Thanks for contacting us, we will get back to you shortly. Alternatively you can call us on the following numbers:
Mobile: 0403 254 080 or 0403 254 081
Standard business hours Mon-Sat 9am-5pm.
After hours & Sunday bookings available upon request or by special arrangement.
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.
Carpet cleaning maintenance is something many people neglect. You have just had your carpets professionally cleaned, what now? How do you keep them looking this good for as long as possible? Probably the least talked about step when it comes to carpet care and cleaning, is soil management. However, this step is arguably, the most important step of all! Carpet cleaning removes dirt and stains. You can apply protective products to slow down re soiling. The best way to maintain your carpet fibre, however, is to prevent the amount of soil coming into your home or office in the first place. There are many measures you can take to stop oily and abrasive soils from coming into your home or business. Below I have listed a few easy steps you can take to protect your carpet.
1. Soil Prevention
Regularly sweep paths, parking areas and walkways to keep them free from soils and debris. Additionally, regular pressure washing of these areas, will prevent a build up of of dirt and oils. This type of prevention is a very important first step in carpet cleaning maintenance.
2. Soil Barriers
An easy and cost effective way to make sure that dirt and oils do not enter your home of office, is to use soil barriers. Mats make good barriers and should be placed at at entrance points. For high foot traffic areas and in businesses, it is a good idea to use both exterior and interior mats at all entrances and exits. Exterior mats should have a thick, rough texture so that dirt and mud can be scraped off the soles of shoes. Once deposited on the mat, the soil should fall away, not sit on the surface, or it will re soil the next person’s shoes. Interior mats should be softer and more like carpet. These mats wipe and dry the soles of the shoes, and are especially important during the wetter months of the year. Inside the home or office, high traffic areas and wet areas, will also benefit from floor mats to stop the spread of dirt and oils. Mats used as soil barriers require much more frequent cleaning than standard carpet.
I cannot stress strongly enough, how important regular vacuuming is for carpet cleaning maintenance! A vacuum with a good HEPA filter and strong suction will remove most dry dirt and particles. The aim of vacuuming is to remove both visible and invisible dirt particles, with out damaging the fibre or redistributing the particles into the air. Unvacuumed carpet may look clean. However dirt and dust particles left on the carpet can cause damage by scratching the surface fibres. This makes the carpets appear dull. The frequency of vacuuming depends on the amount of foot traffic. For most households I would recommend at least once or twice a week. A machine such as a pile lifter will lift crushed fibres in high traffic areas and aid the removal of ingrained dirt.
4. Maintenance Programs
A planned maintenance program is something many commercial properties employ, but is also something residential property owners should consider. A maintenance plan should take into consideration, the number of occupants, their budget, types of floor coverings, and the types of soils. A planned carpet cleaning maintenance program will allow time frames to be set for cleaning. These time frames depend on the properties usage and needs. A maintenance program will help ensure carpets are maintained year round and prevent premature wear or aging of floor coverings. It is an investment in the longevity of your carpet. A carpet maintenance professional will ensure the above three steps are taken care of on a regular basis. They will also include carpet cleaning at least once a year and spot cleaning as often as needed.
Contact us for Carpet Cleaning Maintenance
If you would like to discus soil management or arrange a carpet clean maintenance program, please contact us at Black Gold Carpet Cleaning. We are always available to help answer your questions or arrange a booking. When was the last time you had your carpets professionally cleaned?
Professional carpet cleaning, aims to maximise soil removal, while minimising damage to the textile floor covering. A professional carpet cleaner will have the knowledge, training and experience to both achieve both of these aims. Professional carpet cleaning requires training and accreditation by an industry recognised training facility. The most respected training organisations in the Australian Cleaning and Restoration Industry, are Jena Dyco and IICRC. Carpet cleaners who complete these courses will be able to determine what type of carpet you have and the best method for your carpet. What you should ask is, “are you a professional, carpet cleaner?”, rather than just asking about price and method. Carpet cleaners differ depending on their training, experience and equipment, this is why results, can vary so much.
