Carpet Cleaning in Toronto Blog

Created By: Fresh and Clean Carpet Cleaning 905-669-0607

   Jun 02

Carpet: It’s Just Good for You!

Carpet Maintenance of Environmentally Preferred Products – 2016/07/05

Many facilities chose environmentally friendly products to build or redecorate their facilities with. Carpets in the common areas of buildings, office suites and private office areas are often decorated with style and colour in mind. The idea of how to maintain some furnishings is often not considered by designers. This article will identify the most common types of environmentally friendly carpet products, their pros and cons and how to maintain them.

Carpets can be made one of two ways. They can be woven or tufted. Over 95% of the carpets and rugs found in North America are tufted. Tufting carpets is best described as making broadloom carpets on a giant sewing machine and then coating the back of the carpet with an adhesive to anchor the “tufts” and add a secondary backing for dimensional stability. Most tufted carpets have polypropylene primary and secondary backings with face fibers made of nylon, polyester, triexta, olefin and wool.

Of these fibers there are many sustainable products. Triexta is a relatively new fiber made from polymers of the polyester family and corn glucose (instead of petroleum). Some triexta can have up to 37% corn glucose in its composition. With triexta so new in the marketplace there is not enough data to determine the long term performance of these products. But it is safe to say that triexta is almost completely stain resistant and it is lipophilic which means it attracts oily soils. When maintaining triexta it is preferred to use detergent free cleaners as many cleaning solutions contain co-solvents and degreasers and will have their residues cling onto the fibers causing a dull appearance and rapid resoiling.

Polyester is a carpet fiber not seen very much in commercial buildings yet. The statistics say that as many as 50,000,000 pop bottles are recycled into carpet every day. Polyester is another lipophilic fiber. This means that it will attract oily soils to its surfaces. It also does not like water very much, it repels it. Polyester will perform well when it comes to stain removal but will attract and hold oily soils and cleaning residues.

Recycled nylon is a common fiber to be found in commercial carpet. There are two types of nylon- nylon 6 and nylon 6.6. Nylon 6 has been recycled for many years and is repolymerized into carpet fiber. Nylon is considered an excellent carpet fiber. It can be post dyed in patterns or one of a million different colours. It can also be solution dyed. Its versatility and its resilience allow for wonderful styles and colours and long term performance. It is very easy to clean since it does not have an affinity for oily soils, but stains can be a problem since nylon does absorb moisture and can attract acid dyes from soda pop.

Wool is found in both tufted and woven carpets. Wool has an attribute that no other common carpet fiber does- it does not support a flame. Any large Las Vegas hotel must have wool carpet by law because it acts as a flame retardant. Wool used in commercial carpet comes from sheep. The fiber produced by sheep can vary greatly from region to region. Since the fibers are all generated from animals the yarns are shorter (called staple fibers) than synthetic fibers which are miles long. These natural wool fibers are classified as protein fibers. They are very resilient and take in dyes readily which means they can be dyed into millions of different colours but they also stain easily.

When the parties purchasing carpet are trying to buy the “greenest” carpets they often turn to woven carpet. Woven carpets have no adhesive binding the carpet together. Woven carpets often have backings made of natural fibers such as jute and cotton. Jute and cotton are notorious for shrinkage when they are wetted out. Wovens come in three basic categories: axminsters, velvets and wiltons. The wiltons and velvets that have patterns of one or two colours often have backings of multiple natural fibers and can shrink tremendously due to the content of the filling yarns used in the frames. Axminsters also shrink and when they do can only be stretched back in one direction. Great caution should be paid to carpet construction, carpet cleaning methods and drying times when cleaning any woven broadloom.

The other category of natural fibers is cellulosic. Cellulosic fibers come from the seed or stem of a plant. Cotton and jute are commonly found in the backings of woven carpet. These fibers shrink when wetted out. These fibers are not common on commercial carpet. Both jute and sisal are bast cellulosic fibers that are seen in designer rugs. They are found in bound rugs with canvas or leather bindings. These rugs are not resilient and brown out very easily when wetted out or unevenly wetted. The primary cleaning method employed in cleaning jute or sisal rugs is dry powder cleaning. Any water based methods are risky for shrinkage or odd chemical reactions with these bast fibers.

