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Archive for the ‘Carpet Cleaning’ Category

Vacuums designed for a man

I’ve been affiliated with the cleaning products industry for over 31 years. I own a cleaning products store in St Louis Missouri, and I’m married to a guy who used to be an executive with the Hoover Company. After much study, and analysis I’ve come to the conclusion that a vacuum designed for a man does not exist. Don’t get me wrong many men come into my retail store in St Louis. They ask about how much CFM the vacuum has, the water lift, the horse power, and how many amps the machine uses. Being a woman I think here’s a guy who’s really interested in vacuums. I politely answers his questions, and I show him how the machine works. I try to get him to try the machine, and with out fail they refuse to touch the vacuum. It’s almost like I’m putting a hot poker in their hands. They usually recoil in horror, and if they’re with the wife they tell her to try it. Usually with a statement like she’ll be the one using it. I find it some what odd that guys who ask such detailed engineering questions at least don’t want to try the vacuum out. If the man is alone he’ll possibly buy one, but he’ll mention it’s for his house keeper. I always like when a couple is looking at vacuums, and the wife finds one that meets her needs. It’s great when the husband then declares you don’t need one that good. I bet when he needs a tool for his job, a new fishing rod, or a shotgun he probably consults his wife before making the big purchase. I wonder if a manufacturer came out with a ride on vacuum with a built in TV, a can holder for your beer, and big oversized tires if guys would want to use these. It would have to have lots of horse power because men buy everything based on how much horse power a product has. I never understood the relationship between horse power, and accomplishing a task. I’ve come to the conclusion if you want to see a guy who pushes a vacuum you need to marry an executive from the Hoover Company otherwise you’re out of luck.


How to remove red wine from carpet

It’s happened to us as recently as this past New Years Eve. We hosted a small party this past New Years, and one of my best friends spilled a whole glass of red wine on my carpet. The look on her face was one of abject horror. She felt horrible, and immediately offered to pay to have our carpets cleaned. I reminded her I was Aunt Patti, and removing a red wine stain from a beige carpet would be a piece of cake. As my guests gathered around I got my trusty spotter ( Unbelievable Spotter) from under my kitchen sink. I first used absorbent rags to blot up as much of the wine as I could out of the carpet. I then sprayed the area with the Unbelievable Spotter, and agitated the carpet fiber with the back of a metal tablespoon. The wine started to release from the carpet, and I continued to blot it up pressing down on the spot with more absorbent rags. It took me approximately ten minutes to totally remove all the red wine from my carpet. I can honestly say Ask Aunt Patti gained 16 followers that night. Removing red wine from carpets is easy if you have the right product, and you understand the process. By having both I turned a awkward situation into a funny memory. Before you ask the answer is yes you can even remove old red wine stains from carpet. If you’d like to watch a short recreation I did on video you can click here. My husband has used the same process on the local Fox 2 television stations morning show. If you’d like to learn more about removing spots from carpeting, or would like to learn how to clean better, faster, and cheaper check out my web site


Buying a new vacuum

Buying a new vacuum can be a daunting task. So many choices, and so many manufacturers.  The first thing you need to ask yourself is; do I want a cheap disposable vacuum to get me by, or should I invest in a high quality vacuum. If you’re renting, or a student my vote would be to go with a disposable vacuum. The reason being it’s not your carpet. If you don’t remove the destructive gritty dirt that causes premature wearing of the carpet it’s not your carpet. A disposable vacuum today is anything purchased for under $200. Vacuums in this price range are sold at the big box discount stores. You’ll have to assemble it when you get it home, and don’t expect any help if it breaks. If you break a belt or need a filter you’ll want to purchase these items to keep it going. Anything major goes wrong with the vacuum throw it in the trash. It’s not worth putting money into these units.

