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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!
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.
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.
The best carpet cleaner is not necessarily the first one!
Most people go straight to the internet when looking for service people in their local area. You spill something on the carpet or you have family coming over for the holidays. Suddenly you are in desperate need of the best carpet cleaner you can find. Naturally, the first thing you do is a search online. You are then confronted with an often confusing array of businesses all vying for your attention. We have all been there, right? How do you choose? There are some simple questions you can ask to find the best carpet cleaner for your needs and budget.
There are two main types of questions you should ask when looking for the best carpet cleaner. Firstly when confronted with the search results, you need to ask yourself some questions to determine which businesses to call for a quote. Secondly when calling the chosen businesses, you need to have a list of questions ready to ask so as to determine who is best qualified to fix the problem.
Sorting through the search results for the best carpet cleaner
Your first instinct is probably to go with the first three businesses listed in the search results. However, it may not give you the quality results you are looking for. Usually in the search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, the first 3-4 listings are paid advertising. This does not mean these businesses are not worth considering, but just keep in mind that it may mean that they are paid listings and they will therefore have a large marketing budget and usually these costs are passed on to the consumer through carpet cleaning pricing. Many of these paid listings offer heavily discounted prices, to attract new customers, however they ultimately end up costing more. They need to cover their marketing costs through pricing so they always find a way to add on “extras”.
Next there are the local search results that take into consideration your search location. These results will usually give you the contact details for carpet cleaners in your local area. This is great because often local businesses can come at short notice or even often a local discount as they do not have to factor in travel costs. However make sure you verify where they are based. Some of the larger carpet cleaning businesses claim to be from every suburb in a wide area, meaning they probably sub contract out to cleaners in many different areas. This means you may not get the business you thought you were hiring.
Finally there are pages and pages of free or organic listings. This is were you can usually find the good, the bad and the ugly! I would recommend considering the businesses listed on the first page and narrow your search down the three or four of these listings to call for a quote. Keep in mind however that in larger cities where there is a lot of competition, the top three are not necessarily the best carpet cleaners. They may be on top because they are the best at marketing and SEO rather than carpet cleaning! Compare their website’s, pricing, location and importantly their reviews! Just as a final note, while pricing is very important, don’t be swayed by offers of ridiculously cheap deals. Like all things in life, if it seems too good to be true it probably is!
Top 5 questions to ask when looking for the best carpet cleaner
So now that you have narrowed down the search results to your top 3 -5 businesses, you need to pick up the phone or send an email. Most people are not sure what questions they should ask, other than “How much?” Pricing is important but so are these other questions below. To ask the right questions, you need some knowledge or experience. This list is a good starter guide to give you information on what questions to ask and why they are important.
1. Are you owner operated or do you sub contact?
You want to be sure that the business you have chosen from the search results is the actual business who will be turning up on the day. There is nothing wrong with sub contracting, however there are cost and quality issues that can affect the end results and price.
2. Are you a member of an industry association or have training certification by a recognised industry organisation?
Most professional carpet cleaning businesses will be a member of an industry association such as SCRIA or have training certificates from organisations such as Jena Dyco or IICRC. This is important as membership or certification means that the business has agreed to abide by standards set by these organisations. They must continually retrain to maintain their certification and be up to date with the latest techniques and equipment. What this ultimately means, is that you can be sure that the business will provide service that is of a high standard and using chemicals and equipment that are the best available. These businesses also have to agree to a code of ethics, have public liability insurance and will always guarantee their work. This is important for your peace of mind!
3. What method and equipment do you use?
There are several different methods of carpet cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners will usually offer a few different methods depending on the situation. Steam Cleaning (Hot Water Extraction) is the method most recommended by the carpet cleaning associations and carpet manufacturers.
Portable steam cleaning machines are great for tight spaces or apartments above ground floor. Truck mounted systems can produce more heat and suction that portable machines. However as the cords and hoses have to be run from outside the premises, through open doorways, they do require driveway access and cannot be used on higher level apartments. They also pose a security issue for some businesses as they do require open door access. Whereas a portable machine can be taken inside and doors locked.
