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steam cleaning Melbourne mistakes
Steam Cleaning Melbourne: Top Mistakes

Steam Cleaning Melbourne Stain removal Tips

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

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

Black Gold Steam Cleaning Melbourne

Vinegar

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

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

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

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

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

Remove stain steam cleaning Melbourne

Bi Carb Soda (Baking Soda)

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

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

bi carb stains remove by steam cleaning Melbourne

Oxi Sprays

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

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

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

steam cleaning Melbourne bleached carpet

A final word of advice

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

Or Phone us on 0403 254 080

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 stain removal Melbourne
Carpet Cleaner Top 5 Don’ts

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.

1. SaltCarpet Cleaner salt on red wine

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 wineCarpet cleaner - white wine on red 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)Carpet cleaner - baking soda on red wine

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)Carpet cleaner - corn flour on stain

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”Carpet Cleaner - vanish on red wine

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;

  1. BLOT – remove as much liquid/solid as you can by blotting or scraping the spill immediately
  2. DILUTE – Using a spray bottle filled with cold water, mist over the stain to dilute
  3. BLOT – remove as much of the water as you can with a clean dry towell (always dab/blot – never rub!)

If the stain remains then call a professional carpet cleaner, such as Black Gold Carpet Cleaning.  We can offer advice and quotes over the phone, any time, day or night!

Blood stain on carpet
How to get blood stains out of carpet

Lately, I have been called out to quite a few jobs where I have been asked how to get blood stains out of carpet. Now don’t get me wrong, they were not gruesome murder scenes or anything like what you see on TV these days. They were just your everyday, run of the mill nose bleed type situations and one was an unexpected home birth!! If you have pets or children, you will be very familiar with the types of accidents that result in blood staining your carpet. There is however no need to panic, blood is tricky, but can be removed provided you follow the right steps.

How to get blood stain outIt can be difficult to get blood stains out of carpet

This is because, hemoglobin binds to the carpet fibres once it comes into contact with oxygen. The sooner you can attend to the stain, the better, as wet blood can be removed much more easily than blood that has been allowed to dry and bind firmly to the carpet fibres.  I always recommend using a professional carpet cleaner to remove dried blood stains as the protein and enzyme spotters required to shift dried blood from carpet, can be hazardous if you are nor familiar with the correct safety procedures.  Some, like ammonia can cause respiratory issues and should be used with extreme caution and in a well ventilated space, followed by thorough rinsing.  Then there is also the possible bacteria and pathogens which needs to be considered and any anti microbial treatments used to sanitise your carpet, must be colour safe.  Some contain bleach which will remove the colour from your carpet fibre and may cause more damage. Always wear disposable gloves when trying to get blood stains out of carpet.

The following is the first step I recommend to get blood stains out of carpet; Blood stain on carpet

  1. Cold Water:The first step is to dilute the blood as much as possible and the best way to do this is by filling a spray bottle with cold water and misting the water over the stain. It is very important to use cold water as hot/warm water can set the stain permanently into the carpet fibres.
  2. Blot Gently:Take a clean dry cloth or towel and gently blot the stain.  Do not rub or you may damage the carpet fibre and actually push the blood further down into the fibres and carpet backing.  As the blood transfers onto the cloth fold it over so a fresh, clean piece of the cloth is in contact with the stain. Repeat, alternating the water spray and dabbing for as long as there is colour transfer onto the cloth.
  3. Dry: The stain should now be much lighter in colour, if not completely removed. If you managed to get the blood stains out of carpet, dry the area as much as you can by using clean dry towels or even a wet dry vacuum if you have one.  A small fan placed next to the stain will also help dry the area or you can place a dry towel over the spot and put something heavy like a glass or book on top and leave it overnight to help the towel absorb the water. Once the area is dry, vacuum the carpet to restore the natural look of the carpet nap.

What to try next….

Sometimes blood stains need a bit more of a push before they give up their hold on your carpet fibres.  If you find you are left with a light stain after diluting the blood with the cold water method above, you can try something a bit stronger, depending on the type of carpet you have. Or you can call in a professional like Black Gold Carpet Cleaning, we have all the right chemicals, equipment and training to make sure you get the best result possible without any mess or fuss and we can usually get blood stains out of carpet without too much trouble.

