Holiday Decorating Ideas to Bring Joy to Your Home

holiday decorating ideas

The holiday tree is just the start. Spread joy throughout the house with these holiday decorating ideas, brought to you from your friends at Carpet Cleaning Service AZ. In need of professional deep cleaning before your friends and family arrive? Don’t hesitate to give our team a call at (602) 633-2015.

Make Your Own Holiday Wreath

Hanging a wreath on your front door spreads good cheer to everyone who visits. Wreaths can also be hung on walls, above doorways, and in windows. This year, instead of buying a pre-made wreath from your local craft store, why not make your own? Pinterest offers some great ideas. To make your own, you can use:

  • bows
  • bells
  • lights
  • ribbon
  • extra ornaments
  • natural elements, such as pine cones
  • miniature holiday villages and/or figurines
  • and just about anything else you can think of

Embrace Different Color Schemes

Red and green aren’t the only way to decorate. Shake things up (in a good way!) by choosing a new color palette this holiday season. Red and white, gold and white, silver and pale blue are all popular choices. Can’t decide on one or two colors? Try several! There really are no hard rules when it comes to holiday color schemes. You’re free to have as much fun with colors as you’d like.

Make a Hot Cocoa Bar

During the holidays, there’s nothing quite like a delicious, warm cup of hot chocolate. Set out mugs and toppings like mini marshmallows, candy canes, chocolate syrup and sprinkles, and whipped cream so your family and guests can create this ultimate holiday treat. Here’s a recipe for decadent slow cooker hot chocolate that we love. Decorate the bar using homemade signs or banners.

Hang Garland Everywhere

Hang garland (fresh, faux or both) with Command hooks to lend cheer to banisters, mantels, windows, and doorways. Add a festive touch by cutting extra-long strips of wide ribbon, tied into bows, and attached to the garland about three feet apart. Garland can be used indoors or out. Another great idea for decorating is holiday swag. Swag can be hung from porch lights, on walls and doors, and in windows.

Add Some Whimsical Touches

Like with all decorating, the details are everything. Consider adding some more whimsical touches to your space, such as with homemade signs or old-fashioned sleigh bells. The latter can be attached to your front doorknob. Strings of LED lights can be added to the walls or banisters. To add ambiance and glow, fill glass mason jars with fairy lights, and place on any surface. The key here is to make your space look inviting.

Happy Holidays!

~ From our family to yours.

holidays

How to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

 

The holidays are upon us!

Whether serving dinner or hosting friends and family overnight, the key to getting your house ready for the holidays is to start as early as possible, so that you can get back to what matters most; enjoying your time with loved ones.

Cut the Clutter

The holidays are the perfect time for decluttering. By making space for winter clothes, decorations, holiday cards and gifts now, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and more engaged later. Going from one room to the next, purge, donate or sell items that are broken, including decorations and lights; things you have no use for or are tired of; items that you have too many of; and anything you haven’t used in quite some time.

Decorate Your Front Door

Your guests’ holiday experience begins at the front door. Create an inviting holiday entrance using greenery, tasteful lights, and a seasonal mat. Make your door look extra festive with vintage finds, pinecones or branches, and ornaments. Pinterest has some great ideas for decorating both your front door and porch for the holidays.

Prepare the Guest Rooms

Make your guests feel welcome by taking the time to tidy up the guest room and bathroom. Launder your guest linens and towels. Stock up on toiletries for your guest bathroom. Make a place card or piece of artwork with your Wi-Fi password, just to make things a little easier.

Clean the Fridge and Oven

Do you plan on cooking a holiday feast? Start by clearing out and deep cleaning the refrigerator and oven. Additionally, it’s a good idea to plan your menu, ensuring you have all the ingredients you’ll need on hand. Some dishes, such as vegetables and desserts can be prepped the day before, thus saving you time in the kitchen.

