Cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home

Posted Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Trying to sell your home? Cleaning your carpet may be the trick you need.

Whether you’re changing jobs, growing a family, or emptying your nest, selling your home can be a lot of work. Fortunately, a good realtor can help you maximize your efforts and net the most cash at the end of the sale.

One of the most important aspects of selling your home is staging it well. You can’t change your home’s location, and while doubling the garage size or adding an extra bedroom would up the property value, it takes more time and money than most sellers want to invest. So a good staging can add that extra oomph your house needs to attract interest.

What is staging?

Staging your home includes everything from taking out the trash to deep cleaning: anything that will make a house more homey and inviting to a potential buyer. Since you want your potential buyers to envision their home in your house, efforts to “depersonalize” your home can help give it a boost in the potential buyer’s mind. Removing family pictures, clothes, boots, toothbrushes, and heirlooms can help keep the buyer thinking about how their own personal touches would appear in the house. But don’t worry if your house begins to feel empty: A house most attractive to potential buyers has about 60 percent of the amount of “stuff” that most people like to have to live in. That means it’s helpful to clear out all your clutter and, if possible, some of your furniture and art.

Cleaning is a vitally important part of staging.

Have you ever been a guest in a dirty home? It’s hard not to wonder what’s growing behind the toilet or how long that spill on the counter has been there. Nothing makes people feel less at home than someone else’s mess. If the house isn’t clean, potential buyers will have a hard time feeling comfortable, and comfort is a must in every home.

So cleaning your home and carpet can help you sell your home, but how clean does your house need to be? The short answer is: very. Sweep, mop, brush, vacuum, wipe—give your house the works. Having the house deep-cleaned can give it a crisp, fresh new feel that can have potential buyers feeling right at home and ready to make their own fresh start.

Let’s take a look at the carpet.

What does your carpet look like to a potential buyer? Perhaps more importantly, what does your carpet smell like to a potential buyer? Cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home, so take a look around: are there dog hairs lining the walls or mysterious stains peeking out from below the furniture? You might not think much about a stain if you remember your toddler taking a tumble with a cup of juice. But don’t forget that potential buyers don’t know the story, and they’re probably going to feel uncomfortable walking on it.

Do I need to deep-clean my carpet?

If your carpet is old, has stains, smells funny, or hasn’t been deep cleaned in a few years, a good deep-cleaning can take care of these problems. Unfortunate odors and stains in carpet are usually caused by food, animal dander, or the mold that comes from trapped moisture. Good professional cleaners with high-quality equipment can remove these from your carpet, so it will look and smell its best.

As a bonus, deep cleaning will reduce the allergen count in your rooms. Dust mites, mold, and animal dander are some of the main allergy triggers for people who have household allergies, and they often hide in carpet. A deep-clean will clear these out and cart them away. Even if you don’t have home allergies, a potential buyer might, and triggering an allergic reaction won’t help them feel comfortable. And that’s just one more way cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home!

What about carpet protection? Is that worth it?

If your house is on the market, you’ll have lots of potential buyers tramping in and out with their realtors, taking a look at the place and assessing it, until it goes under contract. You just cleaned your home and paid for a deep-cleaning. How do you feel about their muddy boots and hot coffee on your carpet?

Carpet protection can keep spills, stains, and dirt from doing their worst damage. How do they work? First, it prevents liquid from soaking into the carpet fibers, so a quick-response blotting can remove more of the spill. And second, they prevent spills from attaching themselves from the fibers, so the next vacuum or deep clean can more easily collect the grime and take it away.

If cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home, keeping it clean is just as important.

Home sweet home

With a beautifully staged and professionally cleaned home, you’re sure to have solid offers before too long. If you have a good realtor to guide you through the process, you’ll soon close on the house, have some more cash in the bank, and be ready to move on to life’s next adventure.

Helping residents of West Bloomfield, Michigan, stage their homes for 40 years.

How to Housetrain your Cat or Kitten in 4 Steps

Posted Friday, October 21st, 2016

How can Charlotte, MI cat owners keep their houses clean?

Cat’s may have a reputation for aloof behavior, but if you’re a cat person, you know what rewarding companions cats can be. But that’s only when your cat is happy, and as any cat owner can tell you, successful litter training is an important part of keeping you and your cat happy, and your house clean. Fortunately, it’s not hard to housetrain your cat, because cats prefer a clean living space almost as much as you do.

