Archive for May, 2011

Carpets in Myth and History

Categories: The Guide to Carpet

Carpet Myths and Legends

Well, we’ve talked about the reality of carpets for many posts. How they’re made, what types work where, what it means to have green carpet cleaning, how to prepare for Spring, why Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning is the best for your carpets, and much, much more. Something we haven’t talked about, though, are some of the myths and legends about carpets. Sure, we’ve talked about them in actual history – how carpets developed and so on – but not about the fun legends. So here are three famous stories about carpet that, while they may be tall tales, are at least fascinating.

The Origin of the Red Carpet

The phrase “Red Carpet Treatment” has its origin in a railroad company who laid out red carpets to direct passengers to the train cars. Kind of boring. But if you roll back the clock about two and a half millennia,  you’ll find something more intriguing.

The earliest known reference to a red carpet is in the Greek play trilogy Orestia, written by the great Aeschylus. In the first play, King Agamemnon has returned after sacking the city of Troy to find his wife greeting him with a crimson carpet laid out between his chariot and the entrance to their home.

Agamemnon, who was incredibly prideful man, hesitates to walk on the carpet, for “I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path.” He knows only gods should walk on such splendor, but he finally bends to his wife’s will and walks on the carpet. When he gets inside, he is promptly murdered by his wife. The two didn’t have a great relationship.

Cleopatra and the Carpet

On a slightly less violent note, we turn to Cleopatra. At the time of this legend,  Julius Caesar was in Egypt “settling” the debate about whether Cleopatra or her brother should rule. And since ancient rulers were honorable, both parties left Caesar alone to come to a fair conclusion.

In other words, both were doing what they could to convince Caesar to pick them. The brother wisely tried to keep Cleopatra away from Caesar, but she wouldn’t have it. She managed to sneak past her brother’s guards and convince Caesar to make her Pharaoh. How did she get past armed sentries? She hid herself in a wrapped up carpet that was presented as a gift to Caesar. When the carpet was unrolled, she tumbled out and became pharaoh.

King Solomon Can Fly?

Our final story is perhaps the strangest. Where Cleopatra historically did sneak in and speak with Julius Caesar and Agamemnon was a well-regarded Greek play, this one comes out of left field. Most are familiar with King Solomon the Wise but are unaware of the many Jewish legends about this figure – like his giant, magical flying carpet that was sixty miles long and sixty miles wide. Solomon could use it to fly around tens of thousands of people. According to one story, he even once had a conversation with an ant queen on it. Huh.

Well, Oxi Fresh wouldn’t likely offer carpet cleaning services for these famous carpets – we don’t want to be in a Greek play/become Pharaoh/talk to ant queens. But we hope you found this collection of fables and stories fun! Share any interesting carpet stories or legends you know in the comments below.

Thanks to persian-carpet.info, handmaderug.com, orientalrugcleaners.com, jewishencylopeida.com, and Wikipedia for these fun facts.

How to Remove Carpets – An Oxi Fresh Guide

Categories: The Guide to Carpet

Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning prides itself on getting rid of some of the toughest stains quickly and efficiently. Time, however, is one thing we can’t clean out of a carpet. Over the years, the fibers in a carpet will wear out, the pad will degrade, and dirt will eventually become a permanent part of the pile.

So when a carpet is ready to go the great flooring store in the sky, it’s time to replace it. Since we’ve already talked about choosing the right pile type and color for a new carpet, let’s instead focus on the important task of removing the carpet. Here’s the Oxi Fresh guide on carpet removal.

Tools: Utility Knife, Pry Bar, Hammer, Pliers, Gloves, Kneepads-Optional.

1.) The What and When

You’ve got to know what you want to replace the old carpet with. If it’s new carpet, don’t tear up the tack strips – they can be reused if they’re in good condition. Still, you’ll want to double check with whoever is installing your new carpets to make sure they’re okay with using old tack strips.

Putting hardwood or tile? Get rid of the tack strips – you’ll do that in Step 4.

Also, know when the new floor is being installed. You don’t want to tear up the carpet only to realize you’ll have to wait a week before you get someone out. Try to schedule your demo time to end the day before the installers come.

2.) Be Prepared

So you know what you want and when it’s coming, so on your demo day, start by removing any and all furniture in the room. Put it where it won’t be in the way of you or the installers. Removing anything hanging on the walls as well.

Be sure to vacuum the carpet to help reduce the amount of dust you’ll kick up.

3.) Pull!

Start by pulling the carpet up from a corner of the wall, working your way around the room. You’ll need to be very careful here so you don’t get hurt on the tack strips. Thick gloves, close toed shoes, and knee pads are a good idea.

4.) Slice and Dice

Cut the carpet into 3 foot for 4 foot wide strips, cutting down the entire length of the carpet, preferably with a utility knife. If the carpet is exceptionally long, you may want to slice it in half. Roll up each strip and take them to your nearest carpet recycling facility (Go to Earth911.com to find these.)

If you’re removing the tack strips, do so now. A hammer and a pry bar are useful in pulling them up.

5.) Padding the List

The carpets gone and it’s time to remove the pad. Simply begun pulling it up from the corner of the room. You don’t need to cut this into strips since it’s very light.

Next, pull up the carpet staples that were used to hold the pad down. A pair of pliers would be good for this.

6.) Clean Up

Gather your tools and vacuum the room once again. If you’ve kept the tack strips, warn your family and – if you have small children or pets – try to block of access to the room.

All in all, this process should not take you too long – perhaps a few hours. Of course, you don’t want to have to replace your carpet that often, so be sure to schedule regular carpet cleaning services with Oxi Fresh. Carpet protectant wouldn’t go amiss either.

All right, well get out there and start remodeling!

Thanks to Robin Hewitt and braniac of eHow and the WikiHow team.

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