Homemade Cleaning Remedies – The Power of Vinegar

Although we at Cincinnati Maintenance focus mainly on carpet, upholstery, floor and tile, we sure do love clean homes and offices. And, we love natural and organic remedies to keep that good clean going.
Which brings us to the power of good ol’ vinegar. A few weeks ago we blogged about using vinegar and baking soda to get rid of pet urine odor in carpet and rugs. But, vinegar can do so much more.
Why do we like to use vinegar in homemade cleaning products?  It’s non-toxic. That’s the biggie. It’s inexpensive. That’s a biggie, too.  And, it’s good for a lot of different small cleaning jobs around the house and office.
Here are a few cleaning ideas for vinegar, but, as with ANY cleaner, be it homemade or store-bought, test in an inconspicuous area first.
Cabinets and paneling: Mix ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, and 2 cups of warm water. Apply with a soft cloth and wipe dry with a different soft cloth.
Showerheads: To remove hard water corrosion, soak in vinegar overnight and scrub gently with an old toothbrush.
Hard water and soap buildup: Liberally wet soft cloths with vinegar and place on hard water corrosion and soap buildup around faucets; leave for several hours or overnight; then, wipe away the gunk.  Soap buildup can tenacious, though, so you can try rubbing away the scum with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
Disposal: Get that nasty smell out of the kitchen disposal but pouring in a cup of vinegar; let it sit (do not run water nor run the disposal for at least an hour) and then run water and the kitchen disposal to vanquish bad odors.
One note about vinegar – be wary of using vinegar to clean marble surfaces, granite countertops, or stone tile.  The acidity of vinegar can etch these surfaces.
Keep check back on the Cincinnati Maintenance blog as we will be posting more green, eco-friendly homemade cleaning remedies soon!

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pet Urine Odor

We get asked often, “How do I get the pet urine smell out of my carpets?”  In Cincinnati, it’s still that iffy time of year weather-wise where pets are spending more time indoors than out – naturally leading to a few more accidents that can leave some unpleasant odors in your rugs and carpets.
It’s great to keep some good DIY or homemade remedies on hand to help you and Fido out.  First and foremost, Cincinnati Maintenance ALWAYS recommends that you test any cleaner or “remedy” you are trying in an inconspicuous area of your rug or carpet.  You certainly don’t want to make an accident area worse.  
First things first, be sure to blot as much of the offending accident material as possible. You don’t want to be dealing with a liquidy mess when trying to rectify these issues with a cleaner. So, get rid of as much of the urine as you can by blotting with a clean, preferably white, absorbent towel.
Likely the most effective DIY pet odor remedy and the one we want to share with you is a Baking Soda – White Vinegar Spray.  Put two equal parts of white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and add 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda.  (Note: be sure it’s baking soda and not baking powder.)  For example, for two cups each of water and vinegar, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda.  For one cup each of water and vinegar, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
Spray the area liberally. Let it sit at least 5 minutes and blot dry with a clean towel.
An alternate way to use this remedy is:  Blot as much of the mess up as possible. Instead of adding the baking soda to the spray bottle containing the water/white vinegar mixture, sprinkle the baking soda onto the accident area.  Let it sit on the area for a minimum of 5 minutes. Vacuum up the baking soda and then proceed with spraying the area with the vinegar mixture and blot dry.
Lastly, another alternative is: Blot the offensive material as thoroughly as you can as described above.  Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda.  Then spray the water/vinegar mixture on top of the baking soda. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and then blot and blot some more.
We’re big fans of using homemade cleaning products whenever possible and we are fans of pets. And, if you have pets, you really should always have tried and true DIY cleaning remedies on hand.   
As always, feel free to contact Cincinnati Maintenance should you have a mess you can’t handle and for your regular carpet and upholstery maintenance cleanings.  

What to Look for in a Carpet Cleaning Company in Cincinnati

Not all carpet cleaning companies are alike. That would be like saying hiring a professional landscaper is the same as hiring a 12-year-old kid from down the street for a landscape installation.
So, what should you look for in a carpet cleaning company? Here are a set of questions you might ask when considering inviting professional cleaners into your home:
Are you certified? Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is presented to the most reputable companies and highly-trained technicians. This includes coursework, training and exams. Ask the company you’re considering for documentation of IICRC certification.
Are you insured? You certainly don’t want to work with a company that lacks proper insurance – this includes liability as well as worker’s compensation insurance for its technicians. Lack of insurance means lack of responsibility and failure to follow legal requirements. Don’t be too shy to simply ask, “Are you properly insured?”  
Do you provide written estimates? It’s good to know what to expect before you hire someone to do any type of work in your home. It’s even better to get the estimate in writing, so there can be no cause for concern when you are presented with the bill.
Do you have any references or testimonials of your work? You can do your own research first by looking at Google reviews, reviews posted on other social media and testimonials posted on a company’s website. If you want to dig deeper, ask for a few names and numbers of clients who would not mind your calling to ask about the quality of the company’s work.
How long have you been in business?  Let’s face it, longevity in business means more experience and also equates to success of that business. If a company indicates it is “family-owned,” feel free to ask how many generations of the family have been in this line of work. No amount of formal coursework can replace the knowledge a long-term business enterprise has gained over the years.

