TCM Restoration & Cleaning Blog

How to get rid of pesky fruit flies!

Everyone loves fruit and if you are eating healthy chances are you will always have a bowl of fruit on the counter for a quick, healthy snack.  Unfortunately sometimes fruit flies come home from the store with our fruit, multiply and suddenly there is an infestation of fruit flies in our homes.

Here’s my simple tips to get rid of those pesky, annoying fruit fies:

1.  Store fruit in the fridge and take a break from buying some fruit that has to sit on the counter like for example bananas.

2.  Wipe down all counters and cabinets…clean thoroughly.

3.  Wash dishes right away or put in dishwasher.  Fruit flies attract to dirty dishes.

4.  Don’t have wet dish rags out.   Fruit flies attract to those too!

5.  Use the attachment on your vacuum and vacuum the areas you see them most common.  You  might have to go on stealth attack…sneak up, aim & then quickly turn on the vacuum & attack!

6.  My last tip is homemade fruit fly traps.   And here is the simple recipe:

In a small bowl or jar add apple vinegar & a few drops of dish detergent.  Let sit and you’ll see in no time fruit flies floating in the trap & NOT buzzing around your home.

Why this works?  Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the vinegar, and will attempt to land on its surface. However, they’re in for a surprise – since the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, the fruit flies fall in and drown.

With all my above tips you should be rid of those pesky fruit flies and be able to enjoy that fruit bowl on your counter again.

September 10, 2013 Posted by | house cleaning | , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning Time

April is the time of year where I get the bug to do some Spring Cleaning around my home.  It’s when I go through my closets, cupboards and drawers and start getting rid of things we no longer need.  It’s also a time when I try to get some deep cleaning in and do a thorough cleaning of my entire home.  If your time is too valuable for you to spend time cleaning then you should seriously think of hiring a housecleaner to do a Spring Cleaning for you.  If you are in the Wasilla area our Cleaning Crew  can take care of all your Spring House Cleaning needs.

For those of you who have the time and enjoy doing your own Spring Cleaning  I thought I’d share with you some tips from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to ease the burden of Spring Cleaning:

  • Develop a task list.
  • Clean oven, refrigerator and other appliances.
  • Clean fireplaces.
  • Wash inside of windows.
  • Wash woodwork.
  • Clean out cupboards and closets.
  • Change HVAC filters.
  • Clean efficiently. Avoid going back and forth around a room. Instead, work using a systematic approach. Think in terms of left to right, top to bottom. Begin with ceilings and walls, and work your way down to windows and furniture, finishing with the floors.
  • Hire cleaning service providers. For those tasks that require a specialist (i.e. carpet, upholstery and hard flooring cleaning), hire only certified professionals. Before hiring anyone, confirm that they are trained and certified in the type of work to be performed, informally interview the company representative or technician, obtain a written estimate of the work to be completed and receive a written contract or invoice confirming the total price and any statements or guarantees.

April 15, 2008 Posted by | air duct cleaning, Alaska, Anchorage, carpet cleaning, cleaning, house cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, Wasilla, water damage | , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Things You Must Not Do for Carpet Stains

The horror!  You just had your carpets professionally cleaned last month and someone accidentally spills a drink, some dip or other gooey mess all over your clean carpet.  What to do???   First off, I can tell you 5 Things Not To Do so you can keep your carpet clean and prevent any unnecessarystains.

 1. Do not ignore the Stain. Catch it while it’s fresh, when chances of removal are 75% better.  Don’t iron or hot-air dry until the stain is gone.  Heat will set many stains.

2. Do not scrub the stain.  Scrubbing can damage the carpet fibers and actually penetrate the stain deeper into the carpet.  Instead blot with a clean damp rag.  (If you have some gooey mess then scrape off as much as you can before blotting.)  You can use plain water or water with a few drops of dish detergent like Joy or Dawn.  Make sure you use warm water and not hot.  Continue to blot the stain with clean cloths until the stain is gone.

