Why Does This Carpet Stain Keep Coming Back?

Posted Friday, March 15th, 2019

carpet spot keeps reappearing stain won't go away spot comes backWe all have that one area. That one spot in the carpet that’s always there. You know the one: a little discoloration, a splotch, a patch, just a little bit different from the rest of the floor. Maybe you’ve even tried to clean it, but, like a winter cold, you just can’t seem to shake it. That carpet stain keeps coming back no matter what you do.

What do you do with carpet spots that just won’t go away? After 4+ decades of cleaning experience, our expert Modtechs have identified the 3 main reasons carpet spots keep reappearing.

Spot vs Stain

There’s one thing we need to clarify first – the difference between a stain and a spot. Colloquially, they’re used interchangeably; we often refer to spots as stains and stains as spots in casual conversation, but did you know they have distinct definitions?
In the professional world of carpet cleaning, a spot is the substance of whatever is on your carpet: a food spot, coffee spot, a dirt spot. The material you can see on your carpet makes a spot, and spots are almost always removable.

A stain, however, is generally more permanent. When carpet gets stained, dyes from the substance (the spot) are transferred into the fibers, changing their color. Sometimes this can be reversed to a degree, but dye transference actively changes the coloring of the fibers – meaning the original color has been altered and makes it very unlikely it will be able to get back to its exact shade.

An easy way to remember the difference is to think about what each one adds:

  • A spot adds substance
  • A stain adds color

That’s why we don’t like to call something a stain unless we know for sure that the fibers have been dyed!

1: Betrayed by Over-The-Counter Products

The Problem: If you’ve used an over-the-counter spot cleaner, chances are it worked pretty well – at first, anyway. Many carpet cleaning products available on grocery store shelves contain some kind of soap, which, in theory, sounds like it should be a good thing for your carpet spots.
Unfortunately, the residue that soap-based products leave behind actually ends up collecting more dirt over time! Areas cleaned with soap will inevitably attract new dirt and soil at a much faster rate than the surrounding carpet – which makes it look like the spot is coming back! In reality, it’s a new spot created by soap residue. Gross!
Why does cleaning carpet with soap end up attracting more dirt? Not to get too technical, but soap is made up of molecules that are both hydrophobic (attracts oils) and hydrophilic (attracts water). Having these seemingly opposite molecules is why soap mixes so well with both oil and water, making it very easy to draw up soil (and other substances) from your carpet. Unfortunately, its oil-attracting properties means any leftover residue is going to continue to attract oil, dirt, grease, and other particulate – meaning it gets dirtier faster in that area. Not cool, over-the-counter carpet cleaner!

The Solution: Don’t use over-the-counter carpet cleaning products! They almost always cause more problems down the line. Instead, check out our handy stain solution guide for common household spots. All natural beats all chemical any day!

2: Wickback Effect: Spots Deep in Padding

The Problem: Another common reason for reappearing carpet spots is what we call the wickback effect. We see this a lot in spots with a LOT of substance – large liquid spills and large dog pet spots especially. What happens is that the liquid will soak through the fibers, through the jute backing, and into the padding beneath the carpet.
Since carpet padding is so absorbent, the spot that you can see on the surface of the carpet, much like an iceberg, may be several times larger down in the padding. After a cleaning, as the carpet dries, it wicks up the spot liquid from the saturated padding into the dry carpet, drawing up the substance and making the spot reappear on the surface (sometimes even larger than the original spot!).

The Solution: Prevention! Blot up large liquid spills as soon as possible before they have a chance to soak into the padding. 3M Scotchgard is a fantastic way to help your carpet fibers repel liquid and give you more time to clean up after a spill. If the spill already happened and the pad is saturated: Have a professional deal with it! A truck-mounted hot water extraction machine and an expert Modtech have the power and knowledge to deal with deep-down spots!  

3: Fido’s Got a Favorite Area

The Problem: One of the most obvious reasons a carpet spot keeps reappearing is also one of the most frustrating: your pet has chosen a particular area in which to “do its business”. Even though you clean up the mess each and every time (and you can’t see it anymore), your pet continues to go back to the same area. Not fun!

The Solution: The problem is smell. The odor remains, leading Fido to go in the same area time and time again. You need to get rid of the smell! Fortunately, we have a variety of pet-specific odor neutralizers that will dissuade pets from using the same area – and leave your home smelling great again.

Modernistic has been permanently removing carpet spots in Michigan since 1973! When it comes to problem spots you just can’t seem to get rid of, trust the carpet cleaning experts! Call or click today.

