Steam Cleaning VS Dry Carpet Cleaning

Is it time for your carpet to be revitalized?

Or perhaps you’ve got some nasty stains driving you completely mad?

When you’re looking at getting your carpets cleaned you’ll find that many companies boast their own techniques and equipment, making it hard to select the right cleaning method. You should always be wary of what any professional advises, especially if they have only one option for you.  It’s advised you get some accurate information by having a look at the various sources of information available, or by talking with a carpet cleaning company who offers a few different methods.

You’ll find that most companies only utilize one method, usually steam cleaning, or dry cleaning.  Additionally some carpet cleaning companies will come up with their own name for their techniques, making it hard to decipher what you’re actually getting. However don’t allow this information to turn you against carpet cleaning companies, just make sure you do a little bit of research before asking for a specific carpet cleaning service.

Not surprisingly both popular carpet cleaning techniques are  effective in their own manner and in the right context, consequentially they also have their own negatives. It’s important you request a service that suits your circumstances (stains type, carpet material, time constraints and budget).


Steam Cleaning :


In basic terminology your steam cleaning service is the application of hot water onto your carpet, which is dried straight after water application. A steam cleaner utilises a machine which can suck up the dirty water which the hot water extracts. Your steam cleaning method works based on a mixture of chemicals and hot water which releases dirt or stains from the deeper depths of your carpet (which is then removed through suction).


  • It is perfect for stains that have been left to soak into the carpet
  • Utilises powerful chemicals to rid hidden stains
  • Provides an overall deeper clean
  • You can complete this method yourself with use of hire equipment


  • Can leave carpet wet for 2 hrs or more depending on the company (who will provide you an estimate)
  • If too much water is saturated into the carpet it can create bad hygiene
  • You’ll be unable to use the carpet area whilst it still remains wet

carpet cleaning 1

Dry Cleaning Carpet:


In comparison to your steam cleaning method the carpet drying (bonnet clean) does not use the same amount of water, instead it has a focus on utilising a chemical based cleaning technique. As moisture is beneficial to all carpet cleaning the dry carpet cleaning method does incorporate some water moisture, but mainly it sprays a chemical on the carpet which is scrubbed with a pad. Mixture of the chemicals and the pad fabric allow the dirt to be transferred onto the pad. However the carpet should also be vacuumed after the process to ensure all the grime that has turned into crystal powder, is effectively sucked up.

Chemical Forms: Granules (and in some cases your professionals will be able to utilise the ‘Foam Method’, which includes similar principles but utilises foam).


  • Most popular benefit is that it allows you to step onto your carpet immediately after application
  • Less water consumption (meaning no risk that your carpet will be over saturated)
  • Often cheaper


  • Doesn’t have the same effectiveness as steam cleaning for stubborn or liquid stains
  • It only really freshens the outer layer of the carpet (which can be appropriate if you have no real major stains)

Choosing out of these two main carpet cleaning methods may result in confusion, but with these basic bullet points and information you should be able to get an understanding what your carpet requires. It’s also best to talk in detail with your carpet cleaning professional before asking or accepting a specific method. In order to prevent the need for regular steam cleaning services you should always get on top of stains straight away, with off the shelf cleaning products, or basic carpet cleaning techniques (hot water and disinfectants).


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Mothers Exposed to Cleaning Chemicals Could Have Baby Boys With Genital Defects

Pregnant women who use cleaning products that contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals could give birth to baby boys with genital defects, according to a new study conducted by researchers in southern France.

In addition to cleansers, detergents, pesticides and cosmetics could pose a risk if they contain phthalates, BPA (bisphenol-A), polychlorinated compounds, organic solvents, synthetic fragrances and other chemical compounds that mimic the natural reproductive hormones people normally produce.

After examining more than 600 children, the researchers found that babies exposed in utero to endocrine-disrupting chemicals while their genitals were developing were more like to suffer from a deformity called hypospadias. Hypospadias is a condition in which the opening of the urethra develops on the underside of the penis rather than the tip. The urethra is the tube that connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. In males, the urethra transports semen during sexual intercourse. It also is the way urine flows out of the body. Depending on its severity, the defect can cause problems with urination and later in life, sexual activity.

Fortunately, about 70 percent of deformities are relatively mild. However, fixing it can require surgery.

This isn’t the first time scientists have found a link between certain chemicals and hypospadias, reports Environmental Health News. Mothers in southeast England who were heavily exposed to endocrine disrupting phthalates on the job were about three times as likely to have a baby boy with hypospadias.  And in 2010, Italian researchers found that among 160 mothers, those who worked with more than one group of endocrine disrupting chemicals were four times as likely to have a baby boy with hypospadias.

What Can You Do?

