Every time toxic cleaners are used, there's a heavy impact on our environment. It does not matter whether the cleaners are poured, sprayed, washed, rinsed, or dumped; the harmful effects are the same. When we use these things we risk adding toxins to the air and to the water, both of which come back to us and are shared with the public. If you are not sure whether your cleaning products are harmful to you and the environment, take a look at the product labels to see the various types of chemical ingredients that are listed. What you find might surprise you!
Some products you may want to review are your carpet cleaners. For many of the cleaning needs today, there are healthier, organic alternatives for the usual toxic products. Carpet cleaners are no different. If you are concerned about this issue, and would like to use products that are healthier for you and the environment, consider switching to organic cleaning products. Organic carpet cleaners, for example, are generally dry cleaners that are much less harmful than traditional carpet cleaners.
Dangers of Non-Organic Carpet Cleaners
Most of the popular brands of carpet cleaners that are sold in stores can be quite harmful to us because they are made with chemical solvents that are very similar to the ones used by dry cleaners. The most common carpet cleaners give off powerfully strong odors that can aggravate a number of chronic respiratory conditions and allergies.
Some of the harmful ingredients that may be found in carpet cleaners include:
- Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
These ingredients can cause endocrine issues, hormonal imbalance, and even infertility according to some studies.  In addition to these, there are a wide variety of additional compounds that are frequently found on product labels. It is helpful if you are aware of at least some of these potentially dangerous chemicals so you can avoid using them.
You're Putting Toxic Chemicals on Toxic Materials
Carpets are often made of synthetic fibers and they're treated with toxic chemicals that are hazardous to you and your family's health. These carpets pose a threat to the families that have them installed as well as those who install them. Often times, those facing the greatest risks are infants, toddlers, and pets, which spend the most time breathing closest to the floor.
The following are some of the dangerous chemicals found in carpets in emissions tests:
Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic.  If carpets are putting out these toxins, then people are surely breathing them in. Compound these chemicals with those in the cleanser formulas and you can begin to see the dangers present.
Why Should I Use Organic Carpet Cleaners?
Organic carpets don't give off the noxious fumes that regular carpet can. Toxic fumes from carpet come from the synthetic fibers, the chemicals used in the manufacture, as well as the chemicals used to treat it. Your carpet padding can be treated with equally harmful chemicals. These toxic chemicals can cause allergic reactions in people and pets.
One of the main benefits of organic carpet cleaners is that they don't pollute the air. Organic carpet cleaners are healthier for you and they're healthier for our environment. Traditional carpet cleaners generally leave a concentrated vapor hanging in the air, which causes indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is a very serious concern, as it can cause sneezing, headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, irritation to the lungs, nose, and eyes, coughing, congestion, fatigue, and a host of other symptoms.
By using organic carpet cleaners, the potential for mold growth is greatly reduced. Since most organic cleaners are dry, the environment where mold spores readily sprout and flourish is minimized. Once mold develops in a carpet or carpet pad, it is nearly impossible to remove. The only alternative at that point is to replace all of it.
The most important point to remember is to be aware of the harmful chemicals that are typically found in commercially sold carpet cleaners, and make an effort to select organic carpet cleaners for the sake of your family's health. There are other alternatives that you can consider when you're planning to have a greener home and work environment. For example, you could look into purchasing an organic carpet made with natural materials. A very safe carpet to purchase is one made of 100% natural wool fibers.
Carpet is not your only alternative for floor covering. Remember that alongside all-natural carpets made of wool or hemp, you can also elect to have natural wood flooring, not pressed or chipped board.
When you're having new materials put on your floor, whether it's wood, carpet, or some other beneficial covering, be sure to use proper backing; natural rubber is a good one. And then there's the fixative. Sometimes the glue used can give off toxic fumes that linger for a long time after the flooring is installed. Check with your installer to make certain that he's using the safest products for everyone. One simple and effective product for deodorizing carpet between major cleanses is baking soda. You can sprinkle this dry substance freely over your carpet. Let it sit for as short as 30 minutes or as long as overnight; then vacuum. If you've ever used baking soda in your refrigerator, then you know how effective it is at removing odors. It can do the same for your carpet.
What to Consider When Cleaning Carpet
The best organic carpet cleaners are biodegradable and nontoxic. It is equally important to ensure a product's packaging is made from 100% recycled material.
If you want your carpets to be professionally cleaned, you should know that there are professional organic carpet cleaners who specialize in natural cleaning of even the dirtiest carpets. If you have trouble locating professional organic carpet cleaners locally, try searching online to see if you can find one that is close to your area.
- Mehrpour O, Karrari P, Zamani N, Tsatsakis AM, Abdollahi M. Occupational exposure to pesticides and consequences on male semen and fertility: a review. Toxicol Lett. 2014 Oct 15;230(2):146-56. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.01.029.
- McMichael AJ. Carcinogenicity of benzene, toluene and xylene: epidemiological and experimental evidence. IARC Sci Publ. 1988;(85):3-18.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.