Vacuums sold for over $200 tend to be a better quality. They will last longer, and remove more dirt out of your carpet. Try to buy a vacuum made in America if possible. I know it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do today. American made vacuums are Riccar, Simplicity, and good old Kirby. This is important if you need parts, or service. There are great vacuums made overseas but sometimes parts are an issue if they break. Miele is a high quality vacuum as is Bosch. The old standbys we grew up with Hoover, Eureka, Royal, Dirt Devil, and Bissell are all made in China, or Mexico. They have some good models that grade out well with Consumer Report, but the quality of workmanship has really slipped. Avoid any vacuum sold on the internet, or with an unfamiliar name. History is full of vacuum companies that were here today, and gone tomorrow. Can you say Phantom, Regina, GE, Whirlpool, and many others that tried their hand at vacuums. The Dyson is made in Malaysia, and I’m not a big fan of any of their machines. They seem to put all the emphasis on the advertising, and promotion of the machine. The combination of the English accent, and hitting all the hot buttons with consumers has them lining up in droves to purchase their machines. Satisfaction after you buy is often a different story. If you ever need to get it repaired, or buy filters for it bring a big wallet.

The type of vacuum you buy is a personal choice. Uprights, and canister vacuums will both do a good job. I find if you grew up using a certain style of vacuum you’ll probably stay with that style. A home with all hard surface floors, and no carpet is probably the perfect venue for a straight suction canister vacuum. You don’t need the rotating agitator because the dirt is right there on the surface. Dirt works it’s way into the carpet, and requires a revolving agitator to bring it to the surface. A little demonstration you can do to see if the vacuum you’re interested in or currently own will do this is to take sand and rub it into an area of the carpet until it disappears. This is the kind of dirt tracked into your home on the bottom of your shoes. Get your vacuum, turn it on and stop the vacuum just in front of the area you poured the sand into the carpet. You should see the sand coming to the surface from the bottom of the carpet. If you don’t the vacuum you have or are considering will only surface clean the carpet. It’s okay if you’re renting, and it’s not your carpet, but bad if it’s your carpet. You can get even more information by clicking here to see a short video on the different types of vacuums.


How to get food stains out of carpet

Tis the season for friends, and family entertaining. It also is the season for dropped plates, spilled drinks, and cheese dip in your carpet. Unfortunately this happens when people get together, and food is served. Never fear because now that you’re reading this blog you’ll get those stains out of your carpet with ease. The first thing you want to do when Uncle Ned announces he’s dropped his plate of food on your carpet is to scrape up as much as you possibly can. I want you to get an absorbent towel, and blot up as much of the spill as you can. What’s left is the stain on the fibers we’re going to draw out using the same methods the professionals use. You’ll need a good carpet spot remover, and more absorbent towels. I want you to spray the stain with the spot remover, and using a metal spoon agitate the stain working from the outside of the stain in towards the center. We do this so you don’t make the stain bigger. When you see the stain releasing from the carpet fibers it’s time to blot the stain with your absorbent towels. This draws the stain up, and out of the carpet into the towel. Repeat until the stain is completely removed. Flush the area with water, and blot again to remove any chemical from your carpet. Watch a short video on this process by clicking here.


Holiday entertaining, and pet accidents.

If you’re planning on having folks over for the holidays, and you have pets this blog is for you. You’re planning on having a house full of people, and your pet isn’t used to all these people. This is when the little fellow gets so excited, and happy to see everyone they piddle on your carpet. Heaven forbid your guest take pity on the little critter, and decide to feed them immense quantities of table food. Your carpet problems just became a lot bigger, no pun intended. Well never fear because you’re going to be able to deal with this like a professional. The first thing you need to do when grandma nonchalantly lets you know your dog just threw up on your carpet is grab absorbent towels. You want to pick up as much of the substance as you can. Use your towels to blot up as much of the liquid as you can. The next step is to get a good commercial pet stain remover with enzymes, and if you’ve read this blog you already have it. You will spray the stain with the pet spot remover, and using a spoon agitate the stain working towards the center. You do this so you don’t spread the stain. When you see the stain releasing from the carpet, blot with an absorbent towel drawing the stain out. Continue this process until the stain is gone. Lastly use water to flush the area, and blot again with absorbent towels. You do this to remove any chemical residue from your carpet. Watch a short video on how this is done by clicking here.


