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Thursday, June 30 2011

The Best Way to Mop Tile & Grout Floors:

Recently I was asked by a potential client what was the best way to 'mop' her tile and grout floors. This is an excellent question and I thought I would share it with you. To start there are basically three types of mops a person could buy: 1). The good old fashioned string mop that is still used by many commercial cleaners today; 2). The sponge mop that is relatively inexpensive but does not last very long; 3). The micro fiber mop that can pick up 10 times its body weight in liquids. There are other inventions out there but for our discussion let's focus on the three we have listed.

Of the three mops listed above my least favorite is the sponge mop. This mop is inexpensive to purchase but it breaks down quickly and is a natural haven for bacteria. It leaves behind more soap residue and dirt than the other two. The good old fashioned string mop is still a great mop that can be washed in the laundry to keep it clean and remove bacteria and other potential pathogens. This mop will last a long time IF you take care of it. Finally there is the micro fiber mop. This is the new kid on the block that also can be washed in the laundry to remove dirt, grime, and of course bacteria. Micro Fiber mops are known for their ability to absorb large amounts of liquid and their 'terry towel' look allows them to pick up large amounts of dirt. What I also like about the micro fiber mop is their interchangeable heads. You simply pull the mop head off, it is stick on with velcro, and place a clean one on the handle and you are ready to go. Of the three I highly recommend the Micro Fiber Mop with at least (4) replacement heads.

Here are some pointers to cleaner tile and grout no matter what type of mop you have chosen to use: 1). Make sure to sweep or vacuum up the dry debris before applying any cleaning solutions onto the floor. You do not want your soap to be wasted on dirt that a broom or vacuum could pick up. 2). Make sure to use an alkaline cleaner such as Mr. Clean or Spic & Span to clean your tile and grout lines. Acid products like White Distilled Vinegar could permanently damage or ruin your tile and grout lines over time. You want to also make sure that your cleaning solution has a grease cutter in it. Grease is probably the number one culprit of a dirty tile and grout floor. 3). Wash in one bucket and rinse in another. If you use only one bucket for both washing and rinsing you will create a slurry and simply move the yuk around. Yes, you will pick up some but you will leave more yuk behind. 4). Make sure to use clean water at all times. If you have over 400 square feet you will want to throw out the dirty water and add clean wash water and rinse water to your buckets. 5). Change out your mop head about every 400 square feet of cleaning surface. 6). Always use HOT WATER. Clean hot water makes the chemicals work better to cut the grease. 7). Give the chemicals time. You may also want to spray down your floor and allow the chemicals about (4) minutes to reach the grease before moping. 8). Dry mop the floor. Another advantage to a micro fiber mop is that it can be used dry to pick up the remaining moisture off the floor. You will probably notice that some remaining dirt gets picked up as well.

Good luck on your next cleaning. Contact me if you need additional assistance or need the services of a professional cleaner. I can be reached at paddle@frontiernet.net.

Until Next Time,

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 27 2011

Woolite to Clean Tile & Grout?

As a professional cleaner I am often asked if 'something' works. Recently I was asked if Woolite could be used to clean tile and grout. Woolite has been used for years to safely wash delicate fabrics. If you have kept up with my cleaning blogs over the years you will recall that we attempt to investigate many so called 'money-saving-ideas' and report back to you our findings. It should be noted that no where on their website or on their bottle does Woolite recommend their laundry detergent for cleaning tile and grout.

Woolite is a cleaning solution that consists primarily of Water (80%), Sodium Hydroxide (2.5%), Alcohols (2.5%), Alkyl Ethers (2.5%), and Coconut Acids (2.5%). There are also several preservatives found in Woolite in very minute quantities. The overall pH level of Woolite is between 7.5-8.5 depending on the batch that was mixed that day. This makes it an alkaline cleaning solution. Mr. Clean and Spic & Span also have a pH level of somewhere between 7.5-8.5.

