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All posts in “Carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne”

steam cleaning Melbourne mistakes

Steam Cleaning Melbourne: Top Stain Removal Mistakes

Steam Cleaning Melbourne Stain removal Tips

We have all experienced the frustration of spilling something like red wine or soft drink on the carpet. This especially applies if you have kids or pets or both! First comes the disbelief and then comes the panic!  When that panic sets in, try taking deep breaths and may be even walk away for a few minutes to restore calm to the situation.  What you do or don’t do during those first panicked minutes, can save your carpet or destroy it!  Most people in this situation either go straight to Google and see what the Internet “experts” have to say about removing stains or they rummage through their kitchen/laundry cupboard and grab anything that vaguely resembles a cleaning product.  In these emergency situations who has time to read instruction labels or warnings about spot testing first? Right? With great haste you spray, pour, scrub, sprinkle, vacuum and pray until you have enough chemical concoctions on the carpet, to write a science paper! But has it fixed the problem or just made a bad situation a whole lot worse?

In this article I will explain why some stain removal, home remedies are best used with caution.  Also, why sometimes it is best to call in a professional carpet steam cleaning Melbourne service rather than tackle the stain yourself.

Black Gold Steam Cleaning Melbourne

Vinegar

When it comes to most food and drink stains, vinegar is king! Vinegar is an acid and most food and beverages contain acid as well.  This is why vinegar works so well on these types of stains. Acids break down other acids.  However not all vinegars are equal! Only white vinegar is suitable for using as a stain remover.  Other vinegars such as balsamic, red wine or apple cider vinegar can leave stains of their own on carpet. Ironically you can use white vinegar to remove these other vinegar stains!

Adding a few drops of dish washing liquid to a spray bottle with vinegar diluted by water, adds extra oomph to the cleaning power of vinegar.

There are 3 important steps to remember when using vinegar as a stain remover on your carpet.

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

Vinegar can cause discolouration on some types of carpet fibres, especially if it is used in large quantities and left on the carpet for long periods of time.  These photos below show what happens to carpet when vinegar is used excessively and then not rinsed properly. Luckily this customer called us at Black Gold Carpet steam cleaning Melbourne for help fixing this mess.

Remove stain steam cleaning Melbourne

Bi Carb Soda (Baking Soda)

If Vinegar is king, then bi carb soda is queen!  This white powder can be sprinkled over wet stains to absorb liquid and odour.  If you sprinkle it over a stain moistened with vinegar then you will really see cleaning power in action!  This combination causes a chemical reaction which releases carbon dioxide.  Leave the stain until the mixture stops bubbling and allow it to draw the stain out of the carpet.  Then wipe or vacuum it away. The order you use here is very important.  Always vinegar first then bi carb soda.  If you do it the other way around you could end up with a huge volcanic like mess!

The main problem with using bicarb or baking soda, is the mess it leaves behind.  If you use too much and leave it for too long the paste becomes a hard chalk like substance stuck firmly to your carpet fibre.  It can be very difficult to remove! Vacuuming alternated with a light, gentle brushing of the carpet, helps.  Rinsing with warm water, then drying the area thoroughly, should remove the remaining residue.  However if you find there is still bi carb soda visible, then you may need to call in Black Gold Steam cleaning Melbourne for help and advice.

bi carb stains remove by steam cleaning Melbourne

Oxi Sprays

You can purchase over the counter carpet stain removers from most supermarkets.  I would always err on the side of caution when using a product like this.  Read the instruction label and always, always, test it on an inconspicuous spot first! The main ingredient in these sprays is hydrogen peroxide. There are different strengths of hydrogen peroxide and it is recommended that not more than a 3% solution is used on carpet, unless you are a professional carpet cleaner.  Stronger solutions, higher than 3%, may result in colour loss or bleaching of carpet fibres.  Professional carpet cleaners are trained to be able to identify different carpet fibres and know what is safe to use.  They also have high powered equipment capable of rinsing all of the hydrogen peroxide away.

The biggest problem aside from the bleaching, is removing all of the residue.  Often these spray on cleaners are difficult to remove without professional equipment and therefore the residue attracts dirt.  The other chemicals mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide are usually preservatives and stabilisers as well as a lot of water.   It would be much cheaper (and safer) to just buy some 3% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it your self in a spray bottle with some warm water ( 1:2).  You could also add a few drops of dish washing liquid to help with the cleaning process.  Make sure you do not rub the fibre and always rinse and dry the spot.