1) Read product labels to reduce your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Women most likely to give birth to boys with hypospadias are those who work as cleaners, hairdressers or beauticians. However, you do not need to work in the cleaning or beauty industry to be at risk. Read the labels of the products you buy. Choose those that say they are BPA-free. Avoid synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and parabens, paying particularly close attention to cosmetics, perfume, food packaging and plastic packaging.

2) Make your own. It is simple, effective and inexpensive to make your own cleaning products, as well as body washes and even perfume. Most of the time, all you need is baking soda, white distilled vinegar, fragrance-free liquid dish soap, and water. Care2 offers many recipes for safe make-your-own cleansers, face scrubs, and perfume.

3) Frequent beauty parlors that make an effort to use BPA-free and phthalate-free products. Search out establishments that use natural products to protect the health of their workers as well as their customers.

4) Use green cleaning companies, or provide your own green cleaning products. An increasing number of professional cleaning services use only eco-friendly, non-toxic cleansers. If you have a household cleaning service, insist they use the safest, healthiest products available. Provide them yourself if necessary.

5) Spread the word. Through word-of-mouth and social media, tell your friends, family and co-workers — and especially women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant — what you’ve learned about the dangers of using products that contain phthalates, parabens, BPA, and other hormone disrupting compounds.


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Stressed At Work? These 5 Office Mental Health Tips Will Help

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to handle stress at work — but most of it assumes that you’re the boss, or at least someone powerful enough to demand that your office install some soothing non-fluorescent lighting. But while you might be stressed out like a boss, you might not yet have the kind of power needed to request that someone feng shui the filing cabinets. Luckily, there are plenty of work stress-relieving techniques that anyone working in an office can put to use immediately.

And odds are, you do need to put them to use immediately: the American Stress Institute estimates that work is the number one source of stress for Americans, with 40 percent of American workers claiming that they need help managing that stress. And if you work in an open plan office, those stresses become even more specific. Though open plan officeswere created in hopes that their lack of structure would lead to free and spontaneous exchange of ideas between coworkers, numerous studies have pointed out that open plan offices come with their own set of pressures — many of them related to lack of privacy and noise complaints. And since 70 percent of American offices are now open plan offices, that’s a lot of stress to deal with.

These five simple techniques can help you better manage office stress, which can make you more productive, more creative, and more able to have after-work conversations about things besides how stressed you are at work

1. Get A Plant

Why It Helps: What can having a plant on your desk do? I mean, what can’t it do? According to interior designer Sherry Burton Ways, maintaining something green and leafy by your work space can help “reduce absenteeism, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase positive feelings, lower noise levels, decrease room temperature and lower humidity.”

And studies have shown that as few as three desk plants can reduce the CO2 level by 25 percent in a room with no air flow. Plants are also believed to encourage productivity, and researchers at Texas A & M University found that workers with plants nearby had more creative ideas than workers who just had to stare at their bare office walls or Mandy from Human Resources.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: Get a plant, any plant, and plop it down on your desk. And no matter your specific office requirements or personal flaws, there is a plant out there to suit your needs. Bad at remembering to water plants? Snake plants don’t need to be watered very often at all. Work in an office with very little natural light? African violets, lucky bamboo, peace lilies, or other plants that thrive in low light can still keep you happy and remind you that there’s a world out there beyond your TPS reports. And even if you work in Sub-Basement Three, jade plants can grow with nothing but the soothing glow of your fluorescent office lights.

2. Stand Up

Why It Helps: Surely by now you’ve read some of the studies about how sitting for your entire work day can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack, and negatively impact your overall health in ways that can’t be fixed by popping out to the gym at six. But odds are, your job won’t throw down for one of those schmany standing desks. Luckily for you, you actually don’t need a standing model in order to avoid death by desk (in fact, standing all day can come with its own health problems, like leg, knee, and back problems). All you need to do is stand up throughout the day for short periods of time, to reap benefits like improved blood flow and increased metabolism.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: Experts recommend that you stand up twice an hourwhen you’re working, which can be easily integrated into regular office activities like going to the supply room, using the bathroom, or checking the office fridge to see if anyone has left any cakes unattended.

And if you tend to get in the zone and lose track of time for hours at a stretch, there are plenty of apps that can remind you to keep your butt in motion, like Stand Up, which reminds you to stand up at the interval of your choice, or Smart Break, which also encourages you to take strategically-timed breaks that help you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and similar typing-related problems.

3. See The Sun

Why It Helps: Many of us work in offices so densely packed and window-free that we have to chat nine different coworkers before we find someone who can tell us what the weather outside looks like. While you might be inclined to punch your own skylight through the weird particle board ceiling, there is a better way to get the sunshine that you need to keep your mind and body healthy: go outside. Crazy, right? I know. But it works! Since UV rays can’t penetrate glass, you’re going to have to actually get outdoors to reap the stress-relieving and sleep-improving benefits of sun exposure.