3. Do not apply heat to the affected carpet.  Heat will set some stains.

4. Do not drown the carpet in cleaning solution.  Detergent left in the carpet attracts dirt to it.  It’s a guaranteed dirt magnet!  If you are going to use any cleaning solution make sure you use a small amount and rinse completely with water.

5. Do not use cleaning chemicals without testing first.  Certain chemicals react differently with different carpet fibers.   Chemicals can damage the fibers and even change the color of your carpeting.  If you are trying something you haven’t used before you should test it on an inconspicuous area of your carpet.  Apply the cleaning chemical to a cloth first and then test on the area of carpet.

When in doubt you can always call your professional carpet cleaner.    We’re always happy to assist our clients’ concerns over the phone and if needed return to their home for a spot cleaning.

March 14, 2008 Posted by | Anchorage, carpet cleaning, Carpet Stains, Wasilla | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beware of Bait and Switch Carpet Cleaners

I thought I’d share a post I came across this morning from Blonde Mom’s Blog :

 I’ve been dreaming about something hot and steamy. No, not a Krystal cheeseburger, although oh my Lord those hit the spot sometimes, but I dreamed in the past few weeks about getting our carpets steam cleaned.

Lo and behold our little community coupon pack arrived in the mail last week, you know, the ones with the dry cleaning coupons and the air duct cleaning specials and the two for one burrito deals at the corner Mexican joint. After my bout with influenza and carrying our lame Bissell carpet shampooer to its final resting place on the curb over the holidays, I decided to have someone come out and clean our carpet Saturday when temperatures finally rose to springlike highs. As hubby noted last week, I am suffering from serious spring fever and the only thing that will cure it is a few trips to Home Depot and doing some significant deep cleaning to our house, or paying someone else to do that deep cleaning.

I knew the “five rooms cleaned for $39.95″ coupon was too good to be true, but honestly I couldn’t remember the last time we had had our carpet professionally cleaned. Oh sure, I’ve rented one of those carpet doctor cumbersome monstrosities over the past couple of years and our Bissell cleaner worked fine a few times before it keeled over, but it’s been a few years since I actually paid a quote unquote professional to clean the carpet for us and between two very active little girls and two dogs, the seven-year-old Berber in our den has seen better days.

The guy pulled into the driveway in a beater Saturn and yes he may very well have strategically placed a Bible in the back windshield for me to see plain as day, but he totally sold me on the before and after patch he cleaned both with and without the deep scrubbing compound as well as the sanitizing and deodorizing agent. I got him down to a reasonable price after he quoted me a price nearly six times the amount of the coupon. Granted I had also asked about rug cleaning service for Miss A’s bedroom rug and it included that fee, but still, but I only slightly exaggerated and told him hubby would die (more like kill me) if I spent a fortune on cleaning our carpet and a lifetime maintenance plan when we are saving for hardwood floors in our den and kitchen. Although the final bill was $140, he worked for nearly four hours and the house, especially our downstairs bonus room slash doggie apartment, no longer smells like a wet dog or bag of Fritos if you stand in just the right spot.

I don’t think he was trying to scam me, just merely trying to make a living cleaning carpets, but I’ll admit I did a bit of evil withholding when he asked if the mystery faint stain in front of the TV was from our pets and I replied, “No, it’s not from the dogs…it’s a kid stain…you really don’t want to know what it is.”

Don’t let what happened to Blonde Mom happen to you!  Blonde Mom thought she was getting a good deal from a special coupon offered of “5 rooms cleaned for $39.95” and ended up having to pay much more.  She ended up paying over 3 times more than her coupon price after talking him down his 6 times the coupon price.  That’s insane!!  Even though she seemed happy with her cleaning she didn’t get a thorough deep down cleaning of her carpet.  There is no way she could have with a guy bringing in a portable from a Saturn.   She thought the guy cleaning was just trying to make a living and from a business stand point cleaning 5 rooms for $39.95….well…for us we couldn’t do it and we’d be out of business.  So would this guy and that is why he charged more.

