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Steam carpet cleaning is essential for interior carpet, especially if you have asthma or allegies. Carpet is a wonderful way to add warmth and comfort to your home, however when it comes to allergies and asthma, carpets are the enemy. Or are they? If you ask most people, they will say get rid of your carpets to get rid of your allergies. Carpets are often referred to as dust collectors and therefore triggers for asthma suffers. However I believe this to be incorrect. Provided you maintain your carpet, it is actually a good option for allergy sufferers. A good Vacuum and regular steam carpet cleaning will ensure a healthy home.
Busting the myth about carpet and allergies
Many people claim that carpet is dirty and it aggravates allergies and other respiratory conditions, such as asthma. This is simply not true and there is no need to avoid carpet in your home. According to the National Asthma Council of Australia, the biggest allergic triggers for asthma are house dust mites, pets, pollen and mould. Avoiding exposure to these types of allergens will not cure asthma. However it may improve the condition and help with symptom management. The Asthma Council also acknowledges that efforts to reduce exposure to allergens may be time consuming, expensive and often impractical.
Once upon a time it was suggested that asthma and allergy suffers remove all carpet in their home. and hard floors are often recommended for reducing allergens in the home. However the National Asthma Council no longer recommends these extreme measures and in fact suggests that removing carpet has no effect on the level of dust mites present in a home. Instead they recommend a good cleaning routine such as vacuuming and steam carpet cleaning, to remove dust mites and allergens.
You see, the beauty with carpet, is that it acts a giant filter. It traps dirt, dust and other airbourne particles in the fibres and thereby helps with indoor air quality. Just think about it for a minute, hard floors naturally have dust particles lying around on the surface. Every time you walk across the room, open a door, or window, the dust particles are stirred up by the change in air flow and redistributed into the air. Carpet, however traps the dust in the fibres and prevents it from being redistributed. Carpet also traps pet hair and stops it from becoming airbourne.
A 2014 study into the impact of carpet on allergies, was designed and evaluated by Dr Bruce Mitchell, Airmid Healthgroup CEO who is also a practicing allergy and immunology specialist. This research looked at the air quality in a chamber with carpet exposed to allergens and then later the same chamber with hard flooring also exposed to allergens. The researchers then looked at what effect steam carpet cleaning had on the air quality and carpet itself. Results showed that the levels of allergens in the air in the carpeted chamber were overall lower than those in the chamber with hard flooring. The second phase of the study showed that after vacuuming and steam carpet cleaning, the allergens were even further reduced.
“Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”
Dr Bruce Mitchell
Carpet cleaning and maintenance
We recommend vacuuming carpet at least once a week, depending on the amount of foot traffic. If you have pets then you may need to vacuum several times a week to remove allergens. Vacuums should have a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. The unique design of HEPA filters ensures that they trap even the tiniest dust particles and prevents redistribution into the air. The National Asthma Council of Australia recommends anyone with asthma or allergies to use this type of vacuum in their homes. You should conduct steam carpet cleaning at least twice a year and more frequently for those with pets and children. For more information about ways to maintain your carpet after steam carpet cleaning, please read this blog post: Carpet Cleaning Maintenance.
Are all carpets equal?
Most carpet manufacturers produce carpet ranges, with anti microbial properties. They are a good choice when it comes to reducing mould and other bacterial triggers. Natural fibres such as wool are naturally hypoallergenic. However wool does absorb water and therefore can encourage mould growth. This is why it is important to use a professional carpet cleaner, with experience in cleaning wool. Keep humidity to a minimum by using either dehumidifiers or air conditioners.
Man made fibres such as nylon are more resistant to moisture and do not need as much deep cleaning as natural fibres. Many carpet manufactures have a range of carpets specifically designed for people with allergies. You can find some more information here: National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice® program
New carpet installation will release VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air for several days. You can find out more from my previous article on VOC’s here. The other consideration when replacing carpet, is what to do with your old carpet. Recycling options are discussed here Melbourne Carpet Recycling
Finally the steam carpet cleaning service you choose should be one with experience and training in anti allergy cleaning. At Black Gold Carpet Cleaning, we use carpet cleaning agents which are citrus based and bio degradable. Our anti allergy and anti microbial treatments are completely natural. We use the natural anti bacterial and anti fungal properties of essential oils to sanitise carpet after steam carpet cleaning.
Contact us for a free and friendly quote! Call 0403 254 080
Pets are a wonderful addition to any family. They add so much love and joy to your life, however they can also add some pretty strange smells and mess! The hair, the foot prints, the puppy training accidents, are all part and parcel of pet ownership. It can be quite challenging to own a pet and keep your home clean and fresh. We have designed this guide to help our customers with pet urine odour and stain removal. We hope that it helps keep your homes clean, hygienic and pet friendly.
When stains first occur
Blot up liquid with a paper towel and remove as much moisture as possible. You could even try a wet/dry Vacuum cleaner if you have one. Only blot – do not rub the carpet as this will damage the carpet fibres. Do not apply pressure (such as standing on a cloth placed over the stain) as this will push the moisture down into the underlay. The idea is to draw the moisture up, not push in further down into the backing. Pet urine odour issues are less likely if the urine is only on the carpet surface and not in the carpet backing or underlay
For solids such as vomit or faeces, remove as much as the solid material as you can. Gently scrape it off the carpet with a butter knife or spatula.
Once the urine or other matter has been removed, we recommend calling a professional carpet cleaner for advice on stain and odour removal. What you do next is important – usually the best results are obtained, when the customer has not tried to remove the stain themselves. Also when we have been called to attend the stain in the first few days. Acid from urine and vomit can cause carpet bleaching if left in contact with the fibres for an extended period of time. Bleaching is not reversible by carpet cleaning, as the acid strips the dye from the fibres leaving light coloured patches. The only way to remedy bleaching is to either replace the carpet or re dye the damaged area.
Professional Pet Urine Odour and Stain Treatment
Our pet urine odour and stain removal treatment process, begins when you call us for help. We will usually ask you about the type of stain, how long it has been there, what (if anything) you have applied to the stain to try and remove it and what type of animal caused the stain. We may even ask you to send us a photo so we can determine the severity of the stain and if there has been any bleaching.
