How To Clean Painted Walls

Remember how clean your house looked right after the walls were freshly painted* ? Living in your home day in and day out (especially with kids!) can take a toll. Cleaning walls is a big job, but it’s much cheaper than repainting! Follow these steps for how to clean walls and you’ll get that new home feeling back in no time!

Step 1: Move furniture to the center of the room.

Step 2: Gather your tools:spectrum

  • White cleaning cloths
  • Natural sponge (colored sponges can leave dyes on light colored walls)
  • Old sheets
  • Two buckets
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands.

Step 3: Lay down old sheets to catch messes. Avoid plastic tarps – they turn slippery when wet!

Step 4: Remove artwork/pictures from walls and cover nails with a piece of the sponge. This will remind you where pictures were hanging and protect your hands when washing the walls.

Step 5: Mix your cleaning solution in one of the buckets.

For normal soil levels, try a mild detergent solution that consists of:

  • 1 gallon warm water
  • a good squeeze of liquid dishwashing detergent

For more heavily soiled walls, you’ll need a stronger solution. Be sure to spot test the cleaning mixture first to ensure it won’t remove or lighten paint. Add all of the following to your bucket and give it a good mix before you begin:

  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 1 cup clear non-sudsing ammonia
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup washing soda (borax)

Step 6: Fill a second bucket with clean water for rinsing. Be sure to change the water frequently!

Now you’re ready to begin cleaning your walls. Always wash the entire wall, from bottom to top and side to side. If you need to take a break, be sure to do so at the end of a wall, as stopping in the middle can cause “wash marks” (known as the wave effect).

*this method works just as effectively on wallpapered walls!

Just as you vacuum after you dust, if you haven’t had your carpets professionally cleaned in more than six months, you should consider having this done after you finish cleaning your walls. Spectrum Cleaning & Restoration offers state-of-the-art equipment, reasonable rates and our professional guarantee. Learn more at

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Sweet Dreams: 7 Mattress Cleaning Tips

mattress cleaning tips

Your mattress is a big investment, and should buy you many years of sweet dreams. But sleeping on it night after night, year after year can take a toll, which is why it’s so important to take good care of it. Here are 7 mattress cleaning tips to help you get the most out of your investment:

1. Frame it right – No one likes to sleep on a hard lumpy mattress. Just as our bodies need the support of a good mattress, mattresses also need a proper place to rest. When you purchase a mattress, make sure you also purchase the box spring so that the two pieces will work together as a set.

2. Seasonal spin — Unless specifically told otherwise, rotate your mattress from head to foot when the seasons change. This helps prevent the formation of sleeping “wallows,” caused by the same body in the same spot every night.

3. Flip it — Mattresses should also be flipped when the seasons change. *Pillow-top mattresses can’t be flipped.

mattress cleaning tips

4. Ban bouncing — Kids enjoy bouncing on the bed, but your poor mattress despises this action. Jumping on beds can damage mattresses and box springs, and fracture bed frames.

5. Use protection — Sweet dreams are the goal, but accidents happen. Protect mattresses from messy mishaps with mattress pads or a mattress protector. They’ll absorb moisture and spills before they soak through to the mattress. They are even good for dust and help with allergies.

6. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum — Regular vacuuming will keep mattresses clean and fresh. Remove all bedding from the mattress, and use the upholstery brush to vacuum every surface of the mattress. Vacuuming your mattress removes dust, skin flakes and dust mites.

mattress cleaning tips

7. Clean stains safely — Stains are likely to happen, and when they do, use an upholstery shampoo to remove them.

* FYI — An alternative cleaner, recommended by manufacturers for use on mattresses, is called “dry suds.” Create them by placing about 1/4 cup of liquid dishwashing detergent in a small mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on, and add a few teaspoons of water, a teaspoon at a time. The bowl will fill with foam. Scrape the top layer of foam into a small bowl, and take it to the mattress to use. Rub the stained area gently with the foam, using a sponge or a soft brush; make sure you do not wet the padding beneath. Leave the mattress exposed until it’s completely dry before replacing your bedding.

