Australian Carpet Cleaning Guide

Have you cleaned your carpet recently? For enhanced longevity and hygiene, it is recommended to have your carpets have to be cleaned at least once a year. Just like all other areas in your home, they need to be washed, dry-cleaned, or steam-cleaned to ensure that they will remain in top shape and in good condition. This Australian Carpet Cleaning Guide will help you understand cleaning techniques, tip and advice as well as the the importance of keeping your floors clean. It will also give you some important tips on finding the right cleaning technician for your home.

Carpet Cleaning: What It Is and Why It Is Important

Carpet cleaning is the process of removing dirt, dust, and grime, and restoring your floors to a clean and hygienic condition. Daily foot traffic from family, friends and pets can accumulate on a daily basis.

Having a movie night with the family with bowls of popcorn and chips? Chances are, your crumbs will be all over the carpeting. Having a party with friends on a Friday night? That sure is fun, but spilled booze and soda will definitely be harmful to your floors. If you have small children, accidents will be even more likely to occur.

Simple vacuuming and DIY drying will work, but a more thorough carpet cleaning will be needed at least once a year to ensure that your floors will retain its good shape. If you’re not yet convinced, below are some reasons for cleaning regularly:

> Musty and foul odour. Have you noticed that some homes have a nasty smell that seems to linger no matter how much cleaning is done? The reason is that the source of the smell is not properly addressed. When a surface is not allowed to dry properly after spillage, it can develop bad odour over time. Air freshener can only cover the smell for a while, but it will soon permeate the air in your home. If you have visitors, this can be a big source of embarrassment.

> Unwanted pests. Bread crumbs, sugar, etc, can attract ants, cockroaches, and other unwanted small visitors. You might soon find yourself dealing with these pests with no other recourse but to hire an exterminator—an unnecessary expense that you can well prevent had you simply cleaned your floors.

> Allergy and other diseases. According to Carpet Institute of Australia Limited , carpets can trap and reduce the dirt from the air if they are properly maintained. This means a well-maintained flooring can help lower the chances of dust-related health conditions among your family.

Poorly maintained flooring can be a breeding ground for bacteria—from salmonella to listeria. They can cause a wide range of respiratory diseases, especially among children. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy mentions the pollen season in Australia, which is from around September to December, as a leading trigger of allergy. In carpeted homes where pollen might accumulate, deep cleaning the fibres is the only way to fight off this irritating condition.

Cleaning Methods

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning uses water and a cleaning solution to remove dirt and stains. This is done by vacuuming until all loose dirt is removed, by applying the cleaning solution and the water, and then vacuuming out the water to dry.

What You Need:

  • Vacuum
  • Steam cleaner (either portable cleaner or truck-mounted)
  • Cleaning solution
  • Water

Pros: If the process is done properly, it can provide a thorough and full clean that will eliminate most of the dirt.

Cons: Because the cleaning process involves water, drying might take quite a while—about 2 to 4 hours according to the Australian Carpet Cleaning Standard. Without the correct drying times, it is possible for mold and odors to become present.

Results: Deep clean can be achieved if steam carpet cleaning is properly done by a professional. You will not have to clean again for 12 months.

Dry Cleaning

As the name of the method implies, dry carpet cleaning involves very little to no water at all. A specialised cleaning solution (usually in powder form) is sprinkled on the surface. Brushing is done to facilitate the adherence of dirt into the solution. After a while, the solution and the dirt are then vacuumed off.

What You Need:

  • Cleaning solution
  • Vacuum
  • Specialised brush

Pros: The process is simple, easy to do, and it takes only a short amount of time. Very little to almost no drying is required.

Cons: Dry cleaning is not as thorough compared to the steam cleaning method. And if the cleaning solution is not properly removed, it will attract even more dirt.

Results: This is the perfect cleaning method for high-trafficked areas, especially if you are looking for a quick fix.

Carpet Stain Removal

When it comes to stains, the success of the removal process largely depends on how long the stain has been left un-treated. The longer the stain has been there, the lesser the chances of it getting totally removed. There are various homemade ingredients that can be used to try and remove the stain. If they don’t work, your best bet would be to get the services of a professional cleaner. Stain removal often involves spot treatment using ingredients you can find in the pantry or chemical cleaners formulated to soften and remove stains.

What You Need:

  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Detergent solution or chemical cleaner

Pros: Targeting stains and spot treating them help retain the lifespan and value of your floors.

Cons: Stain removal is a critical process, and it must be done with proper consideration of the type of flooring. If you use the incorrect cleaner, you might cause irreversible damage to the floor.