What you can do before we arrive
remove as much liquid or solid matter as you can
ensure the area around the stain is clear and small or breakable items of furniture or rugs have been moved away
Vacuum the area, especially if you have put Bi Carb Soda over the stain
Make arrangements for your pet to spend the day in the back yard or elsewhere if they are scared by loud noise and/or strangers
Make sure there is parking for our van either in the driveway or on the street
Once we arrive on site, we will inspect the stains and discuss treatment, cost and best outcome expectations with you. Sometimes stains are not always visible, so we do carry a black light to pin point areas which are causing odour, but not necessarily showing a stain.
Essential Oil Pre Treatment
Essential oils are the first step in our pet urine odour and stain treatment process. We use 100% natural essential oils known for their anti bacterial and anti viral qualities. These essential oils neutralise the bacteria which cause odour. The oils break down the bacteria’s molecular structure, allowing it to be easily flushed out and extracted. The best part is that these natural essential oils leave your home smelling amazingly clean and fresh with no nasty chemicals! We recommend opening windows to maximise airflow, this will also speed up drying times. Please let us know if you have any concerns or sensitivity to essential oils, in which case we can use an enzyme cleaner instead.
Hot Water Extraction – Deep Cleaning
Next we allow the essential oils some dwell time to work their magic on the stains and odour. Then, we will use either a portable machine or our truck mounted system to flush out the contaminants and bacteria with hot water. Then we extract them along with the essential oils and water, leaving behind clean carpet and a fresh scent.
Once we finish extracting the stain, we spray the essential oils over the area again. Sometimes small amounts of bacteria are under the carpet, in the backing and underlay. They can make their way to the surface by a process called “wicking”. Wicking occurs when carpet is wet and the evapouration process, draws dirt and bacteria up from underneath the carpet. A post cleaning spray of essential oils will keep working on any small amounts of odour causing bacteria that wick up.
Important after cleaning information
Pet urine odour and stains can be tricky to remove and every situation is different. There is often no “one method suits all” when it comes to pet stain removal. Usually we can give you a fair indication of what to expect, once we inspect the carpet. However sometimes you may need more than one visit to get the best results. Below is some post cleaning information and common issues we have come across when cleaning pet stains.
The most successful pet urine odour and stain removal jobs are those where the stains are reasonably fresh and from a small animal (less out put than a larger animal). Also when the stains have not been “treated” by over the counter products or home remedies.
Cat urine often leaves a stronger odour than dog urine due to the amount of ammonia in cat urine. Cats have a highly developed sense of smell. If you do not completely eliminate the odour the first time, they will continue to urinate in the same spot.
Pet urine which seeps through the carpet surface to the backing and underlay, will dry over time into crystals. These crystals hold in the odour until they come into contact with moisture. Even air humidity can be enough to release odour from the dried crystals. Often the odour can become more intense after cleaning. This is because the moisture reactivates the crystals under the carpet. Please allow 48 hours after cleaning for odour neutralisation. Contact us after this time, if the odour is still present.
The process outlined above is the first step. In many cases, it will be enough to remove pet stains and odour. However if the staining is from large animals or several pets, we may need to follow up with more drastic measures. This usually involves pulling up the carpet, removing the underlay and cleaning the sub floor and carpet backing, installing new underlay, relaying the carpet and steam cleaning. There are additional costs involved for this process.
Carpet cleaning cannot remove bleaching. If pet urine has caused bleaching (colour loss) from your carpet, you will need to replace the carpet or have it re dyed.
Not all pet stains can be removed by one method, it really depends on many factors. Some of these are; the type of carpet, how long it has been there, they type of stain, the size of the animal, previous treatments, etc.
Contact us on 0403 254 080 for all pet stain related inquiries and bookings.
Our top tips for keeping your carpet looking good all year long!
Now that the Christmas presents have been pack away and the wrapping paper recycled, it will soon be time to take down the tree and decorations in readiness for the New Year. It is at this time of year we often reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the start of a new year with fresh hopes and dreams. As you make lists of resolutions for the New Year, don’t forget the little things such as upping your home maintenance routines and especially carpet care. If you really want to make small changes that have a big impact then carpet care is the best place to start. These tips will help you stay focused and on track to have the best looking carpet in the neighbourhood – all year long!
Carpet care is on the list and this year I promise I will;
1. Use mats and rugs
Mats and rugs at entry points to your home and high traffic areas, trap dirt and prevent wear and tear. It is important to remember to clean these mats and rugs from time to time to prevent soil transfer. It is also a good idea to keep paths and entrances well swept to stop dirt and leaves being blown into your home. This is one of the simplest ways to start your carpet care kick start to 2018.
2. Vacuum regularly
Dry vacuuming is the best thing you can do to prevent soil build up and damage to your carpet fibres. Most people understand that vacuuming is necessary to remove the dirt and hair you can see on top of the carpet, however it is the dirt you can’t see that often causes the most damage. Dirt and dust particles trapped between the fibres can cause damage. This damage is caused by dirt aprticles rubbing against the fibres as we walk. Carpets are fantastic filters and help remove the dust and other pollutants from the air by trapping them within the fibres. However this means that the carpets need to be vacuumed at least one to two times a week to remove them.
3. Attend to stains as soon as they happen
The sooner you attend to stains, the more chance you have of removing them. Stains from food and liquid spills as well as pet stains should never be left to settle in! Always remove as much of the liquid or solid as you can by gently blotting/scraping. Then try to dilute the stain with water – do no saturate the stain as then you will cause water damage as well! Misting water over the stain using a spray bottle is a great way to dilute the stain. Just make sure you sprat a light mist of eater then gently blot dry and repeat as necessary. Never rub or scrub the carpet as this will damage the fibres. Once you have removed as much of the stain as you can using just water, consult a professional carpet cleaner.
4. Avoid store bought stain removers
Many of the over the counter products you can buy from the local supermarket are just expensive bottles of water mixed with hydrogen peroxide. However some also contain bleach which can damage your carpet. Often they can make the stains much worse and even cause more damage than the original stain. Before using any stain removal products make sure you consult a carpet care professional. Some stains such as paint, makeup, ink and other oil based stains do not respond well to the water and chemicals in these products. Always seek advice from a carpet care professional for these types of stains.
