Allergies and carpets

Sneezing! Bless you. Got your attention already. It seems everyone is bothered by allergies. We spend a lot of our time, in our home, where we live. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is info on our home or business atmosphere or air we breathe and in particular what is in the air we breathe. People spend a lot of money on air purifiers filters and such to clean the air in their home. For IAQ in your home there is no short cut or single approach. Many factors affect IAQ in your home, from cooking, gas or electric, cleaning chemicals, to pesticides to pets, to just us- hair and skin, to name a few.
How different allergens enter our home varies by as many allergens in our home. How they become airborne and removed from our air simply walking across a room can stir up “dust”where dust settles can make a difference. So I am primary going to talk here about floors and furniture. Floors can make a difference too, hard surface floors like wood or tile, vs carpeting and furniture. You can sit on a sofa and relatively not see and dust fly, but add a bright light and slap your hand down on the back and you will be surprised. Have you ever dusted a refrigerator and looked at even an hour later. Sweep a floor and mop and see what mops up? Dust it seems is always airborne. how about carpets, they always seem to take the blunt of blame for allergies in a home.
A carpet will hold 8 -10 times its weight in dust and sand. Unlike a hard-floor when you see a pile of dirt you can sweep it up, but a carpet can “hide” soil and dust allergens. Carpet also can hold and trap these till it is removed by vacuuming or professionally cleaned. I already have a couple of post on importance of vacuuming and how to. So briefly, regular vacuuming is very important to IAQ when you have carpets as the best way to remove dust that bothers your nose. A carpet by its nature vs a hard-floor holds airborne allergens when you walk through your home on a hard surface floor dust can fly into the air, but a carpet it stays. Improper maintenance can lead to unsightly appearances also. So again don’t blame your carpet when it is actually dong its job filtering you air you breath. A carpet is really a giant air filter in your home. Have you ever went a little long on changing an HVAC filter it can get pretty gross. So how do you change a carpet filter? New carpet can be expensive. A good upright vacuum with a hopper style filter or one with a HEPA is best to use a couple times a week or more. It is very important to clean the vacuum each time you vacuum. So keeping your filters clean is a big start to IAQ in your home. Vacuuming is one of the Most important parts of carpet maintenance in your home. When your regular maintenance needs a boost by a professional cleaner they should follow the guidelines set forth in the industry (CRI, IICRC). ALL Carpet Must be vacuumed first before cleaning. Why to remove as much dry particulate soil first which can be up to 85% of soil in a carpet. Our Host cleaning machines I believe are the best overall vacuum system hands down. Our Green, Clean & Dry Host system will clean 85-99% of airborn mold spores and cat allergens trapped in your carpet. With Host low moisture system your carpets will be Soft n Dry when we are done.

Proper vacuuming

As a follow up to my earlier post “Why Vacuuming”, I want to focus on some ideas on proper vacuuming. First of all I will start with the industry standard “IICRC” The Clean Trust. They have in their standard for professional carpet cleaners that ALL Carpet MUST be vacuumed before cleaning. Why? at least 85% of soil in a carpet is dry particulate soil. So vacuuming is very important. Dry Master and our featured system Host has maybe the best vacuum machine made. The Host machine we use, (we have both the residential Freestyle and a commercial Liberator) is a unique machine. It is like three machines in one. A carpet cleaning machine that features two counter rotating cylindrical brushes that work the Host sponges cleaner into the carpet. See one of our videos. It is also a gentle pile lifter. Also we can flip a switch and turn on the vacuum. The vacuum joins with the cylindrical brushes on the bottom to remove in our pre-vacuum process much more dry soil  than many vacuums. Vacuuming is more about half to two thirds of our time cleaning. We pre-vacuum then we clean and then we vacuum twice after the cleaning step to remove the soiled sponges.

For a homeowner, a good upright bag-less vacuum with a hepa style filter or the more expensive filter-less vacuum work great. Always remember the hopper needs to be emptied every use. This is so important to proper vacuuming. A filter and that includes the bag style or hopper styles, loose so much strength after just one vacuum. It is best to vacuum depending on traffic every few days or sooner. Dry particulate soil can damage the carpet fibers. On a hard floor surface like a kitchen floor if a dog runs in with a lot of sandy mud it get swept up right away, because we can see it sitting there. On a carpet as it dries it will by gravity work down into the carpet fibers so its “gone”. Just because we cant see it does not mean its gone. A carpet can hold 3-6 times its weight in sand and soil. That is another reason why test have shown the proper way to vacuum is 7 times in each direction- N E S W like a compass.

A popular vacuum sold on TV says to take their challenge use their brand new vacuum and after first vacuuming with your machine use their New one. Then cut open their new vacuum bag and see how much more their machine vacuumed out of your rug. Well that shows how much a good running machine works with a new filter bag. If you replaced the belt on your vacuum and put a new bag of filter on yours and vacuumed after their machine you would find more soil when you cut your bag open. Its like a car engine if you put a turbo on it you need to improve the exhaust system too. It all about airflow and good maintenance of your vacuum and of your carpet. A good spot cleaning and professional cleaning will also do much for your carpets life.

