Is It Just Me, or Are Eco Friendly Carpet Cleaners Totally Overrated?

Are eco-friendly carpet cleaners totally overrated? There are lots of people who are selling eco-friendly carpet cleaning fluid. If you believe them and you just buy it off the shelf you might feel good about what you are doing for the environment. However when you start digging you discover that they have lots of chemicals in them and some of them are less than desirable.

Toxic chemicals in carpet cleaners

Here are some examples of the kind of chemicals that you get in carpet cleaners that are sold as eco-friendly or green.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate  are used in “natural” and green carpet solutions. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is of some concern for cancer and both are not good for aquatic life. Naturally sounding ingredients like citrus grandis which is grapefruit seed extract can have chloroform and dioxins both of concern for cancer. Citrus grandis also contains ingredients that are ecotoxic and harmful to wildlife. 

In the same way that you would think carefully about what you eat and what you put inside your body and what you put onto your body you should also consider your cleaning agents which your skin may come into contact with. Cleaning agents can be asthma triggers, they can have cancer concerns and they may be environmental hazards when they’re disposed of.

What is the best way to clean a carpet without chemicals?

So what is the best way to clean a carpet without chemicals? It might be a good idea to go to your pantry to find some ideas. Some basic cooking ingredients can be used for cleaning around the home. The advantage to doing this is that you know exactly what is going into your cleaning solution.

Non toxic carpet shampoo

One of our favorite non-toxic carpet shampoo ideas is your everyday baking soda. Baking soda is a magic ingredient! It can be used to clean fridges and freezers, unclog the drain and clean the bathroom. 

If you want to clean your carpet, sprinkle baking soda over the carpet and leave it overnight. Then vacuum the carpet the following day. Baking soda can be mixed with a few drops of essential oil for a nice smell. You can also buy products with baking soda in them off the shelf, like the Planet Detox carpet freshener.  

Vinegar is another favorite cleaning product in our house. Apple cider vinegar has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. And a nice smell. Vinegar can be used straight or watered down as a countertop cleaning product that is non-toxic. It can also be used as a spot cleaner on carpets but remember to test a patch before using it on your carpet. 

Dish soap is our last suggestion for a non-toxic carpet cleaner. Just foam it up in some water and spread the foam on the carpet. Then wipe it off or scrub it. Finally vacuum the carpet to remove the loosened dirt. Don’t soak the carpet or it will take ages to dry and may get moldy. And don’t use this method on muddy carpet boot prints. It will simply grind them into the carpet fibers. 

As with cleaners, always check the ingredients of your dish soap first. Dish soaps contain toxic chemicals too. Use a biodegradable version like Ecover or Dr. Bronner’s. Dr. Bronner’s revealed a recipe on Twitter for a carpet cleaning solution. Fill the carpet cleaner with water. Add one cup of vinegar. Add one drop of Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner. Note that both these liquids contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate). 

How do you clean eco-friendly carpet like wool?

The best way to clean eco-friendly carpet like wool or jute is plain water according to British Wool. A spot cleaner (non-toxic of course) can be used for stains. Or try one of our methods above. 

Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaners

So Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaners are difficult to find. It is always worth doing research into cleaning fluids bought from manufacturers to ensure that they don’t contain any irritants or toxic ingredients. And it is possible to use normal household ingredients as a sustainable swap if you want a non-toxic solution.