Monthly Archives: August 2014

Stop! You might be ruining your hardwood floors!

Many people choose to install hardwood floors in their home so they don’t have to deal with the hassle of carpet maintenance. Well, maintaining hardwood floors is no walk in the park either. In fact, there are many things you are probably doing that is actually ruining your beautiful hardwood floors. Fortunately, Orlando cleaning services can save your floors. If you learn how to better maintain your floor yourself, it will last much longer. Learn how to better maintain your hardwood floor.

Welcome mat

Because hardwood floors don’t get dirty as easily as carpet, many people don’t put a welcome mat by the front door.  Can you imagine having sandpaper on the bottom of your shoes? Walking directly from the street onto your hardwood floor feels almost the same as that. A couple wipes of your shoes onto the mat can save the appearance of your floor.

Throw rugs

Not only are they stylish, but throw rugs prevent scraping on your hardwood floors from your furniture. While throw rugs are a great solution, in reality they can be pesky. The lack of friction against the hardwood floors causes them to constantly slip and slide around. In an attempt to prevent this, you probably used double sided tape. Bad idea. The tape can ruin the finish of your gorgeous hardwood floors. Use a rug pad made made from natural materials instead.

Keep the outdoors outside

People make the mistake of letting water drip all over their hardwood floors. In places where you keep the dog water bowl and plants, keep a rug or plastic tray underneath. Don’t let your kids run around the house soaking wet after swimming in the pool. Eventually this could lead to ugly water stains on your floors.

Floor cleaner

It can be hard choosing a type of cleaner for your floor. With hundreds to choose from, you probably just pick the cheapest one. Well, every type of finish requires a specific cleaner. If you use the wrong one, you could cause permanent damage to the finish. Using cleaners with a lot of chemicals in it can build up over time. Even for short term maintenance make sure you are using the correct products.

Pet pedicures

Cutting your dog or cat’s nails yourself can be a pain, especially if your pet misbehaves. This means that you have a professional do the job for you. Because of busy schedules, many people will put this off thinking it’s not too important. Well, the life of your hardwood floor depends on it. Pet’s nails will create scratches on your floors. Make sure you are cutting your pet’s nails on a regular basis.

To ensure your hardwood floors are cleaned properly, contact Orlando cleaning services. Perfect Pear can effectively clean the hardwood floor in every room of your house at an affordable rate. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your floors professionally cleaned today. Contact Orlando cleaning services at 407.688.2121.

Which is Better: Laminate or Wood Flooring?

After buying a home, a homeowner needs to decide which type of flooring will best suit their family’s needs. They can spend hours considering the pros and cons of tile, carpeting, laminate, and hardwood flooring options. This tends to be a difficult decision for many home owners because, in addition to the cost of each option, each flooring type has positive and negative points to consider. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know which one is the best for your family’s long term needs. To help with the decision making process, here are some of the benefits and information about laminate and wood floors.

Laminate

The primary reason most people choose to put laminate flooring in their homes is because it is a more affordable option than wood floors. Installing laminate will cost approximately half of what it would cost to install hardwood flooring.

Another reason why people choose laminate floors is because it is easier to maintain than carpeting and hardwood. You no longer have to worry about vacuums throwing dust into the air and wet spills are easily cleaned without the fear of stains. Laminate floors also tend to be more durable. High traffic areas on carpets are easily noticed while on hardwood; high traffic areas can damage the wood.

There are many factors that should be considered when thinking about purchasing laminate flooring for your home. These include how long you intend to live in the home and whether you will really be able to enjoy laminate floors more in the long run.

When considering the long-term decision, it is important to keep n mind high-traffic areas. Laminate flooring in kitchens and under windows that receive constant sun tend to show wear faster than other areas in the home. When that happens, those pieces need to be replaced to keep the floor looking like new. To avoid a search for flooring that matches yours in the future, remember to buy extra boards. This way, you have replacement boards on hand when it comes time to replace the damaged pieces.

Natural Wood

If money is not an issue, many home owners opt for real hardwood flooring. This is because the look of natural wood is much more beautiful than that of laminate flooring. Also, hardwood helps increase the value of your property more than laminate floors can.

Remember that there is more to the cost of natural wood flooring than the initial cost of instillation. Hardwood is also costly to maintain. In theory, repairing damaged or high-traffic areas of a wood floor is easy. All you have to do is sand away the damage and refinish the floor. Without proper experience, you can seriously damage your floors. It is recommended that you hire a professional contractor that can do this without accidentally destroying the wood paneling.

