Winter Cleaning And Refinishing Projects Inside The Home

Give Your Cabin Its Own “DIY Fever”- With Some Help By Your Friends

Make the best use of time during these winter doldrums– Get out the white glove and Inspector Clouseau’s magnifying glass.  I can’t tell you how many times people who are selling their home go flat out to fix all the problems. They knock themselves out replacing, refinishing & cleaning things to get ready for potential buyers.  All along the way they kick themselves saying “why didn’t we do this years ago, for ourselves?” If we had only known how beautiful our home could be, we would have invested in it and been living the life all this time enjoying our home.” We literally hear a statement to this effect every few days, when we do work for a home seller putting his or her house on the market. Don’t end up like them.  Enjoy your home now.

Why not do it for yourselves? We say take the blinders off, tune in and treat yourself to a fresh- clean, organized, refinished floors or things, or updates for your house, make it home again–your happy place!

Could your carpets stand some cleaning? I bet. Don’t use appearance as your gauge. Clean now to maximize the appearance, it will extend carpet life and prolong replacement. It contributes to a calm, peaceful inner sanctum.

Are your wood floors looking tired, scratched, dull, faded or damaged? Face it, floors and their condition are a reflection of ourselves.  Well cared for floors create the back drop for life, is it out of order creating chaos, or is it beautiful and resilient?

Stone, Marble & Granite, take a close look, has the stone looked like the aftermath of party, or suffer from rings, spills and etch marks that won’t wipe off?  Is it plain dull, or have chips & scratches?

Open your eyes, dirty grout is embarrassing, looks unsightly, can be unsanitary, and even stink! Are the areas in the kitchen hammered, or high traffic lanes much different in appearance than less traveled areas?  Some people are so “skeeved,” steaming of tile gives them the peace of mind the surfaces are safe and sanitary for life and living.

Why not do it now, do it for yourself, and do it before life goes outdoors and beyond.  Here’s a little incentive, to help you out.  Our best special of the year,

Call Wendy at Sparkle Surface Care, by Classic Services


Winter is a great time for inside cleaning & refinishing projects. Cleaning now not only restores appearance, it makes your home healthier. Deep steam sanitizes carpet, fabrics & tile, improves air quality in your home. If your hardwood looks dull or are sun faded, you can restore it with refinishing. Refinishing now goes faster during the drier time of year.  If less damaged, you can screen & top coat it to refresh the finish and shine. Our solutions are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, low VOC, water-based, and they are made from whey. They are safe for pets and kids. Call us at Sparkle Surface Care (609) 953-0472 or contact us online for a free estimate to see what we can do for you!

Keep Winter’s Snow & Salt From Damaging Your Hardwood

Keep Winter’s Snow and Salt Off Your Hardwood, Even Carpet Too

Melting snow can leave puddles on your hardwood floors, and water can damage the finish. Make sure to promptly clean up any snow and leftover moisture with a microfiber cloth or mop.  If you have carpet, it is obvious that removing shoes or boots with all the wet snow & dirt before you step on to the carpet will keep it cleaner.

Salt particles are rugged and when dragged across the floor, they can damage the finish. Taking off your shoes at any entryway, or at least kicking the snow and salt off of your shoes before you enter, is a good way to prevent these particles from being dragged in from outside.

Any shoes taken off at entryways should be placed on top of mats, rugs, or in bins to prevent any snow from melting on to the floor.  Another suggestion might be to place a good absorbing floor mat, like ones LL Bean sells.

Keep Outside Shoes For The Outside, Make It Your Purpose to Wear Inside Shoes Inside

Some folks prefer to remove their street shoes when entering, and wear an inside shoe, sock or slipper about the house. Some even go as far as asking guests to remove their shoes, and offer them a basket of shoes to slip on. This is especially the case in Asian Cultures, where it is considered offensive for guests visiting a home to wear outside shoes in the home they are visiting.

