Recent Cleaning Posts

Oops! Top 5 Spring Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid!

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Sunny, warmer Spring days are upon us, which calls for a deep cleaning. Maybe it’s some deep-rooted aspect of human nature, preparing for the “hunting and gathering” of warmer days,  or maybe it’s that extra sunshine streaming in and making the dust and grime more noticeable.

Either way, you want to give your home that fresh, deep clean that only a true spring cleaning can inspire. Instead of a list of what you should do, today we are sharing what NOT to do.

Here are 5 spring cleaning mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 - DIY Cleaning Chemistry Projects

While there are many “DIY” cleaners that can be effective (like using rubbing alcohol on sticker adhesive on glass or to clean mirrors, grinding rice in your coffee grinder to remove old grounds and oils, or running ice through your garbage disposal), combining cleaning chemicals can be extremely dangerous, if not deadly.

Accidentally combining bleach and vinegar can produce chlorine gas; even at low levels of exposure, this toxic brew causes respiratory and eye irritation. Higher levels (say, for example mixing a bleaching scouring scrub with vinegar in a closed bathroom) can lead to chest pain, vomiting, and severe breathing difficulties.

Other toxic combinations include peroxide & vinegar, bleach and rubbing alcohol, and different brands of drain cleaners. As a general rule, combining any commercial cleaners or mixing ANYTHING with bleach is a bad idea. If the cleaner you are using isn’t effective, clear the item in question of any residue before trying another solution.

Mistake #2 - Scrubbing Away At Stains

When you find a spot on your carpet or upholstery, it’s tempting to scrub at it to try and remove it. This can actually work the stain deeper into the carpet or fabric, making it far more difficult to remove. Instead, blot the stain with an appropriate cleaning solution and a white rag or towel to remove any excess liquid.

Mistake #3 - Using Paper Towels to Clean and Dry Surfaces

No matter what the commercials may say, paper products will leave lint behind. Nothing is more frustrating than wiping a mirror or window clean only for the paper towel to leave little bits of fluff and lint behind.

Paper towels have a  rough surface that might scratch delicate glass, furniture, computers, and TV screens. Instead, opt for microfiber cloths;  they are more efficient at drying, they’re reusable, and they won’t leave lint behind. (You can find microfiber cloths in multi-packs in the automotive section at big box stores.)

Mistake #4 - Cleaning in the Wrong Order

Many people begin tackling cleaning a room by vacuuming the carpet or mopping the floor, when in fact this is the opposite of what should be done for best results. Consider what happens when you dust off the ceiling fan and furniture; any dust that doesn’t make it onto the rag floats down to whatever is below it, eventually landing on the floor.  

Consider starting at the top. Clean the ceiling fans and air registers, then work your way down from there. Clear cobwebs from the ceiling, corners, and walls, then furniture. Then wipe lower walls, doors, knobs, and light switches. Swipe the baseboards, and now you are ready to vacuum or mop.

Mistake #5 - Leaving Carpets and Rugs Too Wet When Cleaning

There are many home carpet cleaning machines on the market today that do a fairly decent job - if they are used correctly. Unfortunately, they often are not. Consumer-grade carpet cleaners use a hot water extraction method; hot water and cleaning solution are pumped into the carpet and then basically vacuumed out.

Many of these machines are underpowered. They must be used in a precise manner to pull water, dirt, and cleaning solution out. If the carpet is left too wet, it can cause a multitude of problems. It won’t get as clean as it could, excess cleaning solution becomes sticky and attracts dirt, the carpet stretches and warps, and you could potentially see mold or mildew growth.

If you do choose to use a DIY carpet cleaner, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning solution, and make several, slow passes over the entire area with just the extraction activated.

Leave It to the Pros

You can save yourself the time, effort, and potential for costly mistakes by hiring an expert cleaning and restoration team, like SERVPRO of Rutherford County. Our pros know the best methods for stain removal, carpet, and upholstery care. We can achieve that fresh spring clean when you don’t have the time, desire, or ability to do it yourself. Call us today to have us take care of your Symrna or Murfreesboro home!

3 Things to Clean for a Spring-Fresh Home

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

When the air begins to warm up and the smell of fresh new grass and flowers is beckoning, opening up the windows and airing out the house can let out the stagnant air and make your home feel fresher— but only for so long.

Today we will talk about 3 things you can clean (or have cleaned) to truly freshen up your house this spring.

Draperies, Blinds, and Curtains

When the house is closed up over the winter months, pet hair, dander, dust, mold, and even food smells can settle in. This contributes to a less-than-fresh smell to your home. But what happens when you draw those curtains to let the sun in and the breeze flow? Dust flies all over.

Take the time this spring to thoroughly wash or vacuum curtains and draperies and clean your blinds. Some curtains can be machine washed on a gentle cycle, but never put them in the dryer! Even the most basic, cotton-blend curtains can end up several inches shorter if heat dried. Be especially careful with lined curtains, as the lining fabric may shrink while the main fabric stays, turning your regular curtains into “balloon shades.”

Most non-fabric covered blinds can be removed, taken outside, scrubbed, and sprayed down with a hose and dish soap. Your best bet for drapery, blinds, and curtain cleaning is to call in experts. Professionals can dry clean your draperies in place. Your home doesn’t need to be left exposed without window coverings while your curtains get cleaned.

Upholstery and Carpet

Cleaning carpets and upholstery is another great way to really freshen up your house after a long winter, especially after holiday guests and late winter mud. Doing a deep, corner-to-corner, vacuuming under all the furniture helps, but dirt, dust, pet dander, and grimy oils can stick around. This leaves funky smells and dirty looking carpet.

Yes, your carpets will smell not-so-fresh if they are dirty, but when dirt gets settled deep down into the carpet fibers, the base of the carpet can get damaged and worn out before its time. The same goes for couches, chairs, upholstered ottomans, etc. Dirt and grime damage the fabric, taking years off the life of your furniture.

Carpet cleaners can be rented or purchased from home improvement and big box stores; they offer a varying degree of effectiveness. Be aware that home-grade carpet extractors may not have the suction power to remove all of the dirt— or the water they put down, which could potentially leave you with damp carpet and mud deep down in the fibers. Your best bet is to have your carpets and upholstery cleaned professionally. A professional cleaning company will have the tools to effectively deep clean your carpets and upholstery without damaging them.

Heating and Air Conditioning System and Ductwork

Dust, pollen, pet hair, even construction debris can find their way into your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). This makes your smell dusty, feel stuffy, and diminishes the air quality.

Your first step for improving the air in your home should be to replace or clean your air filters. These should be replaced regularly— as frequently as every 90 days for homes with pets and/or smokers. This is particularly the case if you have people with allergies living in your home.

Your next step should be to clean your air ducts. You can do this yourself in a limited capacity,  using a vacuum cleaner hose with a flexible hose attachment. Your best bet would be to have an expert check over the HVAC system and air ducts to evaluate the need for an air duct cleaning and make recommendations on other approaches to improving air quality.



In addition to spring cleaning the surfaces throughout your home, tackling these three areas will leave your home feeling and smelling spring-fresh! For all of your spring cleaning needs— including drapery, curtains, carpet and upholstery cleaning, HVAC systems cleaning and check-up, and duct cleaning— contact SERVPRO of Rutherford County.

Our cleaning and restoration experts are ready to help get your house smelling and looking fresh and clean.