Cleaning Tile And Grout

Tile and grout can be frustrating to clean and a lot of work!!  Let’s be honest, no one likes to scrub for hours to try to grout  completely clean and looking brand new. Never fear, there are several different routes that you can take to make sure your floors stay clean, dirt-free, and looking great!

Long Beach Carpet Cleaners

There are several different professional services that are great for cleaning grout and tile. Many of the carpet cleaners in your area will offer this service. If you have a favorite call them and ask them.  My favorite is a company in Long Beach, CA near where I live, Long Beach Carpet Cleaners. Check out their site and you can see that they offer many different services including tile and grout cleaning.

The key is to look for a service that will offer high-pressure water combined with vacuum power as well. The water will clean deep within the pores of the tile and grout to lift dirt and debris, and the vacuum function will remove them from the flooring completely. This type of deep cleaning does not harm your floors, and will not use any harmful chemicals that can be found in some traditional cleaners. Plus, with hiring a professional service to clean the tile and grout for you, you don’t have to deal with any of the hassle!

There are some tips that you can keep in mind when you are cleaning your floors on your own. While it may not remove all of the dirt that a professional service could, but there are plenty of ways that you can make sure you are taking the best care of your tile and grout:

  • Before mopping, sweeping or vacuuming your floors is important to remove as much dirt as possible. The mop will then be able to lift and remove more dirt from the pores of the tile and grout.
  • When mopping and cleaning, make sure to avoid harsh cleaners, like ammonia or anything with an ammonia base. These chemicals are able to remove or break down sealants that may be on your tile/grout, and would do more harm to your floors.
  • After mopping, rinse your floors. This will help to remove any and all residue that could be remaining from your cleaners.
  • Use caution when moving furniture or heavy objects over tile and grout. Any scrapes or scratches that could result from moving furniture are openings that can easily trap dirt and dust, and result in some discoloration of your flooring.
  •  Avoid using wax on your tile floors. While it can give the tile a polished, clean look, the wax itself can discolor your tile.
  • Make sure spills are cleaned up as quickly as possible in order to prevent discoloration from any possible chemicals in the spilled liquid.
  • When cleaning your tile and grout, whether on your own or having a professional handle it for you, it is important to keep in mind which areas experience high traffic, as they will require more attention. Also, if you have pets or kids (or both!) more time may be needed to remove all set-in dirt and stains that may be trapped in the pores of your tile and grout.

Whether you are more into a DIY approach, or would like to hand over the hassle to a professional, there are many options when it comes to keeping your tile and grout looking like new!

Pet Friendly Carpet

Believe it or not there are pet friendly carpets out there that will allow you to have carpets and a pet. Pets love carpets they are soft and comfy for them and are better on their little paws than slippery tiles or glossy hardwood floors. But you hate having to clean up all those accidents and deal with the smell, and spot cleaning isn’t always enough. Here are some things to consider when looking for pet friendly carpets; some carpets have been specifically made to prevent pet accidents from leaking through the carpet to the carpet padding where the moisture can promote the growth of mold. It is recommended to look for gel and waterproof carpet backing to prevent leakage, and special carpet pads to protect the carpet and your floors under the carpet. Carpets with stain resistance are an extra protection against pet accidents because they coat each fiber and repel moisture.

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How To Make Your Carpets Look Like New Longer

WH Carpet

You probably don’t live in the White House, but you still want your carpets to look like you do.

And, let’s be honest – replacing carpet is a pain. Moving furniture and the mess of tearing out the old carpet and putting in new is a hassle that no one is eager to deal with. Luckily, there are many different ways that you can keep your carpets clean and make sure they last as long as possible. Sadly, this does not just mean vacuuming regularly. More work is needed to ensure your carpets and area rugs looking like new.

