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Frequently Asked Questions

Where did the word “Janitor” originate?  
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. His most apparent remnants in modern culture are his namesakes, the month of January and the caretaker of doors and halls, the Janitor.

What is floor “wax”?   
Modern floor coatings that produce a glossy tile floor are now known as “floor finishes”  Years ago, the first finishes were Carnauba waxes.  Carnauba is a natural wax emulsion blend combined with a resin. Car­nauba waxes were extremely buff-able.  They dried to a slight haze and left deep, rich swirls on the floor when buffed.  They were extremely abrasive-resistant. Natural waxes have been used as a floor finish since the days of the Romans and the Egyptians. Even though, carnauba and other natural waxes reached their height of popularity in the U.S. in the 1920's and 1930's.  Although our current day metal or zinc cross-linked acrylic polymer finishes do not contain even a trace of real wax, may people continue to refer to it as “wax” and “waxing the floors”. 

Can I make a better cleaner by mixing ammonia and bleach or ammonia and Comet®?   
When combined, ammonia (or products containing ammonia) and bleach will produce  deadly chlorine gas.  Chlorine gas is so dangerous that it was used as a chemical warfare agent during World War I.  Therefore, unless your desire is to produce a weapon capable of mass destruction, don’t try it.  In fact, always store bleach and ammonia apart from each other in case of a leak.

Can I clean my own carpet?
The general answer is “Absolutely”, but it is always good to have some experience or guidance. While it would take up too much time to describe accepted cleaning methods as outlined by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), it is possible to successfully clean your own carpet.  Briefly, it is important to thoroughly vacuum the carpet first.  Then, carefully follow the instructions on the carpet cleaning machine.  If you are using a carpet extraction machine that puts down the cleaning solution and then vacuums it back up, you should make twice as many vacuum passes as you do “spraying” passes.  Generally, you should make 4 passes (two up and back movements) while applying the cleaning solution and 8 passes (four up and back movements) to dry the carpet.  Remove as much moisture as possible.  Remember also that less chemical is better.  If you add extra cleaning solution to your machine, you will leave extra cleaning solution in your carpet.  The real cleaning action is not chemical, but mechanical.  The action of rubbing the carpet cleaning wand across the fibers actually helps scrub the soil loose and properly diluted cleaning solution helps release the soil from the carpet fibers.  If residual chemicals remain in the carpet, the act as a sticky soap film and actually begin to attract dirt and soils.  It would be similar to washing your clothes but not rinsing them properly.    So, clean it yourself or call a certified professional to do it for you.

How often should I vacuum my carpet? 
You should vacuum your carpet at least once per week.  Vacuum a few rooms per day if you don’t want to do it all at once, but you can extend the life of your carpet dramatically by simply vacuuming it weekly.   It helps to look at your carpet as a large towel covering your floor.  If you (your family, friends and pets) walked on that towel every day, wouldn’t you try to shake it or vacuum it every couple of days?  Of course you would!  Well, the soils and oils that we carry into our homes simply wipe off onto our carpet just lay there until they are vacuumed away.  Will vacuuming damage your carpet?  Not at all unless you have an old, ailing vacuum cleaner.  Leaving soil in the carpet helps make the carpet look more dull and dingy as well as the grit acting like sandpaper on the carpet fibers.  Your dentist will tell you that you should only floss the teeth that you plan to keep.  Likewise, you should only regularly vacuum the carpet that you plan to keep.  And, contrary to popular belief, men can vacuum, too!


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