Tips for Cleaning Carpets Safely
Not All Carpet Cleaners are Created Equally
When picking out a carpet cleaner it can be tempting to reach for something that promises to remove stains quickly. While this product may remove the stain, it may come at a price to your health and your carpets. Not all carpet cleaners are created equally. Some carpet cleaners have toxins and chemicals that can work against your health and the long-term value of your carpets. Here are a few things you might not know about most consumer carpet cleaners.
Potentially Toxic Chemicals in Carpet Cleaners:
- Perchloroethylene - This chemical used in many carpet cleaners has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and more! This can be found in many carpet cleaners and you may not even be aware of the impact it is having on your health until you’ve been using it for a while.
- Naphthalene - This chemical used in many carpet cleaners has been known to cause confusion, nausea, vomiting, and more when used in the home for an extended time. Naphthalene is derived from coal tar and is commonly used as a pesticide to kills moths and other small insects.
- Butyloxy Ethanol - This chemical used in many carpet cleaners has been known to cause a variety of symptoms including nausea and respiratory irritation. Use over time can also add to the severity of pre-existing conditions.
Chemicals like the ones mentioned above are more than just a temporary risk when using the product. Many of these will leave behind a residue on the carpet that will continue to impact your health. This means babies and toddlers will crawl around on carpets with these harmful chemicals. It also means that you can be breathing in these chemicals consistently over time. Choosing the wrong carpet cleaner can have huge impacts on your health and the health of your family.
What do harmful chemicals do to your carpet?
Not only do these chemicals have health implications, but they also have negative implications for the longevity of your carpet. Your carpets weren’t designed to be exposed to these chemicals over time. In fact, many of these chemicals can actually degrade your carpet. But how does that work? Here are a few things toxic carpet cleaners can do to your carpet.
- Remove moisture barriers - One of the big things that many carpet cleaners will do is to remove the moisture barriers that were put on the carpet. These moisture barriers are put in place to avoid stains and keep moisture from soaking into your carpet. When some of these harmful chemicals are used on carpet, they can remove this moisture barrier and lead to more stains and messes. By cleaning the carpet with these you are setting yourself up to see more stains over time.
- Degrade carpet fibers - Another big thing some cleaners can do is to degrade carpet fibers and break down your carpet more quickly. This can mean that your quality carpet becomes worn down and collects stains more easily. Using some cleaning products can actually cost you more in the long run!
So, How Do You Safely Clean Your Carpet?
Cleaning carpets is an important part of day-to-day-life. Whether you are picking up small spills, cleaning pet mess, or trying to remove set-in stains, you want to choose the safest products. While there are cleaners that can work against your carpets, you don’t have to be concerned. There are safe and healthy carpet cleaning options available to you as well. Here are a few tips for safely cleaning your carpets.
3 ways to safely freshen up your carpets:
- Use a quality carpet odor eliminator - When cleaning carpets, one of the first things some will notice is the smells they leave behind. Use a quality carpet odor eliminator without damaging chemicals to remove the smells while freshening up your carpets.
- Use a safe mold and mildew remover - Many mold and mildew removers can be packed with harmful chemicals but not all of them are. Choose a safe mold and mildew remover to remove these types of stains from your carpet and give your carpet new life.
- Use a natural carpet stain remover - When cleaning stains out of carpets, it can be tempting to choose stronger chemical cleaners to remove stains from the carpet. As mentioned above, many cleaners can damage the carpet. That said, there are safer carpet cleaners on the market that can safely remove stains without damaging the carpet or having any added health concerns.
Make Your Own Cleaners:
While you can buy quality cleaning products, sometimes you may want to try making your own with products you have on hand. Not all of these will be as effective as products you might buy that are designed for this purpose but they can be a solution until you get the product you need. There are a few natural ingredients that work best for carpet cleaning. These are some items you can use to make your own carpet cleaners safely.
- Baking soda and vinegar - When baking soda and vinegar meet they cause a chemical reaction. Many people will sprinkle a carpet stain with baking soda and then spray with a 1:1 vinegar/water solution and scrub lightly to remove the stain. If you scrub too hard you can set the stain in so you want to be careful.
- Castile soap, vinegar, and essential oils - When using a carpet cleaner, many will make a solution of soap, vinegar, and essential oils to use in a carpet cleaner. This solution can freshen the smell while cleaning carpets. Be careful to use soaps that are safe on your carpet and don’t leave a residue behind.