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Steam carpet cleaning is essential for interior carpet, especially if you have asthma or allegies. Carpet is a wonderful way to add warmth and comfort to your home, however when it comes to allergies and asthma, carpets are the enemy. Or are they? If you ask most people, they will say get rid of your carpets to get rid of your allergies. Carpets are often referred to as dust collectors and therefore triggers for asthma suffers. However I believe this to be incorrect. Provided you maintain your carpet, it is actually a good option for allergy sufferers. A good Vacuum and regular steam carpet cleaning will ensure a healthy home.
Busting the myth about carpet and allergies
Many people claim that carpet is dirty and it aggravates allergies and other respiratory conditions, such as asthma. This is simply not true and there is no need to avoid carpet in your home. According to the National Asthma Council of Australia, the biggest allergic triggers for asthma are house dust mites, pets, pollen and mould. Avoiding exposure to these types of allergens will not cure asthma. However it may improve the condition and help with symptom management. The Asthma Council also acknowledges that efforts to reduce exposure to allergens may be time consuming, expensive and often impractical.
Once upon a time it was suggested that asthma and allergy suffers remove all carpet in their home. and hard floors are often recommended for reducing allergens in the home. However the National Asthma Council no longer recommends these extreme measures and in fact suggests that removing carpet has no effect on the level of dust mites present in a home. Instead they recommend a good cleaning routine such as vacuuming and steam carpet cleaning, to remove dust mites and allergens.
You see, the beauty with carpet, is that it acts a giant filter. It traps dirt, dust and other airbourne particles in the fibres and thereby helps with indoor air quality. Just think about it for a minute, hard floors naturally have dust particles lying around on the surface. Every time you walk across the room, open a door, or window, the dust particles are stirred up by the change in air flow and redistributed into the air. Carpet, however traps the dust in the fibres and prevents it from being redistributed. Carpet also traps pet hair and stops it from becoming airbourne.
A 2014 study into the impact of carpet on allergies, was designed and evaluated by Dr Bruce Mitchell, Airmid Healthgroup CEO who is also a practicing allergy and immunology specialist. This research looked at the air quality in a chamber with carpet exposed to allergens and then later the same chamber with hard flooring also exposed to allergens. The researchers then looked at what effect steam carpet cleaning had on the air quality and carpet itself. Results showed that the levels of allergens in the air in the carpeted chamber were overall lower than those in the chamber with hard flooring. The second phase of the study showed that after vacuuming and steam carpet cleaning, the allergens were even further reduced.
“Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”
Dr Bruce Mitchell
Carpet cleaning and maintenance
We recommend vacuuming carpet at least once a week, depending on the amount of foot traffic. If you have pets then you may need to vacuum several times a week to remove allergens. Vacuums should have a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. The unique design of HEPA filters ensures that they trap even the tiniest dust particles and prevents redistribution into the air. The National Asthma Council of Australia recommends anyone with asthma or allergies to use this type of vacuum in their homes. You should conduct steam carpet cleaning at least twice a year and more frequently for those with pets and children. For more information about ways to maintain your carpet after steam carpet cleaning, please read this blog post: Carpet Cleaning Maintenance.
Are all carpets equal?
Most carpet manufacturers produce carpet ranges, with anti microbial properties. They are a good choice when it comes to reducing mould and other bacterial triggers. Natural fibres such as wool are naturally hypoallergenic. However wool does absorb water and therefore can encourage mould growth. This is why it is important to use a professional carpet cleaner, with experience in cleaning wool. Keep humidity to a minimum by using either dehumidifiers or air conditioners.
Man made fibres such as nylon are more resistant to moisture and do not need as much deep cleaning as natural fibres. Many carpet manufactures have a range of carpets specifically designed for people with allergies. You can find some more information here: National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice® program
New carpet installation will release VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air for several days. You can find out more from my previous article on VOC’s here. The other consideration when replacing carpet, is what to do with your old carpet. Recycling options are discussed here Melbourne Carpet Recycling
Finally the steam carpet cleaning service you choose should be one with experience and training in anti allergy cleaning. At Black Gold Carpet Cleaning, we use carpet cleaning agents which are citrus based and bio degradable. Our anti allergy and anti microbial treatments are completely natural. We use the natural anti bacterial and anti fungal properties of essential oils to sanitise carpet after steam carpet cleaning.