5. Hire a professional carpet care cleaning service at least once a year
The first four tips are all about carpet care maintenance and are easy for you to do regularly throughout the year. It is important to maximise your efforts by hiring a professional carpet care service at least once year. Professionally steam cleaning your carpet will ensure your carpet is clean and santisied. Clean carpets not only look and feel great, they also help keep your family healthy.
Black Gold Carpet Cleaning is your local carpet care professional – contact us for advice and a free quote!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Please leave a comment below.
If you are looking for tips on upholstery steam cleaning Melbourne, then this article is for you! If like me, you have saved your hard earned cash and invested in a beautiful lounge suite, then you will want to make sure you keep it looking its best for many years to come. Just think about it – where do you spend most of your waking hours at home? Usually on the couch, right? Your couch is one of the hardest working pieces of furniture in your home, so you need to look after it! It doesn’t matter if your furniture is fabric or leather, both need regular care and attention and the occasional help from a professional.
Our Top Tips for Upholstery Steam Cleaning Melbourne
Upholstery Steam Cleaning Melbourne Tip 1: Vacuum Regularly
When upholstery steam cleaning or just maintaining your couch, always start with a vacuum! Your couch can collect a lot of dust and dirt, which sits on top of the fibres making them look dull. Dust and dirt particles can cause premature wear and tear of the fibre so try to vacuum regularly, especially if you have pets! Pet hair can be difficult to remove by vacuuming alone, so you might want to invest in a pet hair removal glove or one of the many other rollers or gadgets sold in pet stores, for this purpose.
If you have kids, you also might need to vacuum more regularly, because if they are anything like mine, they will drop crumbs and food all over the couch and into every nook and cranny! Leather couches also need the occasional vacuum, especially under the cushions and in the crevices.
A damp soft microfibre cloth is also handy for removing dust from leather furniture. If you plan to clean your couch, then a pre vacuum is a vital first step. Once you make the couch wet, the dirt and dust will add to the task if not removed beforehand.
Upholstery Steam Cleaning Melbourne Tip 2: Blot spills immediately!
There you are enjoying a quite glass of wine after a long day and next thing you know, the dog jumps up next to you and BAM! There goes your nice glass of red, all over the couch! It is crucial to attend to the spill as soon as possible to prevent it soaking into the padding and permanently staining the fabric.
Blot the stain NEVER rub or scrub! Rubbing the fabric with a cloth or scrubbing it with a brush can cause even more damage to the fibre. Grab a soft dry cloth and gently blot at the stain until you have removed as much liquids as possible.
If you have your upholstery treated with a fabric protector, then the liquid from spills will “pool” on top of the fabric, giving you time to grab a cloth and gently blot up the liquid without leaving any permanent staining. Fabric protection will buy you time but will not stop staining altogether, unless you act quickly.
Upholstery Steam Cleaning Melbourne: Tip 3: Check the labels
Furniture manufacturers use different codes on the care labels of soft furnishings. These codes indicate the best method of cleaning for the type of fabric or leather used. Always check the care label on your couch before applying any type of cleaning solution or liquid. In Australia, there is a mandatory standard for the labeling of all clothing and textiles. Information on the label must be in English and must provide information on how to care and clean the fabric as well as how to avoid damage. This standard also applies to leather and suede. The codes most commonly used for furniture are;
“W” – item can be washed using water and water based detergents, however do not over wet the fabric. Can use professional upholstery steam cleaning Melbourne service to clean.
“S” – Dry solvent cleaning only – DO NOT use water or water based detergents and do not use upholstery steam cleaning.
“WS”– You can use either water based detergents or solvents to clean this fabric. Professional upholstery steam or dry cleaning can be used.
“X” – Professional cleaning or vacuuming only – do not use water or solvents as they may cause damage or discolouration.
Should your furniture no longer have care labels attached, then always proceed with caution. If you are going to attempt spot cleaning the couch yourself, then I recommend trying the product on an inconspicuous part of the couch first to check for colour fastness, etc. As always, if in any doubt, call a professional upholstery cleaner for advice.
Upholstery Steam Cleaning Melbourne Tip 4: Use appropriate cleaning method for the type fabric and stain
There is never a “one size fits all” cleaning agent when it comes to general cleaning or stain removal, of your soft furnishings. You need to determine if the stain is food, drink, protein, grease, ink, or something else. The type of cleaning agent you use will very much depend on the type of stain. Our tips for carpet stain removal will explain more about treating different types of stains on fabric. These tips are only for furniture with W or WS labels, always seek professional advice for S and X labeled furniture.
Sometimes spot cleaning can leave water marks and in this case you will need to clean the whole couch to remove them. I would recommend calling in a professional upholstery steam cleaner to fix water marks. You also need to be mindful of natural fibres such as wool and cotton, which need specialty cleaning agents designed specifically for natural fibres.
If your couch is leather or suede then you will need to use specialty leather cleaning and condition products to prevent damage to the leather finish.
Upholstery Steam Cleaning Melbourne Tip 5: Call in the pros at least once a year
Vacuuming and spot cleaning are good for general maintenance of your furniture, however a professional clean at least once or twice a year will help stop wear and tear as well as keeping your couch clean and hygienic. For leather couches this is especially important to stop fading and cracking of the leather.
You can hire a DIY carpet cleaning machine and clean your furniture yourself, however you do need to be careful not to over wet the couch and especially the padding. Sometimes these machines are not powerful enough to remove a lot of the water used for cleaning. This can result in water damaged furniture and even mould. For just a few dollars more than the cost of the machine hire and detergent, you can save yourself time and energy by using a professional upholstery steam cleaning Melbourne service.
What are your Upholstery cleaning tips?
If you have discovered any great home made cleaning solutions or come across any nifty gadgets for upholstery care, then I would love to hear about them. Please leave a comment below!
Please contact us for all inquiries or to book in your next couch clean!
Carpet cleaning tips for spring, even though, I can barely feel my fingers as they hit the keyboard (someone turn up the heating!). I do believe that spring has arrived in Melbourne! Looking out the window at this cold, grey, rainy Melbourne day you would swear it is still winter, but apparently not. Very soon (I hope) the sun will start shining again and the chill in the air will be replaced with a gentle warmth that thaws the bones and lifts the spirits. To me, spring means flowers, sunshine, swooping magpies and most importantly, spring cleaning! This guide will provide you with a checklist for spring cleaning your carpet and maintaining your beautiful floor coverings right through spring and summer.
