Recent Cleaning Posts

The ULTIMATE Cleaning Product

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, All-Natural, Bleach Free, Disinfecting – all of these are phrases you might see when you are shopping for cleaning products. But how do you know what is true or the “best” option? We’re not here to write reviews or provide a pros and cons list of the thousands of cleaning products currently on the market. But we do have a simple and cost-effective solution to help you in cleaning essentially every surface in your home! In fact, you probably already have it sitting on a shelf.

Distilled White Vinegar is one of the most versatile and cost-effective cleaning products you can find. While it does not contain a perfumy scent, it can easily cut through mildew, bacteria, and grime. It is safe for use on a wide variety of surfaces, and harm your children or pets. Not sold yet? We’ve listed a number of the ways you might use vinegar to clean your home!

Refrigerator: Spills or leaks inside your fridge? You don’t want chemicals where you store your food. Wipe up spills using a cloth dampened with equal parts vinegar and water.

Drains: Pour vinegar on a scrub brush small enough to get inside the disposal or drain grate. Sprinkle the brush with baking soda and scrub to remove built-up grime and odor causing bacteria.

Cutting Boards: spray the surface with 100% vinegar, then rinse to clean.

Microwave: remove those hard-to-clean microwave splatters by putting ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes or until it begins to boil – wipe away buildup with ease!

Stained Plastic Containers: coat the container in vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes then wash as usual. If you find that you have tough tomato or high acidity food stains put 1 tsp of dish soap in the container, a folded paper towel and enough water to cover that paper towel. Place the lid back on the container and shake until the stains are gone!

Countertops: spray vinegar onto the surface and wipe it away with a warm, wet rag. However, you should avoid cleaning countertops with vinegar if you have granite or marble.

Toilet:  to clean a toilet with vinegar, pour about a cup of vinegar in the bowl and allow it to soak overnight. For tough jobs, empty the toilet water first. The next day, spread baking soda or borax in the bowl, scrub and flush!

Tub or sink drain: pour ½ cup distilled white vinegar around the closed drain and allow it to sit for several hours, penetrating any build up or soap scum. Scrub to remove, drain and rinse!

Shower:  Bring vinegar to a boil, then carefully use the warm vinegar to wipe down the shower door and walls. Keep them damp by wiping them down every couple of minutes for 30 minutes. Using a non-scratch sponge soaked in vinegar, sprinkle it with baking soda and scrub. Rinse with clean water to wash away soap scum, mold, water spots and germs!

Showerhead: Pour some white vinegar into a plastic bag, then using a rubber band or twist tie, secure it around the showerhead. The showerhead should be completely submerged in the vinegar. Leave the bag on overnight and remove before showering.

Tile: mix ½ cup white distilled vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Mop floors or scrub countertops with the solution and allow to air dry.

Mattress Disinfectant: mix distilled white, a little rubbing alcohol, and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spray on the mattress to help combat general odors, mildew and dust mites.

The list of uses for cleaning with Distilled Vinegar is virtually endless! Keep a bottle of 50/50 Vinegar and Water on hand for all of your quick clean-up needs.

Sanitized for the Holidays

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Call us today for a quote!

As the holiday season quickly approaches we've realized that our usual traditions might look a little different this year. The 2020 pandemic has caused stress on many of us, and not being able to see our families and loved ones is certainly not ideal.

If you are able to gather with friends and family, consider a whole-house sanitizing before your guests arrive, after they leave, or both!

Our technicians will wipe down all hard surfaces with a cleaning solution, and use a method we call "fogging" to disperse an EPA recommended disinfectant on every surface you and your guests will come in contact with. Provide peace of mind to your guests when you tell them your home is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! For your free quote, call (803) 749-0178

Coronavirus - What We Know, How We Can Help

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

As the media continues to cover the spread of Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) we are seeing an increase in confirmed cases within our region. Our community's health and safety is our first priority, and we're offering our assistance in any way that we are able. SERVPRO Professionals are trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards issued by the CDC and local authorities. We have the staff and product line available to clean, disinfect and sanitize non-porous surfaces in any facility. Our chemical cleaning agents are EPA-Certified, hospital-grade disinfectants that have demonstrated their effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus on hard, non-porous surfaces.

There is not currently a product available that has been tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus, making a 100% success rate of prevention or elimination difficult to confirm. 

Our technicians are able to perform proactive cleaning services, allowing owners and managers of facilities to take a proactive approach in preventing the spread of harmful germs. This includes disinfecting all hard, non-porous surfaces, flooring areas and the use of equipment to remove particles from the air. 

Once we are contacted regarding our services, a CDC generated protocol is created for us to follow. A proactive cleaning is proven only to clean, disinfect and sanitize a space at the current state it is in. Proactive cleaning will not prevent or protect the building from future contamination if an infected person was to enter or occupy said building.

We highly recommend employing a remediation company to perform proactive cleanings in spaces where multiple persons occupy or enter. Disinfecting these spaces reduces the amount of time a business might have to shut its doors due to fear of illness or personnel suffering from illnesses.