Woven carpets can be combinations of natural fiber backings or synthetic backings and chains with face yarns of naturals, synthetics or blends. The worst case scenario for people maintaining these carpets is using water or too much moisture and using stain/spot removers without testing in an inconspicuous place. Before cleaning any carpet, a diligent attempt to determine the construction of the carpet backing and face fiber type of the carpet must be made.

Cellulosic fibers when used as face yarns on carpet lose colour very easily, very similar to blue jeans and other khakis. Great care should be made to use products and stain removers that are safe for use on naturals and test, test, test before cleaning.  Wool can also be damaged by improper chemistry. Wool has cuticles up and down its exterior surface. These cuticles can be damaged by high alkaline cleaning solutions, and the carpet can fade or have dye bleed when improper chemistries are used. Its always recommended to use a cleaning solution carrying the Woolsafe seal of approval when cleaning wool.

The most important first step with any carpet maintenance program is to keep the soil at the door. Good walk off matting and proper vacuuming and extraction of the dirt gathering boot scrapes and walk off matting makes all the difference in the world. When vacuuming, try and vacuum high traffic areas from all four directions. Pile lifting can also be beneficial on synthetic fiber carpets. When vacuuming carpets made of natural fibers never use equipment with a power head attachment or a beater bar. This will cause the face fibers to shed, fuzz or create bearding or pilling.

Hopefully this article reinforces the importance of understanding what your sustainable carpet is made of before vacuuming or cleaning it. Ask the person who sells the carpet for the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines. Do not trust the retailer’s guidelines as often they are written for regular old synthetic carpet.

Clean Air

How do you effectively Filter The Air in your home ?

Everyone is concerned about better health. We shop for healthy foods. We take our vitamins. We visit our doctor on a regular basis. We drink filtered water. What we might not appreciate is the value of filtered air.

How do you effectively filter the air in your home? You are right… changing the filters in your furnace system on a regular, scheduled basis. If you wait too long, you know it because the filter is just so darned dirty. It makes a mess when you change it. So you vow to do it more often, and maybe you even put it on your wall calendar so you don’t forget. You might even pick up a better quality filter, such as one that uses HEPA standards.

 But what about the biggest filter in your home? Wonder what it is? Just look down… if you have carpet, that’s the filter that often gets ignored. If you don’t have much carpet, odds are you have area rugs covering those hard floors. Those area rugs are filters, too.


Carpet in a home is a protection for you, because it traps all kinds of allergens that can be the bane of asthma sufferers. Carpet is a filter and, like all filters, has to be either changed or cleaned. It’s not practical to change your carpet every year or so (heck, no one could afford that!) but you can — and should — have it cleaned.

Remember, allergens are very light and float in the air, and are respiratory concerns, especially for allergy and asthma sufferers. Carpet helps to keep those particulates to a minimum.

There are many documented studies about how homes and facilities, such as schools, are healthier because of carpet and regular cleaning schedules.

So enjoy your carpet… and have it cleaned by your favorite carpet cleaning pro!




160 Cidermill Ave, Unit 8

Concord ON, L4K 4K5



   Jun 02

Cleaning Wool Carpet and Rug: Good News? Or Baaaad?

Cleaning Wool Carpet and Rug

High Quality Fiber

DID YOU KNOW that choosing a wool carpet or rug for your home is both good news… and sometimes bad?

The good news is choosing wool, which is a high quality fiber but not really that popular because of the higher price, means your carpet or rug will last longer, look better and retain value.

The bad news is choosing wool means you won’t see as much dirt on it, and so you may not vacuum or clean it that often — which means your nice, wool carpet or rug may prematurely wear out.

Why is that?

