest in an antique rug; there are modern designs that are just as fine and stunning.
  6. Myth: Fine rugs are only for traditional décor.
    Fine rugs can complement a wide range of interior design styles, from traditional to contemporary. Their versatility allows them to enhance the aesthetic of any room.
  7. Myth: You can’t clean fine rugs.
    Fine rugs can and should be cleaned. Professional cleaning methods are available to preserve their beauty, and regular vacuuming can remove dust and debris.

Fine rugs are not as fragile, expensive, or high-maintenance as many popular myths suggest. Owning a fine rug can be a rewarding experience, adding elegance and personality to your living space. By understanding the facts and dispelling these common myths, you can appreciate the beauty and practicality of fine rugs while making an informed decision about purchasing and caring for them.



A Guide to Getting Grease Stains Out of Upholstery

grease stains

Grease stains on upholstery can be a real headache. Whether it’s from an accidental spill while cooking for from the natural oils on your skin, grease stains can quickly become an eyesore. But fear not, as this guide will walk you through the steps to effectively remove grease stains from your upholstery and restore its pristine appearance.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Dishwashing liquid (mild)
  2. Clean, white cloth or paper towels
  3. Cornstarch or talcum powder
  4. A soft-bristle brush
  5. Baking soda (optional)
  6. Warm water


Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Blot excess grease. As soon as you notice the grease stain, use a clean, white cloth or paper towels to blot the area gently. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the grease and push it deeper into the upholstery.
  2. Scrape off solid grease (if applicable). If the grease has solidified, use a plastic spoon or a blunt edge to carefully scrape off as much of the solid grease as possible.
  3. Create a cleaning solution. Mix a small amount of mild dishwashing liquid with warm water to create a soapy solution. Avoid using strong detergents or harsh chemicals that may damage the upholstery.
  4. Test in an inconspicuous area. Before applying the cleaning solution to the stain, test it in an inconspicuous area of your upholstery to ensure it won’t cause color fading or damage. Wait a few minutes and check for any adverse reactions.
  5. Blot and lift. Dampen a clean, white cloth with the soapy solution and blot the grease stain. Don’t apply the solution directly to the stain, and be sure to use as little fluid as possible to avoid creating a water stain. Continue blotting until you start to see the stain lifting.
  6. Rinse and blot. After blotting, dampen another clean cloth with plain water and blot the area to remove any soap residue. This helps prevent a soapy residue buildup.
  7. Absorb excess moisture. Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder over the cleaned area to absorb any remaining moisture and grease. Let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes, then brush it off with a soft-bristle brush. Baking soda can also be used for this purpose.
  8. Repeat if necessary. If the grease stain persists, you may need to repeat the above steps until the stain is completely gone.
  9. Final rinse. After successfully removing the stain, rinse the area with plain water one more time and blot it dry with a clean cloth.

Grease stains on upholstery are certainly annoying, but with the right approach and a bit of patience, you can effectively remove them. Remember to act quickly, use a mild cleaning solution, and always perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area before tackling the stain. By following these steps, you can enjoy clean and stain-free upholstery once again.




How to Get Rust Stains Out of Carpet

rust stain

Rust stains on your carpet can be an unsightly and challenging problem to tackle. Whether it’s from a rusty piece of furniture, a metal object, or even a water leak, rust stains can be stubborn. However, with the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can effectively remove rust stains from your carpet. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps to get rust stains out of carpet, restoring its beauty.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. White vinegar
  2. Lemon juice
  3. Baking soda
  4. Clean, white cloth or paper towels
  5. A rust stain remover (we recommend Wink Rust Remover!)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Blot the stain. If the rust stain is fresh and damp, start by blotting the area with a clean, white cloth or paper towel. This will help absorb as much of the rust as possible before it sets in.
  2. Test in a hidden area. Before using any cleaning solution, test it in an inconspicuous area of your carpet to ensure it won’t cause color fading or damage. Wait a few minutes and check for adverse reactions.
  3. Apply lemon juice. Saturate the rust stain with fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice contains natural acids that can help break down the rust. Allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Blot with a cloth. After letting the lemon juice work its magic, blot the stain with a clean, white cloth. You should start to see the rust transferring to the cloth.
  5. Make a baking soda paste. Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste. Apply this paste to the remaining rust stain, gently scrubbing it with a soft cloth. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive and can help lift the remaining rust.
  6. Rinse and blot. After scrubbing, rinse the area with water to remove the lemon juice and baking soda residue. Blot the area with a clean cloth.
  7. Use a rust stain remover (optional). If the rust persists, consider using a commercial rust stain remover. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  8. Final rinse and dry. After using the rust stain remover, give the area a final rinse with water and blot it dry. Make sure the carpet is completely dry to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Removing rust stains from your carpet may require a bit of effort, but it’s certainly possible with the right approach. Lemon juice and baking soda are effective and non-toxic solutions, but if the stain persists, a commercial rust stain remover can be a helpful last resort. Always remember to test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first, and be patient as you work on the stain. With persistence and care, you can restore the pristine look of your carpet.

How to Remove Coffee Stains from Upholstery with Common Household Ingredients

coffee stains from upholstery

Accidents happen, and a coffee spill on your beloved upholstery is a common mishap. The good news is that you can effectively tackle coffee stains using non-toxic cleaning solutions or items already found in your home. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to remove coffee stains from upholstery while keeping your cleaning routine eco-friendly.

Steps to Remove Coffee Stains:

  1. Blot immediately. Act swiftly as soon as the coffee spill occurs. Grab a clean, white cloth or paper towel and gently blot the stain. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the coffee deeper into the fabric.
  2. Create a cleaning solution. Mix a solution using equal parts of cold water and white vinegar. Alternatively, you can create a mixture of mild dish soap and cold water. Both solutions are non-toxic and effective at breaking down coffee stains.
  3. Test in an inconspicuous area. Before applying the cleaning solution to the stained area, test it in an inconspicuous spot on the upholstery to ensure it doesn’t cause any color fading or damage.
  4. Blot and lift. Dip a clean cloth into the cleaning solution and gently blot the coffee stain. Work from the outside of the stain towards the center to prevent spreading. As you blot, you’ll notice the stain transferring from the upholstery to the cloth.
  5. Let sit. If the stain is particularly stubborn, or if the coffee spilled had creamer or other dairy products in it, the vinegar solution will still work, but it will take longer. After the first blotting, you may need to reapply the solution and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting again.
  6. Rinse and repeat. After several rounds of blotting, rinse the area with cold water using a damp cloth to remove any cleaning solution residue. Blot the area with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture. If the stain persists, repeat the process until it fades.
  7. Allow to air-dry. Once the stain is gone, allow the upholstery to air-dry naturally. Keep the area well-ventilated to speed up the drying process.
  8. Fluff and restore. After the upholstery is dry, gently fluff and restore the fabric’s texture using a soft brush.

Removing coffee stains from upholstery doesn’t have to involve harsh chemicals or toxic cleaners. With non-toxic solutions like vinegar or mild dish soap, you can effectively tackle coffee stains while being mindful of the environment. Remember, prompt action and gentle blotting are key to successful stain removal. By following these steps, you can preserve the beauty of your upholstery and enjoy your favorite beverages worry-free!