When most people think about air pollution, they think of factories that belch thick black smoke into the air and people having to wear masks whenever they want to go outside.
It’s rare that people consider the possible air pollution taking place inside their homes. The truth, though, is that we’re often exposed to toxic indoor air on a daily basis.
One of the biggest culprits? Our cleaning supplies, especially the products we use to clean our carpets.
Luckily, there are a lot of eco-friendly carpet cleaning methods you can utilize to keep your home fresh and clean without exposing yourself to harsh chemicals.
Read on to learn about six natural (and effective) ways to clean your carpets.
1. Water, Vinegar, Salt, and Essential Oil Blends
One of the best tools you can use to clean your carpets, eliminate mold growth, and avoid toxic ingredient exposure is a simple, homemade solution made of water, vinegar, salt, and essential oils.
To make this natural carpet cleaner, combine the following ingredients:
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 15 drops your favorite essential oil (lavender is a popular option)
Be sure to use a 100 percent pure essential oil, rather than an essential oil blend. Essential oil blends are less potent and may contain questionable, potentially toxic ingredients like artificial fragrance.
Combine these ingredients in a large spray bottle and shake to mix thoroughly. Spray liberal amounts of the solution on freshly-vacuumed carpets. Let the carpets dry completely, then vacuum to pick up the salt left behind.
2. Spot Treat with Household Products
You don’t always have to clean your entire carpet. In fact, a full carpet cleaning should only take place about once a year (maybe twice if you have pets or small children).
Overcleaning your carpet will cause it to wear out more quickly and could even cause it to fade.
Instead, in between full cleanings, focus on spot treating with household products like baking soda, salt, and club soda.
Baking soda is a great tool for getting rid of odors from pet stains or spills. Cornstarch works well for grease stains, as does cornmeal.
Club soda is a good option if you have coffee stains on your carpet, and salt is effective for getting rid of mud, dirt, and even red wine.
3. Hot Water Extraction
Hot water extraction, also known as steam cleaning, is the ultimate eco-friendly carpet cleaning method.
It involves spraying your carpet with a special cleaning solution, spraying it with hot water, and then using a wet-vac to dry everything up.
You don’t have to use any harsh chemicals or cleaning products when you utilize this method. All you need is a steam cleaner and a natural cleaning solution.
There are lots of green carpet cleaning products that will allow you to get rid of stains and odors without requiring you to breathe in any toxic fumes.
The great thing about the carpet cleaning products used for steam cleaning is the fact that many of them are highly concentrated. This means you don’t have to use very much product to get the job done. It’s great for your carpet and your wallet.
4. Dry Carpet Cleaning
If you can’t get your hands on a natural carpet shampoo, or if steam cleaning just doesn’t appeal to you, you can also give dry carpet cleaning a try.
Dry carpet cleaning is highly effective but also convenient. All you need is some baking soda and some essential oils to add a nice scent.
Combine the baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Then, sprinkle the baking soda on your carpet.
Let it sit for a few hours (or a full day if possible), then vacuum it up. Your carpet will be clean and deodorized and a lovely, fresh scent will fill your whole house.
5. Professional Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning
Contrary to popular belief, professional carpet cleaning can be very eco-friendly. The key is to find a carpet cleaner that uses green products.
You can also find a carpet cleaner who is willing to use your own eco-friendly products.
If you purchase a green carpet shampoo and have it on hand when the cleaner arrives, there’s a good chance they’ll be willing to use it instead of the product they normally use.
These days, many professional carpet cleaners are aware of the harsh chemicals in traditional cleaning products and are starting to switch over to more natural alternatives.
Click for more information here to learn about cleaners who are already doing this.
Tips for Maintaining Clean Carpets
If you’ve put the work in to clean your carpets without the use of harsh chemicals, you probably want to do whatever you can to keep them clean for as long as possible.
Listed below are some tips that will help you do just this:
- Vacuum on a regular basis — use your baking soda and essential oil blend if you want to combat odors
- Spot treat stains as soon as they happen
- Avoid wearing shoes when walking on the carpet — stick to bare feet, socks, or slippers
- Lay down rugs or chair mats to prevent wear and tear
- Replace vacuum bags and filters on a regular basis — this helps you vacuum work more efficiently
Rearranging your furniture a couple of times a year can have a big impact, too. It will help you avoid wearing out certain parts of your carpet and will extend its lifespan.
Looking for More Green Cleaning Tips?
As you can see, there are a lot of different eco-friendly carpet cleaning methods you can implement to keep your home fresh and clean.
Keep these tips in mind (along with the maintenance advice) and you’ll have no trouble getting clean carpets without exposing yourself and your family members to toxic chemicals.
Do you need help finding other ways to keep your home clean and green? If so, check out the Green Living section of our website today.
You’ll find lots of helpful articles here on everything from green cleaning to green home repairs and renovations.