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Carpet cleaning tips for spring
Carpet Cleaning Tips for Spring

Spring Carpet Cleaning Tips

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:

Vacuum Cleaning spring vacuum carpet cleaning tips

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.

Filters

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 correctlyMelbourne carpet cleaning tips

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 Removalcarpet cleaning tips Melbourne

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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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 CleaningProfessional carpet cleaning tips

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 blog Finding the best carpet cleaner – Top 5 questions to ask

Steam Cleaning

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.

Dry Cleaning

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.

Deodourisecarpet cleaning tips

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.

Carpet Indentationscarpet cleaning tips for indentations

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.

Prevention

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!

Carpet cleaning Tips for MaintenanceWhat are your best spring carpet cleaning tips? Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below.
How to remove vomit stains from carpet
How to Remove Vomit Stains from carpet

Top 5 tips on how to remove vomit stain from the carpet

How to DIY your vomit disaters!Remove vomit stains on carpet

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 RemovalRemove vomit stains from bedroom carpet

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 Vomit stain removal

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.

steam cleaning Melbourne mistakes
Steam Cleaning Melbourne: Top Mistakes

Steam Cleaning Melbourne Stain removal Tips

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.

Black Gold Steam Cleaning Melbourne

Vinegar

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.

  1. Dilute the vinegar with water and mist it over the stain rather than pouring it on.
  2. Always do a spot test somewhere inconspicuous before spraying it all over your carpet.
  3. 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.

Remove stain steam cleaning Melbourne

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.

bi carb stains remove by steam cleaning Melbourne

Oxi Sprays

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.

steam cleaning Melbourne bleached carpet

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 removalAlways seek professional advice before reaching into the cupboard.

Or Phone us on 0403 254 080

Carpet Steam Cleaner Melbourne you get what you pay for - lemons
Carpet Steam Cleaner Melbourne

When hiring a carpet steam cleaner – you get what you pay for!

pay steam cleaner peanutsLately I have received a lot of calls from customers who have hired a budget carpet steam cleaner for their end of lease carpet cleaning.  They call me because, the carpet steam cleaner they hired, did not do a very good job.  I usually ask them, “why don’t you call the cleaner back and ask them to come back and do a better job?” The customer inevitably says something like, ” oh they were just someone I found on Gumtree and they were really cheap so I don’t think they will be able to fix this” or “I did call them but they said it was the best they could do and wouldn’t come back”.
Let me make this very clear – you get what you pay for! Carpet cleaning and stain removal in particular is a science, you need training, experience and the right chemicals and equipment.

Steam cleaner certificateWhat is IICRC?

Anyone can go out and buy themselves a carpet cleaning machine and call themselves a carpet steam cleaner.  The Government does not regulate the carpet cleaning industry, unlike many other trades,.  This does not mean, however that there is no training or certification available for carpet cleaners.  The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is the organisation that sets worldwide standards for businesses and individuals operating within the cleaning and restoration industry.

To obtain certification, one must complete intensive training courses.  Then sit and pass exams at the end of the training.  They must also agree to abide by a code of ethics.  As well as  having current public liability insurance and continuing to update their skills and training on a regular basis.  Each of the standards set by the IICRC take years to develop. These standards are reviewed every 5 years to ensure they stay up to date with scientific and manufacturing developments. Jena Dyco International is Australasia’s premier training facility for the cleaning and restoration industry. They provide  IICRC approved courses and examinations as well as other workshops, seminars  and training.  Carpet cleaners who have completed Jena Dyco training courses, are well equipped with the skills and knowledge needed in any on the job situation.

Keeping training and equipment up to date, involves significant costs.  These costs, along with having the appropriate level of insurance and staff, to deliver professional carpet steam cleaning are factored into the pricing. This is something most people are not aware of when they ask “how much to clean….”.  A business charging less than it costs to hire a machine from the supermarket, must be cutting corners somewhere!  I would venture a guess and say that they are using low cost cleaning products and quite possibly do not have any training and very little experience.  They may not even have public liability insurance!  This is frightening considering the cost of replacing carpet or furniture should anything go wrong or even worse if you or a family member are injured as a result of unsafe work practices.

Carpet Steam Cleaner PricingCost of Carpet Steam Cleaner

Customers always ask me why there is such a big price difference when it comes to carpet cleaning.  I tell them that it really depends on the level of service and results you are expecting.  In my opinion, someone who charges very low prices, is usually inexperienced and may not have the equipment and knowledge to remove dirt and stains.  They may even damage the carpets through over wetting or bleaching.

