Cleaning Tips

How to Clean Your Fireplace this Fall

How to Clean Your Fireplace this Fall

How to Clean Your Fireplace this Fall

Every day is a little cooler and winter is right around the corner, which means in a few short weeks you might be chopping wood or scooping your pellet stove insert into your fireplace to stay warm. Now is the right time to clean the chimney to make sure it is safe to use.How do you know it is time for cleaning? The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says fireplaces need cleaning when the inside of the chimney or flue system has 1/8″ of soot buildup.The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages homeowners to clean and inspect their fireplaces at least once a year even if it isn’t used often. It isn’t uncommon for animals to makes nests in the area, and when they do, it is unsafe to start a fire below.You might be looking to clean your chimney, or maybe you just want to know more about the process. Either way, here are the steps needed to ensure your chimney is ready to keep you cozy warm during the cold winter. 

Step 1: Inspect the buildup

Start by making sure there isn’t a downdraft, and if you feel air flow open a window in the same room as the chimney to stop it. Next, put on goggles and a dust mask. Grab a good flashlight and a fireplace poker. Scratch the surface of the smoke chamber.If the groove is ⅛ inch thick, then it is time to schedule cleaning. If it is ¼ inch thick or more, then don’t start another fire until a cleaning is completed.Also check for creosote at the top of the firebox, in the smoke chamber, the damper and the flue. 

Step 2: Limit the mess

Cleaning a chimney is a dirty job. It’s best to start by controlling the mess. Grab a roll of duct tape, lay canvas tarp over the hearth and seal it up around the entire opening of the chimney. Put the hose of a shop vacuum behind the seal of the opening to grab the dust and soot.It helps to use extra hoses so you can place the vacuum outside, so when you dump it or clean it, you are not releasing all of the ash in your home. Furthermore, many shop vacuum filters don’t trap the fine soot and will blow right out the exhaust port. This step will save you extra clean up. 

Step 3: Top to bottom brushing

It’s time to jump on the roof with your chimney brush, but first, turn on the shop vacuum, so it is ready to grab what you are throwing down. Ram the cleaning brush down the flue and move it up and down several times in one small section.Use a good flashlight to inspect your work before going to the next section. Continue down the fireplace until you reach the smoke box. The rest of the work needs to be completed from the inside.Peel back a part of the sheeting sealing off the fireplace. Then, use a long-handled brush and noodle brush to remove the soot from the smoke shelf and firebox. 

Step 4: Finish the job carefully.

Before you remove the shop vacuum, use it to remove the remaining soot. When you are finished, carefully remove the seal from the fireplace. Wrap up the canvas and throw it away, so you don’t spread the soot around your home.Cleaning a chimney requires quite a few tools including several different types of chimney brushes. If you don’t have the equipment, time or experience give Sooner Carpet a call at (405) 329-8999, and we'll make sure you have a safe chimney. We want to give you peace of mind while you depend on its warmth this winter.

9 Vacuuming Mistakes You Might be Making

9 Vacuuming Mistakes You Might be Making

9 Vacuuming Mistakes You Might be Making

It’s unlikely you evaluate your vacuuming skills on a regular basis. In most circumstances, it is a pretty thoughtless task. However, you can’t keep your carpet looking great for years to come without the right technique. My vacuum just went out and I bought a new one from, it sucks up everything.If you correct the common vacuuming errors most people make, you will love the results and the long-term savings.

1.   Making the task a race

And they’re off, like a herd of turtles!It’s a busy world, and you probably do not want to spend more time than absolutely on household chores.Most people will turn on their vacuum and start power walking around the house until the surface looks sufficiently clean. This, however, is not as effective as you think.When you move too fast, you don’t give the vacuum enough time to pick up debris from below the surface. This means your carpet will lose its newness and shine quickly. Instead, move slowly and repeat the same motion several times.This technique will remove up to 85 percent of dust and allergens, while also making high-traffic patterns less noticeable.

2.   Not vacuuming enough

How often should you vacuum?The right answer: every day.Realistically, this won’t happen. Instead, consider at least sweeping the high traffic areas near the doorways and hallways several times a week. Then, vacuum the floors at least once a week. Finally, try to get under furniture and do a more thorough job at least once a month.

3.   Waiting too long to empty the bag

Nobody enjoys changing a vacuum bag. It involves trying to not spill several weeks of dust on the floor. Ignoring this chore is like not changing your car’s oil on the right schedule.Not changing the bag will make your vacuuming efforts less effective, but more importantly, you will damage the motor.If possible, try to clean the vacuum outside to eliminate any concerns about dropping debris back into your home.Go the extra mile: clean the “brush roll” or “beater roll.”