I mentioned in my last post Choosing a Great Carpet Cleaning Company  that you should be able to get an upfront, exact quote of the services you’ll have done.  There should be no hidden surprises.  Think about it… You wouldn’t barter or negotiate for any other service.  Could you imagine negotiating with your Doctor, Mechanic of Hair Stylist??  Your Carpet Cleaning  Company should be just as professional and should be no different.

March 3, 2008 Posted by | Anchorage Carpet Cleaning, carpet cleaning, Wasilla Carpet Cleaning | , , , , | 1 Comment

Choosing a Great Carpet Cleaning Company

Occasionally our company will get a call from a client to come clean their carpets right after they have had them cleaned by another company.    The poor client thought they would get clean carpets and that they were getting a good deal.  Unfortunately they discovered it was no deal at all.

To save you from making the same mistake….you should know…..

When choosing a carpet cleaning company you should check to see if they have references available for you.   We keep folders full of rave reviews from our clients and testimonials on our website for anyone to see.   If a company has many happy, pleased customers chances are pretty good that you will also be one of them!

You should also know what experience and education the company has for all of their cleaning services.  How long has the company been in business?  Is the company IICRC trained and certified? (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification -the world’s most recognized certification organization for carpet and upholstery cleaners)  The company should be trained and familiar with all kinds of carpet and fabric types.  You should want the very best expertise for your furniture, carpet and area rugs so make sure the company has IICRC certification.

Another thing you should know about is what method of cleaning the company uses.  My previous post was just about that.   We recommend the Hot Water Extraction or Steam Method because we know that is the best method to use for our clients.

Be wary of choosing a company on price.  A cheap price will get you what you pay for.  Most likely a “cheap brush the dirt off cleaning”of your carpet.   Unfortunately there are also unethical, “bait & switch” companies out there that will tell you one price to begin with and then later give you a much higher price for their services.    The company you choose should be able to give you an exact price quote before services are even started.   You can find pre-screened ethical carpet cleaners for your area at Ethical Services.

Lastly the cleaning company should offer you a guarantee. Far too often service companies are not willing to stand behind their work. Our guarantee to our clients is that if they are not completely thrilled with the cleaning experience they receive from us, we will come back to their location at no charge and no obligation to make things right. If they are still unimpressed, we will offer them a 100% refund.  A carpet cleaning company should be able to stand behind their work and offer a 100% guarantee for your satisfaction.  Don’t YOU think?

February 27, 2008 Posted by | Anchorage, carpet cleaning, Wasilla, Wasilla Carpet Cleaning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Air Duct Cleaning Might Be The Prescription

Here in Alaska (as in many places ) we tend to stay indoors more during the winter.  Winter is also a time when people tend to get sick more often.  There’s colds, flu and all sorts of nasty things going around.  If a “cold” lingers for more than a week chances are it is not a cold.  It could be something more serious than a cold and a trip to the Doctor is needed.  Or it could be there are things lingering in your home making you sick.

Yes that’s right.  There could be things lingering in your home making you sick.  I know what you are thinking, “My home is clean.  I clean my home all the time.  How can my home make me sick?”

Chances are your air ducts are not clean and your home is circulating contaminates which you and your family breathes.  Let me ask you a few questions:

Does it seem like you always need to dust??

Do you notice dust on your furniture shortly after dusting?

Does anyone in your family suffer from headaches, nasal congestion or other sinus problems at night or in the morning?

Does anyone in your home have asthma, allergies or other breathing problems?

Is there a smoker in the home?

Do you have dogs, cats or other pets?

Do you notice a stale or musty smell when the furnace runs?

Does it seem like there is not enough air flow coming from your vents?

Is your furnace only equipped with a standard fiberglass throw away filter?

Okay so it wasn’t a few questions.  But I got you thinking….right?  If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions then you should really consider having a professional air duct cleaning for your home.

Do you want to be breathing from this?

ducts.jpg

 Or from This?? 

 

clean-duct.jpg

 

February 18, 2008 Posted by | air duct cleaning, Alaska, Anchorage, Wasilla Carpet Cleaning | , , , , , , | Leave a comment