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What to do about fleas?

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If fleas have set up residence in your home, what can you do? Let’s face it. Flea infestations aren’t fun. Fleas carry pathogens that can harm humans and pets, such as plague, cat scratch disease, tapeworms, and haemobartonellosis, a parasitic blood disease. Flea larvae in soil can easily be tracked inside your home by your own pets, visiting pets, people, or contaminated items. Once they find their way in, they can easily infest your carpets.

Here are some steps you can take to get rid of fleas.

If you have a pet, use year-round flea treatments to prevent infestations.
Sweep and mop regularly.
Wash pet bedding.
Have your carpets & upholstery professionally cleaned.

*Please note, regular professional carpet cleaning alone is unlikely to eradicate the infestation, because some fleas can survive this process, but it will definitely help.
Vacuum often. Your vacuum is your best line of defense. Don’t just vacuum your carpeting, vacuum upholstery and drapery, too. According to an experiment conducted by Ohio State University, vacuuming effectively kills fleas, eggs, and larvae residing in carpets. If you want to be extra cautious, empty vacuum cleaner canisters or bags into an outside trash receptacle in case any fleas survived the vacuuming process.
Use Borax. More tenacious infestations may require sprinkling Borax into the carpet and along floorboards, working it in with a brush, and leaving it in overnight before vacuuming it up. Test an inconspicuous area first, to make sure this will not discolor your carpets. Borax penetrates the exoskeleton of fleas and dehydrates them. Take care to use goggles, gloves, and a dust mask if you go this route, because although Borax is considered non-toxic, it can still cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. After the infestation is resolved, professional carpet cleaning & upholstery cleaning can remove any Borax residue remaining in your carpet. We’d be happy to help if you give us a call.

What Isn’t Being Cleaned in your Kitchen?

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Is your kitchen a clean one? You may be thinking, “yes, I clean it once a week.” However, just wiping down your kitchen with disinfectant might not be thorough enough; especially if it is a commercial kitchen, like a restaurant. For commercial facilities, getting your kitchen properly cleaned regularly is essential to safety, health regulations and fire prevention.

What should I have professionally cleaned and why?

  • Hood/ Vents: Grease removal of the hood and vents in your kitchen reduces the likelihood of fires and damage.
  • Floors: Food particles, spills and grease build up on the floors of many kitchens. Getting them cleaned regularly helps prevent slipping hazards and injuries. One common option is to give them a deep, high pressure steam cleaning if you have tile and grout. This helps to remove the particles and buildup between the creases and on the surface of the floor.
  • Walls: tend to hold grease and airborne pollutants. Usually walls in a kitchen can also be pressure washed with de-greaser to help remove the buildup.
  • Ceilings: venting and piping in the ceiling can become soiled with bacteria, mold and dust, if exposed.
  • Freezers/ Coolers & Appliances: getting freezers and coolers cleaned regularly can help eliminate odors from food that is lingering and will keep your appliances energy efficient.

Shaving Cream As a Spot Cleaner?

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Here’s a little known but very effective tip for treating spots on carpet.


Most people know that when something is spilled on a carpet, prompt action is essential to avoid permanent staining. Although everyone would love to have the foresight, time, and mental energy to anticipate different types of carpet mishaps and stock their broom closets with safe and effective carpet cleaning solutions, the truth is, sometimes it is necessary to improvise.


We love it when we come across great solutions, and when we do, we check them out for ourselves and then share them with you. Here is a little-known way to spot clean carpets in a pinch, with something you likely already have on hand—foaming shaving cream. This works for most spills, even grease and oil stains.


Use an absorbent, white cloth or paper towels to blot up (not wipe) as much of the spill as possible, and then apply the shaving cream right away. Just dab a little on the stain, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then with a damp towel, blot the shaving cream – and the stain – away. (Lifehacker). However, be sure to use white shaving cream, because menthol, colored, or even a gel based cream can cause carpet discolorations. According to Ben Valsler of Chemistry World magazine, the shaving cream doesn’t just sit on the carpet’s surface, “the foam works deep down into the pile” (Daily Mail).


In most cases, shaving cream is an effective solution. If not, applying shaving cream to the spot will buy some time to get exactly what you want to clean the spot using more traditional methods. For more specific information about cleaning spots and spills from your carpet, download our free Carpet and Interior Textiles Care Guide, and as always, we are here for you if you have specific questions or concerns.

Think Your Upholstery Is Clean? Try This…

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Dirty, dusty upholstery isn’t merely unsightly, it can cause premature wear (and health problems… but that’s another article for another day). An accumulation of contaminants creates an abrasive residue that cuts into the fibers every time someone sits down or shifts positions.

Many people are conscientious about having their furniture professionally cleaned once a year or when they notice it is dirty. The thing is, dirty furniture doesn’t always look dirty. How can you tell if you are having it cleaned often enough? This is a great question to ask, but the answer will vary, depending on who you ask, how often the furniture is used, how often you vacuum your upholstery, whether you have kids or pets or both, and so on…

When your car is in need of service, a light on the dashboard comes on to warn you. Unfortunately, the same is not true of furniture. So until someone invents fabric with special sensors, here’s a simple test you can do to determine whether it’s time to have your upholstery professionally cleaned. It doesn’t cost a thing, it’s easy and fast, and it works like a charm.

