What makes Zerorez® different?

There are a lot of things that makes Zerorez® different from other carpet cleaners. From our outstanding customer service, to our dedication to protecting your home, the most important differentiation between us and every other cleaner out there is the technology we use.

What is the Zerorez® Difference?

Empowered Water™ is the “chemical” we use to not just pre-treat, but clean and sanitize your carpet. Unlike other cleaners who have to use soaps and detergents to break down oils and dirts in your carpet, Zerorez® has the unique ability to clean without those toxic chemicals.

What’s really cool is that its green technology that really works! Our customers are shocked to see that our process cleans better than traditional cleaners, but without the carpet cleaner smell!

 

Zerorez was “green” before “green” was cool!

The green movement has been around for several years now, and one of the things we hear as carpet cleaners here in Boise is that green doesn’t work. We beg to differ!

The Zerorez process was green long before green was cool, and has maintained it’s position as the leader in green cleaning technology. We are often told, in fact, that our process works better than all other carpet cleaners here in the Boise area. While we know it is true, its nice to hear that coming from our customers.

Our process works, and so we can have clean, healthy homes, and still be environmentally friendly, too. Give us a call, and set up a free demonstration of what we can do for you!

National Pet Day!

It’s National Pet Day today!

 

In honor of all our pets, I wanted to talk a little about how pets can affect carpet, and what is being done about it!

One of the biggest concerns that pet owners have is pee- what happens when your dog or cat (or here in Idaho we’ve also seen chickens, ducks, rabbits, gerbils, mice, rats, ferrets… no cows or llamas yet!) has an accident (or a purpose) on the carpet.

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First, gravity works. Liquids will eventually seep down into the carpet, and even with the best grade flourochemical coating protector which will help liquids bead on the carpet, pee will still sink down and get into the backing and into the pad of the carpet. Once that pee is in the backing, it becomes very difficult to remove, requiring special treatments and work to remove the urine.

Carpet construction. Phot courtesy of Dow.com

Carpet construction. Phot courtesy of Dow.com

Flooring mills recognize this problem, and have come up with some ways to combat urine. The first thing to come out was a “pet pad.” Like normal padding, pet pads give good bounce to the carpet, but have an extra layer of thin plastic on the top, helping to keep urine from getting into the pad itself. But just like the federal government trying to fix a problem, this only created more problems.

The first one is that with the plastic coating, the pee spot in the backing becomes much bigger. The urine is going to go somewhere, and if it can’t go down, it’ll go out, creating a larger spot. Fortunately, it is in the backing, so can be easier to remove, but still requires additional work, otherwise, wicking may be a big issue, and the spot will reappear, but bigger, much bigger, than the original stain.

The second problem happens when the urine can work its way down into the pad- and get underneath the plastic coating. Most installers (well, retailers) will say that there aren’t holes. But there are. Staples are used, causing small punctures in the plastic, seams that are only taped, and tears and rips in the plastic all happen, and create areas where liquids can penetrate into the pad. Then the problem becomes getting those liquids back out of the carpet- it becomes very difficult to perform a sublfoor extraction when this happens.

Enzymes, which are little nuclear reactors for bacteria, have also been fused into carpet fibers. These enzymes help stimulate bacteria growth to literally eat the pee out of the carpet. This is great technology, but it isn’t perfect either- repeated spots in the same area, that isn’t cleaned up, will eventually overpower the enzymes. Some enzymes don’t last for more than a couple of years. One other problem we run into is the customer’s belief that their carpet is impervious to urine, and so won’t take care of problems quickly. Pee builds up, and then we have a real problem trying to get the pee out.

I did see a carpet recently that may hold some great answers to the problem- it is by Tigressa, and has a plastic enfusion on the backing itself. I was fascinated to watch as the salesman, Gary, poured 8 ounces of water onto the carpet sample that he held just like a bowl. That may be the best way I’ve seen (other than training the animal or keeping it outside) to protect the carpet from pee.

Now, this doesn’t mean that special treatments won’t be necessary- the chemistry of urine is different than that of most soils in the carpet, and so requires different pretreatment to effectively remove, but it certainly will become far less expensive to treat and to remove the pee.  I’m excited to see what this does to help us, as the cleaner, help you have a clean and sanitary environment.

 

 

With a cold front moving in, it’ll warm up!

I heard an interesting phrase this morning on the radio: “We are expecting a cold front to move in tomorrow, and things should warm up into the 40’s.” I found that ironic; normally a cold front means things are going to get colder. Welcome to a Treasure Valley inversion!

Inversions are created by cold air being trapped underneath warmer air. The effects of this “inverting” of temperatures on the inhabitants of the valley vary, but include things like smog building up in the air, air pollution going up, bitterly cold weather in the valley, and, often snow or freezing rain in the valley. Head up to Bogus, though, and you’ll see clear skies and warm weather.

When inversions happen here, it’s important, especially if you have respiratory problems, to keep the interior air as clean as possible. Changing your air filters (or washing them if you have one of our permanent air filters), dusting, and vacuuming the carpet and furniture can all help get rid of pollutants and irritants in the air.

Using a HEPA rated or better air purifier can help as well. Purifiers are different from filters because filters only remove some of the particulate matter from the air, where as a purifier can actually clean the air, killing harmful microbes, eliminating toxic VOC.s and other substances from the air. There are several types of purifiers, ranging from small, one room deals to in-duct whole house systems. Sometimes they are even used in conjunction with filtration systems already built into your HVAC.

Be sure your air purifier is tested to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds, and can destroy VOC’s. Electrostatic systems as well as UV lights, and PCO (photocatalytic) boards can all help to clean your air out. Good particulate filters (if you use paper, make sure they’re pleated) or good electrostatic filters can not only help keep dust from damaging your forced air unit, but can help keep dust out of the air.

