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Top 5 tips on how to remove vomit stain from the carpet
How to DIY your vomit disaters!
So you want to know how to remove vomit stains from carpet? We have all been there and this is a question we get asked a lot! Big night out, big night in, the dreaded tummy bug, kids with gastro……..whatever the cause, the result is the same! A terrible mess that not only stains your carpet, but also leaves that odour! You know the one, a constant, lingering reminder! The longer you leave it, avoid it, hope it will magically disappear; the harder it will be to remove the stain. Ultimately you need to act fast, but what can you do to remove vomit stains from the carpet?
Tip1 : Fast action
Never leave vomit stains on the carpet. Always attend to them as soon as you can, otherwise the acids in the bile can damage your carpet fibres and leave permanent stains. The liquid will also soak through to the underlay and become even more difficult to remove. The best thing to do is to remove as much of the vomit as possible. Use a flat bladed knife or spatula to scrap away as much of the solid matter as you can. Then blot the remaining liquid with paper towels or clean dry cloths to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Tip 2: Remove Moisture
Baking soda or bi carb soda, as we call it in Australia, is a fantastic cleaning aid. In this situation a fairly generous sprinkling of bi carb soda over the stain will help absorb any remaining liquid and also help neutralise the odour. Leave the powder on the stain for at least 15 minutes before vacuuming away.
Tip 3: Stain Removal
If there is still a visible stain on the carpet, then at this point, you might be best calling in a professional carpet cleaner. Vomit is a protein stain, like blood and urine, so it is best removed with an enzymatic cleaner. This is a process whereby, enzymes digest the protein molecules which cause the stain and odour. You can purchase some over the counter enzyme sprays. Often these types of products are sold for pet stains, but will also be effective in treating human stains as well! However, professional carpet cleaners are able to select cleaning agents appropriate not only for the type of stain, but also for the type of carpet you have. Some over the counter products may cause more damage to your carpet, particularly if your carpet is made from wool. If you still want to try and DIY the stain, you could try a mixture of one part white vinegar to 2 parts water and a few drops of dishing washing liquid. Make sure you test this on the carpet somewhere inconspicuous first! Mist this mixture over the stain then blot with paper towel or a clean, dry cloth.
Tip4: Always Rinse & Blot
Whenever you try to remove a stain yourself, it is important to rinse the area with water, after applying any cleaning solutions. Carpet cleaning solutions left on the carpet can cause damage such as bleaching or discolouration. Even “natural” products such as, vinegar can discolour your carpet. Dirt particles also stick to the residue left behind on the carpet and will cause rapid resoiling. Do not use a lot of water or you will end up with brown water marks on your carpet. Just lightly mist water and dab dry. It is important to dab or blot the carpet dry rather than rubbing it, as rubbing, will cause damage to the carpet fibres. I imagine you are beginning to understand why sometimes it is best to leave these jobs to the professionals! Carpet cleaners have powerful cleaning equipment, which can rinse and extract in one motion. They also add an acid rinse to their finish to ensure all residue is removed. All of this can be done quickly and easily with no risk of damage to your carpet.
Tip 5: Dry
The best way to ensure the stain does not wick back up the carpet fibres after cleaning, is to ensure you dry the area thoroughly. Air movement around the area is vital for quick drying. You can place a fan heater near the area, use a hair dryer or just have a window open and the heating on. Once the carpet is dry, there should be no odour.
That’s it….but if in doubt, a professional carpet cleaner like Black Gold Carpet Cleaning to remove vomit stains
If by this point, you still have a faint lingering odour or stain, I would recommend you call a professional carpet cleaner for advice. In most cases a trained professional can remove stains that the average person cannot. The key to successful stain removal is time! Always act quickly to remove vomit stains using theses tips and ask for professional help if in doubt.
Cleaning upholstery and carpet at the local footy club!
When your local footy club is known as “The Bear Cave”, then you can probably guess the activity that goes on there! We have recently had the pleasure of cleaning upholstery and carpet at the Bear Cave (AKA The Caulfield Bears Junior Football Club) in Carnegie. This club house is owned by the Glen Eira City Council and leased out to several different clubs throughout the year. It is the home of not only the junior Bears, but also the seniors (AKA as the Mighty Caulfield Bears Football & Netball Club). It is also the home of the Carnegie Cricket Club in the summer months. Many enthusiastic kids, parents and local sporting heroes make great use of the space provided to them for the season. Which means our services are very much in demand for cleaning upholstery and carpet, at the change over of the seasons!