Dry cleaning is an alternative method of cleaning. There are several different types of dry cleaning – most are low moisture cleaning rather than completely dry. Dry cleaning is useful in commercial properties, where it is not possible to wait for carpet to dry, or noise is an issue. Usually dry cleaning is used as a maintenance clean between steam cleans, rather than as a complete replacement method.
Professional carpet cleaners will also use high quality cleaning products. They need to have an array of different products to use on different types of stains. Most will try to use environmentally friendly products and will know which products work best on different carpet fibres and stains.
4. Do you have an hourly rate or charge by the room/sqm?
Pricing is a big factor when choosing a carpet cleaner. it is important however to consider price as just one factor, not THE factor. A professional carpet cleaner will be very transparent with their pricing. However, this does not necessarily mean they will display a price list on their website. There is no “one price fits all” in carpet cleaning. Each job will have its own unique criteria – the age and type of carpet, the amount of foot traffic, staining, maintenance of the carpet, etc.
A good carpet cleaner will ask you about your carpet and it’s history to determine a price. Most carpet cleaners will start with a set rate for a room, based on a set size in square meters. Then the age and the condition is taken into consideration, along with travel costs. The end price should be all inclusive. Stain removal, fabric protection, deodourising and sanitising may be additional costs. Always ask what is included in the price.
Finally Beware of companies selling “3 rooms for $66” or similar. While some offer genuine value, you do need to ask what is a “room” to them. A business may offer low prices but set a very small room size. Therefore you will never just pay the base rate and the additional square meter charges can be very high. This is known in the industry as “Bait & Switch”. Bait the customer with a cheap price then switch to higher pricing once you are onsite by adding in “extras”.
5. Do you offer a guarantee?
Even the best carpet cleaner in the world can have trouble removing stains the first time. Some stains appear or reappear a day or so after cleaning, as they are underneath the carpet. A professional carpet cleaner will always come back and re clean at no additional charge, should this happen. In fact a good carpet cleaner will always be glad of the opportunity to fix issues you are not happy with, after all they will want your repeat business and your referral to family and friends. While no carpet cleaner can guarantee to restore your carpet to new, they can guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. They will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of the end result and make sure you are happy before they leave. A guarantee is vital for end of lease carpet cleaning if you want your bond returned
The best carpet cleaner for you is easy to find
It is as easy as choosing which flavour of ice cream! Now you are armed with all the right questions to ask, you should have no trouble finding the best carpet cleaner for your budget. Just bear in mind, some of those businesses high up in the search spend a small fortune on marketing and advertising as they need to keep renewing their customer base. The best carpet cleaners will have well established repeat business base. Therefore they have less reliance on the search engines. Sometimes your family and friends are a more reliable source than Google and the best question to ask is “who do you recommend?”
Please contact us for all your carpet cleaning inquiries or call us on 0403 254 080.
Have you got your own list of questions you like to ask? Please add your questions to the comments section below.
Melbourne carpet recycling is not as simple as you would think. In this day and age, everyone seems to be aware of environmental issues such as global warming and the need to reduce our carbon foot print. Given that the average life cycle of carpet is 5-10 years, many new home openers and renovators are opting for more sustainable flooring options. We recycle glass, plastics, paper, garden waste, wood, rubber tyres and so on. However when it comes to old carpet there are fewer options, for recycling.
Business studies in Australia, have shown an overall decrease in carpet manufacturing over the past five years. However the boom in the property market has created a higher demand for carpet, from the housing construction sector. Particularly for multi – unit apartment and townhouse developments. Which makes me wonder where is all that carpet going to go in 5-10 years time when it needs replacing? What happens to the carpet in the properties when they are demolished to make way for these new developments? Given that about 70% of all floor covering sales in the developed world, are for carpet, what options are available for Melbourne carpet recycling?