Spectrum Cleaning & Restoration offers state-of-the-art equipment, reasonable rates and our professional guarantee. Learn more at

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School Gear Cleaning Tips

Now that the kids are back in school, you’re presented with a slew of new things to clean. From backpacks to lunch bags and all the items that come home every day of the week, here are a few handy cleaning tips to help keep things from getting out of control before winter break:

school gear cleaning tipsReusable Lunch Bags should be emptied right after school. This is a biggie! It might take a few weeks for kids to get in the habit, but a note by the most-used entrance (where backpacks are hung up) can help. When kids empty their lunch bag, they can leave the empty bag by the sink.

When you get to it, simply add a drop of liquid detergent to the bottom and rinse it out with warm water.

Wipe it out with a paper towel and then hang the bag upside down over a large plastic cup to air dry. Once it’s dry, go over both the inside and outside with an anti-bacterial wipe and air dry again before use.

Backpacks can get pretty disgusting by midterms. Kids have a hard enough time not school gear cleaning tipslosing things. Keeping their backpacks clean will help them stay organized and feel more in control of their school supplies and their class assignments. Pick one day a week to go through backpacks together. Doesn’t matter what day it is – it can even be over the weekend – but make sure the entire contents get dumped out. Once it’s empty, hand over the anti-bacterial wipes so that they can wipe down the inside and outside of their bags before putting everything back into their backpacks. Older kids can have a bit more privacy to do this on their own, but should be made to show you the before and after – it’ll give them some ownership over their success.

Sports Bags. Getting those duffel bags filled with soccer uniforms and hockey equipment into fighting shape after a week’s worth of practices, games and even a weekend tournament can be seriously intimidating. But bacteria from sweaty, wet school gear cleaning tipscloths can migrate to clean gear, and eventually to your healthy player… who doesn’t want to miss out on the big game because of a nasty cold! First, take everything out of the bag… Even the plastic piece at the bottom. Wipe the inside of the bag down thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Let it air dry, then wipe every surface, inside and out with anti-bacterial wipes. Let air dry again before placing clean uniforms and equipment back into the bag. Repeat at least twice a month to keep bacteria from building up inside the bag.

Entryways. In and out. In and out. Doors get left open. Backpacks get dumped. And as the warmer days of September give way to the cooler temps of October, jackets and sweaters get left in doorways and at the bottom of the staircase, too. It’s enough to drive parents crazy! A few ideas for keeping this area clean:

Get one small, square laundry basket for each little offender. Simply ask that they school gear cleaning tipsdump their stuff in their own basket, rather than on the floor. If they don’t – YOU get to dump it into whatever basket is closest – and you don’t care which basket it goes into. Which means, if it goes into the wrong one…? The sibling who wants it back will have to BUY it back (be sure to put a cap on it!). OR you can keep it for yourself and charge in household chores.

Hang a coat hook at the right height for each child just outside the garage entry door. That way backpacks get hung up outside the entry way, rather than dropped inside. The problem here is the “out of sight out of mind” homework issue. Be sure to remind them to bring their homework binders inside first!

Place a shoe tray just outside the door, to remind kiddos to remove their shoes before they come inside. Instilling a “no shoes in the house” rule will help you keep your carpets clean between professional cleanings.

Click here for a few more ways to stay organized this school year.