Give the Gift of a Clean Home This Christmas

Posted Friday, November 25th, 2016

How to give the best gift this holiday season

Holidays are a joyful time, but also a time of great stress for many of us. As relatives age and families scatter to different states, many people feel anxious and overwhelmed by the expectations and responsibilities. Especially when you’re far away, or equally overburdened with Christmas commitments, it can be hard to help. That’s why one of the best gifts you can give this year is a a real-life Christmas elf – a home cleaning professional who can come in and ready your home for the holidays.

When should you think about giving the gift of a clean home?

Sometimes it’s hard to think of a gift for those you love most. People often seem to have everything they need, and simply picking something from a wish list lacks a personal touch. We want our gift to say that we’ve thought about the person in a meaningful way, that we’ve considered their likes and dislikes, and want to make their life better in some small way. Concrete help can mean more than another trinket from the store. Aging parents and new moms are often especially grateful for a little extra assistance. Or, if you have a close friend who’s been ill recently, he or she will likely appreciate some help around the home more than another bouquet of get-well flowers. You may find yourself unable to offer help yourself. But you can offer to bring in a professional to lend a hand.

What kind of help should you look for?

Sometimes you can find a friend or neighbor who does housecleaning on the side for a reasonable fee. However, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, most professional cleaning services offer a one-time home cleaning. If you buy a package of cleanings you’ll often receive a slight discount per unit, but that is more complicated to schedule for a family member. Be sure to shop around, and compare quotes and online reviews, so that you don’t lose money on a less than reputable service.

You can also look for specific cleaning services. You may find that your grandma is happy to do her own dishes, but can’t handle the more strenuous task of scrubbing the grout. Or it could be that your in-laws want to give the upholstery a deep cleaning, but lack the time and experience to do the job. A professional cleaning service can fill that need, and take one more item of their to-do list.

Talk with the recipient before scheduling any cleaning.

When your house is being cleaned, it will cause a certain amount of disruption in your space. Be sure to discuss the best day with your friend or family member ahead of time. You will also need to talk to your cleaning service to see what their requirements are for the home before they arrive. Many services only need you to be home at the beginning and end of their appointment. This means your friend or relative can plan that time to do some other activity, like their holiday shopping. If they have a pet, they might need to arrange to have the dog or cat out of the home, or properly isolated. The recipient will appreciate your considerate gesture more if you consult with them about accommodating their schedule ahead of time.

How to give the gift of a clean home to your friend or family member.

Many people feel pressure to make their homes look as clean and welcoming as possible before the holiday. Especially if we have pets or children, cleaning the carpet is a basic chore we just can’t skip. Arranging a full-house carpet cleaning can be a generous way to chip in towards the expense of hosting out-of-town guests. Try broaching the subject by saying something like, “I’d love to help you with the trouble and expense of hosting us all, but I feel like there’s so little I can do. Would you allow me to contribute in this way?” Once they realize you sincerely want to help, they will be touched by your thoughtfulness.

When you’ve spoken with your family, contact Modernistic for professional carpet cleaning services. Our flexible scheduling and reputation for prompt and reliable service makes us the perfect choice. When you work with us, your family won’t be disappointed with their gift this holiday season. Contact us today!

Serving Macomb, MI for 40 years.

Reducing Holiday Burnout this Thanksgiving

Posted Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Enjoy your family and fight stress this Thanksgiving

Sometimes it’s hard to say how the holidays go so wrong. We gather together to share a meal, watch some football, and relax from our busy lives. However, somehow Thanksgiving can leave us feeling like the turkey is getting the better end of the bargain. Here at Modernistic we have a few tried and true tips for reducing holiday burnout, which work for even the most frazzled hosts and hostesses.

Make Sure to Get Enough Rest.

Many of us are already trying hard to keep pace with our busy lives. Whether you’re in the nine-to-five grind, or stay-at-home mom extraordinaire, there never seem to be enough hours in the day. The holidays bring a whole new set of tasks and commitments on top of our ordinary schedule. This November, be sure to stop and rest. Sit and read a favorite book, schedule a massage, or spend some time with a friend. Make sure you have the emotional reserves to deal with the inevitable aggravations that come with the holiday—long lines, overbearing in-laws, and hyper children. Also get as much sleep as you can. Santa’s elves may be able to work all night, but you will only be at your best with some solid shut-eye.

Remember to say ‘no’ sometimes.

It can be hard to turn down invitations or requests for help or for the latest toy. However, you need to sometimes put your own needs first. Have healthy boundaries about your time and money. Know when you need to say ‘no,’ and don’t allow holiday guilt to overwhelm you. None of us can do everything, and when we try we will simply end up exhausted and resentful. Think about what is important to you and save your energy and money for that. Hopefully you will savor each meaningful commitment, instead of flying between engagements with barely a moment to down a holiday cocktail.

Recognize when your expectations are unrealistic.