Have Your Carpets Professionally Steamed Cleaned

Now’s a great time to call a professional carpet cleaning company to steam clean your carpet, area rugs, and/or upholstered furniture. Other professional cleaning services to consider include tile and grout cleaning Phoenix, and drapery or blind cleaning. It’s a good idea to call and schedule service as early as possible.

remove ghastly stains

Halloween How-to: Remove Ghastly Stains

 

If you think everyday carpet stains are scary, wait until you see the ghastly Halloween stains costumed ghosts, witches and yes, even fairy tale princesses and superheroes ready for battle are likely to drag in one week from today.

Save your carpets this Halloween by preparing yourself for even the most ghastly of all pumpkin spills, makeup stains and in-bedded candy this year by utilizing the following carpet stain removal tricks. But first a little history on the origins of Halloween.

The History of Halloween

A time for celebration and superstition, Halloween is said to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), where people would dress in costume and light bonfires to ward off roaming ghosts.

The tradition of trick-or-treating while dressed in costume dates to the turn of the century. It was during this time that family-friendly, community-centered Halloween parties featuring entertainment, games and food became common place.

Since this time, Halloween has become so popular that the National Retail Federation (NPR) predicts shoppers will spend a record breaking 9.1 billion on costumes, apples for bobbing and decorations for throwing a spooky Halloween party.

Spending includes:

  • $3.4 billion on costumes
  • $2.7 billion on candy
  • $2.7 billion on decorations
  • $410 million on greeting cards

The federation also reports that the five most popular costumes for children this year are action/superhero; batman; fairy tale princess; spider-man; and an animal (cat, dog, monkey or another animal). Pets will be dressed up, as well.

Tricks to Remove Ghastly Stains

Here are some tricks for removing ghastly stains on carpet:

Trick #1: Remove as much of the foreign material as possible by gently blotting the area with a clean, non-patterned towel or if solid, scrapping it with a rounded spoon.

Trick #2: Apply rubbing alcohol to the area using a clean cloth. Agitate gently, then rinse with warm water, and blot dry. Be careful not to penetrate the carpet pile as this may cause damage.

Trick #3: Apply a small amount of diluted dishwashing liquid; one teaspoon per pint of warm water works best. Gently agitate the affected area by blotting with another clean, non-patterned towel. Rinse with warm water.

Trick #4: If stains persist, repeat the application of rubbing alcohol (if needed, you can also switch to hydrogen peroxide), and dishwashing liquid until the spill no longer transfers over to the towel. Be patient: Several applications may be necessary to see an improvement in the affected area.

Trick #5: When all else fails, or your carpet requires special treatment, you may want to consider calling for reinforcement in the form of professional carpet cleaning superheroes.

Happy haunting!

Fall Allergies: How to Avoid Them

fall allergies

This post has been updated for 2017. The original blog can be found here.

Fall means football watching, apple picking, pumpkin everything – and the return of allergy season. As many as 23 million Americans are allergic to ragweed, the most common culprit in fall seasonal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allery Foundation of America (AAFA). Another seasonal allergy trigger is mold, which makes jumping in piles of golden-hued leaves something you may want to check off your fall bucket list.

Here are 5 ways to keep fall allergies in check:

Monitor Pollen Counts

Changes in the season can bring on an asthma or allergy attack due to increased pollen in the air. Prepare for the weather before you leave home by checking the pollen count and air quality index. Limit your time outdoors during high pollen days. Warm, windy, dry days can also be bad news for allergy sufferers.

Reduce Your Exposure

Short of staying indoors, to reduce your exposure to pollen, keep your home and car windows closed and the air conditioner running. Use high-efficiency filters labeled with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating of 11 or 12. Change them every two or three months. If using standard filters, change them monthly.

Time Your Workouts

Complete outdoor workouts in the morning, before the winds pick up. When working in the yard, consider wearing a mask or asking a family member to do it, so as not to aggravate systems when raking leaves or mowing the lawn. This is especially important if you’re allergic to mold.

Shower Off Pollen

After spending time outside, rinse off and change your clothes. Shower to get allergens off you, so that you’re not bringing them into the house, and transferring them onto your furniture. That is very, very important. Consider investing in professional upholstery cleaning every year to help with fall allergies.