Which method is best?
Professional carpet cleaners do not have a “one size fits all” approach. A professional will recognise the unique qualities of each job and adjust their methods and techniques accordingly. A series of questions are asked at the time of booking. These questions help to determine a rough quote based on the details you give over the phone. Once on site, the cleaner will then walk through the property with you before they set up. During this pre inspection, the cleaner will examine they type of carpet you have, its construction, use, condition and amount of soiling. This is when the cleaner makes a final decision regarding the best cleaning system for your carpet. A cleaning professional must employ the five main principles of carpet cleaning to ensure maximum soil removal and prevent damage.
1. Dry Soil Removal
Vacuuming is the very important first step in any carpet cleaning and maintenance system. Crushed or flattened pile needs to be lifted with a brush or grooming rake, before vacuuming, . You can then maximise dry soil removal. When vacuuming, make sure;
the collection chamber is not full
the air is flowing freely and not obstructed
the drive belt is in good condition (service your vacuum every 6-12 months)
the beater brush is in good condition
2. Soil Suspension
The aim of soil suspension is to remove the soil left behind by dry vacuuming, by breaking the adhesion between the soil and the carpet fibre. In order to achieve this there are four key elements;
Chemical activity: After vacuuming a pre spray is applied. Professional carpet cleaners will try to use bio degradable detergents where ever possible. They will know which product is best suited to the fiber and the method they have chosen. Professional cleaners follow label instructions so that they use the correct quantities.
Heat/Temperature: Generally speaking, the more heat used, the greater the cleaning efficiency. The power of the pre spray is increased by heat, which often means less chemical is needed to achieve maximum results. Less chemicals means less residue. However heat in inexperienced hands can result in fiber damage and dye loss.
Agitation: This process can be done by hand using a brush, a motorised rotary or water pressure. Agitation distributes the cleaning agents so that they can separate soils from carpet fibres. This process speeds up the soil suspension and is an important step, especially for heavily soiled carpets.
Time: Soil suspension does not happen immediately. Chemicals need time to dwell on the carpet to maximise their efficiency.
3. Suspended Soil Removal
The next step is to remove suspended soils from the carpet. There are several different methods of removal, however, the method we use the most is hot water extraction. Other methods include;
absorption either by using a dry compound or absorbent pad (bonnet method)
wet vacuuming – carpet shampoo
flushing – the immersion method used to clean rugs
dry residue vacuuming – a dry compound or foam distributed over the carpet to attract the suspended soil, then vacuumed away.
4. Pile Setting/Grooming
This step does not actually aid in the removal of soil, however it does help the next step, which is drying. A professional carpet cleaner knows that grooming the carpet after cleaning, helps maintain the look of the carpet fibres. Grooming also aids in the distribution of deodourisers and fabric protection. This step also helps with evaporation, which speeds up drying time.
Professional cleaners will always ensure they take steps to minimise drying times. Wet carpet left for an extended period, can result in a few different problems. The first being, carpet which takes more than a few hours to dry is a major inconvenience for the customer. It also increases the chances of re-soiling from foot traffic. The increased potential for slip and fall incidents is another very serious consequence when moving from wet carpet to hard floors. Finally, there are issues such as mould, odour, browning and dye bleeds or transfer.
To reduce drying times, professional carpet cleaners usually employ a few different strategies, including;
ensuring their equipment is well maintained and operating efficiently
ensuring there is adequate ventilation or air flow through the property (e.g. run air conditioning/heating/open windows/ceiling fans)
make sure to do dry passes with their wand, after wet/rinse passes, so that maximum water is extracted
use hot water which aids evapouration
use drying equipment such as air movers
The cleaner will employ some of these methods, but not necessarily all of them.
How long will it take for my carpet to dry?