When cleaning tile and grout the number one thing people are discouraged about is how impacted the grout lines are. The grout lines are often very dark, even black, and they have tried everything to get the gunk out with little or no success. I can not tell you the amount of times someone has called me to let me know that they have been scrubbing their tile and grout for hours and have very little to show for it. Once your grout lines have become impacted with gunk conventional cleaning methods usually will NOT work. That is the reason why Liberty Floor Solutions exist. The pH level of our cleaning products is somewhere between 12.0 to 14.0. You must also include a degreaser to break down the oils that have built up in the pours. Secondly you will need to use VERY HOT WATER. Our typical cleaning requires use to use water temperatures above 210 degrees. Thirdly you will need to somehow scrub and wash the floor at the same time. Finally you will need to extract the dirty water and the gunk off the floor. Doesn't sound so easy now does it?

Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we use some very high tech equipment that allows us to clean any hard surface and grout lines in a timely manner. We can often return your floor back to its original lustre in usually one day. With our special sealers and top coats we can help you keep your floors looking clean and beautiful for years to come.

If you have questions about this blog please contact me at paddle@frontiernet.net

Michael Hull

 

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, June 11 2011

Using Coca-Cola To Clean Tile & Grout:

Every now and then I receive an email or telephone call from someone who wants some free advice. If time permits I always try to make myself available, I may even do some research on their behalf to answer all the "what ifs" when we do speak. Recently I received an email asking me if it was okay to use Coca-Cola to clean tile and grout. Apparently this individual had been told by a co-worker that it works wonders.

Before we answer the question let us first examine Coca-Cola. All you have to do is look on the can and you will find that Coke is compromised of water, sugar (approximately 1 spoon per ounce), caffeine, flavourings, coloring agents, citrus acid (which is a preservative)and phosphoric acid. Because of the acid in Coke it will dissolve the gunk commonly found on battery cables and it is not a bad toilet bowl cleaner, but there are no cleaning agents in Coke. The same is true for Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, etc.

If you attempted to use a soft drink to clean tile and grout it would be an absolute disaster. The acid would break down the silica in the grout and permanently damage the grout lines. Your grout lines would eventually crack and then blow out leaving large holes. If you keep up with my cleaning blogs, especially the ones that deal with tile and grout cleaning, you will know that I strongly recommend to NOT use acids on grout or natural stones. Acid can and will damage the grout and/or natural stone. The sugar will get lodged into the grout lines and will become a haven for anaerobic bacteria. The coloring agents could die your grout lines a whole new color. THIS IS DEFINITELY A BAD IDEA!!!! Fortunately for this person I was able to talk them out of a potential disaster.

My favorite soft drink is Dr. Pepper and I enjoy Coca-Cola, but let's keep them in fridge for personal consumption. If you have questions about this cleaning blog please email me at paddle@frontiernet.net.

Until Next Time,

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 04:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, June 05 2011

Another Groupon Carpet Cleaning Nightmare:

I was on Yelp.com the other day and discovered this review by someone who used Groupon to hire a carpet cleaner. I have been warning people about trying to hire a cleaning service using Groupon now you know why...

So I bought a Groupon for Carpet Cleaning not that long ago and I have had the worst experience with this company. First, I made an appointment to have my carpets cleaned for a Saturday morning, 12 Bridges gave me a three hour time slot. They called me on Friday afternoon and left me a VM to confirm. I called them back right away and asked to be put at the end of the time slot since we had an emergency come up or just to reschedule for a later date. Come Saturday morning I guess the message didn't trickle down from the office to the techs since they showed up anyways and no one was home.

Second, after the first debacle of trying to get 12 Bridges out to my house I had rescheduled for this past Saturday. Same run around, Friday afternoon the office calls me to confirm and I confirmed that we would be home. Come Saturday morning, I missed a call from "Tony" which he ends up leaving a RUDE VM saying that it didn't matter that I confirmed the day before I had to RE-CONFIRM again with him. I tried calling him back right away and tried calling the office and NO ONE ANSWERED, mind you this is all an hour before the appointment time that I had scheduled for.

