Choosing the right carpet care regimen is healthy for you, your household, and the environment. There are lots of ways to avoid using abrasive chemicals on your carpet by using items you probably already have around the house! Some of these alternative cleaning products include baking soda, corn starch, dish soap, club soda, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and Borax. Steam cleaning is another great option.
When using these natural cleaning products, you can simply follow the three-step rule of Wet, Blot, and Brush. This allows the non-toxic cleaner to soak in and break up the residue causing the stain, be gently absorbed out of the carpet, and then brushed away. The method represents a good alternative to scrubbing, which can cause the stain to spread or settle deeper into the carpet.
Some ingredients to avoid when you are searching for safe cleaning products are bleach, ammonia, and perchloroethylene (PERC). These can produce both short- and long-term effects on your health as chemicals interact with your eyes, skin, and lungs.
Another great way to keep your carpet clean without breaking out the harsh chemicals is prevention! Try removing shoes at the door, keeping messy items over non-carpeted surfaces, vacuuming regularly, and cleaning up spills as soon as they happen.
If you are in the market for a new carpet, here are some environmentally friendly options that will also improve your indoor air quality by eliminating chemical emissions coming from the carpet itself:
Some polyester carpet fibers are recycled from plastic bottles, making them a sustainable carpeting option. They are also naturally stain resistant.
Choose carpets and rugs made from natural fibers, such as wool, sisal, sea grass, jute, coir, corn stalks and leaves, flax, abaca, pineapple, kapok, and hemp to avoid any synthetic content in your carpet.
Look for the Green Label Plus Certification, confirming that the carpet has been laboratory tested to ensure low chemical emissions.