 

 

 Additional treatments to remove blood from synthetic and woolen carpets

 

Synthetic carpets

can be spot treated with ammonia, which is a very good staihow to get blood stain out of carpetn remover and a good choice when you want to get blood out of carpet.  As previously mentioned ammonia produces strong fumes which can cause breathing difficulties, so always use caution, read the label, use in a well ventilated space and rinse thoroughly.  Ammonia should also be avoided if you have pets (especially cats) as the smell of ammonia can cause them to urinate on the carpet.  Mix a table spoon of ammonia with a cup of cold water in spray bottle and mist over the stain, then gently dab with a clean dry cloth.  repeat until stain has been removed.  Then rinse the area thoroughly with cold water and dry with a clean dry cloth.  You can put a dry towel over the wet area and place something heavy like a glass or book on top to help the towel absorb the moisture, and leave for several hours or over night.

 

Woolen Carpetsblood stains on carpet

can be damaged by ammonia so we do not recommend you use any spotters containing ammonia on woolen carpet.  Instead you can try, mixing 1 teaspoon of clear dish washing liquid with 2 cups of cold water in spray bottle and misting over the stain.  Then either dab with a clean dry towel or gently agitate with an old toothbrush (do not rub or apply too much pressure or you may damage the carpet fibres and/or push the blood down further into the carpet backing & underlay).  Rinse off thoroughly with a damp clean cloth and repeat if necessary.  Dry with a clean dry towel. A fan placed next to the area will also help speed up the drying process.

If you cannot get blood stains out of carpet, using these methods or you would prefer to leave it to the experts, then please contact us at Black Gold Carpet Cleaning and we will be happy to help.
carpet stain removal Toorak Village
Carpet stain removal Melbourne…Tales of the unexpected!

Carpet stain removal Carpet Stain removal Melbourne…Tales of the unexpected!

I have been to many carpet stain removal Melbourne jobs, and last Saturday, I had a carpet steam cleaning job in Toorak, for lovely lady named Lucy. She booked me in to steam clean her carpet after having found me on the internet – so happy my marketing is starting to work! I love working in Toorak, the properties are so grand and there is definitely an air of wealth and privilege there. In fact, Toorak has long been regarded as one of Australia’s most prestigious suburbs and definitely has the highest property values in Melbourne. Some of our most notable Melbourne figures are from Toorak, such as, Malcolm Fraser, Ted Ballieu, Sidney Myer, Eddie McGuire, why even Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) himself owns property in Toorak!!

The Crime Scene Coffee stain removal Melbourne

Back to lovely Lucy! After my pre inspection and consultation with Lucy, I began unpacking the van and setting up my equipment when I heard a scream from the next room, it was a blood curdling cry that stopped me in my tracks. I dropped my wand and ran to see what had happened. Upon entering the lounge room, I could see immediately the drama that had just unfolded and it was horrifying! There splattered all over the beautiful cream carpet was a dark, oozing mess which reeked of….coffee. Lucy was frozen to the spot, she had misjudged the coffee table and dropped her entire mug of coffee all over the carpet.

That Old Black (Gold) Magic… Carpet stain removal Melbourne

Luckily for Lucy I was able to jump into action immediately to stop any further damage. I showed her how to dab the stain and blot it up with a clean cloth. Once I had removed as much of the liquid as possible, I sprayed the area with a spotter specifically designed for coffee stains and followed up with hot water extraction (steam cleaning). The end result was magical! Once again my trusty wand and I saved the day – who needs Harry Potter!

How to remove coffee stains from carpet

Whenever you are dealing with spills and stains like tea and coffee, it is really important to act swiftly. The longer you leave coffee on the carpet, the harder it is in terms of carpet stain removal Melbourne. Always blot the stain first to remove as much of the brown liquid as possible. You can the flush the stain with a damp cloth and again blot the area dry with a clean dry cloth. There are different methods for treating the stain, depending on the type of carpet you have. If you are in doubt or have expensive antique carpets or rugs, always call a professional carpet stain removal Melbourne business, such as Black Gold Carpet Cleaning. For carpet stain removal in Melbourne, we do not recommend using any over the counter stain removers as many contain bleach and other chemicals which can damage your carpet or even set the stain making it permanent.

If you prefer to attempt the stain removal process yourself, you can try adding a little white vinegar or mild dish washing detergent to some lukewarm water and wetting a clean white cloth with the solution. Always colour test this type of solution on a small inconspicuous patch of carpet. Lay the wet cloth over the stain and gently press the solution into the carpet, working from the outside in. Next spray a little clean water over the stain to rinse and blot dry with paper towels or a cloth. To dry the carpet you can place a clean dry cloth over the area, followed by a plastic bag and then something heavy like a thick book on top. Leave it like this at least over night before removing.