Contact us for a free and friendly quote! Call 0403 254 080
Our top tips for keeping your carpet looking good all year long!
Now that the Christmas presents have been pack away and the wrapping paper recycled, it will soon be time to take down the tree and decorations in readiness for the New Year. It is at this time of year we often reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the start of a new year with fresh hopes and dreams. As you make lists of resolutions for the New Year, don’t forget the little things such as upping your home maintenance routines and especially carpet care. If you really want to make small changes that have a big impact then carpet care is the best place to start. These tips will help you stay focused and on track to have the best looking carpet in the neighbourhood – all year long!
Carpet care is on the list and this year I promise I will;
1. Use mats and rugs
Mats and rugs at entry points to your home and high traffic areas, trap dirt and prevent wear and tear. It is important to remember to clean these mats and rugs from time to time to prevent soil transfer. It is also a good idea to keep paths and entrances well swept to stop dirt and leaves being blown into your home. This is one of the simplest ways to start your carpet care kick start to 2018.
2. Vacuum regularly
Dry vacuuming is the best thing you can do to prevent soil build up and damage to your carpet fibres. Most people understand that vacuuming is necessary to remove the dirt and hair you can see on top of the carpet, however it is the dirt you can’t see that often causes the most damage. Dirt and dust particles trapped between the fibres can cause damage. This damage is caused by dirt aprticles rubbing against the fibres as we walk. Carpets are fantastic filters and help remove the dust and other pollutants from the air by trapping them within the fibres. However this means that the carpets need to be vacuumed at least one to two times a week to remove them.
3. Attend to stains as soon as they happen
The sooner you attend to stains, the more chance you have of removing them. Stains from food and liquid spills as well as pet stains should never be left to settle in! Always remove as much of the liquid or solid as you can by gently blotting/scraping. Then try to dilute the stain with water – do no saturate the stain as then you will cause water damage as well! Misting water over the stain using a spray bottle is a great way to dilute the stain. Just make sure you sprat a light mist of eater then gently blot dry and repeat as necessary. Never rub or scrub the carpet as this will damage the fibres. Once you have removed as much of the stain as you can using just water, consult a professional carpet cleaner.
4. Avoid store bought stain removers
Many of the over the counter products you can buy from the local supermarket are just expensive bottles of water mixed with hydrogen peroxide. However some also contain bleach which can damage your carpet. Often they can make the stains much worse and even cause more damage than the original stain. Before using any stain removal products make sure you consult a carpet care professional. Some stains such as paint, makeup, ink and other oil based stains do not respond well to the water and chemicals in these products. Always seek advice from a carpet care professional for these types of stains.
5. Hire a professional carpet care cleaning service at least once a year
The first four tips are all about carpet care maintenance and are easy for you to do regularly throughout the year. It is important to maximise your efforts by hiring a professional carpet care service at least once year. Professionally steam cleaning your carpet will ensure your carpet is clean and santisied. Clean carpets not only look and feel great, they also help keep your family healthy.
Black Gold Carpet Cleaning is your local carpet care professional – contact us for advice and a free quote!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Please leave a comment below.
Carpet cleaning tips for spring, even though, I can barely feel my fingers as they hit the keyboard (someone turn up the heating!). I do believe that spring has arrived in Melbourne! Looking out the window at this cold, grey, rainy Melbourne day you would swear it is still winter, but apparently not. Very soon (I hope) the sun will start shining again and the chill in the air will be replaced with a gentle warmth that thaws the bones and lifts the spirits. To me, spring means flowers, sunshine, swooping magpies and most importantly, spring cleaning! This guide will provide you with a checklist for spring cleaning your carpet and maintaining your beautiful floor coverings right through spring and summer.