Store Everyday Shoes, Sneakers & Boots in the Garage, Storage Area or Mud Room

A somewhat common practice that might be a suggestion, is to install a wall shoe rack in the garage, near the back entrance or laundry area, or in the mud room.  This is a good place to store daily shoes like work shoes or boots, sneakers, sandals, clogs, etc. In colder climates mud rooms are common, and serve a very useful purpose. And in newer homes, mud rooms or storage rooms are designed and incorporated either off the formal entryway, or near the home’s utility area where shoes, boots, jackets are stored. These rooms have convenient bins, benches, hooks, even cubbies that are used to keep school bags, athletic equipment and other items taken out and used daily. It’s certainly not a bad idea to keep things organized, and keep the dirt from outside from coming in.

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Have damaged wood floors or carpet from snow, snow melt or water, even damage from pet urine?  We provide free consultations and estimates for hardwood floor problems. Maybe not water damage, but dents, scrapes, scratches, we can look and give you solutions for the damages you have. Some options may be to replace the boards, or maybe we need to sand them and refinish them. We’ll tell  you what options you have. Whether your floors are in Medford, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Princeton, or down the shore on Long Beach Island, Ocean City let us advise and help you solve your hardwood floor dilemma. Make them beautiful, brilliant and shine once again. Call us at 609.953.0472 or contact us online.


Removing Tough Spots On Your Carpet Resulting From A Super Bowl Party

Maybe You Had Fun Having a Super Bowl Bash, But Is Your Carpet Screaming For A Hail Mary Of It’s Own?

How To Throw The Flag on Super Bowl Party Saboteurs and Block Them From Sacking Your Carpet

Let’s face it, on Super Bowl Game Day fans get so wrapped up in rooting for their teams nothing is safe, not even the carpet. Food spills, drink spills, pet urine because they ignored the dog, and worse. Throw in too much celebrating, it’s not pretty no matter which way you look at it! Somehow so much excitement around one final game drives us down to our most primal behaviors- fierce competition, sparing nothing in hopes of conquering our opponent, and ingesting massive amounts of food and drink, we often become oblivious to our surroundings.  Perhaps not a pretty sight, but one we wait for all year long and feel entitled about.  Our carpet doesn’t stand a chance!

The typical scenario, a party, where the men go back to their adolescence and live the game wishfully thinking they were on the field themselves. The women are there either deep in spirit, or along for the ride among friends.  Add to that an insane amount of calories, typically from pizza, wings, seven layer dip, beer, beer, more beer, burgers, ribs, wine, wine, more wine, throw in a few cigars, desserts, and spills, spills, spills.  Perhaps you can add the kids running around basically unsupervised, and the dogs in hot pursuit because of gravity,  it frankly is a recipe for carpet survival disaster!

Just a glimpse at the food sites and popular recipes shared, what are the chances your carpet or upholstery will make the next season.  I know we attend a party at a friend’s house where they serve wings, sliders, bang bang shrimp, seven layer dip, pulled pork, pizza, and of course beer, wine, shots, who knows what else, and almost nothing good for you.

So look at it from the carpet’s perspective, those helpless little yarns.  Sheepishly, Super Bowl Monday we get very humble or very happy but frantic calls for help.  Let’s face it, Super Bowl is tough on carpets, fabrics and other floors too.

But instead of calling us perhaps you’d like some tips to remove the slop yourself, and save a buck.  But if you have to call, we’ll be standing on the sideline ready.