We have found that the Air Gorilla and the CleanStation, both available to our customers from our website or from our technicians, are some of the best systems to take care of that bad indoor air that is so prevalent during these rough winter months.

Have a great holiday season!

5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year again- sniffles are abounding, and we see many people suffering from sore throats and congestion. Here are 5 ways to help you stay healthy this year:

1 Boost your immune system.

Our bodies are amazing, and have the ability to fight off disease, but there are things we can do to help our bodies. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, to get vitamins and minerals. High anti-oxidents like berries can help our bodies beat back the germs. One of my favorite preparations, which I swear by, is Elderberry syrup. This is the recipe we use:

Instructions
  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  3. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
  4. When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle.

Take a tablespoon every couple of hours when you are sick, and it’ll knock the socks off it!

2. Keep air filters and ducts clean

Air moves through our homes on average 70 times a day when we are using our heating and cooling system. That means everytime we cough, sneeze, talk and blow our nose, those germs end up cycling through the air system several times a day. Keeping the ducts clean helps prevent germ growth, and changing or cleaning your filters regularly will help keep those buggies from spreading!

3. Use natural air purifiers

Right now, the weather is great, and opening the windows and doors to get the fresh air in is great! Sunlight kills germs, and so ventilating  our air with outside air will help get rid of the germs.

4. Clean often toughed surfaces

We often think about toilets being the dirtiest places in the house, but research shows that light switches, the tv remote, and the kitchen sink are actually some of the “germiest” places in the home. Using safe cleaners and disinfectants regularly on these surfaces is a great way to keep your home healthy. Of course, we recommend our patented Empowered Water Cleaning Solution for all that cleaning!

5. Wash your hands!

This goes without saying, but it can never be stressed enough! Wash ’em good!

Have a safe and healthy Fall!

Back to School!

kids

 

It’s that time of year again! When kids get up early, go to school, learn lots of great things, and then come home and do their homework. Here are some tips to help keep your home clean and the kids smart at the same time!

1. Vacuum regularly-

Vacuuming is the number one activity that will keep your carpet looking great, even with the back to school traffic. Vacuuming is also great exercise- in 30 minutes, you could burn over 100 calories! Give the chore to the kids, and it will help invigorate their brains, and improve their learning!

Vacuuming also helps to keep dust and allergens to a minimum. The less time your student spends blowing their nose, the more time they have to study hard!

2. Ditch the Swiffer-

I have a love/hate relationship with the Swiffer TV commercials- while they are funny, Swiffers and other types of mops often leave behind more dirt than they pick up. The use of the chemically treated pads leave behind a sticky soap residue, which then attracts more dirt, and makes your floor grungy. Some of our best “before and after” pics come from these floors.

Instead, using a dry microfiber dust mop is the most effective way to keep your tile, wood, and vinyl floors looking great. Occasionally using a little water misted on the floor, microfiber is a fantastic cleaning tool. You want to look for a good one- just like anything else, a cheap mop will break on you and wear out faster. We recommend at least an 80/20 blend, but 70/30 blend polyester and polyamide may be more absorbent. Check out our cleaning store for the mop we recommend.

3. Change those sheets and pillows!

Dead skin and sweat make a great feeding place for bacteria, mites, and fungi. Does your teenager’s room smell… funny? Often decaying body refuse, such as skin and sweat, which contain degraded hormones and other toxins, become a feeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria produce waste gases, and these gases are what you smell when you open their door. Keeping the sheets clean and replacing pillows can help tremendously with this odor.

And of course, as always, having your carpet and furniture zerorezified on a regular basis will help keep your home, and you student, clean and healthy! Have a great year!

A Floor Story…

Welcome to Monday! We had a busy weekend, and it left me thinking about our kitchen floor. We started Saturday off by running down to Nampa, to pick peaches. We got a little carried away and picked 2 1/2 bushels for canning. We enjoy making peach sauce, and having canned peaches for pies throughout the year. After getting home and making a quick trip to the Boise Farmer’s Market, and then to a couple of other places, we came home and got to work on mowing the lawn.

My lawn is about a half acre of weeds, and by the end of it, I was pretty dusty. (I’d like to say just taking my shoes off would have been sufficient, but it wasn’t)

We wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather as well, and went to the GreenBelt in Eagle, where we rode our bikes for a little, and then played in the river. By the time we got home, we were a dusty, muddy mess! It was at this point that we started, with the help of our 2 year old, to get the peaches sorted.

We tried to pick peaches that were close to being ripe, but not wanting peach soup in the back of the car by the time we got home, we also wanted them to be a little bit green. We found, however, that we still had several that were bruised, ripe, or otherwise needing to be canned right away, With the baby running around with a ripe peach, we had the evidence all over the floor. As you may know with most fruits, we had a sticky mess! combine that with the dust from my lawnmowing, we had a real doozy on our floor. The bad thing about our tile is that we can’t see the dirt, we can only feel it, and boy did we!

On Sunday, we continued our canning (we left a little to cook in the crock pot) and then headed off to church. We had family over for dinner and games (and peach pie) and by the end of it, our floor was toast!

As we were cleaning things up at the end of the night, we swept the floor with a regular broom, and then broke out our micro fiber mop. We’ve been using this mop for years, and last night, I once again was amazed at how awesome the floor feels when I got done. I misted the floor with a little Empowered Water, and then wiped it up with the mop, and the floors just felt amazing on my feet. There was no stickiness, they dried quickly, and felt, for lack of a better word, soft. I liked it so much, I even exclaimed to my wife, “Wow,  this floor feels great!”

Even after using Empowered Water and a microfiber mop for ten years, I’m still amazed at how well it cleans, and just how good our floors feel!