To avoid any potential problems and save yourself a whole lot of effort and stress, I would recommend you call a professional like Black Gold carpet steam cleaning Melbourne to remove the stain or at least offer the right advice.

steam cleaning Melbourne bleached carpet

A final word of advice

I am all for natural cleaning remedies and products.  In fact most of our cleaning products are natural citrus based detergents and spotters.  We also use essential oils for their natural antibacterial properties.  However just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean it is always safe to use on every stain and every carpet type. There is actually quite a lot of science involved in carpet cleaning and it takes training and experience to understand what works best in each unique situation.  There is not “a one size fits all” when it comes to carpet steam cleaning and stain removalAlways seek professional advice before reaching into the cupboard.

Or Phone us on 0403 254 080

Professional carpet cleaning logo IICRC

Professional Carpet Cleaning – what is it?

What is professional carpet cleaning?Progessional carpet cleaning badge

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 Removalprofessional carpewt cleaning dry soil vacuum

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 Suspensionprofessional carpet cleaning pre spray

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 professional carpet cleaning steam cleaning

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/GroomingProfessional carpet cleaning carpet 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.

5. DryingProfessional carpet cleaning blowers

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 Steam cleaner certificatequalifications 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.

 

carpet steam cleaning cx15

Carpet Steam Cleaning New CX-15

Carpet steam cleaning CX-15Recently we purchased a Hydroforce CX-15 carpet steam cleaning tool.  This carpet cleaning tool is a revolutionary piece of equipment.  It leaves carpets drier and cleaner in less time than ever before.  We have always achieved amazing results with our trusty carpet steam cleaning wand, however sometimes on jobs with heavily soiled carpets, we would have to spend a lot of time going over the carpet again and again to remove embedded dirt.  The CX-15 has been designed so that usually one pass is enough to remove the dirt.

Carpet steam cleaning with the revolutionary square head designcarpet steam cleaning

The head of the CX-15 is enclosed which means the heat is trapped in.  This also means more heat which in turn, means greater cleaning power.  Inside the head, the rotary jets spin so the carpet fibres are cleaned from all angles.  The square, straight edged desigCarpet steam cleaning CX-15 headn of the CX-15 means that, unlike other rotary tools with rounded heads, we can clean close to walls and wood floors. The design of this head also allows air flow speed to be maximised.  This means more water is extracted and carpets dry in less time.

Light as a feather!

The best part about the CX-15 is that it is light – only 9kg , compared to other motored rotary carpet steam cleaning tools which weigh about 36kg.  This means I can easily move it around and up and down stairs without causing myself and injury! It also means I do not need additional cords and power outlets like you do for other electric rotary tools.

Commercial and Residential carpet steam cleaning  – but not in tight spaces!

I have found the best use for this tool is steam cleaning commercial carpets and large empty residential properties.  This is because it is can be a little tricky to maneuver in tight spaces.  The hoses can be a bit of a problem if you don’t have a lot of room to turn around, so I don’t use the CX-15 for carpet steam cleaning in small properties like apartments and townhouses, especially if they are furnished.  However if you are looking for end of lease carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne, for your house or office and would like to see the Hydroforce CX-15 in action, then please give me a call to arrange a booking.

 

 

VOCs in carpet

How to deal with VOCs in carpet

Why you should be aware of VOCs in carpet and how to deal with them.

Ahhh… love the smell of VOCs in carpet in the morning – said no one ever!

VOCs in carpetWhat are VOCs in Carpet? If you have ever bought a brand new, off the factory floor, never been owned before, car; then you will be familiar with that “new car smell”.  Many people love this smell, there are even car deodourisers called “new car smell”!  The same however, cannot be said for that “new carpet smell”.  If you have ever had carpets installed in your home or office then you have probably experienced the “toxic” fumes otherwise known as VOCs  that can be hazardous to your health. What causes the fumes and how can you minimise the impact on the health of you and your family? How do you deal with VOCs in carpet?

 

What are VOCs and why are they in my new carpet?

VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds (chemical contaminants made up mainly of carbon and hydrogen) and are found in almost all manufactured products, including soft furnishings, cosmetics, clothing, plastic bottles, paint and other building materials, cars and clothing, just to name a few.  At room temperature, these VOCs are released into the environment in the form of gas which evaporates into the air – this process is sometimes called off-gassing. In the case of synthetic carpets, most but not all of these VOCs are destroyed in the manufacturing process, as the carpet is “baked” at 150-170c in a finishing oven. Carpet is, therefore, the lowest emitter of VOCs of most common flooring options. When you install new carpet in your home however, there will still be some low level VOC emissions for a few days, especially when you add in the VOCs from the underlay and adhesives used in the installation process.

Are VOCs in carpet dangerous?

While there is no conclusive evidence that exposure to VOCs causes long term health issues, there is plenty of evidence pointing towards, short term effects experienced by people exposed to high levels of VOCs.  These short term effects include, head aches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, skin and throat irritations and so on.  These effects vary depending on the type of chemicals, the concentration level of the VOCs and how long the person is exposed to them. A person’s age, gender, general health condition and exposure to other chemicals can all play a role determining the effects VOCs have on their health.  People who experience asthma or other respiratory conditions or are particular sensitive to chemicals, should try to avoid exposure to VOCs.

Studies involving mice, have shown that long term exposure to high levels of VOCs can increase the risk of cancer, liver and kidney disease in animals and is thought to also affect humans in the same way.  However there is not a lot of information on the long term health effects of low level household exposure from VOCs in carpet.

Scientists at organisations such as the EPA are still researching what are the specific chemicals released by carpets and whether or not they are dangerous for the average person.  Generally the VOCs in carpets are low level and any short term effects go away once the person stops being exposed to the VOCs.  However, until more is known about the impact on our health, the EPA recommends exposure to VOCs is kept at a minimum.

VOCs in Carpet AustraliaHas the Australian Government set standards for VOCs in carpets?

There are no specific regulations set for VOCs in carpets or even general indoor air quality by the Australian Government, except for regulations on some specific substances in the workplace. There is no single Australian Government authority to oversee indoor air quality in Australia as it would be difficult to regulate and enforce set standards in private homes. Individual state authorities and organisations, however are able to offer recommendations and guidelines based on information and research into air pollutants and their impact on our health. The Australian Carpet Institute is one such organisation, setting standards for carpet chemical emissions and carpet labeling.  The Green Building Council of Australia is another organisation who sets standards and rating systems for low VOC emissions in building materials.

How can I minimise the health risks of VOCs in carpet? Vocs in carpet green cleaning

To minimise the risks from VOCs in carpet, it is important to ensure good ventilation when using or installing products and materials which emit VOCs.  Ventilation means bringing in air from outside to mix with the indoor air and can be as simple as opening lots of windows.

  • New carpet can emit VOCs in low levels, for several days after being installed, so it is worth asking your carpet supplier or installer if the carpet can be left unrolled for a few days at their warehouse before installation. This will allow some of the VOCs time to disappate before bringing the carpet into your home.
  • It is also important to run your ventilation system for at least 72 hours after carpet installation.
  • Where possible, open the windows and position fans next to the windows to blow in the fresh air.
  • Close the doors to the areas with new carpet and try to stay out of those rooms for a few days.
  • It could even be a good time to take a short holiday!

The Australian Carpet Institute, has developed a standard for carpet with low VOC emissions, called the Green Label Plus.  These “green” carpets have lower VOC emissions than other synthetic carpets and are definitely worth considering.  However you should make sure the underlay and adhesive used by the carpet installer are also “green” and have low VOC emissions, as often the glue can emit more VOCs than the carpet!  Natural fibres such as wool and cotton with backing made from Jute or other grassy fibres are usually much longer lasting, and  lower in VOCs than carpets made from synthetic fibres such as nylon or olefin which are usually backed with potentially harmful PVC plastic.

How do I maintain my new carpet and keep it VOC free?