We all anticipate different things during the holidays. Especially as our families grow we have to manage different sets of expectations and family traditions. It’s easy to be disappointed, heartbroken even, when things don’t go quite as we hoped. Despite the cannon of holiday movies that promise happy endings amid softly falling snow, real life rarely lives up to our expectations. Think about what you want from the holiday season. Evaluate your expectations and decide whether you need to adjust those ideals to better reflect your life now.

Ask others for help.

In many families some people consistently seem to do more than their share. Maybe they are better equipped to manage the tasks that come with making it a happy holiday. Or maybe they have just always assumed a more responsible role. Still, taking on more than your share of the chores will quickly wear you down and you’ll begin to begrudge others who don’t share the load. Be proactive in asking for help. Maybe your younger brother can’t cook, but could he bring some wine, or be on dish duty? Politely making clear that you need and expect others to help will go a long way towards reducing holiday burnout.

Prepare some of the food ahead of time.

Aside from the turkey, many Thanksgiving foods can be prepared in advance. Do as much washing and chopping of vegetables as you can in the days leading up to the holiday, and store them in individual Ziploc bags in the crisper. Most casseroles can be made weeks ahead of time and frozen, so that all you have to do on the big day is move foil wrapped trays into the oven. And if you are one of the gourmets that makes your own cranberry sauce, it will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Instead of a frenzied six-hour shift in the kitchen, you could make preparing an outstanding meal look as simple as mashing some potatoes and basting a turkey.

Let the professionals do the work for you.

Many of us feel like our budgets are stretched to the max during the holidays. Hiring help might seem like an extravagant indulgence. However, the time and peace of mind you can regain is often worth the expense. Many of us feel pressure to deep clean before our guests arrive, but it can be physically grueling as well as time-consuming. Consider whether you can hire a cleaning service for a day sometime before Thanksgiving. Then you can spend your time cooking or visiting with your guests instead.

To really make the whole house sparkle think about scheduling your regular carpet cleaning right before Thanksgiving, so that your living spaces look their best. Not only will this be aesthetically pleasing, it will be a gift to your guests will allergies as well, who benefit from less dust and dander in their living space. Contact the professionals at Modernistic, then stop and smell the poinsettias this holiday season.

Modernistic, serving Midland Michigan for 40 years

Tips For How to Care for a Shag Rug

Posted Monday, November 21st, 2016

Do you know how to care for a shag rug?

Shag rugs are in this year, and it’s easy to see why Sterling Heights residents love them. Soft underfoot, warm, and available in natural, long-lasting fibers like wool, they are a clear winner in home décor. Still, for all their appealing features, shag rugs are not easy to clean. Here are a few ideas to help you care for a shag rug.

Have you chosen the right rug for the right space?

The long fibers of a shag rug will collect more dirt than other types of carpeting. If it is plush enough, it will also swallow LEGOs, crumbs, dirt, small leaves, and any other thing your pets and children might leave behind. It’s important to choose the right rug for the right space. Shag rugs are not always the best choice for high traffic areas, like the dining room or playroom. It’s harder to keep a Flokati rug clean when it’s laying under your table, than when it is in the bedroom.

Vacuum the back of the rug.

There’s a special trick to vacuuming shag rugs. First, roll your rug and unroll it upside down. Then use your vacuum as normal on the back side of the rug. This will suck out dust and dander, and the beater will loosen dirt caught in the fibers of the carpet. Roll the rug back up again. While the rug is rolled up, run the vacuum over the floor sucking up all the dirt that fell out of the carpet. Finally, unroll the rug right side up.

Vacuum the front of the rug with the upholstery attachment.

Shag rugs can snarl on the vacuum’s rotating brush, or begin to “blossom,” which means that the individual strands of fiber fray and untwist. The beater brush will quickly damage the rug, aging and loosening the fibers. Switch to an attachment with a soft brush head – the type designed for drapes and upholstery. Because it uses only suction, it is gentle on the carpet fibers, while the bristles loosen debris caught on the strands.

Soak up as much of a spill as you can right away.

You should soak up spills and spots with a soft white rag or towel as quickly as possible on any kind of rug, but especially on shag rugs. The depth of the carpet ply makes a shag rug like a sponge, and once that wine has really soaked in it’s hard to get out. Take your time, and really try to blot out every last bit of moisture.

Treating individual spots with care.

Once you’ve soaked up as much of a spill as possible, you can treat spots on a shag rug. However, use extra care in picking the correct cleaner. Because of how dense the ply is, too much water on a shag rug will take a long time to dry. A damp rug is breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can cause allergies and respiratory issues. Try misting the stain with a vinegar and water solution, allowing it to sit for a few minutes, and then wiping with an absorbent cloth. This should lighten stains and not overly saturate the rug.