Spectrum Cleaning and Restoration offers state-of-the-art equipment, reasonable rates and our professional guarantee. Learn more at


How to Treat Carpet Stains Before They Set In

You’ve just spilled an entire glass of your favorite Merlot onto your brand new, white carpet.  What do you do?  Most people know  they’ll need to call in a professional for help, but did you know that your immediate reaction to the spill can determine whether or not it can be removed?  Do you blot it, wet it, scrub it, or leave it alone?  Here are some tips to minimize damage from spills before calling in the professionals:

wine stains

source: google images

Red Wine or Juice Stains: The first thing to do (besides not panicking) is to immediately blot up as much of the moisture as you can using an absorbent cloth or paper towel.  Do NOT rub the stain, but instead gently press straight down with the cloth to absorb the wine.  The point of blotting is to remove the wine without working it further down into the carpet.  Once the excess wine is removed, pour a small amount of water onto the stain and blot again.  This dilutes the wine before it has a chance to set in.  Then call a professional carpet cleaner  – the sooner the professionals come in, the more likely you’ll be to have a positive outcome.

coffee stainsCoffee Stains: While your first instinct may be to scrub the stain, DON’T!  As with red wine, blot the stain gently to prevent it from seeping further into the carpet.  Call a professional for further instructions based on the type of carpet.  Make sure to let them  know if there was cream or sugar in your coffee as this can affect the removal process.  As with wine stains, time is critical.  The fresher the stain, the easier it is to remove.

wax stains

source: google images

Wax Stains: Your favorite candle tipped over, getting wax all over the carpet.  Start by picking out the big chunks with your fingers.  Next, get a brown paper bag (the same one you pack your lunch in) and lay it on top of the wax spill. Heat your iron to a warm setting (not too hot), and place it on top of the paper bag.  Iron over the brown paper bag.  The wax will begin to melt and  stick to the paper bag. Be careful not to iron off the paper bag as this could damage the carpet depending on its material.  Check your progress and repeat if needed. For larger areas, you may need several paper bags to remove as much wax as you can. Once you’ve done this, call a professional to help pull any residual wax.

If you’ve got a busy household, spills are an inevitable part of life. Spectrum can help! Having your carpets professionally cleaned every 6 to 12 months will keep your home fresher, cleaner and healthier  for you and your family. Visit our website for current specials!

How to Extend the Life of a Professional Carpet Cleaning


carpet cleaning

source: google images

You’ve just had your carpets professionally cleaned. The house smells great – and your carpet looks brand new! But how can you retain that fresh, clean scent, and keep your carpets looking brand new between professional cleanings? It’s not easy, especially if you’ve got kids and/or pets running in and out all summer long! Here are a few ways to  stretch your hard-earned dollars and extend the life of a professional carpet cleaning:

  1. Drop a Hint to Visitors. Add a small rug just inside the front door for visitors. Set a pair of shoes on it as a reminder of what the rug is for. And don’t forget to follow the rule yourself!

    carpet cleaning

    source: google images

  2. Bring the Outdoors In. If you have a foyer or entry way by the front door, add an indoor/outdoor rug. These are great at collecting dirt and easy to vacuum or rinse off outside.
  3. Keep Food Out. Keep snacks and meals out of carpeted rooms! This is a big one – and a tough habit to change if your family is used to snacking on the couch.
  4. Make it Clear. Clear liquids only! Ditch the soda in favor of water – it’s better for them anyway! And water spills are simple to clean up. Avoid Kool-Aid, Gatorade and other colored drinks from entering carpeted rooms. 

    carpet cleaning

    source: google images

  5. Make it a Habit. Vacuum your carpet regularly (once a week).
  6. Don’t Wait. Clean up spills immediately! Pat, don’t rub, a stain. Then poor cool water over the area and soak up with a dry, clean white towel. For more on how to treat the most common stains before they set in, click here.

You should have your carpets professionally cleaned every 6 – 12 months. In the mean time, changing family habits, like shoes in the house and eating in the family room, can be tough! But it takes just three weeks for a new habit to take hold, so stick with the gentle reminders and you’ll be on your way to cleaner, fresher carpets between cleanings. What’s your hardest family habit to break? Did we forget anything? Let us know – we love to hear from you!

We’d love to help you get the clean, fresh carpet your home deserves! Give us a call at 636.680.5555 or visit our website for a free estimate.