by Jeremy Strickland
by Jeremy Strickland
by Jeremy Strickland
In my latest vlog, I outline what makes Randy’s a great place to work. Check it out!
by Jeremy Strickland
February marked the second anniversary of the Randy’s Carpet Care blog. In that time, I’ve written and published 70 articles, covering topics from professional steam cleaning to DIY pet accident cleanups to the amazing versatility of corn.
Carpet Cleaning may not be the most glamorous of industries, but when looked at with a sense of humor and a little imagination, it can be a fun topic. That’s why this blog has included articles which include references to Indiana Jones, advice on how to deal with dragon’s breath, and even a brief lesson on Greek Mythology!
The most popular article I’ve posted, however, is a practical one, so no ruminations on a lost meatball, tale of a sick prince under the queen’s watchful eye, or a visit from a Sasquatch. Instead, the most views belong to the eight ways you can prevent your carpet from developing wear patterns.
As a writer, the rule cuddled up next to my heart is: “Show, don’t tell,” so I try to paint a lush landscape with watercolor words. Writing packs a bigger punch when it illustrates than when it pontificates. “Show, don’t tell” is also the way that Randy’s Carpet Care works. With 39 years in the business, our results speak volumes. It’s no wonder we’ve been voted “Best of the Best” by the readers of the Holland Sentinel Newspaper for the last fourteen consecutive years.
Thank you to all of our readers. I hope that you have learned something valuable and had a little fun while doing it. Any topic you’d like me to cover or any burning question keeping you up at night? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.
If you’re in West Michigan and looking for results, call us today for a free estimate: (616) 392-1400
by Jeremy Strickland
Recently, while investigating a yogurt spill in a dining room, a client asked me what her apartment’s carpet was made of. “Plastic,” I told her. “Nylon, polypropylene, polyester… Something like that.”
“I knew it was cheap!” she exclaimed.
People are surprised when I tell them that their carpet is made from plastic, but that’s not necessarily an indicator of quality or cost. Nylon, for example, is a sturdy plastic that holds up well against wearing, making it the most popular carpeting option. Triexta is another plastic carpeting material made in part from corn oil, and it is a high quality, stain resistant product, with a price tag to boot. Polypropylene (also called Olefin) is relatively cheap and low grade plastic, but when made into carpet with small, tight loops (Berber carpet), it holds up well against heavy foot traffic. Berber Carpet made from polypropylene is used primarily for commercial carpeting but because it is relatively inexpensive, you’ll sometimes find it in apartments too.
Natural materials make for more expensive carpets, but just as synthetic is not necessarily bad, natural is not necessarily good, particularly from a Professional Carpet Cleaner’s perspective. Some natural materials used for making area rugs, like jute or grass, are difficult to clean. Silk is beautiful, strong, durable, and holds about a third of it’s weight in water without seeming wet, though because it’s naturally dyed, colors may run in the cleaning process. Wool, the most common natural fiber on the other hand, is also quite absorbent. It’s naturally stain resistant and easy to clean, but to carpet your home wall to wall with wool is very expensive.
So, what is your carpet or rug made from? How can you tell?
There are a myriad of materials that can be used to create carpet and area rugs, but in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. From a Professional Carpet Cleaner‘s point of view, two of the biggest considerations are: “Is it synthetic or natural?” and “Will the colors bleed?” Natural fibers require a more gentle approach, and Professional Carpet Cleaners can perform a color-fastness test to ensure that they can safely clean any carpet or rug without colors running.
Since 1980, Randy’s Carpet Care has specialized in carpet and area rug cleaning. If you’ve got questions about yours, call (616) 392-1400 and schedule your free estimate today!
A tale of chivalry by Jeremy Strickland
Once upon a time, in the magical land known as “Michigan,” there was a beautiful queen who lived in a grand castle by a big lake (you may even call it a “Great Lake”). The queen’s little prince, Edward, had brought misery to the kingdom when he came down with a nasty stomach bug and barfed on the royal carpet next to his chamber bed. Distraught, the queen made chicken noodle soup for her beloved child and then summoned the kingdom’s bravest Professional Carpet Cleaners.
“Can you get it all out?” asked the queen.
“I’m almost certain that I can,” said the very good looking carpet cleaner (probably named Jeremy). “Shall I clean the entirety of Prince Edward’s chamber? The great hall? The banquet room? The germs are going to be wherever your son has been and cleaning the carpets will help to get rid of them.”
The queen hesitated. “I don’t know,” she said, looking around her castle floors for other signs of soiling. “We just had this carpet installed a couple of years ago, and it doesn’t look too bad. I don’t want to have it cleaned if it doesn’t need it because it’ll just get dirty faster afterwards.”
The handsome carpet cleaning man (who may or may not have been named Jeremy) gasped!