Pine tree needles + your vacuum = a clogged vacuum

It’s the holiday season, and with it comes the raising of the Christmas tree. I remember in my family it was a huge deal. I was the only girl with four older brothers. They, and my father would travel to a Christmas tree farm to select the perfect tree. It was mine, and my mothers job to decorate it. We would keep the tree up a good three weeks to enjoy it. This meant we would experience significant loss of pine needles from the tree. My mother would vacuum them up with her trusty Hoover vacuum, and every year the vacuum would become clogged. It never failed. We knew when she started picking them up what the result was going to be. My father would have to take the thing apart, find the clog, and remove it. The best part was I’d get to hear my dad say words I wasn’t supposed to know, and wasn’t allowed to repeat. My recommendation is to use a shop style vacuum to pick up the bulk of the pine needles. If you’re going to use your good vacuum make sure it has an empty bag when you start, and let the vacuum take small bites of the pine needles. Nothing clogs it quicker than trying to gulp up a big pile of pine needles in one bite. Check your bag frequently, and make sure you don’t break a belt. Watch my video on trouble shooting your vacuum by clicking here.


How to remove grease from your carpet

You’re probably asking yourself how could grease find it’s way into someones carpet. If you have a husband like mine who loves to fix things in the garage it happens. Grease removal from carpet is one of those substances requiring a specialty chemical. The all purpose go to spotter that removes everything just doesn’t remove grease. You can watch this short video on how to remove grease by clicking here. The product used in the video is available by clicking here. Remember as with removing any substance out of carpet you agitate the stain inward so as not to spread it, and blot the stain out of the carpet using an absorbent rag. Flush the carpet with water after removing the stain to remove the chemical used, and blot again.


Removing carpet spots and stains.

If you can dream it I guarantee someone has accidentally spilled it on their carpet. I get inquiries every week about an all in one carpet spotter. A carpet spotter so great it will remove anything. I’m here to tell you there isn’t one. When you think of the different compositions of everything possible that could be spilled on a carpet it would be near impossible to come up with a product which would remove everything.

Now I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve found a product which comes pretty darn close. It’s an industrial strength carpet spotter, and it is my new best friend. It removes blood, wine, feces, urine, vomit,kool aid, berry stains, coffee, tea, cola, cosmetics, dairy products, food spills, fruit juice, grass, gravy, grime, ketchup, chocolate, pet stains, and spaghetti sauce. I know by now you’re desperate for the name of this wondrous product. Click here for the name of the product, and an instructional video on it’s use. I hope this helps you clean better, smarter, faster, and cheaper.


Tips for owners of Bagless Vacuums

If you own a vacuum that doesn’t require paper bags I’m going to give you information that hopefully keeps your vacuum out of the repair shop. First of all a vacuum that doesn’t use paper bags has less available area to exhaust air through than an upright using bags. If you take in account the dirt collection bin, and the size of the filters the vacuum uses, it becomes imperative to keep these filters clean. Your owners manual will tell you to take them out, and clean them every time you use the vacuum. Believe them it’s that important. They will probably also recommend changing them every year. Just do it if you want your vacuum to work. What no one tells you when you buy the Dyson or other bagless vacuum is the first time you use your new vacuum the filters start to become impacted with fine dust. Over time you cut off your vacuums ability to move air through it. This is important because your vacuum has to move air through it to cool the motor. If the filters are impacted you can burn up your motor. Second if you can’t move air through it because of dirty filters you won’t be picking up very much from the carpet. The filters can be pretty expensive so if you thought you were saving money by buying a bagless vacuum you’re dead wrong. I hope this information helps you to keep your bagless vacuum running, and out of the repair shop.



Removing gum from carpets

Having many friends with children I get asked frequently how to remove chewing gum from carpets. Having two daughters myself I’ve never figured out how the gum gets from the their mouth into my carpet. The good news is it’s really easy to get out if you know how. The best way is to freeze the gum with a really great product I found called Gum Out. It’s made by a company in Illinois Claire Manufacturing. You spray the gum in the carpet for five seconds then pop it out using a teaspoon. If it doesn’t all pop out the first time spray the gum and repeat. I’ve heard about using ice cubes to freeze the gum , and I’m going to tell you it doesn’t work. It doesn’t freeze the gum, and all you end up with is a wet sticky mess.

     The other product I’ve found that works is made by Core Products out of Texas, and it’s called Citrus Gel. This product dissolves the gum. You need to work fast with this product, and have some rags handy to pull the gum out of the carpet. If you don’t it will dissolve it but it will run down into the backing of the carpet. Aunt Patti understands gum occasionally will magically get in your carpet if you have little ones. Also another fact if you have more than one child you’ll find all are innocent of the crime. Good luck , and for more cleaning tips, and tricks check out my website at