The use of low quality (and low cost) cleaning products or heavily diluting them are ways to cut costs.  This means the cleaning results will also be low quality.  Then there are the carpet steam cleaners we all love to hate. The ones who quote low to get their foot in the door and then bump up the price once they are there.  Usually, because the rooms are “bigger than standard” or the carpet is “dirtier than standard”.  Sometimes without even telling you until after the job!  It is important to weigh up the pros and cons when choosing between low cost Vs professional carpet cleaning.

Professional carpet steam cleaners will have insurance, completed training courses and have certification. They have the experience and knowledge to deal with all types of carpet and stains.  Accordingly, they will have well maintained equipment and high quality, environmentally friendly cleaning products. A professional carpet cleaner, will walk through the job with you before they start and point out any issues they feel may affect the result.  Always, they will give you a clear indication of the best expected outcome and the total price BEFORE they start work. If there are any issues after cleaning, they will return at no extra charge to re clean a spot or whatever the issue may be. Finally, they will confidently offer a satisfaction guarantee with no fine print! Surprisingly, they may even follow up with you a few days after the job to make sure you are happy.

Hiring the right carpet steam cleaner to get your bond back.

Carpet Steam Cleaner stains

These stains were all left behind by a low budget cleaner and the customer was facing bond forfeiture.

If you are moving out of a property and you want your bond back then it is worth hiring a carpet steam cleaner who guarantees their work.  They may charge a little more but they offer peace of mind and it means less hassles with the Property Manager or Landlord.  Security deposits are usually in the $1000’s, so spending a little extra to make sure you get all your bond back is well worth it.

We recently helped one of our customers in Bentleigh.  She  was fighting to get her bond returned after she vacated a property.  The Property Manager was dissatisfied with the carpet cleaning, even though we had explained that the house cleaner had been through after us and left some dust behind – nothing a good vacuum wouldn’t fix.  We offered to go back and re clean the carpets just to help out our client.  Instead the Property Manager tried to take the customer’s entire bond!  This matter went to a Tribunal hearing. Luckily this particular customer, had used us to clean her carpet every 3-6 months of her tenancy.  Therefore, she provided the judge with the receipts of carpet cleaning as well as a report from us.  Needless to say, the judge ordered the Property Manager to pay her bond back in full!!

Call us first!Best Carpet steam Cleaner in Melbourne Lge

We are very good at removing stains.  However once another carpet steam cleaner applies chemicals to a stain, it alters the Ph level.  This makes our job more difficult and sometimes even impossible! I hate seeing carpet ruined by inexperience.  Especially when I know I would have removed the stain if I was the first one called.  Professional carpet cleaning is a science and requires skill.  It does come at a cost, but no where near as much as the cost of carpet replacement!

We are always happy to offer help and advice so please contact us next time you need help.  We can offer advice on stain removal, end of lease carpet or general carpet cleaning.

Please call us on 0403 254 080 for a quote or advice!

 

 

carpet stain removal Melbourne
Carpet Cleaner Top 5 Don’ts

As a carpet cleaner I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly….

Over the years as a carpet cleaner,  I have seen some pretty funny things put on carpet to try and remove stains. Some work and some are just plain, ridiculous and cause more damage than the original stain! There is plenty of information out there about what you should put on stains of all kinds.  Some of it is good advice backed up by sound scientific principals and chemistry. Some, however, is complete fiction and could quite possibly have a horror story ending rather than the “happily ever after” most people are looking for! Here are the top five home remedies to be avoided if you want a happy ending to your red wine nightmare.

1. SaltCarpet Cleaner salt on red wine

Why is it that whenever someone spills red wine, the first thing they do is reach for salt? This remedy has been passed down through the ages and probably had more to do with convenience than science.  In the past (and present), both wine and salt were consumed with most meals.  So salt was often  the closest thing available to throw over a spill.  The aim being to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.  It sounds logical, until you consider the fact that salt is the ingredient we throw into dye baths to help bond dye to fabric fibres! By piling up a heap of salt on a wine stain, all you are doing is aiding the natural dyes in the wine to penetrate the carpet fibres.  Thereby creating a permanent reminder of your clumsiness!  The best first action for red wine is to absorb as much of the liquid as you can.  The best way to do this is by using clean white towels or paper towels NOT salt!  Do not panic – remember you can always call a professional carpet cleaner for advice.

