Welcome back! Hope everyone here in the States had a lovely Thanksgiving. And in celebration of that and all the work it took the rest of the weekend to put the place back together, a post about cleaning products, something with which all pet owners are all too familiar.
I bought my car six years ago. Six years ago, I was obsessed with the idea of a black car with a beige interior. Sleek. Contemporary. Gorgeous. Six years ago, I was also very naive, with a nine month old who had yet to start throwing stuff on the floor and leaving red crayons on the seat.
So now, two kids and two dogs later, my beautiful beige car interior can best be described as “house of horrors”, a visual timeline of every insult that has been heaped upon it in the last half decade. No matter how much we try to stay on top of it, it’s a lost cause. It’s quite sad. I’ll come back to this in a minute.
A couple of weeks ago, Rug Doctor invited me to St. Louis to tour the factory and learn some more about their products. I figured hey, why not? I have an incontinent dog and two little kids and a spraying cat, so we definitely are familiar with carpet cleaning.
OK, so I’ll never be one of those Price is Right spokesmodels. But you’ve seen these displays in your grocery store, right? They’re everywhere.
I’ve rented the machines before, though not as often as the every 3-6 months (gulp) it’s recommended that you clean the carpets. I suppose I haven’t put much thought into the mechanics of getting a carpet clean, but Rug Doctor has.
Each Rug Doctor machine has three components: the spray hose, which shoots the cleaning product into your rug; the vibrating brush, which vibrates at 1700 vibrations a minute, and the vacuum hose, which pulls everything back out. Compared to what I usually do when there’s a spot on the rug, this is the mega-nuclear cleaning approach. Seek and destroy.
There are two main keys to getting the rug clean: The machine and the cleaning product you use in it. Here’s a nice tan rug, right? Remember this.
We got a demonstration from engineer Jason Hill, who told us about lift- the industry standard for suction. It’s near impossible to describe suction in a positive way that does not have some sort of inappropriate connotations, so let’s just leave it at “they demonstrated convincingly the superiority of this product’s ability to lift all sorts of garbage from your carpeting.” They run those motors to failure in the lab, just so they know before sending them out to stores how many hours of use they can expect (it’s about 1400, if you’re wondering.)
Then we met with chemist Susan Natoli, who described the research that goes into the various cleaning products, of which there are many. Each product is designed for a specific need, be it removing urine crystals, dealing with ground in dirt, or encapsulating allergens. They actually took pictures of carpet fibers before and after cleaning with an electron microscope to show how much microscopic matter was removed, which of course fascinated my little nerdy brain.
They tricked us with the tan rug. It was actually a beige rug that had been marinating in coffee and dirt for a couple of weeks. Oh, the humanity.
OK, so back to my own situation. After the tour, Rug Doctor was kind enough to give each attendee their very own Rug Doctor machine to have and to hold from this day forward (my relatives are already making reservations). They sell them now, in addition to renting them- same machine, different color. And of all the carpet I have, the worst of the worst, unsurprisingly, are the carpet mats in the back seat of the car.
The Rug Doctor has an upholstery attachment, which is fantastic because you really can’t lift the machine onto your couch or stick it in your backseat, so with this you can get at the little grody areas. I decided to demo the machine on my car mats, which despite all appearances are less than six months old. I do not know how two small primates can track that much debris into one automobile.
I probably should have pre-treated the carpets as obviously they have some significant combination of juice or mud or pretzel crumbs going on there, but I didn’t. This is straight up stick on the cleaning hose and see what happens.
To sum up:
And After, with Koa helpfully demonstrating how much she would like to sit on it and get it all dirty again as soon as possible.
I have a second post I’m working on about the new Rug Doctor allergen product and current thinking on people and pet allergies, which is right up my alley. But for today, in honor of all the cranberry sauce I’m trying to get off the chairs, we’re focusing on the cosmetic aspect of dirt. By the way, all the red stains this weekend came from the adults and not the kids OR dogs, but that was my fault for serving mulled wine at 10 am followed by cranberry sauce. That’s OK, it was worth it.
So what’s the worst mess you’ve had to clean up? I’ll send the comment with the most likes by the end of the week a pack of Urine Eliminator Wipes. I’ll start: I had just adopted Emmett. The first time I left him home alone, he had a major bout of nervous colitis that shellaced my entire guest bedroom with the beige carpet. He had the diarrhea, then he panicked and rolled around in it and ran around the house. I spent a good two hours going at it Cinderella style with a scrub brush, a bottle of cleaner, and a lot of cursing.