Carpet cleaning Tips for spring:
Regular vacuum cleaning is my number one carpet cleaning tip for keeping your carpet looking its best and maintaining carpet over time. It is not just good for removing the dirt and dust you can see, but more importantly the dirt and debris you cannot see. Dirt which is left to become embedded in the carpet pile, can cause damage by scratching the carpet fibres. This makes them appear dull and discoloured. This is why high traffic areas often look different to other areas of the carpet not walked on as often. By regular vacuum cleaning, I mean at least once or twice a week, depending on the amount of foot traffic. Kids and pets shed an awful lot of hair, dirt and dust as they run, play, sleep, eat, roll, crawl on the carpet, so if you have either or both, then you may need to vacuum more often than a single person or a couple.
Choosing a vacuum Cleaner
Cylinder or Upright?
My spring cleaning tips start with choosing a good vacuum cleaner. It is very important to choose wisely when buying a new vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners are usually either cylinder or upright. Cylinder vacuum cleaners are easy to maneuver and good to use on stairs, upholstery and curtains. Whereas upright vacuums are better suited to larger carpeted areas. Wattage is important for cylinder vacuums as the dirt has further to travel through the vacuum hose.
Bagged or Bagless?
Then there is the choice of bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners. Bagless vacuum cleaners are usually slightly more expensive. However you do save money on the long run as you do not have to buy replacement bags. Bagged vacuums trap the dust inside a bag and are less messy to empty. Whichever type you choose, make sure you buy one with dust storage capacity to suit the size of your home. You do not want to stop and empty the canister or change the bag half way through the job. Having said that, it is important that you do empty the canister or bag before it is completely full. If you do not, then you may lose suction.
The filtration system on your vacuum cleaner, is vital for home health and hygiene. There is no point vacuuming and just redistributing the fine dust particles all over the house. Make sure your vacuum has a good filtration system to trap all the dust particles. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration system is important if you or your family members have allergies to dust or asthma. To be a true HEPA filter, it must be certified to remove 99.97% of particles. There are also HEPA type filters which remove 80-90% of particles. Vacuum cleaners with these HEPA type filters are usually less expensive and good for those who do not suffer from asthma and allergies.
How to use your vacuum cleaner correctly
When you have chosen the right vacuum cleaner for your carpet and budget, make sure you use it correctly. Take your time to move the vacuum over the carpet slowly, allowing time for the vacuum to agitate and extract the dirt. You should make several forwards and backwards passes, slowly over the same spot before moving on to the next section of carpet. To maximise dirt extraction, you should vacuum in all directions. For example, once you finish vacuuming in a North-South direction you should then go back and vacuum East-West. Remember – don’t rush, take your time.
Attachments and Maintenance
A final tip is to use the crevice tools and other attachments, that come with your vacuum cleaner. Cleaning along the skirting boards and other hard to reach places will help prevent the build up of dust. Dust build up in these areas can cause black lines called filtration soiling. Filtration soiling is very difficult to remove so prevention is better than cure! Vacuum cleaners do need regular maintenance, especially filter replacements. Check with your warranty details for information on how often your vacuum cleaner should be serviced. Vacuum cleaning is the first step in carpet cleaning tips guide, next is stain removal.
Stain removal is another of my carpet cleaning tips for spring cleaning. It is important to try and tackle any stains when they first happen. Firstly, there are 3 golden rules;
Do not leave stains on the carpet for extended periods, as they may cause further damage and even become permanent. Mud is an exception however, as it is best left to dry then scraped off with a firm brush.
Do not use over the counter stain removers from the supermarket. Many of these products contain strong chemicals and bleach which can further damage your carpet.
Do not “Google” DIY stain removal solutions
Most food based stains are acidic and therefore can be removed using another acidic solution such as white vinegar. White vinegar is good because it does not add colour to the stain and it is odourless once it dries. Always dilute the vinegar with water and mist over the stain rather than saturating the carpet. A few drops of dish washing liquid mixed in with the vinegar and water can also be helpful for these types of stains. Always work your way from the outside of the stain, in towards the center. Dab gently with a clean dry cloth (preferably white so there is no colour transfer), never rub the carpet. Use as little moisture as possible and dry the area as quickly as you can with a cloth, so that you do not cause water damage as well! Please note: wool is a natural fibre and requires special care and attention, so please seek professional advice before attempting any stain removal on woolen carpet.