1. Have the litter tray ready.

Purchase a litter pan and kitty litter from a pet store and have it ready when you bring home your feline friend. Carry the kitty to the litter pan and set it down right inside. Adult cats usually get the hint right away and will seek out the litter box when they need it. Kittens will also want to use the pan, but they may have trouble remembering how to find it, so it’s best to block off part of the house for them and until they can find it reliably. Importantly, don’t move the litter box without helping your cat find its new location.

2. Where should I put the litter box?

Make sure your cat can access the litter box easily. Cats like a little privacy when they’re doing their business, but they also don’t like to feel trapped. A low-traffic area of your home is best, but a closet or tight corner is likely to make a cat feel trapped. Also keep in mind that noises from the dryer, furnace, or other appliance can make a cat nervous. It’s best to avoid these areas, because your cat will probably avoid them anyway.

And remember: cats often don’t like to share. So if you have more than one cat, place multiple litter boxes in different places around the house.

3. Keep it clean

Cats like clean, so it’s important to clean out the litter box regularly. If you can smell your cat’s waste, you can be sure your cat can smell it, too—and your cat may eliminate in a different, cleaner part of the house.

Scoop out solids and dispose of them daily, and change the clay litter about twice a week. When you change the litter, wash the box with a mild detergent. This will cut down on the odors in your home, to the relief of both you and your cat.

4. Dealing with accidents

Not all accidents are accidental. If male cats aren’t neutered, they may spray around the house to mark their territory. If your cat quits using the litter box, call your veterinarian, as this behavior often signals a problem.

Your veterinarian can help your cat, but who’s going to help your carpet? Blot up what you can and contact Modernistic. Our professional pet stain removal team will clean and flush the area, using a powerful pre-treatment process and a hot-water extraction system to clear out any evidence of an accident.

When your house is clean, your cat will be happy—and so will you.

Tips for Choosing New Carpet for your Home

Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Getting the most for your money in Bay City

When it comes to carpet, smart buyers get the most bang for their buck. While it’s easy to tell if you like the look or feel of carpet, it’s important to keep a few other things in mind as well. Here’s a few tips for choosing new carpet so that you find the best for your home, your budget, and your family.

Pick your pile

Carpet comes in various piles, each with a distinctive look and level of durability. Some of the most popular are Plush, Saxony/Texture, Berber and Frieze. Plush and Saxony carpets have a dense pile that is cut straight across. Plush is soft, perfect for a master bedroom, but it crushes easily and will show footprints or vacuum tracks. Saxony has a traditional look, and wears well in a living room.

In high-traffic areas like the family room, a looped pile, like Berber, is the best choice. It’s sturdy, hides dirt and footprints, and even camouflages stains. Finally, Frieze pile is similar in look and feel to Plush, but more modern and casual. Because of the variegated heights of it’s fibers, it will also hide dirt and footprints like Berber, and so can be used in more places.

Choosing new carpet fiber

Carpets come from a variety natural and synthetic materials, like sisal, jute, and wool, or Olefin, Triexta, polyster and nylon. Most people agree that wool is the premium choice. It’s natural, hypoallergenic, and extremely soft. However, pure wool is also expensive. Wool blends are more affordable and will also have some of the benefits of synthetic fibers, which means these carpets are more durable and stain-resistant.

Olefin and Polyester are great budget choices. Polyester is also ecofriendly, since it is crafted from recycled materials. You might prefer one of these low-priced option in a room susceptible to water damage, like a basement. Many home owners chose Triexta for its softness, a result of its unusual chemical formulation that uses 39% corn sugars. Finally, Nylon has long been a popular choice for residential and commercial use, since it’s resilient, stain-resistant, and offered in a wide range of styles and prices.

Padding and installation

The carpet manufacturer should be able to recommend the carpet padding that will optimally support and cushion your carpet. Don’t underestimate the importance of good padding when choosing new carpet.

Without it you could see your carpet wearing out long before it should. Also, make sure you find an experienced and reliable carpet installer. Aside from avoiding unsightly lumps, bumps and seams, a quality carpet installation extends the life of your carpet.

