Chemical-Free Home: How To Clean Your Carpets The Eco-Friendly Way

Clean floors are one of the first steps to achieving healthy indoor air quality in your home. Pet dander, dust, and outdoor toxins and residues brought into your home can leave the air you breathe feeling not so refreshing. However, when it comes to carpet cleaning, some of the products you use to remedy this situation can release harmful chemicals that are just as bad! When cleaning your carpets, it’s important to use environmentally friendly methods to create a clean, healthy indoor space.

Before you Clean

There are many steps you can take to keep floors fresh that don’t require a deep clean at all. By incorporating these into your daily or weekly routine, you can save time on cleaning and avoid using harsh chemicals on your carpets.

  1. Protect your floors from outside dirt and other contaminants by placing floor mats at each entrance to your home. This simple step will prevent most of your carpet cleaning by itself, especially in winter!
  2. Regular vacuuming picks up the dust and dirt that a wet clean can’t. By vacuuming at least twice a week, you can keep indoor air fresh, and avoid the set-in dirt that makes scrubbing your floors necessary.
  3. Freshen your floors with a simple and eco-friendly dusting of baking powder. This common household substance neutralizes odors and keeps the house fresh. Mixing the powder with cinnamon or a drop of lavendar oil can also make your home smell amazing with little effort. Just apply baking soda, leave for at least 10 minutes (though 45 minutes is optimal) and vacuum it up!

Spot Cleaning

Instead of going straight for the energy-intensive carpet cleaner, try to clean messes as you go with spot cleaning. Cleaning up spills and smears right away with these tips will keep carpets clean for longer.

  1. Whenever a spill takes place, wipe it up immediately to prevent a stain. Use a cloth or rag instead of paper towel to stay green.
  2. Use one of the following eco-friendly spot cleaning solutions to clean up the stain without harsh chemicals:
  • A couple of tablespoons of white vinegar with a cup of hot water works well for most food and beverage stains.
  • Club soda can easily clear up red wine spills.
  • Leaving baking soda on for 4-6 hours will get rid of grease stains.
  • 2 cups of hot water mixed with a teaspoon or so of dishwasher detergent is also a good go-to spot cleaner, though you should be careful to select a detergent with simple, green ingredients.

Steam Cleaning

Sometimes, spot cleaning and vacuuming aren’t enough, and you’ll need to use a steam cleaner. To prevent this from filling your home with toxic chemicals, use these tips.

  1. If you hire professional carpet cleaners, be sure to choose one that offers environmentally friendly cleaning options. Ask them about their cleaning solutions, and make sure they are truly commited to a chemical-free cleaning process.
  2. If you’re renting a machine or using your own, replace the usual cleaning solution with a green version. 1.5 gallons of warm water, 1.5 cups of white vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoons of dish soap creates a simple solution that works just as well as the storebought version.
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Thanks to Sammie Bourgane for submitting this post. Sammie is a North Carolina blogger and environmentalist who works with many green companies to share eco-friendly home tips, including Service Master of Charleston.