When should you take a shag rug to be professionally cleaned?

How often you take your rug to be cleaned by a professional will depend on several variables. A rug in a sitting room will likely need cleaning more often than one in the guest room. And if you have children and pets you may need to take rugs more often still. A good cleaning company will have the right equipment to deal with the most delicate and expensive shag rugs, using specialized cleaning solutions, and a labor intensive washing and brushing process.

This kind of cleaning is impossible to DIY at home. However, to extend the life of your rug, and keep it sanitary, professional cleaning is a worthwhile investment. We know that taking every necessary step to care for a shag rug is a big job. When you are ready to trust your rug to the experts, contact us at Modernistic.

Serving Sterling Heights, MI for 40 years.

What to do if you spot mice in your home

Posted Monday, November 14th, 2016

The weather’s cooling down mice are coming in.

It’s cold in Michigan, and coats, scarves, and hats are becoming a daily staple. But we humans aren’t the only ones reacting to the weather. Mice and other pests are beginning to seek shelter from the cold – unfortunately, sometimes in our homes.

In addition to being just plain gross, mice can be dangerous. Their dander can trigger allergies in those sensitive to other animals, and more importantly, they can carry harmful bacteria, viruses, and disease. They can chew through electrical wires, increasing risk of electrocution and house fires, and cause damage to the structure of your home. How can you rid your house of mice and keep them from coming back? Let’s take a look.

Where do mice come from?

Brush, compost, and shrubs can make a nice shelter for mice, so it’s best to keep these far from the house. If they make their nests deep in the backyard, they generally won’t bother you. But if they make their nests right by the house, they’re more likely to find their way in.

Mice can flatten their bodies and fit through cracks smaller than seems possible for their size. Drains, plumbing, or oven gas lines, as well as cracks or holes in foundations, floors, windows, and walls can signal a welcome to mice. However, mice can’t enter if everything is properly sealed. Especially if you have an old house – an old foundation, old windows that don’t shut properly, old plumbing – a professional can update the seals and keep your house secure.

What attracts mice to your home?

Autumn is a common time for infestations to begin, because mice, like people, prefer to be inside when it’s cold out. But warmth isn’t the only thing they like: Food is also attractive. Mice will eat almost anything available, but they prefer grains, seeds, and carbohydrates.

A clean kitchen is less attractive to pests, and more attractive to you and your guests, so keeping it clean is a win-win. If you’re concerned about mice, clean with an eye toward food. Load the dishwasher, wash cooking dishes, and wipe down counters promptly after dinner, or at least before turning in for the night. In addition, sweeping, wiping up any spills on the floor, and taking out the trash can keep the pest-interest level low.

But cleanliness isn’t the only way to keep mice away. Mice can easily chew through plastic wraps, bags, and cardboard boxes. And if they’re motivated, they can chew through hard plastic canisters and wooden boxes. Any food that’s not in the refrigerator or freezer should be stored in tightly sealed glass or metal jars.

Do you eat in the living room or at your desk? Be careful to vacuum up any crumbs, and don’t leave plates or cups around, especially if they’re holding crumbs or a crust of bread. Lastly, be sure pet food and birdseed are sealed or kept away from the house. You might not eat it, but mice will.

They’re here! How can you get rid of mice?

If you’ve seen droppings on your counter or the bread bag chewed through, you probably have mice. So what can you do?

Traps and poison are some of the best remedies for an infestation, but it’s important to be careful with both, especially if you have small children or pets. Poison is, well, poisonous. And traps can break bones in paws, toes, and fingers. Consider your toddler’s affinity for putting things in his mouth or your dog’s curiosity when placing traps and poison. And if you would rather not deal with dead rodents, you can always opt for a no-kill trap.

If you’ve seen evidence of mice, you know their favorite places in your home, so target those areas with traps. Nestle the traps against the wall, since mice like to run along the wall and you’re less likely to accidently step on the trap when it’s out of the way.

While almost any food can successfully attract mice to your trap, clever mice can snatch the food and run away with it. A good solution? Peanut butter. The most sly and elusive mouse will not be able to carry away a goopy mess.

The last step: Cleaning up.

Since mice can carry so many diseases on their bodies and leave them in their droppings, it’s important to clean thoroughly. Discard any food that mice have nibbled. Use gloves and a disinfectant spray or wipe to clean any surfaces the mice have walked or eliminated on. Wash or clean in hot water any cleaning materials you use. If the infestation has been especially bad, you may need a professional cleaning to keep your family safe.

Modernistic is an excellent choice for professional cleaners. We do air ducts, area rugs, hardwood floors, and mattresses – anything that could have been contaminated by a mouse. Contact us for a free quote!

Serving Birmingham, MI for 40 years.