Options for Melbourne carpet recycling.
1. Disposal is the least preferred option. Used carpet is now one of the top 10 landfill items. Synthetic carpets do not break down over time and woolen carpets do decompose but they produce methane gas during this process. Methane is a dangerous green house gas, which is the unfortunate by product of landfill decomposition. Disposal of old carpets at the local tip will incur fees.
2. Reuse old carpet for many different purposes, such as;
weed matting in the garden
floor mats for your car, home, shed or workshop
lining and insulation for the kids cubby house or your work shed
donate to a charity
donate to family members or friends
If your carpet is in good condition you may be able to sell it privately or to a recycling business. In most major Australian cities there are businesses who buy good quality, used carpet, clean it and resell it.
3. Recycle your old carpets depending on their age, composition and condition. According to Planet Ark, there is currently no commercial recycling plants for carpet in Australia, even though, most carpet fibres are recyclable. Consumers have become more environmentally aware, therefore, carpet manufacturers are becoming more conscious of their responsibilities. However, we still have a long way to go here in Australia. Carpet manufacturers such as Ontera, Interface and Caviler Bramworth, do offer a “take back” system for carpet they have manufactured. However, only carpet tiles are recycled into new carpet. There is no recycling for broadloom carpet. Shaw, have a range of carpet made from recycled materials, called Ecoworx. They offer a guarantee that, when it is time to change the carpet, Shaw, will pick up your old carpet, and recycle it.
Can Melbourne carpet be recycled?
Currently these carpet recycling systems, are only for nylon carpet. New carpet is made by recycling nylon into yarn, and then reusing it to make new carpet. Interface, have developed a new carpet recycling facility, which is the first of its kind in Australia. Previously they had to send carpet to the USA for processing. Infra red scanners are now available in Australia and are used to identify carpet tile fibres. If nylon is the main fibre, then the tiles are be broken down into their individual components and the nylon is removed and used to make nylon yarn.
The backing is also recycled, however it still needs to be sent to the USA for processing. Interface are hoping to have a new facility to process the backing, here in Australia by 2017. Interface, estimates that they will be able to process around 500-600 tonnes of carpet per year.
There are signs that the industry is looking for new ways of manufacturing carpets so that are sustainable and recyclable. Cradle to Cradle accreditation is one such way of ensuring manufacturers examine the whole life cycle of a carpet; from source materials to manufacturing, installation and end of life recycling. In the meantime however, we need to make sure we get the most out of our carpets and maintain them for maximum life span. Regular, professional carpet cleaning is the best way to maintain your carpet and keep it looking good for years to come. Please contact us for a booking or any carpet cleaning inquiries.
Carpet cleaning maintenance is something many people neglect. You have just had your carpets professionally cleaned, what now? How do you keep them looking this good for as long as possible? Probably the least talked about step when it comes to carpet care and cleaning, is soil management. However, this step is arguably, the most important step of all! Carpet cleaning removes dirt and stains. You can apply protective products to slow down re soiling. The best way to maintain your carpet fibre, however, is to prevent the amount of soil coming into your home or office in the first place. There are many measures you can take to stop oily and abrasive soils from coming into your home or business. Below I have listed a few easy steps you can take to protect your carpet.
1. Soil Prevention
Regularly sweep paths, parking areas and walkways to keep them free from soils and debris. Additionally, regular pressure washing of these areas, will prevent a build up of of dirt and oils. This type of prevention is a very important first step in carpet cleaning maintenance.
2. Soil Barriers
An easy and cost effective way to make sure that dirt and oils do not enter your home of office, is to use soil barriers. Mats make good barriers and should be placed at at entrance points. For high foot traffic areas and in businesses, it is a good idea to use both exterior and interior mats at all entrances and exits. Exterior mats should have a thick, rough texture so that dirt and mud can be scraped off the soles of shoes. Once deposited on the mat, the soil should fall away, not sit on the surface, or it will re soil the next person’s shoes. Interior mats should be softer and more like carpet. These mats wipe and dry the soles of the shoes, and are especially important during the wetter months of the year. Inside the home or office, high traffic areas and wet areas, will also benefit from floor mats to stop the spread of dirt and oils. Mats used as soil barriers require much more frequent cleaning than standard carpet.