Vacuum Frequently

Many allergens thrive in the home environment. Dust is a prime example. Composed of a variety of pollutants including (but not limited to) dirt, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites, dust can rapidly accumulate. During peak allergy seasons, such as fall and spring, consider vacuuming:

  • Carpets and rugs at least once a week
  • High-traffic areas at least twice a week
  • Upholstered furniture, mattresses, and drapes regularly
  • Even more frequently if you’re a pet friendly home

Back to School Organization Tips

back to school organization

*This blog is updated for 2017. The original blog can be found here.

Start the 2017-18 school year off right with these back to school organization tips.

Get Organized

Between the kids being home and trips to the park, lake and pool, there’s a good chance your home has been overtaken by “summer” stuff. As the kids head back to school, take the time to create a renewed sense of organization and order, whatever that means to you.

One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to go through your home, one room at a time, clearing out what you can. Torn inflatables? Toss them! Clothing that your kids have outgrown? Donate them! School supplies from last year? Keep them! Decluttering and subsequently organizing your home can help ensure a successful academic year.

Set Up a Homework Station

Creating a dedicated space in your home – whether off the kitchen or in their own bedrooms – can help kids improve their focus and develop proper study habits. This should be far away from TV screens and other distractions. Make sure they have access to plenty of pencils, sticky notes, scratch paper, and a computer if they need one.

Don’t forget to outfit him/her with a comfortable chair – homework requirements tend to only grow in volume the higher the grade level. A great tip is to invest in an electric pencil sharpener. Otherwise, be prepared to put up with pencil shavings all over the house, not to mention the mad search for a mechanical sharpener at homework time.

Designate a Command Center

An organized command center is essential for all things school related – backpacks, jackets, sports gear, lunch boxes, permission slips, crafts, textbooks, and on and on. It should be somewhere in the main-traffic-part of your home. In the kitchen or entryway are both good options. The closer you get to the “drop zone,” the better.

A chalkboard or whiteboard wall calendar is a must, and one that’ll ensure everyone knows what’s on the agenda for the week. Other things to consider for your command center include dinner menu, shopping list, schedule/routine, and in/out file storage for school papers. We recommend having one file for each person in the household.

Schedule to Have Your Carpets Cleaned

Make professional carpet cleaning part of your back to school organization routine. Carpet Cleaning Service AZ can help give your kids a clean and healthy environment to do their homework each night. In addition to professional carpet cleaning, we are proud to offer superior air duct, upholstery, and tile and grout cleaning services. Call 602-633-2015 or go online to schedule a time for us to come to your home.

When Pet Accidents Happen

pet accidents

There are few things better than coming home from a stressful day at work to an excited dog or cat. More than just a furry, loyal companion, pets bring happiness and laughter to our lives. However, as most pet owners can vouch, accidents are bound to happen from time to time – especially if he/she is still perfecting their potty training skills. Fortunately, the pros at Carpet Cleaning Service AZ know a bit about rescuing solid carpets, rugs and upholstery.

Cleaning Up Pet Accidents

Your best defense is to blot up as much of the accident as you can using paper towels. The trick here is to do it as soon as you notice the mess. If solid, pick up using doggy bags, paper towels or a recycled grocery bag. Then, put a few drops of Dawn dish detergent and a little water on the area, applying pressure with another paper towel.

If you notice a mess that you believe happened earlier in the day, spray the area with vinegar and baking soda, and let sit overnight. Mix one cup distilled white vinegar with one cup water and two tablespoons baking soda in a spray bottle. Don’t be alarmed if the area bubbles; it simply signifies that the cleaning agent is working.

If you have a puppy or senior dog, you’ll definitely want to add this mixture to your cleaning arsenal! Store-bought pet odor and stain removers use the power of enzymes to do the work. Enzymes are proteins that help kick off natural chemical reactions at the molecular level.

Most are safe to use on carpets, furniture, wood floors, and clothing when used as directed. One of the best products available is Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Remover. There is no need to rinse this product. Simply let it do its job, dissolve, and dry. Always follow manufacturer directions.