Working in the professional carpet cleaning industry, I am oftentimes confronted with this old wives tale, and woe to the kingdom, the old wives were right! Sort of. Carpets WILL get dirty faster after being cleaned… IF the carpets have been cleaned improperly.
All soaps and chemicals must be thoroughly rinsed out of the carpet fibers along with the dirt. Otherwise, lingering residues will become like the castle moat, and every invader or dragon that assaults the castle by will become trapped. The spot where the carpet was “cleaned” will end up looking worse than it did before the act of cleaning occurred. It is only when all soaps and chemicals have been rinsed out of the carpet that the carpet will not resoil any faster than if it were new.
This oftentimes happens when you clean your kingdom’s carpets yourself but can also happen with professionals too. Some dastardly carpet cleaning companies run water and cleaning solution through the same line, so they do not rinse their cleaning solution out of the carpet. Instead, they’re applying soap and then vacuuming the excess away. This cuts out the step of having to pre-treat carpets before wanding (what the blue guy above is doing), which may make the job go faster but sacrifices quality. These guys, these court jesters, give the rest of us brave professionals a bad rap.
When summoning a Professional Carpet Cleaning company ( ), be sure to ask their scheduler if they rinse all soaps and chemicals thoroughly with clean water. If they don’t… Thanks, but no thanks! Call someone else.
Randy’s Carpet Care has perfected carpet cleaning methods since 1980. It’s no wonder that we’ve been nominated for Best of West Michigan for the fifteenth consecutive year.
If you’re in the magical land of West Michigan, and you want the carpets of your kingdom cleaned, call us today! (616) 368-2024
And they all lived happily ever after. The end.
Randy’s Carpet Care is West Michigan’s most trusted Professional Carpet Cleaning Company, a growing institution looking to build our team this Spring. This is a great opportunity for the right candidate to get into a well paid full-time position that breaks the usual nine to five mold.
Here are the top seven reasons why this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss:
There are plenty of jobs out there but few offer such variety, independence, and high starting wages as Randy’s Carpet Care. We have full-time positions open, and we’re looking for self-motivated people with clean driving records, valid, insurable drivers’ licenses, and a knack for providing above and beyond customer service.
Want a career instead of a job? Think you have what it takes to join our team or know someone who does? Resumes can be emailed to email@example.com, an application can be submitted online here, or we are accepting applications at our office located at 131 Coolidge Ave Ste #2 in Holland, MI.
For more information, check out the story of how I went from retail management and banking to working as a Professional Carpet Cleaner here.
by Jeremy Strickland
From community service to outdoor adventures, the Cub Scout den that I lead builds character in our boys while they learn and have a ton of fun. Recently, my co-leader ran our boys through a science experiment that illustrates Chromatography as well as a process we experience in the carpet cleaning business. It was a simple experiment, so you can try it with your kids or grand-kids using materials you’re certain to have at home.
Here’s what you do:
As the water wicks up the strip of paper, dissolving the dyes used to create the marker’s color, the individual dyes used to create the color separate. You’ll notice that some dyes travel farther and/or faster up than others because some dyes have molecules which are heavier than others.
This process is called Chromatography, and it was invented by Mikhail Tsvet in 1910 in order to separate plant dyes. Chromatography is still used by modern chemists in fields as varied as police forensics and animal biology.
Wicking in carpet cleaning:
So, your beloved German Shepherd, Sir Licksalot, got sick and peed on the Family Room carpet. You take your fur-baby to the vet, and you call in your local Carpet Cleaning Professional to clean up the mess. By the end of the day, Sir Licksalot is on the road to recovery, and your carpet has been returned to its former pee-pee-free glory…
…But in the morning, the spot in the Family Room which had been cleaned yesterday has turned brown. What happened?!? Did the dog pee there again? Did the trusted Carpet Cleaner you had been so impressed with actually do a crummy job?
No no no. The brown spot is the result of wicking, a natural phenomenon caused by carpet fibers drying from the bottom up. If there’s any organic material under your carpet, the drying carpet may pull it up to the top of the fibers (just as the water pulled the dyes up the paper strips in the experiment), turning the carpet brown. This can happen to the best carpet cleaners, and it’s not their fault. Luckily, it doesn’t always happen, and there’s an easy fix if it does.
by Jeremy Strickland
First: The bad news…
Many a conscientious parent and grandparent attempts to avoid the use of chemicals in their homes. Despite best intentions, when Fido has an “accident,” you can not clean urine out of a carpet without cleaning products, and I don’t recommend that you attempt to clean it yourself.
Urine forms ammonium salts in the residues as it dries, and these salts have to be broken down in order to clean the spot (otherwise, the salts will potentially keep the urine moist under the carpet for years). This requires an enzymatic cleaning solution. If the spot goes deep, you may also need to clean the back of the carpet with this solution, replace the padding, and scrub the sub floor.