Use a spray bottle to lightly mist a soft, white terry cloth with water. Wrap the cloth around the end of a vacuum cleaner hose. Hold the cloth in place as you turn the vacuum cleaner on. Lightly move the vacuum hose across the surface of the furniture —left to right, up and down, over the seat, arm rests, and cushions —for about one minute.

Inspect the cloth. If it’s time to have your upholstery professionally cleaned, you’ll be able to see for yourself, based on the evidence you find.

Disease Prevention 101

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With the uprising of disease and illnesses all over the world, we may wonder how we can protect ourselves and our families. Should we be afraid of traveling away from home? Thankfully, there are many precautions that we can take to protect ourselves from diseases. Here are just a few tips:

  • Protect yourself from contaminated water

Store water in a closed container and dispense it with a clean ladle or tap and never put your hands into a clean water supply.

  • Protect yourself from contaminated food

Always wash your fruits and veggies!

Use clean utensils and surfaces in the kitchen when cooking.

Don’t forget to wash your hands before and after handling food.

Cook your food thoroughly (at the appropriate temperature) and only use fresh food.

Pay attention to expiration dates, especially with dairy and meat.

Refrigerate necessary food items immediately.

  • Protect yourself from infection from insects

With the Zika Virus on the rise, many are nervous to travel abroad, especially when pregnant. It is important to always take precautions before traveling, always get latest information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Avoid areas like Miami, Florida, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands for the time being.

If you do have to travel to an infected area, make sure you wear protective clothing (long sleeves and pants) and use bug repellant approved by the CDC. Also, if possible, sleep under a mosquito net and make sure that all your windows have screens. Use an air conditioner when possible, mosquitoes tend to gravitate towards warm and moist areas.

  • Protect yourself from animals

Keep animals outside if possible

Wash your hands after touching your animal and DO NOT touch wild animals!

See a doctor if you have been bitten or scratched, this can be very dangerous.

  • Protect yourself from germs spread by other people

Coughing and sneezing spreads germs very easily, if you need to cough, cover your mouth with a tissue or in your sleeve.

When sick, avoid hugging or shaking hands.

Germs are most abundant on surfaces like door knobs, phones and keyboards, so exercise caution when touching such areas.

Do not share razors, toothbrushes or towels and avoid contact with bodily fluids.

Wash your hands frequently and when you’re sick, stay home!

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Refer More Friends, Get More Cash

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You should be rewarded for telling your friends about us! Many of our customers have no idea that they could get their cleaning done for free or receive cash from us. We will give you a 10% referral payment for telling friends, co-workers or family about us! (If your referral has $200.00 worth of services done, you will receive $20.00).  We also offer to come back and re-clean if you are not completely satisfied and if you are still unhappy, we will give you your money back, 100% guaranteed!

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Handwashing: Why is it so Important?

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We encounter so many germs and bacteria every single day, whether we are at work, at school, or even at home. Sometimes it seems like no matter how much we clean and sanitize, germs are always there. However, hand washing can definitely be more powerful than we think. Here are some examples that show why:

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says that according to their research, 22 million sick days are taken each year due to the common cold. (www.nsf.org) Bacteria and viruses can often live for more than 2 days on some surfaces.

Also, a study conducted by 2 Michigan elementary schools has shown that there were more germs found on an average classroom water spigot than on a toilet seat. In fact, here are some things that harbor the most germs in schools:

  • Toys: these are often passed from child to child and they are rarely sanitized. Do you remember the plastic ball pit that we always loved at McDonald’s? Yep, there is a reason we don’t see those very often anymore.
  • Bathrooms: often are not properly cleaned and not frequently enough. Other germy places in the bathroom are door knobs, mirrors and walls.
  • Cafeteria Tables: students may be expected to clean these tables after they eat, so they are often not cleaned properly and in most cases they are expected to reuse the dirty rags. Sometimes they may be given an improper cleaning solution, so in effect, nothing is really being sanitized.
  • Desks: Many kids (no matter what grade), have to move from desk to desk and do not wash their hands in between that movement, they are focusing on getting to class.
  • Computer Keyboard and Mouse: many children share computers in school too, these items rarely are sanitized either.
  • Sports Equipment: basketballs, gym mats and gym lockers all harbor lots of germs.
  • Musical Instruments: recorders, flutes and many other instruments can carry germs for days.

Even in the workplace, telephones have 25,000+ germs per square inch! Another culprit in the workplace are elevator buttons, which hundreds of people can touch every day.

With these real examples, we can see the importance of washing your hands properly and sanitizing your area, whether at school or work. Perhaps you can send your child home with their own wate
r bottle so they won’t have to use the public water fountain and give them hand sanitizer to keep in their backpacks.

The same is true at work, bring your own beverage and keep hand sanitizer handy on your desk!

Blackburn Professional Cleaning has experience cleaning many daycare facilities and schools. Often, we underestimate the importance of cleaning these facilities properly. It means the health of our children. Why not give us a call today?