No matter the type of flooring you choose for your home, everything needs to be properly cleaned to ensure a long life. The Orlando carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear are great because they offer expert cleaning services at an affordable rate. For more information on carpet cleaning Orlando, FL, contact 407.688.2121.

DIY Upholstery Cleaning

As much as you love your dogs and cats, they aren’t always the cleanest animals. This is especially true if you adopt them from the pound. It’s a nice feeling to save the life of an animal, but you don’t want Fido bringing home fleas. There are many products on the market that claim to get rid of fleas. Unfortunately, many aren’t strong enough to effectively kill an infestation. There is a homemade concoction using only a few ingredients that is guaranteed to keep your home flea free.

Ingredients:

  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • A few drops of lavender and thyme essential oil (optional)

Combine all your ingredients in the mixing bowl and use a whisk to properly blend them together. The drops of essential oil are to leave your upholstery smelling good. Of course the fragrance is optional, but if you’re cleaning the house anyway, you may as well make it smell good.

Once all the ingredients are mixed together, sprinkle a dash on all your mattresses, dog beds, couches, chairs and throw rugs. Let the mixture sit on the surfaces for about an hour, then vacuum thoroughly. It will kill fleas, freshen up you home and even eliminate dust mites.

If you have a large infestation that is taking over your home, use only the Borax and sprinkle it everywhere. Place Borax on your carpet, curtains, cages and corners. Essentially, it should go anywhere your dog or cat has been.

The chemicals are extremely effective in killing fleas because they dehydrate the critters by creating cuts in their exoskeleton. As effective as Borax is, it doesn’t prevent eggs from hatching. You will have to cover your home in the chemicals multiple times to kill all of them.

In large infestation cases, allow the Borax to sit for about 12 hours before vacuuming up. As soon as you see any signs of more fleas, immediately sprinkle more Borax. You can’t risk more eggs being layed in your home.

Be Forewarned:

Remember Borax has chemicals in it, so there are risks to this cleaning method. Fortunately, Borax is much safer than other cleaning products so there is a bit less to worry about.

Don’t use if you are pregnant. There is no direct studies claiming that it is bad for pregnancy, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Either lock your animals up or take them outside of your home. The Borax powder can cause potentially fatal problems for small kittens and puppies. You should also get your kids out of the house.

This one may be kind of obvious, but keep it away from food. Borax has chemicals in it that could kill you if ingested.

Make sure that all your upholstery is dry before using Borax on it. If there is even a little dampness, the Borax can ruin the material and cause discoloration.

The most important thing to make note of: Do not put it directly on your pets. If your pets have fleas, take them to the vet to get treated. This cleaning method is for upholstery only.

Even after the fleas are gone, it is recommended that you sprinkle your home with the Borax mixture once every few months. It will keep your home fresh and even kills other insects such as ants and bed bugs.

If the Borax is not working, you may have to seek professional help. The Orlando carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear follow an intense five step cleaning process to ensure your furniture is sufficiently clean. For more information about Orlando upholstery cleaning, contact 407.688.2121.

Why You Should Keep Your Carpet Clean

In the average day, it can feel like the onslaught of responsibility never ends. Between the work place, children, and major home maintenance, it can be difficult to remember small things like dirt and bacteria.

Even with a daily vacuuming habit, your carpets can accumulate large deposits of dust, allergens, bacteria, and mold. These tiny particles can create a wide spectrum of problems in your home if they are not addressed with a regular cleaning.

Health

The most important reason to maintain a clean carpet is the health of your family. There are bacteria that can enter your home from a variety of carriers such as mud tracks, pets, and even airborne particles. These bacteria can cause deeply penetrating odors and tend to lead to the development of sickness in the home.

  1. Getting your carpets cleaned in a timely manner eliminates trapped pollutants A dirty carpet can retain particles like pet dander, lead, and cockroach allergens. Every day traffic and maintenance releases these particles to contaminate the air in your home.
  2. Regular carpet cleaning can get rid of dust mite infestations if they exist. Since these creatures are microscopic, most homeowners aren’t aware of the infestation. These infestations result in the release of dust mite feces and body fragments into the air which tends to exacerbate allergies.
  3. Most importantly, keeping your carpets clean helps prevent mold growth. Ditry carpets in high humidity areas are at a high risk of developing mold growth. Mold growth in the home can lead to the development of several serious fungal and viral diseases that can be difficult to detect until it’s too late.