2. White wineCarpet cleaner - white wine on red wine

We have all heard the one about pouring white wine over a red wine spill. I believe this also comes from the fact that where there is red wine, there is usually white wine.  So if you spill the red, then try to dilute it with whatever is closest and not as colourful – white wine!  There is some science behind this method.  Both red and white wines are acidic and acids can be used to dissolve acids. However there are lots of other ingredients in white wine as well. So white wine is probably not the best first choice when it comes to stain removal.  White wine probably will not cause any further staining, however it will be a very smelly mess and not nearly as effective as some other acids which are odourless when they evaporate, e.g. white vinegar.

The second step when dealing with red wine stains is to dilute the remaining liquid as much as possible without causing any further damage.  I would suggest adding a little cold water (preferably misted on using a spray bottle) and dabbing with a clean dry white cloth.  Repeat as often as necessary until there is no more colour transfer from the stain onto the cloth.  You could also try adding 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts cold water to the spray bottle.  If in doubt call a professional carpet cleaner for advice!

3. Baking Soda (Bi Carb Soda)Carpet cleaner - baking soda on red wine

While baking soda is something that can be helpful in removing some stains, it can also leave behind a white powdery residue.  This residue is very difficult to remove.  I have read many blogs and articles that recommend using a a baking soda paste on food stains and pet stains.  However not many mention that you also need to use an acid with the baking soda to create the right chemical reaction to remove the stains.  When you combine an acid such as wine or vinegar and baking soda, you get a chemical reaction which creates carbon dioxide gas.  It is this reaction that helps remove stains, the combination of a base and an acid dissolved in water.  This process does work, however you have to let the paste react and then dry on the carpet.  The dried paste attaches to the carpet fibres and can be very difficult to remove.  Vacuuming is often not enough.  You have to gently scrap the dried paste off the carpet with a blunt knife, without damaging the fibers. Is all the mess worth it when there are other carpet cleaner methods available that do not leave a residue?

4. Corn Flour (starch)Carpet cleaner - corn flour on stain

This is one of the more “out there” methods I have witnessed!  Why anyone would apply corn flour to a wet carpet stain, I will never know.  As with the baking soda, corn flour can be very messy and difficult to remove from carpet.  Corn flour is very absorbent when it comes to greasy stains on leather furniture.  This is because it is very fine and can get into tiny cracks and crevices that other products cannot.  By all means use corn flour to remove grease, but don’t mix it up into a paste and lather it on your carpet.  It is just too difficult to remove and there are many other remedies out there that do not require so much work!  Because I am a qualified carpet cleaner, I had no trouble removing the ink stain for this customer, however the corn flour took a lot more effort!

5. Vanish and other supermarket “carpet stain removers”Carpet Cleaner - vanish on red wine

I cannot say it strongly enough – never use these products on your carpet to remove stains, until you consult a professional carpet cleaner for advice. These products often contain bleach which can remove the stains.  However, unfortunately, they also often remove the colour from your carpet fibres. So you’re left with light coloured patches all over your carpet. Professional carpet cleaners also used bleach, in some situations.  However we know what strength bleach to use and how to rinse it from your carpet.  The longer the Vanish type products stay on your carpet, the more damage they can do.  There is no easy way to rinse them out of your carpet completely, without the right carpet cleaner equipment.

A final word of advice from your local carpet cleaner

Never panic! Always follow these 3 steps when dealing with most food and drink spills;

  1. BLOT – remove as much liquid/solid as you can by blotting or scraping the spill immediately
  2. DILUTE – Using a spray bottle filled with cold water, mist over the stain to dilute
  3. BLOT – remove as much of the water as you can with a clean dry towell (always dab/blot – never rub!)

If the stain remains then call a professional carpet cleaner, such as Black Gold Carpet Cleaning.  We can offer advice and quotes over the phone, any time, day or night!

carpet cleaner Melbourne budget
Carpet Cleaner Melbourne: Budget Double Trouble

Tales from a Carpet Cleaner in Melbourne and Beyond

So a funny thing happened to me at work today……

Carpet cleaner Melbourne callLast Monday morning I took a call from a customer who was very upset.  She had hired a budget carpet cleaner Melbourne, who had destroyed her carpets (over wetting by the sounds of things) and she wanted to know if I would come and have a look. I told her not to worry, I was sure I would be able to help her and make the carpets look a whole lot better.  Without seeing the carpet and the damage the other carpet cleaner  had done, I couldn’t really quote over the phone, but I gave her a ball park figure, she was happy and I arrange to see her on Wednesday morning.

The following day……

On Tuesday morning she phoned me to say she had been called into work unexpectedly on Wednesday and wouldn’t be available.  She apologised and said she would call to reschedule in a couple of days.  Nothing unusual about that – it happens. Although I was a little disappointed as I was dying to see what damage had been done and I always like being given the opportunity to educate my customers on the difference between a budget carpet cleaner Melbourne and professional carpet cleaner Melbourne.