So after leaving multiple messages and waiting well pass the time frame 12 Bridges was supposed to show up at my home NO ONE SHOWED UP!!!!!

This company is so unprofessional, and I am contacting Groupon to get my money back. I am also filing a complaint with the BBB.

** PS, I also found a note on the bulletin board @ my work noting not to use 12 Bridges due to horrible customer service.

 

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 02 2011

Carpets Still Feel Sticky After Cleaning?

I can not tell you how many people visit this website each month, or call me by phone, to ask one question, "Why do my carpets still feel sticky after cleaning?" Mind you these are NOT my clients - we did NOT clean their carpets my competitors did or they rented a machine and did the work themselves. When I ask them why don't they call the company they hired to come back and fix the problem the response is usually the same, "We tried calling them but they won't return our calls."

Before I address the question I first must lay a little ground work. Carpets are typically made from either nylon or polyester. In fact many carpets are made from recycled water bottles. When they are manufactured they are deliberately made to be pH neutral. Carpets are also manufactured to magnetically attract and trap dirt, dust, pollen, etc., and that is why some people call carpets an "air filter" for the home. Your carpets feel soft and comfy when they are brand new and they should feel that way after cleaning them. So what went wrong.

The reason why carpets feel sticky after cleaning is because the "soap" was left in the carpet. Your typical carpet cleaning soap has a pH level of 8.0 to 9.0 and this is ten to one hundred times higher in pH than the carpet. In order to pull out the soap you must; 1). use adequate amounts of water for rinsing; 2). be able to extract the soap, dirt, and water from the carpet; 3). and return the carpet back to a pH neutral state using special rinsing chemicals. The person responsible for the sticky residue either is ignorant of the cleaning process or simply does not care.

It is worth repeating "Good things aren't cheap and cheap things aren't good." This is certainly true in the carpet cleaning industry. Remember if you have a cleaning question you can reach me at paddle@frontiernet.net.

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 01 2011

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Damage My Travertine Floors:

Recently I received a call from a woman who just wanted information regarding her travertine floors. Apparently she had heard, read, or saw something that lead her to believe that she could clean and sanitize her floors using hydrogen peroxide, but she was uncertain as to the effects hydrogen peroxide could have on travertine.

Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) has been around for over 100 years and has been used as an antiseptic, bleaching agent, and cleaning agent. You can find a 3% solution (meaning that only 3% of the bottle is actually H2O2 and the remaining 97% is water) in every pharmacy, drugstore, and grocery store. Mixed with baking soda and a small amount of soap it is a very effective at removing skunk odor. Hydrogen Peroxide should be stored in a cool dark place away from light or it will degrade and lose it potency in a relative short period of time.

Hydrogen Peroxide is safe for many uses but I personally would not recommend it as cleaning product for a travertine floor or any surface that is a natural stone. Hydrogen Peroxide has a pH level of 6.0 which makes it an acid. If you have read our other blogs you then know that acid should NEVER be used on natural stones. Because hydrogen peroxide is considered an acid it will literally EAT the stone. If a sealer has been applied to the stone the hydrogen peroxide will first eat the sealer then it will eat the stone. It could potentially etch the stone leaving it dull and lifeless. Used enough times it could permanently damage the stone.

Travertine, like other natural stones, should be cleaned with a pH neutral cleaning solution, in other words a pH level of 7.0. A pH neutral cleaning solution will not etch the stone nor will it break down the sealer. I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have questions please email me at paddle@frontiernet.net.

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 12:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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We put the 'WOW' back in to your floors

 

We provide professional tile, grout, carpet cleaning services for home and businesses in the following California cities: Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Wilton, Galt, Lodi, Stockton, Laguna West, Rancho Murieta, Mather, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rescue, Cool, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Antelope, Roseville, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin, Natomas, Citrus Heights, and Slough House. We will travel to other areas.

 

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Providing tile, grout, travertine, carpet cleaning professional services to Sacramento and Elk Grove California : carpet cleaning - grout tile cleaning - travertine tile cleaning - carpet steam cleaning services