I cannot stress strongly enough, how important regular vacuuming is for carpet cleaning maintenance! A vacuum with a good HEPA filter and strong suction will remove most dry dirt and particles. The aim of vacuuming is to remove both visible and invisible dirt particles, with out damaging the fibre or redistributing the particles into the air. Unvacuumed carpet may look clean. However dirt and dust particles left on the carpet can cause damage by scratching the surface fibres. This makes the carpets appear dull. The frequency of vacuuming depends on the amount of foot traffic. For most households I would recommend at least once or twice a week. A machine such as a pile lifter will lift crushed fibres in high traffic areas and aid the removal of ingrained dirt.
4. Maintenance Programs
A planned maintenance program is something many commercial properties employ, but is also something residential property owners should consider. A maintenance plan should take into consideration, the number of occupants, their budget, types of floor coverings, and the types of soils. A planned carpet cleaning maintenance program will allow time frames to be set for cleaning. These time frames depend on the properties usage and needs. A maintenance program will help ensure carpets are maintained year round and prevent premature wear or aging of floor coverings. It is an investment in the longevity of your carpet. A carpet maintenance professional will ensure the above three steps are taken care of on a regular basis. They will also include carpet cleaning at least once a year and spot cleaning as often as needed.
Contact us for Carpet Cleaning Maintenance
If you would like to discus soil management or arrange a carpet clean maintenance program, please contact us at Black Gold Carpet Cleaning. We are always available to help answer your questions or arrange a booking. When was the last time you had your carpets professionally cleaned?
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!
Recently 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 design
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 design 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.
As a carpet cleaner I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly….
Over the years as a carpet cleaner, I have seen some pretty funny things put on carpet to try and remove stains. Some work and some are just plain, ridiculous and cause more damage than the original stain! There is plenty of information out there about what you should put on stains of all kinds. Some of it is good advice backed up by sound scientific principals and chemistry. Some, however, is complete fiction and could quite possibly have a horror story ending rather than the “happily ever after” most people are looking for! Here are the top five home remedies to be avoided if you want a happy ending to your red wine nightmare.
Why is it that whenever someone spills red wine, the first thing they do is reach for salt? This remedy has been passed down through the ages and probably had more to do with convenience than science. In the past (and present), both wine and salt were consumed with most meals. So salt was often the closest thing available to throw over a spill. The aim being to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. It sounds logical, until you consider the fact that salt is the ingredient we throw into dye baths to help bond dye to fabric fibres! By piling up a heap of salt on a wine stain, all you are doing is aiding the natural dyes in the wine to penetrate the carpet fibres. Thereby creating a permanent reminder of your clumsiness! The best first action for red wine is to absorb as much of the liquid as you can. The best way to do this is by using clean white towels or paper towels NOT salt! Do not panic – remember you can always call a professional carpet cleaner for advice.
2. White wine
We have all heard the one about pouring white wine over a red wine spill. I believe this also comes from the fact that where there is red wine, there is usually white wine. So if you spill the red, then try to dilute it with whatever is closest and not as colourful – white wine! There is some science behind this method. Both red and white wines are acidic and acids can be used to dissolve acids. However there are lots of other ingredients in white wine as well. So white wine is probably not the best first choice when it comes to stain removal. White wine probably will not cause any further staining, however it will be a very smelly mess and not nearly as effective as some other acids which are odourless when they evaporate, e.g. white vinegar.
