Carpet Cleaning Guide Australia
Carpet cleaning is the process of removing allergens, stains or dirt on carpets. Since there are different types of carpets, different products has been developed to deal with the needs of various fibres. Some people prefer doing there own cleaning but nothing available in Coles or Woolworths will produce the same results as a professional carpet cleaning company. It is advisable to use professional cleaning services at-least once every 6 months to help prolong the lifespan of your flooring.
Importance of Carpet Cleaning
Some of the reasons why cleaning is important are:
- It goes without saying, clean floors are inviting to guests.
- Allergens which can make you uncomfortable and sick are removed thus promoting a healthy environment in the premises. Many people suffering from Asthma are unaware of the importance of regular cleaning.
- Dirt which may cause illnesses and infections is removed.
- Cleaning enables carpets to be more durable. Fabric life is usually reduced by accumulation of dirt on carpets but when cleaned regularly, the fabric stays strong enabling you to use the carpet for a longer time.
- It saves you money since you will not have to keep buying replacement carpets after every few years.
- It eliminates bad odour which can make it very embarrassing when people visit your premises. You too may not look forward to going home to such a smell.
- It improves the appearance of your home.
We will explore the most popular methods used in the cleaning industry today.
Steam Carpet Cleaning
Steam cleaning is also referred to as ‘hot water extracting cleaning’ and is one of the most popular carpet cleaning methods. It involves spraying steam onto the surface. This steam removes dirt on the surface and dirt that penetrates into the fibres. More than 90% of the bacteria are killed using this method. The process is easy and takes a short time.
A hot water extraction machine is used to perform this type of cleaning. Water is poured into the steam cleaner and is pressurized and heated until it reaches boiling point. The cleaning technician uses a spray gun which is used to shoot water onto the surface. When the trigger is pulled, the heated water is flashed into steam and comes out of the gun at a very high speed. The steam is released in specific measured quantities. Additional cleaning accessories such as a towel or a brush can be used to remove any residue left behind on the carpet due to demineralisation of water when steam is generated.
- It involves deep cleaning leaving your carpet clean inside and outside.
- Stubborn stains can be removed using this methods.
- It contributes to better health as a high percentage bacteria and other germs are completely removed.
- It is a healthy popular cleaning solution as no residue of chemical agents are left behind after cleaning.
- The surface will be wet for about an hour which means you cannot access the area until it dries. The drying time can take up to 6 hours.
- The cost of the equipment is high making it necessary for you to hire a company that will do the cleaning for you.
Cleaner and brighter surfaces. Many people comment that after a thorough steam cleaning the floors look like new again.
Dry Carpet Cleaning
This method involves spraying cleaning solvents or chemical compounds on the carpet. They break down any soils and stains present. A little moisture is used along with the chemical compounds to ensure effective breakdown of soils. Hence the cleaning method is not really dry. The mixture is usually scrubbed onto the area to ensure it covers a wide surface and penetrates effectively. Vacuuming is necessary after application of the chemical compounds to ensure that all the grime has been sucked out of the fibres. The method is effective as less stress is put on the carpet, is affordable and uses less water. The surface dries very fast enabling you to use it soon after the cleaning is complete. If your floors do not require deep cleaning or removal of stubborn stains, then the dry cleaning method will be suitable for you.
A cylindrical cleaning system that counter rotates is usually used to brush in the chemical compounds into the carpet. The cleaning machine enables the compounds to go deeper into the fibre. Afterwards, a vacuum is used to remove the crystal powder that forms.
The carpet will be free from bacteria and other germs and can be used almost immediately as the drying time is short. The method is not effective for deep and stubborn stains.
There are several products to remove different types of stains carpets using mild ingredients. Most cleaning experts will use harsher chemicals on tough stains. Some of the methods include:
This method is suitable for spots and stains that are dried. A small brush with stiff thistles will be the best. The stain needs to be brushed gently to prevent it from staining other areas.
Stains that are greasy and oily can be removed by pre-treating. This involves applying a stain-removing agent directly on the stain. Different pretreating items can be used including bar soap, liquid detergent, a solution of water and powdered detergent.
Professional cleaning methods to remove stains include steam cleaning and dry cleaning.
Various cleaning equipment is used including brushes, paper towels and a vacuum cleaner which removes any residues left behind.
In most cases, the stains are completely removed. However, in some cases a small stain will be left behind although not easily seen. The method is effective when the stain is not deep and stubborn. The method is usually effective when the stain is cleaned out immediately as opposed to waiting for a few days or weeks. This may result in a permanent stain.