4.   Not vacuuming in both directions

Many people will vacuum in one direction only. The problem with this technique is you only grab half of the dirt and dust. If you look closely at your carpet, you will notice fibers are twisted together and require multiple directions to clean the surface properly.

5.   Ignoring the attachments

Stop bashing your vacuuming against the baseboards hoping to get the dirt. Your vacuum has attachments for a reason.Get familiar with the different tools on your vacuum, and use them in your vacuuming routine. It’s worth it because getting closer to the baseboards and in those hard to reach places will further reduce allergens in your home.

6.   Dusting the furniture after you vacuum

Sometimes, there is a right and wrong order to clean in your home. You shouldn’t dust your furniture after you vacuum your floor because it would be counterproductive.Before you dig the vacuum out from the back of your closet, grab your dusting supplies and clean off the tables, baseboards and ceiling fans in a room.

7.   Never moving the furniture

If it looks clean it is clean, right?Just because you can’t see underneath the furniture in your home, it doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty and in need of a thorough vacuuming. Furthermore, leaving your furniture in one place for extended periods of time is really hard on your carpet and will limit the lifespan of the surface.

8.   Vacuuming over hard objects

It’s easy to just zoom over a small rock or other hard objects. It seems like it won’t cause any problems, but it is highly advisable not to get into this habit. Pick up all the visible hard objects on the floor before vacuuming, because you could do damage to the inside of your vacuum cleaner. If you have invested in the best hardwood floor vacuums, it is better to sweep your floors before passing the vacuum. Really, it only takes vacuuming a hard object once to land you in a repair shop or worse, replacing a vacuum.

9.   Operating with the wrong settings

Some vacuums allow you to adjust the height, and choosing the wrong setting could make be damaging to the vacuum or simply make your efforts ineffective. The best strategy is to listen to your vacuum. Does it sound like it is working properly? If not, adjust the height until it is a better fit for the surface.Don’t forget, even with the best vacuuming technique, you will need get professional commercial maid services in Melbourne once and a while to deep clean your carpet to ensure it stays fresh and clean. At Sooner Carpet we believe nothing works better than the hot water extraction method (steam cleaning).Call us at 405-329-8999 for a free estimate on carpet cleaning services for your home or business.

7 Tips to Keep Your New Carpet Looking Grand

7 Tips to Keep Your New Carpet Looking Grand

7 Tips to Keep Your New Carpet Looking Grand

The installation of your new carpet is complete, and you couldn’t be happier. The rooms in your home have new life because of the fresh and clean floor. Now, you are left wondering how long it will last.We all make those promises. After buying a new car, you swear the kids will never eat in it. When you purchase a new shirt, you strengthen your resolve not to spill coffee or drop mustard during lunch. When you get a new carpet, you commit to vacuuming every day. Those ambitions are quickly doused by a dose of reality. A two-year-old demanding their starving and you hand them a chicken nugget because you really need to focus on driving. The speed bump that tips your sip of coffee down the front of your shirt and a busy month goes by with the vacuuming gathering dust in the back of a closet.We have all been there. It happens, but right now you need to know exactly how to keep your carpet pristine for decades to come, and there are seven ways to reach your goal. 

1. Vacuum (not every day, but often)

We feel a bit like a broken record with this tip, but it is so important. Don’t let your carpet become a home for dust and dirt. Create a vacuuming schedule by dropping an alert in your calendar, so you don’t forget. Always remember it is not a race. Moving the vacuum slowly rather than quickly it time to really grab the dirt below the surface. Once is not enough. Run the vacuum horizontally over a room, and then vacuum again by running it vertically over the room. Use the attachments to grab dirt and dust from hard to reach places in corners or up against the baseboards. 

2. Welcome mats keep out unwanted guests

The hard-bristled mat outside of your front door offers more than a clever catchphrase. It is the first line of defense to prevent dirt from entering your home. The fibers latch on to debris stuck to the bottom of a shoe to keep the mess outside.Be diligent about taking off your shoes, and ask guests to do the same. This further prevents tracking mud or dust across you clean carpet.

3. Avoid powder carpet fresheners

Carpet powder is one way to make a room smell fresh! However, without proper vacuuming techniques, it is possible to leave behind residue in the carpet.  If you use it excessively, it is more likely to cause more problems than it solves. It can even result in white stains on the surface. 

4. Trim the snags you are destined to discover

Snags will eventually happen, especially if you have kids or pets. The most important thing to remember is to never pull a snag because it will just make it worse by tearing the carpet away from the backing. The best strategy is to use a pair of scissors and trim it at the base to prevent further damage.The best strategy is to use a pair of scissors and trim it at the base to prevent further damage.