Most consumers base their cleaning frequencies on appearance. That can be dangerous for any carpet or rug, or any surface, for that matter. With wool, the physical makeup of the fiber has the characteristic of hiding dirt, especially those tiny, gritty particles that wear on the fibers. You might compare this to putting sand on a piece of Plexiglas and walking on it. The sand will act as an abrasive, damaging the surface.

While wool fibers won’t damage as quickly as other fibers, such as nylon, polyester or olefin, any type of dirt or soil on them isn’t good news at all.

What you should do is talk to a cleaning professional about cleaning based on frequency, not appearance. Get your cleaning scheduled on a regular basis, and remember that not every situation is the same. Your home may not need as frequent cleaning as another; that’s why a professional opinion is smart.

Yes, wool is good… or baaaad… depending on how you treat it.

Fresh and1379423_10153313709620370_196731004_n Clean Carpet Cleaning is a WoolSafe Approved Service Provider.

We will handle your wool rugs with care and ensure that they are cleaned and repaired to your satisfaction!




160 Cidermill Ave, Unit 8

Concord ON, L4K 4K5



   Apr 13

   Feb 27

How Do YOU Measure Clean?

Have you ever wondered if the products you’re using are actually doing their job? Many of us fall victim to the advertisements that promise the product will “kill 99.9% of germs”, but have any of us really tested this theory?

Now the question is, how does someone measure clean? The answer – WE CAN With ATP Testing!

For hard surfaces, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) testing is the fastest and most reliable means of measuring cleanliness.  ATP is a molecule common to all living biological systems being used within cells as their energy system for metabolism.

The purpose of ATP testing is to document effective cleaning by ensuring two aspects of biological growth have been managed.

  1. There is no “biomass” on critical surfaces after cleanup – that is, there is nothing there to grow, like bacteria.
  2. There is not enough “medium” for growth – growing things require food, and there is no food even at the microscopic level.

The main advantage of using ATP as a biological indicator is the speed, mobility, and ease of analysis.  Unlike quantitative biological monitoring that requires at least several hours, and a scientific lab, ATP testing takes only minutes from collecting the samples to obtaining the results.  Results are in real time.

Portable ATP monitoring devices measure the amount of light given off by a sample in Relative Light Units (RLUs) using bio-luminescence chemistry.  It is generally accepted that clean surfaces have low levels of ATP.  Most ATP monitoring units will detect less than 0.5 picograms (a millionth of a millionth of a gram) of ATP from all cells on a surface, including microbes.

Consumers need to be careful however because devices from different manufacturers measure outcomes differently and there is no regulatory limit on RLUs.  So in using an ATP measuring system, some preliminary work is required to establish relevant pass/fail limits for the tests.  This is best accomplished by collecting reference data in accordance with a sampling plan following normal cleaning procedures.  Levels set will depend on the type and condition of the surface, and the cleaning methods used.


We offer ATP Testing with our SystemSURE PLUS monitors by Hygenia.  If you let us know when you book a cleaning that you would like ATP testing done, we can include this as part of our service. We want you to feel confident that by any measure, your surfaces are clean!


160 Cidermill Ave, Unit 8

Concord ON, L4K 4K5


   Jan 30

Greening a Proprietary Formula: The Story of Fresh and Clean Carpet Care TLC

Growing environmental stewardship into the fabric and culture of a workplace is done through many different strategies, and does not happen overnight. For many companies in cleaning services the answer is to develop a procurement policythat involves screening products for limiting environmental damage while balancing costs.  As a consumer, you must wade through their claims and compare one to another.
With so many companies making claims about their environmental stewardship,it can be difficult to choosethe company with the best product lines and services.

How does your cleaning company decide on its cleaning products?

For us, at Fresh and Clean, it was the intersection of our concern for our customers’ needs and the best product available with a myriad of environmental considerations. The decision by our CEO was to put his effort toward producing a proprietary product that does not compromise. The reality is that with improper use of cleaning chemistry fabrics, like nylon fiber, will fade and become brittle over time, so appropriate chemistry is critical. We developed our own proprietary formula of commercial carpet cleaner that meets these needs, gives the best results possible, and meets the necessary standards.