Various cleaning methods are available for the different kinds of upholstery available. All upholstery will have cleaning instructions on the tags. Some upholstery can be cleaned using water or water-based cleaning products. They can also be cleaned using solvent or products that do not contain any water. Other complicated upholstery require that no water or dry cleaning solvents be used during the cleaning process. When cleaning upholstery, rubbing is discouraged as it could make the stain look worse. The cleaning products used will lift the stains and you can be able to easily clean them afterwards. When doing a general cleaning, the method is effective but may require a long time before your upholstery dries. Hiring a professional cleaning service will ensure the work is done much faster and the chemical compounds they use will get rid of dirt and deep stains.
A damp washcloth, brush and spraying bottle may be required. A vacuum is also used to remove dirt from the upholstery when doing it by yourself. A professional cleaning service may use special upholstery cleaning material which is more effective such as a spot extractor used for spot removals.
When cleaning stains, most of them can be completely removed when attended to immediately. You may be required to repeat the technique a few times before the stain is completely gone. Professionally cleaned upholstery is usually clean and smells fresh. The cleaning products used are mild but may affect people with respiratory problems. There are environmental-friendly cleaning products which are safer for children and pets.
This is the removal of soils and germs from rugs by using various cleaning methods. Rugs can be cleaned at home by putting them in the washing machine and using cold water. They should not be washed frequently as it reduces their durability. Not all materials can be machine-washed. Since cleaning machines spoil most rugs, they are usually hand-washed. A chemical cleaning solution is sprayed on then brushed off to remove accumulated dirt. They are then rinsed with water and immediately put to dry to preserve the colour and prevent a any odors setting in.
Brushes are usually used when cleaning the rugs by hand. The brushes are comfortable to use hence they do not strain the cleaners. Depending on the type of rug, a cleaning techncian may chose a hot water extraction machine. This is the same cleaning method used for steam clean. The results are very effective but may damage delicate rugs.
Rugs that are washed well and properly dried smell fresh and appear brighter and more appealing.
The price of cleaning carpets varies as many factors are considered. Different companies also charge different rates for their services. Some rates include:
Carpet Cleaning Prices
- Stairs: $2.50 per stair
- House rooms: $20 – $120 per room
- Lounge room: $20 – $35 per room
- Small Hallway: $10 – $20
- Hallway: $20 – $35
- Dining Room: $20 – $35
- Landings: $5 – $25
Rugs and mats: $6.50 – $8.50 per square meter
Upholstery Cleaning Prices
- 1 seater or armchair: $25 – $55
- 2 seater: $45 – $110
- 3 seater: $65 – $165
- 4 seater: $85 – $220
- 5 seater $105 – $275
Although not common nowadays, some cleaning companies may require you to vacuum before they come for cleaning. Other cleaners which charge you a small extra fee for vacuuming while others will do include it as part of the total fee charged for the service. Always ask about complimentary cleaning services when getting quotes.
How to Find a Reliable Carpet Cleaner
Not all carpet cleaners are skilled at what they do. A good carpet cleaner will leave your floors looking good, smelling good and all chemical compounds used will be removed. A bad carpet cleaner will usually have many flaws in the cleaning process which you are most likely to notice. Some of the factors to consider when looking for a reliable carpet cleaner include:
a) Services Offered
Always look at the different types of services offered. If they are not specialized in cleaning the type of carpet you have, they may probably not do the job right. Look for a carpet cleaner that knows various ways of cleaning carpets of different materials.
b) Word of Mouth
Your friends, neighbours and family have probably used carpet cleaning services before. You could ask them if they know a good company that performs good cleaning services. You can get all the details you need from their experience and afterwards determine which company you will hire to do the cleaning for you.
c) Customer Reviews
Most customers will leave a review of their experience with the cleaner or the cleaning company. Go through various review to determine whether they are reliable and thorough in the services they offer. If you would like, you can contact one of the previous customers to know how the service was performed and if they were satisfied with it. If the company has social media pages, they would be the best to look for reviews from previous clients and the ratings given for the services.
No certification is required for one to start operating a cleaning business in Australia. There are some organisations like the SCRIA but is independently run and operates through paid memberships. To ensure you hire someone is trained and certified, you need to do your own research before hiring. The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) can help you know whether the cleaner you want to hire is certified or not. The IICRC is a Standards Developing and certification organization for the restorations, inspections and cleaning industries in Australia, Japan, UK, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
Getting a reliable company to do the job is not easy but once you look for the qualities above, you are most likely to get a good company that offers high quality services for its customers. If possible, always hire professional services instead of performing some of the work by yourself. Only professionals know how to safely use chemical compounds and the best methods to clean your carpet. However, if it is a minor job and the compounds used do not pose a risk to your health, you can then consider performing the job by yourself. Always take precautions before embarking on any cleaning job.
This carpet cleaning guide was published by Brett Fletcher from Pro Carpet Cleaning Sydney.