There is nothing like lovely clean smell of freshly cleaned carpet. We spend a lot of time on the floor, snoozing, playing and roughhousing with our kids or pets, especially during the winter, and having a clean carpet is a must. Carpet cleaning services are affordable, they come to our homes, they clean and dry the carpet in a very short time and leave the place in perfect order. What else can we possible ask? How about what chemicals they used to clean our carpets?
Most carpet cleaners use a toxic soup that leaves behind dangerous fumes and residue that can seriously affect the health of your family. Some of the commonly used products contain perchloroethylene, a popular dry cleaning chemical known to cause nausea, dizziness and fatigue. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warns of possible damage to liver and kidney. Naphthalene is another popular solvent used to dissolve dirt accumulated in carpets. It is manufactured from coal tar and is considered dangerous to the human central nervous system and is potentially carcinogenic. Some of the solvents used for dry carpet cleaning contain butyloxy ethanol, potentially causing damage to liver, central nervous system and kidneys.
This scary chemical soup is not only dangerous to your health but the environment as well. Some carpet cleaning companies send the water used to rinse carpets straight down the drain, and into our water system. From there, the pollutants will find their way back to our lives.
Scared enough? Fortunately, there are safe alternatives. The market has responded to the demand of well-informed and environmentally aware consumers by offering a range of natural carpet and upholstery cleaners. Some of the popular brands are Simple Green, Nature Clean, Bi-O-Kleen, or Natural Citrus, made by Seventh Generation. Old-fashioned home cleaners like soda bicarbonate, or vinegar and water, or even tooth paste, are coming back in to use.
Many responsible dry cleaning companies are switching to more ” ˜green” ™ or environmentally friendly solutions. In same cases, they are using ” ˜green” ™ , non-toxic or plant based products like those mentioned before, or they are switching to new methods, like oxygenation.
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Oxygenation literally means cleaning with water. 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.
Be wary of green washing
If you are looking for a safe carpet cleaner, web or Yellow Pages might be of little use. Many professionals are advertising their ” ˜all natural cleaning” ™ or ” ˜green products” ™ trying to benefit from the demand for more environmentally safe cleaning. Ask your friends or relatives for recommendations, or at least ask a potential cleaner what kind of chemicals they are using. If they do not know, stay away from them.
Natural, eco-friendly or ” ˜green” ™ carpet cleaning products are particularly important for the health of our toddlers and pets. They are small and are much closer to the ground than we are. They have smaller lungs and faster metabolisms. Being constantly in direct contact with carpeting, kids and animals are also more vulnerable to serious toxic poisoning.