  • First of all, it’s important to choose a carpet or area rug with a low pile, which means that the fibers in the carpet are shorter. Having a low pile will mean that less dirt and dust can penetrate deep into the fibers of the carpet, and less cleanup for you! High pile carpets with longer fibers are automatic dust magnets, and upkeep of these carpets is a lot more difficult and time consuming. Choosing a carpet that is easier to clean will be easier on you, and be a lot less expensive in the long run!
  • Having your carpets professionally cleaned periodically will make a huge difference in their condition and lifetime. Also, having this service performed often is what will be key in the life of your carpets. If you do not have any pets living in your home, it is recommended that you have your carpets professionally steamed every six months in order to maintain a more dust- and allergen-free home. If you do have pets, the recommendation is more frequent, at four to six weeks. This seems like a lot, but keeping up with the steaming of your carpets will keep them clean and looking great.  Keep in mind that some carpets have warranties that require a specific schedule for professional cleanings, typically every 12 to 18 months. Making sure you follow these requirements is important to ensuring the life of your carpet and the warranty benefits as well.
  • You should vacuum your carpets at least once per week. Yes, you read that correctly. Taking the time each week to vacuum your carpets or area rugs will be incredibly beneficial in making sure they last as long as possible. Keeping them clean and free of dirt, dust, and any other material that can be tracked onto your floors keeps them looking their best and keeps allergens low. If you have pets in your home, it is recommended to vacuum as frequently as possible to keep up with pet hair and dander that can get trapped in the fibers of your carpets. Vacuum slowly; otherwise, too much dust and dirt can be left behind deep in the fibers of your carpet.
  • If you have area rugs in your home, clean them seasonally, especially in the spring and fall. Summer and winter are two months that can have the most damaging effects on your carpets. Keeping your area rugs clean will make sure they look their best year-round. Make sure to look at the care instructions on your area rugs to see if they can be steamed or if this would be harmful to them. Keep them vacuumed to eliminate dirt and dust, and take them outside to shake them and remove allergens.
  • Take care of spills on your carpet right away! If you see a spill on your carpet, immediately begin blotting it from the outside toward the center. If needed, you can place paper towels on top of the stain to draw out the moisture. Acting quickly is your best chance to avoid staining.

Keeping your carpets clean will make sure they stay looking their best, keep your air quality in your home healthier, and allow you to keep them for years to come!

How to Cean Hardwood Floors




The best thing for your floor is frequent vacuuming or sweeping. You will need to sweep or vacuum once or preferably twice a day to prevent buildup dirt. Dirt that is ground in will ruin your floors. If you see anything on the floor wipe it up immediately: spills, dirt/mud and water.  Wood hates water and it will permanently damage your floor.

If you want to keep dirt from being tracked onto your floors make sure you choose your rugs wisely. The backing can harm the wood finish.

You may think that you need to know what type of wood your floor is before you clean it, but you don’t.  It’s the finish that count.  The best way to tell the type of finish is to rub your finger across the floor.  Is there a smudge? If so, then your floor is sealed.  If your floor is not then your floor is probably treated with a penetrating seal and then waxed.

Most floors are sealed with: polyacrylic, urethane, or polyurethane.  If it is sealed with any of those you can sweep it, and wet mop it and that is all that it needs.

They can also have an oil finish, or varnish or shellac. These types of wood floors need wax on it.  There is liquid wax and paste wax to choose from.

Sealed Floor Don’t’s

  • Use wood furniture spray or oils – I tried furniture spray once and we we slipping and falling all over the place.
  • Use abrasive cleaners or ammonia – It will ruin the finish.
  • Use water or a vinegar and water solution – Although vinegar cleans many things it leaves a build up of dirt and eventually your floors will look dull.
  • Use a “wet” map – Make sure it is damp.  If you soak a mop and don’t wring it out completely you will ruin your wood floors. Make sure you empty the bucket often so you are mopping with dirty water. If you are using a cleaning solution, make sure the last pass with the mop is with plain water so your floor is completely rinsed (again damp mop).
  • Use a sponge every time.  Once in a while get down on the floor with a cloth and clean it.

Oil/Varnish/Shellac Floor Don’t’s

  • Don’t use water-base wax or furniture wax – Your floors will look sort of white, or you will slip and slide like you are on ice.  Do use liquid wax.
  • Don’t mop – just sweep or vacuum – Once or twice a year you will want strip the old wax and apply a fresh new coat.

Random Tips

  • Check out this article from ABC News about  making your hardwood floors sparkle:

  • Baking soda on a damp cloth gets rid of scuff marks.
  • Always check manufacturer suggestions for cleaning your wood floors.  Sometimes you may need to use commercial cleaners.
  • You may see cracks appear during winter months and close up during the summer – its normal.  No need to try to find a remedy for it.
  • Be careful when you search Google and try to find home remedies. Not every suggestion on the internet is the right one.

Check this blog for tips or call a local professional before you try something new.

Carpet Cleaning: DIY or hire a pro

I own several carpet cleaning companies and often times I am asked what the best methods are for cleaning carpets. I get asked “Can’t I do it myself?” and “Why should I hire someone like you, a professional, to clean my carpets?”.

It is essential to clean your carpets periodically even if you are meticulous about vacuuming them. Having them cleaned removes allergens, dirt build-up, pet hair and dander, dust mites, etc.  Carpet manufacturers typically suggest getting your carpets cleaned every 12 to 18 months. If you have pets or children you may want to have them clean more often. You want to make sure sticky stuff and stains are cleaned right away.  I usually recommend a spot cleaner for things like that and for in between professional cleanings.


1. Rent a carpet cleaning machine – These machines do a reasonable job, but they are expensive if you are cleaning your carpets as frequently as you should.  Carpet cleaners that you rent or buy use suction and brushes that make contact with the carpet along with hot water and cleaning solution.

These carpet cleaning machines are usually a  professional grade in comparison to those you can buy. However they can be heavy and awkward.   The cost for renting a machine can add up if you clean your carpets every couple of months.  They are about $20 a day. It leads people to consider buying one.

When renting a machine, you need to make sure that it is in good working condition.  If not, it could put too much water or solution into your carpets and make things worse.  Also, use the detergent recommended for the machine and nothing else.  Do not use more than what is recommended.  It will not clean better – you will just end up with carpet that gets dirty quicker because it will be sticky from the extra solution.

Before you decide to DIY, make sure that you have good fans available.  It is important that your carpets are dry within 24 hours. If it takes longer than 24 you there is a good chance you will get mildew growth.  Realistically, you want your carpets dry within 4 or 5 hours.

Typically with DIY cleanings, the fibers don’t be as clean as they once were. A good professionally will do a better job.

2. Buy a machine – You could definitely buy one and come out ahead, but these machines can leave your carpets and often times the pads wet.  They may work ok for a bit, but they stop sucking up the water after a period of time and need to be cleaned out.  It is a pain and can cost extra $$ to get it working like new again.

Hoover and Bissell seem to be the leading companies in at home deep cleaning carpet machines. They both have models that run around $250.

You can rent a machine 10 times for the price of a pro to clean your carpets. Or you could buy a machine to clean whenever you feel like it for close to the same price.  You need to determine if you cleaning your carpets more frequently with a good machine you rent or buy keeps your carpets cleaner than having them professionally cleaned.

3. Hire a pro– Professionals are typically the way to go.  Firstly, because they clean carpets every day and they feed their families working their profession.  They are good at what they do.  They aren’t going to make mistakes like using too much solution or too much water. Not rinsing enough is also a common problem when you clean your own carpets.

Professional carpet cleaners have trucks that provide very hot water to help the detergent do it’s job.  When you use your own machine or rent one the water cools off well before you are finished with an area.  Professionals also have a powerful vacuum systems. They remove more water and are able to get the water to flow through your carpet fibers ensuring that your carpets are clean.  They leave your carpets nearly dry when they are finished, so there is not a risk for mildew and so you can get back to ‘living’ in your home more quickly.

Most professional carpet cleaning companies pre-treat the carpets with a mist solution.  Then they run only clean water their their machine. This helps with build up and won’t leave your carpet fibers sticky when they are gone.

Stain Removal Tips

I get a lot of questions and frustrated calls about stains – How to get stains out and why they are coming back. Most times when stains “come back” is from dirt is stuck onto carpet fibers from something sugary / oily / sticky that was spilled because something sticky spilled and wasn’t cleaned up. A deep cleaning with detergent and water should get this out.

When there is a spill or major soiling of any kind it is important that they are dealt with quickly.  You can find many DIY options to clean up stains on Google.  White vinegar and water cleans many stains as well as a mixture of carpet cleaning solution and water (check the cleaning solution label for portions). You can use something like Goo Gone to clean gum, grease, oil and tar.

Click on this link for more information about how to keep your carpets looking like new longer.