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How to Protect your Floors in the Winter

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I know none of us want to even think about it, but winter is coming up fast. Many business and home owners are thinking about the constant hassle of cleaning up the salt and sand that gets tracked in every. What can you do to protect your floors in the winter?

For business owners, it would be very smart to use a neutral cleaner to combat the residue buildup from salt and sand. Neutral cleaner is non-hazardous and will neutralize the heavy alkaline in salt / ice melt.  Also, it is important to use water regularly to flush out salt, sand and soil. However, it is important to be aware of the potential slipping hazard when dealing with a wet floor. Sand can also become very slippery and abrasive on certain types of flooring in your business. Mats are very beneficial in commercial facilities. One study has shown that 25 feet of matting is needed to capture 100% of exterior soil.

How about home owners, what precautions can they take? If you have carpets, make sure you vacuum them regularly in the winter to prevent residue buildup. For home owners that have hardwood floors, make sure you sweep regularly to prevent damage to your floors. Additionally, you can use mats whenever possible and make sure everyone takes their shoes off before tracking through the house.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What services do you provide?

A: We provide residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, area rug cleaning and tile & grout cleaning.

Q: How are you any different from other companies?

A: Our mission statement is, “Blackburn CARES about your outstanding service experience!” We aim to show our customers that we personally care about them in every way that we can. Our business has been running for over 45 years and we have a great reputation as a small business in the town of Waterford, Connecticut. If you are not completely satisfied with our cleaning experience, we will give you your money back, 100% guaranteed.

Q: Why is your pricing so high?

A: We may not have the cheapest pricing around but we truly wish to give you the best service experience possible. Our products and equipment that we use are top of the line and we strive to give consistent quality cleaning on our commercial and residential jobs.

Q: Are your products ecofriendly?

A: Yes, we are very conscious of the impact that our products have on the environment and we would never want to bring dangerous chemicals into your work place or home!

Q: What is your in-home carpet cleaning process?

A: We have a 12 step process that we use:

  1. Pre-Inspection: Our technician will inspect areas of concern and soiling. He will also make you aware of any permanent stains.
  2. Pre-vacuum as needed: this will remove dry soil.
  3. Furniture moving: You will be asked to move large pieces of furniture ahead of time if needed like beds and dressers before-hand but the technician can move small items and protect your furniture with blocks and tabs.
  4. Pre-spray & Pre-spot: The carpet is pre-sprayed with hot special cleaning compounds specially designed for your carpet and soil condition. This loosens the soil and makes rinsing more effective.
  5. Pre-groom: The pre-spray will be worked into the fiber using either a hand rake or a rotary scrubber depending on your carpet type.
  6. Rinse & Extract: Once the soil is loosened, our truck mount hot water extraction process will thoroughly flush the carpet. This step sanitizes and deodorizes the carpet. Water pressure is regulated so the carpet is not over wet.
  7. Post spot treatment: If any spots are not removed, the technician will go back over them again to try to extract them.
  8. Neutralize: Every carpet we clean is pH balanced so that there is no sticky residue left behind. This treatment is applied as a rinse through the machine.
  9. Dry Bonnet: Some carpets need this step to help with the drying process and it can help prevent spots from returning.
  10. Apply protector: This is like scotch guard, it helps prevent stains and helps with a faster clean-up of spills. (This is an extra charge if you desire it).
  • Post-grooming: The carpet pile is set in one direction (using a carpet rake) for faster drying and more visual appeal.
  • Post inspection: The technician walks through your home with you so you can inspect their work.

Q: How do you clean area rugs?

A: We send out any rugs that come in to our warehouse facility to get cleaned. For most rugs we use a bathtub cleaning and a speed drying system. For more delicate rugs we can clean by hand. (Please see video on website on our area rug cleaning process). Area rug pick up and drop offs are free of charge!

 

How to De-Skunk your Pet

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Uh oh, your pet was being especially curious last night and was sprayed by a skunk! What can you do in order to remove that horrible odor? Most people would automatically say, “tomato juice!” because that’s what we always see in the movies, or hear from a grandparent. It’s partially true, the acidity of the tomato juice has been known to cut the skunk smell a little. However, there as an even better solution that you can mix together at home that is proven to work. Here are some steps that you can follow:

  1. Keep your pet outside

You don’t want your pet to brush up against anything in the house and spread the odor around.  Be sure to check their eyes too and if needed, flush their eyes with water.

  1. You can mix up this home remedy:
  • 1 quart of 3 % hydrogen peroxide (you can get this at any pharmacy)
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of dish washing liquid
  • Water may be added as needed

OR if you don’t have these products on hand, you can use vinegar diluted with water. *Wear rubber gloves when washing your pet with the solution* *DO NOT get solution in eyes of your pet or you! * DO NOT store the mixture, it can explode if left stored     3. Rinse thoroughly and DO NOT leave the solution on your pet for a long time     4. Shampoo: Shampoo & Rinse thoroughly. Towel dry and let your pet lay in a sunny area/room to dry off for a couple of hours. If you find that your pet has ran through the house with the smell before you even had a chance to catch him, you can always call the professionals to help! Give us a call today if you need help with your carpets or other furniture!