Protecting Your Carpet

If they can smell their or their friend’s personal scent, pets will be attracted to the “accident zone,” where they’ll continually make fresh messes. To prevent future accidents, it’s important to get rid of any odor completely. You can do this by hiring a professional. Carpet cleaning professionals are specially trained to effectively remove pet odors and stains from carpets, bringing it back to a healthy state.

Professional Air Duct Cleaning Benefits

air duct cleaning

Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants including dirt, dust and dander. These contaminants are then pulled into your HVAC system, where it recirculates throughout your home 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly may be more susceptible to this air.

Air duct cleaning can address this issue.

Air duct cleaning, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), refers to the removal of dirt, dust, and potential biological contaminants from various heating and cooling system components including the supply and return air ducts, registers, grilles, diffusers, and coils.

Professionals use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris found within the ductwork, then vacuum them out using state-of-the-art, industrial strength vacuum cleaners. All components of the HVAC system should be meticulously cleaned during this process to obtain a noticeable difference.

The benefits of air duct cleaning are various and include:

#1. Improved Indoor Air Quality

Although dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, they may contribute to larger health issues, especially for people with respiratory health conditions (e.g., asthma or COPD). Pollutants entering the air can also trigger sneezing, coughing, and sinus congestion for chronic allergy sufferers.

#2. Increased Energy Savings

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling a home is wasted because of drafts, air leaks around openings and outdated equipment. Ductwork exhibiting a heavy build-up of contaminants can restrict the flow of air, causing it to work harder to heat or cool your home, resulting in a decreased level of efficiency.

#3. Remove Unpleasant Odors

Pets, paint fumes, pungent foods – they call all make your house have a distinct smell. Even an accumulation of dust and debris can lead to a musty smell. Every time your heating and cooling system is running, these odors recirculate in the air. Professional air duct cleaning helps to eliminate all odor trapping particles, leaving your home smelling fresh.

To learn more about the benefits of air duct cleaning, or to schedule service with a certified technician, contact Carpet Cleaning Service AZ at (602) 633-2015.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Benefits

carpet cleaning benefits

Your carpet is an investment. Protect it with professional carpet cleaning. Here are four professional carpet cleaning benefits.

#1. Improves Your Health

It’s important that you vacuum at least three times a week with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. However, vacuuming may disturb settled pollutants (e.g., dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, and dirt) causing them to become airborne. Professional carpet cleaning eliminates these contaminants; improving your and your family’s health.

#2. Eliminates Carpet Stains

Professional cleaning when coupled with a high-quality protectant, refreshes the performance of stain resistant carpets, creating a barrier around the carpet fibers that allows most spills to be removed before staining can occur. Another great benefit to professional carpet cleaning is that spots are less likely to reappear.

#3. Removes Odors

If your house is pet friendly, then you may already know that accidents happen. Pet urine and feces can be one of the most difficult smells to remove from carpet fibers. However, a combination of immediate action, professional grade enzyme solutions, and deep cleaning can get your carpet looking and smelling like new in no time at all.

#4. Extends Carpet Life

The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends having your carpet professionally deep cleaned once every 12 to 18 months. Keep in mind that this recommendation is a general guideline only and can vary based on your particular circumstances. Some homes may need this service every 6 to 12 months.

To learn more about the many benefits of carpet cleaning, contact Carpet Cleaning Service AZ at (602) 633-2015. Our exclusive three-step cleaning process incorporates the highest quality, professional grade cleaning solution, which will leave your carpets cleaner than you ever imagined possible.

No Shoes Policy: Leave Them at the Door

no shoesIn many parts of the world, it’s customary to take your shoes off before entering a home, leaving them in a designated spot outdoors or just inside the door on a mat or rack. Although this custom is not yet widely accepted in the United States – many consider it rude, uncomfortable or at best, an inconvenience – there are actually several good reasons for implementing a no shoes policy in your home.

Consider the following:

Bacteria

We’ll just get straight to it: Your shoes pick up bacteria that is spread throughout your home when you wear them inside. In a study conducted by the University of Arizona, researchers found more than 440,000 units of bacteria had attached themselves to the bottom of a pair of shoes, which had only been purchased two weeks prior. Moreover, researchers found that over 90 percent of the time, this bacterium was effectively transferred to clean tiles after trekking over the surface area.