Carpet cleaning Tips for spring:
Regular vacuum cleaning is my number one carpet cleaning tip for keeping your carpet looking its best and maintaining carpet over time. It is not just good for removing the dirt and dust you can see, but more importantly the dirt and debris you cannot see. Dirt which is left to become embedded in the carpet pile, can cause damage by scratching the carpet fibres. This makes them appear dull and discoloured. This is why high traffic areas often look different to other areas of the carpet not walked on as often. By regular vacuum cleaning, I mean at least once or twice a week, depending on the amount of foot traffic. Kids and pets shed an awful lot of hair, dirt and dust as they run, play, sleep, eat, roll, crawl on the carpet, so if you have either or both, then you may need to vacuum more often than a single person or a couple.
Choosing a vacuum Cleaner
Cylinder or Upright?
My spring cleaning tips start with choosing a good vacuum cleaner. It is very important to choose wisely when buying a new vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners are usually either cylinder or upright. Cylinder vacuum cleaners are easy to maneuver and good to use on stairs, upholstery and curtains. Whereas upright vacuums are better suited to larger carpeted areas. Wattage is important for cylinder vacuums as the dirt has further to travel through the vacuum hose.
Bagged or Bagless?
Then there is the choice of bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners. Bagless vacuum cleaners are usually slightly more expensive. However you do save money on the long run as you do not have to buy replacement bags. Bagged vacuums trap the dust inside a bag and are less messy to empty. Whichever type you choose, make sure you buy one with dust storage capacity to suit the size of your home. You do not want to stop and empty the canister or change the bag half way through the job. Having said that, it is important that you do empty the canister or bag before it is completely full. If you do not, then you may lose suction.
The filtration system on your vacuum cleaner, is vital for home health and hygiene. There is no point vacuuming and just redistributing the fine dust particles all over the house. Make sure your vacuum has a good filtration system to trap all the dust particles. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration system is important if you or your family members have allergies to dust or asthma. To be a true HEPA filter, it must be certified to remove 99.97% of particles. There are also HEPA type filters which remove 80-90% of particles. Vacuum cleaners with these HEPA type filters are usually less expensive and good for those who do not suffer from asthma and allergies.
How to use your vacuum cleaner correctly
When you have chosen the right vacuum cleaner for your carpet and budget, make sure you use it correctly. Take your time to move the vacuum over the carpet slowly, allowing time for the vacuum to agitate and extract the dirt. You should make several forwards and backwards passes, slowly over the same spot before moving on to the next section of carpet. To maximise dirt extraction, you should vacuum in all directions. For example, once you finish vacuuming in a North-South direction you should then go back and vacuum East-West. Remember – don’t rush, take your time.
Attachments and Maintenance
A final tip is to use the crevice tools and other attachments, that come with your vacuum cleaner. Cleaning along the skirting boards and other hard to reach places will help prevent the build up of dust. Dust build up in these areas can cause black lines called filtration soiling. Filtration soiling is very difficult to remove so prevention is better than cure! Vacuum cleaners do need regular maintenance, especially filter replacements. Check with your warranty details for information on how often your vacuum cleaner should be serviced. Vacuum cleaning is the first step in carpet cleaning tips guide, next is stain removal.
Stain removal is another of my carpet cleaning tips for spring cleaning. It is important to try and tackle any stains when they first happen. Firstly, there are 3 golden rules;
Do not leave stains on the carpet for extended periods, as they may cause further damage and even become permanent. Mud is an exception however, as it is best left to dry then scraped off with a firm brush.
Do not use over the counter stain removers from the supermarket. Many of these products contain strong chemicals and bleach which can further damage your carpet.
Do not “Google” DIY stain removal solutions
Most food based stains are acidic and therefore can be removed using another acidic solution such as white vinegar. White vinegar is good because it does not add colour to the stain and it is odourless once it dries. Always dilute the vinegar with water and mist over the stain rather than saturating the carpet. A few drops of dish washing liquid mixed in with the vinegar and water can also be helpful for these types of stains. Always work your way from the outside of the stain, in towards the center. Dab gently with a clean dry cloth (preferably white so there is no colour transfer), never rub the carpet. Use as little moisture as possible and dry the area as quickly as you can with a cloth, so that you do not cause water damage as well! Please note: wool is a natural fibre and requires special care and attention, so please seek professional advice before attempting any stain removal on woolen carpet.
Stains such as blood, red wine, rust, ink, paint and oil usually need professional carpet cleaning and specialty stain removal treatments. I would not recommend attempting to remove these types of stains without seeking professional advice. Which brings me to the third of my carpet cleaning tips.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
We recommend cleaning carpet in residential homes, at least 1-2 times per year. Although it really does depend on the number of occupants and pets. A single person or couple may only need professional carpet cleaning once a year, however a family with several small children and pets, may need carpet cleaning every three to four months. Spring is a good time to book in a professional carpet clean. For information on Professional Carpet Cleaning please read “Professional Carpet Cleaning – what is it? or for information on how to choose a Professional carpet cleaner, please refer to my previous blogFinding the best carpet cleaner – Top 5 questions to ask
Carpet steam cleaning (Hot Water Extraction) is probably the most effective and thorough method of carpet cleaning and the one we mostly recommend for residential carpet. This is a process where a solution is sprayed onto the carpet to loosen and trap dirt and debris, sometimes some form of agitation is used to enhance this process. Next a hot water extraction machine (either a portable unit or truck mounted system) is used to apply heat, water and suction to extract the dirt and solution and rinse the carpet. Usually carpet is dry within 4-5 hours.
There are a few different methods referred to as “dry’ Cleaning. Bonnet dry cleaning is a low moisture method where solution is sprayed onto the carpet and then wiped off with a buffing machine with an absorbent pad attached. This type of cleaning will dry within 2-3 hours and is good for lightly soiled carpet and as a maintenance clean between carpet steam cleans. However, we do not recommend it as a complete replacement for steam cleaning. Another method is dry compound cleaning. This process uses a machine to spread dry compound material over the carpet. The compound attracts and absorbs the dirt and both are then vacuumed away leaving the carpet clean and dry. This method is good for general carpet cleaning but will not remove some stains. If you want to use this system, make sure the operator uses organic compounds not polymers.