Understand the maintenance requirements

Different carpets need different types of maintenance. Some will need more frequent cleaning, some are less stain-resistant, and some might require specific cleaning solvents. It’s best to be aware of requirements ahead of time. A beautiful carpet can easily become a stained eyesore without the proper care, so make sure that your choice will stand up to pets, guests, and children. Once you know what you’re getting into you can make your purchase confidently. Then contact Modernistic to keep your new carpet as lovely as it was the day you bought it!

How often should you clean your carpets?

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016

Residents of Macomb: are your carpets cleaned regularly enough?

Professional carpet cleaning isn’t just a cosmetic solution for when your carpet looks dirty. It actually extends the life of your carpet, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run. Dirt and dust act like sandpaper to your carpet: they shred the fibers, causing your carpet to become matted and thin before its time.

Vacuuming regularly will help extend the life of your carpets, especially when you do a slow and thorough job. If you take time to properly vacuum twice a week (or daily in high-traffic zones), you remove most of the dirt and other pollutants that would otherwise break down your carpet fibers. But even so, you will want professional carpet cleaners to come in on a regular basis.

So, how often should you clean your carpets? Here are some factors to consider:

What’s your family size?

It’s not just that kids are more likely to track in extra dirt or spill things on the carpet. More people mean more wear and tear. So if your home is a high-traffic space with lots of people coming and going, you should bring in a professional cleaner every 12–6 months.

Do you own pets?

Pets can add extra wear to a carpet. Dogs are likely to track in more dirt, and dander can get ground into the fibers, contributing to wear and breakdown. We recommend cleaning your carpets at least twice a year, and possibly quarterly.

Kids and pets?

If you have both pets and kids, you should certainly consider quarterly cleaning. It may seem expensive, but it beats having to tear up and replace all your carpeting. You can get extra mileage from your carpet by doing extra vacuuming, paying special attention to high-traffic areas.

That said, if your child spills something on the carpet, or if your pet has an accident, it is not necessary to clean the whole carpet. However, you should have a professional come out and do a spot clean to avoid long-term damage.

You have allergies or asthma?

Carpet is notoriously problematic for anyone suffering from allergies or asthma. Because it collects dust, dander, pollen, and other allergens, it’s best to vacuum often and have it professionally cleaned on a quarterly basis to reduce symptoms.

None of the above?

If you’re living long or with your partner, and you’re pretty gentle with your carpets, the you won’t need to clean them more than once a year.

Call a professional sooner rather than later.

By the time your carpet is showing dirt (and your vacuum doesn’t keep it clean), you’ve actually left it too long. Think of your carpet cleaning as preventative treatment, and be proactive in its maintenance. So if it’s been a while since your last cleaning, contact Modernistic today to schedule an appointment.

Why won’t my carpet stain go away?

Posted Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

That spot keeps coming back? No, you’re not imagining it.

We worked with a client in Ann Arbor recently who struggled with a stubborn carpet stain: no matter what she tried, the spot kept coming back. This is a common problem, and one that most home owners can’t address on their own. So, if you’re wondering how to make your carpet stain go away, here’s what’s going on.

Carpet wicking

Let’s say you spill a cup of coffee or a can of pop onto your carpet. You do your best to take care of it right away, but a few days later you notice the spot has reappeared. What’s happened?

While you might have removed the stain from the surface of your carpet, a lot of that liquid has seeped deep into your carpet fibers and even into the carpet backing. As your carpet dries on the surface, the dry fibers pull up the stain from beneath in a process called “wicking.” If you add more liquid to address the new stain, the liquid seeps down into the carpet to pull up more of the staining agent. Because you can’t clean all the way down to the root of the problem, the stain keeps coming back.

A sugary stain caused by pop can be extra difficult, because the sugars attract dirt. If the liquid is clear, you may not see the stain return until you see all the grime its collected.

How to make your carpet stain go away

For acidic stains (coffee, wine, tea, juice, pet vomit), the best thing to do is neutralize the pH balance with a club soda solution. Use 1 part club soda to 1 part water, and apply only enough to cover the stain. Blot (don’t rub!) with a white cloth till nothing further comes up. Then call Modernistic for expert treatment.

