Best Ways to Remove Hardwood Floor Stains

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Hardwood Floor StainLike many other home-owners, I am sure you love your hardwood floor; especially when it is spotlessly perfect. However, with kids, pets, and general household accidents, it is practically impossible to protect the floor from stains, especially if you just use a vacuum cleaner all the time.

Common stains include liquid spillages (such as juice, liquor or coffee), urine from kids and pets, and marker streaks. Rather than panicking, always refer to this guide whenever the perfection of your hardwood floor is compromised.

Know the Basics of Stains

Before you attempt to remove any hardwood stain, it is very important for you to understand it well. Each stain is likely to react to a removing agent differently. The last thing you want is to enlarge a stain as you attempt to remove it.

Below are some basics that you need to know:

1. How long has the stain lasted on the floor?

It is always best when you start removing a stain as soon as possible. Although hardwood floors are typically impervious, there are some liquids that will manage to penetrate through the surface and bleed through it over time. That calls for a different removal technique from a stain that is barely on the surface.

2. Which removal agent is the best?

Some types of hardwood react to common cleaning agents like water. At the same time, some stains cannot be removed by your typical bleach (like white vinegar or chlorine). That means that it is extremely important for you to know the type of stain that is on your floor and the best removal agent to match it with. The following sections examine some common stains and how you can remove them.

Water Stains

You can identify a water stain easily by examining the type of ring on your hardwood floor. A typical water stain will leave a white or black ring.

Whereas a white ring water stain is easy to clean, a black one is harder. That is because a black ring means that the water has penetrated the hardwood.

If you are dealing with a white ring water stain, you have quite a number of options to explore. Start by covering the stain with a dry cotton cloth. Set you iron to ‘no steam’ and let it heat. Once it is hot, use it to rub the cloth for three to five seconds.

For your second option, soak a fine piece of steel wool in lemon oil and then use it to rub the surface gently. Finally, try using a cloth that has been dampened in denatured alcohol to rub the surface for a few seconds.

If the ring is black, your options are reduced to two. First, try rubbing the surface with a brush and bleach (preferably oxalic acid). Repeat the rub after a couple of hours and let the floor to rest.

The second alternative is for you to strip, sand and then reseal the area. You can treat iron rust stains in the same way as black ring water stains.

Greasy Stains

Greasy stains can be removed easily using a mixture of ammonia and cold water. Use a soft cloth to apply.

Dye Stains

Dye stains are mostly caused by blood, grape juice, tea and coffee spills. To remove such stains, simply apply a saturated solution of chlorine bleach two or three times and leave the floor overnight.

Although some people use regular laundry bleach, I wouldn’t recommend it. It is weak, and you might end up getting frustrated by its ineffectiveness. The best bleach to use is Shock Treatment (swimming pool bleach). Simply mix its crystals with hot water and stir.

After you have applied it, you can neutralize the surface with vinegar.

Organic Stains

Some examples of organic stains are feces and urine. They are the toughest stains. However, you can remove them with highly concentrated sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide (27%).

These products can be found in Klean-Srtip (the most readily available). After removal, you will need to wash the surface with water. It might leave an off white color.

To correct that, you can add a matching stain to the spot so that it blends with the rest of the floor.

Conclusion

Stains on your hardwood floor should not cause you sleepless nights. The information that has been presented above is very straightforward yet effective. Simply identify the type of stain and match it with its best cleaning agent and you will be able to keep your floor perfect.

How to Clean Carpets Yourself

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Carpets can be a great addition to your home especially to your living room or staircases. Aside from adding elegance, using carpets can also be a great way to minimize scratches on your floor. However, dust and other kinds of dirt can get accumulated on the fibers of your carpet and may even cause some allergies. With this, it is advisable to have them cleaned regularly especially if they are located in high traffic areas of the house.

In this article, I will teach you how to efficiently clean your carpets so you wouldn’t need to take them to cleaning professionals.

1. Use a vacuum to clean regularly

You probably already have a vacuum cleaner at home, so better maximize its use and clean your carpets regularly. It is advisable that you do this every other day or when the need arises. Make sure that the bag is clean so it can function more efficiently. Moreover, I also recommend that you check the attachments that you will use to ensure that they don’t contain any dirt that will just worsen the condition of your carpet.

Vacuum For Carpet Cleaning

Find time to vacuum at least twice and don’t rush so even the deep-seated dust and other kinds of small debris will get sucked up. If you don’t have a vacuum, I strongly suggest that you invest in one. You can find a lot of great vacuum cleaner reviews  online to help educate you on how to find the best vacuum within your price range. As most cleaning experts will tell you, it’s not about simply buying the most expensive product, but finding out what your needs are, and then buying a vacuum that meets those needs the best. This is the way you will get the most value for the money you spend. In general, you want to pay enough so that you get a robust and durable machine that will last you a long time, but you don’t want to pay extra for gimmicky features that you will never use.

2. Make use of mild detergents or special cleaning solutions for carpets

Some carpets are made of fibers that can easily get damaged. In order to prevent strong chemicals from causing harm, just use mild detergents or grab a special cleaning solution to ensure that you will be able to clean stains or any kinds of dirt without damaging the carpet fibers.

I advise that you determine what kind of material your carpet is made of so you will know what type of cleaning solution to buy. Just follow the instructions on the package and for mild detergents in powdered form, just combine them with enough water and mix until completely dissolved.

Apply it to your carpet and cover with clean pieces of cloth so any excess moisture will be removed. After a while, use clean water to remove excess detergent and leave it to dry. I recommend that you use a fan for fast and easy drying.

3. Do NOT scrub too hard

This is one of the most common mistakes that people make in cleaning their carpets—they scrub like there’s no tomorrow. Never scrub too hard because if you do that too often the fibers will get damaged and it will look worn out in just a couple of months.

If possible, just dab it using a clean cloth damped with cleaning solution. If you are dealing with deep-seated stains for instance, I suggest that you apply the cleaning solution and leave it for a few minutes so you will be able to remove the stain easily. If the stain is too stubborn, you may GENTLY scrub it.

4. Put some carpet deodorizer or protector

Sometimes, you may be faced with stinky carpet problems. This can be really annoying especially if you are expecting some guests and your cleaning solutions can’t seem to remove the funky smell. In order to solve this problem, you may want to purchase a carpet deodorizer available in your local supermarket.

Aside from that, you may also want to grab a carpet protector that you can spray on your carpet after doing the above-mentioned procedures. Carpet protectors will not only help in preventing too much stain from getting accumulated, but some kinds can also fight dust mites and other allergy-causing substances.

Following these simple steps and pointers can be a great way if you want to be spared from the hassle of taking your carpets to professional carpet cleaners and having to go back to pick them up. Aside from that, the materials and equipment that are needed for these steps are very easy to acquire. With this being said, you will never have to unwillingly endure a dirty carpet again.