Results: If stains are properly removed, you can expect a newer-looking surfaces.

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery furniture, from your comfy sofa bed to that vintage chair from your parents, can age over time due to dirt and regular wear. They can accumulate crumbs, pet hair, and whatever other dirt you bring home. Cleaning them requires vacuuming and removing surface dirt. If there are stains, spot treatment can be done.

What You Need:

  • Vacuum
  • Compressed air in can (optional for removing dirt particles that won’t easily budge)
  • Stain remover

Pros: Proper upholstery cleaning can go a long way in maintaining the new look of your upholstered furniture. This is especially beneficial for heirloom pieces that you need to maintain over time.

Cons: Different types of upholstery fabric require different types of upholstery cleaners, and some fabrics are extra sensitive and will get easily damaged when the cleaning process is improperly done.

Results: You can expect your upholstered furniture to look brand new after a thorough upholstery cleaning.

Rug Cleaning

Rugs are much like carpets, except they are smaller and lighter. Cleaning them is relatively easier. Rugs can be steam cleaned or dry cleaned. DIY cleaning can also be done using home ingredients. Vacuuming, washing, and spot treatment are the most common ways to clean rugs.

What You Need:

  • Vacuum
  • Regular cleaner (vinegar, borax, etc.)
  • Spot cleaner or shampoo

Pros: Cleaning rugs can significantly reduce allergens in your home, including mouldy odour. If you have vintage rugs, proper cleaning will guarantee that you will be able to preserve them in great shape for a long time despite all the wear and tear that they will undergo due to regular use.

Cons: Much like carpets and upholstery, rugs are made from different types of material. When cleaning the rugs, the materials need to be matched with the right type of cleaner. Incorrect matching can cause serious rug damage.

Carpet Cleaning Rates

Rates for carpet cleaning may vary depending on the type of cleaning method that you prefer and the size of the room that you need to be cleaned. Dry cleaning will most likely be cheaper compared to steam cleaning. And if you have stain you need taken care of, expect to shell out an additional fee.

The cheapest out there is around $25, but that would involve only basic cleaning for a small room. For a bigger home, you can expect the rate to go upwards of $300.

A flight of stairs, landings, and hallways are considered one room each. And if a room is rather large, then the rate could be for two rooms. Bigger homes will require a team of cleaners. And the more cleaners involved, the higher the rate would be.

Some cleaners will determine price based upon the type of carpet fibres. The most common fibres used in Australia are nylon, polypropylene, and wool. Of the three, nylon is cheapest to clean.

The best thing to do is to find quotes from your local cleaners. Find out about cancellation fees and other fees that might be incurred in the process. In this sense, it is crucial that you find a reliable carpet cleaner.

Tips to Finding a Reliable Carpet Cleaner

So what should you look for in a carpet cleaning company? Check out the list below:

> Company qualifications.   The carpet cleaning industry is highly unregulated. There are too many existing companies, but only a few truly have the qualifications to do the job. When finding the right cleaner, ask for certifications. Ask for their background and read reviews.

o Check whether the company is a member of any organisation in Australia. Cleaning organisations maintain a certain operational standard that holds members to a high level of service.

o Check if the company’s technicians and cleaners have certifications, such as an ACCI certification . Certified cleaners have undergone intensive trainings that ensure high level of skills and expertise in their industry. You can trust them to really know what they’re doing.

 > Rate. Find out the current market rate for carpet cleaning so you can have some basis when you shop around for a cleaner. While you should avoid extremely high rates, you must also steer away from rates that appear suspiciously too low—that could mean a lousy job that you might just regret later on. When shopping for cleaners, you must also consider whether the company offers any guarantee and any type of insurance against possible damage to your floor.

 > Equipment and materials. How good and how updated are the equipment used by the company in doing the job? What types of cleaners do they use? Are these cleaners safe for your health, especially if you have children, and safe for the environment? These are additional considerations that you might want to look into as you search for the right cleaner.

Carpet cleaning is one aspect of home maintenance that you cannot ignore. It is crucial not only for keeping a well-maintained home but also for keeping a healthy family.

When it comes to cleaning, there are so many options available for you. The cleaning methods vary, and there are different cleaning companies in Australia that you can choose from—each offering different rates and services. Choosing the right company and cleaner is important if you are to ensure that your beloved pieces at home will remain in good condition for years to come.

This Australian Carpet Cleaning Guide is designed to help you navigate the sometimes-complex issue of keeping your floors, upholstery, and rugs clean. Because after all, they’re not just carpets or upholstery or rugs—they’re a vital part of your personal space.