Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

You’re Never Too Old To Learn . . .

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. . . has been hammered into heads for millennia.

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Since I’ve become a SENIOR CITIZEN (with papers to prove it), I’ve learned how to get  JUNIOR CITIZENS off my back by resorting to stereotypical old-people habits, that the body doesn’t repair itself as fast as it used to, that little bits of Scotch tape are impossible to remove from electronic-device keyboards, and a multitude of miscellany.

Just recently, however, I learned something useful: how to shampoo carpets and rugs.

A dear friend of Bev died a few years ago. Part of her legacy to Bev was her Hoover ShampooVac. It looks like a bulkier brother of the image of the vacuum cleaner atop this note. It sat in the garage for many, many months because it looked intimidating.

After all, I figured if I loaded its plastic tanks with soap and water and attempted to restore some original color to the carpet that’s been unscrubbed for the past four years, disaster or a backup could swat the operation and there’d be water flowing all over the house. I was going to wait until after the holidays to call a professional service to come in and flush the floors. The wood flooring is fine because our cleaning lady refreshes it every two weeks and we Swiffer trouble spots as needed.

Then, a couple of months ago, The Kids visited from Phoenix and son-in-law Steve decided to do his mother-in-law a favor and shampoo the living room rug. First off, our carpet is not shag or deep pile but a tight office-looking type, so it dries more quickly than many.

Everyone else  went to bed before he and I moved all the furniture out of the living-room — it’s more of a TV-watching area about 14-feet by 14-feet as defined by the carpet because the rest of the main house — dining room, kitchen, hallways, etc — is wood flooring. Carpeting is in the master bedroom, Bev’s sewing room/guest room, and my office.

Steve stepped on the on/off switch and pushed and pulled the shampooer over the living-room carpet. When the lower tank (with the used water) filled up, he removed it, I poured the black water down the laundry-room sink while he refilled the clean-water-and-soap tank, and then he resumed pushing and pulling. We spent a bit more than  an hour going over every square and round centimeter on that carpet. And it glistened, even though the water being poured down the sink was still a bit gray — indicating there was still some dirt in the rug.

We decided to let it dry overnight and it still beamed in the morning when we reinstalled the furniture. Through it all,  I learned how to push and pull the machine, apply extra soap and water and elbow grease to high-traffic spots, and remove and reinstall both tanks.

This week, we decided it might be a good idea to work some of the dirt out of the carpet in the rest house. I started with the bedroom at the rear the house, which was the least dirty of the remaining carpet. We removed all the furniture, except the bed, and went at it. Bev gave it a few turns but her back started to complain so I jumped in and reignited the color in the carpet. It’s not that colorful, it’s sort of a pale avocado, but it does get brighter when it’s clean. The water poured down the laundry-room sink was also a strong color — black. We opened the bedroom door and window to let the Santa Ana dry it out all day and replaced the furniture that night. I gave the high-traffic entrance another going-over a couple of  days later when I also did the high-traffic entrance to my office, which is probably the dirtiest of the bunch.  I’m going to do Bev’s room next week when she plans to be out all day. And I’m going to give my office a one- , two-  and probably three-time going over.

The instruction booklet recommends doing the carpet in sections. That doesn’t mean one section today and another tomorrow, etc. But it does point out you can do one total room shampoo to suck up most of the dust and detritus and then work on busy-traffic areas regularly after that. We’ve taken a lot of dirt — black oily grit — out of the carpet thus far.

What I’ve learned is not to be intimidated by the machine. And to push and pull slowly, much slower than a vacuum cleaner — although you should vacuum the carpet, rug or furniture before shampooing.

It’s rather user-friendly. I’ve added the stairs/furniture tools and tube to get familiar with that so I can do the high-traffic steps — all three of them– leading into (and out of, of course) the bedroom.  Bev also wants to try that out on one of her armchairs.

It’s got me thinking that I could put together a business plan and start knocking on doors around the neighborhood to see if they need their carpets cleaned.

Cecil Scaglione, Mature Life Features

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 9, 2014 at 11:06 am

Posted in A Musing

Tagged with , , , ,

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