Dirt & Grime

Bacteria aside, shoes also bring in a lot of dirt, pollen, sand, and grime. This requires you to clean more frequently, which in turn requires you to use a) more electricity (running the vacuum), and b) more cleaning products. The best way to keep dirt and grime out of your home is by nipping it at the source! When you enforce a no shoes policy, you’ll keep your home clean without spending more time on household chores, while ensuring your family’s health.

Wear and Tear

More dirt and grime on your floors, whether tile, hardwood or carpet, means more wear and tear. Wear and tear that can cause you to need to replace your flooring prematurely. An expense we’re sure you’d rather do without. Extend the longevity of your flooring material by simply kicking off your shoes when you come home from the park, store, work or school. You will also be helping the environment by keeping your old flooring out of the landfills. It’s a win, win.

Now for some shoe storage ideas:

  • Cubbies
  • Baskets
  • Boot tray
  • Shoe racks or shelves
  • Cookie tray filled with stones
  • Pinterest has countless DIY shoe storage ideas

Don’t forget to place a sign on the front door announcing your no shoes policy to avoid catching anyone unaware. Are you overdue for professional carpet cleaning or tile and grout cleaning? Contact Carpet Cleaning Service AZ at (602) 633-2015.

Your Guide to Spring Cleaning for Allergy Relief

spring cleaning

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Springtime has a natural uplifting energy to it. With winter ending, we’re given the benefit of longer, sun filled days. However, for many, springtime also means allergy time. If you or a member of your family suffer from allergies, you may want to consider the opportunity spring cleaning provides to get some much need allergy relief. Here are some steps to help you get your spring cleaning started.

Step #1: Purge

There’s really no way to get around this step. Clutter is an obstacle to reaching a healthy environment. Dust and other allergen causing particles love to hide under, in, and around excess belongings. Start by deciding what stays and what goes (using our advice below). Make sure items that stay have a home. If you run out of space, try creative alternatives like decorative boxes, and furniture with built-in storage.

How to decide what stays and what goes?

If it’s something you love – it’s a keeper.

If it’s something that you find really useful – it’s a keeper.

If you used it today, yesterday, and last week – it’s a keeper.

If you pull it out to find it covered with layers of dust and cobwebs, then it’s probably time to let it go. Toss broken and expired items. Donate items that you either have too much of, haven’t used in some time or that don’t serve a useful purpose.

Step #2: Clean

Dust & Vacuum: Dust first, then vacuum. Wipe your surfaces first using a microfiber cloth and a combination of water and vinegar. This grabs the dust, rather than just push it around. Vacuum once or twice a week using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. At least once a year, have your carpets professionally steamed cleaned.

Bedding: Wash your bedding and blankets in hot water on a regular basis. Once a week is ideal. Make sure the water is at least 130˚F. That’s hot enough to kill dust mites. Because they’re dust proof, using hypoallergenic bedding can minimize discomfort as well.

Air: Hypoallergenic or HEPA filters are now sold for vents throughout your house to help ensure a high level of indoor air quality. These filters drastically reduce the dust, pollen, mold and bacteria in the air moving around your home. They can be found at any local home improvement, hardware or big box retailer.

Control Mold & Mildew: Having your bath and/or kitchen tile’s grout professionally cleaned helps reduce mold. Clean these areas regularly. You can also spray your shower walls daily with a shower spray to keep them clean and mold-free. Allow wet/damp clothes and towels to dry before throwing them into your laundry hamper.

Step #3: Contact Carpet Cleaning Service AZ

Partner with Carpet Cleaning Service AZ to create a healthy home environment this spring. We use professional spring cleaning techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to provide a level of cleaning that simply cannot be duplicated with home or rental steam cleaning machines. We provide carpet, air duct, upholstery, indoor air quality, tile & grout, dryer vent and other related cleaning services. Contact us today for a free quote.