Cleaning Carpet and kicking goals!
Cleaning carpet is a dirty business (excuse the pun!) and so is footy. There’s not just the muddy boots to contend with, but also the social nights! The hot pies and cold beers, the presentations, the fundraisers, family nights…..Cricket season is just as bad (or good!)! For us this means commercial deep carpet cleaning is required.
Firstly we vacuum, then we pre spray the carpet and pre treat any spots and stains. Next, we allow some dwell time for the pre spray to activate and work its magic. Sometimes we need to agitate the carpet with a buffing machine or a hand held carpet rake. This ensures the pre spray is distributed through the carpet fibres and helps lift deep down stains.
The next step is hot water extraction, using our truck mounted system. The truck mount is generated from the van and therefore does not require access to electricity. It also heats water to the correct temperature and has stronger suction than a portable machine. Making it the perfect tool for this heavy duty cleaning. Hot water extraction (steam cleaning) is the process whereby hot water is delivered at high pressure to the carpet via a cleaning wand and then extracted, along with the dirt and pre spray. The combination of the heat and the strong suction means carpets are thoroughly “washed” and drying times are reduced. This is because, the heat enables rapid evaporation and the strong suction removes maximum moisture.
Finally once the carpet is clean, we apply a natural deodouriser to ward off any residual muddy odours!!
Cleaning Upholstery is a win, win!
Cleaning upholstery was next on the footy clubs “to do list”. Recently the Caulfield Bears Football & Netball Club received a donation of some well used upholstered chairs – the first win! These chairs are a great addition to the club as they will provide more seats for fundraising nights, club functions and presentation nights. There was just one problem. The chairs were very dirty from many years of use by another organisation and from being in storage. They needed help cleaning upholstery chairs and fast! This is where we came in and hit a six for the ultimate win!
Using a similar method for cleaning upholstery chairs, as we did for the carpet, we were able to restore the chairs to their former glory – well almost! I think you will agree that they look a whole lot better once we finished with them!
Cleaning upholstery regularly will not only keep your furniture looking clean and fresh, but it also prolongs the life of the fabric and helps reduce wear and tear. As well as chairs, we also clean couches, lounges, sofas and ottomans.
We offer professional and affordable methods for cleaning upholstery and carpets. If your sports club or community organisation could do with some help in terms of cleaning upholstery or carpets, please ask us about our community discounts.
We have all experienced the frustration of spilling something like red wine or soft drink on the carpet. This especially applies if you have kids or pets or both! First comes the disbelief and then comes the panic! When that panic sets in, try taking deep breaths and may be even walk away for a few minutes to restore calm to the situation. What you do or don’t do during those first panicked minutes, can save your carpet or destroy it! Most people in this situation either go straight to Google and see what the Internet “experts” have to say about removing stains or they rummage through their kitchen/laundry cupboard and grab anything that vaguely resembles a cleaning product. In these emergency situations who has time to read instruction labels or warnings about spot testing first? Right? With great haste you spray, pour, scrub, sprinkle, vacuum and pray until you have enough chemical concoctions on the carpet, to write a science paper! But has it fixed the problem or just made a bad situation a whole lot worse?
In this article I will explain why some stain removal, home remedies are best used with caution. Also, why sometimes it is best to call in a professional carpet steam cleaning Melbourne service rather than tackle the stain yourself.
When it comes to most food and drink stains, vinegar is king! Vinegar is an acid and most food and beverages contain acid as well. This is why vinegar works so well on these types of stains. Acids break down other acids. However not all vinegars are equal! Only white vinegar is suitable for using as a stain remover. Other vinegars such as balsamic, red wine or apple cider vinegar can leave stains of their own on carpet. Ironically you can use white vinegar to remove these other vinegar stains!
Adding a few drops of dish washing liquid to a spray bottle with vinegar diluted by water, adds extra oomph to the cleaning power of vinegar.
There are 3 important steps to remember when using vinegar as a stain remover on your carpet.
Dilute the vinegar with water and mist it over the stain rather than pouring it on.
Always do a spot test somewhere inconspicuous before spraying it all over your carpet.