How To Put This Tip Into Action:  According to experts, you may need anywhere from just a few to 20 minutes in the sun each day, depending on factors like your skin tone and the intensity of your sunscreen application — so you might have to get creative about how to find your time in the great-ish outdoors.

Try eating lunch at your desk and then taking a walk during your actual lunch break, or, if your work situation is just not conducive to mid-day sunny strolls, get some sun on the way to work, possibly by getting up a little earlier (sorry) and taking a longer walk during your commute.

4. Personalize Your Desk

Why It Helps: There’s a trend these days towards so-called “lean” offices — that is, offices that look like sexy, streamlined spaceships, with no traditional office distractions like piles of papers or someone’s collection of hideous big-eyed cherub figurines. These offices are usually assumed to lead to a sleeker, more productive work day, but the opposite is actually true.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Craig Knight, a psychologist at the University of Exeter, office worker productivity increased by 16 percent when workers were allowed to surround themselves with personal artifacts like art, plants, family photos, and hideous big-eyed cherub figurines. And a 2010 UK study found that workers who were able to personalize their workspace were one third more efficient than their decor-free counterparts.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: Bring in something that you like and keep it at your desk. Even if it’s small, and even if you have to bring it home with you every day. This reminder of your life outside of work — whether it’s a family photo or a limited edition framed Sharknado 2 poster — can help keep you going through your work day.

5. Block Out The Noise

Why It Helps: According to psychologist Nick Perham, the noise of open plan offices is the biggest irritant to the modern worker — it can prevent us from focusing completely on our projects, retaining and recalling basic information, and even doing simple math. But there is a way to cut through the noise: blocking it out can improve mood, cognitive functions, and other abilities that take a dive when we’re exposed to office noise.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: A good set of noise-canceling headphones can help — they won’t block everything out, but they can give you greater control over the sonic landscape that you’re immersed in. But even regular headphones can give you a boost: listening to music can help improve your mood or achieve the kind of focus that can help you get some kinds of tasks done.

And, most importantly, playing our own music makes us feel like we have some control in the sometimes-chaotic open place office environment — which is psychologically worth its weight in gold (or at least its weight in sleek, streamlined office desks).

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How Environmental Exposure May Affect Your Child

Keeping Your House Clean Without Harsh Chemicals


When you have a new baby, your house might seem a lot dirtier than it did before. The first time your little one stuffs a dust bunny or a desiccated housefly in her mouth is often a low point in parenting.

Before you start scrubbing every surface in sight, consider that obsessive cleaning with caustic household cleaners has its own drawbacks. Harsh household cleaners can affect a baby’s eyes, airways, skin, and more.

“Parents need to know that there can be a trade-off between a sterilized kitchen and theirbaby’s health,” says Sonya Lunder, MPH, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C.

There is good news. By making simple changes and practicing child-safe cleaning, you can keep your home clean without exposing your baby to unnecessary risks. For an exhausted mom, it’s a win-win: a healthier baby without loads of extra housework.

What’s the Problem With Household Cleaners?

Household cleaners with harsh ingredients don’t only kill germs and get out tough stains. They can affect your baby’s health in a number of ways.

  • Eczema. A baby’s skin is sensitive, and studies have found that irritants and allergens in household cleaners and detergents can cause skin irritation.
  • Airway irritation. Powerful fumes from household cleaners can irritate your baby’s airways, making allergy or asthma symptoms worse. Some cleaning chemicals in schools have been linked with higher rates of asthma, says Lunder.
  • Eye irritation. Household cleaner fumes can also irritate your baby’s eyes, causing redness and watering. If splashed directly into the eyes, some cleaners can cause serious damage.
  • Allergies. Some researchers believe that having a home that’s too clean can increase the long-term risk of allergies in a child. It’s called the hygiene hypothesis. Without some exposure to germs, a child’s immune system might not develop normally. Instead, it becomes hypersensitive and begins to overreact to harmless allergens, like pollen or dander.
  • Poisoning. Every year, more than a million kids under age 5 swallow poisons like household cleaners, sometimes with devastating effects.
  • Unknown health effects. Some household cleaners have fragrances that contain chemicals like phthalates. While we don’t know what their health effects are for sure, some studies have found a possible connection between phthalates and disrupted hormone levels.

“What’s surprising to so many parents is that we don’t have good safety testing for a lot of the chemicals we use every day,” Kenneth Bock, MD, pediatric neurotoxicologist and codirector of the Rhinebeck Health Center in Rhinebeck, N.Y. “We don’t really know what they might be doing to our kids.” To be cautious, many parents try to reduce their use of household cleaners that contain harsh chemicals.

By R. Morgan Griffin

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