Stains such as blood, red wine, rust, ink, paint and oil usually need professional carpet cleaning and specialty stain removal treatments. I would not recommend attempting to remove these types of stains without seeking professional advice. Which brings me to the third of my carpet cleaning tips.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
We recommend cleaning carpet in residential homes, at least 1-2 times per year. Although it really does depend on the number of occupants and pets. A single person or couple may only need professional carpet cleaning once a year, however a family with several small children and pets, may need carpet cleaning every three to four months. Spring is a good time to book in a professional carpet clean. For information on Professional Carpet Cleaning please read “Professional Carpet Cleaning – what is it? or for information on how to choose a Professional carpet cleaner, please refer to my previous blogFinding the best carpet cleaner – Top 5 questions to ask
Carpet steam cleaning (Hot Water Extraction) is probably the most effective and thorough method of carpet cleaning and the one we mostly recommend for residential carpet. This is a process where a solution is sprayed onto the carpet to loosen and trap dirt and debris, sometimes some form of agitation is used to enhance this process. Next a hot water extraction machine (either a portable unit or truck mounted system) is used to apply heat, water and suction to extract the dirt and solution and rinse the carpet. Usually carpet is dry within 4-5 hours.
There are a few different methods referred to as “dry’ Cleaning. Bonnet dry cleaning is a low moisture method where solution is sprayed onto the carpet and then wiped off with a buffing machine with an absorbent pad attached. This type of cleaning will dry within 2-3 hours and is good for lightly soiled carpet and as a maintenance clean between carpet steam cleans. However, we do not recommend it as a complete replacement for steam cleaning. Another method is dry compound cleaning. This process uses a machine to spread dry compound material over the carpet. The compound attracts and absorbs the dirt and both are then vacuumed away leaving the carpet clean and dry. This method is good for general carpet cleaning but will not remove some stains. If you want to use this system, make sure the operator uses organic compounds not polymers.
Professional carpet cleaning is not a cheap option, however when you consider that carpet costs thousands of dollars to replace, it is a very worthwhile investment. I would not recommend going cheap in this instance as it may cost your dearly in the long run! Now the carpets are clean, my next carpet cleaning tips are more about maintenance.
Nothing says spring more than the smell of flowers and nothing says clean carpet more than a beautiful fresh, clean scent. Some carpet cleaners use chemical deodourisers after they clean your carpet. These can cause respiratory issues in some people who are sensitive to perfumes and the scent usually disappears after a couple hours. We prefer to use natural products to deodourise your carpet after cleaning. To replicate this scent you can make your own carpet deodouriser. Mix 1 cup of sifted bi carb soda (baking soda) with 20-30 drops of your favourite essential oil. Place in a container with a tight fitting lid and shake well for a minute or so to combine. Then all you need to do is sprinkle the Bi carb lightly over your carpet using a container with a lid that has medium sized holes (e.g. a spice bottle or chocolate shaker). Wait 20-30 minutes before vacuuming up the bi carb soda and enjoy the beautiful natural fragrance! Bi carb soda is good because it will also help absorb any unpleasant odours.
No doubt spring will bring on a sense of new beginnings and possibilities, which may lead to wanting a whole new look for your rooms. Moving furniture around into different positions is a very easy way to change the look and feel of a room. However sometimes indentations occur where heavy furniture has been in place for a long time on the carpet. To restore the carpet to its usually fluffy state and get rid of these indentations is not always easy. One of the best carpet cleaning tips I have picked up over the years, is to fill the indentation with ice blocks and leave them to slowly melt over several hours. Then blot up the excess moisture and gently fluff up the carpet pile with your fingers or a spoon. The moisture will cause the carpet fibres to swell making them easier to fluff up back to their natural state. Another trick is to place a damp cloth over the indentation and then use an iron on a gentle heat setting on top of the cloth, to steam the area. Remove the iron and cloth then fluff up and loosen the fibres with your fingers.
All of the above carpet cleaning tips lose their effectiveness, if you do not also find ways to prevent re-soiling. Barriers such as mats and rugs are important for minimising the amount of dirt brought into the house. Spring is a good time to spruce up the front door mat. Wash it or brush it to remove any mud or dirt build up from the wetter weather. This one tip will make your front step look so much more welcoming. Keeping your front path well swept and clear of leaves and dirt will also help nature from finding its way into your home of ruining all your hard work!
