Keep it Clean
Although it is always good to have your carpets deep cleaned 1-2 times a year, it is also important to keep them clean the times between those deep cleanings. There are ways you can prevent dirt and other particles from soiling them on a daily basis.
Leave your shoes at the door
Always remove your shoes when you enter your home. The soles of your shoes pick up all kinds of dirty and harmful substances that are tracked onto your carpets throughout your home. Harmful pesticides, lead and other chemicals can make their way inside. Leaving your shoes at the door will ensure they stay out. A floor mat will also help reduce the amount of dirt making its way to your carpets.
Suck it up
Vacuum carpets and floors on a regular basis. Depending on the amount of traffic in and out of your home, it is a good suggestion to vacuum at least every other day or two days. Use a fine particle filter such as a HEPA filter, if possible. This will prevent dust from being redistributed back into the air.
Play it Safe
With the variety of choices you have in cleaning products these days, it is important to buy products that are free of toxic chemicals. The market for non-toxic household products is much bigger now and continues to grow with consumer demand.
When shopping for cleaning products, take a minute to carefully read the labels. Look for products that appear to disclose all of their ingredients. “Signal words” like caution, warning, danger and poison will help you spot ingredients that are harmful. Caution being least hazardous, danger is most hazardous; extremely toxic products must also include the word poison. Choosing the least hazardous product will not only do the job, it will keep you safe.
Chemicals you should always avoid are:
- Hydrofluoric Acid
- Nitrilotriacetate Acid
- Perchloroethylene and Tributyl Tin
- Isobutane or Propane
- Glycol Ethers
- Quaternary Ammonium Chloride
- Sodium Bisulfate
- Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Hydroxide
These chemicals are not safe to breathe or come into contact with your skin. Staying away from products that contain these chemicals will help keep your family safe and protect them from toxins that are harmful, particularly for pets and small children who are usually close to the floor.
Try selecting products made from plant-based materials, such as oils made from citrus, seed, vegetable or pine. By doing so you are selecting products that are biodegradable and generally less toxic.
Some ingredients you can include in a do-it-yourself carpet cleaner that are safe are:
- White wine
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Club soda
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Carbonated water
- Baking soda
Most of these things can be used in combination with blotting and warm water and will be just as effective for cleaning carpets.
A Little Dab will Do
Before you use a product, carefully read the directions and follow the instructions. Be sure to use the correct amount of a product. You won’t get twice the results by using twice as much.
Remember, routine maintenance and proper carpet care will go a long way in extending the life of your carpets. Cleaning with products that are toxin-free will keep you and your family safe.