Once you have installed your new carpet and aired out the rooms so there are no more VOC emissions, you need to ensure you vacuum your carpet regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has a filter and good, strong suction.  Carpet is a great filter itself, as it traps VOCs, from other sources, as well as dirt and dust.  However things like, poorly filtered vacuum cleaners or the kids playing on the carpet, cause agitation and the VOCs and dust can become air born again.  It is important, therefore, to remove them with regular, well filtered, vacuum cleaning.  The Australian Carpet Institute of also recommends hot water extraction using low emission VOC cleaning agents as the best method of cleaning carpets.  Hot water extraction (often referred to as steam cleaning) uses heat and water to wash the carpet fibres and strong suction (extraction)  the remove the VOCs and dirt.VOCs in carpet after carpet cleaning Melbourne

For more information on cleaning and maintaining your new carpet, please contact Black Gold Carpet Cleaning on 0403 254 080

 

carpet steam cleaning Melbourne

Carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne – why use us?

Why use carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne by Black Gold Carpet Cleaning?

Recently we have been looking at our marketing strategy and one of the questions we asked ourselves is why choose us for carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne? Why would customers chose Black Gold Carpet Cleaning over and above all the other carpet steam cleaners in Melbourne? What makes us unique? Think about it. It is a really hard question to answer, but we came up with a few answers we would like to share with you.

Fully Qualifiedcarpet steam cleaning melbourne

All of our technicians are fully qualified by the IICRC and trained at Jena Dyco. IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification and is the only internationally recognised standard for carpet cleaning. Jena Dyco is Australia’s most recognised training facility for carpet, upholstery and restoration training. These organisations insist on training and examination before certification is granted. It is not something you can “buy” it is a real qualification. Carpet steam cleaning is something a lot of people can do, but only trained and experienced technicians do it the right way. Professional carpet cleaners, can identify the many different types of carpet fibres and understand the best method of cleaning for each type of flooring. The age of the carpet, the type of underlay, the amount of staining or foot traffic marks and the carpet composition, all need to be taken into consideration when undertaking cleaning. It isn’t just a matter of steam or dry cleaning, but rather what is best for your carpet and it’s condition. Carpet cleaning isn’t only about what method you use or what detergents work best, if you do not have the right knowledge, you can over wet the carpet resulting in browning, odours, shrinkage, underlay damage and mould. At Black Gold Carpet Cleaning we can help you choose the best method of cleaning for your carpet as we offer both steam and dry carpet cleaning in Melbourne.

Family Owned & Operated

We are a family owned and operated business. We have a young family and we are involved in our local community. We understand how having a young family can put time and budgetary constraints on our customers and we always try to work out a time to suit and offer really reasonable everyday rates along with one off specials. We care about our customers and want to give them the best possible results every time at an affordable rate. Our discounts are real and our rates are realistic and reasonable. We can keep our costs low as we do not have to pay sub contractors or franchise fees.

Real Guaranteecarpet steam cleaning

We really believe our carpet steam cleaning service is one of the best in Melbourne and we are really proud of our service and results. We like our customers and we want them to be happy. Simply put, we care about satisfaction, and we offer a real guarantee, it isn’t just a marketing ploy. Our guarantee does not have fine print: if you are not satisfied with the end result then it is FREE. We are always happy to come back and re clean if the need arises, however, at the end of the day if we can’t provide the service you expect, then why should we expect you to pay?

We Keep Our Promise

We keep our promises. A lot of businesses promise the earth to get your business but don’t always deliver. We do. We don’t just want to steam clean your carpet once, take the money and run. We want to see you again. We want your return business, we want you to tell your friends and family about us. Just read our testimonials on our website, they are all real customers and we want to keep adding this type of feedback. One of our friends who runs his own carpet cleaning business couldn’t believe these testimonials are real, he thought we made them up! We don’t need to make them up, we love receiving this type of positive reinforcement and we want more.

Environmentally Friendlycarpet steam cleaning in Melbourne

Wherever possible we try to use locally manufactured environmentally friendly detergents. We don’t just love carpet steam cleaning, we love Melbourne and the planet and want to ensure our kids can too. We also like to support related local businesses and reduce our carbon foot print, by buying our equipment and detergents locally.

Results that have to be seen to be believed!

If you need any more convincing, just take a look at the before and after photos below. They were taken a week ago at an apartment we cleaned in Fitzroy. We believe a picture is worth 1000 words!

Carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne - Before

BEFORE Black Gold Carpet Steam Cleaning in Melbourne – Fitzroy June 2013

carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne

AFTER Carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne – Fitzroy June 2013