If you’re considering having your carpet professionally cleaned, you may be asking yourself a few questions about the chemicals and the carpet cleaning process. Over the past few years there have been many advancements around cleaning chemicals. It’s safe to say that most reputable carpet cleaners are using eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. Honestly, there’s no reason to be concerned about the safety of carpet cleaning chemicals. With recent advancements, carpet cleaning chemicals are more effective and safer than ever before. Here’s what you need to know about carpet cleaning chemicals and their safety.
The Carpet Cleaning Process
To have a better understanding of why chemicals are used in the carpet cleaning process it’s helpful to know about the hot-water extraction (steam cleaning) carpet cleaning process. There are several methods of carpet cleaning, however this post refers only to the steam cleaning method which is what carpet manufacturers recommend.
Prior to the actual cleaning, a carpet cleaning chemical is misted or lightly sprayed across the surface of the carpet. This chemical helps to loosen oil and soil that have built up on the carpet fiber. Think of it like washing your hair with shampoo, the shampoo helps to loosen and remove the build up in your hair. Your hair wouldn’t be as clean if you just rinsed it with hot water, right? The same logic applies to your carpet fiber, you need a chemical to increase the amount of soil that is removed during the cleaning process.
Some carpet cleaners will agitate the carpet cleaning chemical into the fiber, with either a machine or carpet rake, to provide better coverage. Now the cleaning, pressurized steam is forced down into the carpet fiber and suctioned out at the same time. During the actual carpet cleaning process the suction will remove the cleaning chemical, soil and oils, and the majority of the steam. With a steam cleaning, you can expect residue and chemical free carpet once the cleaning is complete.
Safe Carpet Cleaning Chemicals
Generally speaking, carpet cleaning chemicals are very safe when you trust your cleaning to a reputable and established carpet cleaning company. That said, there are some carpet cleaners who will sacrifice safety to save a few dollars – not every cleaning product is green and non-toxic. If you have concerns, be sure to ask your carpet cleaner what he or she is using on your carpet. OSHA requires chemical manufactures to produce a Safety Data Sheet for each cleaning product they make and a reputable cleaner will have a SDS for every cleaning product they have. Very simply, a Safety Data Sheet or SDS will reference what the chemical is made of, any hazards it poses and how to administer first aid, if necessary.
A second thing to keep in mind when thinking about the safety of carpet cleaning chemicals is that they are typically removed during the cleaning process. Again, this post refers to hot water extraction cleaning or steam cleaning. If you think back to the beginning of this blog when the steam cleaning process was described, you’ll remember the cleaning chemical is removed during the cleaning.
To sum it up, if you’re concerned about the safety of carpet cleaning chemicals, don’t be. Reputable carpet cleaners use safe and non-toxic chemicals. The chemicals are typically removed during the cleaning process. A clean home is a safe home, so go ahead and have your carpet professionally cleaned. You’ll be glad you did.