Replacing paper towel’s.

Tossing in the Towel
It happens all the time in most households. You grab a paper towel — or two, or three — to wipe up a mess when something gets spilled whether its on a counter top kitchen floor or carpet. That’s what paper towels are for, right?

But something else you might have experienced using paper towels is for polishing your nice granite counter-top, rubbing and scrubbing but still seeing streaks on the surface. You keep going until you have exhausted not only your stock of paper towels, but your own energy as well.

And what about windows and mirrors in your house? Have you ever sprayed them with window cleaner and no matter how much you rubbed and scrubbed with a paper towel, you still saw those little swirly marks? Or eye glasses one of my biggest cleaning issue’s a clean microfiber cloth helps with a clear vision.

Of course. This Happens all the time with everyone!

Now I don’t have anything against paper towels. All of us in our house use them and need them all the time. It’s just that I have found there is a better choice now when it comes to cleaning most of these surfaces in your home.

What’s a better choice than paper towels? A “microfiber” cloth or towel will solve most of your cleaning challenges no matter the surface.

Microfiber towels are amazing things. The “micro” fibers are normally made from polyester, sometimes with other fibers added, and can be reused again and again and again with normal laundering. (Just don’t use fabric softener as that leaves a residue on the towel or wash with terry cloth towels.)

The word “micro” is key: Tiny filaments that act like thirsty grime-seeking sponges. Microfibers are soft and eagerly grab dirt, spills and more, leaving the surface sparkling clean. Those shiny surfaces in your home are perfect for microfibers.

Bonus: Anyone who believes in cleaning “green” and recycling should consider using microfibers towles. They are environmentally a superior choice. You can purchase them from virtually any store that sells cleaning products. Try them out.

So toss in the towel — the paper one, anyway. With microfiber towels you won’t need to toss em in trash. Less to the land fill. We use a lot of towels in our cleaning business so not having a bucket full of used paper towels is great. We also just toss the microfiber cloths in the laundry and reuse.

Here’s a special TIP for spot cleaning of spills: Keep a microfiber towel under the center cushion of your sofa. It’s a handy place where many spills happen. On carpet or upholstery just blot with the microfiber towel, never scrub. You want the stuff spilled to transfer up into the microfiber towel. Blotting accomplishes this best and wont damage the carpet.

Man’s Best Friend

Man’s Best Friend
  DID YOU KNOW that man’s best friend can actually become your worst nightmare? That’s right. He’s cuddly, cute and you love him, but sometimes he has a problem with “accidents” and pretty soon, you start to notice the… ummm… odoriferous situation.
Besides the obvious occasional accident from Fido, his hair can also be an issue. Once he shakes a bit off, it goes into the carpet and furniture and sticks to it all and it can be quite a problem.
Then you have the issue of “I want in. I want out. I want in.” You know it… Fido is always on the move and the constant going outside and then back inside brings in all kinds of dirt.
What can you do about all this?
1. Be patient. Wait until it dries, then vacuum.
2. Clean messes up quickly. Once you discover an “accident,” it’s important to grab a white terry cloth towel and blot up the mess before it sinks down into the padding of the carpet. A mixture of white vinegar and water 50% applied to a terry cloth towel will help a lot. A good enzyme deodorizer like you might get from the vet helps with lingering odors, then vacuum but of course when spots or odors get out of hand, hand it to us professional carpet cleaners we can come over and handle these odor challenges. We love a challenge.
3. A hairy situation can be tamed by brushing your dog often. Loose hair that’s about to go into the carpet and furniture can be easily pulled from Fido with a good grooming brush. Then vacuum, always vacuum. And guess what? He probably likes the attention! We always prevacuum before cleaning, and many times it’s after the homeowner has already vacuumed. Our vacuum machines pull the hair that finds itself wrapped into your carpet fibers.
4. While you may not have the time to wipe off Fido’s muddy paws each time he wants back inside, it is a good idea to place mats outside or large terry cloth towel inside the door. Hint we use terry cloth towels for our pets and guest like a party. When Fido wants’ back inside, let him beg a little bit on the outside mat because some of that dirt is definitely going to come off. Our dog Sarge likes to wipe his feet on a terry cloth towel he even rolls on it for his back when he’s wet from rain. Then vacuum. Always vacuum. See my other posts on vacuuming.
Do all of this and man’s best friend is going to be a dream to live with, not a nightmare!

Why Vacuuming?

Why vacuuming is so important. Carpeting covers floors. First floors are walked on. Carpet does a lot more though than just lay there. Carpet is soft and warm to walk on, as well as an insulator to flooring underneath. When a carpet is installed properly, with the fuzzy side up, and power stretched. (Required by CRI on all stretched over pad installations. Unfortunately many are not, which is why we restretch carpeting all the time, see our services page for more info and video). Your carpet looks so beautiful when you purchased it. You chose the color to add to the decor of your rooms. You wake up in the morning, as you walk down the hall to the coffee pot and then to sit on the couch and your feet are so comfy. Your dog curls up by your feet. Your children come and sit down to watch TV next to the comfy dog. The cat comes in purring as it rubs against your feet, looks at the dog and rubs against the kids. This is one moment in a day of your carpet. Throughout the day “so much touches your carpets”. Soon art projects and dinner, snow, rain and mud happen to find their way on and into your carpet. By the end of the week a need to refresh has popped up. So now we begin to see a need for vacuuming.