The second step when dealing with red wine stains is to dilute the remaining liquid as much as possible without causing any further damage. I would suggest adding a little cold water (preferably misted on using a spray bottle) and dabbing with a clean dry white cloth. Repeat as often as necessary until there is no more colour transfer from the stain onto the cloth. You could also try adding 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts cold water to the spray bottle. If in doubt call a professional carpet cleaner for advice!
3. Baking Soda (Bi Carb Soda)
While baking soda is something that can be helpful in removing some stains, it can also leave behind a white powdery residue. This residue is very difficult to remove. I have read many blogs and articles that recommend using a a baking soda paste on food stains and pet stains. However not many mention that you also need to use an acid with the baking soda to create the right chemical reaction to remove the stains. When you combine an acid such as wine or vinegar and baking soda, you get a chemical reaction which creates carbon dioxide gas. It is this reaction that helps remove stains, the combination of a base and an acid dissolved in water. This process does work, however you have to let the paste react and then dry on the carpet. The dried paste attaches to the carpet fibres and can be very difficult to remove. Vacuuming is often not enough. You have to gently scrap the dried paste off the carpet with a blunt knife, without damaging the fibers. Is all the mess worth it when there are other carpet cleaner methods available that do not leave a residue?
4. Corn Flour (starch)
This is one of the more “out there” methods I have witnessed! Why anyone would apply corn flour to a wet carpet stain, I will never know. As with the baking soda, corn flour can be very messy and difficult to remove from carpet. Corn flour is very absorbent when it comes to greasy stains on leather furniture. This is because it is very fine and can get into tiny cracks and crevices that other products cannot. By all means use corn flour to remove grease, but don’t mix it up into a paste and lather it on your carpet. It is just too difficult to remove and there are many other remedies out there that do not require so much work! Because I am a qualified carpet cleaner, I had no trouble removing the ink stain for this customer, however the corn flour took a lot more effort!
5. Vanish and other supermarket “carpet stain removers”
I cannot say it strongly enough – never use these products on your carpet to remove stains, until you consult a professional carpet cleaner for advice. These products often contain bleach which can remove the stains. However, unfortunately, they also often remove the colour from your carpet fibres. So you’re left with light coloured patches all over your carpet. Professional carpet cleaners also used bleach, in some situations. However we know what strength bleach to use and how to rinse it from your carpet. The longer the Vanish type products stay on your carpet, the more damage they can do. There is no easy way to rinse them out of your carpet completely, without the right carpet cleaner equipment.
A final word of advice from your local carpet cleaner
Never panic! Always follow these 3 steps when dealing with most food and drink spills;
BLOT – remove as much liquid/solid as you can by blotting or scraping the spill immediately
DILUTE – Using a spray bottle filled with cold water, mist over the stain to dilute
BLOT – remove as much of the water as you can with a clean dry towell (always dab/blot – never rub!)
A few weeks ago I booked in a Caulfield carpet cleaning job for a lovely gentleman by the name of Rony in Caulfield North. I was unable to attend this job personally so I sent along a new guy who has started helping me out during this busy end of year period. All seemed fine, until we sent our our usual follow up text. We really do try to always do our best, so we want to know if our customers are happy or otherwise and relish any opportunity to rectify mistakes. It is also a good way to collect feedback for our Carpet Cleaning Review page on our website. I was really upset when I read Rony’s reply,
I am extremely disappointed, it is still not clean, now I need to call another company to finish the job…
After repeat cleaning by me
I called Rony straight away to find out what had happened. He explained that his carpet was heavily soiled and the guy who came to clean had removed some but not all of the dirt using standard carpet cleaning methods. I quickly apologised and arranged a time a few days later to come and take a look. I brought the original cleaner with me so I could show him a more thorough cleaning method for heavily soiled carpet. Heavily soiled carpets require very hot water and additional dwell time for the chemicals to work their magic. They also, often requiring agitation by a rotary machine or at least a lot of good old fashioned “elbow grease” by the carpet cleaner!
water after I re cleaned the “clean” carpet!
I love a happy ending!