Here are some carpet spots you might have from your Superbowl party, sorted into three types of cleaning categories:

Type I Offensive- taco sauce, wing sauce, pizza sauce

Type II Offensive-sliders, ketchup, ribs, pulled pork, Beer

Type III Offensive- Red Wine, Punch, Soda & Sugary Beverages

Referee- White Wine (i knew there is a reason I like this)

So now for the defensive line up

Everything listed, except pulled pork and some beers have dyes that stain if you heat the carpet up, either with hot water, or using a high ph “hot” chemical to treat it. So the best suggestion, use warm, not hot water, and a neutral cleaner, not a high ph substance. DO NOT USE AMMONIA under any circumstances. Also, most carpet cleaning products you can get easily at any store will also be too high in ph, and will “set” a stain permanently, so just don’t do it.  The free spotter we give you is safe, and if we haven’t given you any yet, all you have to do is ask! (keep your bottle for free refills- for life!)

The Defensive Equipment-

On hand you should have 2 towels, one in each hand, white terry towels.  Also, water, spotter we give you (ideally), Liquid Dish Soap (Dawn, ideally) and Hydrogen Peroxide, unfolded trash can liners.

Evaluate the offensive- Offensive No 1

Offensive Type I- Spots composed of dye, fat & maybe a bit of protein.

Now for the defense

Blot with a clean white towel, rinse by blotting with cool water, apply our spotter or the dish liquid (2 drops in a cup of warm water).  Blot dry. Rinse with cool water on clean towel. Blot dry.  Repeat until clean and no more color is coming out. Now blot with towel with hydrogen peroxide.  Wait 10 minutes & blot dry. Fold up clean dry towel, lay on the spot, place unfolded clean trash can liner, cover with heavy weight.  Leave for 2 days.

Offensive No 2

Offensive Type 2- Dye, lots of fat, heavy protein, sugars, needs flushing


Do all that the first defensive play calls for, but more! Add to it a repeat of the steps 2 more times.

Offensive No 3

Offensive Type 3- Dye, Sugar, and carbonation needed to attack penetrating spot or stain


Make sure you have carbonated water that is at room temp, without sugar, color or flavor. A second choice would be tonic water or club soda–preferably diet, a third choice is white wine  Blot up as much as you can. Clean with our spotter, or two drops of dish liquid, mixed with carbonate water, tonic, or white wine at room temp or cooler. Blot on the spot. Dry with dry spot towel.  Repeat until spot is gone, or stops lightening. If it remains, use a hint of hydrogen peroxide. Let sit 10 minutes. Repeat until the spot is gone, or lightening stops. Watch spot, if residue results in dry hard matter, vacuum up in couple of days.

Throw in the flag, call a penalty, ask for a review?

Plainly, if you are not comfortable with these steps you can call us.  And if you are unlucky enough to have graced your upholstery, well we don’t advise that you tackle that one yourself (many fabrics are delicate and can damage with some of these techniques.) We are on the sidelines to help!

Feel free to celebrate , we will have your back

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Game day doesn’t have to be game end for your carpets. If these tips don’t help, or if you throw in the towel we will have your back. Maybe your carpet or upholstery is at risk, but maybe your hardwood took a beating, we can help.  Call us at 609.953.0472  for a free consultation and estimate.


July Carpet Cleaning Postcard Specials–I’m So Very Sorry…

Here’s this month’s postcard sent only to clients I haven’t heard from for a while, but the specials are good for you too.

Red Hot Specials for a Red Hot Carpet Cleaning Mess

Carpet Cleaning Postcard Specials

I Have the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift for 5/11/2014

Why Classic Services is the Best Mother’s Day Gift on 5/11/2014

  •  Breakfast in bed will please her for a morning, but Classic will cheer her heart every time she sees her home for the next year.

  • Her fresh smelling carpets that look like new will make her smile when she wiggles her toes in the soft yarns.

  • Her brilliantly shiny granite or marble counter will reassure her that it is germ-free every time she cooks.

  • Her tired stone, marble, tile, granite, hardwood or other types of floors will shine with a new luster and lift her spirits.

  • Her freshly cleaned upholstery, even leather, will make her feel like having friends come to visit.

That’s just a smattering of the ways Wendy and Chris at Classic Services are prepared to bring new life into the homes of all the mothers or would-be-mothers in your life. This month they’re giving you a special incentive to give all mothers the gift of cleaning.