The result, Fresh & Clean Carpet Care TLC, is one of the most effective and economical green cleaning solutions developed specifically for the professional carpet cleaning industry. It has been given the CRI Seal (Carpet and Rug Institute) and has been endorsed and used by leading carpet cleaning companies throughout North America. It can be used on all commercial carpet
fibres and leaves no soil attracting residue.
By developing our own product, we were able to make decisions about the choices important to us, instead of having to compromise. These decisions have enormous impact if one is to consider the life cycle analysis of this product. First, we could ensure that by
choosing the ingredients of our own product it would be non-toxic and readily biodegradable. Second, we could guarantee our product is made from vegetable resources, while a lot of other cleaners are derived from petroleum resources.

From a Grist Magazine article titled, “A review of six green laundry detergents”, by Sarah van Schagen on February, 27, 2008:

“According to the Seventh Generation bottle, if every U.S.  household replaced one bottle of petroleum-based detergent with a plant-based one, 149,000 barrels of oil could be saved — enough to heat and cool 8,500 homes for a year.”

Next, we were able to choose the best products, like colloidal micelle. According to LH Organics website,

“With the extremely small size of the micelle (compared to other surfactants), there is a lot more surface area available to react with other molecules.” “The action of these carbon-loving, hyper- mobile micelles is similar to a sub-microscopic sand blaster. Micelles hammer the surface of an organic compound and tear it apart.”

In plain English, these micelle surfactants can attach to smaller sized soils and carry them away, something regular cleaners need additives to be able to achieve.

Finally, because the product has been manufactured for us, the format of how our product is packaged and shipped could be chosen to significantly reduce the environmental impact.

To better understand this difference, walk through this visualization. Currently we receive our Fresh and Clean Carpet Care TLC in 200 litre barrels, instead of a more standard 10, 20 litre plastic pails, or 50, 4 litre plastic jugs. Then, multiply that result by the effect of diluting, 25 to 60 times with water.

This means up to 3000, 4 litre jugs of cleaning solution from one barrel of concentrated cleaner.
How much CO2 has been prevented from going into the atmosphere from these decisions that were made years ago!

A December 2014 article published in Cleaning and Maintenance Management expounds on the virtues of dilution for improved sustainability within cleaning products:

In those cases where Fresh and Clean Carpet Care TLC is not the best choice, we overwhelmingly choose products with 3rd party certification, like EcoLogo, Green Seal, or Greenguard. We choose these products because we know many of the same considerations went into the third party certification. When available, we purchase these products in concentrated formula as well, and dilute as required. For a customer to purchase a green cleaning product from a retail vendor simply cannot compare.

How does your green cleaning company develop their culture of sustainability?
Preston Walberg: LEED Green Associate
8-160 Cidermill Ave, Concord ON

   Nov 12

Greening your Mobile Office

The busy professional of today; your office is slung over your shoulder.  You’re meeting clients around the city. You’re doing networking events and trade shows.  You’re busy needing to be everywhere, now!

Local coffee shops offer free wifi and aren’t in a hurry to rush you out, but is this the professional space you need to get your work done?

We all have a story.  After 3 failed attempts to do lunch with a colleague, my most recent commitment to a lunch meeting appeared impossible, again.  A training webinar was scheduled last minute for my co-workers and I, and it fell too close to our lunch meeting to make it work.  How can I be at two places, in different parts of the city, at the same time?

The solution came with a quick email to  Jade responded to my request with three options within two hours.  They offer office space by the hour, or by the day.  With various convenient locations, and a variety of sizes from board room equivalents to single sitting options they have many solutions.w_C09CC-

Everybody is familiar with timeshares for vacations.  Most people are familiar with cars share.  Now enters ‘Office Shares’, the option of having use of a space, designed to give you your needs for the modern office, for an hour or two, for a day.

