Do you put bleach in your morning coffee?
That’s because you care about your health. Maybe you even buy organic food and use other natural products.
Green carpet cleaning, however, might not have occurred to you. But it should, and here’s why. Toxic cleaners can end up in the waste stream, and from there, leach into soil and drinking water. So using harsh chemicals on carpet is sort of like using bleach as coffee creamer. Gross!
Eco-friendly carpet cleaning is the answer.
For years, Americans used bleach and other harsh chemicals to clean our bathrooms, kitchens, and homes. Now consumers and businesses are catching on. Carpet cleaning shouldn’t leave strong fumes and chemicals in the air for people, kids, and pets to breathe. Keep reading to learn what’s toxic in most carpet cleaners, why green cleaning is better, and what ingredients are more eco-friendly.
Is Carpet Cleaning Toxic?
What’s so bad about traditional carpet cleaning, you ask? Well, one telltale sign should be the smell. Any smell from a new product — that new car scent, or the strange odor of a new rug or mattress, or that dry cleaning smell — means it is offgassing. That’s when chemicals are released into the air, usually with negative health side effects. After traditional carpet cleaning, carpets smell…different. After a while, the smell goes away, but until then, people are breathing in potentially dangerous fumes.
One such dangerous chemical in conventional carpet cleaners is perchloroethylene, aka “perc.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suspects perc causes cancer and harms your brain. According to one health magazine, “People who live in residential buildings where dry cleaners are located have reported dizziness, loss of coordination and other symptoms.” That’s because dry cleaners use perc — and so do conventional carpet cleaners.
Other harmful chemicals in carpet cleaner are naphthalene and butyloxy ethanol. These two outlaws can hurt the nervous system, liver, and kidneys, possibly causing cancer. Another one to avoid is ammonium hydroxide, which irritates the lungs, eyes, and skin because it’s corrosive. Yes, these chemicals help break down dirt in carpet, but they can also break down YOU!
What’s in Green Carpet Cleaning Solution?
Green carpet cleaners are made of plant-based ingredients, less harmful chemicals, or simply water. Here are some common ingredients:
- Diluted hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Essential oil
- Castile soap
How can plain old water clean carpets? It’s called oxygenation. Here’s how it works:
The secret is in oxygenated water bubbles created in a special apparatus with an oxygenation chamber. These oxygenated water bubbles go through a special cell. In the cell, electric current forms a stream of very charged alkaline and acidic water, which breaks down the dirt into small bits and washes it away from the carpet.
All these methods are safer and healthier than toxic carpet cleaning methods. Not only do they get carpet clean, but they promote better air quality and thus healthier people.
What Does Cascade Building Services Use?
Many “natural” carpet cleaning services offer steam cleaning, which doesn’t actually involve steam at all. It’s an extraction method that shoots water into carpet, then sucks it back up very quickly. This method takes a long time to dry — sometimes days!
Here at Cascade Building Services, we don’t use the extraction method, but we don’t use toxic cleaners, either. We also avoid detergents that can sit in carpet after it’s been “cleaned” and attract more dirt. Instead, we use a biodegradable cleaning solution that doesn’t offgas or harm the environment. It’s a proprietary process that uses a citrus-based cleaner and ion-exchange to remove the microscopic particles that create stains and dirty paths in carpets. It’s completely nontoxic and residue-free, leaving clean carpet behind — and nothing else. Plus, carpet dries within a couple short hours. Learn more about our green carpet cleaning in the Portland, Oregon metro area.
Interested in green carpet cleaning? Contact us for a free quote!
Bad smell photo: Sira Hanchana
About the author Darren
Darren is the owner of Cascade Building Services. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at Lewis and Clark University. He used to work in sales for General Mills. In his spare time, you can find him in the great outdoors camping and boating.