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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 Cleaner Melbourne you get what you pay for - lemons

Carpet Steam Cleaner Melbourne

When hiring a carpet steam cleaner – you get what you pay for!

pay steam cleaner peanutsLately 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.

Steam cleaner certificateWhat 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 PricingCost of Carpet Steam Cleaner

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.

Carpet Steam Cleaner stains

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!Best Carpet steam Cleaner in Melbourne Lge

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!

 

 

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.