For dye-based stains (ink, nail polish), it’s best to call a professional right away. Just a small spot of ink can become a huge blot if not treated correctly.

It’s also important to avoid commercial cleaning agents. Not every cleaning agent is good for your carpet or your type of stain. Making the wrong choice could exacerbate the problem. Our Modernistic technicians can give your carpet a deep clean using the latest technology and cleaning agents that are safe for you, your children, and your pets.

Schedule an appointment today.

How to Get Wine out of Your Carpet

Posted Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Get a little zealous with your pouring Detroit? Now, how do you get wine out of your carpet?

I mean, we get it, the Tigers had won last night and you just bought a nice Pinot from House of Pure Vin. Sometimes you get a little over excited, right? You then wake up the next morning to find more than a few drops on your carpet. So, fellow Detroiters, how do you get wine out of your carpet?

What You Should Have Done

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure right? Well, in this case 2 minutes of blotting it immediately could save you time and money down the road.

Always blot your wine stain up and down, and never side to side. Blotting side to side will push most of the wine down deeper into the rug or carpet. It’s also best to start from the outside and work your way in.

Next you should add water. This is not just helpful in hydrating after all that wine you drank, but will dilute the wine and add moisture once you’ve blotted out all that you can. This is also necessary if you’ve let the wine stain dry out overnight.

Last, you can add salt. The salt will soak up the remaining moisture, wine included. This is especially helpful if the wine stain has already dried. Let the salt dry, clean it up any excess that you can and vacuum up the rest.

But Since You Let It Go Too Far

Try creating a vinegar solution. Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups of warm water. Don’t use cider or balsamic vinegars, they’re just going to make their own stains.

Next soak a towel in that mixture and dab the affected area. (remember the rules from above) Use another dry towel to soak up the new moisture you’ve created. Then grab some regular water and wet the entire stain down and begin drying.

Like washing your hair:  soak, rinse, repeat until the stain is gone.

Last, But Not Least

Sometimes it’s necessary to call in a professional. If you’ve tried all these other methods and it’s still not coming out, save your carpet and let one of our trained cleaning specialists take care of you and your rug or carpet. Our folks know how to efficiently and effectively get wine out of your carpet.

While they’re there they will make sure the whole room is spotless. Because remember, while it may be baseball season now, it will be football season soon. You want your rooms as clean as possible when everyone is over to see our beloved Lions do what our beloved Lions do. Give us a call and we’ll make sure that your carpet is cleaner than the team’s record.

How to get sand out of your carpet

Posted Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Enjoy Muskegon’s dunes outside your house, not inside.

Summer in Muskegon means the beach. And dunes. And sand. So much sand.

And while we all love lying in that sand when it’s on the beach, none of us want it getting into our carpet. And yet, despite our best efforts, it ends up there anyway. What can you do?

Sand will destroy your carpet

Well, it turns out, you can do a few things, and they’re all super important. Sand wears down your carpet. The particles slice through carpet fibers and absorb spills, leading to staining and odors. And, of course, it’s gritty to walk on. So you’ll want to take extra care to keep your carpets as sand-free as possible.

Keep sand from getting into your house in the first place

A few preventative measures can save you a lot of work. Invest in a brush doormat that will help get the sand out of your shoes before you go inside. If you’ve spent the day at the beach, shake out towels, clothing, and any other beach accessories before you bring them inside.

Give your carpet a good beating

If your carpet is small enough to move, hang it up outside and beat it to shake the sand loose. Keep going till nothing comes out. Then go over your carpet with a stiff-bristled brush to loosen the more deeply-embedded particles.

Vacuum. (Lots.)

If you have a large rug or wall-to-wall carpeting that can’t be removed, you’ll need to be extra-aggressive. If your vacuum allows, change the settings to lower the brush as close to the carpet as possible. This will make it harder to push, but it will allow the brush bristles to work deeper into the carpet. Vacuum in multiple directions, and go over the entire area two or three times.

Have a professional clean regularly to get sand out of your carpet

A professional carpet cleaner comes equipped with more powerful vacuums and special expertise for dealing with sandy carpets. This extends the lifespan of your carpets, saving you money on replacement costs in the long run. So if it’s been a while, why not give us a call? Schedule a cleaning and enjoy sand-free carpets for the rest of the summer.