Unfortunately, many carpet cleaners contain high amounts of toxic chemicals. In addition to possibly harming your family and pets, these harsh chemical concoctions can cause increased damage and wear to your carpets.

This damage to your health and home can be avoided with carpet cleaning products that are environmentally safe. The organic compounds used in these types of products can help keep your carpets clean and your family healthy. They also follow a movement that considers the health of future generations.

There is a wide array of sicknesses and allergies that can be avoided by having your carpets cleaned at regular intervals. By vacuuming three times and week and shampooing at least once a year, you help reduce the occurrence of allergy attacks, asthma, and the common cold.

Comfort

In addition to health benefits, clean carpets make you feel comfortable.  The clean look, the fresh smell, and the soft feel are all factors that help you to feel relaxed when you return home from a long day. Although it is not as high a priority as promoting good family health, being comfortable in your home is a feeling that should not be ingored.

Keep your home fresh with the help of a professional cleaner. The Orlando carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear offer cleaning services at an affordable rate. It’s best to get your carpet cleaned by a professional at least once every 18 months. Your carpet will look good and last longer. For more information about carpet cleaning services, contact 407.688.2121.

How to Grout Tiles

When you are designing your kitchen or bathroom with new tile,  grout will be the finishing piece to your newly designed puzzle. Many people assume that tile grouting is hard, but with the right tools, it’s actually a fairly simple DIY job. Follow the process step-by-step and the tile will look like a professional did it.

The tools you will need for the job:

  • Grout
  • Plastic spreader
  • Squeegee
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Cloth
  • Pliers
  • Scraper

Step 1: Remove plastic spacers

After about 24 hours of letting the tile adhesive dry, remove any excess adhesive. Next, you have to remove the plastic tile spacers, which will require pliers. The scraper will work well to remove any adhesive left on the new tile surface.

Step 2: Spread the grout

Take a chunk of grout about the size of a golf ball and spread it over the surface. Either the grout spreader or squeegee can be used to spread it around. Hold the tool at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Move the grout in a diagonal motion across the tile.

Step 3: Work the grout into the tile gaps

Cover about one square meter of tile at a time when you are working the grout into the gaps. Double check the drying time on the package to ensure you are allowing it to set long enough. Before it dries, use a damp sponge to remove the excess grout. Rinse it off as you use it to ensure only clean water is used. Hold sponge at a right angle and lightly spread across each tile.

Step 4: Clean up excess grout

As you continue to grout the entire area of the room, remember to remove any excess grout. If it doesn’t get removed right away, the grout will dry in places that you don’t want it to. Once it has dried, it can be hard to remove.

Grouting tips

New forms of grouting are much more affordable then before. It allows you to transform your bathroom or kitchen for a low price.

Powered grout removers, found at any hardware store, can make the grouting process much quicker. Many people choose to replace the tile grout because it is old and stained. However, there are some cases that black mold could grow from it. To ensure this doesn’t happen with your new grout, use a grout that contains a fungicide.

Grout is sold in stores either as a powder or ready-mixed. Either way can be effective as long as it’s water-proof. If you are using the powder, avoid adding excess water to the grout mixture. Though it spreads more easily, the grout won’t be as strong. Also, make enough to cover the entire floor or wall. Avoid mixing old grout with the new grout.

Use a piece of dowel to make a neater job of wider grout lines. Before the grout sets, drag the dowel across the tile.

Once the grout is completely set, the room is finished. It is important that you maintain the grout to avoid having to redo it so soon. The carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear can effectively clean all types of tile and grout. For more information about Orlando grout cleaning, contact 407.688.2121.

Make Your Own Grout Cleaner

As much as we all may try, keeping grout looking like new can feel like an impossible feat. The porous surface inevitably absorbs tiny dirt particles left behind by daily living, regardless of how often you clean your floors, shower walls and countertops. These homemade cleaning solutions can help make the most of your scrubbing efforts, eliminating pesky grout stains once and for all.

Recipe #1

If strength is a major concern, skip this recipe because this is the mildest of all the grout solutions outlined. It’s included on this list because it can be used on all tile surfaces.

  • 3 parts of baking soda
  • 1 part of water

Mix the water and baking soda into a paste and apply to the dirty grout. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and rinse clean. Scrub before rinsing for particularly stubborn areas.

Recipe #2

This recipe is acidic and should not be used on marble, limestone or travertine tile.

  • Dawn dish soap
  • White vinegar

Mix all the ingredients in a small container in equal parts and spray onto grout. Increase the strength of this homemade cleaner by heating the water in the microwave for 60 seconds before adding the soap. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, scrub, rinse with warm water and wipe clean.