Why Dryer Vents Need to Be Cleaned in Cincinnati

You hardly ever think about it until you see a house fire on the news and hear it started from a dryer vent issue.  You wonder if it’s true that dryer vents need to be cleaned regularly or if a clogged dryer vent is really that big of a deal.
Well, it is. The problem with not cleaning the dryer vents is accumulated lint and debris can contribute to excess heat building up and then a fire erupting.
Here are some danger signs that your dryer vents may be clogged and a fire could be imminent:
It is taking two or three cycles to dry a load of clothes.
You see dust, lint or debris around the dryer hose or outside vent.  Also, if you see that an outside vent is not opening properly when the dryer is running means a likely significant lint build-up.
Your clothes are very hot to the touch when you remove them from the dryer or you smell a burning type of odor when you open the dryer door to retrieve your clothes.
The laundry room or area feels significantly warmer after you have used the dryer.  This means that the heat is not leaving the room like it should and a dangerous heat build-up could be just around the corner.
If you see the warning signs of a clogged dryer vent, call an expert for advice. Cincinnati Maintenance prioritizes dryer vent cleaning due to the fire risk it poses to your family or business. Same day emergency services are available.

Why LEED-certified “Green” Office Buildings are Attractive to Tenants, Businesses and Employees

Lately, we at Cincinnati Maintenance have been blogging about healthy environments and safe cleaning within homes and commercial buildings – we’ve talked a little about LEED-certified (think Green!) practices and strategies.
LEED means Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, and office and commercial buildings that are “LEED-certified” have in the past few years proven that this concept is what tenants, businesses and employees prefer.  These buildings operate at lower costs and create a higher standard of environmental quality – which is catching the powerful attention of commercial/corporate, public and individual buyers. These high-level performance features are definitely playing into decisions about leasing space and purchasing properties and homes.
Green buildings mean that closer attention is paid to energy-efficiency in heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as windows, lighting, plumbing and more.  The maintenance of these environments then require green cleaning and maintenance to uphold the higher standards set forth in the construction and outfitting of the office or commercial buildings.
Cincinnati Maintenance proudly provides “green cleaning” for offices, commercial buildings, medical facilities and more – always with the environment and the health of the workforce and customers and clients of these buildings in mind.
With the most advanced and up-to-date cleaning methods plus safe chemistry, we strive to provide the healthiest possible work space for the buildings we maintain.  Cincinnati Maintenance also closely monitors the most cutting-edge green technology and practices to ensure you, your properties and your businesses are protected and are doing your part to be responsible to the environment.

What is LEED in Greater Cincinnati? Green Building Leadership is Changing How We View Design, Construction, MAINTENANCE and Operation of Buildings and Communities

Have you ever heard of LEED?  If you haven’t, you soon will.  Perhaps you’ve heard of Green Building Leadership?  Or, just green buildings?
Basically, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, and it is a level of certification that provides the standard for green building practices and strategies.   
The question is, why should you care?  We spend most of our lives in our homes and offices.  For now, let’s just consider your home.  As we learn more each day about the importance of being safe for the environment as well as safe for our own personal health and that of our families, Cincinnati Maintenance believes that every home should be “green.”  At the minimum, it should be maintained in a clean, safe, “green” manner.  
Cincinnati Maintenance provides “green cleaning.”  With your health and the environment in mind, the products and techniques we use protect your largest investment – your home.  And, protects your most valuable asset – your FAMILY.
Green Cleaning with Cincinnati Maintenance means we use 90% less water during cleanings and only use green certified cleaning products.  With the most advanced and up-to-date cleaning methods plus safe chemistry, we strive to provide the healthiest possible environment – whether it’s a regular maintenance cleaning or a complete restoration. One of our clients’ favorite results is that your carpets and floors dry quickly, and this eliminates the fear of mold or biological growth.
Green Cleaning also means that sewage waste is reduced by 90 percent.  There are no gasoline-burning engines during cleaning services.  Additionally, we use only HEPA filtration vacuums on every job.
Bottom line is: we support the concept that LEED homes are built to be healthy, provide clean indoor air and use safe building materials.  To that end – whether you have a LEED-built home or not – Cincinnati Maintenance strives to provide green cleaning maintenance to give you and your family the highest level of green peace of mind available.
Learn more on our Green Cleaning website page.

Frequent Carpet and Tile Cleaning is Imperative in Medical Facilities – Particularly during Flu Season! Cincinnati Relies on us!