 Keep calm and check your insurance policy!

This mCarpet Cleaner Melbourneorning I received a call from a very agitated customer, who was sounding very upset.  She proceeded to accuse me of destroying her carpets last Tuesday.  She said she had called me to fix the mess another carpet cleaner made and now I had destroyed her carpets even more. My blood ran cold, a thousand questions ran through my head, I took a deep breath, trying to stay calm and wondering if my insurance would cover it.  I had never been in this situation before!

 

 

Which carpet cleaner Melbourne is this?

I quickly checked my booking schedule for last week and saw that I had a commercial booking last Tuesday morning. That was odd she was insisting it was me and all my fault. When I could get a word in, I finally got her address details and realised that she was the one who had cancelled the booking I had made for her on Wednesday.  Then the penny dropped and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  This customer had booked a budget carpet cleaner who destroyed her carpets and then decided I was going to charge too much to fix the damage so she called another budget carpet cleaner to fix the damage of the last one! Now she was probably going to have to replace the carpet altogether!  Once I explained to her that she had called the wrong carpet cleaner Melbourne and she realised who I was, she very quickly hung up the phone with a horrified “I’m sorry, wrong person!”

You get what you pay for! Carpet cleaner Melbourne

I have said it before and I will say it again, if you are going to go for budget carpet cleaning, then you need to take into account the hidden costs and not just the carpet cleaning price. Carpet is very expensive to replace, so you must consider this outcome when choosing a carpet cleaner in Melbourne based on price alone.  I am not being alarmist, I have seen it first hand time and time again – carpets ruined and bond deposits lost due to inadequate training, experience and equipment. Not all budget carpet cleaners are bad, but any professional carpet cleaner, who has invested in training, industry certification, good quality equipment and chemicals, Health and Safety compliance and so on, cannot possibly offer the bargain basement pricing of these budget carpet cleaners.

Carpet Cleaner MelbourneIf this is a risk you are willing to take, then by all means go for it.  If you want high quality carpet cleaning by a professional with a satisfaction guarantee then contact Black Gold Carpet Cleaning, your local carpet cleaner Melbourne.  Granted our service costs a little more than the budget guys, but it isn’t a huge amount more and that extra $50 or so is well worth it for the peace of mind, first class service and unbeatable results – guaranteed!

DIY carpet cleaning
DIY Carpet Cleaning what are the real costs?

Is there a difference between cost and price when it comes to DIY Carpet Cleaning in Melbourne?

Have you ever browsed through parenting forums? If you have, you probably would of come across threads like this about DIY carpet cleaning:

DIY Carpet Cleaning forum“Hello, I was thinking bout getting one of those DIY carpet cleaning things from Coles or Woolies…Do they work?” HEYMAMA

OR

DIY Carpet Cleaning Melbourne forum“Hi, my carpets are in desperate need of cleaning. Instead of paying hundreds for someone to do it I was thinking of hiring one of those machines from Woolies or Bunnings and doing it myself. Has anyone hired one of these before and do they clean well? Is it worth the effort or would you just pay someone to do it? TIA”

It is quite a common question, especially for cash strapped Melbourne parents.  Let’s face it kids can be expensive, not only do you have to purchase all kinds of paraphernalia just to get them around, keep them safe, feed and entertain them, then there are all the activities, child care, education costs, it is never ending!  Usually things like small home maintenance jobs and replacing that tired old sofa are put on hold as the kids make short work of any extra cash.  Which is an odd thing, as kids also are the ones who usually spend the most time on the sofa, the rug and the carpet and they are usually responsible for most of the mess and spills!!

I can completely relate to this as I have three kids of my own.  I understand why people would look at just the price when deciding what type of carpet cleaning they should use, but I hope to show you why you shouldn’t base these types of decisions on price alone. Carpet and upholstery are major big ticket items in your home.  They are expensive to replace, so it is worth remembering this when contemplating DIY carpet cleaning as opposed to hiring a professional. This is especially relevant if you are renting! So what are the costs?

DIY Carpet Cleaning* Prices in Melbourne

  • Machine Hire $40 for 24 hours
  • Detergent      $12 for 1 Lt
  • Spotter          $9 for 500ml
  • De Foamer   $ 8 for 500ml

      Total Cost      $69

*Prices based on current rates for hiring machines from Coles, Woolworths, Bunnings, Foodworks or IGA in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  Use of manufacturers chemicals is mandatory when hiring machines.