5. Potty train your furry family member

It is challenging to keep carpets clean and fresh with a pet, especially if he or she isn’t house trained yet. Train fast and early to limit excessive damage to your carpet. Clean up those inevitable accidents quickly. Treat the area with cleaners that are safe for your pet and will eliminate the odor. Even the slightest smell might encourage your pet to repeat the accident in the same area. Treat the area with cleaners that are safe for your pet and will eliminate the odor. Even the slightest smell might encourage your pet to repeat the accident in the same area.Vacuuming regularly will keep their fur out of the fibers of your carpet, and wiping their paws will eliminate some dust and dirt they could track in from outside.

6. Don’t engage in habits that result in spills

It only takes one trip to cause an accident. While a spill won’t result in an entirely ruined carpet, multiple messes over time will cause stains that are really hard to remove or hide.Encourage the young children in your house to eat and drink somewhere kid-friendly, like at a table with placemats or somewhere that has tile.Don’t live life on the edge, scoot your wine glasses and other liquids to the center of an end table to prevent it from dropping to the floor.Serve dinner at the table in the dining room rather than eating on the couch in front of the TV. All of these habits can result in a mess.No matter how hard you try, it is highly likely there will be an accident on your carpet, but don’t sweat the spills, that is why we are here!

7. Hire the professionals

Your carpet is new, so you don’t need a professional clean anytime soon right? Wrong, you need to professionally clean your carpet twice a year regardless of the age of the floor. In fact, if your goal is to keep the carpet looking new, then the sooner, the better. If you have a water leak or other types of major damage, then a professional can provide quality restoration. We have experience cleaning up all types of messes, so call Sooner Carpet Cleaning at 405-329-8999 for an estimate.

Spring Cleaning: Room by Room

Spring is finally here and there’s never been a better time to clean up around the house. It can be intimating working with a mass amount of square space, but don’t worry. Our team here at Sooner Cleaning + Restoration is here to help.

We believe that with a few basic tricks, you’ll be able to transform your chaotic house into a relaxing space to enjoy with family and friends. It’s all a matter of conquering it in smaller, digestible pieces. Keep reading to learn how you can dominate spring cleaning, room by room.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

Wipe walls and floorboards

Wipe down cabinetry and counters

Clean mirrors and windows

Spray and soak the tub

Spray and scrub the toilet

Wash bath mats

Sweep and mop floors

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist

Wipe walls and floorboards

Dust ceiling fans, furniture and other surfaces

Wash bedding, sheets and other linens

Clean windows and window treatments

Vacuum carpets and rugs, or sweep and mop floors

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Wipe down cabinetry and counters

Clean the fridge and freezer

Clean and prime cooking appliances

Wipe down the stove top, oven and microwave

Vacuum rugs, sweep and mop floors

Living Room Cleaning Checklist

Wipe walls and floorboards

Dust ceiling fans, furniture and other services

Clean windows and window treatments

Clean furniture upholstery and pillows

Clean and dust electronics

Vacuum carpets and rugs, or sweep and mop floors

Laundry Room Cleaning List

Wipe down the outside of each appliance

Run white vinegar through the washer to sanitize (provided you get the washer repair on time, if required)

Empty dryer lint trap

Wipe interior walls of the dryer

Check dryer vent for lint build up

Launder rugs, sweep and mop floors

Sooner Carpet Cleaning Tips and Tricks

1. Wipe walls and floorboards

You’d be surprised how much dirt, grime and scuff collect over the course of a year. To avoid damaging the paint on your walls, use a slightly damp sponge and baking soda for mild exfoliation. On tougher marks along the floorboards, you can use a more abrasive tool like a Magic Eraser.

2. Wipe down cabinetry and counters

Noticing some buildup around your cabinet and counter handles? There are two ways you can mitigate the grime. One, dampen a clean cloth with vinegar and wipe down. Second, create a mixture of vegetable oil and baking side and exfoliate in circles around the discolored area.

3. Clean mirrors and windows

Streaks are the worst, aren’t they? We recommend using a microfiber cloth to clean mirrors and windows. And if you’re still stuck with swipe marks, take a crumbled piece of newspaper and apply it in circular motions.

4. Dust ceiling fans, furniture and other surfaces

Ceiling fans can be tricky to reach. To save yourself some trouble, grab a cheap pillowcase and let’s go to work. Slide the pillowcase around each blade at a time and wipe. All the gunk will be confined inside. Then, you can simply shake the pillowcase clean outdoors and throw into the wash!

5. Vacuum carpets and rugs

Vacuums and brooms can remove debris for the most part, but did you know there’s an easier way to enjoy freshly cleaned carpeting and rugs? We use a special steam cleaning method, also known as hot water extraction — which is recommended by leading carpet manufacturers.

For all your spring cleaning needs, you don’t have to go at it alone. Tackle your home, room by room, give our team a call at (405) 329-8999 and we’ll take care of the rest!