Many folks just vacuum at the point when they can see stuff on the top surface of their carpet. Carpet actually has a lot more surface than you can see or was measured when your carpet was installed. Besides horizontal the fibers are vertical. This unique design gives carpet it’s plush, soft, and warm feel. Also it produces unique challenges unlike hard floor surfaces. A broom and a mop work well in your kitchen. A footprint or spill when you see it are swept and mopped. With carpet, sand and dust can be tracked in and with a few steps and gravity’s help, where it seems to disappear.

You probably have a filter on your heater that needs to be changed often at least once a month. Your carpet also is a filter in your home. The same dust you wipe off of your furniture and refrigerator collects in carpet. This is point that needs a little focus. A myth is that carpets and allergies can be a problem. Carpet does not create the allergens; it just collects them and holds them like a heater filter. Compared to hard floor surfaces where dust and allergens just fly around as you walk by and become airborne. Carpet just needs the filter changed or removed by vacuuming. A good upright vacuum with a HEPA filter, without all the bells and whistles is best. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. There are some from $100. to $200 that are fine just remember the filter or hopper needs to be changed each time you use it.

Since 85% of what is tracked in or finds its way into a carpet is dry particulate soil, much like the filter on a heater, and abrasives like sand. Removing it by vacuuming regularly is a must. Some studies have said it takes multiple passes over an area to remove adequate amount of soil from the filter or carpet. The other 15% is usually liquid spills or food.

This post is focused only on the why of vacuuming. Several topics were mentioned that will have a separate post on later like:
Proper vacuuming.
Allergies and carpets.
Hard flooring and carpet.
Maintenance and cleaning.

How Long to Dry?

     DID YOU KNOW that when you have your carpet professionally cleaned it should take less than one hour to dry — and, according to some reports, it can take as long as THREE DAYS to dry? According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, the certifying body for professional carpet cleaners, your carpet should take only about six to eight hours to dry and never longer than 24 hours to dry. More than that amount of time, several problems can develop like microbial growth (mold and mildew) can begin to grow. In a sense it can create conditions considered in a flood or water loss and may require special drying.

No one wants that! Nobody deserves that!

Who knows why this happens, except that it never should happen! You should not have to squish around on your carpets. This is why you need a complete carpet cleaning system that guarantees your carpet is dry fast. How fast? It depends on the style of carpet you have, also the number of rooms we clean for you. Humidity and weather conditions on the day you have your carpet cleaned canl affect the drying time. Sad to say, some of our customers in the past have experienced really long drying times when they have had their carpet cleaned previously to finding our services.

We use the Host Green, Clean, and Dry System. Host only uses a few teaspoons of water in the sponges cleaner per square foot. Never a need to tiptoe around, and we don’t even need to use blocks or plastic under the furniture, because Host is such a low moisture system.

We at Dry Master Carpet Care understand the carpet industry changes and feature the products and equipment that in general use the lowest moisture content during the cleaning process.

We know that One thing is for certain, having your carpet cleaned should be a pleasant experience before, during and even after it is clean, you should be able to get back onto the carpet and back to a normal family routine quickly as possible.

We strive to leave your carpets “Soft and Dry” when we are done or soon after. When you have your carpet, furniture, mattresses, wood, tile, and grout all the different surfaces you may have cleaned. You deserve complete satisfaction and the best cleaning you will ever see, with the lowest down time, so you can enjoy your home and furnishings as you desire.
Remember: Clean and dry – that’s the goal!222


Loving The WNC Mountains

1.31.13 1852 weeks ago we BBQ on Saturday afternoon. Then came the rain and near flooding, mudslides. Then SNOW beautiful snow. Followed by a mini ice storm today.

Mixed in all the natural sights we cleaned several carpets In Arden for a customer who had used host dry extraction cleaner them selves for years, now not wanting to spend the time and energy effort to do it yourself, they search high and low and found us. A few cat spots cleaned up very good. Several other jobs this week we had Alt Media Pros follow us and film a few commercials, some great still shots are posted on face book.

Moving forward

Today we move forward with several new adventures. We launch a new campaign through Angie’s List. Ready to place add’s in The Mountaineer (a local paper)


DRY MASTER CARPET CARE Earns Esteemed 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award

This award reflects the company’s consistently high level of customer service!

25th Annaversary

So what do you do to celebrate 25 years in the business, why pack up and move across country and start over (sorta).

After a two year process I have relocated to Waynesville NC, near Asheville NC in the WNC mountains.


Now for celebrating 25 years and re- launching in NC.  I tried to be prepared for the changes but!!