Be sure to rinse the vinegar thoroughly from your carpet with water
Vinegar can cause discolouration on some types of carpet fibres, especially if it is used in large quantities and left on the carpet for long periods of time. These photos below show what happens to carpet when vinegar is used excessively and then not rinsed properly. Luckily this customer called us at Black Gold Carpet steam cleaning Melbourne for help fixing this mess.
Bi Carb Soda (Baking Soda)
If Vinegar is king, then bi carb soda is queen! This white powder can be sprinkled over wet stains to absorb liquid and odour. If you sprinkle it over a stain moistened with vinegar then you will really see cleaning power in action! This combination causes a chemical reaction which releases carbon dioxide. Leave the stain until the mixture stops bubbling and allow it to draw the stain out of the carpet. Then wipe or vacuum it away. The order you use here is very important. Always vinegar first then bi carb soda. If you do it the other way around you could end up with a huge volcanic like mess!
The main problem with using bicarb or baking soda, is the mess it leaves behind. If you use too much and leave it for too long the paste becomes a hard chalk like substance stuck firmly to your carpet fibre. It can be very difficult to remove! Vacuuming alternated with a light, gentle brushing of the carpet, helps. Rinsing with warm water, then drying the area thoroughly, should remove the remaining residue. However if you find there is still bi carb soda visible, then you may need to call in Black Gold Steam cleaning Melbourne for help and advice.
You can purchase over the counter carpet stain removers from most supermarkets. I would always err on the side of caution when using a product like this. Read the instruction label and always, always, test it on an inconspicuous spot first! The main ingredient in these sprays is hydrogen peroxide. There are different strengths of hydrogen peroxide and it is recommended that not more than a 3% solution is used on carpet, unless you are a professional carpet cleaner. Stronger solutions, higher than 3%, may result in colour loss or bleaching of carpet fibres. Professional carpet cleaners are trained to be able to identify different carpet fibres and know what is safe to use. They also have high powered equipment capable of rinsing all of the hydrogen peroxide away.
The biggest problem aside from the bleaching, is removing all of the residue. Often these spray on cleaners are difficult to remove without professional equipment and therefore the residue attracts dirt. The other chemicals mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide are usually preservatives and stabilisers as well as a lot of water. It would be much cheaper (and safer) to just buy some 3% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it your self in a spray bottle with some warm water ( 1:2). You could also add a few drops of dish washing liquid to help with the cleaning process. Make sure you do not rub the fibre and always rinse and dry the spot.
To avoid any potential problems and save yourself a whole lot of effort and stress, I would recommend you call a professional like Black Gold carpet steam cleaning Melbourne to remove the stain or at least offer the right advice.
A final word of advice
I am all for natural cleaning remedies and products. In fact most of our cleaning products are natural citrus based detergents and spotters. We also use essential oils for their natural antibacterial properties. However just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean it is always safe to use on every stain and every carpet type. There is actually quite a lot of science involved in carpet cleaning and it takes training and experience to understand what works best in each unique situation. There is not “a one size fits all” when it comes to carpet steam cleaning and stain removal. Always seek professional advice before reaching into the cupboard.
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.
Professional carpet cleaning, aims to maximise soil removal, while minimising damage to the textile floor covering. A professional carpet cleaner will have the knowledge, training and experience to both achieve both of these aims. Professional carpet cleaning requires training and accreditation by an industry recognised training facility. The most respected training organisations in the Australian Cleaning and Restoration Industry, are Jena Dyco and IICRC. Carpet cleaners who complete these courses will be able to determine what type of carpet you have and the best method for your carpet. What you should ask is, “are you a professional, carpet cleaner?”, rather than just asking about price and method. Carpet cleaners differ depending on their training, experience and equipment, this is why results, can vary so much.
Which method is best?
Professional carpet cleaners do not have a “one size fits all” approach. A professional will recognise the unique qualities of each job and adjust their methods and techniques accordingly. A series of questions are asked at the time of booking. These questions help to determine a rough quote based on the details you give over the phone. Once on site, the cleaner will then walk through the property with you before they set up. During this pre inspection, the cleaner will examine they type of carpet you have, its construction, use, condition and amount of soiling. This is when the cleaner makes a final decision regarding the best cleaning system for your carpet. A cleaning professional must employ the five main principles of carpet cleaning to ensure maximum soil removal and prevent damage.