Professional carpet cleaning is not a cheap option, however when you consider that carpet costs thousands of dollars to replace, it is a very worthwhile investment. I would not recommend going cheap in this instance as it may cost your dearly in the long run! Now the carpets are clean, my next carpet cleaning tips are more about maintenance.
Nothing says spring more than the smell of flowers and nothing says clean carpet more than a beautiful fresh, clean scent. Some carpet cleaners use chemical deodourisers after they clean your carpet. These can cause respiratory issues in some people who are sensitive to perfumes and the scent usually disappears after a couple hours. We prefer to use natural products to deodourise your carpet after cleaning. To replicate this scent you can make your own carpet deodouriser. Mix 1 cup of sifted bi carb soda (baking soda) with 20-30 drops of your favourite essential oil. Place in a container with a tight fitting lid and shake well for a minute or so to combine. Then all you need to do is sprinkle the Bi carb lightly over your carpet using a container with a lid that has medium sized holes (e.g. a spice bottle or chocolate shaker). Wait 20-30 minutes before vacuuming up the bi carb soda and enjoy the beautiful natural fragrance! Bi carb soda is good because it will also help absorb any unpleasant odours.
No doubt spring will bring on a sense of new beginnings and possibilities, which may lead to wanting a whole new look for your rooms. Moving furniture around into different positions is a very easy way to change the look and feel of a room. However sometimes indentations occur where heavy furniture has been in place for a long time on the carpet. To restore the carpet to its usually fluffy state and get rid of these indentations is not always easy. One of the best carpet cleaning tips I have picked up over the years, is to fill the indentation with ice blocks and leave them to slowly melt over several hours. Then blot up the excess moisture and gently fluff up the carpet pile with your fingers or a spoon. The moisture will cause the carpet fibres to swell making them easier to fluff up back to their natural state. Another trick is to place a damp cloth over the indentation and then use an iron on a gentle heat setting on top of the cloth, to steam the area. Remove the iron and cloth then fluff up and loosen the fibres with your fingers.
All of the above carpet cleaning tips lose their effectiveness, if you do not also find ways to prevent re-soiling. Barriers such as mats and rugs are important for minimising the amount of dirt brought into the house. Spring is a good time to spruce up the front door mat. Wash it or brush it to remove any mud or dirt build up from the wetter weather. This one tip will make your front step look so much more welcoming. Keeping your front path well swept and clear of leaves and dirt will also help nature from finding its way into your home of ruining all your hard work!
What are your best spring carpet cleaning tips? Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below.
Top 5 tips on how to remove vomit stain from the carpet
How to DIY your vomit disaters!
So you want to know how to remove vomit stains from carpet? We have all been there and this is a question we get asked a lot! Big night out, big night in, the dreaded tummy bug, kids with gastro……..whatever the cause, the result is the same! A terrible mess that not only stains your carpet, but also leaves that odour! You know the one, a constant, lingering reminder! The longer you leave it, avoid it, hope it will magically disappear; the harder it will be to remove the stain. Ultimately you need to act fast, but what can you do to remove vomit stains from the carpet?
Tip1 : Fast action
Never leave vomit stains on the carpet. Always attend to them as soon as you can, otherwise the acids in the bile can damage your carpet fibres and leave permanent stains. The liquid will also soak through to the underlay and become even more difficult to remove. The best thing to do is to remove as much of the vomit as possible. Use a flat bladed knife or spatula to scrap away as much of the solid matter as you can. Then blot the remaining liquid with paper towels or clean dry cloths to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Tip 2: Remove Moisture
Baking soda or bi carb soda, as we call it in Australia, is a fantastic cleaning aid. In this situation a fairly generous sprinkling of bi carb soda over the stain will help absorb any remaining liquid and also help neutralise the odour. Leave the powder on the stain for at least 15 minutes before vacuuming away.
Tip 3: Stain Removal
If there is still a visible stain on the carpet, then at this point, you might be best calling in a professional carpet cleaner. Vomit is a protein stain, like blood and urine, so it is best removed with an enzymatic cleaner. This is a process whereby, enzymes digest the protein molecules which cause the stain and odour. You can purchase some over the counter enzyme sprays. Often these types of products are sold for pet stains, but will also be effective in treating human stains as well! However, professional carpet cleaners are able to select cleaning agents appropriate not only for the type of stain, but also for the type of carpet you have. Some over the counter products may cause more damage to your carpet, particularly if your carpet is made from wool. If you still want to try and DIY the stain, you could try a mixture of one part white vinegar to 2 parts water and a few drops of dishing washing liquid. Make sure you test this on the carpet somewhere inconspicuous first! Mist this mixture over the stain then blot with paper towel or a clean, dry cloth.
Tip4: Always Rinse & Blot
Whenever you try to remove a stain yourself, it is important to rinse the area with water, after applying any cleaning solutions. Carpet cleaning solutions left on the carpet can cause damage such as bleaching or discolouration. Even “natural” products such as, vinegar can discolour your carpet. Dirt particles also stick to the residue left behind on the carpet and will cause rapid resoiling. Do not use a lot of water or you will end up with brown water marks on your carpet. Just lightly mist water and dab dry. It is important to dab or blot the carpet dry rather than rubbing it, as rubbing, will cause damage to the carpet fibres. I imagine you are beginning to understand why sometimes it is best to leave these jobs to the professionals! Carpet cleaners have powerful cleaning equipment, which can rinse and extract in one motion. They also add an acid rinse to their finish to ensure all residue is removed. All of this can be done quickly and easily with no risk of damage to your carpet.
Tip 5: Dry
The best way to ensure the stain does not wick back up the carpet fibres after cleaning, is to ensure you dry the area thoroughly. Air movement around the area is vital for quick drying. You can place a fan heater near the area, use a hair dryer or just have a window open and the heating on. Once the carpet is dry, there should be no odour.