I recently posted on Social Media how the norovirus can live on a carpet’s uncleaned surface for a month or more.  Now, with flu season upon us and, well, really any time, medical facilities need to clean ALL their surfaces – and oftentimes, carpets and floors are forgotten or neglected when germy surfaces are being cleaned.
Cincinnati Maintenance is frequently asked, “How often should we clean the carpets?”  We covered this in a blog post a couple of months ago, but it bears repeating that certain types of businesses need the carpets cleaned more often than others.  For instance, daycares could benefit from weekly or twice-per-month cleaning because small children are crawling around and constantly put things that have been on the floor in their mouths.  Hopefully no one is putting anything in their mouth that’s been on the doctor’s office floor, but, nevertheless, every one-to-three months is good timing for medical facilities to have a deep floor clean.  During pandemic or a time of especially hard-hitting viruses, obviously more often can only benefit the reduction of germs.
Another area that is often overlooked is tile and grout.  All kinds of germy messes can creep down in the grooves and crevices of tile and grout floors.  Please do not forget that these areas need deep, professional cleaning, too.
Cincinnati Maintenance cares about our customers and our customer’s customers.  We are proud to help medical buildings and offices maintain the highest level of cleanliness available to keep good health a primary focus.

Considering Olefin Carpet or Already Have It? Things to Consider about Maintenance and Cleaning of Olefin Carpet. Be sure to choose the RIGHT carpet cleaner in Cincinnati Ohio.

It is fairly common for commercial offices or businesses to consider installing Olefin carpet, sometimes known as Olefin Berber.  Everyone has heard how this type of synthetic fiber is miraculous at resisting stains.  That IS true; it IS stain resistant.
However, there are some pitfalls to Olefin as well.  Olefin loves….oil.  It is basically an oily fabric that attracts oil.  While the “oiliness” does mean is tends to repels many stains, it – on the other hand – can be difficult regarding oily soil.  Also, high traffic areas can look soiled but that often is the light reflecting differently off of areas where the carpet fabric loops have been crushed.  
A cleaning pre-spray made specifically for Olefin or Berber is highly recommended.  But one must be really careful with the pre-spraying of stains because Olefin is also, unfortunately, known for “wick back.”  This means if too much wet spray is used, it gets to the backing and “wicks up” staining substances to the surface!  
If you have Olefin or Berber in your business or your home, good vacuuming habits are a must.  Don’t over soak or use an overabundance of treatment spray when trying to take care of a stain.  And, most importantly, when you have the carpet professionally cleaned, the encapsulation method – which is low moisture carpet cleaning like Cincinnati Maintenance provides – is practically imperative.

VCT – or Vinyl Composition Tile – Greatly Benefits from a Regular Cleaning Maintenance Schedule

Many of our business and industrial clients ask us at Cincinnati Maintenance how to best maintain or keep clean their VCT – Vinyl Composition Tile.  With minimal effort, the key to keeping this commercial or institutional flooring looking its best is a regular cleaning schedule.
On a daily basis, we recommend VCT be swept or vacuumed to get rid of dry dirt and gritty soil.  This may be followed by a quick damp mop.  In the higher traffic areas or areas subject to more grit, twice daily sweeping or dry vacuuming may be preferred to keep the area safe as well as nice looking.
Periodically, calling Cincinnati Maintenance to provide deeper machine cleaning ensures that the high traffic area is maintained at a level of consistency.  This deep clean may also include buffing and an application of floor finish or a combination of these.
Lastly, in some cases, a more extreme level of restoration may be required – this could possibly include stripping and refinishing the VCT.  This scenario is reserved for instances where regular maintenance was not sufficient to keep the overall desired level of appearance.
When businesses, commercial and industrial sites have invested in VCT, taking measures to maintain it properly should be part of a daily checklist of cleanliness not only for appearance but for safety’s sake as well. Lastly, having a planned schedule of professional flooring maintenance is just one more step in protecting that investment.

Entryway Mats Have Multiple Purposes in Keeping Your Office Building Clean and Inviting. Commercial Buildings in Cincinnati need Mat Systems.

At least “80 percent of all the soil, dust, contaminants, and moisture entering a facility are tracked in on the shoes of building staff and visitors,” according to ISSA experts in the cleaning industry.  Entryway or entrance mats can stop a tremendous amount of dirt and debris from coming further into your office and wreaking havoc on your polished floors, hardwood, rugs and carpets.  
A small investment in entrance mats will protect your larger investment of the flooring in your building.  The carpet and floors of the office will have a much longer life and will stay cleaner and less worn when the entryway has quality matting.
Particularly in wet or snowy weather, good quality mats in the foyer or vestibule prevent dangerous slip-and-fall accidents which can lead to unwanted and unnecessary headaches for the owner should someone get hurt.
Lastly, entrance mats create a visually pleasing and inviting, professional look as customers and clients enter the building.  It’s always a bonus to give people a wonderful first look into your building and your business.
Office building and business owners should consider nice-looking, highly functional mats to protect their flooring investment and prevent harmful accidents.