Green Carpet Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know for a Non-Toxic Home

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated August 31, 2021
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Protect the environment and your health with these eco-friendly carpet cleaning tips

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Selecting green carpet cleaning methods is not only kinder on the environment, but using non-toxic products reduces the risk of triggering things like allergies, asthma, and skin irritation. 

There are lots of eco-friendly options that will leave your carpet sparkly clean and odor-free. Learn more green carpet cleaning tips and methods here.

The Benefits of Choosing Green Carpet Cleaning Products

These days, there’s a wide range of eco-friendly carpet cleaning products on the market. 

Some of their benefits include:

  • Plant-based detergents use enzymes to break down stains and odors naturally and gently

  • Don’t contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Perchloroethylene (PERC) and naphthalene are both common carpet cleaner ingredients that can cause health issues and environmental damage

  • The cleaners and their packaging are often biodegradable

  • Safer for use around children and pets

  • Less risk of problems for individuals with allergies and weakened immune systems

  • Can often use them with cold water to increase energy efficiency

  • Don’t contain many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), improving indoor air quality

Misleading marketing, referred to as “greenwashing,” is common, with companies keen to capitalize on the growing demand for eco-friendly products. Always check the labels carefully. The Environmental Protection Agency has comprehensive guidance on how to identify green cleaning products and recommends looking for green carpet cleaners with the ecologo.

DIY Alternatives to Clean Your Carpet

You may even have some DIY carpet cleaners stashed away in your cupboard without realizing. 

Some at-home options that are good for dirty spots or stains on your carpet include:

  • Baking soda: It's perfect for getting rid of unwanted odors. Sprinkle it onto the carpet, leave it for at least a couple of hours (when no one will tread on it), and then vacuum it off.

  • Vinegar: It’s effective at removing certain stains. Blot up as much excess dirt or moisture as soon as possible with a paper towel, spray the soiled area with an equal mixture of vinegar and water, then blot this off after letting it sit for a short time. You may need to repeat the process a few times to lift the stain entirely.

  • Castile soap: This vegetable-based soap is a versatile cleaner

  • Carbonated water or club soda: Lifts stains like red wine

  • Cornstarch: Good for greasy spots

Is Deep Steam Cleaning a Good Green Carpet Cleaning Option?

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Steam cleaning works by applying hot water at high pressure to your carpet. It penetrates deep down into the fibers, and you can use it with water only—no chemicals needed. If you want to add carpet shampoo, make sure you select a certified eco-friendly product or add some white vinegar to the water tank.

Low-moisture vapor cleaners use less water than traditional steam cleaners, which is even better for the environment and the carpet will dry out faster, lessening the chance of mold and mildew development.

Stay Green by Not Going Overboard With Deep Carpet Cleaning

While deep cleaning a carpet is possible without using harmful chemicals, it still uses lots of water. By only doing a deep clean when a carpet really needs it, you’ll save money while also helping the environment. 

Stick with spot cleaning and regular vacuuming in between. Plus, rooms with less footfall may never need a deep clean, so don’t feel you have to get all the carpets in the house deep cleaned at once.

Vacuuming Can Extend Your Carpet’s Life

Regularly and thoroughly vacuuming your carpet prevents dust and debris from getting too ingrained. This ingrained dirt damages fibers and reduces the carpet’s lifespan. Having to replace your carpet sooner not only results in a greater expense for you, but it means more waste in the environment.

Plus, cleaning a carpet full of dirt can spread it around, making it more difficult to do a good job. Using a HEPA-filter vacuum (or something similar) with effective suction at least once a week will lift more particles and reduce the risk of allergy problems.

Hire a Professional Who Uses Eco-Friendly Techniques

If you want to hire a local carpet cleaning pro, do your research to find one who uses approved green products and cleaning techniques. A typical professional carpet steam clean costs around $300.

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