That’s it….but if in doubt, a professional carpet cleaner like Black Gold Carpet Cleaning to remove vomit stains
If by this point, you still have a faint lingering odour or stain, I would recommend you call a professional carpet cleaner for advice. In most cases a trained professional can remove stains that the average person cannot. The key to successful stain removal is time! Always act quickly to remove vomit stains using theses tips and ask for professional help if in doubt.
Cleaning upholstery and carpet at the local footy club!
When your local footy club is known as “The Bear Cave”, then you can probably guess the activity that goes on there! We have recently had the pleasure of cleaning upholstery and carpet at the Bear Cave (AKA The Caulfield Bears Junior Football Club) in Carnegie. This club house is owned by the Glen Eira City Council and leased out to several different clubs throughout the year. It is the home of not only the junior Bears, but also the seniors (AKA as the Mighty Caulfield Bears Football & Netball Club). It is also the home of the Carnegie Cricket Club in the summer months. Many enthusiastic kids, parents and local sporting heroes make great use of the space provided to them for the season. Which means our services are very much in demand for cleaning upholstery and carpet, at the change over of the seasons!
Cleaning Carpet and kicking goals!
Cleaning carpet is a dirty business (excuse the pun!) and so is footy. There’s not just the muddy boots to contend with, but also the social nights! The hot pies and cold beers, the presentations, the fundraisers, family nights…..Cricket season is just as bad (or good!)! For us this means commercial deep carpet cleaning is required.
Firstly we vacuum, then we pre spray the carpet and pre treat any spots and stains. Next, we allow some dwell time for the pre spray to activate and work its magic. Sometimes we need to agitate the carpet with a buffing machine or a hand held carpet rake. This ensures the pre spray is distributed through the carpet fibres and helps lift deep down stains.
The next step is hot water extraction, using our truck mounted system. The truck mount is generated from the van and therefore does not require access to electricity. It also heats water to the correct temperature and has stronger suction than a portable machine. Making it the perfect tool for this heavy duty cleaning. Hot water extraction (steam cleaning) is the process whereby hot water is delivered at high pressure to the carpet via a cleaning wand and then extracted, along with the dirt and pre spray. The combination of the heat and the strong suction means carpets are thoroughly “washed” and drying times are reduced. This is because, the heat enables rapid evaporation and the strong suction removes maximum moisture.
Finally once the carpet is clean, we apply a natural deodouriser to ward off any residual muddy odours!!
Cleaning Upholstery is a win, win!
Cleaning upholstery was next on the footy clubs “to do list”. Recently the Caulfield Bears Football & Netball Club received a donation of some well used upholstered chairs – the first win! These chairs are a great addition to the club as they will provide more seats for fundraising nights, club functions and presentation nights. There was just one problem. The chairs were very dirty from many years of use by another organisation and from being in storage. They needed help cleaning upholstery chairs and fast! This is where we came in and hit a six for the ultimate win!
Using a similar method for cleaning upholstery chairs, as we did for the carpet, we were able to restore the chairs to their former glory – well almost! I think you will agree that they look a whole lot better once we finished with them!
Cleaning upholstery regularly will not only keep your furniture looking clean and fresh, but it also prolongs the life of the fabric and helps reduce wear and tear. As well as chairs, we also clean couches, lounges, sofas and ottomans.
We offer professional and affordable methods for cleaning upholstery and carpets. If your sports club or community organisation could do with some help in terms of cleaning upholstery or carpets, please ask us about our community discounts.
We have all experienced the frustration of spilling something like red wine or soft drink on the carpet. This especially applies if you have kids or pets or both! First comes the disbelief and then comes the panic! When that panic sets in, try taking deep breaths and may be even walk away for a few minutes to restore calm to the situation. What you do or don’t do during those first panicked minutes, can save your carpet or destroy it! Most people in this situation either go straight to Google and see what the Internet “experts” have to say about removing stains or they rummage through their kitchen/laundry cupboard and grab anything that vaguely resembles a cleaning product. In these emergency situations who has time to read instruction labels or warnings about spot testing first? Right? With great haste you spray, pour, scrub, sprinkle, vacuum and pray until you have enough chemical concoctions on the carpet, to write a science paper! But has it fixed the problem or just made a bad situation a whole lot worse?
In this article I will explain why some stain removal, home remedies are best used with caution. Also, why sometimes it is best to call in a professional carpet steam cleaning Melbourne service rather than tackle the stain yourself.
When it comes to most food and drink stains, vinegar is king! Vinegar is an acid and most food and beverages contain acid as well. This is why vinegar works so well on these types of stains. Acids break down other acids. However not all vinegars are equal! Only white vinegar is suitable for using as a stain remover. Other vinegars such as balsamic, red wine or apple cider vinegar can leave stains of their own on carpet. Ironically you can use white vinegar to remove these other vinegar stains!
Adding a few drops of dish washing liquid to a spray bottle with vinegar diluted by water, adds extra oomph to the cleaning power of vinegar.
There are 3 important steps to remember when using vinegar as a stain remover on your carpet.
Dilute the vinegar with water and mist it over the stain rather than pouring it on.
Always do a spot test somewhere inconspicuous before spraying it all over your carpet.
Be sure to rinse the vinegar thoroughly from your carpet with water
Vinegar can cause discolouration on some types of carpet fibres, especially if it is used in large quantities and left on the carpet for long periods of time. These photos below show what happens to carpet when vinegar is used excessively and then not rinsed properly. Luckily this customer called us at Black Gold Carpet steam cleaning Melbourne for help fixing this mess.
Bi Carb Soda (Baking Soda)
If Vinegar is king, then bi carb soda is queen! This white powder can be sprinkled over wet stains to absorb liquid and odour. If you sprinkle it over a stain moistened with vinegar then you will really see cleaning power in action! This combination causes a chemical reaction which releases carbon dioxide. Leave the stain until the mixture stops bubbling and allow it to draw the stain out of the carpet. Then wipe or vacuum it away. The order you use here is very important. Always vinegar first then bi carb soda. If you do it the other way around you could end up with a huge volcanic like mess!