What are your best spring carpet cleaning tips? Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below.
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.
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.
Melbourne carpet cleaning prices can vary considerably from business to business. “How much do you charge?” is the question we get asked most often by our customers and one that does not have a standard answer. Some carpet cleaning companies in Melbourne will advertise cleaning packages, such as standard, deluxe and premium cleaning – all with different price points and inclusions. Others list every service they offer with individual prices for each. We do not advertise pricing on our website. You are probably asking why, we don’t have cleaning packages, or why we don’t advertise our prices…..well let me explain.
No two Melbourne carpet cleaning jobs are the same. We like to assess each unique job and price it according to the individual size and condition of the carpet. We have a base rate we charge per room, (currently $35 per standard room which is up to 12sqm.) and a $99 minimum charge.
What do you get for our base rate?
More than 10 years experience in the cleaning industry and all the knowledge that has been accumulated over these years
Training and Certification by the leading Worldwide Industry bodies: Jena Dyco and IICRC
Well maintained equipment and first class environmentally friendly cleaning products
Public Liability Insurance
Satisfaction guarantee and after sales service
Friendly and reliable service technicians in uniform
Hot water extraction (Steam Cleaning) with either a portable machine or a truck mounted system (depending on access to the property).
Deodourising & sanitising
Post cleaning Inspection – we don’t leave until you are completely satisfied with the work.
Other factors we take into consideration when quoting;
the type of carpet fibre
the amount of soiling or staining
property access (high rise apartment, 3 level town house, single level house, etc.)
how long it has been since the carpet was last cleaned
Carpet cleaning quotes over the phone
Therefore when you call us, we will ask you a series of questions to determine carpet cleaning prices for YOUR home or office. We can usually give you an estimate over the phone. By asking these questions, we can be fairly confident that our quote will be accurate and all inclusive. That way, there are no “hidden extras” or “surprises” when we come to do the work. Unlike some Melbourne carpet cleaning businesses, we try to be transparent with our carpet cleaning prices, and include everything upfront, rather than quote low and then add on extra charges when we come to do the work. Of course, sometimes unforeseen situations arise resulting in the need for small additional charges, but we will always explain these to you before proceeding with the work.
Black Gold Carpet Cleaning Melbourne, does not offer cleaning bundles or packages because we always strive to achieve premium cleaning results. In our view, “Standard, Deluxe, Premium packages” implies “almost clean, sort of clean and very clean” . There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to carpet cleaning! We use all the knowledge, equipment and cleaning products required to give each and every job the best result possible for the type and condition of the carpet.
Many times we have been to a job and the customer has said, “don’t worry about that stain…it was here when I moved in…I only want a standard clean”. Then we go ahead and we remove the stain anyway and leave the carpet looking the best it can be. That IS OUR “standard” clean! This is why we charge based on the job requirements rather than a one size fits all type pricing structure. Our flexible pricing system also allows us to offer discounts for pensioners, local neighbourhood customers and those who want to clean their upholstery as well as their carpet. We value our repeat customers and will always try to offer them great value for money and a little something extra to thank them for their loyalty.
Upholstery cleaning prices
When it comes to upholstery cleaning, many people ask why it is more expensive than carpet cleaning. Upholstery cleaning prices are based on the number of seats to be cleaned. The upholstery tool we use for cleaning couches and sofas is much smaller than the wand we use for cleaning carpets, therefore it is much more time consuming. The extra time it takes to clean upholstery is factored into the pricing. The other factor we take into consideration when quoting, is the cost of the experience, knowledge and training of our staff. To be able to provide you with premium cleaning results, we need to be constantly updating our skill set and learning about the latest techniques and equipment.
The importance of questions!
So next time you wonder why there is such a difference in the prices between Melbourne carpet cleaning businesses, ask a few questions about inclusions, experience, training, guarantees and make sure you choose a carpet cleaner who can confidently answer your questions and someone who asks you a few questions too!
Please call us for a quote! Black Gold Carpet Cleaning Melbourne Mobile: 0403 254 080
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!