For a free estimate on proactive cleaning, call (803) 749-0178

Pet Stain Removal

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

This is Mia! Sometimes Mia has accidents. Luckily her Mom works at SERVPRO and knows how to take care of them!

A large majority of the area rugs and carpet stains we’re asked to clean involve a pet accident. They’re an unfortunate fact of life when it comes to being a pet owner! At SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork, we understand the frustration that can come with discovering a stain on your expensive rugs and carpeting. Our office typically has at least one canine companion on duty during the week so it’s safe to say we’re pet people.

Our staff has taken rigorous courses on stain removal of various types of fabric, in each course there is always a section covering the removal of pet stains because they’re so common amongst our customer base. Cleaning these stains doesn’t always require a professional, with a little bit of research and some elbow grease you can get rid of the marks your four-legged friends leave behind. Timing is everything when it comes to avoiding irreversible damage to fabrics; the faster you begin reversing the damage, the higher the chances of removing the stain completely.

It’s crucial that you identify the type of rug or carpet you’re cleaning before you begin. If you turn a rug over, there is usually a label the identifies what material it’s composed of, and often has cleaning instructions to make your task even easier! If your rug is deemed an “oriental” rug, or composed of wool, silk or cotton you should NEVER use these products: Folex, Resolve, Oxyclean, Simple Green, Woolite, salt, baking soda, or bleach. These products are not designed for use on these materials and can cause more damage than your pet already has.

Items You Will Need:

  • White/light colored terrycloth towels
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Small bowls & sponges
  • A soft brush
  • Hair dryer
  • An enzyme based cleaner
    • We recommend our SERVPRO brand Urine Treatment Solution 

Pick It Up

Remove any solids from the floor. If this is a urine stain, use a towel or paper towels and apply pressure until there is no longer any liquid being extracted from the surface. If a stain remains, or this is a urine stain, dampen the area with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and cold water.

Dampen the Area

Be sure to bend the fibers back and dampen the entire fiber, not just the top. This can be done by using your hand and pulling in one direction, dampening the area and repeating until the fiber is completely dampened. You never want to saturate the area.

Blot, Blot, Blot!

Using a cotton towel, blot, DO NOT RUB the stain until there is no longer transfer on the towel. Using a light-colored towel makes this easier because the stain is more visible.

Sandwich the Fibers

Place a towel underneath the stain and on the top of it. If you’re working on carpet it may not be possible to place a towel underneath, be diligent about this step using just the top. Use your body weight and stand on the top towel to absorb as much moisture as possible. The “sandwich” method will assist in wicking away as much moisture as possible.

Dry the Stain

Using a hairdryer on a cool setting (be careful not to melt the fibers), dry and groom the nap of the fibers with the soft brush

Enzyme Mist

Some carpet cleaners and stain removers offer a fragrance that often covers the odor, which doesn’t eliminate the root of the problem. Using an enzyme based cleaner breaks down any lingering odor-causing bacteria. It’s important not to skip this step and invest in a quality solution, especially if pet accidents are a regular occurrence in your home.

Prop it Up

Don’t let the rug to lay flat on the floor after you’re done. Place an object under it to allow air to flow through both sides while it dries. If the stain is on carpet you should place a fan blowing on the cleaned area.

The Science Behind Pet Stain Removal

Pet urine is hot and acidic, it penetrates the fibers in the affected area. Most rug dyes are acid based, meaning the urine essentially re-dyes the fibers yellow and then begins to set. Stains can become permanent if not cleaned immediately.

Old pet stains (more than 7+ days) transition from acidic to strongly alkaline in their pH. Alkaline is the opposite of acidic, therefore this chemical imbalance begins to dissolve the rug dye and can lead to loss in color and what we call “bleeding”. Bleeding means the colors run into other areas, imagine a watercolor painting being held out in the rain. 

Carpet and rugs are expensive, but with the help of these guidelines we hope you’ll be able to prolong the life of them and protect your home from harmful bacteria. If you’re unsure on any of these steps, or would rather have our technicians take care of them, give us a call!

Cleaning a Crusty Showerhead

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Showerheads gather minerals and buildup overtime. They can start to look rather grungy after a few years, even months depending on the levels of pollution in your water. Hard water and minerals begin to form what looks like a barnacle, giving you an uneven or weak rate of water flow. Not only does it diminish the performance of the showerhead, it makes an unsightly addition to your bath or shower area.

We're not self-proclaimed plumbing experts, but, we do have an easy solution you can use without having to open your wallet! This quick and easy method can make your shower head look and act like new again in 6 super easy steps! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 zip tie
  • 1 plastic bag
  • Scissors

Eliminate showerhead stains and buildup with the following six steps:

  1. Fill the plastic bag with vinegar
  2. Loosely attach the zip tie to the showerhead
  3. Submerge the showerhead in the bag of vinegar, tightening the zip tie to the top of the bag
  4. Soak overnight
  5. Remove bag by cutting the zip tie with scissors
  6. Run water through the showerhead for three minutes