Are Carpet Cleaners Safe?


It is a fact that all carpets will get dirty over time. Carpets and rugs, no doubt take a lot of abuse from rambunctious children and pets, dinner guests who spill, people who refuse to wipe their feet before entering. This makes carpet cleaning inevitable at some point. However you should know that some carpet cleaners consist of toxic ingredients, some of which are not listed on labels because they are considered “proprietary” or “trade secrets”.

Some of the carpet cleaners can be particularly dangerous, because they contain chemical solvents. The chemicals present in the cleaners dissolve dirt without soap and water, and give off strong odors. Some of the carpet cleaners include other compounds that produce lots of fumes (like formaldehyde), acids, pesticides, disinfectants, lye (sodium hydroxide), fragrances and many others. Check:

The chemicals present in the carpet cleaners and protectors evaporate and may concentrate in the air, causing indoor air pollution. This is more likely if the room is not well ventilated, the weather is hot and humid or the room is damp. Indoor air pollution has many health ramifications such as headaches, irritation to eyes, nose and lungs, asthma attacks, congestion, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, nausea and other symptoms.

Carpet shampoo is one of the important carpet cleaning product. Carpet shampoos usually leave behind a sticky residue on carpet fibers. Though the residue cannot be perceived and felt yet it can make carpets feel rougher and you may be able to smell it. Not only does the residue attract and latch onto dirt, but children, who crawl and play on carpets, can inhale these residues and get them on their hands, which often go into their mouths.

Dry shampoos, powders and foams get attached to carpet fibers. The solvents and detergents present in these cleaning agents are applied for a specific period of time, then vacuumed to remove the cleaning product. However often the residue of these cleaning agents penetrate deep into the fibers from where it becomes impossible to vacuum them. The dust and the powders can enter the human system through inhalation. In fact, anti-dust-mite carpet treatments sometimes contain tannic acid or benzyl benzoate, both of which are skin, eye and respiratory irritants. Deodorizing powders often contain fragrances that irritate asthmatic lungs as well.

Hence it is advisable to use carpet cleaners that are approved by a recognized authority and agency. Check the ingredients of the cleaner and enquire from the manufacturer or dealer about its application. Also find out whether the chemicals present in the cleaners release gas or vapor. If it is so then after cleaning the carpet put it outside for 48 hours and then place it in the room. While placing, keep the ventilation of the room open.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *