Category Archives: home cleaning

4 Cleaning Tasks to Add to Your Fall To-Do List

Couple raking up lawn autumn leavesNow that Labor Day is done, we can start using the ‘fall’ word. After all, apple orchards are opening, trees are starting to turn beautiful autumn colors, and kids are heading back to school.  Fall also brings a fall maintenance checklist for homeowners, who are trying to get their homes ready for winter with HVAC maintenance, pressure washing the exterior or your home, winterizing your lawn mower—you know the standard fall maintenance list.

If you’re one of those homeowners, consider going the extra mile by adding these to-do’s to your fall maintenance list so you and your home are set for all that winter is going to throw at it—and its residents.

Carpet cleaning

There are three reasons to schedule a carpet cleaning during autumn; if you have allergies or other respiratory issues, make that schedule a carpet cleaning as soon as possible.  A professional deep carpet clean can rid your carpet of allergens and dirt, which can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms (especially during winter when we’re all trapped inside).

Another reason to add carpet cleaning to your list is to keep your carpets looking new—and to ready your home for all the snow and mud that’s going to get tracked in over the winter months.  If you schedule your carpet cleaning during fall, you can still open your windows during the carpet cleaning (while the weather’s still okay!).

Fireplace & stove inspection and clean up

Before you start cuddling up to that warm fire on a cold and windy day, have your fireplace or stove chimney inspected and cleaned—for both a gas and wood-burning fireplace and stove.  A professional can inspect the chimney for build-up, check the firebox to make sure it is safe, examine all lines and structure, and give your fireplace, stove, and chimney a full clean.   A pro can make sure that your chimney is clean and safe for all your winter fires.

Duct cleaning

We’ve seen studies that estimate Americans spend as much as 90% of their time indoors—especially during winter.  If you have allergies, you know that indoor allergy symptoms are often caused and exacerbated by the most common indoor allergens: dust mites, pet dander, mold. All of those allergens re-circulate though our air ducts every time you turn on your furnace. To avoid sneezing, wheezing, and all those other annoying indoor allergy symptoms, add a professional duct cleaning to your fall maintenance list.  One call (or email) to a professional duct cleaning company can clean your ducts of all those allergens, making your time indoors this winter allergen-free (or at least, less allergen).

Smoke & carbon monoxide detector inspection

This addition to your fall maintenance checklist is one that you can perform yourself—and it’s easy to do.  Clean the area around your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test the detectors to make sure they still work.  As long as you’re testing your detectors, do a full run-through of your emergency escape plan with your family to make sure they know the drill.  Finally, swap out batteries in every detector to make sure they work during the winter if you need them (hopefully not!).

Common Home Cleaning Mistakes

clean floorsWe can hear the exasperated, “It’s just cleaning my house. How hard can it be?” As simple as cleaning may be, it’s easy to make these common home cleaning mistakes. We understand. We’ve, ahem, even made some of these mistakes ourselves…and we’ve certainly seen the effects of common home cleaning mistakes. There’s the customer who used a steam cleaner to clean her wood floors and was left with water damage. The carpeting that doesn’t need carpet cleaning, it needs fibers back because of an overambitious vacuum cleaner. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of common home cleaning mistakes, so you can learn from some of the most frequent errors made in the name of cleanliness:

  1. Scrubbing carpet stains. Do you apply some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those pet stains, spilled juice or muddy footprints? You may be damaging your carpet fibers. Next time you need to clean up carpet stains, blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill.
  2. Mopping (or steam cleaning) your wood floor with water. Repeat after us: water and wood do not mix. Sitting water is the enemy for wood floors, causing water damage and warped floor boards. To clean your floors, use a cleaner and soft dust mop to clean up spills and give your floors a new shine. Please don’t use a steam cleaner on your floors. If you want to know why, read our recent post on steam cleaners and wood floors.
  3. (Sort of ) deep cleaning your carpets. It’s so tempting to rent a cleaner and declare your carpets clean. Unfortunately, very few rent-a-cleaners can get your carpets as clean as a professional carpet cleaning.
  4. Being unintentionally abrasive. Is that sponge the right tool for your cleaning? What effect will that cleaner have on the tile you’re cleaning? Don’t go into a cleaning job without knowing if you are going to damage that flooring, countertop, table or other surface you’re cleaning.
  5. Using a vacuum cleaner that damages your new carpet. Today’s vacuum cleaners are all about increasing suction, and that’s not always a good thing. Are you unintentionally damaging your carpet with a vacuum cleaner with too much suction—and voiding your warranty? Read our blog post to make sure you’re not making this common cleaning mistake, and getting yourself into hot water with your carpet manufacturer in the process.

If you don’t know how to clean your new flooring, or your new-to-you-flooring, don’t be afraid to ask. Send us a message or post on our Facebook page, send us an email, give us a call or stop in at a Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc or Lake Mills. We can help you clean your floor—without causing damage or making an unintentional common cleaning mistake.