1. Dry Soil Removal
Vacuuming is the very important first step in any carpet cleaning and maintenance system. Crushed or flattened pile needs to be lifted with a brush or grooming rake, before vacuuming, . You can then maximise dry soil removal. When vacuuming, make sure;
the collection chamber is not full
the air is flowing freely and not obstructed
the drive belt is in good condition (service your vacuum every 6-12 months)
the beater brush is in good condition
2. Soil Suspension
The aim of soil suspension is to remove the soil left behind by dry vacuuming, by breaking the adhesion between the soil and the carpet fibre. In order to achieve this there are four key elements;
Chemical activity: After vacuuming a pre spray is applied. Professional carpet cleaners will try to use bio degradable detergents where ever possible. They will know which product is best suited to the fiber and the method they have chosen. Professional cleaners follow label instructions so that they use the correct quantities.
Heat/Temperature: Generally speaking, the more heat used, the greater the cleaning efficiency. The power of the pre spray is increased by heat, which often means less chemical is needed to achieve maximum results. Less chemicals means less residue. However heat in inexperienced hands can result in fiber damage and dye loss.
Agitation: This process can be done by hand using a brush, a motorised rotary or water pressure. Agitation distributes the cleaning agents so that they can separate soils from carpet fibres. This process speeds up the soil suspension and is an important step, especially for heavily soiled carpets.
Time: Soil suspension does not happen immediately. Chemicals need time to dwell on the carpet to maximise their efficiency.
3. Suspended Soil Removal
The next step is to remove suspended soils from the carpet. There are several different methods of removal, however, the method we use the most is hot water extraction. Other methods include;
absorption either by using a dry compound or absorbent pad (bonnet method)
wet vacuuming – carpet shampoo
flushing – the immersion method used to clean rugs
dry residue vacuuming – a dry compound or foam distributed over the carpet to attract the suspended soil, then vacuumed away.
4. Pile Setting/Grooming
This step does not actually aid in the removal of soil, however it does help the next step, which is drying. A professional carpet cleaner knows that grooming the carpet after cleaning, helps maintain the look of the carpet fibres. Grooming also aids in the distribution of deodourisers and fabric protection. This step also helps with evaporation, which speeds up drying time.
Professional cleaners will always ensure they take steps to minimise drying times. Wet carpet left for an extended period, can result in a few different problems. The first being, carpet which takes more than a few hours to dry is a major inconvenience for the customer. It also increases the chances of re-soiling from foot traffic. The increased potential for slip and fall incidents is another very serious consequence when moving from wet carpet to hard floors. Finally, there are issues such as mould, odour, browning and dye bleeds or transfer.
To reduce drying times, professional carpet cleaners usually employ a few different strategies, including;
ensuring their equipment is well maintained and operating efficiently
ensuring there is adequate ventilation or air flow through the property (e.g. run air conditioning/heating/open windows/ceiling fans)
make sure to do dry passes with their wand, after wet/rinse passes, so that maximum water is extracted
use hot water which aids evapouration
use drying equipment such as air movers
The cleaner will employ some of these methods, but not necessarily all of them.
How long will it take for my carpet to dry?
A professional carpet cleaner will always do his best to ensure carpet dries in the shortest amount of time possible. Drying times vary depending on a few different factors. These include, inside and outside atmospheric conditions, air movement, the type of fibre, the pile density, the amount of soiling (heavily soiled carpet requires more cleaning solution) and the application of protectors and deodourants. Other factors that can greatly affect drying times are the experience of the cleaner, the performance of their equipment and the method of cleaning they use. Carpets cleaned by hot water extraction are usually dry within a 4-5 hours, where as dry cleaning methods like bonnet cleaning can be dry in as little as 1-2 hours and dry compound cleaning leaves carpet dry immediately. Regardless of the method used, the drying time should be a matter of minutes or hours not days!!
Where can I find a Professional Carpet Cleaning service?
You now have the facts to confidently ask the questions necessary to ensure you hire a professional carpet cleaning service. Trained and qualified carpet cleaners generally display their qualifications and affiliations on their websites. The IICRC issue ID cards to cleaners who have passed their certification exams. You can always ask to see the cleaners card as proof of their qualifications. A good place to locate a professional carpet cleaning service in your area is on the IICRC website. Finally, do not base your decision purely on price, ask questions and use your knowledge to determine whether or not the answers you receive are accurate. Black Gold Carpet Cleaning is a IICRC Certified firm, so please contact us to arrange a booking.