How to Clean a Hardwood Floor

One of our specialties is the deep cleaning of hardwood floors. Over the years, we’ve cleaned thousands of wood floors, restoring beauty and luster to even the most hopeless of cases.

But as miraculous as the results can be, you still need maintenance care in between your professional cleanings in order to protect your wood floor. Our clients often ask our opinion about the best way to keep their wood floors looking clean and beautiful, so here are some tips.

  1. Before cleaning, remove dirt, debris, dust, and pet hair from the floor with a dust mop or the floor brush attachment of your vacuum. Do this weekly or as needed, and avoid using a broom with very coarse bristles, as it may damage your floor!
  2. Once or twice a month, clean the floor using a liquid cleaner or oil soap specially formulated for hardwood floors. Follow the instructions on the container and make sure to dilute with water so as not to leave a sticky or filmy residue behind.
  3. Use a bucket to mix your cleaning solution and a sponge mop to clean the hardwood floor, wringing out the mop after each dip in the solution to ensure the floors do not get too wet. Once the entire area has been mopped with the cleaner, rinse the mop thoroughly and wet-mop the floor with clear water.
  4. Leaving your hardwood floor damp may damage it, so make sure to dry the floor thoroughly using a dry towel.
  5. Prevent scratches in your floor by providing interior and exterior doormats and using protective pads or discs on the feet of tables, chairs, and sofas.

And there you have it! Follow these simple steps and your hardwood floors will stay bright and lustrous between deep cleanings.

If you live in the Asheville area, give us a call at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form today to schedule your wood floor cleaning! (And yes, we clean pine and laminate floors, too!)

How to Clean a Fabric Couch

how to clean a fabric couch

There’s nothing like sinking into a comfy couch to watch your favorite show or read a good book after a long day of work. But after a couple of years of use, the upholstery on your comfy couch can start to feel not-so-comfy. Over time, the fabric collects spills, dirt, oil from your skin, and pet dander, leaving it looking—and feeling—grimy. Luckily, if the damage hasn’t gone too far, it’s a fairly simple DIY matter to clean a fabric couch. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Vacuum first. Thoroughly vacuum the cushions, arms, and back of the couch, and don’t forget to remove the cushions and vacuum underneath to get rid of crumbs and dirt that might be hiding there.
  2. Stain removal. Most types of fabric upholstery (both cotton and synthetic) can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water. Use one part vinegar to three parts warm water, and squeeze a small amount of dish soap into the mixture. Dab the mixture onto the stains, or mist the area with a spray bottle. Use a clean cloth or towel to wipe the stain until it lifts, then rinse the towel and dab the area to remove any soap residue. Pat dry. (Note that this method might not work for certain types of stains, like ink, or for stains that have set for a long time. If you have stains that won’t come out with vinegar and water, your best bet is to call Five Step! We’ll get the stains out in no time.)
  3. Allow for drying time. Once you’ve patted all of the excess moisture out of the upholstery, allow the couch to air dry for 3-4 hours. You can direct the airflow of a fan toward the couch to speed up the process, or if you live in a very humid climate.

The above method works great for periodic maintenance of your cloth-upholstered furniture, but it’s intended to spot clean stained areas, and not the whole couch! Your fabric couch will still benefit from professional upholstery cleaning on occasion, to deep clean it and make it look like new.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are in need of top-notch upholstery cleaning services, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form today!

How to Sanitize Upholstered Furniture

Have an old sofa that’s been sitting in your basement for a decade? Or maybe you recently purchased a set of antique upholstered chairs from a yard sale? Maybe you’re worried that the fabric might be harboring hidden mold and bacteria. Not to worry! It is possible to sanitize upholstered furniture, and it’s not as difficult as you might think!

Disinfecting fabric is actually quite simple. There are many disinfectant sprays on the market that are safe to use on fabrics, and you can even whip up your own antibacterial, antifungal spray at home using eco-friendly ingredients. However, these products may only work to sanitize the surface of your upholstered furniture. For deep cleaning that tackles hidden health hazards inside stuffing and cushions, you are probably better off hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service. It just depends on how deep the contamination goes.

If you’re going the DIY route, the first thing you’ll want to do is to choose a disinfecting spray. Check the instructions and cautions on the label of any store-bought product you choose to make sure it’s safe for use on fabrics. And just to be certain, test a small area on the back of a seat cushion or somewhere that will remain hidden from sight. Allow the product to dry and make sure it doesn’t result in discoloration or any other undesired affects.

If everything looks good, you can go ahead and spray your upholstered furniture all over with the disinfectant. Leave seat cushions out so that the air will circulate around them, helping the product to dry adequately.