1/2 Off Every Other Mother

Pick as many mothers as you want, your wife, your mother, your mother in law, your daughter or daughter in law, even yourself, and you’ll get one-half off the price of cleaning for every other mother you choose.

Wendy Fenske, Client Relations, Co-Owner

Wendy Fenske, hostess of
“Fix Your Mother” on NPR

Call Wendy at 609-953-0472 and she’ll tell you all about it.

Half Off Every Other Mother

1/2 Off Every Other Mother Cleaning Special

Call 609-953-0472 to give the Mother of All Gifts


Call 609-953-0472 for the mother of all Mother’s Day Cleaning Specials for Carpet, Hardwood, Marble, Granite, Stone, Tile and Upholstery


How to Have Long Lasting Clean Carpets for Free

Powerful Vacuum--Dyson DC65 Animal Complete

This vacuum really cleans. The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete

If you want really clean carpets that stay that way and last twice as long, maintain a top notch vacuum and follow these tips.

Most people buy the wrong style of vacuum and buy poor quality vacuums and then vacuum all wrong. They wonder why their carpet gets dirty so fast, won’t clean up and eventually they wonder why it wears out in ten years instead of twenty or thirty. Today’s good carpets can look great for twenty years, easily.

Always use an upright vacuum on carpet. They are the most powerful and most efficient. Canister vacuums are multi-use tools and make sacrifices when it comes to carpeting. Don’t be a miser, get the most powerful monster beast of a vacuum made. That changes all the time. As of the writing of this article, the Dyson Animal Complete is an example of a top vacuum. However, you should know that a couple of brands of carpet have started voiding the warranties of their carpets if you use a strong Dyson, because they say it is so powerful that it could break the backing down prematurely. I think that is highly unlikely, and more to the point, shame on those manufacturers for replacing so much latex in their backing with sand as to allow a vacuum to break it down. Vacuums don’t destroy carpets, the heavy sand and grit that weak vacuums can’t suck up destroys the carpet much faster than the vacuum by cutting your precious carpet fibers and backing to shreds. If a carpet mill says not to use a good vacuum, then they’re telling you that their own product is sub par and you shouldn’t buy it. Stay away from carpets made by manufacturers who void the warranty if you use a Dyson or any other vacuum or carpet cleaning method.

Before starting the vacuum, make sure the pile height is set correctly.

Pick up things and area rugs off of the carpet before you start.

When vacuuming the carpets, go slowly, so the air has time to really pull out the sand that the beater brush breaks loose. When you go just the right speed, you’ll feel the vacuuming pulling down on the carpet and it will be a little harder to move.

Overlapping your strokes is important because the vacuum tends to be weaker the farther you get from the center of the beater brush.

On trafficked areas, or where feet set, vacuum and then turn ninety-degrees and vacuum again.

Vacuum twice per week, but it could need more if you have more than a couple of kids or if you have pets.

Vacuum around the edges with the crevice tool every couple of weeks. Filtration soiling is a special kind of soiling that occurs around the heat registers and edges of the carpet and once it takes hold it can be impossible for the world’s best professional cleaner, me, to remove. If you don’t vacuum frequently enough with a powerful vacuum and a crevice tool, you will end up with ugly black lines outlining your carpet. In some areas, particularly with lots of dry winds, filtration soiling is inevitable, but can be staved off by frequent edging with the vacuum.

Make sure your bag or canister is half empty or less, to avoid too much power loss. Make certain your HEPA filters are clean. Replace your beater brush yearly and belts every six months or as needed.

Watch out for clogs. Learn how your vacuum sounds and feels at peak performance and pay attention to that sound as you clean. If you get a clog, even a partial clog, you will know the difference. You can also tell the difference if the belts are worn, sloppy loose or the brush is worn.