The main problem with using bicarb or baking soda, is the mess it leaves behind. If you use too much and leave it for too long the paste becomes a hard chalk like substance stuck firmly to your carpet fibre. It can be very difficult to remove! Vacuuming alternated with a light, gentle brushing of the carpet, helps. Rinsing with warm water, then drying the area thoroughly, should remove the remaining residue. However if you find there is still bi carb soda visible, then you may need to call in Black Gold Steam cleaning Melbourne for help and advice.
You can purchase over the counter carpet stain removers from most supermarkets. I would always err on the side of caution when using a product like this. Read the instruction label and always, always, test it on an inconspicuous spot first! The main ingredient in these sprays is hydrogen peroxide. There are different strengths of hydrogen peroxide and it is recommended that not more than a 3% solution is used on carpet, unless you are a professional carpet cleaner. Stronger solutions, higher than 3%, may result in colour loss or bleaching of carpet fibres. Professional carpet cleaners are trained to be able to identify different carpet fibres and know what is safe to use. They also have high powered equipment capable of rinsing all of the hydrogen peroxide away.
The biggest problem aside from the bleaching, is removing all of the residue. Often these spray on cleaners are difficult to remove without professional equipment and therefore the residue attracts dirt. The other chemicals mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide are usually preservatives and stabilisers as well as a lot of water. It would be much cheaper (and safer) to just buy some 3% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it your self in a spray bottle with some warm water ( 1:2). You could also add a few drops of dish washing liquid to help with the cleaning process. Make sure you do not rub the fibre and always rinse and dry the spot.
To avoid any potential problems and save yourself a whole lot of effort and stress, I would recommend you call a professional like Black Gold carpet steam cleaning Melbourne to remove the stain or at least offer the right advice.
A final word of advice
I am all for natural cleaning remedies and products. In fact most of our cleaning products are natural citrus based detergents and spotters. We also use essential oils for their natural antibacterial properties. However just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean it is always safe to use on every stain and every carpet type. There is actually quite a lot of science involved in carpet cleaning and it takes training and experience to understand what works best in each unique situation. There is not “a one size fits all” when it comes to carpet steam cleaning and stain removal. Always seek professional advice before reaching into the cupboard.
The best carpet cleaner is not necessarily the first one!
Most people go straight to the internet when looking for service people in their local area. You spill something on the carpet or you have family coming over for the holidays. Suddenly you are in desperate need of the best carpet cleaner you can find. Naturally, the first thing you do is a search online. You are then confronted with an often confusing array of businesses all vying for your attention. We have all been there, right? How do you choose? There are some simple questions you can ask to find the best carpet cleaner for your needs and budget.
There are two main types of questions you should ask when looking for the best carpet cleaner. Firstly when confronted with the search results, you need to ask yourself some questions to determine which businesses to call for a quote. Secondly when calling the chosen businesses, you need to have a list of questions ready to ask so as to determine who is best qualified to fix the problem.
Sorting through the search results for the best carpet cleaner
Your first instinct is probably to go with the first three businesses listed in the search results. However, it may not give you the quality results you are looking for. Usually in the search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, the first 3-4 listings are paid advertising. This does not mean these businesses are not worth considering, but just keep in mind that it may mean that they are paid listings and they will therefore have a large marketing budget and usually these costs are passed on to the consumer through carpet cleaning pricing. Many of these paid listings offer heavily discounted prices, to attract new customers, however they ultimately end up costing more. They need to cover their marketing costs through pricing so they always find a way to add on “extras”.
Next there are the local search results that take into consideration your search location. These results will usually give you the contact details for carpet cleaners in your local area. This is great because often local businesses can come at short notice or even often a local discount as they do not have to factor in travel costs. However make sure you verify where they are based. Some of the larger carpet cleaning businesses claim to be from every suburb in a wide area, meaning they probably sub contract out to cleaners in many different areas. This means you may not get the business you thought you were hiring.
Finally there are pages and pages of free or organic listings. This is were you can usually find the good, the bad and the ugly! I would recommend considering the businesses listed on the first page and narrow your search down the three or four of these listings to call for a quote. Keep in mind however that in larger cities where there is a lot of competition, the top three are not necessarily the best carpet cleaners. They may be on top because they are the best at marketing and SEO rather than carpet cleaning! Compare their website’s, pricing, location and importantly their reviews! Just as a final note, while pricing is very important, don’t be swayed by offers of ridiculously cheap deals. Like all things in life, if it seems too good to be true it probably is!
Top 5 questions to ask when looking for the best carpet cleaner
So now that you have narrowed down the search results to your top 3 -5 businesses, you need to pick up the phone or send an email. Most people are not sure what questions they should ask, other than “How much?” Pricing is important but so are these other questions below. To ask the right questions, you need some knowledge or experience. This list is a good starter guide to give you information on what questions to ask and why they are important.
1. Are you owner operated or do you sub contact?
You want to be sure that the business you have chosen from the search results is the actual business who will be turning up on the day. There is nothing wrong with sub contracting, however there are cost and quality issues that can affect the end results and price.
2. Are you a member of an industry association or have training certification by a recognised industry organisation?
Most professional carpet cleaning businesses will be a member of an industry association such as SCRIA or have training certificates from organisations such as Jena Dyco or IICRC. This is important as membership or certification means that the business has agreed to abide by standards set by these organisations. They must continually retrain to maintain their certification and be up to date with the latest techniques and equipment. What this ultimately means, is that you can be sure that the business will provide service that is of a high standard and using chemicals and equipment that are the best available. These businesses also have to agree to a code of ethics, have public liability insurance and will always guarantee their work. This is important for your peace of mind!
3. What method and equipment do you use?
There are several different methods of carpet cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners will usually offer a few different methods depending on the situation. Steam Cleaning (Hot Water Extraction) is the method most recommended by the carpet cleaning associations and carpet manufacturers.
Portable steam cleaning machines are great for tight spaces or apartments above ground floor. Truck mounted systems can produce more heat and suction that portable machines. However as the cords and hoses have to be run from outside the premises, through open doorways, they do require driveway access and cannot be used on higher level apartments. They also pose a security issue for some businesses as they do require open door access. Whereas a portable machine can be taken inside and doors locked.
Dry cleaning is an alternative method of cleaning. There are several different types of dry cleaning – most are low moisture cleaning rather than completely dry. Dry cleaning is useful in commercial properties, where it is not possible to wait for carpet to dry, or noise is an issue. Usually dry cleaning is used as a maintenance clean between steam cleans, rather than as a complete replacement method.
