May 14, 2013

Things To Consider Before You Use Chemicals To Clean Your Carpet

We all want clean carpet.  There is something eminently satisfying about seeing a recently vacuumed room, with the crisscross of the vacuum lines, and the toe tingling invitation to test it out.  When it comes to deep cleaned carpets, the invitation is even more alluring.  Who doesn’t enjoy a good clean carpet?

But when it comes to that alluringly “clean” carpet, are you really sure it’s clean?  It may look fresh and inviting, but what toxins are now lurking beneath that cushy cover?  When it comes to carpet cleaning, a surprising number of toxins are involved.  So, before you choose your next carpet cleaning company, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind.

Your children’s health is always a paramount concern to you.  In fact, your child’s health may be a contributing factor to your decision to clean your carpet.  Just be aware, that much of what is used to clean the carpets leaves a residue in the carpet and emits an odor in the air that can be harmful for these little ones.

Your pet’s health is another concern for the entire family.  After all, Fluffy is a family member too.  Just as small children can be impacted by chemicals left in the carpet, so to can animals.  Chemical residue can attach to paws and fur, which in turn can be ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Of course we all want to take care of the environment too.  Unfortunately, the harsh chemicals used in carpet cleaning are contributing to a greater pollution issue in our waterways.

Who knew that all these things could be negatively impacted simply by cleaning the carpet?  Fortunately, there are many companies today promoting a green cleaning method for carpets.  While you will want to verify these claims, legitimate green cleaning companies can provide an excellent cleaning service with all natural ingredients…good for kids, good for pets, good for the earth.  So before your go with a traditional chemical cleaning method, consider your greener alternatives. Specializing in Highlands Ranch carpet cleaning, Citrus Solutions is your natural choice.

What is Off Gassing?

Off gassing is the evaporation of chemicals from various materials we use regularly throughout our homes. New carpets, furniture, cosmetics, plastics, paint, mattresses, and water bottles are all susceptible to off gassing, which allows these materials to emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, throughout the life of the product.

To date, more than 80,000 chemicals have been developed, used and discarded into our environment over the past 50 years. Most have not been tested for their toxic effects, meaning when they are used in the products we use every day, we are susceptible to a whole host of conditions that many have never anticipated.

Synthetic carpets, for instance, are made from nylon fibers with a polypropylene backing. Off gassing releases the chemicals styrene and 4-phenylcyclohexane, both of which come from the latex backing, into the air. This backing is used in approximately 95 percent of carpets, and is what gives off that new carpet smell.

How Long it Lasts

There are various different reactions to the chemicals that are released into the air.. The first few days after installation are the most dangerous to be around the chemicals, but people that are very sensitive could react for many years. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter vac and cleaning regularly will reduce the amount of VOCs stored and released into the air, but keep in mind it happens over time. Reintroducing chemicals back into the carpets with harsh chemicals can prolong the process.


People may suffer from exposure in many ways: no two people are exactly alike. The most common symptoms are respiratory issues and gastrointestinal issues. The common side effects include headaches and dizziness, as well as nausea and vomiting. Long time symptoms could be as serious as certain cancers or permanent asthma.


The only way to truly prevent the effects of off gassing from carpeting is to remove any wall-to-wall carpeting in your home. However, here in Colorado, nothing feels better than warm carpet on a cold day.The highest quality carpeting should be installed. And clean your carpets naturally on a regular basis.