Toxic vs. Natural Carpet Cleaners – Why Go Green At Home?


In a time where drastic climate changes take up a considerable portion of our daily news, more and more people are quick to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle, even when it comes to cleaning.

However, there are still many companies out there that would love nothing more than selling you their latest germ-killing, stain-erasing cocktail of chemicals at almost any cost under the impression that they’re perfectly safe for the environment.

Heck, some of them even promise to keep you safe from the incredibly resilient and harmful MRSA bacteria.

But what’s so bad about using commercial cleaning products to breathe some life back into your carpet?

Reasons to Avoid Cleaning Your Carpet with Commercial Products

It’s a well known fact that carpets filter out almost all of the dirt that enters our home, be it dust, pet hair, or dirt. Usually, you can clean up most of these troublemakers by vacuuming your rug on a regular basis. But sometimes, a deeper clean might be required to refresh your rug. Before you visit your local store to buy the latest shiny bottle or hire professional cleaners for a round of steam cleaning, please consider the following downsides of using traditional detergents.

They Are Pricey Due to the Complicated Manufacturing Processes

The time it takes to research, develop, and test each individual cleaning formula can often take months on end. This is why most carpet cleaning solutions (or any “high-end” cleaning product for that matter) costs quite a bit to obtain. In addition, the manufacturing process itself will often involve releasing of harmful chemicals into the air which can cause serious ecological damages.

They Contain Ingredients That Endanger the Environment…

When you wash your carpet, the wastewater will sooner or later end up in your city’s plumbing system, polluting nearby bodies of water in the process. This could have an negative impact on local wildlife. For example, many commercial household and carpet products contain Triclosan.

This otherwise harmless antibacterial and antifungal agent can potentially turn into the toxic dioxin compound, which has cancerogenic properties and can cause stunted growth in animals. By ending up in river basins or oceans, any of these detergents will also deprive many marine lifeforms of oxygen and will prevent the growth of algae and other important food sources.

…And Can Potentially Cause Severe Health Complications

Many manufacturers feel that if their products don’t contain at least a dozen or so anti-germ chemicals, they aren’t worth a dime. As a result, unless you’re planning on getting rid of your pet’s pee-pee accident from your carpeting, chances are that a lot of the detergents you see on the shelf are way too strong for everyday use. Furthermore, continuous exposure to such toxins has shown to cause dizziness, nausea, eye itches, skin rashes, and lots of respiratory problems.

Reasons to Use Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Clean Your Carpet

The most important thing to realise here is that this is not just another trend – increased carbon emissions is an actual problem that needs to be addressed. By switching to green carpet cleaning alternatives, you will make your fair contribution towards saving the Earth! Here are a few extra reasons why you should rethink the way in which you clean the carpets in your home.

They Get the Job Done for Less Money

The latest green-oriented products can achieve the same (or even better) results by naturally dissolving all the grease, dirt, or dust within your carpet’s fibres. Unlike traditional detergents, however, they will not leave any toxic residue behind, so your pets or children will be able to safely play on your carpet once you’ve eliminated all the stains. The fact that these products contain naturally-occurring ingredients also means that they are more affordable for the end consumer since no investments will be made to develop new and more potent chemicals.

They Prevent the Growth of Mould

If your carpet is affected by mould, there is a chance that your typical carpet shampoo will only make matters worse. The reason – most non-natural detergents come in liquid form, which will only encourage the mould to continue growing until you’re eventually forced to replace your entire rug. The cost of carpet cleaning is a far wiser choice than fitting a brand new rug. Green products, on the other hand, are sold as powdery and other forms of dry substances that will kill off all mould spores and germs without damaging the fabric in any way.

They Keep Your Health Intact

Unlike their man-made counterparts, natural cleaning solutions are not flammable, do not cause cancer, and do not release toxic fumes into the air once you pour them onto your carpet. That is because all of these products consist of naturally-occurring disinfectants that are used as they are, without any further alterations. Their cleaning effects will also last for longer, which will extend your carpet’s life span as you will no longer have to clean it as frequency as before.

They Are Fully Biodegradable

Ironically, the labels on most traditional detergents claim that they are fully biodegradable. What they often fail to disclose is that this will usually occur tens or hundreds of years down the line. What they also don’t mention is that, even if the petroleum-infused products do manage to break down, the resulting chemicals will likely end up polluting the earth. In the case of vinegar and other renewable products, this process happens a lot quicker and doesn’t get in nature’s way.

The Bottom Line

It’s tempting to reach for the first carpet cleaner you spot and get the job done without wasting any further time. But, with us being just 2 °C away from triggering an irreversible global warming disaster, such decisions will end up costing us a lot more than we may suspect. That’s why you need to know exactly what you are about to apply on your rug (or on any surface in your home).

For instance, always check the contents of the product you’re about to buy first to see just how eco-friendly it actually is. When hiring professional carpet cleaning services, you should also ask if the company uses eco-friendly methods and products to refresh your rug. And, if there is no other way and you are hard-pressed to use a harsh chemical to battle your carpet stains, ask yourself this – are the blemishes more harmful than the products you’re using to erase them?

About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

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