These are just the basic costs of hiring the equipment and chemicals, you also need to consider the other costs;DIY carpet cleaning Melbourne damage

  • The time factor, as you will need to add in time and travel costs to and from the place of hire.
  • The biggest cost (priceless really!!) time taken out of your day to actually do the cleaning.  These supermarket machines are very small and need to be constantly filled, emptied and refilled as you clean.  This process can take 2-4 hours depending on the size of the job.
  • Drying time up to 24 hours.  These smaller machines are not particularly powerful and do not remove as much water from the carpet and upholstery as the professional machines do.
  • Professional restoration or replacement of carpet/soft furnishings. WHAT?! Yes that’s right, you need to factor this possibility in. It can, and often does go horribly wrong and the hire companies are not liable for damaged caused.  The machines usually come with good instructions, however there is a real possibility, that through inexperience, you could over wet your carpet or couch. Should this happen, they can be permanently and sometime irretrievably damaged. You may be able to call in a professional carpet or restoration specialist to fix the damage at an additional cost, but you may also end up having to replace the lot.  Of course this is worst case scenario, but it does happen.
  • If you are renting, some landlords insist on the carpets being cleaned by professional carpet cleaners and will ask to see a receipt.  They do not approve of DIY carpet cleaning, so you may need to still pay a professional to re clean the carpet.
  • If your carpet is new and covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, DIY carpet cleaning may void any warranty claims.  Usually there are very specific warranty conditions for carpet, so make sure you read the fine print.

Budget Carpet Cleaning carpet cleaning in Melbourne

Ok, so the DIY machine is cost effective, but we have all seen the amazing deals offered by some carpet cleaning companies on coupons, deal sites and the like.  Often you can find carpet cleaning companies offering prices as low as $50 for 3 rooms! So why would you go to all the trouble and effort of DIY when you can hire these guys for even less? It is a no brainer really – or is it?

There is the old adage, you get what you pay for and in this case it is very true.  Often budget priced means low quality equipment, little or no experience or training, no guarantees and the very real possibility of damage to your property.  Tempting as it may seem, I would not recommend going down this path either, as you may well find your self calling a professional carpet cleaner like Black Gold to fix the damage caused by budget priced carpet cleaners.  We have been called to countless jobs to fix mistakes left behind by inexperienced cleaners. If you can’t even clean your own carpets for $50, how do you expect a “professional” carpet cleaner to do so?

You also need to be careful of “bait and switch” tactics employed by some of these budget priced firms.  Sometimes they quote very low over the phone and then inflate the price once they are there, by adding on extras or claiming the rooms are bigger, or the carpet is dirtier than standard.

“… I have used other companies who are extremely cunning and deceiving in pricing. Having used a large company in the past like Cheap as Chips, I was quoted $66 initially and for reasons and logic that only the cleaner could justify and understand, my bill ended up to be $200…..and then $220 because GST wasn’t initially included…..”

Evan, South Melbourne

Professional Carpet Cleaning

DIY Carpet cleaning MelbourneCarpet cleaning by professionals like Black Gold Carpet Cleaning is not as ridiculously expensive, as some would have you believe. We charge by the room for residential and by the square meter for commercial properties. A standard room is usually priced from around $30 for residential.

We do not publish a price list, because we like to price each job according to it’s unique set of circumstances. Factors which can affect pricing include, distance traveled to the job, the size, the type and condition of the carpet, previous cleaning undertaken, stains, amount of foot traffic and so on. We do not have a one size fits all pricing schedule, because we know, through experience, that each job is different.  We ask questions before we quote to make sure we give an accurate price, however once we quote the price is fixed.  We do not charge extra unless you ask us to clean extra areas or unless the size or condition of the carpet is vastly different to what was discussed. Having said that, what does a professional carpet cleaner cost compared to DIY carpet cleaning?

Average 2 bedroom house from $120

That is only slightly more than DIY carpet cleaning.  What do you get for the extra $40?

  • Carpet professionally cleaned with the well maintained and safety checked equipment by qualified technicians who are fully insured.
  • Pre inspection of carpet to determine the best cleaning method
  • High quality detergents and chemicals which are suitable for your particular carpet fibre and condition of the carpet.
  • Spot treatments for those everyday traffic marks and spills
  • Satisfaction guarantee and after sales service.
  • A professional invoice/receipt for your records should it be required for real estate agents or warranty claims
  • Carpet that dries within 2-4 hours
So next time you are considering carpet cleaning, weigh up the real costs and not just the price.

Black Gold Carpet Cleaning Melbourne