Area rugs are a special concern. They get more grit and it’s harder to get out and that grit ends up going through them into the carpet. It’s best to vacuum both sides of an area rug on a hard floor. After you vacuum the top and turn it over and vacuum the bottom, you can usually pick up the corner of the rug and you can wipe your finger across the floor under it and you’ll feel the fine, sandy grit that fell out of the rug, even after you vacuumed it. That grit is what is destroying your expensive carpet. Keep turning it over and vacuuming it until no more sand falls out. It will look like you just had the rug professionally cleaned.

Speaking of area rugs, keep walk-off mats at each entrance to the carpet and the house. These mats will keep your house much cleaner. Choose a nice plush nylon mat with a latex backing that is flexible and can be thrown in the washer once every week or two. The difference in the amount of dirt in your house will be amazing. Keep these rugs inside the door.

Outside the door, use a second rug with stiff bristles for brushing off the dirt you pick up outside. It may not be the most stylish, but astroturf mats are still the best for this purpose. The flat mats, sculpted mats, woven grass mats and such that are popular today just don’t work and in fact can make more dirt and debris than they pick up. The only problem with astroturf type mats is that the bristles eventually mat down and will never stand up again. When that happens, replace them, which may be every year or two.

Between the outside mat and the inside mat, your household dirt and wear will be cut down down enormously and you’ll notice it in the form of less work for you and a nicer, cleaner home all the time.

One final tip. Wearing shoes on carpets is hard on them and tends to wear them out and soil them with permanent stains in the traffic ways. Shoes pick up powerful oils and tar from the outside, which form a permanent bond with the carpet. Carpets love oils and they grab it and hold onto it and it eventually becomes oxidized to the carpet and is impossible to remove, making permanent dark grey or brownish traffic lanes that the world’s best carpet cleaner cannot remove.

I’m not going to tell you that you can’t wear shoes in your own house, but I will say that your carpet will last longer and look far better down the road if you don’t.

In fact, your carpet will bond with oils from your skin too, if you walk on the carpet barefooted. Even if you eat fried foods or foods cooked with oil and cooked hot, oils and fats will become airborne and form a permanent bond with the carpet. It’s easy to tell when we walk in a home if the family frys a lot or walks barefoot on the carpet, and though the carpet will look a lot better once we clean it, it will look a lot worse than it could have.

The best thing you can do is avoid frying so hotly that fat gets airborne and wear clean white cotton socks on the carpet to protect it from the ols on your skin and from soaps.

There’s a remarkable quality about cotton–when you walk with it, it becomes slightly static and while your carpet repels dirt, the cotton socks attract and bond with dirt. Then you throw them in the washer and they come out all white again. So if you wear clean cotton socks on your carpet, the socks will actually clean the house and carpet while you walk around.

Sometimes, however, intensely dyed socks or slippers can rub off dye onto the carpet and cause permanently discolored pathways in the house. It’s rare, but it happens. This is why I feel white cotton socks are the best thing to wear indoors.

Try these tips. I know you will find they save you time, effort and money, make your carpet last longer, look better consistently and for the most part they are free.

Have Cigarette Smoke You Are Cleaning Up After?

This can become involved. Best case scenario- a little cleaning, a little carpet cleaning, other case scenario- stop, hire a professional, don’t do it yourself. You can spend hours & hours, spend money that doesn’t do what has to be done.  Worst case scenario- do things the wrong way, in the wrong order while trying to save some bucks it ultimately costs you money, or precious time.  The fall out – hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars and wasted hours that does not get the job done.  Hire a odor remediation specialist- we can help!


Team Classic Saves Pensabenny’s Family Dog

The Pensabenny’s Family Crisis averted because Team Classic rushed to remove doggie presents left for Dad.  Banned from the room by the unhappy dad,  Classic came to the rescue  provided a “piece offering” by cleaning the area.    Dog is out of dog house, dad is dealing with it, and the family is relieved!