Now, some good news…
If you have an elderly yellow urine spot on your carpet which is posing an aesthetic problem but doesn’t stink, it may be possible to remove the spot with hydrogen peroxide. Put a clean spray nozzle right on the brown bottle, mist the spot, then rake the chemical in with your fingers (or an old brush if you’re squeamish). If the spot remains after eight hours or so, try again. The peroxide will turn into oxygen and water after it’s exposed to life outside the bottle, so you’re not going to hurt anything unless your carpet is wool (don’t use hydrogen peroxide on natural fibers).
That said, peroxide is no magic bullet. It may work, it may not. There’s quite a few factors involved in its success, but think of it like that time you got ketchup on your vintage Smurfs t-shirt and didn’t get it treated and cleaned right away. That ketchup spot became a permanent stain, didn’t it. Sad too. You loved that shirt.
If this old urine spot hasn’t been professionally cleaned in the past, it may still be damp underneath, depending on how old it is and what or who peed there. If it was your pet chihuahua, Randall Tiberius Montgomery III, there’s probably not much of a problem, his bladder is quite small and timid so there was probably not enough urine to penetrate the backing of the carpet. However, if your neighborhood Sasquatch lumbered out of the woods behind your house to borrow garlic to ward off the mosquitoes (he doesn’t like chemicals either), and then you told him a joke that made him laugh so hard that he peed… Well, Sasquatch’s monster bladder definitely produced enough urine to penetrate the carpet backing where it may remain moist under the carpet for years to come.
When there’s enough urine to penetrate the carpet backing, it will hit the padding underneath and spread. A urine spot can be like an iceberg, where you only see 1/5 of it above the surface. Because the salts that form in the residues will keep the spot damp under the surface of the carpet, treating it is a much bigger issue than making the visible spot go away.
The moral of this story is, if Bigfoot peed on your carpet, skip the peroxide, and call a professional carpet cleaner. If you’re in West Michigan, Randy’s Carpet Care specializes in pet spot removal. Call today to schedule your free estimate!
by Jeremy Strickland
Bad carpet smells are the worst!
Luckily, you may be able to deal with them cheaply. Baking soda will work in your carpet just as it does in your refrigerator and absorb odors. Sprinkle it across the carpet in the offensive room(s) in the evening. In the morning, vacuum it up. If this doesn’t do the trick, try it again. You won’t hurt anything.
That’s the good news. Here’s the bad…
If your carpet smells bad because of pet accidents, baking soda won’t do the trick. You’ll need to have the carpets cleaned professionally, and if the problem goes deep or is old and ongoing, you may even need to replace padding or scrub the sub-floor.
More bad news: Soft surfaces will absorb odors, so it is not uncommon for odor problems to go beyond the carpet and into curtains, paint, and drywall. If this is the case, I recommend you give an ozone generator a try. You can purchase one online or rent one from your local carpet cleaning company. This will require an evening set-up and a morning take down, and it works by adding an extra oxygen molecule to the air, neutralizing odors. Just remember that you don’t want to be home while this machine is running. That extra molecule of sweet sweet oxygen will not make you feel real hot.
When in doubt, call for a professional opinion! At Randy’s Carpet Care, we specialize in pet spot removal, and estimates are always free. If you’re in West Michigan, call to schedule yours today: (616) 392-1400
by Jeremy Strickland
Winters in West Michigan have a lot to offer. There’s sledding, skiing, and snowshoeing. There’s the pristine beauty of freshly fallen snow. There’s the joy of leaving the first set of footprints on your favorite trail in the woods. There’s snow angels. There’s the looks on your kids’ faces when they wake up to a snow day. There’s shoveling, snow-blowing, and salting. There’s stuck cars. There’s frozen and bursting pipes. There’s unexpected melting. There’s a flood in your basement.
There’s a lot of work to be done. And quick.
Have Michigan winter; will flood basements. This is a stressful and worrisome scenario for any homeowner, and when it happens, you need to know what to do. Lucky for you, there’s a likelihood that insurance will cover you. It’s also lucky that not only do you have a professional water damage expert a phone call away, you absolutely should call them.
Here are my top six reasons not to attempt flood water clean-ups yourself:
Guess what the world’s most dangerous chemical is; the one responsible for the most deaths on planet Earth. Is it hydrochloric acid? Spitting Cobra venom? Lava? Nope. It’s H20. Water. Water is a necessary element for life and alternately, a destructive force. Attempting to deal with flood water yourself may increase the damage done to your belongings and your home. When winter flooding strikes, save yourself the time, effort, headache, and money by calling in your local professional.
Randy’s Carpet Care has nearly four decades of experience with flood water clean-ups and has been voted Best of the Best (formerly known as Best of West Michigan) by the readers of the Holland Sentinel newspaper for the last fourteen consecutive years. If you’re in West Michigan, do not hesitate to call (616) 392-1400 the moment you discover a problem.