As a young child I was overly impressed by the movie “Gone with the Wind,” especially Scarlett O’Hara’s line, “I’ll think about it tomorrow,” and whenever there’s been an unpleasant task at hand, I’ve frequently pulled it from my bag of tricks to accommodate procrastination. Now as I tread gingerly through my Golden Years, that trick doesn’t seem to serve me very well and it’s become all but impossible for me to live with certain gnawing aggravations that I’ve tolerated for years on end and done nothing about.
Among them are a few annoying spots on my carpets and upholstery from which I’ve averted my eyes for years. Lately they serve beacons of frustration, especially since I’ve started writing as The Home Guru.
Some 25 years ago, I stumbled upon a great opportunity near my New Orleans office in the French Quarter at an estate sale to acquire several fine oriental rugs. On one of them, the most beautiful with a pale beige background, I detected a pale brown stain, probably from dog poop, but I figured I could have them removed once shipped to New York. But it was set in place in my living room without having had the job done. How, I ask you, could I live for 25 years hoping that everybody who visited my living room would be as myopic as I am? Also, there was that coffee stain on the damask of my camelback settee and the questionable stain on the silk of the sofa. Time to clean up, I thought. Tomorrow is finally here.
Finally last week, I received an promotional email from Bill Pope of Spotless Cleaning Systems and decided to bite the bullet by calling. Based in Carmel, he was at my door within 24 hours and on the floor examining the stains in question, explaining to me the difference between types of stains. “If it’s a stain, like urine from an animal it can be removed,” he said, but if it’s from the feces of an animal, depending on what the dog or cat has eaten, it can actually change the color of the fibers, dye them and that type of stain can’t be removed.” Pope then told me the story of a client who gave his dog a medicine that was delivered through a chocolate based medium, but the dog found the package and ate all of the medication which resulted in a case of diarrhea which ruined a white carpet. “Chocolate is the worst thing a dog can eat, for this reason” Pope warned.
It is apparent, according to Pope, that my living room carpet was the victim of such an attack and if I don’t want to see the unpleasant residue of the incident, I must dispose of the evidence and get a new carpet. A decision a long time in the making, and an expensive one at that.
For area rug cleaning, Pope removes rugs and uses a pit wash system where the rug is first vacuumed heavily with a method called dusting, then soaked with a mild cleaning detergent. When removed, it is brushed with a rotary machine then vacuumed with a powerful machine that sucks the water out, then dried with fans.
For wall-to-wall carpeting, a truck based machine is used for surface cleaning. I had my central hall and stairway carpeting done by this method and it is amazing how it plumped up like new.
When I showed him the small stains on my damask and silk and asked if he did “spot” cleaning, Pope said no, it wouldn’t pay for me to request that. There are minimum charges for his crew to come out, and it wouldn’t be feasible for a homeowner to request anything but a full cleaning for an upholstered piece of furniture, and I did request that for the two slipper chairs in my dining room, but for the small stains on my living room chairs, I asked how I might remove them on my own. “Simple,” Pope replied. “Just use warm water and a mild soap like Ivory and dap inward with a clean towel.”
If you happen to be sleepwalking through the rooms of your house, wringing your hands moaning “out damned spot,” you may need to call Spotless Cleaning Systems at 845-225-6449 or email Bill Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com), specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. His real estate site is: www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and his blog is: www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.