A professional carpet cleaner will always do his best to ensure carpet dries in the shortest amount of time possible. Drying times vary depending on a few different factors. These include, inside and outside atmospheric conditions, air movement, the type of fibre, the pile density, the amount of soiling (heavily soiled carpet requires more cleaning solution) and the application of protectors and deodourants. Other factors that can greatly affect drying times are the experience of the cleaner, the performance of their equipment and the method of cleaning they use. Carpets cleaned by hot water extraction are usually dry within a 4-5 hours, where as dry cleaning methods like bonnet cleaning can be dry in as little as 1-2 hours and dry compound cleaning leaves carpet dry immediately. Regardless of the method used, the drying time should be a matter of minutes or hours not days!!
Where can I find a Professional Carpet Cleaning service?
You now have the facts to confidently ask the questions necessary to ensure you hire a professional carpet cleaning service. Trained and qualified carpet cleaners generally display their qualifications and affiliations on their websites. The IICRC issue ID cards to cleaners who have passed their certification exams. You can always ask to see the cleaners card as proof of their qualifications. A good place to locate a professional carpet cleaning service in your area is on the IICRC website. Finally, do not base your decision purely on price, ask questions and use your knowledge to determine whether or not the answers you receive are accurate. Black Gold Carpet Cleaning is a IICRC Certified firm, so please contact us to arrange a booking.
You may never have to use a carpet cleaning service again!
Self Cleaning Carpet: Is it a possibility or just science fiction?
Have you ever wished there was an easier way to clean your carpet? Not just the endless vacuuming, but also the hassle of having to find a good carpet cleaning service for your annual spring clean? Who do you hire, who do your trust, how much do you pay, will they do a good job…? Just imagine yourself living in a home with self cleaning carpet! Just imagine a quick once over with a light bulb and away you go – no more stains, no more wet carpet, no more stress! What? A light bulb? Yes, that’s right, this might be the way of the future and it might not be as far fetched as it sounds. Keep reading to find out how a light bulb and nanotechnology might one day revolutionise carpet cleaning service.
Researchers at Melbourne’s RMIT University are currently developing a technology which might well do away with the household washing machine. They are working on creating fabric for clothing, which is self cleaning. The researchers have found that by growing nanostructures on fabric, they can create textiles that self clean. The nanostructures, when exposed to light, release a burst of energy which then destroys organic matter such as stains. The idea is, that if you spill something on your clothing, you can just hang it out in the sunshine or under a light to remove the stain. Dr Rajesh Ramanathan, is one of the lead researchers in the Nanotechnology Research Facility at RMIT. His team has found the copper and silver based nanostructures are the best at absorbing light. When they absorb light, energy is created and this in turn degrades organic matter such as stains.
So far the testing has only been on small amounts of fabric and certain organic stains. Currently the team is working on testing the technology on more consumer related stains such as red wine and food to work out what quantities of nanostructures are required. According to Dr Ramanathan,
“We have some understanding, but we will need more understanding of the system [and] how it works, and once we have that understanding hopefully in the near future we should be able to have self-cleaning textiles, so we can throw the washing machine of the house,”
In the future this type of technology could also be used to destroy super bugs which are currently resistant to most known anti bacterial treatments. They have begun testing on super bugs and so far the results have been promising.
The future carpet cleaning service?
To date, the research has focused purely on stain resistant clothing textiles, however why stop there? One day, nano structures could be grown onto carpet fibres and carpets could become self cleaning. All you would need then, is a light emitting machine to go over the carpet and BAM! No more stains! How revolutionary would that be? This is definitely some research to watch, and who knows, what other uses it might have!
In the meantime, you will still need to vacuum your carpet regularly and have them professionally cleaned at least once a year, so contact us for a quote (before we become extinct!)
When hiring a carpet steam cleaner – you get what you pay for!
Lately 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.
What 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 Pricing
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 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)
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)
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”
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;
BLOT – remove as much liquid/solid as you can by blotting or scraping the spill immediately
DILUTE – Using a spray bottle filled with cold water, mist over the stain to dilute
BLOT – remove as much of the water as you can with a clean dry towell (always dab/blot – never rub!)