From the sustainability perspective, there are some great aspects.  First, better use of already existing building space; the spaces being offered by ThisSpaceWorks already exist.  They are already heated and have full infrastructure required – they just aren’t being utilised as much as they could be.  So, as more businesses consider using this type of option, less office space will need to be constructed.  How many board rooms sit empty around the city most of the time, anyway?  Second, the spaces are within congested city space, and therefore already have easy access to transit, car shares, or even taxi’s – so you won’t have to drive your own car to get there.  Finally, ThisSpaceWorks takes their commitment to sustainability one step further, their business operations are Bull Frog Powered.

My colleague and I had a very pleasant business lunch a 2 minute walk from Bloor and Dufferin subway station in Toronto.  After lunch, thanks to This Space Works, I was able to simply cross the street, grab a coffee at the InterGalactic Travel Authority, slip through their Space Ship doors into the quiet back room to join my office in our webinar training event.  Liz Haines, the owner, was fantastic.  In minutes she made sure that I was hooked up and on schedule for my meeting.  I wrapped up with a few emails and calls afterward and was on my way after a 2 hour space rental.

I am now looking forward to discovering more spaces offered by This Space Works, and supporting a business that improves sustainability and makes business easier.

   Oct 06

Greening your Operations and Maintenance: LEED credentials.

Does your building maintenance team have a LEED v4 credential holder?

Having members of your facility services team with credentials recognized by the USGBC and the CaGBC, the experts in building sustainability, puts a facility management professional in a position to better attend to his or her building occupants with confidence. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, by 2015, 40 to 48 percent of new non-residential construction is expected to be green. So as facilities move to more sustainable products and services, particularly within Operations and Maintenance, the need for professionals well versed in green buildings is growing rapidly.

LEED credentials prove that one possesses key technical knowledge that enables him or her to articulate green concepts, requirements and benefits to key partners, stakeholders and investors. With more than 58,000 projects (commercial and institutional) currently participating in LEED, and more registering regularly, this knowledge matters. In fact, 87 percent of building industry professionals say that earning a LEED credential improved their credibility, while 93 percent say it indicates a greater level of commitment to green building.

There are two types of LEED credentials. The LEED Accredited Professional (AP) with Specialty credential indicates in-depth knowledge of one of five particular LEED rating systems: building design and construction, interior design and construction, homes, operations and maintenance, and neighborhood development. The more general LEED Green Associate credential indicates foundational knowledge that is at the core of becoming a green building expert, and is the initial step toward further credentials with the LEED AP Specialties.

The LEED Green Associate credential signifies solid and current understanding of green building best principles and practices, making a LEED Green Associate an asset to any team that considers the relationship between our built world and the natural environment a priority.

At the end of 2013, USGBC released LEED v4, the newest version of the green building rating system. Accordingly, the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP test content now includes content relevant to LEED v4.

A major reason LEED professional credentials command the respect is due to their emphasis on continuing education and staying up to date on best practices. In order to maintain credentials, individuals must achieve the minimum continuing education hour requirements every two years.

So, I ask again, does your building maintenance team have a LEED v4 credential holder?

   Aug 14

Greening Your Fleet

A changing perspective is taking place with urban driving requirements. How many kilometers per day are your company’s vehicles driven? How long would it take for a business to recover the extra capital investment required for an electric vehicle rather than a petroleum powered vehicle? With the current rebates and grants, is there an extra cost to buying an electric or hybrid vehicle? Have you been thinking about this?

Greening your fleet with electric vehicles can be a smart, long term business strategy. There are no significant fuel costs, and the maintenance costs are substantially lower (no oil changes, filter changes, etc.). It is estimated, for example, with delivery vehicles, that it commonly take 3-5 years to see the savings begin.

How much increase is there in the health and quality of life for the people affected by your vehicle? No leaking oil or fuel in your garage, or on the road. No fumes or exhaust in your garage or around your children. Quietly sitting in traffic, not having to worry if you might run out of fuel.

Prius made it cool to own a hybrid. Tesla made it sexy to drive an electric car. We need to make it a standard that our roadways are no longer the exclusive domain of combusted fuel driven vehicles. There are alternatives. We here at Fresh and Clean are making the choice to change some of our business practices to cleaner options. Join the movement! Support businesses that are making better choices!IMAG0190

   Aug 05

Greening: Loyalty Rewards Program

As a services company focused on sustainability, and in particular, what is good for the environment both inside and out, what direction does one look toward in rewarding customers for their loyalty?