For an all-natural, eco-friendly spray, use equal parts vodka and water. Seriously! The vodka both sanitizes and deodorizes, and will not damage fabrics. (Again, if you want to be extra sure, just spray a test area before you proceed with cleaning the rest of the upholstery.) You can even add natural fragrances—a drop or two of lemon, lavender, or peppermint oil works well–to make your spray smell great.

If you’re concerned that there might be bacteria, viruses, mold, or mildew hiding deep inside the stuffing or seat cushions of your upholstered furniture, you’ll want to hire a professional for a thorough deep cleaning.

In the Asheville, NC area, Five Step Carpet Care is your number one source for upholstery cleaning and disinfecting. Give us a call at 828.237.3237 or use our contact form to get in touch today!

 

 

How to Clean Woven Grass Rugs

Are you scratching your head trying to figure out how to clean your woven grass rug? Obviously you can’t throw it in the washing machine or use a regular carpet cleaner on it. And most spot cleaning products on the market are intended for cotton, wool, or synthetic fiber rugs. So how do you clean one that’s made of grass?

Rugs made of woven grass are more commonly referred to as “sisal” or “seagrass” rugs. They are among the simplest types of rugs to maintain because they are made with dried vegetation that does not attract dust and is impervious to bacterial growth. For the most part, just regular vacuuming is enough to keep sisal and seagrass rugs looking great for years.

But what about spills and stains? Most types of stains on sisal and seagrass rugs can be spot cleaned fairly easily at home, using these DIY instructions:

  1. Immediately blot the spill with paper towels or a clean white cloth. Try to remove as much moisture as you can before moving on to step 2.
  2. Dilute a PH-neutral detergent with room temperature water. Gently brush the rug fibers without allowing them to become fully saturated.
  3. Blot away the moisture with paper towels or a clean white cloth.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.
  5. Hang the rug in the sun to dry, or use a blow dryer to quickly evaporate any remaining moisture.

If this DIY method doesn’t work for you, or if you are unsure about the type of stain you’re dealing with, you might want to seek help from a professional.

Five Step Carpet Care offers a sisal rug cleaning service in the Asheville area of western North Carolina. If you’re in the area, give us a call at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form today!

How to Clean a Futon Mattress

Wondering how to clean a futon mattress? Or how about maintaining your futon mattress to keep it looking clean, smelling fresh, and to extend its usefulness?

Futons are a great, versatile furniture choice, especially for tight spaces and multi-purpose rooms. Because many people use their futons both as sofas and beds, they can get dirty and worn more quickly than other pieces of furniture. Use these six simple steps to get your futon mattress clean and keep it that way! 

Photo by Filios Sazeides

  1. Rotate regularly- Rotating your futon mattress helps keep from collecting dust and cobwebs on the bottom. It also prevents the mattress from becoming misshapen from overuse on one side. You should turn your futon mattress over about once a month to extend its life.
  2. Freshen- Once every two or three months, take the cover or bedding off of the futon mattress and allow it to air out, using fans for extra air circulation. You can also deodorize your mattress at this time by sprinkling baking soda on the surface, letting it sit for an hour, and then vacuuming.
  3. Vacuum- To give your mattress a thorough cleaning, start by rotating and/or airing it out, then vacuum it to remove lint, dead skin, and pet hair.
  4. Spot Clean- If you have an accidental spill and get a stain on your futon mattress, try to tackle it quickly—before the stain dries, if possible. You can use a small bowl of water with just a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap to remove most types of stains. After the stain is removed, be sure to sponge the area with clear water to get rid of any soap residue. Then blot dry with a clean cloth or towel.
  5. Clean and Maintain the Frame- Your futon frame may be made of wood or metal. Either way, to keep your futon looking its best, you should dust the frame every month or so, paying special attention to the parts beneath the futon mattress, where cobwebs and dust bunnies tend to gather. Take the time to tighten any loose screws while you’re at it. If you have a wooden frame, you might want to oil the wood.
  6. Protect Your Futon Mattress- The best investment you can make to extend the life of your futon mattress is to purchase a quality futon cover. Keeping the mattress covered will prevent dirt, crumbs, and spills from reaching the mattress itself. Futon covers are thick and durable, and they zipper up one side to make taking them off and putting them back on easy. They are usually machine washable. You should launder your futon cover about once a month if you use the futon frequently.
  7. Professional Cleaning- If your futon mattress has stains that won’t come out with regular spot cleaning, or if it has been sitting for awhile in a dank or musty environment, you might want to consider having it professionally cleaned. A professional upholstery cleaner will come to your home and clean the futon for you. With their specialized equipment, they are sure to get it much cleaner than you could do yourself.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are in need of friendly, professional upholstery cleaners for your futon or any other furniture, call Five Step Carpet Care at 828.237.3237 today or get in touch using our contact form.