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allergy carpet cleaning
Steam carpet cleaning and allergy prevention

Steam Carpet Cleaning

Asthma and allergy Prevention allergy prevention carpet cleaning

Steam carpet cleaning is essential for interior carpet, especially if you have asthma or allegies. Carpet is a wonderful way to add warmth and comfort to your home, however when it comes to allergies and asthma, carpets are the enemy.  Or are they? If you ask  most people, they will say get rid of your carpets to get rid of your allergies.  Carpets are often referred to as dust collectors and therefore triggers for asthma suffers. However I believe this to be incorrect.  Provided you maintain your carpet, it is actually a good option for allergy sufferers.  A good Vacuum and regular steam carpet cleaning will ensure a healthy home.

Busting the myth about carpet and allergies

Many people claim that carpet is dirty and it aggravates allergies and other respiratory conditions, such as asthma. This is simply not true and there is no need to avoid carpet in your home.  According to the National Asthma Council of Australia, the biggest allergic triggers for asthma are house dust mites, pets, pollen and mould.  Avoiding exposure to these types of allergens will not cure asthma. However it may improve the condition and help with symptom management. The Asthma Council also acknowledges that efforts to reduce exposure to allergens may be time consuming, expensive and often impractical.

Once upon a time it was suggested that asthma and allergy suffers remove all carpet in their home. and hard floors are often recommended for reducing allergens in the home. However the National Asthma Council no longer recommends these extreme measures and in fact suggests that removing carpet has no effect on the level of dust mites present in a home. Instead they recommend a good cleaning routine such as vacuuming and steam carpet cleaning,  to remove dust mites and allergens.

You see, the beauty with carpet, is that it acts a giant filter.  It traps dirt, dust and other airbourne particles in the fibres and thereby helps with indoor air quality. Just think about it for a minute, hard floors naturally have dust particles lying around on the surface.  Every time you walk across the room, open a door, or window, the dust particles are stirred up by the change in air flow and redistributed into the air.  Carpet, however traps the dust in the fibres and prevents it from being redistributed.  Carpet also traps pet hair and stops it from becoming airbourne.

The Facts Pet Friendly Rug Cleaning Melbourne

A 2014 study into the impact of carpet on allergies, was designed and evaluated by Dr Bruce Mitchell, Airmid Healthgroup CEO who is also a practicing allergy and immunology specialist. This research looked at the air quality in a chamber with carpet exposed to allergens and then later the same chamber with hard flooring also exposed to allergens.  The researchers then looked at what effect steam carpet cleaning had on the air quality and carpet itself. Results showed that the levels of allergens in the air in the carpeted chamber were overall lower than those in the chamber with hard flooring.  The second phase of the study showed that after vacuuming and steam carpet cleaning, the allergens were even further reduced.

“Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”

Dr Bruce Mitchell

Carpet cleaning and maintenanceallergy friendly steam carpet cleaning

We recommend vacuuming carpet at least once a week, depending on the amount of foot traffic.  If you have pets then you may need to vacuum several times a week to remove allergens.  Vacuums should have a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.  The unique design of HEPA filters  ensures that they trap even the tiniest dust particles and prevents redistribution into the air.  The National Asthma Council of Australia recommends anyone with asthma or allergies to use this type of vacuum in their homes. You should conduct steam carpet cleaning at least twice a year and more frequently for those with pets and children. For more information about ways to maintain your carpet after steam carpet cleaning, please read this blog post: Carpet Cleaning Maintenance.

Are all carpets equal?

Most carpet manufacturers produce carpet ranges, with anti microbial properties.  They are a good choice when it comes to reducing mould and other bacterial triggers. Natural fibres such as wool are naturally hypoallergenic.  However wool does absorb water and therefore can encourage mould growth.  This is why it is important to use a professional carpet cleaner, with experience in cleaning wool. Keep humidity to a minimum by using either dehumidifiers or air conditioners.

Man made fibres such as nylon are more resistant to moisture and do not need as much deep cleaning as natural fibres. Many carpet manufactures have a range of carpets  specifically designed for people with allergies.  You can find some more information here: National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice® program

New carpet installation will release VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air for several days.  You can find out more from my previous article on VOC’s here.  The other consideration when replacing carpet, is what to do with your old carpet.  Recycling options are discussed here Melbourne Carpet Recycling 

Finally the steam carpet cleaning service you choose should be one with experience and training in anti allergy cleaning.  At Black Gold Carpet Cleaning, we use carpet cleaning agents which are citrus based and bio degradable.   Our anti allergy and anti microbial treatments are completely natural.  We use the natural anti bacterial and anti fungal properties of essential oils to sanitise carpet after steam carpet cleaning.

Contact us for a free and friendly quote! Call 0403 254 080

 

 

Steam Sleaning Melbourne
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.

Stain Removal 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.

Stain Removal 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

Good carpet cleaning maintence starts with a front door mat
Carpet Cleaning Maintenance

Prevention is better than Cure!

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.

Carpet cleaning Maintenance1. 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.

 

 

dry soil removal for carpet cleaning Maintenance2. 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.

3. Vacuumingprofessional carpet cleaning dry soil vacuum

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 ProgramsCarpet Cleaning Maintenance

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?