The answer came on a flight back from Europe a few months ago, when our owner met somebody with the AIR MILES Reward Program.  LoyaltyOne, and their rewards program, AIR MILES® reward miles, has an impressive approach to sustainability.  We were immediately AIRMILES Tag Colour Print EN_Fsold!

LoyatlyOne refers to their rewards program as Coalition Loyalty, and explains on their website about their program of AIR MILES for Social Change.  Using incentives to help people on their path to making more sustainable choices.  Since we are striving to be known as the “Green” Carpet Cleaning choice of Torontonians, a relationship was just waiting to be born.

LoyaltyOne’s AIR MILES for Social Change programs have spanned such goals as increasing public transit use, to reducing energy consumption with the Ontario Power Authority, to rewarding waste reduction and recycling with municipal authorities.  LoyaltyOne is concerned about being a good corporate citizen and we are more than happy to join their likes, and offer our customers their reward incentives for choosing our services.

Earn AIR MILES reward miles with every cleaning and refinishing service you purchase of $20 or more (before taxes) from Fresh and Clean, Toronto Pressure Wash, Shine – Dustless Refinishing, and Dry It; and feel good that you are making a choice to support businesses that are concerned about their impact on the planet!  Watch regularly for Bonus offers so that you can earn Bonus AIR MILES every chance you get.

®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Co. and 2099106 Ontario Ltd.

   Jul 14

Greening: More Sustainable Choices, One Step at Time.

Creating a culture of sustainable choices in the work place can be a challenge. It helps when the decision maker at the top is convinced about sustainability as the long term business strategy.

As the Director of Sustainability with Fresh and Clean (and our sister companies Shine, Toronto Pressure Wash, and Dry It), the boundary between my professional choices, the directions I support for our business interests, and my personal choices frequently overlap. A case in point has been commuting to work. Once I settled into our Head Office to begin my role representing sustainability inside and outside of our company, my commute to work became a challenge. It involves a street car, followed by two different buses, the final one which could only be one of the four route options; “extra fare bus”, as it goes north of Steeles avenue, outside the City of Toronto. A total commute time of one hour and approximately 20 minutes. The trip home in the afternoon is slightly longer as the end of the route is a loop in only one direction.

As many transit riders will quickly point out, this is not all bad. Having someone else drive my transportation allows me time in the morning to review emails, and spend some time reviewing social media and news for work. However, more than two hours commuting per day can be tiring, and the bus is not always the best environment for trying to get work done, even if it is only reading the news.

From the personal perspective; having a family, and deciding that those two and a half hours commuting, which will only grow longer in the winter months, are probably not my best spent time, my wife and I began to look at other options. Having been a long time member of Autoshare in Toronto and being a mountain bike enthusiast for commuter purposes, options for personal mobility have long been top of mind. In this case, the distance to commute by bike is too long, and in bad weather it would be impossible. As our office is outside of the city core, car sharing options are either impractical or largely unaffordable.

The next option was to consider purchasing a commuter vehicle practical to Canadian weather. Having not had a personal vehicle for nearly a decade, I had to think about how to approach this decision. With a little research, I discovered which is a terrific resource to begin an objective decision making process. Their database includes more than a decade of cars and compares the many different models of each of the cars including differences like automatic versus standard transmission. They have a green rating system that allows an objective viewpoint that can be cross referenced with whatever checklist of priorities are important to you in your vehicle purchase. In an age dominated by image branding this is a great analytical tool.

My final decision came from a direction I was not expecting, our owner. He suggested, as a continued step in the direction of sustainable choices, that I move my office to our sister company satellite location, rather than working at the head office. This reduces the commute by bus to about 30 to 40 minutes, and helps keep my carbon footprint more respectable. My only frustration was not having made the suggestion myself. However, it is always good to remember that options around sustainability can develop from any member of a team.

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