By the time I had finished Rony was over the moon! Even my guy was impressed with the end result and more than a little embarrassed by his original attempt. He now knows what to do next time so it was a very valuable learning experience for him. I am so grateful that Rony gave me the opportunity to re clean his carpets. I just had to show both of them, the water from my machine: that is the water from the “cleaned” carpet, after my re clean!
In fact Rony was so happy with my service that he took to social media and he left the following carpet cleaning review,
5 stars plus! Yasser, I just want to say thank you for cleaning my carpet today! Last week one of your employees cleaned my carpet but I wasn’t completely satisfied. After we spoke over the phone, you came personally to make sure the carpet is clean and that we are satisfied. Let me just say that your care for your customers is beyond description. If anyone is searching for carpet cleaners like I did, then look no further, this is the right company, the customer service you’ll receive is like nothing you have experienced. Yasser, thanks again mate, with all honesty I didn’t think that people genuinely care anymore about customers. Much appreciated, Rony, Caulfield North
This would have to be one of the best carpet cleaning reviews I have ever received and it is even more special because it came from someone who could have just walked away and written us off as just another dodgy carpet cleaner! Second chances are like gold!
Please contact us to discuss your carpet cleaning requirements, and be assured we will not be happy until you are!
To me the last sentence says it all! This customer was vacating a property and had the carpets cleaned once during his tenancy and again as he was leaving. Two different carpet cleaners were unable to remove the stains, he eventually called me to remove.
Before – 2 other cleaners had left the carpet in this state!
If at first you don’t succeed….
Just think, on top of all the other costs associated with moving house, this poor customer had to pay for vacate carpet cleaning, not once, but twice! The first cleaner was budget priced and poor Deepak found out the hard way that sometimes “budget” means bad! He was left in the unfortunate situation of either sacrificing part of his bond, or finding another carpet cleaner who could help. Luckily for Deepak, he found Back Gold Carpet Cleaning and called me.
I was appalled that any carpet cleaner would leave a premises in that state and have the nerve to charge for it. There were not only the original stains but also obvious browning and water damage from the carpet cleaner over wetting the carpet. All carpets are different and a professional carpet cleaning understands this and adapts his cleaning methods accordingly. Wool carpets require a different amount of water pressure (PSI) than synthetic carpets. By using the wrong pressure setting, you can damage carpets by over wetting, which causes wicking (browning) and other issues such as mould and carpet shrinkage.
After Black Gold carpet Cleaning
Quality is not an act…it’s a habit
What you are paying for when you hire me is more than just carpet cleaning, you are also getting years of experience and knowledge, training and qualifications which certify my work to industry standards, a satisfaction guarantee and peace of mind, knowing I will do everything I can to ensure you get your bond back and do so with a minimum of fuss. I will turn up at the appointed time and you will have one less thing to worry about. Moving house is a stressful business and I always do my part to make sure that at least the carpets are cleaned with a minimum of stress.
I was very happy to be able to help out Deepak and remove the stains and the water damage left by the previous cleaner. Take a look at the colour of that water!! This is from carpet that supposedly had been cleaned a few days before!!
Before hiring someone vacate carpet cleaning in Melbourne, ask them if they have;
Qualifications or training
How long they have been in business
If they offer a guarantee
what equipment and products they use
Do they have insurance
A Professional carpet cleaner will ask you some questions too such as;
How many rooms do you have / what is the approximate area?
What is the condition of the carpet (lightly soiled, stained, worn, heavily soiled)
What type of fibre is the carpet (wool, synthetic, blended, etc.)
How long since the carpet has been cleaned
Is the property furnished or empty
If they do not ask these types of questions, then I would be quite careful, as they may be offering a budget price to secure the job and then want to increase the quote once they arrive (known as bait and switch tactics) or they are not adequately trained or not yet experienced enough to know that these questions are very important when determining an accurate quote. For stress-free vacate carpet cleaning Melbourne contact Black Gold Carpet Cleaning Melbourne.