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 For most wood floors, this is outdated advice.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 This is another bit of outdated advice.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



 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.

Happy Thanksgiving from Your Friends at Five Step!

The weather is turning chilly here in western NC, and we’re looking forward to hunkering down for a cozy winter in these mountains. But first, we’re going to kick off the holiday season with some delicious food and time well spent with family and friends.

So happy Thanksgiving to all of our customers, staff, and friends! We have so much to be thankful for this year. We get to live and do business in an amazing community, full of friendly people, vibrant culture, and beautiful mountain scenery. We get to work with some of the best people on earth. And we get to do something something we’re good at that improves our clients’ lives.

So here’s to all the blessings of a life well lived, and wonderful people to share them with. We hope you are all spending the holidays warm, safe, and in the company of those you love. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, and here’s to a week of delicious leftovers!


How to Disinfect Upholstery

disinfect upholstery

The topic of upholstery sanitization rarely crosses anyone’s mind, but there are all types of reasons why you might want to know how to disinfect upholstery. Upholstery is fabric, and fabric can harbor hidden health hazards, like mold and bacteria. So if you have an old couch that’s been sitting in your basement for a few years, or you just recently purchased some antique chairs from a yard sale, you may be interested in removing those microscopic health hazards.

Luckily, disinfecting upholstery is not as difficult as you might think.

Fabric-safe disinfectant sprays are available at your local supermarket and hardware store, and you can even whip up your own antibacterial, antifungal spray at home using eco-friendly ingredients. The only drawback is that these products may only sanitize the surface of your furniture. If you’re concerned about germs and mold spores hiding deep inside the stuffing, you are probably better off hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service. It all depends on how deep the contamination goes.

If you decide to DIY it, the first step is to choose a disinfecting spray. Check the instructions and cautions on the label of store-bought products to ensure they’re safe for fabrics. And just to be certain, perform a patch test on a small, unseen area of the upholstery. Allow the product to dry, then check for discoloration.

If there are no undesired effects, go ahead and spray your upholstery all over, following the label instructions. Leave seat cushions out with adequate airflow to ensure proper drying.

If you’d rather use an all-natural, eco-friendly cleaning solution, use equal parts vodka and water. No joke! The vodka both sanitizes and deodorizes, and will not damage fabrics. (Although you should still perform a patch test with any product, store-bought or homemade, just to be sure.)

If you’re worried about bacteria, mildew, mold, or viruses hiding deep inside the stuffing of your upholstered furniture, call on the services of a local professional for a thorough deep cleaning.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area, Five Step Carpet Care is a great choice. Give us a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today!




How to Get Dents Out of Rugs

how to get dents out of rugs

Have you ever rearranged your living room furniture only to find unsightly divots in your rugs? Not to worry! Dents left behind in your rugs by sofas, tables, and chairs can easily be erased with these few, easy steps. Here’s how to get dents out of rugs.

  1. Lay a damp towel over the dent.
  2. Run an iron over the towel on medium heat, checking periodically to see if the carpet fibers beneath have started to rise. The heat of the iron should gradually cause the fibers to spring back to their original shape.
  3. Leave the towel on top of the dent until completely dry.
  4. Finally, vacuum the affected area. The suction from the vacuum cleaner will pull the fibers up to their normal height.

This simple process should remove even the deepest divots from your carpet or rug. If you find that you need additional help to make your carpets look brand new, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today. We offer a full range of effective, sustainable, and friendly floor cleaning services, and we love nothing more than making our customers happy!



Debunking Top Tile and Grout Myths

If you have tile floors in your home, you want to keep them looking bright and shiny, and prevent the grout from yellowing over time. In pursuit of clean tile floors, you may have run into some questionable maintenance advice.

As Western North Carolina’s top tile and grout cleaning experts, we’ve seen and heard plenty of horror stories about damage caused by these common tile cleaning mistakes. Don’t fall victim to these top tile and grout cleaning myths!


  1. All you have to do is mop it! Of course, regular mopping is essential to keeping tile floors clean, but to keep them looking their best in the long term, a little more maintenance is required. Periodic deep cleaning can prevent grout from becoming yellowed or old-looking.
  1. Acid cleaners are best for cleaning tile and grout. Acid-based cleaning agents are great at cutting through years of caked-on dirt and grime. The problem is they are also great at corroding tile and grout. If you do choose to use an acid-based cleaner, make sure it is in a very low concentration and that you rinse it off quickly, before it has a chance to eat away at your tile.
  1. Abrasive brushes and powders are the way to go. Wire brushes and scouring powders are another thing that’s very effective at removing dirt, but can also damage your tile and grout. Using these materials, you run the risk of scratching the tile surface or creating minute holes in grout, where adulterating particles can seep in.
  1. Sealed grout doesn’t need maintenance. Sealants can go a long way toward protecting grout, but even sealed grout requires periodic maintenance.
  1. Just soak it in soapy water. Soap molecules can actually settle into the tiny surface holes in grout and attract dirt and grime. In addition, certain types of soap can create a veneer of “soap scum” on your tiles that can be difficult to remove.
  1. Bleach is safe for use on tile and grout. Never use bleach or bleach-based cleaning agents on tile and grout. Over time, bleach causes deterioration of grout, and it can also damage the shiny glazed surface of many types of tile.

 That about covers it! If you are in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for top-notch tile and grout cleaning professionals, look no further than Five Step! For more information, drop us a line or give us a call at 828.231-3237.

Best of the Five Step Blog – DIY Edition

We’ve published some great how-to articles over the years. It is always our goal to help our customers, even if the best help we can offer is to tell them how to complete a small project on their own. In fact, we’ve written on many diverse How-To topics, such as ‘how to get poop off carpet’ and ‘how to get a bad smell out of a wool rug’!

So we thought it would be neat to curate some of our very best How-To articles into a single post to help all the DIY-ers out there with their flooring and upholstery projects. Below are our top eight.

Click the image to view the full article!


how to clean a fabric couch








We hope this helps you in all your DIY flooring and upholstery endeavors. But if you get stuck, or just decide you don’t have the time or energy to go it alone, don’t hesitate to give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 (or drop us a line via our contact form.) We’ll be happy to help!