Are Your Carpet Cleaning Products Toxic?

Are Your Carpet Cleaning Products Toxic?

ByGroovy Green Apr 13, 2016

Most people need to at least spot clean their carpets in between professional carpet cleaning. While you can choose professional carpet cleaners, like who only use environmentally friendly, safe cleaning products, it is still possible to accidentally use toxic products to clean the carpet yourself, if you don’t take care when purchasing products.

Sometimes this happens because you are in a hurry and don’t even think about the product being toxic. Other times it is because the list of ingredients on the tin or packet is in such small print you just can’t read it without your reading glasses – which are at home next to that book you were reading.  Or it could be that you don’t know which ingredients are toxic – many have long names and it is easy to forget them, even if you try to get it right.

There are four main times when toxic products can affect you.

  1. If you get some on your skin while using them
  2. When you inhale the fumes while using them.
  3. When anyone sits or lies on the carpet and gets some on their skin
  4. Breathing in the air after cleaning while toxic fumes are still rising.

The latter two times you may not even be aware of it happening, but if you can smell it, you can breathe it in. And even a small amount of dried carpet cleaner on your skin can cause a rash, eczema or itch of some kind.

So what toxic ingredients should you watch out for in carpet cleaning products?

  • Perchloroethylene – can cause dizziness, fatigue and nausea. Can also cause kidney and liver damage.
  • Naphthalene – is potentially carcinogenic and is considered dangerous to the central nervous system in humans, though not animals.
  • Butyloxy ethanol – similar to the above, can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver or kidneys.

To remember these more easily, shorten the words to Perch, Nap and But.

Children and pets are especially vulnerable because they are so much closer to the carpet and often roll around and lie with their faces buried in the pile. Not only do they inhale dust and carpet fibres, but the fumes from the latest cleaning products used on it. In addition, their lungs are smaller and they have a faster metabolism, so can be far worse affected than adults.

Not all products are safe, even though they may be labelled ‘green’ or ‘natural cleaning’. Producers sometimes do this simply to get into that section of the market; people who want to buy safe products. That is why you have to read the list of ingredients before you buy.

Being sure you only use safe non-toxic products to clean your carpet will give you peace of mind that you are not endangering your child’s health or your own.