Recipe #3

The alkaline ammonia used here makes this recipe stronger, so remember to ventilate the area you are cleaning. Also, do not use this solution on marble, limestone or travertine tile.

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup ammonia
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

Mix the ingredients and apply the cleaner to dirty grout. Let it sit for about 20 minutes then scrub. The increased strength of this recipe should clean tough grout stains.

Recipe #4

Only use this recipe on white or light colored grout.

  • ¼ cup bleach
  • ¾ cup baking soda

Mix the ingredients and apply the solution to grout. You can add water if you would like to dilute the strength of the bleach. Remember, the longer the solution sits, the more the grout is bleached. Use your own discretion to determine how long you’d like the solution to sit.

Recipe #5

Here is a homemade grout cleaner that is made with all natural ingredients. It may be ideal if you prefer to keep harsh chemicals away from your family. Even though the ingredients are natural, it is still an acidic solution so don’t use it on the same aforementioned surfaces.

  • Lemons
  • Baking soda

Mix lemon juice and baking soda to create a paste and apply it to grout. Let it sit, scrub and rinse with warm water.

Recipe #6

Mildew can be a particularly frustrating issue to eradicate. This is a great recipe to use for that problem, but be careful on colored grouts, marble, limestone and travertine.

  • ¼ cup bleach
  • ¼ cup alcohol
  • 1 cup water

Mix the solution and apply to grout with stubborn mildew. The bleach kills the mildew and the alcohol disinfects the area. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, scrub and rinse with soap and water. Again, remember not to let the solution dry out.

If finding the time to maintain clean grout is a hassle, the Orlando carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear offer cleaning services at an affordable rate. For more information about carpet cleaning services, contact 407.688.2121.

Oriental Rugs: Part Of The Family

Think for a moment about just how integral a part of your life your rugs are. Your children play on board games them, your animals warm their bellies on them and maybe you lounge on them with your family. These ornately decorated rugs also tend to be passed down from generation to generation, because they are made with such high quality textiles. Without intending to, they develop sentimental value and become a token of your family’s heritage.

Surprisingly, hand-knotted Oriental rugs are the only pieces of furniture that don’t depreciate in value over time. The longer you properly maintain an oriental rug, the more valuable they become. That means caring for your rugs should rank priority over couches and tables that get old, outdated and eventually replaced.

Maintaining Your Oriental Rug

Proper cleaning and maintenance is very important to ensure your home accents remain a part of your house for as long as possible. It’s recommended you professionally clean your oriental rug every three years in order to maintain the rug’s value, luster and appearance intact.

Here are a few DIY tips to help prevent your beloved rug from premature damage.

  1. Avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight damages the fine fibers of the rug by causing them to fade. This is especially true for antique rugs with colors made of natural substances.
  2. Rotate it frequently. If the rug does get direct sunlight, rotate it at least once a month to prevent uneven discoloration. If it is not in direct sunlight, rotate the rug about four times a year to promote even wear from foot traffic.
  3. Vacuum regularly. Vacuuming the top and underside of your rug will keep it clean and can prevent the natural fibers from becoming packed down. If your rug is an antique, consider turning off the beater bar of your vacuum to avoid creating a run or tear by accidentally catching loose fibers. Remember to delicately vacuum the tassels as well if your rug came with them.
  4. Use a carpet pad or cushion. Placing carpet pads underneath your valuable rug can help protect it from wear, tear and fading.
  5. Keep it dry. Excess moisture and wetness can permanently damage a rug. If it does get wet, take immediate action to dry the rug with a fan or wet vacuum as quickly as possible.
  6. Clean up quickly. Most accidental spills can be handled with a microfiber cloth, club soda and a gentle blotting motion. The key is to clean the mess up as quickly as possible.
  7. Take it to a professional. A professional antique Oriental rug care specialist can have your rug re-fringed, over-rounded or rewoven to extend its life.

If properly cared for, your Oriental rug will remain a part of your family for many years to come.

For major carpet cleaning jobs, you should seek the help of a professional cleaner. Fortunately, the Orlando carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear offer cleaning services at an affordable rate and understand the value of your antique family friend. You can trust your carpet will look good and last longer with this carpet cleaning service. For more information, contact 407.688.2121.