Professional carpet cleaners will also use high quality cleaning products. They need to have an array of different products to use on different types of stains. Most will try to use environmentally friendly products and will know which products work best on different carpet fibres and stains.
4. Do you have an hourly rate or charge by the room/sqm?
Pricing is a big factor when choosing a carpet cleaner. it is important however to consider price as just one factor, not THE factor. A professional carpet cleaner will be very transparent with their pricing. However, this does not necessarily mean they will display a price list on their website. There is no “one price fits all” in carpet cleaning. Each job will have its own unique criteria – the age and type of carpet, the amount of foot traffic, staining, maintenance of the carpet, etc.
A good carpet cleaner will ask you about your carpet and it’s history to determine a price. Most carpet cleaners will start with a set rate for a room, based on a set size in square meters. Then the age and the condition is taken into consideration, along with travel costs. The end price should be all inclusive. Stain removal, fabric protection, deodourising and sanitising may be additional costs. Always ask what is included in the price.
Finally Beware of companies selling “3 rooms for $66” or similar. While some offer genuine value, you do need to ask what is a “room” to them. A business may offer low prices but set a very small room size. Therefore you will never just pay the base rate and the additional square meter charges can be very high. This is known in the industry as “Bait & Switch”. Bait the customer with a cheap price then switch to higher pricing once you are onsite by adding in “extras”.
5. Do you offer a guarantee?
Even the best carpet cleaner in the world can have trouble removing stains the first time. Some stains appear or reappear a day or so after cleaning, as they are underneath the carpet. A professional carpet cleaner will always come back and re clean at no additional charge, should this happen. In fact a good carpet cleaner will always be glad of the opportunity to fix issues you are not happy with, after all they will want your repeat business and your referral to family and friends. While no carpet cleaner can guarantee to restore your carpet to new, they can guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. They will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of the end result and make sure you are happy before they leave. A guarantee is vital for end of lease carpet cleaning if you want your bond returned
The best carpet cleaner for you is easy to find
It is as easy as choosing which flavour of ice cream! Now you are armed with all the right questions to ask, you should have no trouble finding the best carpet cleaner for your budget. Just bear in mind, some of those businesses high up in the search spend a small fortune on marketing and advertising as they need to keep renewing their customer base. The best carpet cleaners will have well established repeat business base. Therefore they have less reliance on the search engines. Sometimes your family and friends are a more reliable source than Google and the best question to ask is “who do you recommend?”
Please contact us for all your carpet cleaning inquiries or call us on 0403 254 080.
Have you got your own list of questions you like to ask? Please add your questions to the comments section below.
Melbourne carpet recycling is not as simple as you would think. In this day and age, everyone seems to be aware of environmental issues such as global warming and the need to reduce our carbon foot print. Given that the average life cycle of carpet is 5-10 years, many new home openers and renovators are opting for more sustainable flooring options. We recycle glass, plastics, paper, garden waste, wood, rubber tyres and so on. However when it comes to old carpet there are fewer options, for recycling.
Business studies in Australia, have shown an overall decrease in carpet manufacturing over the past five years. However the boom in the property market has created a higher demand for carpet, from the housing construction sector. Particularly for multi – unit apartment and townhouse developments. Which makes me wonder where is all that carpet going to go in 5-10 years time when it needs replacing? What happens to the carpet in the properties when they are demolished to make way for these new developments? Given that about 70% of all floor covering sales in the developed world, are for carpet, what options are available for Melbourne carpet recycling?
Options for Melbourne carpet recycling.
1. Disposal is the least preferred option. Used carpet is now one of the top 10 landfill items. Synthetic carpets do not break down over time and woolen carpets do decompose but they produce methane gas during this process. Methane is a dangerous green house gas, which is the unfortunate by product of landfill decomposition. Disposal of old carpets at the local tip will incur fees.
2. Reuse old carpet for many different purposes, such as;
weed matting in the garden
floor mats for your car, home, shed or workshop
lining and insulation for the kids cubby house or your work shed
donate to a charity
donate to family members or friends
If your carpet is in good condition you may be able to sell it privately or to a recycling business. In most major Australian cities there are businesses who buy good quality, used carpet, clean it and resell it.
3. Recycle your old carpets depending on their age, composition and condition. According to Planet Ark, there is currently no commercial recycling plants for carpet in Australia, even though, most carpet fibres are recyclable. Consumers have become more environmentally aware, therefore, carpet manufacturers are becoming more conscious of their responsibilities. However, we still have a long way to go here in Australia. Carpet manufacturers such as Ontera, Interface and Caviler Bramworth, do offer a “take back” system for carpet they have manufactured. However, only carpet tiles are recycled into new carpet. There is no recycling for broadloom carpet. Shaw, have a range of carpet made from recycled materials, called Ecoworx. They offer a guarantee that, when it is time to change the carpet, Shaw, will pick up your old carpet, and recycle it.
Can Melbourne carpet be recycled?
Currently these carpet recycling systems, are only for nylon carpet. New carpet is made by recycling nylon into yarn, and then reusing it to make new carpet. Interface, have developed a new carpet recycling facility, which is the first of its kind in Australia. Previously they had to send carpet to the USA for processing. Infra red scanners are now available in Australia and are used to identify carpet tile fibres. If nylon is the main fibre, then the tiles are be broken down into their individual components and the nylon is removed and used to make nylon yarn.
The backing is also recycled, however it still needs to be sent to the USA for processing. Interface are hoping to have a new facility to process the backing, here in Australia by 2017. Interface, estimates that they will be able to process around 500-600 tonnes of carpet per year.
There are signs that the industry is looking for new ways of manufacturing carpets so that are sustainable and recyclable. Cradle to Cradle accreditation is one such way of ensuring manufacturers examine the whole life cycle of a carpet; from source materials to manufacturing, installation and end of life recycling. In the meantime however, we need to make sure we get the most out of our carpets and maintain them for maximum life span. Regular, professional carpet cleaning is the best way to maintain your carpet and keep it looking good for years to come. Please contact us for a booking or any carpet cleaning inquiries.