DIY Carpet Cleaning

No matter what season, it’s a good idea to take a day to deep clean your house. While it can be very overwhelming to decide where to begin, many people consider carpet cleaning their top priority. Over the course of the year, your carpet can really take a toll. Between children, pets and spills, your carpet won’t be as clean as it should be. It’s not as hard as you might think it is to clean your carpets effectively, so follow these do-it-yourself cleaning tips to make your carpet look brand new again.

Different Cleaning Solutions

There are two different cleaning solutions. One works well for getting rid of individual spots, while the other works great over the entire carpet. It always good to start by tackling the individual spots first, then finish with the entire carpet. Remember to clean your carpet during the daytime, as you need as much light as possible to ensure you won’t miss any spots. It’s best to do an initial walk through of your house and mark each spot with a Post-It note, to make sure you won’t miss any.

Once every spot is found on the carpet, it’s time to mix your cleaning solution. You only need two ingredients: white vinegar and baking soda. The good thing about this cleaning solution is that you probably already have the ingredients hidden in your pantry. For the best results, you have to apply the ingredients in the proper order: vinegar then baking soda. Pour a few drops of vinegar over the spot, then sprinkle on a bit of baking soda. The vinegar will soften up the dirt, while the baking soda will lift it out of the carpet and diminish the smell. The two ingredients work as a team to get every last bit of dirt out of your carpet. Let the mixture sit on your carpet for about 30 minutes, then blot up the stain or let it dry on its own. Once the area is completely dry, vacuum to get the last bits of dirt.

Full Carpet Clean

After every spot has been treated, it’s time to freshen up the entire carpet. Again it only takes two ingredients, but this time you will be using vinegar and water. Add the mixture into a steam cleaner, which is an efficient way to clean every room of your house. Vinegar is great for cleaning, because it doesn’t leave behind residue and brightens up every surface. Many commercial cleaning products are mixed with various chemicals, which can result in sticky residue on your carpet that can actual attract more dirt. After cleaning the entire house with the vinegar solution, it may have a faint pickle smell, which should go away once the carpet dries.

For major carpet cleaning jobs, you should seek the help of a professional cleaner. Fortunately, the Orlando carpet cleaners at Perfect Pear offer cleaning services at an affordable rate. It’s best to get your carpet cleaned by a professional at least once every 18 months. Your carpet will look good and last longer. For more information about carpet cleaning services, contact 407.688.2121.

Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Before cleaning your hardwood floors, you need to determine the type of finish that is used. Cleaning it with water and a mop could ruin your hardwood floors, depending on the type of finish. The majority of hardwood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic, which are both stain and water-damage resistant. This is the easiest type of hardwood floor to clean. Simply sweep up the dust, then mop up the floor using a simple solution of soap and water.

The second most common type of finish is a penetrating seal, or oil finish that soaks into the wood grain. This type of floor will be ruined if you use water to clean it. In order to properly protect this type of hardwood floor, you need to use a liquid or paste wax. Although uncommon, your hardwood floor could be done with lacquered, varnished or shellacked finish. Some floors are even untreated, which are not resistant to moisture and should be protected with either a liquid or paste wax.

You may not be sure what type of finish your hardwood floor has. To determine what it is, simply rub your finger across the floor. If there is no smudge, the floor is sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic. If you do create a smudge, the floor is finished with a penetrating seal or an oil based finish.

If you have a surface-sealed hardwood floor, there are some do’s and don’ts to follow to ensure you don’t ruin the floor.

Don’t use oils, waxes or furniture sprays

Oils will leave a residue on your hardwood floor, furniture spray will make the surface slippery and wax needs to be applied in a certain way to be effective. It can take a lot of time and makes re-coating very difficult.

Don’t use straight ammonia, alkaline or abrasive cleaners

This can ruin the surface of your floor, and can cause the color to dull. Even worse, these products can leave scratches on your floor.

Do use soap and water

There are specific floor-cleaning products that are made for this type of finish. However, they can get very costly. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on cleaning, you can always mix a few drops of pH-neutral soap with water. It won’t leave any residue and will effectively clean the floor for almost no money.

Don’t rely on water alone

Mopping with water alone will not get rid of the dirt on the floor. In fact, it might even spread the dirt across the floor causing it to look even worse.

It is important that you maintain your hardwood floors, especially in high-traffic areas like the kitchen or dining room. You should sweep daily to avoid the dirt building up, and mopping at least once a week will ensure your floors stay clean.

For the most effective wood floor cleaning, contact a professional at Perfect Pear. The professional cleaners will restore your wood floors making them look brand new. As a result, your hardwood floors will look better and last longer. For more information about cleaning services in Orlando, contact 407.688.2121.